Move That Jukebox!

Interview: The Go! Team

Imagine a band with the following mixture: a black vocalist who pours quick verses almost as in a hip-hop competition, 2 drummers, 2 oriental integrant, samples, mash-ups and more samples and breathtaking live presentations. Looks like a musical and multi-etnical chaos, doesn’t it? Nope. This mixture works really well and it’s named The Go! Team. And they come form Brighton, UK.

Formed in 2000, initially as a musical project  of Ian Parton, who, for having a strict relationship with movies and documentaries, took his influences from there. After recording some songs in his parent’s kitchen (!), Parton decided to recruit a support band and recorded the debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, which was pretty acclaimed worldwide and even got a nominee in Mercury’s Prize 2005. Soon, the band was on tour, already with the current vocalist, Ninja.

Last year, The Go! Team released their second album, Proof Of Youth, and didn’t disappoint again with a new and fresh work. The band is one of the attractions of Motomix this month, and ever better, for free! To have a little notion of how their gig is going to be, check their video channel in the official website.

The founder Ian Parton yielded us an interview revealing some things of The Go! Team’s history. Check it out:

Move That Jukebox!: First of all, how are the expectations about playing in Brazil? Are you prepared for such an unknown public?

Ian Parton, from The Go! Team: We’ll just do what we always do and hope that people dig it – we’re a pretty obscure band in brazil I think – I imagine a few hipsters on us but everyone else will be in the dark. We always thrash about like it’s our last gig and somehow this carries over to the crowd.

MTJ!: A band with 2 drummers is very unusual and, with no doubt, calls the attention of curious people. How does the composing and harmony of this instrument works?

Parton: There are 3 of us who play the drums in the band so it made sense to double up on drums – it looks and sounds good but mainly we like to show off.

From the left to the right: Ian Parton, Sam Dook, Ninja, Jamie Bell, Chi Fukami Taylor and Kaori Tsuchida


MTJ!: Was the first album, Thunder Lightning, Strike, actually recorded in your house’s kitchen? How was made the collection of samples, which are pretty evident on this work?

Parton: I made TLS when I was still working – I took some holiday time, loaded my car up with all my gear and headed to my folks house in wales. There was no pressure I was just trying to make music and I wished someone else would. It was – and continues to be – all my favourite things slammed together. I’m always on the lookout for samples to use – in soundtracks, bollywood, double dutch documentaries. northern soul, anywhere really.

MTJ!: How was touring with Franz Ferdinand?

Parton: We didn’t actually tour with Franz Ferdinand – I don’t know how that rumour started. our first ever gig was a festival where they were playing. We have had some amazing support slots – The Flaming Lips a few times, Sonic Youth a few times, who are my favourite group. We played with The Gossip a few times – so we’ve been really lucky.

MTJ!: As a great fan of the band, I can’t imagine The Go! Team’s live performances without the energy that Ninja brings (not undeserving the other members, I like ‘em all). How did you meet her? 

Parton: I actually found her on an internet message board – I knew the lead singer would be the hardest person to find – I didn’t want some indie chick. I started going to hip hop open mic nights but everyone was too Beyoncé. I posted a message on a board saying “old skool female rapper wanted” and she replied with “old skool female rapper….found!”

MTJ!: When you guys recorded Proof of Youth, were you focused on surpassing the first album, which was very acclaimed by critics all over the world?

Parton: Not really – I always just think about melody and whether I like it or not – I try not to think about critics or even our fans – but I suppose Proof Of Youth was a natural follow on to Thunder, Lightning Strike and was trying to mix up traditonally black music – like blaxploitation, early hip hop, funk with traditonally white sounds – like noisy guitars, feedback and thrashy drums.

MTJ!: Brazilian singer Marina Vello, ex-Bonde do Role made a special participation in one of the tracks of Proof of Youth. Do you keep contact with any other brazilian bands?

Parton: We’re playing a little co-headline tour with CSS round the USA in a couple of months which I’m looking forward to – I feel more in common with them and Bonde than with lots of these bullshit NME indie boybands around at the minute.

MTJ!: Do you have plans of start working on new material after ending the tour?

Parton: I’m always thinking about it – I never switch off – I sing melodies into my phone and hunt down samples all the time – so its an ongoing thing. There’s lots of trial and error in writing a go team song – it’s like a puzzle. You keep trying different things until one day it works.

Official Web Site | MySpace

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