|So, having experienced their very lovely set at Truck Fest 2003 (even if the PA wasn't that great), we're sitting on a grassy verge; just me, Black Nielson, and their stalker Keiran.|
It's 10pm and Keiran is very, very drunk, and is currently detailing his musical influences - "Yeah, Pavement were definitely an influence on us." The band for their part are looking suitably embarrassed/pissed off.
But still, enough of Keiran for the time being; the reason we're here is the festival, and being here for the fourth year running, plus being signed to Truck records, the label that run the event, Black Nielson are about as well qualified as anyone to tell us what makes Truck different from other festivals.
"There's a nice atmosphere, because everybody pretty much knows everybody through Truck. It's less commercial than the big festivals. It's a lot bigger this year though, there seem to be loads of people here."
The band played a set drawn largely from their recently released 'The Seahorse Boe' album, which saw them move away from the more obvious influences of the first record, to a sound far more their own.
"With the last record, we got a lot of comparisons with Mercury Rev, although I don't really think we sound much like them, and other bands like Pavement too, but this time, the reviews seem to be more focussed on our sound, rather than who we sound like. Sparklehorse was a big influence on both records, although this one's more like 'It's a Wonderful Life' than the earlier stuff."
Compared with previous album 'Still Life Hear Me', 'The Seahorse Boe' is a far more intricately conceived work: where 'Still Life' relied on a lo-fi charm, it soars off into the stratosphere on a wave of chiming guitars and keyboards, while Michael's vocals have acquired a more distinctive quality (just check out the chorus of 'The Human Strain' for proof).
If they're going to continue to produce records of this calibre, they may have to start getting used to drunken blokes following them around proclaiming them geniuses.
Interview by Paul Madden