The arrival of their four digit debut single “1268” caused seismic speaker-blowing waves in the Webcuts offices in 2010. It truly was, and still is, a “What the fuck was that?” moment. It was in essence, Gang of Four meets LCD Soundsystem in an abandoned factory in North Wales. An electro pulse and surging beat, sheet metal guitars, inimitable Welsh vocals, it had ‘post-punk dancefloor smash’ writ large all over it, and had We//Are//Animal been from London instead of Wales, everybody would’ve been knocking down their door, kneeling to kiss their cossetted behinds (cough The Vaccines).
Little was known about the band. Press releases at the time touted their songwriting and recording prowess (songs written and recorded on the same day) and their perchance for odd recording locales. Presumably they got drunk and that’s where they woke up. Since then, they released their debut album Idolise (criminally unreviewed by Webcuts during our Los Angeles drying out period) to worthy acclaim. Using “1268” as a template, it explored the same engaging rhythms and instrumentation and cemented We//Are//Animal as one of those hush-hush bands to watch. With a forthcoming Welsh language EP and an American assault planned at this year’s South By South West festival in Austin, Texas, we asked vocalist/guitarist Owain Ginsberg to fill in the blanks.
01. Who are you?
We Are Animal and the band consists of Cynyr, Dion, Liam, Sion and Owain.
02. What do you sound like?
03. What do friends say you sound like?
04. Full-time musicians or wage slaves?
We have a teacher, a council worker, an artist, a chicken farmer and a carpet fitter… All of us are part-time, almost no time to be honest so I guess we’re skint musicians.
05. Current career highlight?
Having been invited to SXSW and then on to a European tour in March/April.
06. Favourite decade for music?
I’m going for 65-75 purely cos I think a lot of what was done then is still very very apparent in today’s music because so much experimentation was going on and all the bands were trying to push the boundaries, so much so that it left behind an incredible legacy and masses of great great songs.
07. Best mood for songwriting?
We’re fortunate not to suffer from moods. We’re either writing or unable to write because nothing’s happening or working but even then we continue to write even when we don’t feel like it… We always surprise ourselves when we listen back to something we’ve recorded that we didn’t like at the time, we often work it into a new idea and give it a different feel for our sakes.
08. The last song you/the band wrote?
We just finished off a Welsh track called ‘TACLA’ which is a very local word that the old timers use, it’s basically a translation for a collection of goods. The song will feature as a single soon to be released in Wales but as language isn’t an issue you should be able to get your hands on an mp3 no matter where you’re from.
09. Which 3 musicians would you invite round for dinner?
10. Worst gig ever played?
I don’t think we have one, either we’re oblivious to them or we just don’t give a fuck… Once we get up on stage then that’s it, it’s all a blur, we don’t really talk much in-between songs as usually no-one understands what we’re saying because of our accents… We let the music talk and if people like it then usually they come to talk to you after, and usually they still don’t understand us!!
11. Favourite band anecdote?
We have a soon to be favourite anecdote and that is our drummer Sion will be having his bass drum skin redone soon, it will have a photo of Cilla Black holding a python, can’t wait to see it!!!
12. Five favourite albums?
Television – Marquee Moon
Talking Heads – Remain In Light
Queens Of The Stone Age – Rated R
Nirvana – In Utero
Radiohead – Kid A
13. Your biggest rock and roll fantasy?
To be in a lot of people’s top 5 albums list.
14. Goals for the next 12 months?
South By Southwest, European tour, British tour, release a couple of EP’s, do more tours, play a load of festivals in the summer and keep working away for our next album… Pass my driving test, stop smoking, then start smoking again.