Blur drummer Dave Rowntree has shared his debut solo single ‘London Bridge’. Test it out beneath, together with our interview with Rowntree discussing a brand new document on the way in which, politics, and what the long run holds for Blur.
Launched on Cooking Vinyl and produced with Leo Abrahams (Wild Beasts, Brian Eno, Ghostpoet) the emotive synth-led monitor was impressed by the drummer’s childhood rising up in Colchester, earlier than shifting to London with Blur.
“There was a section in my life as a baby when the quantity 126 would pop up all over the place,” Rowntree instructed NME. “I used to be residing at Quantity 126 on my street, I’d get the Quantity 126 bus each morning, and I simply stored seeing the quantity all over the place. I do know that’s simply the mind working its sample recognition trickery, which has allowed us to thrive as a species, and I get all that – however it’s humorous when that occurs to you and simply how highly effective it’s.”
He continued: “Once I first moved to London with Blur, the same factor began occurring at London Bridge. Issues would occur round there that out of the blue made the place appear bizarrely significant in my life – as if the universe was making an attempt to scream ‘LONDON BRIDGE’ at me!
“The genesis of the track was, ‘Isn’t it unusual that this sense of place can take up a lot of your thoughts’. It ended up simply speaking about me, actually. That is from an album about me – sorry! It’s a solo album and finally I’ve to inform my very own story.”
Admitting that the track is just not consultant of the remainder of his solo materials to come back, Rowntree revealed that the sound of the track got here from the identical synthy place as a lot of his work composing scores for movie and TV – with credit together with Netflix sequence The One and the BBC technological crime thriller The Seize.
“It began as a guitar track, however I used to be by no means actually proud of that so I began once more and turned it right into a synth track,” Rowntree instructed us. “It was that interval of my life within the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when the London Bridge reminiscence factor occurred, so it appeared like a pure path to go all the way down to get all of my outdated analogue synths and drum machines out and begin once more that method.”
Rowntree began work on solo materials round 4 years in the past, penning songs in his dwelling studio for himself between his “dayjob” hours as a composer. “In my downtime, I began writing songs, assembly up with different individuals and collaborating with them, arising with concepts,” he stated. “We did that with Blur and that a part of being a musician was one thing I’d actually been lacking.
“I used to be simply noodling alongside, having concepts and issues after which in fact, lockdown occurred. I out of the blue discovered that I had lots of time on my arms. I used to be chatting with my producer good friend Leo and we had been each locked down in our studios, so we determined to work on these songs collectively.”
With a purpose to lay down his “financial institution of solo songs” that he had constructed up, Rowntree stated that he needed to get used to the thought of being entrance and centre of the challenge.
“It’s onerous once you’re writing your individual songs from scratch,” he stated. “You appear to have a disaster of confidence. You get midway by means of it and go, ‘Ah, that is horrible, why am I even doing this? This can be a catastrophe! Why am I even doing this?’
“For me, music is all about collaboration, and that’s what I’ve tried to do right here with lots of attention-grabbing individuals. I’ve simply been making an attempt to navigate my method across the concern of a clean web page.”
And he is able to step on stage as a frontman, fairly than a drummer?
“That’s the £64,000 query!” he replied. “It’s fairly straightforward to get used to being in the back of the stage and being protected against the screaming hordes by your drum equipment. I’m going to be seen at these gigs – after they occur – standing with a microphone in entrance of the stage. I believe I’m going to be superb with that, however you don’t know till you do it.”
With a solo album due within the subsequent yr, Rowntree stated that the songs from the document had been written to performed stay, whereas nonetheless “textural and evocative”. Past that, there may be additionally hope that we’ll quickly see a comeback from Blur – particularly after in addition to guitarist Graham Coxon teased extra exercise from Blur and frontman Damon Albarn claimed that the Britpop legends had been in talks, and “had an thought” of how you can make their return.
Requested about his bandmates’ feedback, Rowntree instructed us: “The issue as with all bands was that there was willingness to do it, however no alternative to do it. Now the alternatives are opening up once more, so we’ll simply need to see. We’re all up for it; I can provide you that unique: we’re all up for it!”
He added: “It will be beautiful to have a celebration and get again out within the contemporary air once more. That might be fantastic. It’s a tough time for touring in the intervening time, with numerous issues that means that venues and crews aren’t obtainable. It’s not fairly so simple as going, ‘Let’s simply ebook this present within the yard!’ like we might have carried out within the pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit days.”
Music apart, Rowntree has additionally spent a lot of the twenty first Century working in politics – going as far to be elected as a Labour Councillor in Norfolk, amongst his different achievements. Requested concerning the scandal that surrounds the present Tory authorities, the drummer and songwriter described Boris Johnson and his social gathering’s actions as “unbelievable”.
“I can’t bear in mind a time when politicians have had such a scarcity of accountability,” he instructed NME. “All of those particular person points would have been the tip of the profession of just about every other Prime Minister in historical past. That’s each the profit and the hazard of enormous majorities – the ultimate arbiter of a Prime Minister’s conduct is Parliament, and if the Prime Minister controls Parliament then the Prime Minister is unaccountable, aside from each 5 years when there’s an election.”
He went on: “I can’t consider a time since I first began paying attention to politics that there’s been such a scarcity of accountability and a scarcity of curiosity in that truth by the general public. Everybody’s simply shrugging their shoulders and going, ‘Oh effectively, that’s what he’s like! We knew he’d be a bathe of shit once we voted for him’ – after which voila! A bathe of shit! It’s simply all factored in.”
So will his upcoming debut solo album be loaded with politics?
“It’s not a document about politics, however it’s a document written in political occasions,” he replied. “The songs that I’m engaged on are undoubtedly set towards that backdrop. I bear in mind the Nineteen Seventies, and it was a horrible time, however now we appear to be nostalgic as if it was some form of golden period.”
‘London Bridge’ by Dave Rowntree is out now.