“Well that’s the way the song was imagined – but I’m not sure if it turned out like that” – World’s End Press frontman John Parkinson.
“I think we’ve always aimed for something closer to what we’ve got now” – keyboardist Rhys Richards.
For World’s End Press, what was “imagined” and “what we’ve got now” is an anticipated EP, Tall Stories, which is heaving with slow burns, driving synths and techno elements. Physically, the band have reduced from four to three members, they’ve dropped the process of only recording in the studio and instead, record at any time, bedroom or bunker. Sonically, WEP have shifted into the realms of house and dance music, upping the BPMs and progressing beyond their pop birth. So instead of finding them gigging in bandrooms and on festival stages – which they’re doing next month to launch Tall Stories – it wouldn’t be completely devious to assume we might soon catch them playing in da clubs.
“We’ve carried over some things but I suppose what we’re doing now is much more reflective and it’s much more of an attempt to be honest with ourselves about where we’re at and what we’re listening to,” says Parkinson.
There’s definitely strong European house vibes coming through, so they’re listening to that and where are they at? Da clubs, obviously.
We caught up with the band to talk tracks and the stories behind Tall Stories.
Parkinson: “That’s one minute and 24 seconds of similar sounding stuff to the main song. But intro and interludes are quite hard to fit on a five-track EP – so obviously we’ve prioritised it because we’ve put it on a five-track EP.
“We love instrumental textures and we’ve really had to standby and fight for the cause, because being a pop band you know we’ve got to assert our right to play ambient music. It’s also a way of having it both ways. If you listen to an album all the way through you don’t notice the transitions between the songs but [with intros and interludes] you have the option of playing each specific song without thinking it’s a part of this sea of music. It’s all about the track markers.”
Parkinson: “A traditional song structure, which is a very simple song structure. This just seemed to be the single of the album. It’s incredibly fast in terms of BPM – it charges along.”
Mushroom: Um, what BPM specifically?
Parkinson: “Probably 129. Tall Stories started because we saw Carl Craig at Let Them Eat Cake and I just remember his techno as being very smooth and kind of arpeggiated. I like the techno and the synth line in ‘Tall Stories’ because I thought it sounded like something from a Carl Craig set. So that was the starting point of it and from there on it somehow became a pop song just from adding vocals.
‘Ahead of Yourself’
Parkinson: “This is an example of using a radio and making rhythms from AM dial tunings, it’s something that just stimulates the creative process. Some of those house rhythms were just taken from interesting segments of dialling through hearing the static bursts.”
‘What’s On Your Mind’
Parkinson: “This is a song from just a desire of wanting to have a real disco sing-along vibe. But I can imagine this song would be played as one of those kind of like almost slow dance moments in the middle of quite a techno or house set. Well that’s the way the song was imagined but I’m not sure if it turned out like that.
Parkinson: “It obviously starts with that ambient kind of section and I always like those moments when you’re dancing to music where you’re a little bit exhausted and there’s sort of those kind of lulls in sets where you’re either talking to people or you’re gathering your thoughts but there’s still this ethereal feeling. You’re still in a place and I like the idea of having this quite ambient, still rhythmically-driven, texture that you can wrap yourself around.
‘Tall Stories Pt 2’
Parkinson: “That’s just a nod to our love of straight-up house music really. And we’re excited that that made it on because it’s quite different to the WEP stuff that we’ve done in the past but it’s like a sign of things to come.”
Tall Stories is out now through Liberation.