ERRORS – THE INTERVIEW
A lot can happen in ten years. You might go to university, go travelling, buy a car, buy a house even. You might even record four albums on Rock Action Records and tour the world. The latter – that’s what Errors did, evolving constantly along the way. With widespread praise coming in for recent LP Lease of Life, we asked the band’s frontman Steev Livingstone for the top three highlights of Errors’ career to date.
Probably the top is playing in Tokyo last year as it had been a dream of ours pretty much since we started the band. It was even more of a crazy experience that we could have imagined. Travelling on the bullet train was something I didn’t think I’d ever get to do. The whole time was surreal. Secondly our trip to Brazil was pretty amazing too – we had a body guard with us 24/7, we visited places we’d seen on TV and didn’t think we’d ever get to visit and our hotel had a swimming pool on the roof- all things that in our ordinary lives we’d probably not get to experience. Thirdly but definitely not least would be our several trips to the U.S- going to the house where Mikey in Goonies lived was a weirdly emotional experience.
How about the lowlights?
There have been many, but luckily none too devastating. Turning 30 was pretty shite but I can hardly blame that on the band.
If you’ve seen the highly surreal video for Slow Rotor, you’d be forgiven for thinking it some weird advert for Errors’ own-brand champagne. Of course, there’s more to the song than that, as Livingstone explains.
It’s sort of a warning about how technology and social media (things that are designed to bring us closer together) are more often than not pulling us away from each other. I’m not trying to preach it anything, it’s just a subject I’m interested in. I guess the video director picked up on this and kind of ran wild with it.
What about the actual creative process behind Lease of Life? Was there a conscious link with previous full-length Have Some Faith In Magic?
Not really, we always approach each new record with a different attitude and way of recording. We’ve had a mantra for the last couple of records “look forward not backward” as a reminder to ourselves to not try to re-write older tunes on new records.
One major change-up with Lease of Life is the inclusion of fellow Scottish musician Bek Oliva on backing vocals. She features prominently in the band’s 2015 live show, lending her unusual voice to the mix. Why the addition though?
We’ve worked with her before and knew how her voice would sound. She’s really great to work with and helped with writing the melody and lyrics for the track she appears on. She used to play in a band called Magic Eye from Edinburgh and we’d seen her live and really liked her vocal style.
How was the Lease of Life tour? New songs go down well?
Yeah, really great. New songs seemed to be really well received. Think we still have some things to iron out but for a first run I think the shows went pretty well.
Myself and RB editor Jess both fell in love with Errors after hearing the band’s first album, It Is Something But It Is Like Whatever – a frenetic, trippy indie-electro romp that was very much “a real band playing dance music” and which raised comparison with Battles at the time. And yet, none of the album’s songs were aired at Errors’ Oslo Hackney show in April. Why no Cutlery Drawer or Pump Steev?
I guess we were keen to showcase the new stuff as much as possible and trying to work out a set was quite hard because we now have so many albums. It’s not been ruled out, perhaps later in the year we will resurrect some of them.
Lease of Life was recorded on the remote Hebridean isle of Jura. With a population of less than 200 and beautiful wild terrain, it was the perfect place for George Orwell to complete his masterpiece 1984, and a decent spot for Errors’ recording sessions. Would the band record the next album in an equally remote/stunning location?
I think we’d definitely go away again. Simon and I are both keen hill walkers so I think something that can accommodate both our love for synthesisers and hillwalking is always going to work for us. We’ll probably try a different location next time. Environments have a huge effect on the outcome of the music so we’ll need to have a long think about that.
And what can we expect from Errors over the next year?
We’re going to tour a bit more, do some festivals (Europe only sorry) and then start writing. There are a few new pieces of equipment I’ve got my eye on before we start on a new record. Things that hopefully will make it different from Lease of Life, in a good way of course.
Thanks Steev. We’ll catch you behind a synth at a festival somewhere, I’m sure.