Interview by Marc Issue
Photograph by Martin Thompson
We are gathered here today for a preliminary conversation with Instinct. As conversations with popular recording artistes go, this is a great deal more preliminary than most - as we speak, their first single, due out at Easter (whenever Easter is), is yet to be finished. They have played live… not at all. And as they point out, they are not really a band at all, they are a song writing team who will record and perform. So why are we having this conversation? Instinct are what was left when Pigbag disbanded, and are now part of ZTT’s new wave.
They are understandably excited about the prospect of getting their stuff into the shops via The World’s Smartest Record Company, but the possibility that their ‘arrival’ will coincide with the onset of the ZTT backlash lends a little anxiety to their situation. Let’s get the obvious question out of the way first. Why did you say yes to ZTT?
“Because they seemed more sensitive and aware than any other company, but mostly because they said yes to us. A lot of companies thought we weren’t commercial enough to be really popular, and yet we weren’t weird enough to be weird. They picked up on us really quickly - Paul Morley called us literally three days after we’d sent him the tape, and some of the companies we sent tapes to are still sending them back now, eight months later, with their rejection letters or whatever.”
Instinct music. There are three songs on their studio demo, and I’ve heard them once. They sound elegant - they are composed songs, as opposed to words-overa-groove formula sound, of which I have heard far too many lately.
Instinct was born at the moment that Pigbag ceased to exist. They began rehearsing and writing immediately, wading out into (for them) uncharted territory. Jazz it isn’t. They have been watching the alleged Great British Jazz Revival with a certain amount of amusement.
Of course we could wave our arms about all day, trying to describe the music, and what the attitude is, but at this stage, Instinct just have a list of things that they don’t want to do they’ve been around, so they know what to avoid. They are keen to perform onstage soon, because they miss it - they haven’t been on stage since Pigbag finished. They’ll need to assemble a band of some sort to do that, though, and that kind of thing takes a little time. They see a gap to be filled between “independence”, which is too often a euphemism for “total disorganisation” and the “professional” high gloss performance, which lacks character.
We had a good conversation. Angel, James and Simon will be with you very shortly, and they will demonstrate what we talked about, and a few other things. Did you read it here first? You’re too kind.