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Interview with Movment
1. What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Kevin: I was always a fan of music, from my early teens, so I can’t imagine a life without it. I used to watch Top of the Pops a lot, and my musical taste transformed over the years. I got my first musical instrument, a bass, at 19, so I was not particularly young. At that stage I was listening to Joy Division and the Jesus and Mary Chain, and they shaped my musical taste. What would I be doing if I was not into music? I cannot imagine a life without music, but I would have gotten into some other form of art I’m sure, film, visual art, or literature...
Martin: I was into metal early on, especially Iron Maiden, and I still am a big fan. I have a diverse taste in music now, but still like rock and metal a lot. Life without music, hard to work out what that would be like! It sounds like a version of George Orwell’s 1984! No music, never!
2. What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Martin: I like movies and tv shows, the good ones, so I watch quite a few movies. Vikings, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, are all shows I like. Anything horror or sci-fi is usually good. And I also like watching live concerts on YouTube or elsewhere, and music documentaries, I can’t get away from music!
Kevin: Yeah, movies, tv shows, but I also read lots of books, a l I’m reading a lot of music biographies at the moment. I am also a sports fan, mostly soccer, but I will watch other sports. There are lots of other things that I am interested in outside of music!
3. How long has your band been around?
Martin: We had a previous band, Raw Novembre, and we released 2 Full albums, some Eps and singles and a compilation album with them. Movment’s first album was in 2012, Broken Down.
Kevin: Even when we were in Raw Novembre with other musicians, we were always working on the side project Movment. We only really started recording and completing songs in 2008/09. And eventually we recorded our first album in 2012. We have been writing solidly for the last 10 years, but as technology and recording software has improved, we have been able to write and record more quickly and easily in recent years. I expect more records will be written, recorded, and released in the next 3 – 5 years by Movment.
4. Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Martin: We both live and are from Mullingar, in the midlands of Ireland. It had some influence on us of course, but with the internet and with music being easily accessible, we have many influences that are not necessarily tied to where we live. We travel regularly to gigs in Dublin and those gigs are also a big influence on us.
Kevin: Yeah, Mullingar has a small music scene, but most bands in Ireland are from Dublin. And although we are influenced by living in a small town, there are many things that feed into what we do, and I’d say as we grew up listening to other bands on radio, on tv, and on the internet, they have been our biggest influence musically.
5. How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Martin: Movment was a side project we used on a compilation album many years ago. At the time it was probably inspired by connections with people with similar ideas. It still has that meaning in it, like a political movement, but not necessarily political. One definition of it is "a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas" I think we were attracted to the idea of people working together to advance ideas.
Kevin: Yeah, the spelling was just to make the name unique, and we pronounce it moooov-mint, something like that! It is a movement of sorts, if someone is a fan of the music and the songs we write, they are part of a movement, with shared ideas. We like the idea of connecting with people. If the music is not for you, don’t listen. We try and avoid music and songs that are not to our taste or liking.
6. Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Martin: We haven’t played that many shows in recent years, but we did a short tour of the USA in our early years and that was exciting. We played at a range of venues, including some festivals, and one gig was with an alternative circus, which was great fun! We might do more shows in the future.
Kevin: Yeah, we played the Marquee in London, which was a highlight, and some dates in Germany. We probably have not toured a lot over the years, that could change in 2024. I suppose our main focus is song writing and recording. There are lots of bands I really like that I have not seen live and probably never will. I am a big fan of recorded music.
7. What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Martin: We have not played much outside of Ireland, so the main venues that come to mind are in Ireland. And we have a liking for our hometown venue, The Stables. I would like to play some festivals in the future, probably in Europe.
Kevin: I would really like to play at the Roundhouse in London, I really like it as a venue. And maybe a slot at Primavera Sound would be good to play. It’s an excellent festival that I have attended lots of times. But really, we would play anywhere if the circumstances suited.
8. If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Martin: We are fans of so many bands, I would have to say playing with some of my favourite bands would be great, New Model Army, Iron Maiden, Rammstein or Gojira…
Kevin: Yeah, there are lots of bands I admire, and lots of different genres. I would like to play with The Pixies, The Jesus and Mary Chain or Nine Inch Nails, but there are lots more.
9. What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Martin: Starting out I would say go by what you feel. Be yourself and create the music that you like yourself. Do not try to be like someone else or sound like some other band. Find your own unique sound and style.
Kevin: I’m not a fan of mimicking or imitation. Be inspired by other bands but create something that is unique. I am more attracted to bands with their own styles. I know starting off you will probably imitate the bands you like, and that is fine, but we believe bands should create their own style of music. Every band has something unique to offer.
10. If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Kevin: Over time you gain so much experience from playing and rehearsing and writing songs, it would be great to know what I do now when I was starting. The one thing I would say is put as much time and effort as you can into writing songs, as they will turn out better. There is no point in saying that will do. You have got to fine tune your songs to make them good.
Martin: Songwriting is key. Experiment more. Try things that seem peculiar or unusual or unconventional. It is very easy to get in a rut when writing songs. But sometimes the uniqueness can come from anywhere, a drum sound, synths, a guitar riff, a vocal, or lyric. Keep trying stuff, the good stuff always rises to the top.
11. Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Martin: I like a new song called Existence; it will be our next single. It has a darkness and a strangeness to it. It is simple but profound. I also like the song Reinvention, which is the title track of our new album. It has a positive message about moving on, no matter what situation you find yourself in. I like the instrumentation in it too. I also like This Way Is Lost, an older tune we wrote. It rocks!
Kevin: I’ve always liked the song Wake Up, lyrically, from our first album, Broken Down. And I like the strangeness and arrangement of We All Must Go from the album Transformation. One of our older songs, Birthday Tapes, has a theme that I like, based on Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, where you review your older self, using tapes from the past.
12. Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Martin: I think we both like playing Violence live, it is a powerful song, and very intense live.
Kevin: Yeah, Violence is the best live song, and I like Propaganda too. It has a different feel live, more intense, which our songs tend to be when played live.
13. What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Martin: We are music fans, so we listen to lots of music, and that inspires us, but we also consume world events and history and science, so all of that is in the mix.
Kevin: I listen to lots of music, old and new, and many different genres. I keep track of what I listen to on the roughcalmhead.com blog. We normally write songs by jamming, it could be bass and drums, or guitar and drums, or an interesting synth piece, and Martin adds words to this. We never really sit down with just a guitar and write a vocal over it. It is not the way we do things. A beat is important to us, as are synths which add atmosphere to what we are creating. But our songs do evolve quite a bit from the initial demos.
14. What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Kevin: We tend to focus on things that interest us, what is happening in the world. And we give our views on these. We are commenting on different things. I don’t think we like to tell people what they should think or do. Everyone can make up their own minds. We just provide a different perspective on things that might connect with people. There are generally no easy answers to complex issues, so we just provide a viewpoint on them that provokes thoughts and encourages consideration.
Martin: Each song is unique in a sense, so lyrically if we sing about something, it is a commentary on a particular topic, but normally a different angle, a strange take, or an unusual opinion. Hopefully our lyrics make people think more about what we are writing about, and they can make their own minds up about it. We are not overtly political, but we do have our opinions. I suppose our lyrics are designed to make people think more, so the lyrics have a deeper twist to them. At the same time there is a simplicity to our words that hopefully make people engage with them.
15. Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Kevin: We have had disagreements, but I think at the stage we are currently we have ways of working through them, so there is normally a consensus to what we do.
Martin: I would say there is a unity to our work now, we work well together, and we are able to agree on most things. As our music and lyrics are intense, there will always be disagreements. When you are creating something important, disagreements are natural. We have just found a way to find harmony and compromise in our work. But we do engage in debates about lyrics and ideas. So although our song writing can end up being simple, we put a lot of thinking into the final words of a song.
16. What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Martin: The main focus at the moment is our new album, Reinvention, which is out on 24 November 2023. We have released 2 singles, and we have 1 last single to release, Existence, on 27 October. So that is keeping us busy. Because we have to create videos and artwork for all of our singles, and our album and for album tracks too.
Kevin: The album has taken over a year to record and complete so we will be promoting that over the next 6 -12 months. But we also plan to record a further 6 songs before the end of the year, as they are already written, and we hope to release those between January and May 2024. So even though our album is out, we are still writing and recording. That’s what we like the most!