Pigeonholing your music into any particular genre seems to be a tricky prospect. For those unacquainted with the band, how would you describe your music?
A mixture of influences and backgrounds played by 3 friends who just can’t say no to each other!
You have a very unique sound, and it’s safe to assume you take your cues from quite a few places. Are there any bands or artists in particular that have inspired you or that have given you ideas for your music?
I wouldn’t say there is one particular influence on our music, mainly because we all listen to such varied music. Some bands such as The Blood Brothers and The Mars Volta outweigh some of the others, however some influences involved in the Castrovalva cocktail you might not have picked up on include Crazy Titch and other assorted grime/hip-hop acts.
Your previous mini-album was mainly instrumental, while with the addition of Leemun to the band you have obviously added vocals to your sound. Has this affected how the band operates?
It’s given us much more to work on: his vocal range is like bringing another instrument to the band and gives us a lot more to play with. On the other side of things, Leemun’s brought to the band a ridiculous work ethic. I don’t think we could stop working on this band now if we tried.
Have you had to adopt a new writing technique, or have the vocals come naturally?
The first EP was written in a kind of jam-band kind of way: we originally started out as a 2-piece inprovised band where me and Ant (Wright - bass) would book gigs, show up at the venue and make up our set on the spot. A lot of the original ideas that you hear on the first EP were taken from those improv sessions. Now we have to take a much more structured approach where we work off riffs, drum patterns or vocal melodies and build them up. We all have input onto each other’s parts, which is where some of the best ideas work from.
Following the release of We Are A Unit, your website states that you are planning another two albums for 2010 which sounds like quite a big undertaking. Do you have a lot of material worked out already, or do you have plans to pause the tour for some writing time?
It’s looking like one more full album, and a 4-way split 10". We already have the material recorded for the 10" but nothing for the next album, so we’re hoping to take time out over the summer to start work on it.
Checking out MySpace, you appear to have a fairly busy time ahead of you on the touring front, covering the length of Britain and beyond. How do you all enjoy touring?
We all can’t get enough; we all feel really blessed to be able to get out to as many new places as possible and meet a lot of cool people. We’re getting a little sick of the taste motorway service station food, though, so please bring us food if you come see us play!
And speaking of foreign shores, you have quite a few dates throughout Europe on the calendar. How do you think European shows compare to playing on home soil?
We haven’t actually played outside of the UK yet so our first one will be a new experience for us. We'll have to let you know when we get back.
After all of this, is there anything else you are looking forward to in the near future?
We are all really desperate to get back into the studio and get some new material down. We have way too many ideas at the moment and love the studio environment as much as the live circuit. That and just getting back out there and rocking the fuck out.
Thanks to Dan Brader of Castrovalva for taking the time to speak to us.
Check out our review of We Are A Unit for our thoughts on the band’s debut album, and for more information check out the bands official site at http://www.pumppump.co.uk/, with more music and tour dates to be found at www.myspace.com/castrovalvamusic