The Naturals are possibly the most luminous of the current crop of bright young things emerging from the ever fruitful Bristol music scene. We caught up with them to get the skinny on what they are about…

1. How long has the band been together and how did you all meet?

We all knew each other from being at school and generally being young people together, but The Naturals came to be in the summer of 2004.

2. Where did you get your name from & what does it mean?

Remember when every band had to be called “The” somethings? We are total products of that period…only we’re still together and The Vines are still wrestling with that “difficult” 4th album or whatever it is they’re into these days. In short, it’s our name and it belongs to us, thats it. No big story.

3. Describe your sound for us & who would you say were your biggest musical influences?

Our sound varies from song to song, mainly because it takes us so fucking long to write them (this isn’t a matter of artistic pernickety-ness, just laziness). A lot of the guitar work is trying to emulate sounds of other instruments (organs, keyboards etc). The rhythm section acts as a canvas for the guitars to throw themselves at. In terms of influences, we don’t really listen to the types of musical we play. Some of us are heavily into electronic music from this and previous eras, we like hip hop, dub, jazz and Norweigan black metal. Also Ky likes lots of weird Australian stuff.

4. And what about non-musical influences?

We keep a keen eye on the latest Sci-fi the world has to offer. We like The Sopranos and The Wire (Harry especially) and Rob likes his fashion magazines (i.e. Tres Chic).

Finishing Moves by T H E N A T U R A L S

5. Music can be a fickle mistress, what is your biggest high & low as a band so far?

The biggest low point for us was when Harry lost his guitar about a year ago. Playing in a band for 7 years allows you to form a real relationship with your equipment, so you can imagine how damaging this was not only for Harry but for the rest of the band… In terms of a high point, the fact that we’re still together, with the same members has to count for something. So in a way that has to be our biggest achievement. Other than that, we’ve been blessed with some great support slots, playing alongside bands that we’d previously only dreamt of meeting.

6. What one fact about the band do you most want to share with the world?

We want everyone to know that Ky blow dries his hair and takes at least half an hour to shower.

7. The old model of record demo-do gigs-get signed-make millions is pretty broken these days, what’s your plan to deal with this?

Where we live, there’re several really vibrant scenes encompassing so many different types of music, and all of them exist without ever considering what the big labels with the millions care about. After Portishead and Massive attack et al got mega popular, I think a lot folks assumed that every other artist emerging from Bristol would be some offshoot of those band, but there’s an enormous sense of community which exists in the city. Portishead’s Geoff Barow runs a record label called Invada which is a grand hub of lots of sorts of independent music and there are new and exciting ways to go and watch bands in Bristol which attract a varied and interested audience. That contributes a huge amount to the numerous ways in which music can be discovered and marketed. Without sounding too pompous, Bristol as a musical city is second to none in many ways…it tends to deal with itself.

Kilkeel by T H E N A T U R A L S

8. We journalists like to use easy labels to describe bands, what’s the worst thing you’ve seen yourselves described as?

Someone saw us live and said we were a cross between We Are Scientists and Taking Back Sunday. That speaks for itself really…

9. We’re loving what you do but who’s floating your boat right now?

Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, Everything In Between by No Age, Static Age by The Misfits, Electrosonic by Delia Derbyshire, Biophilia by Bjork, Repo by Black Dice; these are all albums we dig presently. There’s also been a series of good club nights in Briz called 51°27? who’ve got some brilliant producers such as Mosca, Fantastic Mr Fox, Arkist, Koreless and Lone to do sets.

10. What’s up next for you guys?

We’re just finishing off some recordings at the moment, these’ll lead to a 7-inch in January being put out by Howling Owl records and then more releases after. We’re also working on a lot of visual stuff, the aim being to eventually sell ourselves as an Audio/Visual experience, so there will be a couple of videos put out in the coming months, one of which we’re collaborating with the people behind Brian Cox’s wonderful Solar System!

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