After generating a thoroughly-deserved buzz for their phenomenal live shows, Squid are now showing that they can capture their cephalopodic charm on record too with recent banger ‘Houseplants’ riding high on everyone’s playlists. With an exciting summer lined up, including new music, festival appearances and their first ever tour, it was high time Dork caught up with drummer and lead vocalist Ollie Judge as he did his household chores. The glamorous life of a rock and roll star!
Morning Ollie, how’s it going?
Morning! I’ve just finished hanging up my washing, so all is good. Well, it’s been mental really – ‘Houseplants’ is still on the A-List at 6 Music, which is far beyond any of our expectations. Crazy!
Any top tips on keeping houseplants alive?
Speak to them, but don’t ever look at them.
Fair enough. So tell us about your new EP which you have coming out this summer?
We have an EP coming out this summer! Some of the mixes just came through; I was literally just listening to them. It sounds wicked.
Can you tell us what it’s called?
We haven’t decided yet. All of the songs are about jobs, so me and Louis want to call it ‘Careering’, but that’s just a working title. Or ‘Careers Deluxe’ maybe, it hasn’t been decided yet.
Which career would you be the worst at?
A stand-up comedian, I’d be awful at that.
Best stick to the music then, Ollie. Can we expect more from the same post-punk vein that you’ve been delighting us with so far?
Yeah. There are two tracks, ‘Matchbet’ and ‘The Cleaner’ which feel like a follow on from ‘The Dial’ and ‘Houseplants’. And then there are two other tracks which are really weird and out there; one is just an instrumental ambient talk-y kind of jazz track. And there’s ‘Like A Rodeo’, which is just a drum machine and quite like Spiritualized, very spacey. I’m just looking forward to getting out something a bit wackier. Not one song ever sounds like the one before it, but I think that makes it fun.
Sounds cool. What was it like working with Dan Carey again? He’s been smashing it with the likes of Fontaines D.C. recently.
God yeah, he’s got his fingers in everything at the moment. It’s great. He kind of feels like the sixth member now, he’s done pretty much everything with us. He’s great to work with, no frills. He’s a nice guy as well which always helps.
How did you meet him?
I emailed him when I was bored at work one day. I was watching an interview with Lottie from Goat Girl, and she was talking about Dan. So I Googled him because she said he was really into krautrock and stuff, and then found out about Speedy Wunderground and it sounded like exactly the right thing to be doing.
You started life as a band at uni, didn’t you?
Yeah, we all met in Brighton, and that’s where we started playing together, but the band wasn’t really what we are today. We used to run a night at a jazz bar, and it was mainly kind of post-rock instrumental jazz music. But then, Louis and I moved to London, and then I think all the bands there rubbed off on us, and we started shouting and getting a bit angrier.
It feels like you stand alone by yourselves at the minute, there’s lots of post-punk around and even a bit of a Britpop revival. How do you see yourselves amongst your peers?
I’m not saying anything bad about the whole post-punk thing, but we like to have fun with it, and I think that comes across a bit more with our music sometimes. I don’t think we think about it too much, we just get our heads down and do what we think is right. We liken ourselves to XTC, a bit tongue-in-cheek. We like to have fun.
Where did Squid come from?
We were obsessed with BEAK> at uni, and we wanted to have a memorable monosyllabic band name. I think we were walking through town in Brighton after a few beers or something and saw a sign that just said SQUID. And I think that’s where it started, I can’t quite remember.
So the big question… There are lots of single-word band names around right now, so we were obviously wondering who would win in a fight. It comes down to you and FEET, so what do you reckon? Would you rather fight a squid or lots of feet?
It would depend on how you use the feet I think, how muscly they are. And it depends if you’re thinking of a human that has two feet, because a squid has up to ten. I reckon a squid would win. But we’re not violent people, so maybe we can come to some sort of agreement with the feet.
Excellent thought process. That’s the level of in-depth analysis Dork brings to an interview. What’s next for Squid this year?
May brings loads of festivals; we’re seemingly playing every festival under the sun which is fun. And then we are on the road with Viagra Boys – it’s our first ever tour! Musically, we’re gonna go together great.
Any more new music to come?
We are starting to think about an album, but it might be a while yet. We’ve been bled dry; we’re working on a few ideas but nothing that can be called a song yet. With this EP, we’ve now done and dusted all the songs that we’ve been playing for two years now. So we’re kind of ready to put all that behind us and make a big, bold, coherent move forwards.
Taken from the June issue of Dork. Squid’s single ‘Houseplants’ is out now.
Words: Jamie MacMillan