Music interview: Bletchley Park

Photography by Jason Borg

Fresh from a successful string of performances in the UK, Bletchley Park are back in Malta with a fresh gig schedule. They describe themselves as “unusual, free and something that you’re not used to is what you will hear, subtly animated by the anger from your blown-away days, decorated with a pinch of who-do-you-think-you-are attitude.”

Since their debut in Malta some two years ago, Bletchley Park have carved a niche for themselves with a sound that is influenced by the top names in the British alternative scene. With Deborah Borg Brincat on vocals, Gianluca Pulvirenti and Mario Saliba on guitars and Trevor Kissaun on bass, the band’s distinctive sound continues to catch the interest of many.

How do you describe your music?

Our music falls under the British alternative genre. The music is set to touch the heart without using the music and lyrics that are traditionally used in the commercial scene. Every instrument is purposely played the way it is so as to create and build upon our distinctive sound.

Which bands/musicians influence you?

The first bands to inspire us were Editors and Interpol. They have managed to capture sounds in their music which only a few bands can boast about. Particularly, I would describe Interpol as very orchestral, with guitars and upfront bass having separate melodies. Tom Smith and Paul Banks (Editors and Interpol frontmen) sing in an almost-baritone voice, quite similar to Jim Morrison, but being a soprano I focus mostly on the emotion they transmit through their deep voices coupled with striking lyrics and unusual phrasing. I look for alternative female artists who deliver unpredictable material namely Regina Spektor, Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch and Marina and the Diamonds. Radiohead, Bloc Party, The Cribs, CSS, White Lies and Two Door Cinema Club have also influenced our songwriting.

What was the first CD/cassette tape you ever bought?

Ashlee Simpson’s first studio album Autobiography back in 2004.

Your top three albums ever?

The Back Room by Editors; this was the first album that converted me to British alternative rock. I have listened to this album hundreds of times and each time I discover a new feeling. In This light and on This Evening also by Editors; this is the band’s latest album and introduces more synths and electronic sounds and less guitar presence. I was shocked at first, but listening to the album over and over again has made me appreciate all the production involved! Tourist History by Two Door Cinema Club; this is what I call a short and sweet album. All ten tracks struck me in some way or another, be it because of their direct and simple lyrics or their punchy guitar melodies. The relatively new Irish trio managed to introduce a sound of their own which I tend feel attached to – maybe it’s because I love Ireland.

Do you sing in the shower?

Yes! Everybody’s voice sounds bigger in the shower.

A song you hate and why?

Last year’s We No Speak Americano. Such a pointless song.

Butterflies before performing?

Not really, the one with the butterflies is usually Gian. If someone else is on the piano, on the other hand, then it’s a different story.

A singer you’d like to duet with and why?

Definitely Editors frontman, Tom Smith!

Which instrument do you play?

I am originally a pianist. I started learning music through piano at the age of six. Singing came much later.

Your go-to music when you’re happy?

Owl City… so cute!

And sad?

Editors – I sing along to some of their ‘sad and slow’ songs like Well Worn Hand and No Sound but the Wind and it helps me to get back on track.

Photography by Jason Borg

Last good concert/gig you attended was…

Editors on their In This Light and On This Evening World Tour at the O2 Brixton Academy London.

Which particular band would you like to see live and why?

Regina Spektor; she accompanies herself on the piano and sometimes on the guitar and she delivers great performances that I would like to experience live.

What inspires you?

Looking at people doing their own thing during my alone time.

What do we find on your MP3 player?

I’ve got all sorts of artists on it. I tend to choose Editors, Ellie Goulding, Regina Spektor, Two Door Cinema Club, Interpol and occasionally Snow Patrol.

The music industry destroyed real music. True or false and why?

I think it is more of a give and take. It has helped to promote artists and their music and has also acted as a barrier for other artists to bring out their music. The more commercial genres are given great help by the music industry but other genres can also make their way around it. Ultimately music has been considered, and still is, just another business.

A life without music would be…

I still haven’t figured out what I would have enjoyed doing if I weren’t into music.

What do your family think about your music?

In general, my family does support our music and the band. They attend our gigs regularly and help carry our gear around! They have always given me space to do my thing without too much pressure or interference.

Did you ever get the “music is not a real career” talk when younger?

Not really, I accepted it by myself and only a while ago did it come to me that it can actually be my career. We will have to wait and see what the future holds.

Which of your own compositions is your favourite and why?

From the upcoming album I have already selected some favourites. I am attached to the sweet melodies and deep meaning which are more prominent. As for the released tracks, From Bletchley, With Love is a collection of our first eight songs which we digitally released on iTunes last year. Off this lot, Too Much is my favourite. It is dedicated to a special person that I met some years ago. Her way of life and inner self left an impact on me. The overall message is that we are all beautiful inside so there is no point in trying to change ourselves for others. Others won’t change for us.

This interview appeared on The TV Guide (The Times of Malta).

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