What can we say about Wozniak that hasn’t already been said? Signed to the epic ‘Morningside Young Team Records’ & producing powerful, atmospheric & blissfully emotive soundscapes that sweep through numerous sonic plains depositing high grade shoegaze creations onto the everyday humble folk who follow this band with intent – Wozniak are an immense outfit. After the release of their first single ‘MFMB/New Hampshire’ back in August 2013, second single ‘El Maresme’ in June 2014 & then their epic debut EP ‘Pikes Peak’ also in June 2014 the focus of the underground shoegazing world was set firmly on this 4 piece from Edinburgh, Scotland & they did not disappoint! On 12/11/14 they unleashed their brilliant new single ‘5 Star’ onto the world alongside a remix of the same track by none other than London based noise merchants ‘In Violet‘. Add into the mix their inclusion in the epic worldwide shoegaze compilation – Revolution – The Shoegaze Revival released jointly by Ear To Ear Records & Gerpfast Kolektif plus an impressive cover version of the classic RIDE track ‘Time Machine’ for the recently released RIDE covers compilation ‘Leave Them All Behind – A Tribute To Ride’, from ‘The Blog That Celebrates Itself Records’, plus their inclusion in the joint EP from Scottish blogs – Scottish Fiction and Almost Predictable & you have a maelstrom of serious expectation’s for what will come next from this amazing band. We caught up with them as they prepare to visit Dublin in what will be their debut live show in Ireland & asked them a few questions on playing live, playing with Irish rockers Makings & future plans. Check it out:
1) TELL US ABOUT YOUR BAND? WHERE ARE YOU FROM? FORMATION? BAND MEMBERS?
Wozniak formed in Edinburgh in 2012 with a vague mission to create a lot of noise and use as many pedals as possible. We are Simon (guitar and chief pedal hoarder), James (bass), John (drums) and Sarah (guitar, vocals, occasional keys). We formed after Simon, John and I had played in a covers band a few times, but we quickly decided that we’d be better off doing our own thing, whatever that might be. We were amazing at a few indie classics though. And, in case you are wondering, we ARE named after Steve Wozniak.
2) DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
It’s always so tricky to describe the sound, we’re a bit of a cocktail of shoegaze, post-rock and noise. I guess there is some good, old-fashioned rock and roll in the mix too. It’s loud and densely textured. We are huge fans of the holy trinity of gaze – reverb, distortion and delay – which will be obvious to anyone who’s listened to our stuff. Where there are vocals, they’re buried in reverb and fuzz too, which is probably a blessing for all involved. It is always surprising to hear the comparisons that other folk make, but someone recently said we reminded them of Band of Susans, which was fine with me.
3) WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
We’ve got a wide range of influences, which is one of the reasons that I think Wozniak works so well. Otherwise all our songs would just be 20 mins of squalling feedback. Obviously, there is a lot of first generation shoegaze in there – MBV and Slowdive, some Sonic Youth, Warpaint, AC/DC, some Queens of the Stone Age. A heady brew of rackets, which uniquely combine to create our own racket.
4) DESCRIBE YOUR LIVE SOUND?
Our live sound can be pretty intense. We like to play loud, with feedback wailing. We are ALWAYS getting told to turn our amps down. Volume, though, is an important part of the Wozniak experience. We want you to leave with your ears ringing and (maybe) your heart soaring. A soundman once said that we were ‘brutal, in a good way’.
5) WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT PLAYING LIVE?
Playing live is a lot of fun, but not without its stresses – will all the pedals work, will anyone turn up (you’ll note the order of these concerns)… But when people do turn up, well, that’s pretty cool. The best thing about playing live is when the audience are really into it. It doesn’t have to be a big crowd, but when you can sense they are on your wave length, it’s a great feeling. I also love checking out the other bands – we’ve played with a few of Primal Radio’s favourites – Inuit, who got top album in your end-of-year show last year, We Came From The North & In Violet. All very talented, all very ace people. And venues – there are lots of great venues. We loved the Sebright Arms in London, and Bloc in Glasgow is great. In Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s, the Wee Red Bar and Opium are all worthy of note.
6) BEST LIVE GIG YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED SO FAR?
I think the best live gig so far has to be our only show so far of 2015 at the Sebright Arms. It was just such a great adventure as we hadn’t played in London before. We had the van, and the ‘100 greatest indie hits ever’. We were playing with In Violet and Degree of Arc who are awesome bands. The show had come about because In Violet and Wozniak got played on the same radio show in May last year and we got in touch over Twitter. They said, come to London, so Goodsoul Promotions got involved and got it sorted out. It was a brilliant venue, great people and a really good crowd. Plus, Mike Goodsoul and his awesome mum Norma made us breakfast. So much breakfast.
I also enjoyed playing at Edinburgh University’s Rock and Goth Society – that was ages ago but it sticks in my mind as a good show. I think we were the band with the least amount of tattoos/ eyeliner ever to have played, but they were right into it.
7) ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING DUBLIN WITH MAKINGS?
We are amazed to have been asked to Dublin to make noise. I’ve decided to call it our European Capital Tour. First London, then Dublin, and then who knows where? I don’t know a great deal about the Dublin scene, but I have high hopes as I imagine it is party central… Huge thanks are due to you, Del Chaney for making it happen. A few pints will be coming your way as a thank you!
8) WHAT’S NEXT FOR WOZNIAK THIS YEAR?
We’ve had a pretty busy start to the year, first featuring on the awesome Revolution – The Shoegaze Revival compilation from Ear to Ear Records and Gerpfast Kolektif, then we did a cover of Ride’s ‘Time Machine’ for a tribute album from Brazil’s ‘The Blog That Celebrates Itself’, and we’ve just featured on a joint EP from Scottish blogs, Scottish Fiction and Almost Predictable. Almost. If you haven’t already, you should check all of those out.
Other than that, we’ve been in the studio a fair bit this year with the plan of making an album. However, that’s quite an undertaking and it’s going to take us a while to make it happen. So, we’ve decided that we’re going to issue a four track EP in the meantime. It’ll be out in June and we’ll let you have all the details as soon as we know more ourselves. We’ve got a few shows lined up in Scotland around that and beyond that, we are open to offers…
Photos Used With Permission: GabbyStonePhotography.co.uk.