No stopping them!
By Rebecca Jenkins
|June 15, 2001
True grit: Turin Brakes are Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian, the childhood pals who offer dreamy songs with a bit of an edge – a ‘proper kind of soul music’
They started on cardboard. Now they’ve made it into the papers. Rebecca Jenkins interviews the rising stars of Turin Brakes.
It all started for Turin Brakes with a performance of Johnny B Goode on cardboard guitars during a school trip. However, the fledging supergroup are unlikely to be giving a repeat performance at Summer Sundae, in Leicester, this summer. The band – childhood friends Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian – have got proper instruments and rather good songs,all of their very own.
“We have known each other since we were about eight, but Turin Brakes as an entity has been going for about two years,” said Olly.
“But there has been a massive amount of development before that, before we decided to take it seriously.”
Their first LP, The Optimist, was released in February to wide critical acclaim – and it is easy to see why.
Each song is breathtakingly dreamy and beautiful, but this doesn’t mean they lack edge – there is definitely a bit of grit in there, too. With songs like Feeling Oblivion, which seems to drag you in and pull you under, their material really makes an impression.
Olly said: “It’s not run-of -the-mill stuff. We sing about quite weird things.
“It is proper kind of soul music, but not as in Stevie Wonder. It is about life, getting through problems, getting through happy things. It negates a lot of style.
“We wanted to make the least stylised record we could, the most simple record. The funny thing is, now that has become the style.”
The pair started to make music after Gale helped Olly with the score he was making for a movie at film school. It all grew from there, and they wrote and played until they released an EP with Anvil Records and signed a deal with Source Records.
In terms of influences, Olly said: “I spent years listening to Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen from a very early age. I wasn’t always sure of what they were saying, but they still made me feel extremely emotional. I’m attempting something similar, I guess.”
So far the attempt has been pretty successful. The band already has a top 40 hit and a Top of the Pops appearance under their belts.
Olly said: “You kind of think, well of course we have sold 40,000 records in the UK. And then you look around and think actually that is quite good.”
Turin Brakes play at De Montfort Hall on July 8.