Drawing from Lorraine Hansberry’s recorded speeches and interviews, Fold assembled a body of interrelated narratives and composed 12 tracks around them.
These narratives address not only the burning issues of Lorraine’s past, present and future but, through her extraordinary vision, ours as well.
Complimented by additional posthumous words from Coretta Scott King and EF Schumacher along with bridges to the present drawn by UK poet Mr Gee, a compelling portrait of an extraordinary woman emerges. Musical contributions from Emma Johnson with her outstanding horn arrangements and violinist Kieran O’Malley bring sparkle and depth to the sound.
Introduce yourself in less than 10 words…..
We explore the musical nature of language that conveys messages.
What’s the writing process?
Long, slow and laboured; sometimes it takes years or even decades. I have a strategy of
keeping oodles of ideas around that slowly assemble themselves. There’s a track on the
new album that features a riff I wrote in 1998 (yes, I’m that old).
How do you transfer that onstage energy to the studio?
If we manage do this at all it is through sheer bloody-mindedness… and setting our own
deadlines. Also, wherever possible we set things up to play at the same time even if we’re
only recording drums. The magic tends to happen either when we’re all playing together or
if whoever is recording is high enough (on life, etc).
What comes first lyrics or music?
In our case the lyrics are largely sourced from some form of recorded speech, although
singing occasionally happens too. The music and lyrics both tend to happen around the
same time but usually separately… at first. When it comes to the sampled speech it takes
a lot of research, listening, reading and editing to arrive at a usable narrative. Once there’s
a bit of music and some words that work well together there’s another process of marrying
& refining. If all goes well none of that labour is visible in the final result.
How did you all meet?
The core group consists of me (Seth), Kane, Ben and Sam. Kane, Ben and I found each
other — along with our original guitarist Josh — on twitter via the late great
@LeedsMusicScene. We met up for a bro-date in my bit of Leeds and the rest is history. A
few years later we met Sam at the late great Blueberry Hill Studios where he was working
at the time. Josh was in a bad way so Sam stepped in and the quartet bromance fire is still
burning deep in our hearts. In 2014 we started working with a fresh Leeds College of
Music graduate named Emma Johnson who arranged and coordinated horns for our track Be Water My Friend. She’s become an essential member too — the horns add so very much.
There’s also our violin player Kieran O’Malley who flutters in and out of our world like a
butterfly and always comes through with the goodness. Our longest standing vocal
collaborator is the UK poet Mr Gee who I met in London circa 2010 and has been
releasing tracks with us since 2013. There are many other cameos.
What has been the best gig you’ve ever played and why?
Opening for Ibibio Sound Machine at the O2 Academy Sheffield in October 2019. We’d
been on an 18 month hiatus from live shows for various reasons and that was our return to
the stage. We practiced our asses off for months ahead of it and played the best set we’d
ever put together. By the end of our set the place was packed and the atmosphere was
amazing. Also, the sound engineer turned out to be Broadcast’s former touring engineer
— one of my favourite bands. That was quite an honour. On top of all that we got to enjoy
Ibibio’s outstanding set and even hang out with them a bit. A close second would be the
live BBC 6 Music session we did with Lauren Laverne for Record Store Day 2017. It only
gets knocked to second because it was utterly harrowing.
What would be on your rider?
Please feed us if you can, we’re into that.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? More racial and gender equality among musicians and also fairer pay from industry
services, especially streaming.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be true to yourself and your vision.
What’s the scene like where you are from?
Leeds has an incredibly supportive music scene — people look out for each other. It may
be a small city but there’s always a lot going on; plenty of diversity. Leeds College of Music
keeps a fresh talent pool rolling through (albeit still a bit too male dominated).
Where can we find out more?
Talk us through the new album
In tribute to the late, great Lorraine Hansberry this album reflects a sense of urgency to
bring about a global paradigm shift placing life above profit in all matters. The aphelion is
the point in the orbit of an object when it is furthest from the sun. Metaphorically