Last night we celebrated the launch of Gabriel Stebbing's new musical project Night Works with a Balearic themed party at Apartment 58, where we took the opportunity to discuss with Gabriel the project and its rather lovely artwork, created by Rob & Perry (otherwise known as 125).
'I've been in bands since I was a teenager, and there was a particular band I was in during sixth form with two people I've ended up making music with for the last several years; one is Joseph Mount (Metronomy) and the other is James Hoare, who's now in Veronica Falls. I was in a few bands with Joe, and he started Metronomy as his main project but needed a bass player for the live band, so that was my first 'proper band'. I was in Metronomy for four and a half years, then left in order to devote time to writing and producing my own music. Three tracks on the Night Works record are Joseph Mount productions, the end result of our quite lengthy process of finding a sound, and the rest of the album I produced myself, together with Ash Workman who engineered the record'.
'I made the Night Works album before there was label involvement, then played it to the people at Loose Lips who stepped in and signed it - this is without playing a note of music live. How we've decided to do this project is different to how it's been in the past, which is quite exciting. We started off with a video online - I Tried So Hard - and we've just put out a second, The Eveningtime. I knew I wanted to put I Tried So Hard out first, and myself and my friend Dan Brereton, a really good video director who I met during my Metronomy days, decided we wanted to make a zero-budget video. We had one idea - just a slow pan in, and we were going to use our friend Sidney, who's the percussionist and who runs our rehearsal studio. We knew he'd look great, he was up for it, we had a cameraman - a director of photography called Mattias Nyberg who Dan uses all the time and who is excellent - and I'd never made a video but Dan knew what he was doing and we knew it was a good idea, so we just went for it. Until people in the outside world had seen it, I had no idea whether it was good; all the feedback has been great though. We were going to just put it out ourselves with the first single, but Loose Lips were in the process of trying to sign the record at that point and we were like 'Oh, we've done this in our spare time, have a look', and they were like 'Wow, that's great! Don't put it out yet; wait until we're involved'. The fact that it was a trigger for them to get excited about the visual side led to them mentioning Rob and Perry at 125; it's like we've extrapolated out from this short video with nothing happening in it'.
'I think I'd like the next album to be more direct, and to sound bigger and warmer. What I like about this record is that some of the songs take a while to get under your skin, and I'd like to make the next record quite arresting from the start, just because I don't want to just make the same record again. I wasted a lot of time worrying, and I also spent a lot of time kind of crafting everything beforehand. I think for the next record I can be more confident when I've got a good idea by taking the bare bones into the studio and working more quickly, rather than feeling that I have to map everything out and take care of every element before I take that risk'.
Gabriel Stebbing, interviewed by Philip Goodfellow