We sat down with Insomnichord on a Wednesday morning. We were in spoons (ever the professional meeting place) and the boys were ordering a fry up. Apparently, they’d had a late one last night. The chat that followed, fry up in hand, was one of the most erratic and entertaining that we’ve had. So sit back and strap up; it’s time to meet Insomnichord - the Bristol based ‘progdelic’ band consisting of guitarist Mat Balone, keyboardist Harrison Wright, bassist Mischa Dhar, drummer Zak de la Bedoyere and frontman Rollo Ellison. Apparently Mischa’s the ‘husband-material’ one.
(Disclaimer: Zak and Mischa weren’t there, but the rest of the guys did a good job of representing them)
Ok, where are you guys from?
M: I’m from Worcester. The England one. There’s an America Worcester. In Massachusetts. But I’m not from there.
H: I’m from a town near Portsmouth.
R: I’m a London boy, as are the other two.
And what do you guys study?
R: Do you really have to think about it that hard?
M: I was trying to think of something funny to say but yeah, Chemistry.
H: I do Philosophy and Spanish.
R: I do Classics
H: Zak does Spanish and French.
M: Mischa’s like a researcher now.
H: Yeah, he’s finished. Doing a masters in London.
R: It’s really complicated.
M: He’s like researching amputees. And Harrison lives in Spain.
H: For my year abroad, I’m back for Easter.
So, is this what you guys want to do as your career?
R: Ideally...whether that is possible or not, we’re going to give it a proper chance next year.
H: My back up idea was to be a teacher but I had to teach this year on my year abroad and I don’t want to do that.
What interests you?
R: I’ve got really bad at listening to music recently, I’m stuck in a rut.
M: Mainly listen to our own stuff.
R: What a prick.
M: *Laughs* No, I’ve been listening to The Verve and Ride lately.
H: As in last night?
M: As in last night. We really like The Horrors. That’s on My Walk to School playlist. That’s just the bangers, the top tunes.
R: Yeah, we’ve got quite a long walk to uni as well. What are your guys favourite tunes?
R: Uh recently I’ve been listening to Billy Joel, never listened to him as a kid so I’ve been catching up.
H: I’ve been listening to a lot of Donna Summer right now.
M: It’s a nightmare at predrinks.
Does this mean at predrinks other people just…
M: Leave? Yep.
Big one now… how would you describe yourself?
M: I’ll describe the guys who aren’t here.
R: Complete snakes.
M: Mischa is nice.
H: Yeah, very nice. He’s got his life together.
M: Sad he can’t be with us today.
R: He’s husband material.
M: Gone but not forgotten.
H: He’s the one who’s got his shit together.
M: Zak plays the drums.
R: Zak’s not husband material. He’s not got his shit together at all.
H: Rollo how would you describe yourself?
H: Why don’t you describe me, I’ll describe Matt and Matt describes you.
R: Okay, Harrison’s quite catty. Na, he’s incredibly caring.
H: Imagine you’re writing our tinder profiles.
R: Maybe not… He’s sexually adventurous.
M: Me and Harrison?
R: Yeah, I forgot you guys were swingers.
H: Matt has a lot of energy.
M: Well, I will be when I have my Spoons breakfast in my tum.
H: Rollo can kill with looks. Just a stare.
And doing a quick U-Turn, do you guys have a favourite piece of Art?
M: Controversial one, but I think Rogue One. It’s just sick isn’t it?
R: No one is going to listen to anything you say now.
H: Mine is probably Ratatouille or something shit.
R: The greatest piece Art ever made is Ratatouille? That’s equally as horrible.
M: Greatest piece of Art ever made? We haven’t released it yet.
R: Awh mate, no. I can’t really follow that.
M: Just put ‘unanimously Rogue One’.
Ok, time to get a bit deeper. What does it mean to you to be creative?
H: To do your own thing.
M: Yeah do what you wanna do.
R: Try not to take too much influence from what’s going on around us.
M: Taking a bit. We have to take some. So stealing influence.
R: Yeah but also pretending we came up with it ourselves.
And, what do you do that helps you to stay creative?
M: Just being able to do it when you want to do it. Just things being accessible.
H: I like things being set up so I can just go and play instruments when I want.
So do you play a lot of instruments?
M: I only really play guitar.
R: I play a bit, like a small bit of everything. Cause I used to record demos on my own. So I can do the basics, but not well.
H: I can do the basics except drums, can’t do those.
M: Mischa plays loads though.
R: He’s incredibly talented at pretty much everything. Hate him. He normally plays what we play but better than that. I just want to invest in him as a person.
Is there anything you know know you do differently to most people?
M: I dunno in terms of a band, what’s our thing?
R: We’re always late....Also, I think we’re just a generic band, they’re probably so many kids in the same situation as us. Conformity, that’s the secret
M: This is a hard question, good question.
R: As a band we try to make it a democratic writing process. Sometimes people bring a finished product and sometimes everyone writes their own part around it.
M: Also some bands play stuff and it all sounds the same but I think we try, when we choose the songs for set we try to have a variety
So that’s your answer as a band, but what about if you answer this about each other?
R: Harrison wears very tight flares.
H: I have to wear them.
R: They don’t leave much to the imagination.
H: I’m actually wearing them under my trousers right now. No, they’re just for on stage. Bit too out there.
M: Can you imagine at like a Coombe Dingle exam.
H: It would probably put everyone off. It would be a power play.
M: Or inspire them.
R: It’s how Harrison gets his creative kicks - power plays.
If you’re having an off day, what’s the best way to cheer yourself up?
R: I like to play piano when I’m feeling a bit shit.
H: I’m exactly the same.
M: Me too, except I can’t play the piano so it just makes me feel worse.
R: That’s why we write the letters on for you.
M: No, really it’s kind of the same, so I’ll play guitar or…
R: Spend time with the woman in your life.
M: Yep, my girlfriend. What about Mischa?
R: I don’t think Mischa gets upset because they’re is literally no part of his life that isn’t amazing.
H: He’s got his First in his degree, he’s the best musician, he’s got his job sorted.
M: Yeah he did Psychology and now he’s doing a Neuroscience Masters so he’s just The Man.
R: He’s one of those people where he just has it all.
M: Devilishly handsome and he’s really nice.
R: And he’s also really humble.
H: What about Zak?
R: Zak fancies himself as a bit of a rapper. He told me he was making a mixtape last year, help himself get through a break up.
M: Don’t ever get in a car with him, he’ll just rap along to everything.
R: I love it, I love how much it annoys other people so I’ll always applaud it.
And, let’s flip it around, where’s your happy place?
R: Spoons. One Traditional Fry up deep and pint in hand.
M: Mine’s the recording studio.
M: I have to be busy, distractions keep me happy.
R: I also like being away from the city...
H: Yeah, long walks.
R: Okay so Harrison likes long walks.
Who is the most influential person in your life, especially for the influence on your music?
M: My Mum
R: You reckon?
M: Or maybe Robert Plant
R: It’s why you have so many posters of him in our house
M: He’s a rock god
R: For me, I had, when I was like 16, this bloke who encouraged me to start making music. Helped me do the first bits of it. And even though as a person, he is not the greatest, he helped me get the foot on the ladder
H: I had a lot of influence from my Grandad. He was into a lot of creative stuff and has always encouraged me to do creative stuff as well. He does his film editing so I tried to do things like he did
And....back to the band. How would you describe your music?
M: Good, sick tunes.
R: I don’t know how we’d describe it. I always say rock now, used to be psych rock.
M: If it was a meal at spoons it would be a Gourmet Medley.
R: The Mixed Grill.
What was the happiest moment of your career?
H: The gig last weekend was pretty good, at Crofters Rights.
M: I think Rockfields was a highlight for me.
H: Yeah, Rockfield’s as well.
M: There was something quite magical at Rockfield’s.
R: Tell me more about this magic.
Is it hard to fit in the gigging around Uni life?
R: What uni?
M: When Mischa and Harrison are back we tend to go quite hard…
R: Full stop.
H: Yeah when I’m in Bristol and all 5 of us are here, all our time is dedicated to the band so going back to normal life can be hard.
R: As long as no one mentions the phrase ‘double life’.
Final question, what would you do if you knew you could not fail?
R: Book Wembley Stadium.
M: Sell out the world. First sell-out North Pole gig.
R: I like how no one said ‘find the cure for cancer’, just the selfish music route.
Check out their music at their Soundcloud below.