The two most likely things that you will have probably read about up-and-thrusting new outfit Netil is: 1. They are from East London and 2. There is a ‘possible’ connection to the Netil House arts complex in Hackney. Other than that…
In a bid to break the Netil ‘enigma’ and find out just what inspires the interesting sounds that have been emanating quietly from this four-piece over the last year, GIITTV were granted a few minutes with vocalist/guitarist Charlie in amidst preparing for a run of upcoming live shows, shooting a video and unleashing their single ‘Sweet Teeth’ on the public.
GIITV; So, Charlie, how and where do we find your good self/selves at this point?
My body is at work, but my mind is elsewhere. I’m not sure where. I am fine.
Jolly good. Now, you have been around for a little while, but we seem to have heard very little about who Netil are or what they are about. Was this an intentional low-key, zero publicity gambit?
It wasn’t intentional. We didn’t play any shows or put any tracks out for a little while after starting the band. We were happy just meeting up and playing together. Once we had a few songs which we liked we’d try them out at shows and then go away to make some more. We didn’t ever have a continuous presence and we never really pushed anything, probably as we always wanted to improve and come back better. I think now we’re all very happy with the sound that we have ended up at, so we’re going to do our best to share it with as many people as possible.
Can you introduce us to your fellow band members and their respective parts within the unit.
Oliver plays guitar. He is a Gemini and a favourite with the ladies. Daniel plays bass and sings some bits. He is the band tough guy. Sam plays drums and also represents the sensitive side of Netil.
Okay, we’ll continue with the mystique with you. Getting back to Netil, you seem to have become associated with Netil House, the artists’ space/bar/studio/market in Hackney, is that correct? Give us a little background as to how you four met and formed Netil.
We’ve known each other for years from previous bands that we played in. After we had all moved to London it made sense to start something together. We found a little room for rent in Netil House and started rehearsing there. Olly has a track record of naming his bands after the buildings they were conceived in so Netil is no different.
Lucky it wasn’t Wormwood Scrubs, eh!
Ha, yeah!Unfortunately, we were eventually kicked out of Netil House as we apparently made too much noise…
Are you all Hackneyites, or did you just find yourselves there?
We all moved down to London from Bedfordshire about four years ago. We’re spread out a bit so Hackney was just a convenient place to meet in the middle for practices.
What’s the best thing about Hackney? Are you all part of the East London hipster scene?
The best thing about Hackney is the people. We’ve met lots of lovely creative people. And as to the latter – no, we are not.
’Netil’ then, weird name, no? Are you ever called ‘The Netties’?
It is strange. We’ve never been called ‘The Netties’ that I’m aware of. Perhaps that can be your pet name for us?
Sure thing, Netties! Acting as your own PR, give us a short spin on Netil: the band, the music.
Netil is a really great band. It consists of four human people. Netil wants to create music that will delight and inspire. Eventually Netil would like nothing more than to be the key influence in bringing peace on Earth.
Saving the world, pretty standard then – you’ll be on cohorts with Bono and Sir Bob. The band have ‘Sweet Teeth’ coming out imminently, but a lot may have come to you by way of ‘Is There Something In Your Eye’ from…last year wasn’t it, or late 2012?
I can’t remember when we did that…It was a little while ago. I hope it was last year as 2012 was ages ago. [It was recorded in November 2012 at Limehouse Studios and released in March 2013.]
So there has been quite a gap in between the two…? Filled with…?
There has been a big gap, yeah. Since that was recorded we have been playing shows and writing more songs. This single is the first real push for the band in a PR sense. Up until now we have quietly been working on becoming a better band.
You are described as a post-punk band, but much of your sound seems to straddle the shoegaze/psych line. Would you agree?
I don’t think we fit into the psych thing that’s going on at the moment. Or the shoegaze thing for that matter. We seem to be a little different to most of the bands that we play with. As a band we all have such varied influences that even we find it hard to pin down exactly what sound we come out with. However, I am very happy for people to call us whatever they feel like.
Aside from the above two tracks, there are at least another two, aren’t there: ‘Jesus, You Are Too Far Out’ and ‘Satellite’. Were all these – and ‘Sweet Teeth’ done with James Aparicio [Spiritualized, Liars, Grinderman]? How did Netil and he get together?
So far all of our recordings have been done with James, except for the B-side for the single, which we recorded ourselves. He had previously worked with Dan’s former band Demontré, who had enjoyed working with him and together they produced some great recordings. We were very happy in the studio with him and have always been very pleased with the work we have done together.
On ‘Satellite’ especially you employ some fairly knockout guitar work. In fact, it is developing into something of a Netil signature sound: spindly guitar, haunting bass, minimal production. Tell us something about each of the four songs.
The majority of our songs are based around the drums and bass. Dan and Sam work really well together and come up with some cool parts. Olly and me can just write over the top of these adding some atmospheric stuff and little details in the music. Olly is my favourite guitarist (apart from John Frusciante…) so it’s always exciting to see what he comes up with at practice.
Your lyrics – who writes them? – are often quite indecipherable. Is this just…well, how it translates, or part and parcel of the Netil ‘mystique’?
I write the lyrics. They aren’t intentionally indecipherable. I guess it’s just the way it comes out. I do like to keep the lyrics vague sometimes so the songs can be interpreted in different ways. But then again, sometimes I want to make a definite point. It’s something that changes from song to song and also something that I am trying to explore more in the newer songs we are writing.
Very interesting first 38 seconds lead into ‘Is There Something…’ – and an even more interesting vocal. How did you put that song together?
That one, like many of the others, started with the bassline and grew around that. After we had the rest of the song in place we decided that we wanted to write the intro part. We wanted to build up the atmosphere before the song kicks in. The vocals came from one line I had written down. We just played around with it at practice and it came out as it did.
Have you taken on board musical influences from any source as a point of reference, or is what Netil have produced so far been done so in a purely organic way?
Wehaven’t tried to sound like anything in particular. I think the sound mostly comes from how we write the songs. Of course our influences come out in our music but we haven’t set out to sound a certain way.
What plans have you formed post-‘Sweet Teeth’?
We plan on following up the release of ‘Sweet Teeth’ quite quickly. We have already started recording some new tracks which will definitely be part of what we do next. The exact format of the release is something we are thinking about at the moment. Gig-wise, we have a few booked [see dates below.] We’ll also be booking some shows out of London in the not too distant future.
We are premiering the video you have just worked on for ‘Sweet Teeth’, give us a little insight into the making.
It was made by a lovely chap called Euan Baker. We shot the entire thing in Olly’s flat and had a lot of fun doing it. The idea belonged to either Olly or Dan or quite possibly both of them. We basically filmed a load of different scenarios then stuck them in reverse. It was our first video as a band and something that we all really enjoyed getting involved in. We are already thinking about ideas for the next one.
[The video, as you will see here, contains some pretty surreal structures, from painting with either some very gooey red paint or re-enacting a Pete Doherty blood art scenario, overflowing a kettle with boiling milk, and coming up with a new reading position- amongst much else.]
Okay, Charles, last question: What is the Netil watchword or motto that you live by?
Eat your vegetables.
Thank you Netty.
‘Sweet Teeth’ is out on September 29 on hand painted 7” vinyl andalso available as a free download.
Netil play a series of London shows over the next months, with a single launch date at Marquis of Lansdowne on September 27, followed by The Social (October 15), The Macbeth (November 11) and Notting Hill Arts Club (November 26).
Video ‘Sweet Teeth’
Link To Netil’s Soundcloud
Photograph credited to ‘Keira Cullinane’