INTERVIEW: Hiatus & Shura

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When not writing, Cyrus produces electronic music under the name Hiatus. His debut LP Ghost Notes was created largely from samples accumulated during his time working as a journalist in Iran: lead single Save Yourself was  followed by Insurrection a meditation on the 1981 Brixton riots featuring dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson. In 2013 Cyrus released his follow up LP Parklands, with singles Fortune’s Fool and We Can Be Ghosts Now becoming a minor YouTube sensations thanks to their incredible videos and sublime vocals by Shura. Cyrus fills his spare time writing music for film and television and remixing artists as wide-ranging as Spokes, Sweet Tooth and David Lynch.

Shura is a singer/songwriter based in London and the two met when Hiatus saw her as the headlining act at a Highgate pub band night. Vocally and musically they both compliment each other perfectly and have gone on to create some of the most beautiful music that has ever graced the internet.

I spoke to them both about a myriad of topics, ranging from the music business, the misery [and joy] of making music, Shura’s apparent lack of vocal talent [according to her father!] and salmon fishing. Yes. Really

This is more a ‘in conversation with’ than an interview….

So please, sit down, get yourself a cup of tea, and enter the world of Hiatus and Shura. It’s a beautiful one.

New Video – Iranian Air

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Assuming that people don’t know the full body of work, explain how you two came to work together?

 

Hiatus:

I was playing in a band called Smoke and Feathers, playing piano, we had a gig, I mean we had been playing together at this point for four to five years. The band’s still going on; I’m not playing with them. We were playing one of countless forgettable four band a night shows at the Hideaway in Highgate and Shura was one of the three acts that were on before us or during the night. Shura was actually on after us and basically did a little acoustic set that was amazing she looped her vocal and I was sitting at the back of the bar and was like completely blown. It sounds a bit cheesy but I was never blown away. I played with that band for that many years, had been playing that many gigs and that was the first… the second time I had been really really impressed. But so impressed that this time I actually went up and tried to find out who she was. I bumped into Bassy, like six months later or something , the guy who was working with Shura at the time and he mentioned Shura and I was like, can you send me the stuff you’re working on and there was talk of us, of me, doing a remix of a track they were doing and that turned into the first of several tracks that we did together. So we’ve been collaborating ever since.

 

Where you happy to collaborate with him?

 

Shura:

Well I didn’t really know that he had been stalking me, it was like secret stalking. I got an email from this guy who was basically producing an EP with me saying “oh this dude wants to do a remix of you” and no one had ever asked me for that, I didn’t even really know what it entailed, so I just said OK.

 

Hiatus:

But it is funny, because actually in fairness, it was quite unusual for me as well, because at that point I’d done remixes and you know remixes are usually, like someone thinks that there will be some mutual benefit and usually a benefit for them and there’s a manager or a label trying to get x together with y to produce n and actually for the first time I was genuinely wanting to work with this girl’s voice. So it was unusual for me in that it was kind of a labour of love, it didn’t really feel like a remix when I was doing it. And then when we met, you know when the track was finished, was the first time we actually spoke.

 

Shura:

It all happened behind the scenes.

 

Hiatus:

Yea it was all over emails really

 

Shura:

Yea I was just told you were going to do it and then somebody sent this version of my song, and I was like, the first time I listened to it, I was like what is going on? Not in a bad way, just it was so bizarre to hear someone interpret something that you’ve written. And I was like, fuck me I quite like this. And I said to Bassy, who had been the guy to arrange it for us, do you reckon you’d want to do more stuff and then I guess that’s when he spoke with you [Hiatus] and then your manager at the time was like let’s meet for coffee. And then all hell broke loose.

 

 

You’re quite difficult to research as you are quiet in your online profile:

 

Hiatus

Were trying to be. There’s a lot of my writing on the internet but there’s not a lot…

 

Shura: It’s because we’re not big enough yet

 

Hiatus: I think it’s funny because there is a sort of balancing act that there is… I mean I certainly have no intentional interest in being a man of mystery sort of music, I mean I’m not trying to be …. but at the same time I don’t want to be telling people what I had for breakfast on Twitter, I don’t see the point. Do you know what I mean? I just had a great coffee. Who gives a fuck? Are you just reminding me that you’re still alive?

 

But sometimes people like to see your personality on Twitter

 

Hiatus:

But not everybody is very good at conveying that. You get some people who only promote whatever they are doing, whether it’s music and that’s boring. And the people that don’t tell you what they’re having for breakfast but give you little anecdotes into their daily life that are amusing.

 

Shura:

I’m really the opposite, I’d rather tell someone about what’s in my belly than I’ve got a new track, just because there’s something… I feel like once you’ve done it once, once you say here’s my music video, I feel like that’s it for me.

 

But don’t you reach a different audience each time? Like God is in the TV retweet twice a day and I don’t find it boring or annoying….

 

Hiatus:

But I think they aren’t trying to came across as a person they are coming across as a magazine. I think if you are coming across as a magazine, certainly an individual will be promoting producing their own music I do think you’re walking a fine line that if you start going like… it’s 12 so for the American audience that just got up, I’d feel like a massive douche. As far as I’m concerned if the music is good enough people will spread the word. Someone will send it over to America. I don’t want to be the klaxon, I don’t mean that in terms of the band!

 

Shura:

He doesn’t want to be the Klaxons either!

But what are your influences?

 

Hiatus:

I listen to a lot of really really minimal piano driven stuff. Like I put a lot of stuff on loop so I listen to music a lot as kind of background noise and I’ll just listen to things like ambient records a lot of old Aphex Twin, Wing Victory, Stars of the Lid, kind of like American and English. But at the same time, that’s not really true because influences? In term of influences, I did a mix recently of film sound track stuff. Film music is a huge influence, a huge influence. I suppose anything that has a cinematic element to it has always struck a chord with me. That new Jon Hopkins record is a massive influence. It’s a great album.

 

What’s you favorite soundtrack of all time?

 

Hiatus: Dead Man. Neil Young recorded it. I’m trying to get hold of a copy of it at the moment on vinyl, it’s really really hard to get.

 

 

And your influences Shura?

 

Shura:

It’s a bit difficult I think because I just immediately want to talk about music I like which is nothing like the music that I make. So I basically don’t want to answer your question [Laughs.] Being totally honest, I started writing when I was about thirteen and it was real really awful and when I really started thinking about songs and what I wanted to say, I was listening to Laura Marling, who for me was a huge influence I think. Lyrically she is very iterating and everything feels extremely personal but at the same time like a fairytale. Like it’s not real. That aspect of her music really appeals to me but then in terms of what I listen to for enjoyment, I was listening to Portishead and Massive Attack. So a lot of Trip-Hop. So I had this weird thing where I was using folk to educate the way that I wrote, but I wasn’t really listening to Folk for enjoyment. Does that make sense? I remember seeing Katie Tunstall live with a looping pedal; I didn’t even know what a loop pedal was and just thought, what the hell this little box that she keeps stomping on is. I want a box to stomp on. She’s an incredible musician.

 

I was quite skeptical until I saw her live at Latitude a few years ago….I was very impressed.

 

Shura:

Her musicianship is amazing and I just bought that pedal and what she does is make a one man band out of it, which is really impressive. But for me because I think I was listening to Portishead, I was using it to kind of create these sort of loops that suddenly became much more kind of electronic. Like the loop based stuff that you [Hiatus] would write. So suddenly this really folky music that I was writing became slightly more electronically minded. So I guess that sort of how the two melded and why I guess Hiatus saw something in me when I played there.

 

Hiatus:

Yea I think it was obvious to me when I suggested we do something together, it did seem like a mutually convenient marriage, because she was looking for something electronic and I was looking for something, you know in theory more ethereal and human.

 

 

That was my next question what do you think brought the two of you together?

 

Hiatus:

I’d basically been sampling a lot of female vocals and going back to the same records, the same voices. I really liked sampling Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian female vocals. Usually quite ethereal, quite haunting, and it just got to the point where I was like well, I don’t really want to keep doing this because obviously there are legal implications. I don’t want to be making music in my bedroom for the rest of my life, I’d quite like for there to be a live call aspect in terms of what I do and I quite liked for us to be able to kind of like, construct songs around lyrics rather than just take snippets of other peoples lyrics. Which is fun in itself. But it just felt really timely when we finally started doing stuff together. It really felt like yeah this is it.

Tell me about the making of the album

 

Hiatus:

Well it really started the minute that we first did River together, which was like what like nearly two years ago now.

I want it to be more kind of organic, or do I want it to be more piano driven, or do I want it to be like a live band thing. These are all the same questions that I asked myself this time last year and I was like how am I going to do it and then I just thought you know what, like fuck it .I have all this stuff that we’ve done together me and Shura. There’s loads of songs that are kind of like half finished that, why not just do another kind of electronic album, but one that kind of plays tribute to the last year or two years of making music and I think it was the right thing to do. After Ghost Notes the first record I really wanted there to be a second album that was really start beginning and end and it just wasn’t, but that’s fine. I don’t think it ever is, I think an album is only ever a reflection of a period of time and a part of your musical life and it’s certainly that for me and I’m sure it is for you.

 

So was it quite an easy album to make?

Hiatus:

No no

Shura:

For me yeah ….I just turned up sang a few notes

 

Was it a painful experience?

Hiatus:

It was less painful than the first one but it was still pretty bad. Like I went back to, I actually went back to my mum’s house in Kent and I took all my studio stuff, I just started hiring a studio…

 

I remember when you said –  “I’m just disappearing into the countryside”

Hiatus:

Yeah “I’m going outside and I may be some time”  I basically took my speakers and my limited kind of studio stuff that I have and I took it back to my parents house and I set it up in my sister’s old bedroom and basically just mixed the album there over like two months. I went back there after my birthday, which is the 18th of September and stayed there October, November, So It was basically three months and even then I was like right by the end of the year this shit is like done. It had to be done and it just wasn’t. I didn’t actually get the last master back until the week before the album came out. Which was mastered for about the fourth time. It wasn’t like the actual production part is hard or the mixing part of its hard, it was the letting go of tracks. That’s always for me the hardest thing, is saying that this is done, it’s finished, its fine. I listen back now because I’ve got all the old versions of the tracks after they all got masters at once and I listen back to them and they were all fine. They would have been OK, but something in me was just, you know it’s kind of pushing; it’s kind of an OCD thing. It’s like I’m scared of letting go of stuff. I know there’s something that can be improved and as long as there’s something that can be improved on…..well

 

I think all artists think they can always improve

 

Shura:

That’s the point, you would never release another album if you thought what you released was perfect.

 

And there’s always room for improvement, so it’s like a journey that you have to keep on going on. I wanted to ask about the vocals – They are really clear and beautiful but there’s also rawness to them as well that I really like. Did you do much to her voice?

Hiatus:

I got someone else to come and sing all the songs after she left

 

I’m assuming you didn’t really tweak it but did you play with it at all?

 

Hiatus:

We were in the studio earlier today and I was talking about auto-tuning and she was like ‘oh yeah you must use that a lot with me’ Hand on my heart I didn’t – maybe with the exception of one or two backing harmonies…

I’ve never used auto-tune on Shura’s voice at all.

And I think the rawness of it is what’s really important about it.I said to her earlier on today, people always say if you can’t sing properly, people say ‘oh it’s really good you’ve got a really vulnerable voice’ and it’s usually it’s this kind of vague insult. Like people always say it’s really kind of weak basically. But Shura actually does genuinely have a vulnerable voice, but it’s also really strong.

 

Shura:

Which is really sad because I actually just want to be Tina Turner

There’s an undercurrent of real raw emotion to it

Shura:

You know without kind of being incredibly British and self deprecating, I really couldn’t sing for a large portion of my life. It sounds bizarre because I’m..errr so great now [laughs] but my twin brother is a trained singer he’s always been the one with the voice. My dad was always like “oh Shu why are you singing, stop it” But I just kept going, and not really caring that I wasn’t Mariah Carey

I just kept doing it and I think for me lyrics were always really really important and I’m definitely autobiographical, even if what I’m talking about, in the same way that Laura Marling might be talking about some sort of monster from the sea. For me it means something and maybe that’s why there’s some sort of vulnerability and emotion there. Because it’s about something that’s happened to me.

 

So when do think you began to be able to sing?

 

Shura:

I don’t think I’ve ever had that realization. I remember my dad saying to me; suddenly “you actually have a really interesting recording voice”. Which for me was like the most incredible thing that ever happened. You want your dad to approve in a way. So when my dad turned around and said; you can’t really sing but your voice is interesting. That for me it’s pretty vulnerable. I kind of relaxed and thought well if I’m an artist that when I sing people, even if they think well she can’t hit all the notes or whatever or look at these trills, they go well that’s Shura, for me that’s what is important.

 

Hiatus:

I think also something worth mentioning is that when I first saw you, it wasn’t your singing per say that I was really kind of excited by, it was your voice. It was the fact that you weren’t, most of those songs you weren’t even singing you were kind of like speaking

 

Shura:

Whispering

 

Hiatus:

You know and it wasn’t really like singing in the sense of like hitting notes, it was like kind of telling a story, it wasn’t like necessarily in time or in tune. I don’t mean that in an insulting way. It was like a story telling.

 

Shura:

I guess a lot of my favorite artists –  female singers, even though I do love and I talk about Tina Turner at like every available opportunity but artists look at someone like Beth Gibbons and Portishead, like she can clearly sing but she’s got an incredibly interesting voice that you know it’s her. From the get go. And for me it was always more important, like I don’t know to have character…. I’m talking about that as though I think about that, I don’t really think about it in that way. I don’t think ‘oh what’s my voice going to sound like’

 

One of my favorite tracks is We Can Be Ghosts Now and then the video came along and as of today has got nearly 82,000 hits on You Tube, The video really leant to the song as I’ve never been so emotionally moved by little triangles and squares. I know it was quite a labour of love. So tell me about the making of the video.

 

Hiatus:

Basically, I put something on Facebook about doing the song, looking for an animator. Shura and I both decided that we didn’t want to do a video that involved us, our faces. Well we’re modest and so I’d gone out looking for an animator, not really knowing what I had in mind. I had a kind of vague vision of sort of like urban apocalypse thing, sort of done… a fake vision of an urban apocalypse. I knew it’s the kind of thing you can’t do without a budget, so the only way we could do it was through animation and whoever it was said I know a guy called Tom Jobbins, Tom’s the guy who directed it. It was shown in here at the BFI. I actually came here to watch it which was mental. But I met him and he, within about five minutes he came to the studio and we chatted about it. I played him the song and he sat here and listened to it and he sort of nodded and said yeah this could be good, this could be good. He’s a really really cool guy. Really interesting, really funny, really quirky and so so talented. Like really a visionary dude. I could tell in five minutes. I remember I was going back from Croydon on the train and I was on the phone to him and we were talking about his plan for this, his plan for that and I was I don’t actually need to talk to you about this do I, you basically know exactly what you are going to do? He showed me some pictures of these like I think you call it structuralism, this sort of Russian kind of post war art, were it’s all kind of blocky triangles, kind of two tone colour schemes, it was all very abstract and modern. And he was I want to do something with this kind of imagery, I want it to be just like blocks of colour and these shapes have like characters and I just thought he was mad, it sounds amazing, but I don’t know how you’re going to make it work visually. And then he showed me a couple of test reels. We met a couple of times and he showed me like a couple of little clips and I was just blown away. Every time I just saw anything I was just like I’m not deserving of this, but it was that kind of thing were I think he got something out of it, I got something out of it, we both did.

 

And obviously 82,000 people did as well.

 

Hiatus:

It must have been seen by so many more than that. Just from the point of view of the film, it’s one of the greatest animated little films. Not to go on about it too much but there’s so much in that movie that every time I see it I notice something new. I got an email about a week ago, someone put a comment, ‘oh it’s the Romeo and Juliet allegory’ really you can go into that as deep as you want.  “Oh it’s really interesting you chose the colours blue and red because obviously they’re the colour of the Montague and Capulet houses in Romeo and Juliet.’ There are just limitless, limitless amounts that you can go into that video. So I love all that, I love how well it complements the music and I just love on another level it sort of it does what I set, I mean the vision I had of the city and these lovers trying to find each other, the way that it mirrors the lyrics of the song is beautiful.

 

 

I also want to know about Iranian Air the new single. What is the song about as far as you’re concerned?

 

Hiatus:

Well there are two things. There’s a specific and a general thing. On a general level it’s about the idea of starting anew life in a foreign country, it’s about being exiled willingly or otherwise and basically going to another country and starting a life again. On a more specific level it’s about an Iranian person. It’s basically my father leaving Iran after the revolution and coming to London and setting up a new life there. I think there is an element where just, all of your expectations change all of your ideas of who you are what your worth. You have Iranian doctors coming over and having to start work in restaurants or whatever it is that kind of thing.

 

 

Shura I know your mum is Russian, so what’s your background?

 

Shura:

My dad was actually making a documentary in Russia, because he’s a director and met my mum there. They met in Russia and fell in love I guess and he married her and then they learnt how to speak each other’s language and decided that they didn’t have much left in common and decided to go their separate ways…my dad speaks Russian…my mum lives here now which is really nice. Unfortunately, I mean I can speak Russian, but I’m not fluent, I’m not as fluent as I should be because I was brought up with my dad whilst he tried to speak it with me, I was four I was embarrassed by it for some reason, you know how you just, I don’t know, it’s such a shame.

 

Did it have any influence on your musical influence at all?

 

Shura:

I’d really like to say it did, but it really didn’t because my musical side, I mean my mum’s an actress and performer so obviously because she’s creative, My dad plays the guitar and he’s the one that I said can you teach me. And he taught me three chords and I taught myself the rest from there on in. I feel in England and this is not unrelated to Iran Air, I feel really Russian here, I definitely feel half Russian.

 

Why do you think that is?

 

Shura:

I think because you want to hold on to the part of you that makes you different. Probably for that reason alone, but when I’m in Russia, I couldn’t feel more English. It’s this really bizarre place where you don’t really, where your half anything, you don’t feel like you fit in anywhere especially well.

 

Hiatus:

I think that’s a good thing. I think what’s funny with me and the Iran thing, is when I go to Iran I actually feel really really at home in Iran. But when I’m around London Iranians, I feel constantly on the verge of being unmasked as a fraud, for some reason. The Iranian community in London makes me really nervous, when I’m around friends  they see right through me, but when I’m in Iran I feel like an Iranian, quite weird. I grew up not even really speaking Farsi and for me the Iranian reverb was a really big thing in my life and a huge influence on my music. I think if you look at anything anyone does creatively so much of it is going to come from that part of their lives that isn’t kind of the English side. You know it’s just natural.

 

 

What is you view on the industry now? Are you happy to remain an independent artist or if someone offered you a million pound record deal tomorrow would you take it?

 

 

Hiatus:

I don’t know, the record industry now, I mean I’ve had a couple of fairly, fairly painful experiences with industry people, I mean I don’t think it’s necessarily much different now, I think the difference now is possibly that the record industry like the print journalism industry is fighting to stay alive in its old form. I think ironically journalism, 10 years from now, people aren’t going to be talking about journalism, it will have just evolved and people will have just adapted. The problem is that we are in this point of flux where the old models don’t work anymore. Like people are still trying to bring out print editions of the Telegraph and the Economist and no one is buying them. They are wasting all this money, they are wasting all this time and all these budgets for this that and the other. That’s all going to get done and dusted, but the old models are not going to exist. I think it’s the same with record things like you now the way people are listening to music is changing and the way people buy music is changing and the way people promote music is definitely changing.

 

So what are the feasible alternatives now?

 

Hiatus:

From what I’ve done I certainly think that, anything that needs to be listened to takes time and it takes time to spread the word about stuff. But I think it’s better to do it slowly over a drip feed thing than rather suddenly waking up one day and suddenly everyone’s like ‘we really love you, we want to hear your back catalogue’ and you’re like ‘oh I don’t have a back catalogue. But thanks I’ll try and make an album’ so I think it’s better. It’s only healthy for an artist to grow at his or her own pace and for that to be reflected in the public sphere. Fine if they kind of want to talk about it on Twitter, if they want to post it on Soundcloud. If you’re making good music that works really really well, like people would love to see that, but being plucked from obscurity is still you know… and I find it so painful to watch

 

You see the destruction of so many people because they pick them so young now and they don’t support or educate them about what is going to happen… shows like the X Factor are the destruction of the music industry….

 

Shura:

So many of those programs are industry controlled anyway. I was asked to go on The Voice, by a talent scout for The Voice’ She saidCan you please audition you don’t have to queue etc, you don’t have to do anything, just turn up you’ve got a time, just do it.’ I personally am not interested it’s not a route that I want to go down; I don’t even think it’s necessarily a bad route for some people. You are 50 you’re going to find it hard to get a major label deal so for people like that who just want to have fun and understand that, and go into it knowingly, I don’t blame them. You know they get a bit of fun they make fuck all money because the deals are shit.

 

Hiatus:

I think the well there are many down sides, but one of the downsides is just reflective of the way the culture is now, the expectation that it’s like the lottery. When I was in the band Smoke And Feathers, we worked so hard we played so many shows, we recorded all our own stuff, we rehearsed like once a week at least.  All of us working full time and you know ad then things started happening, people started getting involved, labels started getting interested and managers kind of calling us up and everyone was kind of shell shocked. I can remember thinking that this isn’t a lottery we didn’t buy a ticket and win this, we worked for it. And the difference is that now the expectation is that you just pull a number and maybe your number comes up and if so all the lights come on and people throw flowers at you on stage. That’s indicative of so much about society right now. There’s no patience, there’s no tolerance…

I do think there is a counter balance to that where you can listen to good independent music, through alternative means..

 

Shura:

Soundcloud has been incredible.

You know I’ve got all these huge artists on my IPod but I’ve also got people like Sorrow who are people who I have followed or found through someone else liking a track and reposting it or have made friends with over time and you know and these are guys who are releasing through independent labels all just releasing as free downloads. Soundcloud’s been really good for the industry. We live in an age where there’s so much free music now  that people are often like well it’s awful that suddenly everyone can just flood the internet with horrendous music, but it’s great, whatever you do you can get it out there and the people that like it will continue to listen to it….

 

What do you think of this huge storm over Spotify and Thom Yorke removing music and all that kind of stuff?

 

 

Shura:

You know what I think it’s a really interesting debate. I think it’s a healthy debate to have, how they structure the way artists are paid. I personally have a paid account with Spotify I love it, I really enjoyed using it. I have countless playlists that I follow and that I make…

 

As an artist though would you put your music on Spotify?

 

Shura:

Yea I’m happy for it to be on Spotify, I actually when it all happened I checked how much money we made from Spotify and we’d made $588 from just under 100,000 streams, it’s not a huge amount of money – It’s virtually nothing but at the same time… I don’t even think that’s a bad thing…

 

Hiatus:

A. you can’t really stop it and B your better off like embracing it. Like just let it happen this is how music spreads. As far as I’m concerned if people are listening to my music that’s great, I don’t give a fuck, id I’m not getting paid for it and I’m never getting paid for it, like that’s just life. I’d rather people were listening to it for free than not listening to it.

 

So how do you quantify your worth then if you’re not getting anything back for it?

 

Hiatus:

I personally feel like when Iran Air comes out, I will draw a line under what for me has been a really kind of formative, kind of developmental part of my life as a musician. You know I’ve worked in journalism for 10 years before I started music, so it’s only really the last couple of years that I’ve been doing music. And it’s something that I want to do properly and I really want to end up doing music for film and stuff like that and I do now at the moment, I do music for TV which I do quite a lot, that’s how I see myself making money from it. Hiatus stuff I don’t care if I don’t get money for doing it. I want that to be just music that I love in the same way. You know, I could go and work in a business to business publication and write about the coal business, or the salmon farming industry and could probably make loads of money, this is what happens when you go make loads of money, but I don’t want to do that I want to write interesting stories about depression or DJs that I like and not necessarily get paid for it.There is the cool thing but also making music is a fucking serous business, it’s like…

 

Haha it’s supposed to bring joy!

 

Hiatus:

It’s not like fun…

 

It is fun…

 

Hiatus:

It’s not that much fun.

 

Has it ever been fun for you to sit there and make music?

 

Hiatus:

There are still moments that are fun; I’d say every track about 10% if I’m lucky is 10% fun and 90% misery, which is cool. I don’t mind that….

 

So what drives you to do it?

Shura:

Some people are addicted to misery. I think a lot of musicians are….

 

Hiatus:

It’s not something I could stop, it’s not something that I could not do, but it’s a painful process. You know I don’t intend to represent myself as some happy go lucky dressing in a rabbit suit jumping around

 

When are we going to be able to see you guys live?

 

Hiatus:

We’ve played a few shows in the past. We’ve been really lucky actually and we’ve played some really cool places. Back at a point where we doing some kind of stuff that was kind of laptop and loop pedal based and I personally got to the point where I felt we hadn’t really got to a point where we were really bringing the best of what I wanted to bring to a live performance. Personally I think Shura side of it is better than mine. Obviously from a vocal point of view she is different every time she sings. For me I felt like I was basically pushing buttons

 

Shura:

Mine was probably more satisfying than what you were doing

 

Hiatus:

It wasn’t very satisfying for me. I basically played piano in bands, I played on stage with a lot in my life and I basically came to the conclusion that live music performances are all about the way musicians kind of interact on stage and interact with the audience. It’s about how you feed off each other. Like the energy in one venue is going to be very different to the energy in another. The audience is going to be much more or less receptive in one place to another, your base player or your drummer is going to be in a different mood on Tuesday to how he is on Wednesday or Thursday and it’s like you play differently because of that. Whereas, if you just turn up and you set up your gear and bang and here’s the show hope you like it. I don’t want to do that…

 

Shura:

And there’s only so much a vocalist can change the vibe….

 

Hiatus:

No I really want us to do some shows and we have actually made very early in roads into playing with a band, like with a double bassist, a violinist and a drummer. It sounds really really good so that’s something I think is a given.

 

 

You sound great recorded, I also think it will sound great live….

 

Hiatus:

I think it will and you know it’s in a good place. You know that Jon Hopkins album? That was fantastic live – but the crowd are just like standing there, you know it’s a Thursday night we’re all out, we read about this guy on Pitchfork or wherever it is, but they just fucking stood there and the guy played the most banging, – I mean brilliant like really heavy kind of techno set and everyone just stood there looking a bit confused

 

 

Yeah but you should definitely do something live to see how it translates

 

Shura:

I think it’s important for the people who have bought the record

 

I want to see it live….

 

Shura:

I’m definitely a gigging artist, that’s what I’ve done since I was 13 and my dad would take me down to pubs and they would be like ‘are you are joking she’s 13,  why are you bringing her here’  and I’d sing these songs about deep heartbreak that I hadn’t experienced you know. So that’s what I want to be doing. He was supportive; he was just really honest with me but completely supportive. I think I grew because I never had any wholesome passions of my own…. whereas now I have. I think that’s how we got together, you were just like I want to work with you and it was just based on love of what you see or what you hear and there the best collaborations really

 

I interviewed Hiatus about a year ago? What has changed between then and now?

 

Hiatus:

So much stuff has changed but ultimately in regards to music they haven’t really changed. Like more than anything I feel like I’ve found my voice as a musician and I know that sounds really cheesy, but like what we were saying earlier on about like the younger musicians are getting snapped up so early and one of the worst things about that is that they haven’t found the musician in them. They’re emulating their idols. That’s what people do when they’re young and I think I had been doing that myself for years and years.

 

But you haven’t become cynical?

 

Hiatus:

No I think the opposite, I think I’ve become less cynical because I think in becoming cynical in the sense of my expectations of as far as the music industry goes, I think it’s the opposite of cynicism. You start to see that there are no limitations, when you do something yourself the potential is limitless. You might be like I’m cynical of getting a record deal but that’s just the beginning of something even better. You want to make music of all time for the rest of your life. You know there are tracks that I’ve done, there are tracks that we’ve done that I feel like really really work in ways that I probably never expected to you know that I did to work. And speak to people in ways that I never really felt I would be able to speak to. That’s the other problem of having more and more followers and more and more coverage on these sorts of things you do have to fend off more and more idiots. Like the shit with Jeff Barrow, from Portishead on Twitter. He’s retweeting all these comments from trolls; ‘you should be fucking grateful that he used your sample, the original song was shit, no one knows who you are and all this sort of stuff’ that’s the other thing about the internet it means anyone can listen to our music it also means anyone can come back with some spiteful just vile about absolutely nothing.

 

Shura:

But then on the flip side of that some person from Peru can send you a message saying they listened to your song and they cried because it reminded them of a relationship that they had and you think ‘wow that’s fucking awesome.’

http://www.cyrusshahrad.com/hiatus-music/

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https://www.youtube.com/user/djhiatus

 

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https://soundcloud.com/shura

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.