Silver Arm premiere & talk 'Scatterbrainzz'

Silver Arm premiere & talk ‘Scatterbrainzz’


Hailing from the wilds of rural Northamptonshire, Silver Arm combine the high adrenaline thrills of hardcore with a post-punk intensity and end up sounding like nothing else on earth (or beyond). After supporting Eagulls on tour, picking up support from the likes of Steve Lamacq and BBC Introducing, the band are bringing the year to a close with ‘Scatterbrainzz’, one of three winter singles being released this month by their benefactors Big Tea records.

Knowing that we at GIITTV are massive fans, the four piece thought it only right that they offer us the chance to stream the single exclusively through the site, and to help you gain a better insight into their crazy world, we put a few questions to drummer Ben Brown…


1. Greetings Silver Arm! Could you kindly tell us who you are and what you do?

We are Silver Arm. Gareth on vocals, Leon on Bass, Ben on Drums and Tom on Bass. We write sub 3-minute post punk songs in the structure of pop songs, with no solos, no fat, no ifs no buts and no coconuts.

2. Tell us about your name – is it anything to do with ‘The Man With The Golden Arm’?

No Silver Arm was the one of the first pieces of robotics to replace a human being on a production line in 1974, it lead to people panicking that everyone’s jobs was going to be taken over by robots, and the hippies rose up against the machines, for a time anyway, they then instead of crushing them, they decided they were alright and went on to become their masters, until eventually these same hippies ruled the world as CEO’s of the big tech companies. The hippies fear of the machine was what we found most interesting, our first single was called ‘Hippies’, it’s a conversation that started everything for us.

3. Give us a quick selection of the bands that have helped shape the Silver Arm sound…

Nirvana, Pixies, Beefheart, Devo, Pavement, Swans, Banshees, Slaves, Big Star, Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Taylor Swift, Jonathan Richman, Jesus and Mary Chain (no band has ever been good enough to play for longer than half an hour), Monks, Bad Seeds, Black Sabbath, Television, Jesus Lizard, Wire, Suicide, 13th Floor Elevators, Wipers, Stooges, Fugazi, Pere Ubu, Gang of Four, Talking Heads I could go on.

4. How much do your surroundings affect your sound? I’m thinking here of listing “the heavy frigid air that drifts through the copses and lanes of England” among your influences, but feel free to elaborate further…. Is it a strength to NOT be caught up in the latest Shoreditch/Dalston fashions?

Yeah, it’s everything, we’ve been in bands together for about 15 years in one form or another, and started in the villages of Northamptonshire. Gaz has been fascinated in the creepy side of village life since he was old enough to make his village creepy by being creepy himself, and he’s been writing about the characters that inhabit it all this time, so whenever we write anything Gaz will tell us a story about a Stock Car drive with gums like bacon who he met in his local, and he’ll put something together around these dark themes, making some of it up around the story.

It was a strength to us not being part of a scene in the beginning. When we started there wasn’t really much noisy guitar music around, we felt like a reaction to that short lived scene of hipster Psychology students on Apple Macs, whining about their student debts, and we weren’t alone, a year later you can see a lot of people were thinking the same thing, bands like Slaves, Eagulls, Amazing Snakeheads and Bad Breeding are leading the charge, we’ve played with all of them in the last year and they’re all doing a similar thing to us.

5. So what is your new single ‘Scatterbrainzz’ all about? Tell us some of the most scatter-brained behaviour you’ve ever got up to?

Scatterbrainzz is about a man half awake in a coma trying to fill the world with this unbelievable knowledge which he holds in half a brain. Society is afraid of what he holds in his skull. It is about enlightenment and hope but it is fraught and fragile. The idea is that there is this paradoxical community held within our minds. The man with the scatterbrainzz is the facilitator, the genius, the hero and the father of thought. They tried to beat it out of him but they just made him stronger and stranger and more dangerous.

6. You’ve recorded it (again) with long term collaborator Rory Atwell, what does he bring to your sound?

A lot, we’re really comfortable with Rory, we know that if we bring an idea into the studio that’s not fully formed he can make it happen. On our last single ’Slow Creep’ we wanted to have a demented sax break in the middle 8, but our Saxophonist Klang fell off a boat and died just before we were about to record, so Rory found some samples and made it happen for us, it was actually better than what we’d rehearsed, he’s very important to the sound, and we pay him in burgers. He’s a musician first, so we trust him, he’s also in a great band at the minute called Warm Brains, you really should have a listen.

7. Has 2014 been a good year for you? What were the highlights for you? And what does 2015 hold in store?

It’s been amazing, we played Camden Rocks, and T in the Park, then supported Eagulls and The Crocodiles, as well as playing loads of gigs with our friends OhBoy! and The Moons. We’ve ticked a few things off the list we really wanted to do, and managed not to get injured too badly along the way. Steve Lamacq has played all of our singles on this 6Music show, and we’ve had support from BBC Introducing all the way. 2015, firstly hold a little break, and then we’ve got a new single, which is probably our best song; ‘Do The Crow’ to release, but we’re not sure when yet.

8. And finally, what’s this thing Gaz (singer) has about eating lemons (and other citrus fruit) on stage? Explain!

Gaz eats fruit as part of on onstage exorcism. The citrus fruit helps to carry away the errant demons in the songs. It is part of a purge which is why he often spits it out.

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.