European Tour
April – June 2009
Questionnaire: Steve Bateman

“Layering sparse, tweaking acid house production over post punk ESG percussive beats and chunky bass should make for a hands-in-the-air experience – and it does, but only in the sense that Detachments have taken you at gunpoint. Ominous and foreboding, it appropriates the more gothic elements of Belgian New Beat, bringing an industrial veneer to proceedings, with singer Sebastien’s guttural rumblings putting the tin hat on the glowering effect.” THE TIMES

'Not only do they craft intelligent, forward thinking, infectious songs and dark club anthems with the right balance of musical knowledge, integrity, naivety and enthusiasm, they also so effortlessly look the part." TREVOR JACKSON (PRODUCER)

“Detachments add something spicy and refreshing to the dance scene, twisting it with their immaculately groomed post punk.” NOIZE MAKES ENEMIES

“Trevor Jackson and Andrew Weatherall are already fans of Detachments and you can see why; Fear No Fear is an imposing black slab of industrial-dance pop. Starting with moody strings and crunching dub-delayed electro beats, it promptly explodes with some ferocious post punk bass, uncompromising synths, white noise guitars and dark, determined vocals that recall Nitzer Ebb's Douglas McCarthy.” CMU

"They echo the disenchanted sound of Joy Division and the sleaziness of Iggy Pop; fusing disembodied vocal effects, spacey synths and screeching guitar sounds with dubbed-out disco-punk basslines." MIXMAG

“Frazzled electro-skronkiness, Detachments sound like the urban decay made flesh, or at least steel... ones to watch.” SUBBA-CULTCHA

Fuelled by sharp musicality and flush with a creative energy + exploratory nature that’s dusted with a gutsy, cocksure poise. Detachments’ appetite for tumbling, splintering and ricocheting electronic beats, rock-ribbed serrated guitars and powerhouse bass and drums – which have a symbiotic relationship and are wrapped in a tourniquet of rhythm. Has resulted in a black and bilious post-apocalyptic netherworld, where sonic contours and immersive sounds are welded to perfectly-formed musical backdrops that build and build and build, until reaching their tumultuous climax. A lynchpin or calling card, that will ring in your ears and supplant itself in your head, before proceeding to prowl around like a stealth black panther! It’s no surprise then, that Detachments’ emboldened songs are making critics swoon, with many industry insiders and musical sophisticates already declaring themselves to be avowed fans – all of whom, have high hopes for a fledgling band they believe to be holding a winning hand and “on the cusp of greatness!”

Described as everything from post punk, to electronica, to industrial house, to dance, to cold wave, due to the fact that the quartet’s dark-hearted, atmospheric, tightly-wound, drilling and emotionally wrought vortex – with haunting ghost in the machine vocals – is rooted in + emblematic of these genres. Representing a summation of their different styles and directions, whilst in the same breath, evoking and evading the times with Detachments putting their own unique spin on each influential movement. A review of their debut single, Fear No Fear, even observed, “It’s a piece of chugging electro-rock, melding dubby synth bass with hypnotic guitar and distorted droning vocals.” With the group’s leader, Sebastien Marshal, adding, “It’s very non-compromising, it's one of our most militantly dark tracks – it's like a warning of the extremes we're capable of. It's like us planting our flag, declaring our territory.” And for remix fans, there are also some sublime, percolating Detachments reworkings and reimaginings out there!

Now signed to the reputable label, Thisisnotanexit Records, the London-based young guns’ line-up includes the aforementioned Marshal (vox / guitar / keys), Lewis Clark (lead guitar), Max Moreau (bass / keys) and Peter Dawson (drums). Also formerly a member of R3mote, of his musical past, Sebastien once philosophised, “Since I was a young teen I've been going through phases of being more into guitar stuff, then getting bored with the textures, so getting back into electronic and black music and then vice versa. I'd always kept my punky indie jams with mates and my electronic sequencer / sampler type stuff separate, until several years later, when I moved to London and I began to merge the two approaches.”

In another interview, he asserted, "Fear No Fear might sound a bit industrial because of its dark edge and vocal style, but fuck no, we're not fans of industrial at all! Classic Detroit techno and early ‘90s Brit techno (especially early Warp) is what I love; electronic music is always best when it's got a new, slightly primitive edge. That 1988-1992 period in dance music seems like it was pure, like a decent drug. I find Krafwerk inspiring too – it'll always be fascinating how The Bronx adopted and then mutated that German sound. Contemporary dance music is so fragmented, there's not much substance left to it. I'm fascinated by the essence of the post punk period. The way those bands were in a position to work from a new year zero after the punk explosion – like they were emerging from some kind of wasteland, with a completely refreshed perspective on music and modern culture. The groups that inspire us from that period, are more futuristic than anything out there now. We like to try and tap back into the same Futurist portal they opened."

With the ‘troops’ currently holed up in the studio and diligently putting the final touches to their debut album (due for release in Autumn 2009), assisted by “a veritable production dream team” of DFA’s Tim Goldsworthy, Trevor Jackson, Andrew Weatherall and Moscow – who are each, individually, overseeing recording duties for certain songs. I quizzed Sebastien by e-mail, as the Detachments ready themselves to deploy yet more dense, swarming, hard-hitting, nuclear and mountainous music into the world, in the shape of new single and Lamacq favourite, The Flowers That Fell. A track which jumped straight out of the radio at me like a Molotov cocktail when I first heard it, in turn, leading to my love affair with the band!

So after reading this article, why not acquaint yourself with the Detachments’ sonic sherbet @ and help spread the word as soon as possible. Because they are a force to be reckoned with, and have an arsenal of songs loaded with a coiled-spring tension / daubed in a vehement intensity, that you can sink your teeth into! And groups of this calibre, don’t come along everyday.

A very promising start…

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

1.Morrissey believes that “songwriters share more of themselves in their lifetime, than people from any other walk of life ever do – almost growing up in public.” Adding, “A genuine voice can change someone’s life, because people can hear whether or not the emotion it resonates, is heartfelt.” What are your feelings on this?
“Songwriters often adopt characters – do something observational etc. Mozzer certainly doesn’t always write autobiographically. Yeah, I doubt if for e.g. Kraftwerk share much of their real selves. Sometimes my approach is to condense lyrics into minimal slogans that use deliberate repetition as an almost hypnotic device – cold and dislocated, cryptic – that's deliberately evading being heartfelt and human. To be honest, I probably do that to protect myself and everyone else! Obviously something heartfelt can provide creative impetus and guide a song – breathing human life into it. Yes, if it helps, you can channel emotion into an art form – into the cathartic vessel. Of course, I may have done that a few times. Sometimes, the essence of a scene in the mind’s eye is sufficient to guide me though. Naturally, something of life experience will automatically resonate through the music as a whole – in a melody, a chord progression, the arrangement etc. I guess I was brought up in a household where there was quite a lot of classical music going on around me, which I observed and absorbed but didn’t partake in I hasten to add – luckily I’m not classically trained, but I have been playing music since I was about 5. So anyway, it’s very natural for me to express myself through music itself – that’s my language, my “genuine voice” just as much as the lyrics.”

2.To give us an idea of some of your musical influences and tastes, if you were asked to guest host your own radio show as DJs, which records would you play, and who would you most like to invite into the studio for a live session + interview?
“Most of the interview guests we’d like to have on are dead e.g. Martin Hannett. It would be good to invite ghosts in e.g. Cobain, Morrison, Ian C, Miles Davis, Sinatra – how about that. We’d let the guests choose all the music for the show. Session would comprise of jams featuring various combinations of the guests. If that wasn’t possible, we'd tune into one of the furthest probe in space that earth is still able to receive sound from and beam that back. Cassini probe around Saturn would be good.”

3.How would you say your personalities and musical ideas blend together, and what’s the story behind your name the Detachments?

“A swashbuckling, spirit of adventure binds us. Lew is originally from the Midlands. He gets on with it – has a solid, no nonsense, confident approach to things. He’s got that spirit of youth. Musically, he’s quite into his hardware, he’s achieved a big soaring sound with all his pedals. His vice is getting seriously fucked up now and again with his boho, druggie East London mates – one of ‘em lives in a warehouse full of cool, dapper, vintage threads and is called Cosmo, you get the idea. Max is from Antwerp, he’s got an artschool background like me. He has a cool head on him and has a taste for the finer things in life. He’s a superb musician – can play all our instruments and is a well-qualified sound engineer, he’s our tech expert. Max is into loads of different genres. Eclectic taste. On bass he can handle complex, syncopated stuff, which is very useful. His vice is chain-smoking and he also seems to be drinking most of the time. Pete’s originally from Leeds, he’s a top class drummer – I’d go so far as to say he’s one of the best young drummers in the UK. He got some kind of award at his London college and sometimes gets roped in to play session stuff e.g. Goldie. Detachments must have one of the best rhythm sections around. His vice is he likes to run around hotels naked all night whilst off his face. Anyway, they are my crack troops. I like the fact that Detachment means quite a few things e.g. Detachment – as in removal from all earthly desires, emotional detachment. We currently, mainly like to play on the word Detachment as in the military term.”
1. The act or process of disconnecting or detaching; separation.
2. The state of being separate or detached.
3. Indifference to or remoteness from the concerns of others; aloofness: preserved a chilly detachment in his relations with the family/office/etc.
4. Absence of prejudice or bias; disinterest: strove to maintain her professional detachment in the case.
a. The dispatch of a military unit, such as troops or ships, from a larger body for a special duty or mission.
b. The unit so dispatched.
c. A permanent unit, usually smaller than a platoon, organised for special duties.

4.A new music body, ‘The Featured Artists' Coalition’ (, was recently set up with many high profile musicians having already signed up and backing the campaign’s manifesto. Part of which reads: "We want all artists to have more control of their music and a much fairer share of the profits it generates in the digital age." Do you think this is a positive step?

“Yeah, for sure. There’s so many parasitic pimps latched onto The Music Industry that can be booted off now in this day and (digital) age. More direct power to the artist I say. The less middle men the better – the industry seriously needs streamlining.”

5.Ideally, would you prefer to remain as outsiders, or for your songs to have greater mainstream exposure?
“We want to reach the people, but also keep some enigma. Maybe we’re some kind of anti-band in disguise. But anyway, what’s the point in being resigned to the fringes? I’m all about a lot of experimental, underground stuff, but I also have a love of great pop e.g. Pet Shop Boys, 80’s Depeche. The Cure have done an amazing job with their output – stylistically diverse – yet everything still cohering, maybe they’re our heroes.”

6.The revered producer Stephen Street, has just uploaded some rare archive footage onto his official website of Blur recording their seminal album, Parklife. But are there any artists / bands who you would like to see video clips of when they were making one of their classic LPs?

The Beatles – White Album
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Kraftwerk – Computerwelt
The Clash – London Calling
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
The Cure – Pornography; weren’t they all on acid at the time?
“… should all make interesting viewing.”

7.On a similar note, I once read an article about ‘How Mixing And Mastering Have Shaped Rock History’ – which using records by Metallica, Nirvana, Oasis, Pearl Jam and Radiohead as examples, discussed how “The right mix can make or break a record.” The feature then went onto list albums that might “benefit from revisionist treatment” – but are there any old LPs that you would like to hear mixed and mastered differently?

“Don't dig up the past – all you get is dirty.”

8.Continuing with train of thought, the producer Greg Haver recently said, “Musicians and music lovers have regained control, because people go out and will find music rather than being told by a label, ‘This is what you’ve got to listen to and like.’ Purer records are being made – the material is closer to the artists’ vision and better music is being made, because there are less layers of interference within The Music Industry chain.” Would you agree with this?
“Independent spirited, artistically unshackled music has always been there, and people have always been able to find it if they so desired. It’s much easier to find rare stuff now though obviously, in the digital age, music lovers have more freedom and control for sure. Freedom is almost limitless in the contemporary music universe – which is expanding all the time like space after the Big Bang. We’re allowed to have the creative freedom that we want at Thisisnotanexit Records. However, if you’re a musician on a major, you simply won’t have total control e.g. I hear Klaxons – for their 2nd album – were ordered back to the studio to write more commercial songs.”

9.Over the years, what has been the most valuable lesson that you have learnt from writing and recording songs – and do you see yourself always making music in some capacity?
“Lessons in writing – there’s, I don’t know… Lessons? There’s no rules. No formulas. I don’t trust things like that. Maybe one lesson is, don’t try to pursue an idea that’s not quite flowing right from the off? Don’t bother sitting down and trying to concoct a song out of nowhere, as the best ideas just come along when going about daily life, they come in daydreams or a response to something – they’re not forced. Maybe another lesson is never get complacent – always make your output focused and firing on all cylinders in all areas. In the future, I'd like to write and also produce for other people, before or after my solo album – which will consist mainly of mini-epic torchsongs!”

10.By using The Smiths’ How Soon Is Now as an example, Johnny Marr once talked of “the power” a recorded song has, in that the individual components can never be recreated in exactly the same way ever again – by anybody! Is it an exciting prospect for you all, knowing that with each song you record, you could well be committing something magical to tape?

“In writing and to an extent with recording music, sometimes when you can sense you’ve picked up the trail of something ‘magic’, you have to somehow instinctively lock onto that and follow it. When the final result is good – it’s life affirming. Recording vocals can be so variable – exact frame of mind is dependent on so many time-specific events responsible for that ‘magic’. When we were recording the other day, at the moment I was singing the climactic "FAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL!", the wind grabbed the window and shattered it against the outside of the balcony. We were working on The Art Of Viewing, which is a song that refers to psychic spying i.e. the Remote Viewing programme that the USSR and USA spent millions on during the Cold War. We were on the 7th Floor too, it’s fortunate that there was no-one down at ground level – could have been gruesome.”

11.As a music fan, can you remember your first ever gig and what does it mean to you to now play your songs live?

“First ever concert? Music evening at high school – brass band, woodwind bands, classical guitar things etc. Always fascinating. My brother and sister were classically trained prodigies – that’s why I was in attendance. I think being in a club, feeling the bass for the first time, may have had more impact on me than my first band type gigs. We always look forward to gigs even though playing live is actually a big operation, a lot of prep goes in for a half hr gig – rehearsals, hardware programming, then transportation of loads of gear, soundcheck (usually with an arsey soundguy), waiting around, pack down, more trans etc. Tell you what though, playing live – if we get into the zone (there’s so many factors to get right) – if all the energies come together, it can feel almost transcendental.”

12.How do you go about discovering + buying new music, and what’s the one back catalogue that everyone should investigate?
“Nowadays, I stumble across things on MySpace, YouTube, blogs etc. Word of mouth too – people I know who are musicians or DJs recommend stuff etc. Obviously scanning the music press too, picking up various free publications in Shoreditch, Camden etc. Also, I often have BBC 6 Music on too – good combination of archive classics and new stuff – good programming for a songwriter. The one back catalogue that I think everyone should investigate is Kraftwerk; melodies, basslines, drum patterns, lyrical minimalism… all true genius. Either that or the ENTIRE Factory Records back catalogue!”

13.Some people feel that the significance of lyrics is being lost through downloading, due to a smaller number of music buyers looking at CD booklets, or incorrect words being posted on websites. Are lyrics important to you and what are the main themes of your songs?
“I'd be irritated if I saw my lyrics stuck up somewhere online incorrect. Lyrics are important – they take a lot of crafting to perfect. Bands should put up all their lyrics on their websites then shouldn’t they… maybe we’ll do that soon actually. However, some of our songs lyrics are supposed to be a bit obscured e.g. like My Bloody Valentine’s – amorphous, giving them enigma and ethereality. What are the main themes? FNF is pure Existentialism, a bit of science and drugs. Circles is disillusion with the phoney veneer of the work ethic, 9-5, drone world. Art Of Viewing is about misusing Remote Viewing in order to reach some girl met on a night out. Flowers is influenced by Chinese and also Japanese poetry – there’s a beautiful, slightly melancholy, ethereal grace and purity to that kind of verse. My Mother is (Singaporean) Chinese and my Dad is English with an Irish background. Messages is mainly about when we were advertising for a bass player on the Internet! Guess, like in most classic Soul and Phil Spector-esque sort of stuff, lost love is a theme in quite a lot of our songs, though most of the time it’s an underlying thing. Overall, I’m aware there's always something to do with being a genuine outsider informing the lyrics – I think that that really is the constant thread.”

14.Throughout the history of popular music, there have been people who could be classed as ‘Born To Be Rock Stars’ and then there are the ‘Unlikely Rock Stars’. But which musicians would you place into either of these categories – and also, where would you place Detachments?
“Overall, we're a bit of both I think. I don't know? All I know is we’re not ordinary people.”

15.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
“Well, if I had to choose a last meal? I think I'd enjoy the cream buns more. But if it was an everyday situation and we'd been on the beers (which seems to be quite a lot of the time) and just needed to grab something – it'd be chips.”

A very special thanks to Sebastien for all of his time and help.

"In futurum videre"

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?