Idealistics who, what and why?
Ali: Currently we're a duo, but we think we've found our new drummer!
We met through our love of Manic Street Preachers and George adores
playing guitar and writing songs and I love playing bass and writing
lyrics, so there was a clear road to take.
* Describe your sound to a sleepy alien with space dust in her ears.
Ali: Our sound is definitely alternative rock, but I feel that's a very
broad term. You can always count on catchy guitar riffs, drilling basslines
and thundering drums.
George: And it's got to be exciting, if it doesn't excite us, we don't
* What is the live Idealistics experience like?
Ali: Love it when the crowd are singing along and jumping around if
they can, just if they're clearly enjoying themselves, that always makes
us have a good time!
George: Playing songs live can also completely change how we feel about
them, so we find it really fun. Sometimes a song doesn't properly click
with us until we play it on stage.
* Tell us a bit about your ep 'Grades in Ignorance' its title,
writing, recording, tracks, reception etc
Ali: We had so many songs that we were sitting on and we had to sit
down and pull out a few that would work on the EP. GNS reflects on cruelty
in the Equine industry, Red Biro is all about my experiences at school.
Not only did I have bullying from fellow peers but from teachers as
well (nothing to do with my current college, I absolutely love the people
there as I have very supportive friends and teachers). Bleed For Me
A Melody is one we had for ages, it's one of the first songs we put
together as a band and it is a triumphant song about getting over some
incredible struggles in life. Sunlit Candles was a last minute decision
to have on the EP, my beloved horse passed away the week we were due
to record and I wrote the lyrics for her about how much she helped me,
although the lyrics apply kind of to any of the animals I've cared for
and how much they support me. Finally, Glycol is about how destructive
humanity is and how we never learn from our mistakes and we still continue
to wipe out millions and it's disgusting. Grades in Ignorance is a line
from Glycol and it just stuck, we're taught from a young age not just
in schools but in media and all sorts, to just turn our backs on the
suffering so we pretend it doesn't happen.
George: The writing process was Ali would send over the lyrics and I
would read them and it usually suggested a clear direction for the music.
I wrote the riff to GNS over the top of horse racing video I found online
which helped give it the momentum. Also the chorus is in F Lydian to
give it more drive if anyone's interested in that. Red Biro I knew needed
to have a darkness in the music, the chorus came first, the time signature
was 4/4 originally but I just couldn't come up with a verse that worked
so I changed it to 3/4 and a verse riff came that flowed perfectly into
the chorus. Ali and I then worked on a bassline that would roll along,
harmonising with the guitar. It's also got this harsh, early muse-esk
solo, we really like how that came out. Bleed For Me A Melody has so
much vulnerability and it builds into something so big and powerful,
I think we really captured that one. It started off simple and straightforward
and then when we played it as a band it just started to breathe and
sing. I also tried to capture the emotional guitar style of David Gilmour
and others like him in the end solo. The music for Sunlit Candles was
something I came up with ages ago and shelved. When Ali's horse passed
away it hit us both, when she sent over the lyrics they were hard to
read but I had that old tune in the back of my head and it just leapt
forward so I got my acoustic and played it to Ali and I think we both
ended up crying, it fitted perfectly. Glycol excited us from the start,
it has been changed around a bit since the first demo but it's always
had the same lyrics and the same guitar riff on the chorus. When we
played it as a full band it hit us like a tonne of bricks (in a good
* Who are your heroes, musical, artistic, sporting, political, other?
Ali: Musical heroes are definitely Manic Street Preachers, all three
of them are so amazingly talented in what they do. We also have a lot
of respect for Suede, they also have their own world they created themselves
and that's so impressive. I have heroes that I know personally such
as my Grandma who is a concentration camp survivor and she is so courageous
and my family are my heroes. As for politics, it's hard to know who
is actually doing anything helpful at the moment but people like Nye
Bevan and George Orwell for his political literature.
George: Yeah, there are a lot of people who have done huge things for
human rights, I think Siân James is wonderful, she's done so many
brilliant things for so many people. Also, I wouldn't class him as an
hero for a various reasons, but Bowie is definitely a huge influence
on me musically and creatively.
* What is the relative importance of technical skill, lyrical relevance
and unexpected creativity in the Idealistics manifesto?
Ali: I personally love music I can really relate to, I want people to
hear the lyrics and go 'I understand that and someone else does too'
and George is just amazing, he writes the music once we have the lyrics
so that the music mimics the lyrics in their meaning so it isn't just
words sung to a melody, it's a whole piece of art with a meaning. We
really strive for that and that's what we enjoy doing most.
George: Creativity is very important, and I don't mean just a mess of
noise, it still needs to make me feel something. The thing I always
look for in music is hearing someone push themselves technically and
creatively, I love hearing something and thinking "I want to do
* What would you write in red biro?
Ali: A hole in your path can be leapt or fallen in, but either action
uses your legs.
* The Manics, a band who've been established since before you were
born, are clearly a big influence on you, can you explain this??
Ali: My older brother is a massive fan of them and used to play them
all the time round the house. I was about four years old when I first
heard them and they were always in my childhood. As a band the things
they've been through, since they were children with the miners strikes,
then into having their early band career which threw massive hurdles
at them and then into their late career. They show so much, they've
got so much lyrically and musically. They're so talented and as people
are so inspiring, they've changed lives and that's incredibly powerful.
George: I always knew the singles and knew of them but it wasn't until
they released Rewind The Film and I started hearing songs like Anthem
For A Lost Cause and being old enough to understand the importance of
the lyrics and how James made the music sing so beautifully. From then
it developed into obsession.
*There's been a bit effort to get women more fairly represented
in rock, but there still seems a long way to go. What do you think?
Ali: There is such a long way to go, I love seeing a lovely little breakthrough
of more women in rock, there's The Anchoress, Wolf Alice, The Big Moon,
Estrons and many others. But just as in any other part of society there's
still so much more that needs to be done and a long way to go.
George: I think it's been a long time coming, it's great to see the
bands Ali mentioned do what they do. I also really love Desperate Journalist,
Orchards, Honeyblood and Pins along with a load of others, I think they
do an amazing job and its just a shame they dont have more
* You've been eager to pin your colours to the Love Music Hate Racism
mast, do you believe that music should have a message?
Ali: I think music is so unbelievably personal, I understand why some
people write about what they write about. But because my lyrics come
so personally for me from raw emotion it can be happy, sad or angry
but often that's why they have a lot of meaning. Politics, welfare rights,
mental and physical health, etc. I just have no interest in writing
love songs, it's been there done that and it's been bled a bit dry;
I think many people have done it often because they don't know what
else to write about. I love listening to lyrics with meaning and writing
lyrics with meaning, art has always been a great way of making a statement.
But that's just my personal opinion.
George: I think music is the perfect platform to get a message across.
The thought that billions of people around the world can sing along
to the same words, why not make those words count?
* If you could play a festival with 5 other bands (current or not),
who would you chose?
Ali: Obviously we'd have to have Manics because that's a dream come
true. Suede as well that would be truly amazing. Wolf Alice, Sophie
Ellis-Bextor and Pat Benatar. We'd also invite tons of guests on because
that would be great fun.
George: I'd say at the moment it would be Manics, Suede, David Bowie
would be amazing, Annie Lennox and Rush.
* What next for Idealistics?
Ali: We're really hoping to get back on the live music scene, due to
my health and having no drummer we were pushed back but we are definitely
coming back to that and an album is on the horizon. We're working to
release a charity single in aid of Ehlers Danlos UK Charity so that'll
be coming soon which is really exciting.
George: We definitely have enough songs for an album or two already,
plus we're writing new songs constantly so there's going to be a fire
burning in us for a long time!
* How can our readers hear your music? Why should they bother?
Ali: Come to live gigs when we play, contact us as we still have physical
copies of the EP and online (Order from the R*E*P*E*A*T Bandcamp here
- Ed). Why bother? Well because we're fresh and new and have so much
to say and give, we want to be the music you listen to and can laugh
and cry to.
* What's best, chips or cream buns?
Ali: Chips, all the way. Especially cheesy chips.
George: Chips with lots of salt and vinegar.