EMQ’s With ATTRITION
Hi Everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with UK Dark Industrial Electronic act, Attrition. Huge thanks to main man Martin Bowes for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Martin Bowes… I sing and use a lot of electronic instruments… I have a studio full of them here!
ATTRITION was born in Coventry at the end of 1980… originally a post punk guitar / bass / drum line up, it soon transformed into a more and more electronic band. Then later still took on classical influences in violas / cellos / violins… creating music from dark rhythmic electronic / industrial songs to more atmospheric soundtracks… We have released something like 30 albums to date and toured all over the world…
How did you come up with your band name?
It was derived from “War of ATTRITION”… a name used to describe the First World War… my Grandad had fought on the Western front and was wounded at Ypres in Belgium in 1917. It held a bizarre fascination for me. I finally recorded an album of WW1 War Poetry (of all sides) in 2015 with Anni Hogan (Of Marc and the Mambas fame).
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I’m from Coventry, UK… the scene is actually really picking up again after a quieter few years and Covid of course… helped by the fact that a lot of money was put into Coventry during its year as City of Culture.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We are completing our new album, “The Black Maria” this year, and in the meantime have just had a 40 year collection released on US label Sleepers Records…on Vinyl and digital formats… you can listen to it on out official Bandcamp site.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Musically I’ve been influenced by punk and the post punk of bands like Joy Division, PIL, Magazine, Cabaret Voltaire etc. etc., but so much of everyday life influences what I do and what I write…
What first got you into music?
Punk rock in the late 70’s blew me away and totally inspired me to make music. I started out writing a fanzine, “Alternative Sounds” here in Coventry (ran 18 issues from 1979 – 1981) then knew I had to start a band…
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
We have played many over the years and we’ve toured all over the world… on 4 continents so far… so I can’t say there is a festival I need to play, but I’m always excited with every gig we do, from the smallest club to the largest stage. I actually prefer the atmosphere in a smaller club than in a field!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
That some fans named their child after one of my songs… ‘A girl called Harmony’ to be exact… our most well known song (from 1991)… I’ve since met 2 women in the USA that were named after it….
best review ever!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love the freedom to create, and the travel it has meant and meeting so many like minded people… like a world music community if you like… and with my work in my studio (The Cage) producing and mastering for other bands has meant I can live outside of the mainstream world a lot of the time… I’m grateful for that.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
A good question… it has changed in so many ways over the past 40 years… but in other ways it is pretty much the same… it’s always about dedication and hard work and belief in yourself. I do like the way that there is a lot more independent control of your own career now, although it still needs the same amount of work as record companies and booking agents would put in. I think sometimes bands think they can bypass everything and I don’t think they can. I like the fact that there are so many formats for music these days too… from Vinyl to streaming and YouTube and merch sales… I like it…so in answer I don’t think there is much I would change right now!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Joy Division – “Unknown Pleasures”.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?
I love the fact that there are so many ways of listening to music… they all have their good points and as long as people are into listening to music, in whatever format, then that’s fine by me!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Some amazing ones over the years. its so hard to choose just one. Playing places like Hawaii, Tokyo, Siberia… places I’d always wanted to go to has been an incredible journey. Oh, and one of the worst places we played was CBGB’s in New York…. But I’m still glad we played there…
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I started out as an art student, painting and sculpting… dropped out for music… so I guess I would still be an artist. I often think of returning to that later in life. During lockdown I started to learn to make videos and made my first last year for our last single… do check it out here…
ATTRITION – The Alibi – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-yAqSkzybE
What’s next for the band?
We are so pleased to be out performing again after Covid. We’ve played 4 shows in the UK so far, but talking to European promoters and further afield… we hope to play the South American tour soon, that was scrapped in 2020. In the meantime I am completing the long awaited new album, “The Black Maria” and hope to release this, in all formats, by the end of this year.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
I try to be very active on social media… so here are few to try!
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Haha…. I have been vegan for 23 years and can’t even remember what they are like!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for the interview… I hope people will explore the music further…
Martin Bowes, Coventry, England. March 2022
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