Edinburgh quartet Wozniak – named after Apple co-founder Steve of that ilk – might not have met with Woz’s musical approval, but their single-minded approach – and their spearheading of some sort of shoegazing revival – might do just that. We quizzed the four-piece about their mission to shatter eardrums and mesmerise listeners with their multi-layered post rock.
James – evil bass; John – pounding drums; Sarah – hypnotic guitar, Krautrock keys and icy vocals; Simon – tense guitar noise, pedal worrier
Sarah, John and I started Wozniak in the summer of 2012. Sarah and I had been looking to get back into doing music after several years of inactivity. Sarah knew John from work and invited him along to join our short lived covers band Myld Stallyns, but Wozniak quickly became our main focus. We rehearsed for a while as a three-piece, but always with the intention of inviting James along. He and John were friends, and when Wozniak started James was off making a documentary about climbing hills. As soon as he was done, we pounced.
We’re based in Edinburgh.
In no more than five words: quiet intro, build momentum, noise. In more detail, we started with the intention of making long soundscapes, but when we realised how hard that was, we turned our collective attention to making shorter, brooding instrumental tracks with plenty of noise. We’ve got quite a wide spectrum of musical loves, covering everything from shoegaze, hard rock, atonal noise and post-rock. I find it quite tricky to pin us down to one thing: I still describe Wozniak as post-rock, but there’s probably a lot less of that than I think there is. There’s definitely quite a lot of shoegazing influence (I knew it would have its time again…), but there’s also lots of other things – a bit of metronomic Krautrock, some real driving rhythms from James and John’s love of rock, and lots of bursts of loud guitar. We tend to have guitar parts that circle round hypnotically while the bass and drums lock into a pretty evil-sounding beat. We’re very much into repetition and building lots of different parts on top of each other to build into a massive momentum. Our debut, AA-side single, ‘MFMB/New Hampshire’ is a good sample of what we’re about – ‘MFMB’ is an instrumental that builds up and then dies away again before kicking in for a final burst of noise, while ‘New Hampshire’ is one of only two songs that have vocals, and is all swirling fogs of guitars, ringing bass and thundering drums. We’re just in the process of recording some new stuff and that should be available round about April of 2014.
Speaking personally, I was really keen to get back into doing music again after quite a few years of being away from playing in bands, and I think that’s the same for the others. I think our main aim when we started was to play some music and have a bit of a laugh doing so, which is one of the reasons the personal chemistry in the band is so important – it’s always better to be in a band with people who you really like, and the rest of Wozniak are all brilliant people. I’m not sure we had many expectations beyond that, but then we were invited to play some gigs, we were really pleased with the reaction we got, so we started to put on some gigs ourselves and met some great people who came along to the gigs, as well as some really cool, like-minded folk in other bands. From there, we decided that we should record some of our stuff, and the reaction to it has been really positive and we’re all really excited that we’ve managed to connect with other people. We’ve now played with a bunch of other brilliant bands and have made friends with people all over the place. It turns out that turning your amps up, turning on loads of pedals and making some noise in front of cool people is a pretty good experience – who knew?!
Single ‘MFMB’ is available as a pay-what-you-like download at wozniak.bandcamp.com