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  • Break It Down: The Accidental

    Tue, 20 May 2008 13:50:22

    Break It Down: The Accidental - We talk with the U.K.'s DIY folk quartet

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    Indie-folk quartet The Accidental are one of the rare bands today that seem content letting their songwriting speak for itself. The U.K. natives' debut album, There Were Wolves, patches together a collection of home recordings with a warm DIY sound that makes the group's delicate multi-part harmonies and hushed guitar melodies immediately endearing. To learn a little more about this homespun folk and the up-and-coming musicians behind it, we caught up with The Accidental's Stephen Cracknell and Sam Genders to discuss the music industry, unbearable day jobs and timeless condiments.

    What have you been listening to lately?

    Sam Genders: Serafina Steer, Soy Un Caballo, M Craft, Richard and Linda Thompson.

    Stephen Cracknell: Fleet Foxes, Human Bell, Nancy Elizabeth and lots of Pharaoh Sanders.

    Where's your favorite place to chill?

    Sam Genders: Lying in the sun on Clapham Common near my house or in my room with a good book after a great day that involved friends, food and swimming.

    Stephen Cracknell: The Jurassic Coast, Dorset , England. Sam is going there soon I believe.

    What's the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?

    Sam Genders: I've always tended to work alongside the music—in bars or in carework of various kinds. I once took an awful job in a call centre—cold calling people on a bank holiday and trying to make them answer a ten-minute questionnaires. I lasted exactly two and a half hours and then went and joined my friends drinking cold beers in the sun by the Thames.

    Stephen Cracknell: Walked out of a supermarket with a bag full of food without paying.

    Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics.

    Sam Genders: Serafina Steer has a song called "Tiger That I Love." It's about a Tiger that escapes from the circus and brilliantly conjures up all kinds of images. Peach Heart is another of hers with great words.

    Stephen Cracknell: “Monday Morning” by Cyril Tawney.

    "Too soon to be out of me bed, Too soon to be back to this bus queue caper, Fumbling for change for me picture paper, On a Monday morning. Oh, where has the weekend gone? Oh, where are the wine and the beer I tasted? Gone the same way as the pay I wasted, On a Monday morning. If only the birds were booze, If only the sun was a party giver, If I could just give someone else me liver, On a Monday morning. My lover she lies asleep, My lover is warm, and her heart is mellow, I'd give the whole world just to share her pillow, On a Monday morning."

    What is your most cherished musical instrument or accessory?

    Sam Genders: I play a Harptone guitar that was made in New Jersey in 1973 and is cracked and warped but gorgeous. It's not actually mine but is on semi permanent loan from a folk singer called John Tams who I met in a pub in Derbyshire about ten years ago. It never gets left in the tour van but joins me in my hotel or even tent when we tour.

    Stephen Cracknell: An old 1970s Gibson EBO bass.

    If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?

    Sam Genders: There's so much that is good and great about the industry—it's always rewarding to see people taking risks and supporting new talent. So, more of that please. And it's great when you meet the many people who are in it for the music and the people and are not too bogged down in what's cool.

    Stephen Cracknell: Everybody talking about the industry and not the music.

    What never goes out of style?

    Sam Genders: Love, friendship and HP Sauce.

    Stephen Cracknell: Love.

    What's the theme song to your life?

    Sam Genders: "Getting Better" by The Beatles.

    Stephen Cracknell: "Desolation Row" by Bob Dylan.

    What movies, artists, authors or athletes inspire you the most?

    Sam Genders: I read a book called The Mastery Of Love recently by Don Miguel Ruiz. I found that very inspiring. I love Murakami and Phillip Pullman. I loved the language and images in Moby Dick and Ted Hughes is brilliant. I loved the Frida Kahlo and Roussea exibitions in London last year and I'm not a big follower of sports but those clips of the best goals you see during international football tournaments always put me in awe of what a person can learn to do when they set their mind and body to it.

    Stephen Cracknell: Kurt Vonnegut, Jim Jarmusch and John Coltrane.

    What's your favorite way to stay in shape?

    Sam Genders: Swimming and running.

    Stephen Cracknell: Cycling.

    What non-musician would you most like to meet?

    Sam Genders: Einstein.

    Stephen Cracknell: Never meet your heroes is a good motto.

    What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

    Sam Genders: Cheddar cheese.

    Stephen Cracknell: I have lots of pleasures, never been big on guilt personally.

    Are you on MySpace?

    Stephen Cracknell: Yes.

    Sam Genders: myspace.com/theaccidental

    There Were Wolves comes out June 3 on Thrill Jockey Records

    The ARTISTdirect Staff
    05.20.08



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