Despite having already tucked away that all important debut album, and conquered their way through an equally as impressive follow up, WALLS, made up of Alessio Natalizia and Sam Willis, have been keeping themselves a very, very busy duo indeed.
After throwing themselves head-on into yet another project, the music world seemed to cock a suspicious eyebrow in response. Starting their very own label, Ecstatic, in around March of 2013, their joint efforts as WALLS looked to be on the back-burner for some scheduled time to come – and for those with a similar, self-admittedly selfish frame of mind, that settled as a truly horrific concept to come to terms with.
But nevertheless, be it with ECSTATIC, or new music under WALLS, or even the various side projects the pair have been involved in – we wanted to get to know a little more about them as artists.
Does the praise and acclaim from the surrounding musical world, as it watches on for Walls’ next move, ever amount to pressure on your shoulders? Does it ever affect the way in which you carry yourselves as a duo – the actions you take?
Not really – the pressure that we always put on ourselves is much more than we could feel from the outside world.
Whilst the recent arise of your new label, Ecstatic, and of course both of your solo projects, suggest a possible slowing on Walls as a duo – you have just silenced those whispers in spreading the news of a 12” release on Ecstatic this month – Could you tell us a little bit about that release and how it came to be?
The new 12″ evolved through our live show.. A large portion of our performance is given over to jamming and experimentation – these two tracks came about through that – hence their being longer and wilder than some of our previous recordings. Also, this is the first true 12″ we’ve ever done as Walls – the previous ones were all taken from our albums, so we wanted to do something more dance floor based that befitted a 12″ single in its own right.
In a recent interview, you (Alessio) spoke of the new track Urals, and how the musical style of Walls has shifted recently – in length and in melody – does this suggest that if a new album were to emerge, we as fans would be right to expect a taste of something with a different edge on it than your last two – particularly Coracle?
Yes, that’s true – we’re working on new material all the time, and as such, our processes always evolve and change – a big part of which is us not wanting to repeat what we’ve done before. As a result, we can pretty much guarantee that our future releases will continue to differ from the past.
Following that, whilst your self-titled debut and second Coracle had huge success, Is it not fear of success, but perhaps a desire to keep things fresh and exciting that drives you onwards down your current route?
Definitely – both the first and second albums were the result of us being excited about the sounds that we were both creating at the time – it’s natural to want to evolve, even if we have the awareness that the more music that we create, the more of a legacy we build for each successive piece to be held up against, and as such that listeners might have expectations of what Walls music should sound like.
You’ve been known to keep the pressings and production levels of your work on a limited scale – especially with Ecstatic’s first official release Not Waving’s Umwelt – could you tell us a few of the reasons behind this?
We have humble expectations for our label, and would much rather keep it small and personal than try to chase success and press way too many copies that sit around gathering dust. Ultimately the digital will be available (for almost all of our releases) for those who to hear the music, it just might mean that the physical will be a bit harder to track down, that’s all. One things for sure though, we’re not directly profitting from inflated profits on discogs – we’ll be happy to be breaking even soon on the first releases!
Also, as artists, the possibilities afforded by more limited releases means that we can work harder on creating better packaging / bonus materials etc. which would be unrealistic on a release that had larger pressings.
If a new album is to eventually arise from the current new release, will there be any plans to tour the UK with it?
How do you feel about the current turnover of new and independent artists the Internet is catering for? Is having such a wide and open platform a good thing for music as an art form do you think?
Definitely, it’s great that more people can get their music out there.. the one thing is that there’s so much stuff that people tend to gravitate towards.
We here at The Two Way Radio would like to thank Walls for taking the time out of their hectic schedule to talk with us, and we look forward to hearing more music very soon.
– Luke Bartlett