And Also The trees: A four petal clover
Interview by : Guillermo escudero
for. Música Marginal , N. 6, 1995
They are original, cool and it's the cult band that makes
the most elegant pop music on earth. The vocalist and owner of most of the
lyrics give us an interview to "Música Marginal".
AATT are Steven Burrows (bass), Simon Huw Jones
(singer), Nick Havas (drums), and Justin Jones ( guitars and keyboards).
Please Tell us briefly how the group started.
S.J : We were two sets
of brothers, living in a very quiet village in the middle of England. We loved music and spent a lot of time listening to
it. There wasn´t much to do for teenagers in the village so we decided to form a punk band. By the time we'd learnt
to make noises with the instruments that resembled songs, punk rock had burnt out. We followed what seemed to be a natural
evolution with the ambition of playing a gig of our songs in front of an audience, which along with playing for our favorite
football team in a full stadium, seemed like the most fantastic experience imaginable. We played live for the first time in
1981 and felt like we just wanted to
do it again and again, so we did. Never played for Aston Villa F.C
We understand that the line-up of the group
hasn´t changed since then, how have you managed this?
S.J: Nick's brother graham
left after a year or two of trying, without success, to find a record company,it's a good job he left then, he
wanted things to happen quickly. Anyway, Steven joined. He
was from the village and a friend from childhood too and although there
have been times when I'd have like to have ripped his head
off and I'm sure he has felt similar surges of extremely violent acts
towards me, his rol in the band has always been as important
as anyone else's. We're like a brotherhood, it would be very hard to
continue as AATT if anyone of us left.
we would like to know what does inspire you music?
S.J: So would I , then I could
answer this damn question that keeps getting asked. If we were asked what doesn't inspire your music. it
would be equally difficult.
We think there is a lot of Romanticism in the music
of AATT, do you agree?
S.J: We all have our
definition of the word "romantic". Some people would say that the 4 AD bands played romantic music and
altough I've liked some of those bands, I'm glad we were never one
of them. That sort of music has a kind of beauty and frailty...I've
always hoped there was more to us than that. I can hardly deny the
romantic influences in our albums "the millpond years" and
"Farewell to the shade" though. We were very inspired by the paintings
of the pre-Raphaelites at the end of the last century. In the last few years though , they've become very popular in
England and you see them everywhere you look. It's not that we're being precious,
it's just that when certain things become
omnipresent they loose their meaning.
How could you describe the evolution of the music
S.J: That's not easy because
we have never followed any movements or fashions, our music has changed as we have changed as
people, as our tastes have changed. We still believe in passion,
soul, melody...this all sounds like we take ourselves too seriously, we
don´t, we have great fun making music, but we're serious about it.
We want it to be powerful and to provoke emotions, but we also want
it to be pleasing to listen to. We've moved around in time a lot
with our music, the album we're working on now is well into the first half
of this century.
Do you play live often? what kind of experience does
it give you? is there any special place you want to play?
S.J: We tour in France
, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland to promote new albums these days. In the past we used to play whenever anyone organized
some gigs for us, but that's not possible anymore because we don´t all live together in the village now, and
rehearsals have become more difficult and expensive to organize.
We've played live about two hundred and fifty times in our history.
We've never been the kind of band who can switch to auto-pilot and
just run through our songs on stage, we give everything we have to
the songs we play.
This makes touring a very exhausting
experience, but I think we're a good live band and our efforts are appreciated. When we are
touring I sometimes have the feeling that then, everything makes
It's an ancient occupation travelling from
town to town playing your music to people...it's very enjoyable and it makes you tired in a
similar way to... manual work. You sleep well and life makes sense.
Sometimes when I'm working at lyrics and not getting anywhere I
wonder what the fuck I'm doing with my life. On stage we get very
involved, I follow the lyrics as far as my mind can make them. If we're
playing "The Flatlands" for example, I want to see the woman waiting
at the gate and the snow clouds behind the elm trees, I want to
travel in my mind and be with her picking violets beneath the pylons.
Of course, it's not always possible but when we get there it's a
magical experience, like entering a dream.
There isn´t a special place we'd like to play,
we like playing in different, new places though. It would be great to play in Chile.