Alphabetical Order Orchestra are three members from the late My Latest Novel, plus two additional members. They have just put out their debut EP, AAO1. Tomatrax caught up with Gary from the band to discuss their music.
Where did the name Alphabetical Order Orchestra come from?
It was a name that Ryan (our drummer) came up with a few years ago. He has a habit of coming up with long lists of various names for projects and writing them in notepads. He has 2,048 different names to date. We plan to use them all.
A number of the band’s members were in My Latest Novel, do you see Alphabetical Order Orchestra as a completely separate band or the continuation of the previous band?
We consider it to be a completely separate band. Obviously there are similarities as our singing voices are the same, but it would be disrespectful to Tiziano and Al’s big contribution to AOO (and Paul and Laura’s to MLN) to consider them to be one and the same. At recent shows we have played I Declare A Ceasefire and we don’t have any problem playing MLN songs as AOO. It’s just that we want to do something new.
You named the EP AOO 1, will this be followed up by AOO 2 and so on?
We hope to release something else this year, but we have no idea what it might be called yet. That would seem like the normal thing to do, but maybe we will call it BOO1.
The EP covers a fair few musical styles, was it intended to make the EP a mix of sounds?
I don’t really think so. I think we were just experimenting and finding our sound and finding things we liked as a 5 piece. We always try to push ourselves and surprise people too. It was really fun to make the EP which is important. With Supergods, for example, we were trying sounds and ideas we hadn’t ever tried before. It’s interesting that people have described it as R&B influenced. That’s not something that was ever used to describe MLN. It’s pretty cool.
Was it hard to pick what went onto the EP?
We only recorded one more song (‘Butterflies’) in the studio as part of the same sessions, but it didn’t seem to fit in with the others. It’ll probably be included on something in future. We also have another 6 or 7 songs which are unrecorded at present. The plan would be to use some of these in future.
What is the relationship between the subjects listed out in The Corrections?
That song was written in really bizarre circumstances. I don’t really want to go into the details too much as I think it might spoil it. I can say that the song is about a person, and it’s about how human beings remember things. I’m quite a nostalgic guy.
You did a Kickstarter campaign to fund the EP in hard copy, are these kinds of campaigns the way to fund albums in the future?
I think so. It was good for us as it committed us to the project. We tend to procrastinate and then go through phases where we write a lot. By setting up the Kickstarter campaign it forced us into action.
I think generally it’s good to bring artists directly to their fans and potentially make a little money from their recordings. Labels don’t have as much money as they probably did in the past so it’s very difficult to fund a release. I don’t know if it’s the future for everyone, but it worked really well for us.
You’re also put out the EP as a 10 inch vinyl, do vinyls still play an important role in music releases?
People seem to be more interested in buying vinyl at the moment so, yes it does play an important role in music. I don’t know whether it’s a nostalgic thing or whether it concerns being able to hold the artwork to an album, but I think it’s great. More and more indie artists are releasing vinyl, tapes, CDs, whatever and it’s good to be able to play with the format as well as the music and the artwork.
You’ve mentioned working on your next EP, how will this compare with your debut release?
Nobody knows yet. We have a lot of ideas at the moment and we need to record some of them.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
I haven’t listened to My Latest Novel for years. I think during the recording process you analyse every detail and you kind of tire yourself out a bit. You get really close to it obviously and it’s different to listen to it once it’s finished and committed to CD and released. I try to look forward as much as possible when it comes to making music. I think if I listened to MLN I’d get depressed.
What music do you listen to?
Recently I’ve liked the latest albums by Viet Cong, Father John Misty, Angel Olsen, Ought. I listened to the song ‘Holy Shit’ by Father John Misty 11 consecutive times. I also found a song I liked called ‘White Trash VHS’ by Coma Cinema on Bandcamp but I don’t know anything else about them.
I went through a bit of a Kraftwerk phase recently too after a BBC documentary.
I also seem to be listening to Beatles solo albums. That’s probably really uncool. Plastic Ono Band, Ram, McCartney II and Mind Games are great albums though. I think if the Beatles had released an album in the early 1970s it would have been one of their best.
Now that the debut EP is out, what do you plan doing next?
It’d be nice to play some gigs. We’ve been a bit stop/start with that over the last few years. We’ll probably record a few more songs first and then look to play live though.
Check out the band’s website to find out more!