2nd Sept 2016 - Album Premiere at The Thin Air:
With their self-titled debut album set for release on November 25, Derry quartet Invaderband's idiosyncratic brand of garage-laced artrock betrays the hallmarks of a band content in doing things their way without neglecting the power of the hook. Nowhere is that more self-evident than on their forthcoming single ‘Ship of Nothing’, an impossibly earworming three minutes that simultaneously rollicks and lulls via chopping guitar chords, handclaps, seagull samples and organ lines in confident, mercurial synchronicity.
Invaderband songwriter and vocalist Adam Leonard, “Lyrically this record covers a number of disparate bases: The invasion of Iraq, ectoplasm, alien attack and Alan Rickman, and that’s just for starters. Sonically it’s consistent though – a non-stop stream of dynamic post-punk, brushing Krautrock confetti from its shoulders…”
We’re certainly persuaded. Have an exclusive first listen to ‘Ship of Nothing’ below and pre-order Invaderband here.
11/12/15 – More BBC 6 Music airplay for the new single - 6 Music Recommends with Steve Lamacq
04/12/15 – The new single ‘Attack Of The Pod People’ is out today! 3 brand new tracks. BUY HERE.
30/11/15 – BBC 6 Music play the new single! (Steve Lamacq show)
22/10/15 - Hello. Our 2nd single will be landing in a few weeks...
25/6/15 - A still from Music City...
16/06/15 – Proud to be playing at Music City 2015 soon...
30/05/15 – Last night we played The Atlantic Bar, Portrush, opening for The Alabama 3. Here's a couple of photos:
11/5/15 - Nine questions with Adam Leonard. The Active Listener Interview.
08/05/15 – Adam Leonard interviewed by Brian Coney @ The Thin Air.
"In the latest installment of our new act feature, Inbound, we traipse to Derry for a chat with new-fangled, Adam Leonard-fronted four-piece Invaderband, also comprised of members including singer-songwriter Chris McConaghy AKA Our Krypton Son..."
First off, can you tell us how Invaderband came about?
It’s all Chris McConaghy’s fault! He forced me into it. I’m kind of joking, but it certainly wouldn’t have happened without repeated encouragement from Chris and him offering to be in the band. I did want to play live more but I wasn’t getting much out of playing solo/acoustic, so this was a solution and I went for it. Around the same time I saw the band Das Motorik playing upstairs in The Castle Bar in Derry and the music was really fresh and exciting and they struck me as total dudes, wearing Hawaiian shirts and just doing their own thing. I later found out that Das Motorik were the McCartney brothers (Rion & Gavin) who both have serious pedigree in a number of great Derry bands, but as an “outsider” (invader?) from Manchester I didn't know this. I'm lucky to have all 3 of them.
Who all is involved in the project?
Myself, Chris McConaghy (Our Krypton Son, ex-Red Organ Serpent Sound), Gavin McCartney & Rion McCartney (both: The Murder Balladeers, Das Motorik, ex-Here Comes The Landed Gentry).
You've tipped your hat to the likes of Roy Harper, Robyn Hitchcock and the Incredible String Band. How do you think that influence informs your sound?
I’m a big fan of Harper & Hitchcock (not so much ISB), but those references only relate to my solo work. Invaderband is really quite different – see my answer to the next question...
On first listen, your lead single 'The Implausible Man' is redolent of not only a bygone time, but also somewhere far beyond these shores. Was that a consicous choice or incidental?
It’s a very intentional late ‘70s sound, be that punk/post-punk/art-punk bands like John Foxx’s Ultravox (pre-‘Vienna’, pre-Midge Ure) and The Soft Boys, with a touch of Brian Eno and some Krautrock influences. Magazine, The Fall, Wire, Swell Maps & The Stranglers are being mentioned in the same breath as Invaderband, which is both brilliant and massively flattering.
The song is driven by its upbeat pace and tone. Is that representative of your material written to date?
Yes. It’s very representative of the album, which is mainly short, punchy songs with a couple of longer and more Krautrock-influenced ones to get your teeth into.
The track is taken from Invaderband's forthcoming debut album. How was the writing and recording process for that?
The album was recorded extremely fast in about 3 days. Time and money constraints forced us to use what time we had cleverly, and we got it all done really quickly. There was no agonising over specific parts or endless re-takes, the vast majority of it was first takes, and I think you can feel that in the recordings. They’re spontaneous, not overworked. We were all in the zone.
I wrote all the songs on the album apart from one which is co-written with Gareth Davies, a friend of mine from Manchester. But the band are all writers, so I see Phase II of Invaderband being more collaborative in terms of writing. Our most recent track ‘Handcuffed Man Shoots Himself’ (not on the album) was definitely a full band effort.
Is there a thematic or conceptual thread that runs through the songs on the album?
Absolutely not. My songs are all over the place. Love rarely gets a mention. It’s more fear, KitKats and submarines. I suppose a couple of the songs are connected to the sea (an ongoing mild obsession of mine), but then we have a song about séances and ectoplasm, one about alien invasion, one about Alan Rickman … you get the picture.
However the sound of the album brings it all together. Regardless of song subjects, it flows really well and it has an urgency that draws you in. I don’t take myself too seriously, but I take the music seriously and this album is the best thing I’ve ever been involved with.
How do you think these songs differ from solo material you've released in the past?
I suppose the bulk of my solo stuff is more acoustic, pastoral or “folk” for want of a better word. However I don’t feel in any way constrained by that and I have made many different types of music over the years which is unrecognisable from a “singer-songwriter” sound (the recent 64-track ‘Octopus’ retrospective demonstrates that). Invaderband is fascinating to me as songs literally come alive when played with a band. They travel to a different place. For 12 years I worked pretty much alone, on and off stage so this is a breath of fresh air.
Touching on the bigger picture: what are your thoughts on the L/Derry music scene at the minute - is it in good health?
I feel that Derry is thriving when it comes to music. Some of the local music is not to my taste, but then I’m extremely discerning (i.e. fussy!). But it’s undoubtedly a very creative place and I’ve found most people to be very open to ideas and supportive of what other people are doing.
As for Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland: is there anything in particular catching your ear?
Chris McConaghy (Our Krypton Son) is a truly gifted artist and musician. His 2nd album is going to be exceptional and I hope it takes him where he deserves to go. (I thought this before I became friends with him, btw, so this is not a biased opinion!) I also rate Rory Moore’s music very highly (he plays/records under the name Strength). He’s a fantastic songwriter, musician and singer, and I’m looking forward to hearing his album which I believe is now finished. There are a couple of newish Derry bands I saw recently too, one called Autumns and one called Fabric, both of which I found to be really fresh and exciting. Outside of Derry, I like what I've heard of Girls Names & Not Squares (both from Belfast I think), but I'm probably not as informed on local (or indeed modern) music as I could be.
Finally, what are yours plans for getting the album out there and playing shows to promote it?
I’m approaching labels now. I’ve had 4 “No”s so far but I will not be dissuaded. This record deserves a bigger audience than what could be achieved through a self-release. I want to get another single out before the album, so I’m on the hunt for a label who will put out a single and/or the album. Gig-wise, we’ve a number in the pipeline in Northern Ireland, and some in England too over the summer - Liverpool & Manchester confirmed so far - more will be added soon. See invaderband.com for details!
18/04/15 – Record Store Day. ‘The Implausible Man’ is released today. Get it here.
12/04/15 - Footage from last night's debut single launch show at Sandinos, Derry:
11/04/15 – Tonight we launch the debut single with a gig at Sandinos, Derry. LIMITED ADVANCE COPIES AVAILABLE. FREE SINGLE FOR FIRST 30 HUMAN ENTRANTS. Come. It will be special.
09/04/15 – BBC Radio Foyle – Live session & interview.