Hi John. This is Daniel from the swiss online magazine Proggies.ch. Thanks for the taking the time to answer some questions about It Bites.
1. Tall Ships was on my top 5 list of 2008. Still like this album very much. Looking back, how did it feel to be „the new boy“ and how was the resonance about Tall Ships?
John: The Tall Ships was very well received indeed although I still to this day have no idea how many units it sold. It was quite daunting to join the band but after 6 years in the role I like to think I’ve made it my own. I’m certainly a lot more comfortable now than I was back then. I hope I’ve been accepted.
Das neue Album von It Bites (Bild: http://www.itbites.com)
2. Can you tell us a little bit about the concept behind Map Of The Past?
John: The idea came from a family portrait of my great grandparents in Cornwall,
November 18th 1913. It was taken outside the family farm. On a trip to
Cornwall I went looking for the building and when I found it I was stunned
to see that it was EXACTLY the same as it was in the photo. The only thing
that was different was that all the people in the photo were by now, no
longer with us. It really struck me. The other thing that struck me was a
man in the photo who was decisively looking away from the camera. Bearing in
mind how long it took to take photos in those days, he had every chance. So
I did some research and it turns out he was the unloved black sheep of the
family who ended up wronging every one. My imagination started running wild!
And now I’ve made him infamous through the medium of album artwork! The
story itself is about a guy who goes back in time and tries to repair things
that went bad in his past in order to fix his present. He manages to avert
certain key disasters in history but ultimately can’t undo his own undoing
and in the end gets lost in history.
3. The songs on Map Of The Past remind me a lot of KINO. Less proggy but more
catchy or let's just say „songorientated“. Intentional?
John: That’s just how I write music I guess. There was a conscious decision not to
think too hard about what we were writing and let things flow naturally. And
Map Of The Past is the result.
4. How long was the production time from writing the album until recording,
mixing and mastering? And did you had the conceptual idea right from the
John: The whole thing took 7 months from start to finish. The concept was there
from the start but I didn’t tell anyone what we were doing until we were
almost done J I had secret meetings with the artwork guy and he’s about the
only one who knew what I was up to J
5. Who writes the brilliant vocal harmonies? Who is responsible for this?
John: Myself and John Beck, although it’s John Beck’s area of expertise so I’ll
let him take most of the credit here.
6. You seemed to grow as an unit. How does it feel today to be back as It
John: It feels really good. I think we’re a bloody good live band and I’m proud of
what we’ve achieved. There was a long legacy to honour and I like to think
I’ve stepped up to the mark.
7. You still perform completely in white on stage?
John: No. That was a Tall Ships theme. We’ll do something different this time
It Bites in concert (Bild: http://www.itbites.com)
8. Your guitar playing is superb! Did you had guitar lessons during youth or
did you teach yourself?
John: I had a bunch of lessons with a guy called Pete Lincoln who is basically my
hero. He’s better known as a backing singer than a guitarist but I learnt so
much about music in general from Pete. He got me into some pretty cool bands
as well. Aside from Pete, I’m self-taught, but I leant Piano and Violin from
the age of 6 so that set me in good stead.
9. Currently you are a member of many bands or projects. Are you a
professional musician or do you have a day job?
John: I produce bands for a living and I run my own studio called Outhouse Studios
in Reading. I’ve been doing that since I was 19. We’ve done some moderately
successful bands in the alternative rock genre such as Architects, You Me At
Six and Enter Shikari. I like to think the studio has a fairly good
10. Any chance to experience It Bites Live on stage in Switzerland in the
John: There are no plans as of yet, but lets see what the year brings. I would
personally love to play in Switzerland.
Thanks and all the best for you and the rest of the band.
Thank you Daniel.
(C) 2012 by proggies.ch