Interview: Hyde & Beast

Futureheads’ Dave Hyde and ex Golden Virgins’ drummer Neil Bassett have truly taken a DIY approach to their new collective moniker.

Posted on Jul 13th, 2011 in Features and Interviews, Hyde & Beast / By Alex Yau
Hyde & Beast With involvement with Field Music’s Dave Brewis and Barry Hyde, frontman of the Futureheads and brother of Dave, Hyde and Beast’s music will be released on the pair's own record label Tail Feather Records. Check out their latest video for ‘(And the) Pictures in the Sky' here

Bearded also caught up with the guys for a small chat:

From the Youtube comments for 'Pictures in the Sky,' a few people think you sound like the Beatles or T Rex. Was this a conscious decision?

Neil : We are both into quite gentle music really. Hippy shit!! I mean we both like the Beatles & T-Rex so if that’s coming across in the music then that’s cool. But we didn’t set out to sound like anything in particular on purpose. Making the record was a bit like making soup (Which is something I excel at!).

With you both being from Sunderland and having a strong friendship already, did this make it easier and fun to collaborate and work together?

Dave : Making the album was an absolute giggle. Every session was a giggle. There was no pressure and it was easy. It was probably this way because we were already friends. I can't imagine going into a studio with someone I didn’t know and asking them to try and re-create a Roxy Music saxophone solo by letting air out of a balloon and then chasing it round the studio with a microphone, but that’s the type of shit me and Beast got up to.

Hyde and Beast - it sounds like quite a literary reference. Was that the case when choosing the name and why did you choose it?

Neil : I’m not sure if that makes it less literary or not. I don’t think we were thinking about literature at all when we decided on it. It’s much more puerile than that. Hyde is Dave Hyde and I am Neil Bassett. Hyde & Bassett just sounds stupid, therefore I became Beast and hey presto: Hyde & Beast. I discovered one day that an anagram of Neil Bassett was "Silent Beast". This made us laugh and laugh and it stuck.

In 'Pictures in the Sky,' there's an optimism in the journey that you depict.

Neil : There are quite a few solemn songs on our album. They all sound quite summery and gentle but the lyrics often deal with things like relationships going sour, mental illness, death and infidelity. ‘Pictures in the Sky’ is probably the most happy and optimistic song on the album. When I was trying to contribute lyrics, Dave would often point out mine were often a bit dark! We are not really like that in life though. Just easy going clowns!

With the two of you too, you've got quite a minimal sound. Is this the case with other songs by the band?

Dave : ‘Pictures’ is definitely the most minimal on the album. Neil and I would often get carried away with overdubs and backwards sounds and stuff. There is a lot of milking going on in this record but a lot of it is quite subtle. It’s a headphone album, you need to listen with headphones to hear all the mad hidden milk in there ... don’t let the milk go sour.