Interview: Safari

By on Tuesday, 19th April 2011 at 12:00 pm

Emmy was able to get a moment of London band Safari‘s time to ask them some questions. Like how exactly they got to the band name of “Safari”…read on…

First off, a simple background check question. How, when and why did the band form and what are the roles of each member?
We took a risk to change our name after recording an album and realising that we weren’t the same band that we were a year before. Our sound has changed and so had our outlook on life, it seemed fitting put a new name to this new era of our music! We have Ian Larter on guitar and lead vocals. Robert Hardy on keyboards, guitar, backing vocals (le multi tasker). Jonny Flynn on keyboards. Craig Miller on Bass. And Sim Smith on drums and drum machine button tapper.

Who thought of the band name Safari? Have any band members been on one? What other band names, if any, did the group consider?
It’s hard to say whose idea Safari was. We went through a process of writing down hundreds of different ideas one night…getting to a point where words such as Lamp, Yak, and Bulb all seemed appealing and bold… Luckily, we snapped out of it and settled on Safari. It means “Journey” in Swahili…a perfect metaphor to what being in a band is all about…but unfortunately no one in the band is yet to partake on a true Safari!

Upon listening to the very catchy “Reason”, some listeners might hear influences of bands such as Foals and Surfer Blood, and perhaps some ’80s new wave bands like Duran Duran. But how would you describe your sound and what are your influences?
It’s always interesting to hear what people compare your music too…Duran Duran is a first, but maybe some of those sounds soaked in during childhood days out in the family Ford Escort! I guess our sound merges electronic and indie (our label is independent!). Our influences as individuals are all quite varied…from dubstep to folk! There are elements of all different genres that we enjoy…our songs on the whole have a strong sense of melody, and a strong rhythm. I guess that’s an influence of bands like Animal Collective and Daft Punk. We trust each other’s judgment and spend hours trying things out. We also spent some time recently in Berlin and you begin to understand how a city can influence a bands sound, the rhythmic sound of the trams and the grid layout seems to lend itself to an electronic outlook!

What would you consider to be the most exciting part of the overall music scene last year? Any particular bands stand out?
These New Puritans‘ album ‘Hidden’ was a highlight for several of us in 2010, along with the steady rise of the xx who actually made it down to one of our early shows at the Social in London. The sun shining at Bestival last year was also a massive plus.

If you could recommend three albums from any genre and any time period, what would they be?
Forward Russia – ‘Bring Me a Wall’
Daft Punk – ‘Discovery’
Depeche Mode – ‘Violator’

Lastly, what’s on tap for the band as a whole?
I’m not sure we have anything on tap?!? Social interaction maybe, “your never alone with the internet”, although that does sound like a moto for some scary cult! Let’s just say creativity at the moment, we are in a good place in terms of our songwriting and artwork. We went through a bad period just after our last band split up, but I think we just needed to recharge the batteries and change the barrel! If people want to check out what we’re doing, we’d love them to check out our Facebook page.

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