Interview: These New Puritans

Whilst These New Puritans, the band of four from Southend-on-Sea in England, could be considered youngsters to the musical spectrum, their albums suggest otherwise. And, although Beat Pyramid (the band’s debut, released in 2008 on Angular Records) had already confirmed the group as a force to be reckoned with, their latest LP Hidden (released in January 2010 on Domino Records) sees These New Puritans gain maturity and refine their insight, delivering a record imbued with the intensity of a hurricane. We caught up with the band’s de-facto leader Jack Barnett for a quick-fire Q&A right before the fourtet took to the stage at Les Ardentes two weeks back…

Interview and photographs Yana Foque

The Word: What are These New Puritans at the moment?

Jack Barnett: In transition.

TW: For ‘hidden’ you learned how to write music. Do you feel as though this changed your perspective on music in general? Is it much harder now not to see everything in scores?

JB: To an extent. I crave a bit more complexity, but an intuitive feel is just as important /interesting… For me the mysteries keep multiplying. Anyway I don’t know that much. I’ve got a few more.

TW: How do you keep track of your ideas?

JB: With notebooks & files on my laptop. And a couple of dicta-phones. But I try not to let the records of the ideas overtake my grasp of the ideas themselves .

TW: You often claim that lyrics in the song are less important then the structure that embraces it. Would you agree that music speaks louder then words?

JB: My music speaks louder than my words.

TW: Somehow Hidden reminds me of the civilisation of orphans in Italy after WWII. : A group of children who created their own rules and even language. They where fearless and loving at the same time. Could you relate to this perspective and  how is it for you to hear all these different ideas about your music?

JB: I’m not always sure what they mean, but I’m grateful that they’ve been thought about.

TW: What do you want for your future selves?

JB: Prosperity + an electronic piano…

Hidden is out now on Angular and available from iTunes here