An Interview With: Echobelly

Posted: Tuesday 4 September 2018

Ahead of their anticipated performance at Star Shaped Festival, we caught up with Echobelly's Glenn Johansson to talk all things Britpop and what the future holds for the band.

How does it feel to be a part of the Star Shaped Festival line-up this year?

We’re really looking forward to playing Star Shaped Festival this year.  Should be great fun.

Have you got any big plans or surprises for your set?

With these sort of shows, it's important to play at least a few of the ‘hits’, so people can sing along and get into the vibe, so expect some favourites from across the years!

The festival is a big celebration of Britpop, what do you think makes the genre and scene so special?

It was the last great celebration of what this nation had to offer in all forms of cultural identity, including art and fashion.

Have you noticed it having a rebirth recently?

Yes, definitely. Over the last few years there has been a noticeable come-back of artists from the Britpop era, which is great to see.

Is it strange coming back into a newly reinvigorated scene, more than a decade after it was first popular?

We haven't really gone away, as we’re now on our sixth studio album, though we did have some long gaps between them.  It isn't strange as we, (Sonya and I), have continued to write together and not had to change profession, only to return to music.

You took a long break between your last album and new addition, Anarchy and Alchemy, what was different for you this time around? Did you go into the studio wanting to do things differently this time?

Every time you go into the studio, it’s with a desire to create a unique piece of musical expression.  We were very aware that this is a time of great change and upheaval on the planet and yet there is an underlying resilience and ability to mutate and cope, which humanity has.

Was there a particular point where you realised now was the time to start creating music together again?

Last year our agent booked us a headline London show, our first as Echobelly in years.  It sold out and was a raucous and rocking night, so we decided to make it a reality again.

How has it felt being back? Did you ever have any worries about making your return?

It feels natural to be playing live and making music. It's what we do. The music scene is so different that you cannot try to re-create the way you did things before. You just have to go with the flow and make a new model!

Have you found that your songwriting influences have changed as you’ve matured? From topics you talk about to the sounds you create?

My songwriting influences have always been more esoteric than some people realise, if you know our music, you can hear it.  Sonya is always coming up with subject matters that blow my mind and we inspire each continually.

What’s the plan for Echobelly now? Are you working on even more new music?

We’re releasing a double vinyl and CD of b-sides and rarities called Black Heart Lullabies. It shows another side to our songwriting that I suppose was always there, but known only by our hardcore fans.

Fancy catching Echobelly playing amongst an almighty line-up of Britpop favourites? Head to Star Shaped Festival:

O2 Academy Glasgow: Saturday 15 September (Doors 1pm) Buy Tickets

O2 Ritz Manchester: Saturday 22 September (Doors 12pm) Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Brixton: Saturday 29 September (Doors 1:45pm) Buy Tickets

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