Yorkshire four piece Adore // Repel recently released their debut album, Empty Orchestra, earning an 8.5/10 from RUSHONROCK. Empty Orchestra is a brilliantly, intense melodic record, filled with big hooks, exciting riffs and vicious vocals, but the back story is even more interesting.
Adore // Repel are a fiercely independent act, with their own record label and studio, along with incredibly high ambitions. RUSHONROCK co-editor Adam Keys caught up with lead guitarist / vocalist James Lee Brown to discuss all things Adore // Repel.
RUSHONROCK – Thanks for joining us at RUSHONROCK. Adore // Repel have just released their debut album; could you tell our readers a bit about it?
James Lee Brown – Hi Rush On Rock, thank you. Our debut album, Empty Orchestra, was recorded at Nave Studios in Leeds, and produced by Alex Greaves from Forever Cult. The album is mostly new songs but there are some older ones that we also wanted to release, so the album is kind of the end of an era, and also the start of a new one for Adore // Repel.
RUSHONROCK – Empty Orchestra is a brilliantly, intense melodic record that is close to post rock, but is incredibly difficult to pin to a particular genre. How would you describe your sound?
JLB – Thank you. I suppose the best way of answering this is that our sound reflects our musical tastes as a collective of four people.
RUSHONROCK – Production on this release is crystal clear. Can you tell us a bit more about your experience at Nave Studios in Leeds?
JLB – Recording at Nave was a great experience. For those don’t know Nave, it’s an old converted church and the main hall is the live room. Recording in a room that size with the amount of natural reverb really paid off on the record. The drum sound is massive.
RUSHONROCK – Empty Orchestra sees vocals take a back seat, however the growling style brilliantly juxtaposes the intense, melodic sound. Could you go into more detail about this style choice?
JLB – Initially we had no vocals at all but, as our sound progressed, we started to using vocals as an extra instrument rather than a vocal line. It worked well. Now the vocal sections have become a key part of the live show and a way for the crowd to interact with us and sing along.
RUSHONROCK – Musically, where has Adore // Repel drawn their influences?
JLB – Our influences come from different places. We all have a massive love for different genres of music and film and art that has helped shape the sound of Adore // Repel. We get compared to so many different bands that it’s actually really interesting. It’s nice to hear what each individual person takes away from our sound.
RUSHONROCK – Can you tell us about the track //? Recorded backwards, eh? And the name //?
JLB – As a band we like to pay homage to bands, films and people we love, so the track pays homage to The Stone Roses, who had a reverse track on their first album. We recorded the track Empty Orchestra and asked the producer to play it backwards, which sounded really interesting. We added some extra layers and we were really happy with the outcome. The title is just an abbreviation of Adore // Repel.
RUSHONROCK – Adore // Repel are described as a fiercely independent band who operate without a booking agent or manager, and embrace everything that has always been so healthy about the DIY ethic. Could you tell us a bit more about this?
JLB – We really admire what Dischord Records did during the Washington DC hardcore movement. From our early days we were influenced by many DIY hardcore bands like Minor Threat, Fugazi and Black Flag. From putting on their own shows to releasing records for independent bands, it proved it was possible to still be creative and achieve without all the shit that comes with this industry. That really inspired us and still does.
RUSHONROCK – Empty Orchestra is being released on your own label Shoveitupyourcult – could you tell our readers a bit more about the label and the reasons for going so independent?
JLB – It’s not just about the DIY ethic, it’s also about the community of people from different creative outlets that surround it. If we can support each other and contribute to everything we all do, then it becomes its own entity.
RUSHONROCK – You’re also building your own studio – is there anything you guys don’t do?! Tell us a bit more about this …
JLB – We started the Shoveitupyourcult label to put records out and to help the bands and artists we love. As the label developed we decided to rent a building and started creating a studio. The idea is to keep everything DIY, from recordings and videos to releases. We have a screen printing team as well so we can do our own merchandise. Very exciting times.
RUSHONROCK – Adore // Repel hit the road next month – what can people expect from your live performances?
JLB – We play every show like it’s our last so there’s lots of energy. Our music is very expressive and we play that way live. We get a lot of good feedback immediately after the set, and we love this interaction with the crowd.