Pulled By Magnets: an espresso with Seb Rochford

Image Credits: Rose Golden Doorways © Pulled By Magnets

September 29, 2020

Pulled By Magnets is the name of the new intriguing trio founded by drummer Seb Rochford, known for projects such as Sons of Kemet, Polar Bear, Acoustic Ladyland and for having played alongside artists such as Pete Doherty, David Byrne and Brian Eno.

> Ivano Rossato 


How did the songs of “Rose Golden Doorways” come about?
They initially came about because I couldn’t find any music that seemed to fit my feeling so decided to make my own, after I wrote the music though, I found the music I was looking for, which was bands like Solar Temple and Shezmu.
 

Creativity is linked to life and spirituality,  is continually evolving and allowing yourself to change is a part of that.

 
What composition process did you follow?
 I always imagine the music and album  internally before I even write or record anything, feel it’s form. This album is about creation and the energy that makes us what we are, so I spent a lot of time imagining how I could express this in music and also challenging/questioning my own perception of the energy that I play music with. I read a lot of ancient religious texts and  also went back to India to reconnect with that side of my roots. Having mixed parentage, you often are told what you are and what you’re not, so going back and also seeing my relatives was a way for me to define/empower myself, in a deeper way to understand that part of me. As a part of my trip I also didn’t listen to any recorded music, just listening to the sounds of the street and any live music I found.
 
What (or who …) most inspired the album’s atmospheres?
I think the biggest influence on this album was probably looking inside and reading those texts to expand my own perceptions of who I am and what life is/could be. For me, creativity is linked to life and spirituality,  is continually evolving and allowing yourself to change is a part of that. There was some music that helped me to see how this could take form but the initial feeling and inspiration of this music and it’s atmosphere I think was more about the relationship I have with myself and the world around me, in a physical and non-physical way.
 
 
How much improvised music is there in the execution?
There is a lot of room to improvise within, I was hearing a lot of nine and ten note scales in the music so the harmony can be quite specific but there’s also some passages that allow for a more interpreted take on it.
 
The idea of sound and the overall production give the idea of being an instrument in itself… Can you tell us about the album recording session?
Originally we recorded a few tracks in a studio but it didn’t feel right to me, I wanted Pete (Wareham, saxophone) to have the ability to soar and fill a bigger space with his saxophone, for Neil (Charles, bass guitar) to rumble the foundations and for the room to have a more direct conversation with us. The Old Church I had been to see a concert there and I felt the size was perfect. There’s a beautiful natural reverb that I wanted to play with, sometimes exploring it as a sheet noise when we were playing more densely. We all played in the centre with Pete’s saxophone and effects going through a pa system and Neil’s bass through an amp, so no headphones. I also had Matt Nolan to make me some cymbals and gongs as I wanted a more dramatic sound from the drums.
 
 
What characterizes the interplay of you three musicians?
The sound of this band for me and the interplay should be big and almost overwhelming but where everything has it’s space, and a sound that if you give in to, should be liberating and empowering.
 
What plans are there for the future of Pulled By Magnets?
Because of the virus restrictions our tours were cancelled this year, but I hope next year to be able to play the album live and I have already started writing the next album.
 
Pulled By Magnets: an espresso with Seb Rochford copyright Jazzespresso 2020.
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