Formed out of members of Art of Noise & The Auteurs, we first came across Infantjoy while wallowing in ‘OMG SARAH NIXEY IS BACK!!!111!!’ induced glee a few months ago. Guest starring on their working of ‘Silent Night’, we were intrigued by this duo who seemed to produce mesmerizing, elegant instrumental music. Almost cinematic sounding, their concept album Where The Night Goes is based on the idea that ‘each track takes place at a certain point during the night .. the album begins just after 11 o’clock at night and ends a few minutes before 9 in the morning‘
Both music veterans, we caught up with James & Paul last week to get the score on exactly who they are and what they’re upto.
Band Name: Infantjoy
Where does the name come from? : A poem by Blake – about that time before a child has a name, when it’s closer to the mysteries of the universe than the realities of being human. You’ve got to have a name, if you want to be known – a band has to have a name, so we wanted a name that was about having to have a name, if you want to be known.
Who’s In The Band?: James Banbury & Paul Morley
What do you do in the real world? Live and dream, work and play, eat and drink, talk and sleep, buy and sell, read and write, travel and stay put, put off and act.
Describe your sound to us: Electronically natural, acoustically supernatural, fictionally real, calmly restless, reasonably serene, thoughtfully blessed, defiantly ambient, suitably relaxed, vaguely conceptual, eternally haunted, gently blurred, deftly fixed, talkative and tuneful.
How did you get together? Paul, then Art of Noise, needed a musical, technical, imaginative someone to help remix some Art of Noise tracks, from the Seduction of Claude Debussy album – James was that someone, and the resultant remixes, for an album called Reduction, were the first ghostly hints of what would become Infantjoy.
Who are your influences? Satie, Miles, Eno, Hannett, Human League, Throbbing Gristle, Cage, Can, Kraftwerk, Manfred Eicher, Carla Bley, Japan, Durutti Column, Talk Talk, Kate Bush.
What’s the greatest lyric you’ve written? Infantjoy are up to now mostly instrumental, and when they do use words don’t so much sing as talk, or recite, or narrate, or rant, or whisper, or distort, or mumble… Paul wrote the lyrics for Moments in Love by the Art of Noise which distill the words of a love song down to three words – Moments in Love. He also gave Buzzcocks the title of their song Moving Away from the Pulsebeat.
What’s the state of play with the band at the moment? The Infantjoy LP Where The Night Goes is going to slowly transform itself into other material – new versions of the songs – apparatitions – are being prepared by various other collaborators for release in various forms, and a version of the album that reflects the way it is presented live, as a sort of austere, discreet but charming musical, is going to be filmed and released as a series of short films via various online mechanisms. Meanwhile, the follow up record is being recorded for later in the decade.
Where can we see you next? We will be appearing out of nowhere wearing a look of mild surprise at the Bartok in Chalk Farm on April 28, with our special ghost star Sarah Nixey.
Who Would You Most Like To Support? 1967 Pink Floyd, Robert Wyatt, the Kronos Quartet, the Mighty Boosh or Matmos.
What’s Your Ultimate Label To Be On? ECM, Mute or Bella Union.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to? the best most recent one – Secret Machines,
Have You Ever Thrown A TV Out Of A Hotel Window? Only a TV Times
Would You Like To? Possibly an iPod filled with Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs and Embrace
Recommend One Album To Our Readers You Don’t Think They Will Have Discovered. Trio Mediaeval’s Stella Maris, Mayo Thompson’s Corky’s Debt To His Father, Derek Bailey/Evan Parker’s London Concert
Why Should Londonist Readers Go And See You? Because for better or worse there is no other band that plays live in the way we play live – it actually is ambientertainment, plus we have a special ghost star
What’s Your Favourite:
Venue To Play In London? Queen Elizabeth Hall
Venue To Go To In London? Queen Elizabeth Hall
Record Store? Rough Trade
Shop (non-music)? Magma
Market? Portobello Road, Borough
Place To People-watch? Borders
View In London? From Hungerford Bridge, from the top of Highgate Hill, right underneath the Telecom Tower
Form Of Public Transport? Walk
What Advice Would You Give Ken Livingstone? Keep up the good work
What London Place Or Thing Would You Declare A Landmark? Highgate Cemetery
The World Is Ending In 24 hours. How Would You Spend Your Last Day In London? Listening to Fripp and Eno’s No Pussyfooting, which freezes time.
Greatest Thing Ever To Come Out Of London? The M1, Percy Shelley, the Royal Court Theatre, The Oval, McLaren and Westwood’s Sex, Spontaneous Music Ensemble
If You Could Write A Song About London What Would It Be Called And What Kind Of Song Would It Be? It would be called Radiant Sin, from an album we’ll eventually make called The Writers Haunts – a cello laced ghostly love song, somewhere between Nick Drake and Sigur Ros, about the time Rimbaud and Verlaine spent together in London in 1873, when they walked on the Heath, saw Karl Marx speak above the Hibernia tavern in Old Compton Street, rode on the brand new underground from Baker Street to the Wapping Docks, and took advantage of the heating in the British museum
Sum Up London In A Word… Money
Check out Infantjoy’s myspace page to hear three of their tracks. You can also catch them live at Camden’s Bartok on April 28.