Postmodern Folk[s]: Erland & the Carnival

Although you’re probably not familiar with David Nock’s name, I’m sure you’re familiar with his work. He has engineered, mixed, programmed, and drummed for the likes of Client, The...

Although you’re probably not familiar with David Nock’s name, I’m sure you’re familiar with his work. He has engineered, mixed, programmed, and drummed for the likes of Client, The Cult, The Futureheads, and The Orb. One of his current projects, Erland & The Carnival, has him teaming up with Simon Tong (The Verve; Blur; Gorillaz; The Good, The Bad & the Queen;etc.) and Erland Cooper for a sort of Heroes-of-Brit-Pop Postmodern Folk Supergroup. Earlier this year, the band released Nightingale, their debut LP and follow-up to their critically acclaimed Trouble in Mind EP. The album was recorded in the bowels of a ship moored at Embankment on the river Thames in an attempt to “Create a soundtrack to an imaginary horror film about the supernatural.” I recently got a chance to chat with Nock about this latest endeavor. Here’s what he had to say:

Izzy Cihak: I was a bit surprised when I first heard the new album, which is a bit more complex and diverse in sound compared to the relatively stripped debut EP. What accounted for this progression of sorts?

David Nock: We like to set our self new challenges and I think this complexity was a reaction of sorts, to the approach we took on the 1st album.

IC: The aesthetic of Nightingale is fairly melancholy, a sentiment I am often accused of. To what do you owe your own personal sense of melancholy?

DN: Some of the best stories come from the darker regions of the human psyche and folklore (which is a great source of inspiration to us) tends to reflect that.

IC: Is “This Night” (Their next single, due for digital release on July 25th) meant to allude to “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” by The Smiths? I realize I’m probably the billionth person to ask this, but it’s hard not to notice.

DN: It was actually unintended but seems so obvious now of course. It just arrived on my lap out of the ether.

IC: What was the inspiration for using the Janet Hodgson photo for the cover?

DN: Simon had seen it in a book as a kid and the image stayed with him . . .The picture was in the Daily Mail in the 70’s covering a story on a suspected and much debated poltergeist possession of a house in Enfield, London. The girl (Janet hodgson) was photographed being hurled across the room. We asked the photographer Graham Norris if we could use this picture and he agreed, saying he loved our first record.

IC: Are there any other non-musical events or individuals that you’ve found to be influential? I’ve heard that you’re fond of horror films.

DN: We take influence and find inspiration from all things including art (‘Map of an Englishman’ was influenced by Grayson Perry’s painting of the same name which was influenced, in turn, by the mappa mundi), newspaper reports (‘Derby Ram’ – Telegraph report on the suicide of Sean Dykes), ancient poems (Dream of the Rood) and many more.

IC: This summer has you playing a handful of festivals in Europe and Russia, but your website promises that US tour dates are coming soon. What would you want the Yanks to know/expect of the band and the live shows?

DN: The live show has a different feel to the record and comes across a lot heavier but we feel with songwriting being at the center of our music, they sit quite comfortably in a heavier context.

Band Interviews

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.