Photography: Brit Jean Williams

STRANGE COLLECTIVE have been on a underground mission in the last few years. If you haven’t caught them turning heads across the city, including regular performances at Liverpool Psych Fest – a celebration and renaissance of a culture that epitomises creativity and artistic exploration – you may have heard whispers about the all-day event they’ve been hosting for the past two years. Taking place at Invisible Wind Factory for the past two years, the performers are all individually assembled by Strange Collective themselves and they have been hugely successful in raising awareness about the underground vivacity of psychedelia and garage rock happening right under our noses. The energy and artistic flair of these events have been unabating yet unifying. There seems a genuine close-knit community of DIY musicians going on and a repeated urge to give opportunities to emerging and local talent.

In the lead up to their third Strange Collective All-Dayer, the quartet are moving over to Constellations and have a brand-spanking-new song So What to boast as they gear up to release their debut album. As you would expect the song is hard-hitting and tireless as it bemoans people’s bullshit stories and messages. The video is described by guitarist Alex Wynne as an “anti-video” and put together out of old, defunct videos that literally have no meaning as the products don’t exist anymore: “Like people who talk at you in pubs about their bands and how great they are … their messages also mean nothing.” It’s a cleverly satirical video highlighting the evanescent yet unceasing desire of things with no lasting meaning or purpose; or put simply, bullshit.

Watch the new video below – and you can read what else Alex, Ali, Lucy and Pez had to say about the track at the bottom.

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So what is the new song about?

Ali Horn: I guess it’s an outpouring of disgust and disdain at things that I can’t stand: vacuous, jumped-up bands with no meat on the bone, the state of this fucking country and its current political shambles and crippling depression/self-doubt and self-sabotage. We wrote the song 24 hours before we went to the studio to record it so the lyrics are just what came out. I didn’t over think any of it.

How do you feel about bands or musicians that make a career with seemingly no substance behind their music?

AH: I guess that’s a case of authenticity. I love the song Live The Life by Oblivians which keeps telling us ‘You gotta live the life you sing about in your songs’. I don’t think too much about other bands though man, I guess that’s why the song is called So What .They’re doing them, we’re doing us. We’re lifers you know, the true believers. I’m not in this game for a quick buck or fancy cars or beautiful women. It’s about sitting in a sweaty practice space with my friends and mutually and musically therapising. Getting all that shit out that’s been bugging us, plus the fact that I’m addicted to the sound.

Do you feel bullshit stories are only going to increase with the expanding reliance on technology and ability to hide behind a screen? 

Josh Perry: Bullshit has always been about man, really, but yeah I guess it has a lot more windows now and can be pretty hard to filter. I guess the best thing to do is concentrate on your own story or bullshit or whatever; no one else really matters, along as you’ve got the right people with you to tell ya it’s bullshit, ha! i.e the rest of these SC divvys.

Lucy Hope: I think bullshit stories have always been a part of life but at least it was remotely entertaining trying to work out whether people are chatting bare shit or not. It seems that now, especially with media etc., that it’s so hard to know anything, nothing seems genuine and you find yourself second guessing anything you read or hear, which either makes you anxious or completely not assed about it all.

When is the debut album out and how are you feeling in the lead up to its release?

JP: Personally I’m just looking forward to showing mine and Lucy’s mark on the new direction we have taken as a result of us joining. I think its a pretty strong sound that’s only gonna get stronger and a bit more weird. This is a bit of an odd album in terms of a lot of different textures, but I think it shows a great spread of what we can do, this is the first step towards that.

The main aim really now is to go as DIY as possible: self release, do our own artwork and have complete artistic control, the dream really. This album is pretty much us getting a better musical understanding of each other, basically hammering the rehearsal rooms with ideas and getting them down in the studio, and this album is what was conceived!

Alex Wynne: The album is going to rear its ugly head as soon as possible. But pressing times are a lot longer than we thought, we will have an official date coming soon. Not gonna bullshit anyone here like, ha! We’re confident that it’s got a lot of different sounds and textures. I just really want people to hear it. Also it needs to be said that this completely DIY record we’re putting out ourselves is on a little label were starting, Land Cloud Records. It’s all good stuff, keep your ears peeled. 

Your Strange Collective All-Dayers have been well-received for its relentless energy and its showcasing of emerging artists. What can we expect from this year’s event?

JP: More of the same gear really! But on a slightly bigger scale in terms of the acts. Sunflowers and Table Scraps are bouncing over from Portugal and Birmingham this year, so we are trying to tap outside of the local scene and bring it into Liverpool. So I guess that’s pretty cool, hopefully get the outsiders talking about how good the local scene is.

AW: Also at the All-Dayer we have a few new cool things getting brought into the fold. We have sorted out a thing called the ‘Screen Collective’; basically we got 12 amazing artists to produce a one-off design and print for a single band. All 12 designs will be on sale at the event, it’s gonna be pretty cool. This has all been made possible because the angel that is Johanna Wilson from The Paper Moon print studio.

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The Strange Collective All-Dayer takes place at Constellations on 11th August. Get your earlybird tickets here.

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