Interview: Attrition

We chat to Martin Bowes, the man behind dark industrial act Attrition about his new release, influences and music’s ability to connect.

Interview by Jane Howkins

How is 2020 treating you so far?
Pretty well thanks! We came back from our first tour of Japan in December and got straight on with releasing and promoting the new Attrition single, The Great Derailer, and setting up shows in support of it, so its been a busy time so far.

I’m also busy in my studio, The Cage, my “day job” if you like, producing and mastering for lots of bands and labels.

Have you released any music so far this year? If so, what can you tell us about that?
The Great Derailer, on CD, download and streaming, was released on Brexit day – seemed fitting. A video for it will be released as well in the next couple of weeks. It’s taken from the upcoming album, The Black Maria, that will be with us later this year.

Are you working on any new music at the moment? What are you working on, and when will it be released?
I’m always working on new projects when I can find the time between all the studio work. As I said, the new album will be with us in a few months time, just finalising mixes and artwork at the moment. I plan another single from the album by the end of the year too to coincide with the start of Attrition’s 40th anniversary and there are a lot of plans underway for that.

Have you got any upcoming tours planned? If so, where are you playing and where are you looking forward to going most?
Yes, I’m setting up shows right now, starting with our first hometown show in Coventry on 3 April followed by our first tour of South America (although we did play Brazil in 2011 and Mexico back in 2006).

I’m looking forward to South America but every gig has something special about it. The unpredictability is what makes live events so special.

[Editor note: Attrition will also be playing the following dates in the UK:
30 August – Infest festival, UK
28 November – Winter Ghosts Symposium, Whitby, UK
5 December – Face Bar, Reading, UK]

Who/what has influenced you the most as musicians?
I was influenced by punk and post punk – Joy Division/Magazine/PIL etc – and then the early electronic sounds of Cabaret Voltaire and early Human League,  but I am much influenced by art and films, and everyday life, anything that moves me, anything that matters.

What have you been listening to recently that you can recommend to our readers?
I do get to hear a lot of music here in my studio, much of it really independent, underground sounds. Some of the bands we have been seeing lately or playing with, such as Futumche and Wolfsuit in Coventry and Japanese band 101A we played with in Tokyo – all worth checking out.

Why do you think people should pick up one of your records or come and see you live, and what can people expect from one of your shows?
Good question. I have no idea. I make music for myself primarily, out of a need. I really have to do it. Music (and the arts) expresses things that we can never get anywhere close to in other ways, so this is a very personal journey to me but, I know people have connected as I have put out so many records and toured so many places over the years. I think people need to just see what they think, what they feel. Our live shows are an intense and often dark mix of rhythmic and atmospheric electronics, male and female vocals often joined by guest guitars or violins.

Any last words for the fans?
I always love to connect with people so do check out our links [website, Facebook, Bandcamp, Youtube, Twitter, Spotify, Cage Studios website] and get in touch, and I hope to see you somewhere on our journey. Thank you for the interview!