INTERVIEW: Bathymetry

Sunday 24rd May 2015.  My last day at Liverpool Sound City. I have three hours till my last gig.  I am shivering in a denim jacket in a Mersey river breeze.  I seek refuge in the BBC Wales tent.  After 45m of being mildly Alarmed, I’ve had enough.  I head to the Edge Hill University Tent.  Carl Hunter of The Farm asks me to stay and see Bathymetry.  It makes me late for Natalie McCool, but no matter.  I am stunned by their intelligence, style and impishness. The influences range from manga to literature.  Since then, I have been telling you how ace they are.  You have still not paid attention.

We meet at Donatos, an Italian Café of their choosing with excellent coffee.  Emily (Lemon/Bass) and Ariel (Tiramisu/guitar) offer me cake, but I am on a low fat diet.  Dave (Drums) joins us by email later.  He doesn’t like cake.

So, where did it all begin?  Funnily enough Bathymetry gravitated towards each other through the physical power of an auction website.  Ariel (Richland, Washington State) meets Emily (Warrington, M57).  Dave (Carlisle, Cumbria) comes in later.  Well, he is a drummer.

A: “I guess it’s three year’s now. I put an advert on Gumtree when I moved to Liverpool. This girl that was playing in a band with Emily responded. And it was insane, cos they wanted me to try out for their practice in Leeds. And I was in Liverpool.”

E: “At the time I was doing a bit of interning in Liverpool. Sounds like we should go for a pint. And then we became friends. And we were like ‘Well, it’s a bit far to go between Leeds and Liverpool. It seems like a good idea. So, we just tried it out anyway.”

D: “I met everyone nearly 2 years ago now. I’d just moved up from London and really wanted to find new people to play with, so I took to Gumtree as well. I got a few responses but nothing really that interesting, until Emily and Ariel wrote to me.  I had a listen and went for a jam and that’s how it all started for me.”

As a man who has shared many a non-alcoholic pint with the band, they are always up to something.  Cartoons, art, video games, the sleeve of their debut album, a long term project to make a video for every song on it.  April 16th sees their own mini-festival at Liverpool’s Buyers Club.  What is the dynamic in the band? It’s a beautiful collaboration. The best art generally is.

E: “Working with Ariel and Dave, I feel like everything is possible. I feel totally able to express myself without feeling doubtful”

A: “Some bands will be like “oh, you’re playing shit”

D: “I agree, it feels like I can try anything in Bathymetry. Sometimes it won’t and that’s fine, but more often than not something a bit different just fits.”

The disparate nature of the band is also another source of their strange magic…

E: “I think it’s good that they are not together all the time. When we got together, I was living in Yorkshire. We didn’t often have the opportunity to sit and write together. We do what we can; when we come together we’ll share everything”

A: “One of the things we do is we will never impose, we will never tell someone how to write musically. One of us bring a little skeletal thing, and then everyone will do what they want with it. Nobody tries to take over the song and distract it, we’ll just tell the song in the best possible way. Everyone’s free”

E: “We just respect each other”

So with such a creative edge, a place to call home, when can we expect new material?

A: “I think that might be 2017”

E: “Don’t say that!”

A: “I know it’s a bit shit, but we are gonna record something at release it a song at a time and videos and stuff… I think you have to be more creative now. In order to sell music, you had to put a single or an album out. You have to do whatever you can. It’s no point bemoaning how things have changed, just think what you can do.  I think our whole plan eventually is to just keep making stuff: anything. If you make stuff long enough, you’ll have to notice it eventually”

Thanks, Bathymetry!

I don’t think any other Liverpool band is doing what they do; they are not just musicians, but lovely souls who happen to be auteurs.  It’s time to pay attention to Bathymetry.  Don’t leave me alone in the cold again.

Kev McCready