Exposure: Lord Auch
Formed from the ashes of the much loved, if somewhat short-lived, Black Wire, Lord Auch are a London-based quintet that write literate songs that certainly aren’t afraid to plumb the grimier side of things (they take their name from the pseudonym the French writer Georges Bataille used to write his classic erotic novel Story of the Eye). Influenced by the likes of Nick Cave and Scott Walker, they make an altogether more crafted racket than most of their contemporaries on the London scene. The main songwriter and owner of the intense baritone croon that drives the songs, Simon McCabe, tells us about the band’s development, influences and future direction.
The band formed two years ago now - what were the circumstances of the formation, and how do you feel you've developed as a band since then?
I wrote several songs in reclusive hiatus between leaving Black Wire in July 2007 and moving to London in November the same year. They were really raw tracks recorded on acoustic guitar with a bass simulator. I took them straight into the studio with Black Wire drummer Danny Prescott and friend and guitarist Liam Wade and we made them work live. We recently reworked a couple of those tracks again to work with our new extended line-up. Fifty percent of the tracks in our set are over a year old and they have only recently sounded complete to me. If we’d have went into the studio to do an album any earlier than now it would have been a mistake, I’m pretty sure. Everything seems to have settled into place now and we can’t wait to start recording this December.
What is the ethos or manifesto of Lord Auch? Indeed, is there one?
Far too many; preciousness is arrogance, emotion over ability, evolution! Contradiction!
How important an influence is erotic literature (Bataille, Nin, Miller et al.) on Lord Auch (excluding the name)?
It is an important one. Bataille, Nin and Miller were firstly great writers. It’s their appreciation of the opposite ends of the erotic spectrum that I find influential. They’re not just (if ever, really) romantic. Reading books is a great way of writing songs. You get to write your own soundtrack.
Lord Auch seem to be lumped in with these so-called'dark wave'/'goth revivalist bands - Ipso Facto, KASMs, S.C.U.M, and Televised Crimewave (obviously ex-bandmates in that case) - do you feel any affinity with this scene? Does it even exist?
We used to get put on the same bill a lot. It doesn’t happen as much these days. I can’t speak for any of those bands as I don’t know much about them but we just try and get on with our stuff. I don’t think we sound like any of those bands. Our music can be dark in places but there’s also a lot of humour there. There’s a lot of folk influences too and we’d never be so nostalgic as to call ourselves revivalists of anything.
Further to that, do you think it's valid to say that there is possibly a more overtly songwriterly approach to the songs than is apparent in your contemporaries? Perhaps, if so, this is due to your literary influences?
That’s a hard question to answer without sounding like a massive pillock.
No, not really. Maybe I think a little more about the listener and a little less about the nightclub.
Though this might be somewhat premature, the To The Shithouse EP is just about to be released, where is Lord Auch going from there? An album in the works, perhaps?
We start recording the album in December. To The Shithouse was a complete triumph for us in relation to how we approached the recording. We allowed more time as the songs were unfinished and in a raw state. That way we had no limitations in what we could do with them. We have twelve songs to take into the studio for the album and we have only ever played two of them live. It’s a great way of working for us.
What can the good people of Scotland expect from the Lord Auch live experience?
What I love about the Scottish is that they give everyone a chance to impress them, and if you manage it then they don’t forget you and they show their appreciation. I can’t wait to get to Scotland and put on a show.
Lord Auch’s To The Shithouse EP is released on Young & Lost Club on 19th October. They support Band Of Skull’s at The Captain’s Rest Glasgow,Sat 10 Oct; Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 11 Oct.