Interview: Fuck Buttons set for 2013 UK tour

Electronic duo on side projects, being creative and being part of the Olympic ceremony

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Interview: Fuck Buttons set for 2013 UK tour

Ahead of their Glasgow gig, electronic duo Fuck Buttons talk side projects, being creative and getting their music played at the Olympic ceremony

This July, the sublime drones, screeches and doomy drums of Fuck Buttons made their way into the UK top 40 thanks to their recent album Slow Focus, a year after their music was played at the Olympic opening ceremony. Claire Sawers asks Ben Power (above, right), one half of the Bristolian dark-noisegaze duo, where it all went right …

It can be tough just getting an email through about Fuck Buttons, without it ending up in a spam folder. Were you surprised when you heard your new album had made it into the top 40?
‘Yeah definitely. We didn’t see it coming. It was an amazing feeling though. Obviously we know we’ve got a difficult name, and our music is certainly not for everyone. We never, ever, set out to make music that could possibly “chart”, and definitely never thought about making stuff that would be fitting for an Olympic ceremony; we just made the stuff that Andy [Hung] and I liked. We go in blind really, without any pre-made plan, and just watch things grow limbs. We get excited making it, so for other people to share that feeling we get, and see our stuff translating to such a wide crowd … yeah, it’s pretty special.’

How did the Olympic ceremony come about?
‘Rick Smith from Underworld [the music director for Danny Boyle’s 4-hour Olympic opening ceremony] is a fan of our stuff, and got in touch with our manager. It was a real honour. Having stuff like that happen is a real reminder of how lucky we are. To be doing this for a living – I mean it really helps put into perspective any moments where you feel like having a moan about not having enough fucking hummus on your rider. [laughs]’

Does that happen a lot?
‘Nah. I can honestly say Andy and I really love what we do. Touring, writing, recording – we both really enjoy all those sides of our job. We like to proliferate and be busy, there’s always something on the go, whether it’s remixes or collaborations. If we were jaded in any way, we definitely wouldn’t both be making music in side projects [Ben and Andy make music as Blanck Mass and Dawn Hunger, respectively] – which is what we do whenever we’re not working on Fuck Buttons stuff. We play each other our own stuff and consult each other all the time. We’ve been friends for more than half our lives, so it just makes sense – we’re in the habit of sharing the stuff we make.’

You both went to art school – do you still keep your hand in with making visual art, as well as music?
‘Yeah, I studied illustration and Andy studied fine art. I still do all the artwork for all the releases, and design our T-shirts and stuff, and Andy does all the videos. We like to keep it that way, so all our aesthetic is taken care of in-house.’

What’s the plan for the Glasgow show?
‘We’ve been road testing a new visual aspect for the live shows. It’s almost like an interactive show onstage between Andy and myself, which should make things interesting. Hopefully the Glasgow crowd will like it – it should be pretty cool.’

Fuck Buttons play SWG3, Glasgow, Tue 10 Sep, with support from the Haxan Cloak. Slow Focus is out now on ATP Recordings.

Fuck Buttons - "The Red Wing" (Official Music Video)

Fuck Buttons "Sweet Love For Planet Earth/Rib's Out" Live (HD, Official)

Fuck Buttons

Experimental noise duo from Bristol.

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