What are your Full names?Orlando Seale
What is the bands Name?
Orlando Seale and The Swell
How did you come up with the name ‘ Orlando Seale and The Swell’?
Back when we chose that name the size of the band would sometimes swell from a core of three or four to as many as 20 players…
How old are you?
What is your genre of music?
I really don’t know: Dance funeral celebration, Euphoric Wake band? Consumer doom pop?
Give us a little bio about you as a band and individuals.
Then the sky fell down. Living was more like wrestling than dancing, and everything we thought we knew was wrong. We holed up in a condemned rehearsal space behind Denmark Street and began to carve out new songs between the caffeinated highs and ‘Gin Street’ lows.
Orlando was living and working as an actor in LA when his girlfriend at the time lent him Elliot Smith’s old guitar. Then she left him. He made his way home to London and was struck by the rapidly changing city.
Thanks to a special collaboration with the Southbank Sinfonia, Orlando met viola players Becky Hopkin and Patricia Ramirez. Along with bassist Micky Turkington they created the Swell, an attempt to capture the epic sweep of the unreal city.
Then the sky fell down. Living was more like wrestling than dancing, and everything they thought they knew was wrong. They holed up in a condemned rehearsal space behind Denmark Street and began to carve out new songs between the caffeinated highs and ‘Gin Street’ lows.
In December 2015 they released their latest single ‘Wrestling’.
How long have you been doing music?
I started writing songs about 10 years ago when I lived in LA. They had this great radio show called Morning Becomes Eclectic that would mix all sorts of different music, from the latest bands to old favourites, to orchestral and jazz…as I’m sure you know you live in your car out there because the distances are so great. I started singing to myself like a nutter on the long freeway journeys, making up my own songs. I caught the bug and haven’t stopped since then.
Your taking the stage at Cornbury Festival this year, how did that come about?
The lovely Sacha Taylor Cox heard us at Scala and then championed us to the festival programmers.
What was you reaction to getting this festival slot?
We gathered a congregation of lazy pigeons and very energetic squirrels in the graveyard behind my house. Together we performed an elaborate ritual.
What are you most looking forward to?
Just soaking up all the other bands and meeting people.
Who are you most excited to see there?
Brian Ferry. I love the Roxy Music album For Your Pleasure.
I’ll be at the festival, how would you guys be up for a #5FireQuestionsWithMusicOTFuture on the day?
What is your playlist looking like, will there be any new music on?
Currently listening to Gabriel Bruce, Devo, Sufjan Stevens, Gwilym Gold, The Chap, Anonhi, Charles Howl, Bat for lashes, Nadine Shah, Beyoncé, Nils Frahm
I really love ‘Wrestling’ so creative, will be see a new EP or Album this year?
Thank you! Yes, we’ll definitely be releasing some new music soon…we’ve been working on a track called Retail that we’re keen to release. It’s part of a pleasantly vile cycle of anti-lyrical songs: Superyacht, Smartphones, Timeshare, Advertise Here…
Are you a signed?
Who are your influences?
Edith Piaf, Stravinsky, TS Eliot, David Bowie, Jung, advertising, spam emails, Sam Rivière, Seftel, The Situationists, The Chap, Nadine Shah, Father John Misty, Elliot Smith, The Cure, Pulp, New-Weird Greek cinema, Talking Heads, The Shins, Joy Division…
How do you get inspiration to make songs?
At the moment I’ve been getting a lot of ideas from the language of advertising…but I steal ideas and lyrics from anywhere and anyone I can: eavesdropping, autocorrect, legal documents, and especially from dreams.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
When you’re not doing music, what do you do? I’m an actor so I do certain amount of that…I also teach creativity workshops, acting, directing and improvisation classes.
If you could collaborate with one UK Artist who would it be?
The theatre director Katie Mitchell. I dream of expanding the music into a piece of theatre/opera/installation. Her work is so detailed, so demanding, fearless and rigorous. She’d be a thrilling partner to work with.
If you could collaborate with one USA Artist who would it be?
Father John Misty
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in UK?
The Young Vic theatre. I love the work they programme. I think they’d be amazing people to develop a project with.
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in USA?
How about The Public Theatre in NY.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Maybe listening to Space Oddity as a kid…or possibly singing along to Elliot Smith’s Between the Bars in my car in LA.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Knowing me I probably didn’t follow the best piece of advice I was given. I may not have even heard it. Or if I did hear it I most likely smiled and filed it alongside all the other very helpful things people have given me and I have dutifully ignored.
My dad always quoted Jean Louis Barrault ‘Mal mais vite!’
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry just as an artist?
Stay curious and disobedient. Put away your smartphone and make time for dreams, and getting messy playing in the mud. And remember David Mamet’s suggestion for performers: ‘Invent nothing. Deny nothing.’
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
I keep trying and failing to live by this one from Samuel Beckett: ‘Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
That particular space, that particular audience, whatever is happening in my stomach/chest/guts etc, the people I want/crave/need, and those I don’t. Some compassion.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram