Interview: Great Pagans

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Who is Great Pagans?
Alex Painter, Chris Griffin, Jez Bernholz and Lewis Morgan. I should also mention Dave Tindale who is now living in Vancouver but has played a huge part in our début album. We are one quarter (but at the same time three quarters) of the Anti-Ghost Moon Ray collective.

If you could describe the sound of Great Pagans in 3 words, what would it be?
Sad, happy, sad.

What/who are your influences?
I’ve always listened to a wide variety of music, and so do the other guys in the band. That way, hopefully, the influences come out in new combinations and not just a slab of rampant thievery. I’m also influenced by writers like Murakami, Paul Auster and I’m mildly obsessed with Dante’s Inferno.

What kinds of things inspire you during the songwriting process? Do you like to write in seclusion or in a more collaborative fashion with the band?
Chris and Jez have they’re own solo projects (Acquaintance and Bernholz respectively) which means I get to be a benevolent dictator much of the time. I’ll bring demos along and filter them through the other Pagans. I can’t work in a total vacuum.

What is your live set-up like?
An ever-growing collection of slightly broken amps, pedals and synths held together by solder and gaffer tape.

If you could work/collaborate with anybody (dead or alive) who would it be?
I imagine working with David Byrne (especially around the time of Remain In Light) would have been really creative and fun. I feel like he’d be good at teasing the well hidden ideas out from the back of your brain.

Are there any other acts/artists you recommend people check out?
Definitely the other Anti-Ghost Moon Ray acts: Gazelle Twin, Bernholz and Acquaintance, all of whom have albums out this year. Also check out the awesome Speak Galactic (who I’ve been lucky enough to join after ages being a fan). I’d like to give Oliver King a plug too as he’s an amazing artist who has very kindly created all our artwork.

What is Great Pagans’ upcoming plans?
Our debut album Cupid In Error is being mastered as we speak so this year will consist of vinyl pressing, unusual launch gigs, and quelling neuroses as people start to hear the thing. Very excited.

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