Remodel band members Mark Heffernan and Leigh Swinn participated in a very rare interview about the creative processes behind their work. The interview was conducted by the art movement ‘Intentism’ and appears in a book entitled,’The Search for Intentist Art.’
Here is an extract:
THE SEARCH FOR INTENTIST ART
Interview with Remodel (Members Mark and Leigh)
Thank you for agreeing to this brief interview.
- Could you start by introducing yourself and briefly describe the kind of art you create?
MARK: Music; unpopular pop.
LEIGH: We are a guitar band who have been active for seven years. We write original songs inspired by our place in society- streams of consciousness in our everyday life- both regionally and internationally. We have a very ‘British’ angular Punk/pop soound.
- What artists or experiences have most influenced your work?
MARK: Recently more things like Andy Gill, from Gang of Four, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, but for the sounds rather than lyrical content or song structure. For lyrics for me it is primarily a desire to avoid writing about what everyone else writes about, hence the more esoteric content. Though lately politics has started to appear more increasingly.
LEIGH: Big influences would be Andy Partridge (XTC), Damon Albarn, (Blur), Ian Curtis (Joy Division) and Morrissey (The Smiths).
- Are there any themes that you find yourself drawn to?
LEIGH: Yeah, identity/Nationality, the everyday and streams of consciousness.
- Could you tell us a little more about what role ‘intention’ plays in your art generally?
MARK: It plays a role in everything. We have a clearly defined vision of what we aren’t, which helps us find what we are. In a song like British Racing Green, the song changes in the verses to echo a race- gear changes, building with the chorus representing a sort of whimsical dream. Our music is never really jammed.
LEIGH: Intention is integral to everything and I believe it is integral to every artist. There is no escape.
- How do you know when you have finished an artwork?
LEIGH: We don’t. Even when we have established a piece, it’s still subject to change should it be required.
MARK: For me, when it feels right, though they never fully finish, they just get up to a level when we are happy enough to play it live.
- How important is it to you that interpreters of your artwork consider your intentions?
MARK: I think most people use music more as a form of escape, similar to the way they use film. For that reason talking about intention in music is tricky as most people don’t want to hear what musicians say. But I’d like to believe that people pay attention and hear something in what I write and think about it, particularly with newer songs such as ‘Back to Basics’ which is clearly coming from a standpoint. Lack of acknowledgement of that opinion would be infuriating.
LEIGH: I it is very important. If an audience were not to see a definite identity in our work, this would be for us a reason not to create.
The Search for Intentist Art can be purchased from the Official Intentist Web store: http://www.intentism.com/apps/webstore/ for £11.99. (The book is a collection of interviews with Intentist artists, writers and musicians with examples of their work in colour.)