Interview: James New from Mirrors

With half their members scavenged from the corpse of over-too-soon Bexhill band Mumm-ra, four piece Mirrors are a Kraftwerk-esque pop noir.outfit. With highly emotional, catchy songs like “Look At Me” and “Fear Of Drowning” they look like a dead cert to wow the crowd at Meadowlands this May. Hyped by various magazines across the country, James (synth, vocals), Ally (synth, vocals), Tate (synth) and Josef (electronic drums) are the maestros making up this sharp suited band, and are proud of their image and rightly so.

You’re on tour at the moment and are playing the green door store later this month. How are you feeling about that?

Well it’s an excellent little club so we’re pretty excited. For me personally I think it was the one thing Brighton was missing; a genuinely good club with its own unique vibe. The gig itself should be great; it’s a chance to celebrate our record, which is coming out the following week, finally getting out into the world. We’re going to attempt to play everything on the album which means a 50 minute show. We usually keep our show short and sweet. I’m just trying to sort out DJs for it now. It’s hard when the only thing you can offer them is free beer and the fact it’s very near the station!

Who have you supported or played with so far in your gigging and touring?

When we started we decided we didn’t really want to do support slots. We wanted to make our show something special and to do that you need full control; but of course that wasn’t really possible.  We supported Delphic on their UK tour. We also supported OMD around Europe; obviously this was a really great time for us being that they are true synth pioneers. Coming up we’ve got White Lies, Gary Numan, and then we’re touring with fellow Brightonians; Fujiya and Miyagi.

You’ve just said that you don’t really like support slots, but if you could go on a big tour with anyone and have your own show who would you pick?

JN Well we are always hopeful to not have to support other bands forever but obviously it is essential in building a bands profile. The problem for us is we don’t get to do everything that we’d like to at these shows. I have no real ambition to tour with anyone. If my heroes turned out to be human I’d be very disappointed.

How would you define the theatrical element that you bring to your shows?

JN Well I think it’s to do with the atmosphere we bring to our show. We sort of become different characters which I understand can annoy people. Luckily, we don’t really care because for the other half it makes our show one of the most exciting to watch right now. We don’t talk because there is no space to; once the music starts we rarely let sound stop. We incorporate slow, hypnotic visuals into the show, again to give it a certain atmosphere. We wear suits. Not just at the show but in our lives, but again it helps in building this more theatrical approach to live music. We make sure it’s dark, usually requesting all of the house lights be turned off and a couple of small lamps, submerged in smoke be turned on to replace them, giving the room a feeling of warmth and intimacy.

What can you tell us about your music?

Firstly, regardless of whatever anyone says about Mirrors, we’re a pop band: we write pop songs, and rather catchy ones at that. They’re just presented in a slightly unusual way. The music is dark and electronic, but vitally they’re warm and soulful. We incorporate a whole load of acoustic and organic sounds to give it this atmosphere. We try to make something that although has an electronic backdrop, also has a lot of warmth to it. I guess it’s a kind of dense, heavily layered electronic soul music we’re looking to make. I’ve described it recently as a big cake; it’s got a lot of really tasty layers in it.

How would you describe yourselves as a band?

Well we’re opinionated. We’re perfectionists to the point of bordering on OCD. We’re smartly dressed, professional and dedicated. We believe in what we do. At its best being in Mirrors can be a pretty life affirming thing

You’ve got an album release coming up very soon. What can you tell us about it?

It’s good. It’s really good. It feels like we’ve made something we can work from. The album certainly has its own identity, a certain atmosphere to it. That was very important to us; that it had its own unique qualities to distinguish itself as Mirrors. But it’s a big pop record. After a couple of listens we’ll have it stuck in your brain. The song “Listen” is the big standout track for me. A lot of my friends can be impatient with music but it’s quite epic. It’s ten minutes long but we think it’s ten minutes worth indulging in.

There are a lot of great bands floating around in the music scene, have u had time to experience any of them?

I think we tend to live in our own little world, which we’re pretty comfortable with and I have to admit there aren’t that many bands in Brighton that interest me. With Mirrors we tend to keep ourselves to ourselves; it’s part of the idea that what we do is our own so we’re not inclined to form close affiliations. It’s our own little world outside of Brighton that we’re interested in.

I know the band is from Brighton, but what is it about the area that you like?

I’m not actually from Brighton originally. I’m from down the road in Bexhill-on-sea which is a little retirement community. I do love Brighton though it’s been my home for 3 years now. It’s rich in culture and opportunity for all kinds of talented people. I’ve never known anyone who lives here to be negative about the city in the way you find in other parts of the country. I like that. We’re very protective of it and with good reason. We’re living in the most liberal, exciting, and generally delightful city in the country!