Factory Floor, an electronic, industrial outfit from South London, are currently playing a series of live dates around the world off the back of their self-titled debut album, released in September. LSi caught up with them to discuss records, influences and live music.
So tell me a little about the tour. How’s it all going and are you playing a lot of dates in England?
We’re not really doing a big tour, we just break it up into little spurts. We’ve done 5 dates in the UK, 6 dates in Europe and there are 2 more to go. We went over to Japan the other week, so we’re just doing one-off kind of things as well as a few dates.
Have you played many gigs in Leeds before?
We played at Brudenell Social Club before with F**k Buttons, that was good. We’ve played Leeds a few times actually – once at Cockpit with the Horrors and once at Nation of Shopkeepers. We played Beacons festival up here, which was great fun. We were on stage after Jessie Ware…that was a bit weird.
Your band name takes reference from the iconic Factory Records. Are bands apart of this label major influences in your work?
They were for us at one point, especially Throbbing Gristle. That’s more about the way they approach things creatively. We have these similarities with post-punk because we are sort of playing traditional instruments, not just pure electronics and we’ve kind of got this naivety approach to what we’re playing like they did with post-punk. But I think we’re moving away from that, that was the starting point 3 or 4 years ago. We’re all into all sorts of things really, it’s really hard to say what your influences are.
Are you influenced, consciously or otherwise, by whatever you’re listening to at the time?
Yeah, well we enjoy Throbbing Gristle and that but we’re all into a far bigger spectrum of music than that.
Is there anything in particular that you were listening to during the writing and recording of the record?
It was weird. Because we were subjected to trying to make music, we didn’t really listen to anything else because it can overtake your ideas and feed in to what you’re doing, even if you don’t mean it to. And we were sort of living in the same space where we were recording so every waking hour there was some form of Factory Floor music going on. I guess we listened to things that were more of a contrast if anything to get away from it – classical music or something like that. You’ve got to kind of get away from what you’re doing a lot of the time. It’s just like if you work in an office 9-5 you don’t want to go home and sit in an office environment.
Your debut album incorporates elements of techno and other strands of electronic dance music. Was it then a conscious decision to release your album through dance-punk label DFA records?
It happened quite naturally. Jonathan (from DFA) managed to hear a demo version of Two Different Ways through a mutual friend and he emailed back to say we could release it as a single. Two Different Ways allowed us to find our feet as we were still getting to know each other within the band. We’d not been together very long and we were working out our own space. It was naturally heading towards a dancier tone anyway and it just happened that we bumped into Jonathan along the way. It’s good to have an identity behind a label to give you an idea of where you’re going as well.
Do you feel that your music is best experienced live instead of your recorded music?
Yeah, I think we’re still to capture that on record. It’s pretty impossible to capture what you do live on record so we wanted to do something a bit different on record and focus on how we structure a track. The audience listen to live music with different ears to how they listen to a record – you can get absorbed by the moment in a live show. We’d be tempted to do a live record at some point to see how people respond to it. The thing about live is there’s a dialogue, there’s a conversation that musically happens and in the studio, it’s a different conversation musically. I like the fact that you’re very vulnerable on stage, I kind of really enjoy that.