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Project Culture 'Green Ring-Necked Parakeets' single Interview

I have been joined by Project Culture who have joined me to chat about their new single 'Crowded Basement' so you can find out more about the song

Welcome back to Totally Music, how have you been?

We’ve all been good thanks. We’ve spent the past few months playing some great gigs and

festivals - the weather we’ve been having has made the festivals particularly fun - and we’re

now about to start rehearsing for the launch show for the new single.

You have just released your new single “Green Ring-Necked Parakeets”. Would you

like to tell us abit about it?

‘Green Ring-Necked Parakeets’ is another drastic departure for our band - we make sure to

never repeat ourselves musically with the songs we record. We released Drunk on

Valentine’s Day back in February, which was an acoustic song, whereas our new single has

some dance-rock grooves and feels more optimistic. Our rhythm section Jamie (Bass) &

Toby (Drums) weren’t on the previous single, but they’ve come back with vengeance, and

laid down their tightest playing yet on Parakeets.

The song came from a very specific place and experience, but at its core it’s about being

true to yourself in a world that sometimes makes this difficult; it’s both our most personal and

our most universal song yet, and we hope that it soundtracks the summer of the people who

hear it!

Where did the idea for the song come from?

The song came from a friend telling me about the origin of the feral parakeets in the UK: they escaped from captivity and, despite not being native to Britain or its climate, they bred

quickly and now nest all over London. I was so inspired by how passionate my friend was

when talking about the parakeets’ story that I wrote the lyrics for this song, making the

parakeets an allegory for surviving hardship and forging your own path, and giving the song

an underlying message of sharing your passions and opening up to others, just like my

friend did.

This release also comes with a ‘B’ sided named “Dilettante”. Would you like to tell us

about this song?

In contrast to Parakeets, in which the narrator longs for him and his friend to be more

earnest and true to themselves, Dilettante concerns itself with a few different pretentious

people that I've come across over the years. The song is all about those people who talk

constantly and loudly about their latest interest or plan, only to abandon it in a week’s time in

favour of another trend. It’s got a post-punk sound - I was inspired by The Libertines and

early Vampire Weekend for the music - and I attempted to skewer as many pretentious

people I know as possible within the song’s brief 2 minutes and 20 seconds runtime.

Dilettante was chosen as the B-Side for its stark musical contrast to Parakeets, while being

the perfect compliment to it thematically; lyrically, the songs are two sides of the same coin.

What made you decide to have a ‘B’ side with the single?

We’ve done B-Sides for 3 of our previous singles. When I was writing my first songs and

playing in a band for the first time, I was obsessed with bands like Arctic Monkeys, The

Smiths & Oasis who in their prime were consistently releasing singles with B-Sides that were just as good as the A-Sides. Our band release b-sides both as a homage to the bands who inspired us growing up, and also to show another side to our sound within the same release.

How did you come up with the artwork?

My Auntie Helen painted the artwork. I remembered that she sent us a homemade

Christmas card a few years ago with a beautiful painting of a hedgehog on the front, and I

thought that a similar painting of some parakeets would be perfect for the artwork of our next single. Fortunately, she needed to make something for her weekly art group anyway, and kindly agreed to help us out. I think her painting fits the song perfectly.

What were your influences behind the song?

I’d say the biggest influences for Parakeets were Vampire Weekend, Talking Heads, Foals,

R.E.M & The Clash (London Calling era). I’ve actually made a playlist of all the bands and songs that inspired the writing and recording of Parakeets and Dilettante. Also, Andrew (lead guitar) was channelling “Nile Rodgers in an Indie Rock context” in this

song, and his melodies in the bridge were definitely influenced by Abbey Road-era George


What memories will you take away from the process of creating this single?

I have fond memories of tracking all the vocal parts in the studio, and bouncing ideas for

harmonies and overdubs off of Werkhouse 1 , our producer. I’ve never had more fun recording vocals than on this song, and I’ve never been happier with how my voice sounds. When I listened back to the vocal harmony in the bridge, I knew that this song was the best thing we’d done in the studio yet!

Also got Andrew and Jamie to do some group vocals for the choruses. Had to really talk

Jamie into joining in on the singing, but the backing vocals turned out great, and add a lot to the song. We filmed the three of us doing the group vocals - will probably stick the video up on instagram at some point for a bit of behind the scenes footage.

What’s next for you?

We’ve just been given a residency at The Temple of Art & Music (at Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle) so we’ll be hosting monthly shows there now! Our first residency show there is on Monday 15th August; it will also double as the launch show for Parakeets and it’ll be free entry! Also, we have plans to go into the studio and record the next single very soon…

If you would like to check out 'Project Culture' you can find them here:

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