Culture | Sunday, 11 January 2009

Up the Royals

Boasting the delicious atmospherics of bands like Sigur Ros and Mogwai, critically-acclaimed Genoese quintet Port-Royal will be playing at Sky Club, Paceville on January 17, courtesy of HairyAmp. They will be joined by DJs Owen Jay and Danjeli. Band member Attilio Bruzzone speaks to Teodor Reljic

You seem to have been unquestionably placed within the genres of 'postrock' and 'shoegazing'. How do you feel about these labels in general?

Actually, we don't fit under any strict tag. We play a kind of fluid, ‘border’ music which manages to resist any attempt at classification! Of course, labels can be useful to newcomers (as guides across the genre-labyrinths), but then they become enemies of a deep and intensive understanding of the music, if we rely to them too much.

Your music creates a soundscape that can trigger countless associations and interpretations in the listener. Are you inspired by artforms other than music...more visual ones perhaps?

We are inspired more by everyday life than by another artforms. Of course, we feel (and we know), that our music fits perfectly together with visuals. In fact, our Sieva supplements our live set with some amazing visuals; but we are not directly inspired by them, it’s something that comes later.

Since your songs are largely instrumental, how much do you rely on song titles to set the mood?

Song titles are an important component of the Port-Royal style. They express our passions and our feelings, but of course, anybody can see something different beyond the title and lose themselves in the music and take their own path across it. Music is the most important thing. The title is just the way we want people to remember the songs, we don’t want them to restrict the person interpretation of the listener.

Is there anything in the Italian scene in particular that inspires you? Or do you largely feel 'international' in your musical influences?

Yes, we definitely feel international in our influences (and also in our chosen tour destinations). European culture has been a big influence, in terms of philosophy, art and literature. So have the history of communism and our travels through Eastern Europe. As musical influences, we can mention the early works of Mogwai and Autechre, also Arab Strap and Labradford.

How does the average Port-Royal song usually come about?

It comes from a ‘melody seed’ that then blooms into many unpredictable paths! We always start composing a melody we like and then we develop multiple layers of sounds, melodies and rhythms. After that we cut, process and elaborate again. It's pretty interesting to notice how often the final result is so different from the original idea, but in the end we keep a good balance between ‘instinct’ and ‘reason’, substance and form: that's the most important thing according to us.

Can we expect any new releases from you guys soon?

Of course, this year our new album (which we’ll present in Malta) and an EP (which is a split album with the UK-based artist Winterlight) will see the light: we are very happy and thrilled about this!

Doors open at 22:00. Tickets are being sold from Anthony D’Amato (Valletta), White Arrow (Msida), Ultimate (B’Kara) and Style&Fashion (Hamrun) at €10. Tickets at the door are at €12. The concert is being organized by Hairy Amp. Contact info: 99846382.,,


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