Factory Floor are a three-piece band based in London. Gabriel Gurnsey, Dominic Butler & Nik Colk were a traditionally underground band, but have now come up to the surface thanks to their incredible self-titled debut LP. Factory Floor will be playing their first ever DC show at the U Street Music Hall on the Thursday the 24th of April. (To win tickets to their DC debut,follow the instructions at the bottom!) Whilst touring US and Canada, vocalist and guitar player, Nik Colk sat down with Blisspop to explain how the band feels having made a record which met such high expectations.
“It is such a relief, the feedback and that everyone liked the album was amazing,” she explains ahead of a soundcheck in Seattle. “From BBC 6Music in London to Pitchfork in Chicago to Electronic Beats in Berlin. The fact that lots of people liked it around the world is huge for us.” The touring lineup for the band features Gabriel Gurnsey (drums and drum machines), Dominic Butler (modular synths and electronics), and Nik Colk (vocals, guitar and samples).
The album is a swirling artistic triumph of a record-one you wished came along every week but sadly comes around yearly, if you’re lucky. Merging a crazy yet harmonious blend of minimal techno, post industrial, noise rock, post punk and visual art in one beautiful swoop. Factory Floor are a band who’ve broken out of the European underground scene, which they have been part of since the three of them got together in 2009. Ultimately the brain child of drummer Gabriel Gurnsey, Factory Floor began in 2005 with a different line up, and has, since 2009, released a mini-LP titled ‘Talking On Cliffs’ and a bunch of singles. The album’s first release, ‘Fall Back’, is sleek and powerful track. Techno, laced under Colk’s woozy, distorted vocals is paired with driving bleeps, bops and heavy drums.
Factory Floor are maturing and sounding more fine-tuned and focused than ever. The band are particularly known for their powerful live sets in unique venues. “I personally have a problem playing traditional venues, where music and art are put into a box. The system is tired and it may not respond well to our sound,” said Colk. Factory Floor clearly have a firm grip on their work and can be found playing in warehouse spaces, art galleries or the most magical stages at festivals. “It is trial and error but it gives us more freedom. Our main incentive is to let people have an open mind. And if you start in a place that will dictate to them, it could potentially tarnish the experience.” It is also worth mentioning that Factory Floor solely produced and recorded their album, as well as design their own album sleeve.
I asked how they felt about the various labels journalists give them when describing their sound. “I’m fine with labels – people have to have a reference. Post Punk is something we can definitely identify with, artists creating music without money and scraping by which is true with us. As well as people collaborating and helping each other out without a view of getting paid,” explains Colk. So a band with DIY ethics, which brings me nicely to Daniel Avery who remixed “How You Say” for the band. I wanted to know how the connection was made. “It came about a while ago, he got in contact with us and ask if Gabe (drummer in Factory Floor) could do a remix for him, so it was a growing relationship and he did one for us in return.”
Back to their live shows. After playing in Canada for the first time the band are in high spirits. “We don’t tend to look up when performing because we don’t have a traditional set up. I looked up mid-set and there were so many people who knew the words – it was a real joy and a surprise. It is interesting to see how playing the tracks on stage differs from the studio. When you play live it takes on a mind of its own.” I wonder, before going on tour, does it feel like the album you’re touring is as old as the hills? “Yes, in your head you have moved on quite a lot and it is a struggle until you get on the road. Then it’s great.’
In a time when integrity, a progressive sound and emerging from the underground normally means you stay there, Factory Floor are a rare treat and a growing success. 2014? “We have festivals up until the end of the summer and we’ll write on the road and then record album number two. We are eager to get on and take the next step.”
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