Let’s add Collapsed Lung to the list of bands that get back together, for better or worse most bands do at some point. However, let’s not lump them in with the bands out to make a quick last buck, a chance to charge the people who care about them the most £20 a head for one last grab at nostalgia. Collapsed Lung are back with new music and are hitting the road for the first time in a long time. This was (and is again) a band based on simple enjoyment and love of music, of creating and playing with like-minded people, of keeping it fun first and foremost. Yeah, they had their big 90’s hit and everyone knows ‘Eat My Goal’ whether you’re aware of it or not but there was always so much more to them than that. Overblown was curious to know more so we simply asked founder member Anthony Chapman. Let the beats commence.
Overblown: There has been fleeting glimpses of Collapsed Lung over the years but now we’ve got new music and a tour. What felt right about doing this now?
Anthony: If we’re honest, we should have probably been at this point about 6 years ago. Initially we got back together for (lead rapper) Jim’s 40th, as a “surprise” – i.e. he didn’t know it was happening, and was surprised to find he was doing a CL set at his own surprise party. It went really well so we got together with drummer Dave Walsh and did a full Lung show at our spiritual home, The Square in Harlow, later in 2010. And then… nothing for about 5 years. The main issue is that one of the band is still a professional musician (cough cough – Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer – cough cough). In terms of why it feels right – I’d say a combination of general alignment of the stars combined with the dawning realisation that we’re not getting any younger (one of the band is now in their 50s).
O: Has it been easy to pull everything back together? What’s it like putting music together as Collapsed Lung now compared to back in the 90s?
A: On the musical front it’s, frankly, a joy. We can all work remotely, something that was never practical in the 90s. I tend to start things off with a chopped sample and a beat, and often everyone else will add parts remotely and then it’ll come back to me to tweak and organise. Often I’m even doing the initial work on my iPad, sat on a train or bus. Again, totally That said, often the most productive sessions are where a couple of us can get together – that’s where it starts to take shape really quickly.
O: What’s the ambition behind getting the band back together again? Can we expect Collapsed Lung to be around for a while or is it just a bit of fun?
A: The overall ambition is for us to make a new album completely on our own terms – self produced and self released. Part of the reason for us self producing and releasing is precisely because we want to keep it fun. If anyone else was involved – say a label or something, the fun factor would be catastrophically reduced, and the whole thing would be pointless. That said, we’re also enjoying writing songs as a band that has returned after 20 years which actually address the ridiculousness of that whole idea – in fact both “New Song, Old Band” and “Let’s Get Jobs” from our new single are totally based around this.
O: Hypothetically speaking, say Collapsed Lung had never been around in the 90s and were just kicking off their career now. How do you think they’d get on?
A: I think it would be a real “six and two threes” situation. Technology would mean putting songs together would be much simpler, but the number of people interested in paying money for said songs would be miniscule. We were never a big success, but we were lucky to be around at the tail end of the worst/best (depending on your viewpoint) period of music industry excess.
O: Following on from that, I know you’re closely involved in music whether it be as part of Collapsed Lung or not. What’s your take on the current music scene? How technology has affected it, the recent resurgence of vinyl etc.
A: I’m hearing lots of exciting new stuff, and many of the rules have gone out the window. Also, I hear a lot of popular music that young people like which makes me either scratch my head or want to throw up. And that’s the way it should be – I’m 44, young people’s music should be shocking to me. Technology is a blessing and a curse, of course. For people like us who are just mucking about (relatively speaking) it’s a boon. For those who are trying to be professionals, the microscopic payments for streaming and the like must be quite demoralising to say the least.
The “vinyl revival” really puzzles me. Albums cost £20 and up. So essentially it’s still just a small amount of sales, but with a much higher unit price. It’s a lifestyle thing, and I guess I just don’t have the lifestyle for it. I suppose we’re part of the problem now, releasing a 7″ single and expecting people to pay a fiver for it.
O: What can we expect from the upcoming live shows? Do you expect your audience to be 30/40 somethings or can the music grab a new audience?
A: We’re undeniably much, much better than we were in the 90s – partly thanks to technology, partly thanks to all being more experienced (or old, in other words). All being well, we should have four new songs (including the two on the single) for these shows. The audiences are definitely skewed older, but sometimes I’m surprised at younger people who stumble across us and say how much they enjoyed. Also, people the same age as us who didn’t see us back then and were surprised to enjoy us now.
O: Shouldn’t you have retired to a tropical island long ago after the success of ‘Eat My Goal’?
A: You’d think so, wouldn’t you? Never sign a record deal, kids!
Collapsed Lung release their new single ‘New Song, Old Band’ // ‘Let’s Get Jobs’ on 28th November. Available on 7″ and download through their bandcamp
The 7″ single will also be available at all the shows on their November tour. See image below for dates and venues.