The Idea interview

The beginning of 1987 saw Barry and Bee's most testing move to date, as they moved onto backing tapes for the majority of their sound. The move could have proved disastrous but instead has produced a more varied and fuller sound. This, so far, has been quite successful for both band and audience reaction.

Into A Circle have just finished their second tour in this format and are awaiting the release of their debut LP, Assassins.

What made you decide to drop the traditional ideas of a band?
We couldn't get the Into A Circle sound properly using other musicians. The way that we wrote the songs, we couldn't find any musicians to play them that way.…they were either too rocky or too funky and we spent so long trying to get the musicians, that we decided that because we do it all ourselves like Barry does the music, why don't we do it for ourselves on a 4–track.
How did the other band members feel about the decision?
They weren't in the band, they were session musicians. Into A Circle has just been me and Barry and just Rose on backing vocals.
About Rose, in the press it is always advertised as Into A Circle and Rose from Strawberry Switchblade, is she a permanent member of the band—she seems to do all of the gigs?
She does every gig. Well, she's permanent, but Into A Circle is me and Barry. Rose has her own solo career. We do all the other things, like merchandise. Rose does all of the gigs because she wants to really!

You also seem to have a lot of violent images, like on the slides you used tonight, the kids with rifles in Beirut. Are you a violent band?
Not violent as such. We use imagery that incorporates heavy images sometimes 'cos there's a lot of violent things that people don't know about and perhaps they should. Like in Beirut, there's thousands of kids being killed and being tortured and things and people in the West don't know anything about it and it's really heavy. Like the Palestinians have been slaughtering in refugee camps and people in the West still go on about the holocaust, like thousands of Jews being killed, but people don't realise that that things like that are still happening.
On the single ‘Forever’ you've got a picture of you and Barry and he's holding a knife in his hands.…
That's different, the reason the knife's there is because we wanted to incorporate something that had been special to the band. That was a birthday present that someone got me years ago. You know when you've got things that are really special to you and you've had them for years, but aren't very expensive and we like to incorporate things like that.
Don't you think people might misinterpret it?
No, I don't think so. We're not heavy. It's violence in a more aesthetic sense, than sort of bovver boy!

Most of the singles you have released to date have been 12–inch. Why?
The reasons the first two were was because they were limited editions and we only wanted so many of them and we preferred 12–inch, cos you can put a lot more on. But for Forever we decided on both because we did two versions of it. One's more disco which is the 12–inch and the other being more ambient and that's the 7–inch.
Isn't that a way of boosting the record sales, by releasing two versions?
No, the reason it happened was that we recorded the 7–inch and then we got Larry (Steinbachek) from Bronski Beat and he did a more sort of disco version and we wanted to get both versions out and the only way to do that was to release both.
Would you work with him again?
Oh yeah! I hate the first two singles we've done. I wasn't pleased with the sound.
What sort of sound are you trying to head for?
More like the live gigs.…like tonight, less rocky.

At this point our chat came to an abrupt end as it was 3am. Bee was needed elsewhere and everybody was being thrown out of the club, including us! Which was a pity as we still had a lot more to ask.…Maybe next time?

Download interview as PDF