14th of February – St. Valentine’s Day. A celebration of love, romantic feelings and partnership – in the widest, most popular take. We are however firm believers that not only significant others should be revered on this occasion. Everything that we love should be equally celebrated. Be it our admiration for good food, avantgarde cinema, our pets or families – it doesn’t matter, this day should be dedicated to all forms of love.
Music plays a very important part in our lives as well. There is no romance without a seductive tune, no wedding can go ahead without the Wedding March, all social events are linked to certain genres of music. We thought, we cannot celebrate Valentines without doing something we love the most – discovering new musical acts
So, Happy Valentine’s Day – let us introduce you to very sexy new indie band – The Imaginary Friends.
Official bio: Norea and Joe had hatched the plan to form a new band just before Covid hit. To fulfil bass duties, they looked to Joe’s old friend, Oliver Peck A.K.A The Doctor, who he had met years before in his hometown. Joe had seen him play over the years and was always looking for a way to get him into his band. A quick phone call and the group was complete.
The trio spent lockdown together, meticulously perfecting their vision of this new band, demoing songs, showing each other films and documentaries, endlessly debating, writing and rewriting manifestos, cooking up all sorts of off the wall ideas. With their unique sound, distinct image, socially incisive lyrics, ceaselessly hardworking attitude and unstoppable drive to reach the very top, the future looks very bright for THE iMAGINARY FRIENDS.
Follow the band on social media:
We have sat down with Joe Capaldi (lead vocals, guitar), Norea Persson (drums) and Oliver Peck for a quick chat about their new band, upcoming single “The Golden Age of the Narcissist” and what’s in store for them in 2022.
The Imaginary Friends are the hottest new kids on the indie block. Please introduce yourselves to the wider public.
Joe: Hello, hello. I’m Joe, the singer and guitarist, the one with the eyebrows.
Norea: I’m Norea, I play the drums.
Oliver: My name’s Oliver, I’m the bassist.
Let’s start at the very beginning, what made you want to pursue music as a career. It’s a tough industry to be in.
Joe: I didn’t get into music for a career. I got into music because I didn’t want a career (laughter). I think any musician that truly means anything to anyone, does music because they can’t not do music.
Did you know that after your last band split up some fans in London declared mourning and wore black for a month? That’s some fan base. How important is the audience to you?
Joe: Thank you. Audience is a huge part of the band. We really love hanging out with them at gigs and chatting to them online.
You return to music with a song mysteriously entitled “The Golden Age of the Narcissist”. Are we really living in self-obsessed times?
Joe: I would have to say yes. With the dominance of social media in all our lives, everyone has to be so aware of how they come across all the time. Who you really are is slowly becoming irrelevant, it’s more about who you present yourself as.
Sadly, the world seems like it would rather you be a terrible person sharing all the correct posts and content, rather than be a genuinely good person who doesn’t share those things. It’s heart-breaking and enraging.
First single and you are already releasing a cassette! That’s a very old school move but a very cool one at that. Whose idea was it?
Joe: Nostalgia is my favourite pastime! (laughter)
Oliver: It was suggested to us and we just thought it was a a great idea!
“The Golden Age of the Narcissist” is supported by a music video. Tell us the story behind it and who directed it.
Norea: It was directed by Dominic Howlett and Joe Archer of Window Zebra. They’ve done some really impressive short films across many different genres.
Joe: Very talented guys. Me and Dom were actually midway through writing a musical about the afterlife just before the 3rd lockdown, we’ll be picking that up again soon I’m sure.
The Imaginary Friends describe their sound as a “soundtrack to a dystopian slasher film, written by Bill Hicks and directed by Tim Burton”. It’s quite curious because we have noticed a new movement on the circuit where bands put their love of cinematography up front and centre in their music. Be it Birmingham`s Margarita Witch Cult, Leeds based The False Peak or Californian provocateurs Crash Your Car. Do you feel like a part of something new, a trend that is yet to be described?
Joe: I’ve not heard of these groups (no disrespect though, I’m sure they’re fantabulous). No, not really. We’ve never been part of a scene and are quite happy concocting our ideas out on our own, away from the restrictions of a trendy scene.
We want to touch a bit on your visual side. In every press photo, you all pose with a boldly applied make up and formal clothes. Something like a cross between Michael Stipe circa What`s The Frequency Kenneth and a cast of Danny Cannon`s The Young Americans. You definitely win in the category of best dressed indie band. Was it fun to sit down and design this part of the band`s image?
Joe: Well first off, thank you for that accolade. I’ve always dressed like a bit of a nut, enjoyed looking different. Whether it was drawing a Harry Potter scar on my forehead on nights out when I started going to pubs, or dressing up as Raoul Duke from “Fear and Loathing” in college. I’d started getting into the look we have now just before lockdown came in. Then, when we were isolating together, I’d wear it around the flat because I couldn’t doll myself up to go out, so I’d doll myself up and just pose around the kitchen.
In your work you also highlight charitable causes such as The Salvation Army. Can you tell us why this charity is important to you?
Joe: I lived in a homeless shelter ran by The Salvation Army for around 18 months not so long ago. It was in Kings Cross. Being there for so long and being such a chatty sod, I met a lot of the people staying there. Of course, there were some proper pieces of shit there, but a good chunk of them were good people who had lived very painful lives. The staff are also amazing. Not to go all self righteous and Bob Geldof but homelessness, especially around Christmas, has always been so shockingly inconceivable to me.
Soon The Imaginary Friends will hit the road. Where are we going to see you live?
Joe: We aim to play everywhere we can. As long as our travel costs are covered and we have someone’s floor to sleep on.
Promoters and radio stations are always on the lookout for new artists to feature. If anyone wants to get in touch with the band, what’s the best way to get hold of you?
Oliver: On any social media platform or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just swing by and knock on our front door
Joe: Be warned though, we will invite you in for gin and cookies and tell you our life stories, and then demand to know yours.
Looking beyond the single and first gigs. What can we expect from The Imaginary Friends in the coming months?
Norea: Lots of gigs and lots of music!
Last questions on Indieterria are usually fun. Imagine that you can collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, on a new blockbuster movie soundtrack. Who is directing and which artist is co-writing credit on the song?
Joe: Well, we’d stick to our guns and go with Tim Burton directing. I’d love to co-write it with Tom Waits. The man is one of the finest songwriters to ever grace this world.
The Imaginary Friends debut single “The Golden Age of the Narcissist” is out on 16th of February.
You can see two teasers below:
We would like to wish the happiest of birthdays to Joe Capaldi! All the best, may all your dream come true. Have a fantastic, love-filled celebration!
Photography by Sebastian Garraway.
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz