Perfect Body have only been together for a relatively short period of time, however, they have already established themselves as one of the most exciting prospects emerging from Wales this year. The band are about to release a split vinyl EP with Zac White so we thought it timely to find out more about Perfect Body
The band formed relatively recently back in 2017. How did that come about?
Will Johnson: James, Cam and I go way back, and in late 2016 we realised that our music tastes converged on all things experimental and noisy, so we decided to start a band. We spent weeks honing the guitar sound in chaotic late night jams, with James finding his rhythm under all the noise. Eventually James introduced us to Sioned, who had a great voice and offered to play the synth, adding a celestial elegance to the sound. But we needed some low end so Cam asked Josh on a drunken whim if he was keen to play bass for us, knowing heâ€™d been in a few cool bands. Josh came along to practice and it all just clicked. He understood exactly what we were going for and put down a tasty groove, especially given that heâ€™s a guitar player! This was early 2017, and Joshâ€™s prominence in the DIY Cardiff scene got us our first few gigs. It all started from there.
There seems to be a real community feel at the moment amongst some of the Cardiff acts particularly around the Rat Trap collective. Why do you think this has happened and where do you see this going?
Josh Dickins: I think, if music is something you take seriously, itâ€™s natural for artists to gravitate towards other musicians they enjoy. While Iâ€™m definitely excited by what the music scene youâ€™re describing is doing, I donâ€™t really subscribe to the idea that itâ€™s unique in the UK. That said, I think that as long as musicians in Cardiff continue to support each other, things can only get better â€“ I just hope thatâ€™s something that translates nationally.
Your shows are very intense and you all seem to get lost in the music. What is the experience like of playing your music live?
Sioned Willicombe: Playing live is a bit of a whirlwind. You never know whether it sounds the way you think it sounds.
You have supported some amazing acts so far such as The Wytches and Say Sue Me. How did you find the experience of performing alongside such well known acts?
Will Johnson: Itâ€™s always interesting to play for the bands we support and the different crowds they each bring out, and to hear what they all get from our music. And then thereâ€™s always something to learn from the way the bands get their particular crowd fully going. Weâ€™re all very excited to tour and I always like hearing the stories of the joys/struggles of touring from other bands. But of course, the best part is watching a great band for free over a free beer.
You are releasing 3 tracks on a split ep with Zac White. How did that combination come about and why Bubblewrap?
Will johnson: Rich from Bubblewrap approached me and Josh when we played Wales Goes Pop in April about putting us out on a split 12â€�, which we thought was a great idea (Obviously, splits are way cooler than a solo EP.) A few of us saw Zac play for the first time at Tiny Rebel around then and we just knew his stuff would fit quite nicely on the other side. Clearly Rich had the same idea!
Where were the tracks recorded and can you tell us about the recording process you used?
James Bikram: They were recorded at Rat Trap studios with Tom and Ethan â€“ drums and bass first, then guitars, synth, then vocals. We spent a couple days mixing and adding layers afterwards
Do you find it hard to create the same atmosphere that you achieve playing live when working in a studio?
Sioned Willicombe: Personally, I think working in the studio creates a whole new atmosphere. You can dedicate so much time to building up layers and perfecting a song.
Josh Dickens: Itâ€™s hard to really know what that atmosphere is, from the artistâ€™s perspective. I tend to think of it the other way round: Trying to get the live performance to convey how the finished studio version of a song would sound in your mindâ€™s eye.
Your sound has been described by some as reflecting back to the â€˜shoe gazingâ€™ bands such as My Bloody Valentine. How would you describe it to someone who hasnâ€™t heard it?
James Bikram: I would describe it as a load of mush. Good mush. Piled on top of each other.
You were selected for the Forte Scheme this year. How is that going and what have you gained from taking part?
Josh Dickens: Itâ€™s definitely been helpful through the opportunities itâ€™s granted us. But if Iâ€™m being honest, outside of taking advantage of those opportunities, our participation in the project has been pretty minimal.
What can we expect from Perfect Body in the next 6 months?
Josh Dickens: While weâ€™ve not really decided on any kind of â€˜master planâ€™, Iâ€™d like to have started making arrangements for releasing an album by then, personally. We have some very exciting shows to announce in the next month as well.
You can pre-order the ep now at:
Perfect Body also headline Porters on Wednesday 31st October (free entry 18+)