Artist Interviews

Q&A: I Like Trains

By | Published on Wednesday 17 November 2010

I Like Trains

Formed in 2004, I Like Trains (or iLiKETRAiNS, if you, er, like) are a post-rock band from Leeds. As well as the barrage of noise normally unleashed as their songs build, the band also became known on their early releases for writing lyrics from the perspective of historical characters.

The band’s second album, ‘He Who Saw The Deep’, the follow-up to 2007’s ‘Elegies To Lessons Learnt’, was released last month, and new single ‘A Father’s Son’ is out on 29 Nov. We spoke to frontman David Martin to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Guy and I started making music at high school. It seemed like the right thing to do in a town where nothing ever happened. We moved to the bright lights of Leeds and began to look for like minded people to make noise with. It was harder than we anticipated, but we eventually found Simon and Alistair, and the rest is history.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Our previous record concerned itself with various historical events, and attempted to illustrate how we never learn from our mistakes. It seemed like a logical step for us to start looking to the future for inspiration with this record. I’ve been reading up on the science of climate change. We’re taking a pretty bleak world view, but the music has been lightened by several notches.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
There are no hard and fast rules to the way we work. Things often come from us sparking off each other in the rehearsal room. For me the song doesn’t start to take shape until I come up with some sort of concept to hang the song on. I will take it away and write some lyrics then Guy and I will often record a demo or two. We take it back to the others, we tear it to pieces and build it back up again. It’s quite time consuming!

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Lots. Nick Cave, The Smiths, Sigur Rós, Radiohead, Jeniferever, Low, The National etc etc.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Am I in the room at the time? That’s always awkward. I usually end up pointing out all the things that I’m not 100% happy with! It’s best to leave them to listen and make their own minds up.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I would like to get out and play it to as many people as possible, and to be in a comfortable position to go and make another one. Hopefully it won’t take another three years this time.