Syd Arthur are a UK based band formed of three brothers, Liam Magill, Joel Magill , Josh Magill and violinist Raven Bush. Their name is a hybrid of Hermann Hesse's novel "Siddhartha" with the spelling changed reportedly in reference to Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd and Arthur Lee of Love. We gave them a Lomo'Instant Wide to document their tour and Joel shared some of his fab Diana F+ shots as well.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Joel and I play bass and perform for Syd Arthur. The band has been my life for the last number of years and I love touring and playing music all of the world. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to go on an amazing journey with my art. I also record/produce and mix for other people when I get a spare minute from the band. I’d don’t like not to be busy and work hard on lots of projects. Outside of music I love taking analogue photos as a way of expressing myself. In my spare time I love to cook and socialize and enjoy a few quality real ales in my local pub of an evening to relax.
What did you choose to shoot?
All sorts of things actually. Luckily, being in a touring band means I get to travel a lot. I get to go to some really interesting places and have the time to document things in my photography. I’ve included some landscape shots I liked, some experimental and multiple-exposures of some of bands/artists we have been touring with and some shots of us a band we experimented with. Some of the shots are blurry or exposed ‘incorrectly’ from a technical standpoint but I’m not always interested in that… I love the colours and ‘soft’ focus of the shots.
How did you get on shooting with the Lomo'instant Wide?
Its an amazing camera. I’ve had so much fun shooting with it! The wide format is great for getting that extra detail and all the added functionality of the camera, the ease of multiple exposures, built in flash and the genius addition of being able to trigger the camera from the lens cap mean that there is so many creative options. The whole band has fallen in love with the camera actually and we routinely share it around! Although I love the discovering of getting my film developed and seeing if you captured anything out of the ordinary or magical, I also love the instant gratification of a polaroid. You can tell quickly if a shot is over/under exposed and adapt accordingly and try again. Its so easy to experiment with creatively.
If your photos could have a soundtrack, what would it be? (5 songs, title and artist please)
Miles Davis – In A Silent Way
Brooding, building, beautiful… I love the way this composition works and the tension/release of the playing. I often put this record on when I’m cooking or working too, its wonderfully understated and inspirational and soulful.
Van Morrison – You Don't Pull No Punches, but You Don't Push the River
I’m currently obsessed with this Van Morrison album from the mid-70’s. I’ts absolutely EPIC and is in my opinion Van at his most poignant, lyrical, poetic and emotional. I love the lyrical content and orchestration and breadth of the compositions. I say it again, epic!
Morgan Delt – Make My Grey Brain Green
I love the sound of Morgan’s recordings. They are warm and fuzzy and massively psychedelic in the best way. Thinking about it in relation to some of these analogue photos having a soundtrack I think this is most suitable
The Velvet Underground – Who Loves The Sun
Sunshine psychedelic pop from the Velvets... What’s not to like! Loaded is a massively underrated album for some reason, perhaps because of it leans more towards a ‘pop’ sensibility as opposed to the artsy roots of their earlier work. Its quite possibly my favourite Velvets album, I love the sound, feel and writing on this album.
Can – Chain Reaction
I love the tape splicing avant-garde spaciousness of this track by Can. The way the track builds over the course of its 11 minute running time. It sounds way ahead of its time and ultimately really modern even now.
What’s coming up in the future?
Our new album, Apricity, was released last Friday and we are touring around the release all over the UK. Its been a busy few months, I’ve been touring in the USA for 6 weeks with Jake Bugg and then straight back into touring with out brothers from Austin White Denim. After this tour and a massive homecoming Canterbury show we are organizing at the end of November I imagine we will have a few weeks off over Christmas before we get busy again promoting the new album in the New Year.
Check out Apricity, the new Syd Arthur album out now!