Public Service Broadcasting is the brainchild of London-based J. Willgoose, Esq, who, combined with his drumming companion Wrigglesworth are on a mission to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe. Their music is a combination of sounds and video from old public information films, archived footage and propaganda material. Mixed in with drums, guitar, banjo and electronics, each song has its own feel, but flows together nicely within the new album. Their EP ‘The War Room’ released in 2012, set the band on their way to educate the world.
Releasing their first album called ‘Inform – Educate – Entertain’ and touring around, the duo then set their sights on creating another album, ‘A Race For Space.’ The thirteen track album is an amalgamation of all things ‘spacey’. Think missions to the moon and transmissions from NASA, combined with some funky beats and set to a story.
It’s mesmerising to see the old footage played against modern music, with the old sounds still used. Original and refreshing, PSB’s mission to inform, educate and entertain is certainly going well.
Currently on their world tour and visiting us here in Adelaide for our annual Womadelaide festival, we spoke with J from PSB about where they started and where they’re going in the future.
So J, you’re excited for Womadelaide?
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. We did Womad over here in the UK which was great, so we’re really looking forward to travelling over to Adelaide. I have been to Australia before to watch the cricket in 2006. In hindsight that was a very bad decisions, we lost pretty badly. I’m looking forward to heading to Adelaide though, we have a busy weekend planned which will be great!”
Did you have a love for space as a kid?
“I did a lot, and I mean, a lot of research into space to really get the ball rolling on this album. I had a big interest in space growing up – sci-fi as well which I guess helped in some way. I think the theme of space seemed like an obvious choice after our first album and a few songs we did before that. We did the world war and I think this album just moves us forward in history. It’s really dramatic and exciting, all the stories we pulled from the archived footage.”
Your style is original, it’s new and exciting to listen to!
“Thank you that’s great to hear! I think our music is quite eccentric, I don’t think a lot of people really know what to expect. When we play live shows people sort of get in this trance and watch the video display that we put up, it’s really quite exciting.”
This new album has been in the works for a little while, what was the process behind constructing the album?
“We started working on it I think around January of 2014. It was amongst all the touring as well which was quite hectic. It takes a while to really be happy with what you have in front of you – we were reading books, looking into the events and the missions to include in the album which was hectic in itself. It is a bunch of us that sort of worked on it altogether. In terms of the songs and the public footage that’s in them, the writing sort of worked either one of two ways.One – we would listen and watch some footage, then construct the song from there. Two – I would have an idea in my head and go over the footage to see if anything worked. I think it’s more about trying to find that musical response that would work with everything else in the album.”
In comparison to your first album, do you think anything was different in terms of the way you worked and how you went about things? Were you more prepared because of that first album?
“There were a lot of different things between the two albums which was interesting because I think we worked different because of that. The album happened really quick to be honest, I mean there were a few ideas at the start then it conspired from there. The first song of the album I think we did 47 takes, even just editing the album was a nightmare (laughs). Mixing it was crazy but I’m much happier with this album. I think this album feels a little stronger and more thorough. There’s the theme of space that really brings everything together.”
That’s fantastic! What’s been people’s reaction to your music? It’s certainly original in the sense of people talking in the tracks.
“Some people probably listen to some of the songs and go, ‘what’s all this talking nonsense?’ But I guess it depends on each individual’s point of view. I know it’s eccentric but I am happy that we’ve worked on it and it’s coming out very soon. I think I’m still recovering from the album to be honest, it was quite a long process and now we’re on tour, which is going to be great fun!”
I think you guys need a holiday!
“That would be fun! I mean this album was fun to work on and figuring out how we’re going to play everything live was and still is a task in itself. With Womadelaide we won’t be taking our huge TV’s lugging 53kg over with us, we’ll use the setup there, but it’s going to be interesting.”
You definitely need to check out the culture over here in Adelaide!
“I think we have one day off in the middle so we’ll definitely have a look around the city of Adelaide.”
Well we’re looking forward to having you here!
“Thanks, I hope it’s going to be great fun for the crowd! I’m pretty excited!”