Interview: East India Youth

[This is one of a series of stories that are written outside of Estonia at other events that interest me. I will eventually start up a separate page for music stories, but for now, they will stay in Estonia Stories with my other posts.]

On Thursday night, as he prepared for his gig at the Soundrive Festival in Gdansk, I caught up with rising British talent East India Youth, alias William Doyle. He spoke to me about everything from the inspiration for his latest, more pop-orientated album "Culture of Volume", to the curse or otherwise of the Mercury Music Prize, to when the best time of day is if you want to be creative.

As I haven't had time to chop, edit and place bumpers as yet, it's a bit raw, and apologies in advance for the camera angle, but I hope you like the discussion.

East India Youth's gig was totally different to what I'd expected. Certainly, the current album is a mixture of styles with changes of pace, but there is a common theme running throughout. The first album, "Total Strife Forever", which was the one nominated for a Mercury, was more of a smorgasbord of influences. Both are superb, inventive examples of where electronica can go, if the mind behind it is inspired.

What surprised me about the gig was the sheer energy Will put into his movement, and getting the audience involved. With his suit and tie always immaculate, and looking like a cross between Matt Smith's Doctor in "Doctor Who" and a junior city banker, I'd expected a Pet Shop Boys-type gig, where Will stood motionless behind his Mac and his bank of synthesisers and processors, and let the lighting and imagery do the work. 

Instead, he was constantly adjusting knobs and switches all over his workstation, while frantically nodding his head and shaking to the music. On two occasions, Will strapped on a guitar and, briefly, the man dressed like a stockbroker wigged out like Dave Grohl. There were even smiles when, towards the end of a song, he knocked over his expensive processor. "Thank you," he said, "has anyone seen a USB cable?"