An interview with Detachments' Sebastien Marshal

Twisted art-rock noisers the Detachments formed just eighteen months ago, after French DJ and producer Mr Ivan ‘Rough Trade’ Smagghe took them under his wing and persuaded them to jump on board the Kill The DJ train. But the band are not at all new to this game: Sebastien was previously involved in Remote, who were signed to Andrew Weatherall’s RGC label.

Hailing from England’s north west, they openly embrace the musical legacies of New Order and Joy Division and this clearly resonates throughout their sound, which they describe as “neo post-punk, but with electronic undertones.”

However, they are now definite products of London, currently residing in Archway and having at one point lived in Shoreditch, where they revelled in its abundant electro offerings. Speaking on his influences, Sebastian remarks that he is just as much into dance music as is he into indie bands: “I’m passionate about things from a guitar, song based arena but I’m also fascinated by club culture and electronics based music. Kraftwerk definitely turned me onto electronic music and obviously New Order, Brian Eno and a lot of those Factory Records ethic bands have influenced me too.”

Detachments are soon to recieve the ultimate rock and roll honour: they’ve been asked to perform at a Tony Wilson sponsored charity event in Manchester with their beloved idol, none other than Mr Peter Hook: “He’s going to join us on stage and he’s asked us to play ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, which has never been done before apparently. He’s a massive hero of ours, so it’s pretty unbelievable to be honest.”

So how did this come about? “Well, we recently covered New Order’s ‘In a Lonely Place’ for an American covers album but it was too dark to play at the Tony Wilson event so they asked us to play some of our own tracks and of course, Joy Divison. It's a real honour.”

When it comes to contemporary music, Sebastien admits that he has a serious soft spot for Dubstep: “A lot of the electronic stuff I listen to now has a Dubstep taste to it, things like Kode 9 and Martyn. I’ve always been into music that’s quite forward thinking and pioneering and I guess you could say that Dubstep’s one of the genres at the moment which is pretty original. It’s got a cold, futuristic sound to it which is kind of like our musical outlook and vision too.”

So what will he be playing on the show today? “A live set with four or so of our own tracks, La Roux (she’s a guilty pleasure), ESG, Liquid Liquid, and of course, New Order.”

Detachments’ next single ‘Circles’ will be released in November with a second album out sometime in the Spring. And with James Ford of Simian Mobile disco fame taking control of the production of their next album, expect lashings of bleepy electronics and cascading synth based disco floor fillers from these Manchester lads.

Tune in at 2pm to HEREhear Detachments live on D:U:M

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Words by April Welsh


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