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Friday, 11 June 2010

Squib Swain EXCLUSIVE Interview

How did you get involved in doing the light show for Delphic?

I was on tour as LD for The Streets back in January 2009. Delphic were the support band and asked me to do lights each night for them for £30 cash in hand. I really got into it as it kept me on my toes as there were no breaks in beween songs which is pretty rare! After the tour they asked me to come to a handful more dates with them, i bought some fluorescent tubes from B&Q, and 18 months later here we are!

Do you have any other bands/live shows on your portfolio that incorporate the light show such as Delphic?

As I said, I was working with The Streets last year with a show designed by Bryan Leitch, since then my main priority has been Delphic however I have also managed to fit in some shows with The King Blues as well. Just recently I designed two shows in London and Paris for Two Door Cinema Club, and fingers crossed you will hopefully see me out with them in the Autumn.

Was it always the case to make sure that the lights were an integral part of the gig?

Right from the very beginning the band allways new the visual part of their show was going to be an integral part of a Delphic gig. Whether that be going into a tiny 200 capacity club and setting up 8 fluorescent tubes on the bands instruments, to creating the immersive lighting show that we attempted to create more recently. The band always want to stand out with their live show and give the audience something that they remember, both sonically and visually. We draw on and reference so many different influences and its something we talk about a lot, everything from the live shows of Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead to visual artists such as Dan Flavin and UVA.

I think it goes without saying that everyone who has seen a Delphic gig has enjoyed the whole experience (the music, the sound quality, the live performance and the light show) It must have taken a lot of planning to get it all to click?

Surprisingly enough, we have never had a full rehearsal or pre-production day for a Delphic tour! The main ingredient that makes the Delphic live show what it is, is the eight individuals that are on the tour that make it happen. As well as the band there is our sound engineer, electronics tech, guitar tech and myself. We all approach the show in a very collaborative way and everyone has a creative role in the project. As soon as we get back on the bus after show its not long until we are talking about how the show went and what we could change and develop, in any areas. It is this open minded and collaborative attitude that helps us really work together as a team to create the show.

In terms of lighting, I need to know the set inside out, as I have been working for the band for 18 months I do know the songs extremely well, but if there is a new set or a new mix in between songs then Rick (keys) might send me a recording before the tour so I can get to know it and plan what I am going to do with it. If there is enough time, I might be able to program a few basic bits when the lighting is being prepared in the warehouse the day before the tour starts, but usually I programme the whole gig on the first day of the tour and constantly change and tweak it as the tour develops.

Are there any plans for a new light show for future Delphic tours or will it stay the same until this album has been fully toured?

The next phase for the light show is to create something for the major UK festivals that is simple to set up, due to the tight schedules of festivals we do not have the time to set up the full light show, however I do have something up my sleeve to make the stage visually interesting, and put the Delphic stamp on it, so look out for that. As for the rest of the year, we shall have to wait and see. We are constantly talking about how we can move forward, both in the long and short term.....

For any of our young readers interested in following in your footsteps of light design, what would you say is the best way to get into it?

Unfortunately there is no one way into the industry, I personally went to The Central School of Speech and Drama and studied for a degree in Theatre Lighting Design and then in my 3rd year was lucky enough to make the jump into live music with my placement with The Streets, some people I know started working as crew in house at their local venue, others maybe working for their mate's band.... My only advice is that if you REALLY want it, do everything you possibly can to make it into a reality, a sound engineer I know once told me, "If you choose a job that you love, you never have to do a days work in your life."

All of Delphic's lighting is supplied by Neg Earth Lights.
A big thank you to Steve Hunt for the photos.
For more on Squib click below for his website
A big thank you to Squib for taking time out to do this during this busy time.

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