Surreal are two Brits on a mission. Laurence, the vocalist, writer and Londoner of the pair works with the all-round musical mastermind, Tim, to create tunes that have turned the heads of 6Music's new music guru, Steve Lamacq and their first proper gig was in front of a sold-out crowd that Hot Chip were spinning their favourite tunes for.
Not bad, considering they met on a website that offers everything from hairdryers to hedgetrimmers in its classifieds. I caught up with Laurence as he was unpacking his bag in Berlin to chat how Surreal aspire to come to the land of the TV Tower to add some more pages to their fast-filling and well-bound book of tales.
With all of the latest British pride that has been set awash on the UK's beaches since the Royal Wedding, would you say that British music is regaining respect from the outside world? If so, which artistes are on the horizon to be big things in the UK? Where do you see Surreal fitting in amongst all of the red, white and blue?
Its hard for me to say how other countries view British music, but I suppose if its only the X-Factor type of artist that slips through to the mainstream of Europe's music scene then I guess there is little respect in what is coming out of Britain, but you can be rest assured that there is some serious talent in the UK - both past and present. I'd say the most exciting talent right now is James Blake
, he's predominantly an eccentric electronic producer that recently decided to show the world his incredibly soulful voice. He's an amazing talent! I think 'Surreal' kind of drifts between the underground and mainstream, so fitting in is reasonably tricky when you don't have a specific place. But hey - Massive Attack
were also neither so it can be done! (Important note - we are not comparing ourselves to Massive Attack, they just happen to be our heroes!)
You've obviously had a lot of great attention quite early on in your career with supporters like 6Music's Steve Lamaq jumping on board and Radio Fritz hosting you on their Almost Famous show, where would you like to go next?
I'd love to just spread the word, the level we are on now is fun and every fan you meet is genuine and not just jumping on the band-wagon because there is no band wagon! We obviously need to grow but I'd love to do it organically, I think ultimately organic growth will lead to a longer, healthier career.
Your first big gig was supporting one of Hot Chip's rather eclectic DJ sets - are you influenced by them particularly or do you have other tunes that get you going?
Not Hot Chip so much; actually I'm a fan of what they do and they're great live, but in terms of influences bands like Cinematic Orchestra
do it for us.
Going back to your big shout out on Radio Fritz, you're reputation in Berlin seems to precede you - have you ever been here before and what impressions do you hope that come from others to be true for you?
Yes this is my second trip and I love it!! I'm discovering so much every day , the first trip was great it was a very exciting and I thought I'd seen a lot. But now I realise last time I was exploring the house, then this time around i've looked in the closet and discovered Narnia! hidden treasures are the best kind.
Where can we hope to find you partying in the world's 'coolest' capital city? Any plans to tour Germany in the future?
100% there will be a tour soon even if I have to walk here from London, it has to happen! Last night consisted of casual drinks until 3 this morning in a great little bar on Sclesische street on the and tonight I think we are heading to Panorama Bar after some more exploring.
The track that's up on your soundcloud, 'Idle Pop & Prancing Stars' is taking from your 'forthcoming' debut album. How 'forthcoming' is it? Will we have to wait long to get inside your musical mind on record?
Hopefully not too long - this autumn/winter could be the time. The good news is that more and more stuff keeps getting written so a follow up could be pretty close.
Every artiste that comes to Berlin seems to revel in it. Would you ever consider making the move to Berlin to get lost in its hedonistic euphoria?
Haha it'd' be amazing! I wonder how productive I could be with all the hedonistic euphoria but it would certainly be good for the soul.
Are you working on anything at the moment that could use a bit of a Berlin twist?
I'd love to film some stuff here like maybe doing some elaborate busking on the Oberbaumbruecke bridge with a few locals. We are always up for collaborations so please any artist in Berlin contact us at www.soundcloud.com/surreal
. I could lend my vocals...or maybe you could do a remix for us!
… most importantly - when are you coming back and what/who are you planning on bringing with you?!
Hopefully this summer and next time Tim will be in my suitcase along with all the equipment and gadgetry we need to hypnotize and excite!