Boxed In

Boxed In

It should really not surprise us that a member of the Manchester cult band Keith, would soon resurface. Especially, not with those keys that are so central to the Keith sound.

The man behind those keys is Boxed In and when you find he is a former member of Keith, it is quite hard to believe that this electronic come guitar music is his. It is warm, glowing and his song with George Fitzgerald, ‘Full Circle’, is bound to have been played by practically every DJ at last weekend’s Parklife.

Boxed In, AKA Oli Bayston, has worked as engineer and assistant to producer Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, Bat For Lashes, Toy) and played keyboards on Willy Mason’s and Steve Mason’s most recent LPs. But he is most powerful, when he is on his own and his self-titled album brought a glimpse of sunshine this January and kicked off 2015 with a bang.

This interview comes with an exclusive premiere of Silverclub’s (the support act for the Boxed In tour) remix of Boxed In’s ‘All Your Love Is Gone’ at the end of the article.

He will bring his four man band to Gorilla, Manchester on Tuesday June 16 and you can get yourselves excited for that by reading his insights below.
Your album came out of the start of the year, were you surprised by the reaction?
I was humbled by the support that the album’s been given. It’s very rewarding to have a positive reception from something you’ve made and waited to release for a while.

How nervous were you when those first reviews emerged?
I wasn’t nervous about the reviews, I was more interested in people’s opinions. I do read reviews, but find any negative comments as useful, if not more, than positive ones.

How was it going out on your own, and not having a band around you like you did in Keith?
I found it liberating, writing the album on my own. I had a very clear idea of how I wanted it to sound and the way I would write the songs but I’ve had great musicians and friends who’ve played on the record and now form the live band with me.

Do you want Boxed In fans to be aware of Keith or to see this as two completely separate things?
It’s great when Keith fans turn up to Boxed In shows. It’s nice to know that they’ve continued their interest in my work.

Has your experience in Keith helped you make this success?

Boxed In
I think I definitely benefited from being in a band prior to Boxed In. It taught me to develop my own specific personality as an artist in my own right.

Were your ex-bandmates supportive of your move into solo work?
Yes, they’ve been lovely. Mark from Keith now plays with me in Boxed In, which is great, and Johnny and John have a band called Douga, still based in Manchester. Mark and I really like the music they’re making.

You’ve done lots of work as an engineer and assistant, so what was it like to step out from the background and come out on your own?
Working as an engineer and producer has been a really enjoyable and valuable experience. It’s nice to have the opportunity to change roles within the creative process. I still love producing and do it as often as the Boxed In schedule will allow.

Why did you decide to expand the touring act to four people and not just yourself?
The Boxed In album was predominantly played live so we replicate that by performing as a four piece.

Has it been hard to let others into the creative process?
It’s been really fun working on the live set with the guys, it feels nice to be back in a gang again when we’re on the road.

How was it working with George Fitzgerald? And how happy were you with the reception for this one?
I loved working with George and we intend to make a lot more music together. We’re both really chuffed with the response to the music we’ve put out.

What festivals have you got coming up this year? Any that you are particularly looking forward to?
We’re playing Best Kept Secret in Holland next weekend, Latitude, Green Man, Bestival and a load more. We’re also looking forward to headlining our first festival at Fieldview.

You often get compared to Hot Chip and Neu!, do you count these as influences and who else in today’s music landscape inspires you?
I’m a fan of both those bands and I’m inspired by many of the artists I work with as well. It was great working with Joe from Hot Chip on a couple of tracks for his 2 Bears guise.

How much are you looking forward to playing Manchester on the 16th?
It’s the last date of the tour so it’ll probably be a pretty big night. We can’t wait.

Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.