Wire guitarist Matt Simms releases debut EP as Slows

Next week Wire will be headlining Drill:Lexington downstairs from tQHQ, where they’ll be joined each night by a different support artist including Karen Gwyer, Boothroyd and Orlando. Matthew Simms, who joined Wire in 2010 and also plays with the excellent It Hugs Back, has just released his first EP as Slows, and you can hear it above.

This solo venture has been in gestation for the past five years, and a 10” has just been released by London label Deep Distance, who were inspired by German experimental musician Conrad Schnitzler’s private press LPs in 1973.

We spoke to Simms about how his latest project came about and what fans of Wire and It Hugs Back can expect from it over the next few months.


Matt! Tell us a little about Slows

Matt Simms: Slows is a title I decided on a while back when working some songs on my own not long after the first It Hugs Back record came out in 2009/2010. It’s something I’ve spent the majority of my spare time doing since I discovered the wonder of my dad’s four track cassette Portastudio when I was 12. Lots of time spent and music made, enjoying the magic of creating something/anything new. Everything I do on my own somehow feels slow… well, slower than anything I do in a group – the blessing/curse of working alone, the lack of deadlines and the lack of other people who might get a bit annoyed with you spending six hours getting your guitar to sound like its coming from outer space while they twiddle their thumbs. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’ve still yet to finish any record other than a 10" EP that has just been released by one of my favourite record labels at the moment called Deep Distance, an offshoot of The Great Pop Supplement.


It’s quite a departure from It Hugs Back and your work with Wire, what inspired it?

MS: It was a happy accident, I recorded it in two afternoons last summer, while concentrating on my main projects at the time; mixing the Chastity Belt record, writing/recording the new It Hugs Back record and still trying to finish some songs of my own / make my guitar sound like it was beamed in from the moon. Feeling somewhat frustrated, I took a break from mixing and sat behind my beloved Farfisa organ and this EP is the result. Similar to how I imagine guitars have songs inside, this seems like the sort of thing that could/should live inside an electric organ from the early 70s. It’s rather meandering and repetitive, both qualities that some might think of as detrimental but both I find I really enjoy in music. While the sound overall is a departure as there are no guitars, I have a hunch if you played my guitar parts from Wire or It Hugs Back on an old organ, overlapping them for 10 minutes, it might not sound so dissimilar.


What plans do you have for Slows?

MS: Plans remain somewhat… loose! I am currently working on a new album I began on my birthday in January this year, based on my ever growing fascination with my modular synthesizer and finding a meeting ground between it and my ongoing love of pop songs and skewed psychedelics. Unexpectedly It has also led me to learn some basic clarinet, dig out my old trumpet and just yesterday I was given a trombone which I have great plans for! I had hoped to finish it before I leave for tour with Wire in a couple of weeks, while I now think that’s far too ambitious, I am learning – it’s a really good thing to see recordings through to their end.

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