Wouldn't this be better if it was just a single album with, say, ten of the best tracks?


Probably, yes. Certainly for the listener. However, the whole point was that this was our maximalist blowout. It's supposed to be like this!




Why do some of the songs sound unfinished or muddy?


Because they are unfinished and muddy.




Was it supposed to be 38 tracks in one go?


No, it's sequenced this way but was going to be divided into two halves. The first half was going to end with a song called Fragments and the second half was going to end with Nowhere Near. Or the other way around, I don't know. It was so long ago.




There's some superb sax playing on a few of the tracks. Who is that?


That is Mick Gawthorp. Great musician, great photographer, friend, and honorary member of our very exclusive club. Eagle-eared listeners will recognise Mick's playing from the first track on our In Glorious Technicolor album. Because of Mick we were fortunate to get airplay on loads of BBC regional stations, as well as 6 Music and Radio 1, where Don't You Dare, Boy was chosen as Huw Stephens' tip of the week. That is where our career peaked. It's no surprise to us that the best tracks on Nuclear Tapes all seem to have Mick's beautifully understated saxophone playing in common.




Some of the songs are a bit long, aren't they?


Yep. Sorry. Maybe you could do what we couldn't though, and long off the tracks that you don't like to make something less cumbersome.




The sleeve artwork is really great. Who did it?


Matt Purdon did it. Friend and honorary Nuclear Boy, graphic maestro, low end rider, and deep roller. Check out his website to see what he's up to. Other cool Matt Purdon-related trivia: He appears, playing bass somewhere in the mix of Sweatboxx (not that he knows) and This Hot Mess was originally called Deep Rolla and came about after seeing him roll up in his ludicrously cool old Jaguar.




Given that the album was originally called New Age Nuclear, what is going on with that song?


We don't know. This is the truncated version. It was arguably the most important song of the project and it's kinda funny how it promises so much and then dies a third of the way through. Very much the Nuclear project itself in microcosm. Same applies to a song called Dark Chocolate. There was a whole song, with full lyrics and a glorious outro, and it was always gonna be 'the single' but we kinda preferred the vibe of this one with mumbled guide vocal and abrupt ending. Who cares though, right?




Is this all of the songs from the project?


No, there were several more that - believe it or not - were too underdeveloped and/or unlistenable by comparison to the rest. Titles included Best Foot Fwd, Gilet, Norway, Freakout Zone, Spherical, Doublevision, Spooky Carpark, Slow Dance, Corduroy Heart, and Fragments. Norway in particular was one of the most important songs for both of us but we just couldn't do it justice.




Will you finish the project properly?


Unfinished is the new finished. We let go of this a long time ago. Putting this out is mainly for a sense of closure. There's a whole other album named Everybody Earthbound that we subsequently made and also never quite got over the line afterwards too. Not sure if that'll see the light of day at the moment. We'll see how this one goes down first but, as of right now, the Nuclear and Earthbound projects are over. As is whatever we were as an entity.




What are the short instrumental tracks about?


Art.




Why should I bother listening to this if you couldn't be bothered finishing it?


A fair question, but it's not the case that we couldn't be bothered. In hindsight the plan may have been a little too ambitious. Also, we would also argue that its being 'unfinished' is part of what makes it 'finished'. These are the Nuclear Tapes after all. Warts and all. Questionable choices. Inspired choices. Choices, choices, choices. Though there are many, many things that we would and could have done differently, had the project not collapsed in on itself, the highs are definitely higher than we ever got before (Alligator, Smash & Grab, Nowhere Near, and This Hot Mess come to mind) and the lows are never less than interesting. Of course we realise we're totally through the looking glass and can't be objective about any of it.




Why don't you just re-record and repurpose the best stuff as part of a new project?


Because new projects should be new projects and you can always tell. We're a bedroom band with virtually no listeners in the grand scheme of things. If we're not working on new material and living for those profound moments that you can only get from collaboration, then there's not much point. It's a shame on some level that this one ran away, but there are plenty of new things just waiting to be found. Then again, did it even run away?




Some of the songs stop very abruptly. Is that intentional and, if so, why?


Yes, it's intentional. The reason is because the whole thing was to be presented as some kind of nuclear mixtape that had fallen through a crack in time. The idea was that songs would just cut out sometimes and then you'd be straight on to the next thing. For example, a song like Sheep's Clothing could easily ride out for another half a minute before ending neatly, or just fade out, but it seemed more interesting and unexpected to pull the plug.