Attrition – Artist Spotlight

Band nameAttrition
LocationCoventry, England
Founded in1980
Similar ArtistsReally hard to pinpoint one
First releaseThe Attrition of Reason (1984)
(best described by UK music magazine Sounds at the time as a “Punk Floyd”)
LinksFacebook | Spotify | Website | YouTube
The Music Addict’s VerdictTake an early 80’s electronic band, and ask them to score a suspense movie with abstract music, and you might get close to what Attrition sounds like at times. Maybe.

How was the band formed?  

Martin Bowes: I was running a local punk/post punk music fanzine in Coventry (1979-81) and I always knew I had to make my own music… so I started ATTRITION with my then girlfriend Julia and her brother Ashley. We quickly went from a post punk guitar sound to the more electronic sound that we are known for.

Martin Bowes of Attrition (Photo credit: Martin Leipzig – 2012)

What’s your songwriting process like?   

I start out experimenting with electronic sounds; more an abstract approach. It goes back to my art student days. Then I develop the ideas that seem to work: some might stay as soundscapes and others will develop into song structures and I will write lyrics that connect, very much at the same time as writing the music.  I will bring in guest musicians on guitar or violin, cello, piano etc… whatever suits. So the core is me and I have a flexible group of musicians I work with…

What are your influences?

Music, art, life… everyday experiences. Musically punk then post punk (Joy Division, Magazine, Wire, Siouxsie) and the early electronic/industrial sound  (Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire, early Human league). And more since then as I’ve taken on soundtracks and classical influences.

How would you describe your music?  

A dark electronic journey into the soul.

What’s the one thing that makes you/your band stand out from the rest?  

We all have our own identity; all I can offer is mine.

What’s your latest release?   

We have just released The Great Derailer. The first single from the upcoming album and you can listen to it on our official bandcamp site:
And there is also a video just gone up on youtube etc…

Have you ever played in Montreal?

Yes we have played there twice now, in 2013 and 2019. I always like to visit Montreal, I love the French quarter. It always makes me think of Leonard Cohen, one of my favourite artists.

Oh and Poutine… I may be addicted to that… 🙂

What are your plans for the next few months?

I am setting up shows in support of the new single and album later this year (The Black Maria) I’m sure we will be back to Canada again soon… but meanwhile confirmed so far..

August 20th– Feketa Zaj festival, Hungary
August 30th – Infest festival, UK
November 28th: Winter Ghosts Symposium, Whitby, UK
December 5th – Face Bar, Reading, UK

Jean-Frederic Vachon
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