Interview : Surreal

We recently caught up with Surreal vocalist Laurence Allen, to talk about their recent remix for Jamie Woon, a Trevor Sinclair hat-trick, and of course find out what his favourite sandwich is...

Q1. Describe your music in three words?

"Electronically Poetic Intelligence"

Q2. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

"Musical – For vocals and lyrics it would be Joe Strummer, Mike Skinner (early stuff) and would you believe it Kate Bush (the vocal acrobatics aside her lyrics are on another planet!) For production Massive Attack, Cinematic Orchestra and Radiohead.

Non-Musical- My Dad (Even in hard times his commitment to writing is staggering) and Trevor Sinclair (did you ever see the over head kick he scored for QPR!?!?!?)." (ED:

Q3. What's on your agenda for the next 12 months?

"With the album 95% complete, the target would be to crack the remaining 5%. Gain as much live experience as possible (a support tour for us right now would be ideal, hmmm someone like the Gorillaz would work, maybe u can hook us up…?) We would like to do some more collaborating the whole Jamie Woon redub is going down a treat. Release the album in the summer to keep the surrealists happy. Oh and win the mercury."

Q4. Any new artists you recommend us checking out?

"I'm a big fan of the shadow orchestra right now! I’m loving their orchestral glitch. Plucking and bowing is a must listen. I’ve also recently rediscovered 'signs of a struggle', which was Mattafix’s debut album form about 6 years ago, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of grooving to tracks such as Passer By and Gangster Blues, please do so immediately!"

Q5. If you could tour with any two artists, past or present, who would they be and why?

"Nina Simone – When I was a kid I believed all song lyrics came from outer space and must have been created by Martians. As surely humans couldn’t create such things. I now know this not to be true, but I still find it hard to believe when I listen to Nina Simone. I mean I would happily just be her roadie!

Gorillaz - I went to one of their shows a few months back and at one point on stage they had, a string quartet, a brass section, Kano, Bashy, Little Dragon, De La Soul, Mick Jones, 2 drummers, Damon Alban and Bobby Freaking Womack!! I mean there’s showing off and then there is that! All I could think about that night was what must have been going on, on the tour bus….? Make it happen!"

Q6. If you had unlimited funds, what 3 things would you have on your tour rider?

"Kate Bush (we sample her vocals in one of our tracks so would love the real thing). Arundel Trident Ale (the worlds greatest ale on tap in the dressing room please). Plunge Pool/Hot shower (we sweat buckets on stage, i'd love to come off and jump straight into the plunge pool then take a hot shower wrap a bath robe around me and pore myself an ale then head back into the club for a dance. (Again make it happen!)."

Q7. What's your perfect sandwich?

"Wow hardest question yet! Thick white crusty bread, butter, Sunday roasts beef, rocket, horseradish sauce, salt, pepper and chillie flakes!"

Q8. How can we find out more about you?

"Help yourself to free downloads via soundcloud and look out for our tour dates on facebook, also follow us on twitter. You can also find live footage from some of our shows online, youtube - 'surreal jamm' to see our Brixton show."

Jamie Woon - "Lady Luck (Surreal ReDub)" UNOFFICIAL by surreal