THE GO! TEAM BIOGRAPHY: A Timeline.
Circa 1999/2000: The Go! Team leader Ian Parton buys an old ’80s sampler and a four-track tape recorder, and starts molding samples from random places and live instruments into songs.
2002: The first songs (Get it Together, Kill the Klansmen, Pocket Money Radio, The Ice Storm) are recorded as an EP called Get It Together, which was released on a small UK label called Pickled Egg. It caught the attention of UK label Memphis Industries, with whom The Go! Team began working later that year.
2003: Memphis Industries release Junior Kickstart as a single (its backed with We Listen Everyday and Feelgood by Numbers) – it sells out in double quick time. Ian then spends the next year simultaneously working as a TV documentary maker and creating the group’s first LP, Thunder, Lightning, Strike. Playing most of the album himself, recruiting some friends, sampling tons of noises that came his way and getting his brother Gareth to help out on the sound desk, the album was completed in 2004.
2004: The Go! Team are asked to tour Sweden with Franz Ferdinand in July 04, so Ian decides to put a band together whose aim was to be made up of people who would not normally be in a band together. The band is made up of three skinny lads – Ian (guitar, harmonica, drums), Sam Dook (guitar, drums, banjo), and Jamie Bell (bass, noise effects) – and three ladies – Chi Fukami Taylor (drums, vocals), Kaori Tsuchida (guitar, keys, vocals, recorder), and Ninja (vocals, shakers, recorder). The album comes out in the UK to widespread acclaim, resulting in shows at the Glastonbury and Reading Festivals, and appearances at Fuji Rock in Japan and Roskilde in Denmark. Bloggers and music sites immediately begin championing the band, resulting in a top ten album of the year plug by Pitchforkmedia.com.
2005: As the momentum grows worldwide, it becomes very obvious very quickly that America can’t wait to hear The Go! Team. And so, in March 05, the Team comes to the States, headlining a packed show at SXSW that had people dancing so hard, the floor showed signs of potentially caving in. The album subsequently finds a home on an American label that fall, resulting in rave reviews in everything from Rolling Stone to The New Yorker to Spin to the Los Angeles Times, many of which called it one of the top records of the year. The band also embarks on their first full American tour at this time, in addition to knocking out their first American television performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The band is also nominated for the UK’s prestigious Mercury Music Prize. This is awesome.
2006: After completing a summer tour in the States with The Flaming Lips and Sonic Youth, The Go! Team holes up in a studio space in Brighton next to a bus station, filling it with all the gear they could, and start recording with the help of Ian’s brother Gareth. This time, the record is not as sample-heavy; instead the balance is in favour of live instrumentation and live vocals. Says Ian, “The influences are still the same as the first record – The Go! Team sound is aiming to be about hybrids and slamming things next to each other that you wouldn’t expect. I’m really into the idea of random stuff rubbing shoulders.” And while the group did enlist the use of better mics and amps to have their new LP sound a little less bedroom-made than Thunder, Lightning, Strike, Ian insists that “degrading the sound is still a big part of The Go! Team. We’re always aiming to make things more chaotic and sound like it’s on the edge of falling apart. The goal is genuinely for maximum excitement and to try to make something original in some way.”
Jan-April 2007: Ian invites some of his favorite musicians to play on the record, resulting in recording of Maryland’s pint sized rappers The Rappers Delight Club, to Brooklyn, NY to record the legendary Double Dutch Divas, and to London to track with Marina from Bonde Do Role. Solex comes over from Amsterdam to record in the Team’s Brighton studio, while Chuck D of Public Enemy recorded his vocals in his home studio in Brooklyn. And soon, by May, the LP, now entitled Proof of Youth, is completed, finding itself a new American home on legendary indie label Sub Pop Records, and standing alone in all its glory. “I didn’t think too hard about what people were expecting from the second album,” Ian explains. “I just thought about things that I wanted to try; it’s just a snapshot of what’s going on at the moment.” And what an amazing snapshot it is.
Ian Parton-Guitar, Drums, Harmonica
Sam Dook-Guitar, Drums, Banjo
Jamie Bell-Bass, Noise Effects
Chi Fukami Taylor-Drums, Vocals
Kaori Tsuchida-Guitar, Keys, Vocals, Recorder
Watch the video for Grip Like a Vice here!