Original Design are a local quartet specialising in cinematic alt-rock. Recent releases ‘What’s Gonna Happen Now?’ and ‘Come Get Me’ are the latest in a line of singles demonstrating their knack for melodic indie rock, brimming with catchy hooks. We caught up with them ahead of their show at the Castle Hotel on 5th October.

// Hello Original Design! Could you please describe yourself as a band for us?

We sit somewhere between alternative, shoe-gaze, noise and nineties dance at the moment. It’s strange because with one or two new additions to the set and the feel of it can all change. It’s quite fluid which we love but it can make it difficult to define! Songwriting is important to us. If you like Radiohead, early Verve, Jeff Buckley, Scott Walker, Portishead, you’ll be alright.

// Is there anything you’re working on we should know about?

Our latest single ‘Come Get Me’ is out on 7th September. It a weird, dark, alternative/dance baby about a creepy stalker and the male gaze. It’s a bit intense but we’re excited to see how it’s received. We’re also currently working on new live material and have studio projects at various stages of completion. We decided to release singles this year as opposed to a wider body of work so we have the next 12 months mapped out around these. You’ll hopefully be hearing from us more consistently this year!

// What music have you been listening to this week?

Chris: Somadrone, Nas and Debussy, like most weeks… And Yves Tumor!

Greg: De La Soul and the Anonymous Nobody.

Adam: ‘Planetarium’ Sufjan Stevens and ‘Primal Heart’ by Kimbra.

Grant: Kamal Williams this week…

Charlie: Changes every week, but this week some odd Peter Gabriel remixes and specifically Disintegration by The Cure (their best album).

// Do you have a favourite venue in Manchester?

Oh that’s tough. I have to say it’s all about sound for me, so Band On The Wall. Great stage, room sounds ace, yeah. Favourite so far!

// Do you have any track that is fairly challenging for you to play live? How do you address that?

Not really one track… We transitioned to a smaller lineup last year and run some stuff off the Mac so we’ve had a few issues to overcome. The majority of it is textural/harmonic so it doesn’t detract too much from the performance but it’s certainly been a challenge condensing something that dense to translate from venue to venue.

// Dream band or artist to share a stage with?

Chris: Honestly don’t care but I’d love to sing with Beth Gibbons on stage or otherwise.

Greg: Radiohead.

Adam: Alt-J.

Grant: Foo Fighters.

Charlie: Nick Cave on his current tour, Radiohead’s 2002 Glastonbury show, Talking Heads live in Rome in 1980 or Nine Inch Nails in most of their incarnations. NIN especially an example of what a live ‘show’ experience should actually be, visceral performance, exquisite joining of showmanship and live technology.

// What is the best purchase you ever made?

Chris: Music wise: Epiphone Triggerman 60 amp. Been kicking shit out if it for 12 years and it’s still my favourite tone. Life wise: octagonal Ray Bans with B&L lenses from the seventies and I love them inappropriately.

Greg: Gibson EB bass guitar. I’m not into stuff, it’s all replaceable. I’d say holidays are my favourite ‘purchase’.

Adam: Boss DD20 – start of my guitar FX deep dive and my entire student loan on an iMac… worth it.

Grant: Car. So I can drive myself to gigs without relying on my dad!

Charlie: I don’t know if this counts, but probably a book my dad bought me of Francis Bacon’s work, personally made out to me by Bacon himself.

// Best takeaway in Manchester?

We have a bit of a ritual of going to Delhi 2 Go on Oldham Street. Charlie loves to get the chicken in pre-gig… I’m sure we’ll be there before our headline show at The Castle on 5th Oct!


Original Design perform at the Castle Hotel on Friday 5th October. Tickets are available here.

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