The factory floor beneath our feet is covered in dust and scorch marks as the electric arc furnace slowly rumbles into life.
A crash of sparks signals the beginning of the melting process – with a huge jolt of electricity generating a blistering heat of 3000 degrees Celsius to melt the huge pot of steel above our heads. Have we stepped back in time to the peak of Sheffield’s industrial prowess?
No. In fact, the furnace in front of us has been disused since the closure of Templeborough steelworks in 1993 and now serves as a popular feature at Magna Science & Adventure, the location of this month’s Exposed In Session with indie-dance amalgamators Ordnance.
We took a pew by The Big Melt, which once produced more steel than any other electric furnace in the world, to talk a bit about the band’s ‘new culture’ sound and the merits of sending Jess Glynne to Mars.
So, chaps, what do you think to this month’s In Session venue?
Nathan: Very impressed! Being able to get a few shots in front of the furnace as it was shooting out sparks and fire was great. We had high expectations to begin with but still didn’t think it would be this extreme.
Aye, it’s quite toasty in here. So what tracks will you be playing for us?
Jake: We’re playing ‘Anchor’, a tune that has a bit of a dancy, house-based feel to it. We’ve also got a relatively new one called ‘Summer House’ – it’s a rewrite of an old song but we’ve done a lot more to it. I suppose it’s got a bit of a trip-hop sort of feel to it – very psychedelic and chilled out.
It’s certainly a very Sheffield-y venue, this one. I thought it would suit your music, which I suppose could be seen as a bit of an update to the old electronic, atmospheric sound the city used to be known for.
Nathan: Yeah, but I’d be lying if I said we were inspired by ‘80s synthpop and the like. To be honest, we sort of stumbled across our sound as we all come from completely different music backgrounds – I was more into metal and the guitar rock side of things, Jake likes his house and dance, and Sam was more into indie-rock. We got together and the sound sort of came from that.
That’s a decent fusion of sounds! How did the band get together?
Jake: We’ve actually known each other for years but never really talked. Then we started meeting at open mic nights and jam sessions, and one day we got talking and decided to give things a shot. We’ve been through so many of genres of music before we decided what we wanted to do: a fusion of all the music we liked.
And that sound inspired the tag ‘New Culture’?
Jake: Somebody just mentioned to us after we’d played a gig that it was a bit like a new culture of music we were experimenting with. That’s where that came from.
I’ve also heard your sound described as “Space Jazz”, and immediately started imagining Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet in a spacesuit on Mars… or summat like that. Is this what you’re going for?
Jake: That’s us! It’s precisely what we’re going for.
Sticking with the space theme, if you could send any other band or musician to Mars who would you choose?
Nathan: Justin Bieber is a strong option.
Sam: Jess Glynne has a new song that’s fucking terrible.
Is it really that bad? Sending people to Mars is serious stuff – you’ve seen Total Recall, right?
Sam: Oh, it’s that bad. I do not like it at all.
Brutal. Who are you kicking off planet Earth, Jake?
Jake: I have no idea who she is but her who sings “albatroaz” instead of albatross. It’s ridiculous.
Eh? Let me google this – oh, she’s called AronChupa. Why does she say it like that?
Jake: I have no idea – it just goes through me. Yeah, she’s going to Mars.
I’ve heard that post-gig parties with you guys can do bad things to people. Can you confirm?
Nathan: Well, our manager ended up crying in his front garden while on the phone to his missus. I think the night just took its toll on him.
Sam: Never mix Jägermeister with Fanta Fruit Twist.
Sound advice. What about plans for the future – any EPs or tours lined up?
Jake: I think it’s just a case of getting out there and working towards building a bigger following. We want to be in a place where we are putting music out to people that want to hear it, rather than forcing it on people that don’t know us.
Nathan: It can be difficult for us with getting the right gigs – where to play, who with, etc. I suppose that’s simply because our sound is a bit of strange one.
Sam: Developing our sound is important to us – we’re still scratching the surface. We’re constantly reworking our songs and trying to improve.
Jake: There’s no point thinking ‘oh, that sounds alright’ when you can work towards getting it done properly.
Nathan: Obviously, we’ve got Tramlines coming up in July, and we’re really looking forward to playing that.
What would you say to any Exposed readers out there who haven’t listened to Ordnance before?
Jake: Hello, we’re Ordnance.
Sam: See us live to get a real sense of what we do.
Nathan: Have a listen to what we’re playing and see what you make of it. Hopefully it might inspire people to do their own thing and not pay attention to what’s happening around them… we just keep plodding on.
IN SESSION STAGE
This year, In Session has teamed up with Tramlines Festival to bring the best local talent to the Devonshire Green stage. The Exposed In Session stage will feature the likes of Joe Carnall Jr, Slow Club, Nat Johnson, The Crookes, Trash, Blessa, and more!
Keep an eye on our www.exposedmagazine.co.uk for updates!