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Electric Free Time Machine
Shelley Booth
By Shelley Booth
BBC Lancashire

Electric Free Time Machine
The band say they have their own "strange musical language"

Shelley Booth takes a trip into the weird and wonderful world of Lancaster band Electric Free Time Machine.

The band are so in tune they say they have developed their own "strange musical language".

With influences ranging from Frank Zappa, Radiohead and Seasick Steve pinning the four piece band down on their sound is almost impossible.

Guitarist Dave George said:"Explaining our music is really difficult without being ridiculously surreal or stupid."


They may struggle but their experimental sound has been described as everything from fast psychedelic punk to ambient and soft acoustic folk.

They say they never officially formed EFTM, it just evolved. "We just played together, made up songs and generally jammed constantly and filling 90 minute cassettes with a bizarre stream of consciousness songs and experimental improvised grooves," said Dave.

Their 13 track debut album Mystery with Hermit Foil was released in July 2009. It was recorded and produced in the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, in the George Martin studio after they were contacted by two music degree students with the offer of free recording time.

"The studio was amazing, incredibly high end/high spec; we could never have afforded to have gone into a studio of that quality in a million moons," said Dave.

Rob Daniels: vocals/drums
Dave George: guitar
Simon Fletcher: vocals/bass/guitar
Rhys Haldane: guest synth/drums
Harvey Lord: vocals/guitar/bass

"Most of the album was recorded through the night which meant we had the run of the place.

"It added to the surreal cabin fever ambience that really lent itself well to our type of music and general approach to things."

Team effort

They write all their own material although no one person writes the songs; it is a team effort. Dave explained: "Someone will maybe come up with a couple of riffs or general ideas, we jam them about a bit and each of us will come up with suggestions for new parts and directions.

"Then we hammer it about the place, cut and splice it, improvise around it and polish it up until it feels right."

Where do they get their inspiration from? "Our lyrics come from all over the place but we are governed by our own style of communication.

"Sometimes the perfect lyrics come from plundering our extensive back catalogue of secret tapes; they contain collections of words and phrases too brilliant to be written."

A EFTM gig is quite an experience as they like to spice up the set - by making last minute changes just to confuse each other! "We improvise a lot. It's always very different with lots of different sounds and we all bounce off one another," said Rob Daniels who plays the drums.

Fitted in

Rob wasn't in the original line-up; he replaced drummer Rhys Haldane when he moved back to Manchester after finishing his college course in Lancaster.

Rob replaced him in early 2008 as it became impractical for Rhys to continue full time with the band. Rhys is still part of the band, though, and makes guest appearances playing the synth and drums.

Dave said Rob fitted in immediately: "He's such great drummer and fits in with our weird mindset perfectly. He brings all sorts of new perspectives and also is able to cope with the strange compositions we've always wanted to play."

The EFTM name came from the student house Harvey and Rhys shared which was opposite an exhumed graveyard. They used to jam in the cellar and they started calling it the Electric Free Time Machine.

Pretty great

The EFTM lads are keen to get back into the studio to record a follow up EP although it will mean time out from gigging.

"We're planning to record an EP shortly of our most recent material which will be a concise explosion of the current live sound. The album is more an exploration into the different types of thing we do. It's pretty weird but pretty great.

"We're been constantly evolving and we can't wait to get this new material out there."

BBC Introducing's Shelley Booth

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