Liverpool’s James and Dean Carne, better known as Generation have spent the past few years lingering around the Merseyside music scene, shifting through various line ups and boisterous live shows with the aim of perfecting their sound, the duo have finally settled as a sibling duo ready to make their mark.
As the pair prep for a series of career defining releases, we caught up with James to talk about what the pair have been up to during lockdown, the journey to their new found selves and the competitiveness of the industry.
Hiya! How’s it going? What have you been doing to stay busy these past few months?
Wassup mi compadre! All this lockdown stuff has been a big game changer for us. We’ve had time to reflect and experiment with different sounds - chiefly, drum machines. Lots of drinking in lockdown 1, then lots of self-assessment in the summer period (who are we kidding) and, now, we’re just landing on our feet in lockdown 2. Feels good. There was no big life changing moment, really. We’ve been around music all our lives - mainly whatever shit was playing on our parents’ car radio (dad - funk & soul, mum - mainstream chart music). I guess a lot of bands owe ‘Guitar Hero’ a great deal, as that was probably our first introduction to guitar music (even if the tunes were a bit naff). Generation kind of just formed. We’ve been a band in one form or another for nearly a decade, but we’re only serious about it now. We hate the name, but we’re kind of stuck with it for the time being.
You’ve been lingering around the Liverpool scene for a good few years, seems like things are starting to take off a bit now. How are you feeling about tackling the industry as a duo?
Yeah, at the end of 2018 we decided to take a break for a year which nearly ended up being two. We knew we’d always come back, because we can’t do anything else. We’ve never really released anything, but somehow managed to create some form of career by playing live across the country and in Europe. The whole duo thing works for now, I (James) can play most ‘conventional’ instruments rather well and Dean is a force to be reckoned with and has a kind of gnarly attitude and tonnes of creativity. It’s good - we argue a lot being brothers and all, but wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else.
Talk us through the Liverpool scene, who is worth a listen at the moment?
In all honesty, we don’t have a clue about local bands. We like to block out any outside noise and keep in our own lane. It’s just the way we work. I heard an album by Psycho Comedy, maybe last year, which I really liked though.
How would you describe Generation to someone who has yet to hear your music?
Again, it’s just attitude. We’re trying to get by, you know - like everybody else. It’s catharsis for us. The music is therapy, and we hope that other people benefit from it as well. It’s energy and discomfort, but also a way of coping.
What’s something you’ve learned about yourselves through writing music?
Our music, to us, is like memories. You can learn a lot - it’s like association therapy. Sometimes you’ll write something really dark and think “fuck, I’m an evil bastard”, and other times you’ll write a sick riff and go “I’m fucking good me”. At times you can get really down when you’re stuck in a creative rut. Best to leave it and come back. But yeah - I guess you can learn a lot about yourself through writing tunes - it’s less ambiguous than poetry. Our lyrics are usually specific to ourselves or things we’ve experienced.
Anything you wish you’d known when you first started out?
I wish we’d known how competitive it is. There’s no solidarity between bands anymore, because there really isn’t an industry for small bands. It’s hard, but you’ve got to keep on and get to a level where people are interested in you. What was it Scorsese said: “be that good that they can’t say no”? Something like that, probably just chatting shit.
What does the end goal look like for you as a band?
Like most bands, we just want our music to reach as many people as possible and make a decent living from what we love. Anybody who says they don’t care if they make it or not is privileged man, we have no other choice.
And short term, what’s the aim for the next year or two?
It’s so uncertain lately what with COVID and all. We’re hoping that we can get back to some kind of normal by next year. It Will feel so good to tour again. Right now, we’re exploring different online avenues with live sets and content on IGTV. We have a few singles coming out in the coming months as well as a debut album, so keep a lookout. It’s been emotional :)))