In the heart of London's music scene, dynamic duo Paranoid London have made a name for themselves with their unapologetically authentic sound, stripping acid house back to its roots, and flirting with a notoriously punk attitude. Performing live with mainly hardware, Paranoid London embody this playful yet defiant punk vibe, not taking themselves too seriously without ever losing their edge. Their latest album, Arseholes, Liars, and Electronic Pioneers, is a testament to this attitude.
Referring to “the cavalcade of c***s we find ourselves surrounded by” in the aptly mentioned album title, the album's cover artwork, a collage-like poster featuring personalities ranging from politicians to music legends, reflects the duo's poetic irreverence to the modern world, which is mapped perfectly through their music. Collaborations with icons like Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream) on the unexpected album opener People (Ah Yeah), and Joe Love’s (Fat Dog) tongue-in-cheek innuendos of tracks like Love One Self sets this album up to embody the lovable chaos of the band themselves.
With their album released on February 9th, Del and Quinn opened up to METAL, giving us an insight into the brains behind the operation. Aside from sharing with us their take on nightclub culture, the process behind their collaborations, and of course that Peppa Pig is an electronic pioneer, they hint at new live shows characterised by cutting-edge visuals and hybrid DJ sets, and announce a release of an album of remixes, naturally something new for the duo; we would expect nothing less.
This is clearly a power duo you have going on, how did you two meet?
We met through a mutual friend. Del was looking for an engineer and everybody else in London was too busy. Quinn had no work, so his mate threw him a bone and gave Del his number.
I wanted to ask, as you’ve pointed out before, the ways in which you take a punk approach to music and the spirit that you embody, how do you see the parallels between particularly your own brand of acid house and punk?
Me and Del were a bit too young for punk. By the time we were old enough to know what’s going on they were just a tourist attraction in London. I suppose our attitude of do-it-yourself could be considered punk, but I wouldn’t really know having not been a part of it. Everyone else says we’re punk but we just do what comes naturally.
You’ve been making music for a while now, and so I imagine you have lots of horror stories and equally amazing moments too. Any that come to mind that you can share with us?
Travelling around hearing some of the insane new music artists is amazing and also getting to work with some of our hero’s (Bobby Gillespie, Alan Vega, Simon Topping etc).
Your live shows tend to become next level, with a lot of hardware, vocal guests, and some DJ hybridity in there as well. How do you approach performing live in terms of structure – is there a plan or is it more like a few bookmarks and then room to improvise and play off the crowd? 
We know where we’re going to start and we know where we want to finish. In between that it’s all a bit chaotic.
The new album Arseholes, Liars and Electronic Pioneers was out last week, congratulations. Can you share some insights into the elements that define this album for you?
Same as always really: late nights, hazy mornings, the hum from electronics that are almost alive, arguing, making up, new friends, old friends, new sounds, old sounds and so on.
The lead track for this record, Love One Self, it’s hard not to recognise the innuendo there, especially with Joe Love boasting that his “left arm looks like Popeye’s.” With a song like this one, what was the writing process or the atmosphere in the studio like for recording?
It was a case of Joe coming down to the studio. He had a chord structure in mind which we tarted up and an idea for a vocal which we helped out on. The atmosphere in the studio is usually one of utter hedonism and abandon. We like to have fun in the studio - the whole point of doing this was so we didn't have to get proper jobs.
There is actually quite a lot of sexual undertones in this record, Love One Self as we’ve said, and then in Up Is Down that sexuality is kind of brought back, with the heavy breathing. To me, it really cements the kind of punk sound and persona, but I have to ask, was it a conscious running inclusion when creating the album, or realised afterwards?
For our generation nightclub culture has always been about sexuality, hedonism and expression. It runs through everything we do (just ask anybody that has come round for dinner!).
Joe Love really feels like the perfect collaboration, for this album and just for your sound – it feels like the perfect fit. How did the song and collaboration come around – was the track developed alongside him, with him in mind, or something else entirely?
We met him in a pub and really got on with him so as soon as we were all free, we got in and got it done.
I do also think it’s not without notice that the record starts with People (Ah Yeah) alongside Bobby Gillespie - it feels like a change of pace. What inspired this direction for a track, and is there a particular reason for yourselves that it’s the album opener?
Working with Bobby was the perfect opportunity for us to do something with a different flavour. The obvious place to put it was as last, but it felt like a good curveball to open with it.
Your album includes some killer features, as I’ve already mentioned Joe Love and Bobby Gillespie, but also Josh Caffe, DJ Genesis, Jennifer Touch and Mutado Pintado. How do you generally approach collaborating, as a meeting of minds, or more as a feature?
We never say ‘feature’ – it’s always with somebody. It feels disrespectful to say that these incredible people just “feature” on our tracks. They are the beating heart of these tracks.
The cover artwork and gatefold of the vinyl reflect this with a collage-like poster including personalities of all kinds, from politicians and royalty to music legends, but there is one I didn’t immediately understand; what’s the beef with Peppa Pig?
There’s no beef with Peppa Pig – she’s an electronic pioneer! Every kid around the age of Del’s knows her theme tune.
You do a lot in your own words to avoid boredom and staying the same – namely the original vinyl pressing to transitioning into CD and digital, the banishment of no interviews rule, and you even said your name is kind of a tongue in cheek annoyance. I was wondering, first of all, is that an attitude you exhibit outside of music? And then, musically, how far does that go, what are the parameters for doing the unexpected but retaining a sense of your own music style?
It comes with the territory of having short attention spans. One week we’re obsessed with Asahi, the next it’s Modelo. One week it’s the Eventide Harmonizer, the next it’s a Korg Monotron.
In that spirit then, what can we imagine comes next for Paranoid London, from live shows, to festivals, to future music releases?
The new live show has insane visuals that really step things up. The DJ sets are now hybrid with Del working the synths while Quinn DJ’s (all with any sync) and an album of remixes. We’ve never had any of our tracks remixed so that’s going to be interesting.