404 Guild formed in Eastbourne, a seaside town on the south coast of England, now they’re immersed in south London’s music scene. Their music ranges from left-field hip-hop to moody electronica, and it’s always driven by raw emotion.
Last year, 404 Guild released two EPs via Dirty Hit, the label also home to Wolf Alice and The 1975. They were struck by tragedy when their member Mina, aka Silvertongue, died by suicide. Having returned this February with the track Pause by members Devenny and Bathwater, the collective have now delivered the tender, bittersweet new single Perfect Dark by Elison 404 (or Elison Research Group), a subsidiary group in 404 Guild featuring members Eliot and Sonny. The Face is honoured to share the visuals, which were shot in and around Eastbourne.
Watch the video for Perfect Dark and read a Q&A answered by 404 Guild below.
For those unfamiliar with 404 Guild, who are the members and what do they do?
404 is a guild of artists. Currently the line-up consists of Bathwater, Devenny, Eliot and Sonny. However we see it as constantly in flux. Inclusivity and expansion are key: anyone can join. We are all Guild.
Please tell me a bit about Perfect Dark – what kind of emotions and experiences influenced the song?
Most of the tune was written in one day last summer. After losing Mina last year everything just stopped, we were self-isolating, 404 was on hold and we had no plan for what was next. We were also in the process of being evicted, so most of our belongings except our home studio was packed up. Our landscape was – to understate – bleak. To try and avoid being lost in grief we adopted this mantra of joy not fear. This became the beginnings of an emotional cartography – drawing maps as we move through uncertainty.
The video was shot in Eastbourne. What role did that place play in the story of the group, and how do you feel about the town now?
Eastbourne is lovely in many ways but it is ultimately haunted. Going back there is different for all of us, but overall it’s a love-hate relationship. Or maybe joy-fear. In the last scene, we see a beach. This is where we both met Mina for the first time, when we were still kids. It is the starting point of something which, to us, is infinite. The video pays homage to this.
Which other musicians in London are inspiring you right now?
We’re lucky enough to be surrounded by a community of artists who inspire us everyday. Amongst them are Woom, Jennifer Walton, Black Midi, Oliver Palfreymen, George Riley, Tony Njoku, Otta, Ezrah Roberts-Grey, Wulu. Outside of music Bloat Collective have been a massive influence on us for years.
What ambitions do you have for 2020?
The ambition this year is to BUILD GUILD. Would also love a holiday.