The Go! Team interview The Go! Team

10 Minute Read
Written by The Go! Team

The genre-bending, joyful noise of the Go! Team are no stranger to musical excursions with unfathomable reference points.

Equal parts pop, rock, hip-hop, and soul, their seventh album, “Get Up Sequences Part Two” stops off in Benin, France, India, and Detroit. The album features an impressive lineup of vocalists, including Star Feminine Band, Neha Hatwar, Kokubo Chisato, IndigoYaj, Nitty Scott all coming together to create a unique, yet identifiably Go Team sound!

Collaborating with NYC rapper Nitty Scott and taking a celestial viewpoint with “Gemini”, The Go! Team continue to evolve their sound. Led by multi-instrumentalist Ian Parton, the Brighton-London sextet burst onto the scene with their wildly inventive debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike.


Parton and his bandmates remain refreshingly down-to-earth and unaffected, a reflection of their humble beginnings as a home-studio project.

We asked Ian and fellow band member Sam and Ninja to interview each other about the new album and the band in general.

the go team

"I guess the Go! Team music has never been autobiographical like “Hey let me tell you about my life”, it’s more about grabbing everything you’ve loved from across the world and sellotaping it together so in a way its placeless and hard to pin down."


Ian: Remember the first time you heard some Go Team music?

Sam: When I first heard that first EP “Get it Together” I was totally drawn in… I loved the production. It was raw but translated so well. It was mysterious to
Me. I couldn’t picture who would be making tunes like that so it was funny when we actually hooked up and I get to know you

Ninja: I didn’t know who’d made this music – were you English, American, Black or white?

“I guess the Go! Team music has never been autobiographical like “Hey let me tell you about my life”, it’s more about grabbing everything you’ve loved from across the world and sellotaping it together so in a way its placeless and hard to pin down.”


Ian: After I made the first record I got an offer to play at a festival in Sweden but there was no band so pulled you on board and we had literally weeks to pull it together didn’t we?

Sam: When we all got together in a studio it was funny because we were quite an unlikely bunch but somehow it all made sense and it was really great to hear it coming together,

Ian: Yeah I guess it was the idea behind the band – that we were people that ordinarily might not have been in a band together. Not like regular blokes in an indie band. 20 years on I still feel the same

Ninja: I hadn’t done a full vocal rehearsal with the band because in the room I would just watch everyone and listen to visualise what I would be doing on stage. Worked great for me, but the rest of the band must have been seriously worried about whether or not I was up to the job!

Ian: Yeah we were getting quite worried – you didn’t open yr mouth in rehearsals. You were just sizing us up!

Ninja: I remember doing 3 shows in Sweden, 1 being a festival. I wore high heels on stage for the first and last time. My toes were bleeding. We didn’t have a guitar tech yet, so the gaps between the songs were really long and potentially awkward. So early on I came up with ways to talk to and entertain the crowd whilst waiting. Part-time rocker, part time stand up comic.

Ian: Yeah the first 2 shows were a bit ropey but it was on gig number 3 that I thought “mmm i think we can pull this off”. Then the offers just came. Queues round the block in South by Southwest, playing Fuji Rock in Japan,

Sam: It felt like a pinch yourself moment but then as other opportunities followed on from that it felt like a surreal dream continuing. It was funny to think back as my job at the time was driving a converted library bus that would serve as a mobile youth club for isolated young people living in little villages in the Sussex countryside and then at the weekend we would get to parachute in to playing gigs like that one in Japan and then straight back to this bus in some sleepy Sussex village!

Go Team Band Foto 2

Ian: I went from SXSW back to my day job working on TV documentaries. The first time we played Glastonbury was a disaster wasn’t it!


Sam: There was ridiculous rain – ended up with bin liners taped around my legs! and our show barely happened…I remember thinking oh dear people aren’t that into it but it turned out the whole PA had gone down from the rain and noone could hear except maybe the front row but we didn’t realise

Ian: Things happened so fucking fast eh. I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say we were one of the most hyped bands in the world for a minute there. I mean it was only a couple of months after out first gig we were on the Jools Holland TV show –

Sam: When we snapped a string in the first take

Ian: Yeah we kept Robert Plant and Mark E Smith waiting whilst we restrung the bass. The whole studio was silent. Agonising.

Ian: Okay I’ll give you some of my stand out G!T moments from over the years….. When we looked out the back window on our tour bus in Scotland and saw 2 lads were hanging on the back outside the bus as we headed towards the motorway. When Ninja knocked on James Brown’s hotel to ask for his autograph. When our old bassist Jamie did a stage dive and split someone’s face open. Blood on the dance floor.

Sam: Oh yeah – also remember Intonation Pitchfork festival where all the neighbourhood kids came on stage with us – copying Ninjas every dance move – that’s a great thing to remember

Ninja: Well I can name my sketchiest moment!! – when I lost my voice for that entire US tour. I’m convinced I caught that infection after using a Chicago phone box straight after a coughing crackhead. In LA, I got sent to a surgeon on Rodeo Drive who listened to my lungs and told me I had bronchitis, was days away from pneumonia and that I should cancel the tour. I burst into tears. The following shows I whispered 2 songs and danced like hell through the rest. I got home and was literally silent for 2 weeks.


I lost my voice, I whispered 2 songs and danced like hell through the rest. I got home and was literally silent for 2 weeks.


Ian: I remember that you carried around a notebook and scribbled notes to communicate

Sam: Nearly losing a finger on that USA tour was personal hell…every musicians nightmare. I caught it in an over zealous closing of the sleeper tour bus underside luggage bay. I remember kind of walking with a ghost complexion up the bus clutching my hand in shock. I had to get the tetanus shot and stitches and somehow they saved the tip off my finger which was kind of hanging off the end….oouch! it was right at the beginning of the tour and I had to somehow continue…do you remember I fashioned a kind of protective chamber out of a bottle top that I tapped to a drum stick and curled my bandaged finger in. I remember thinking if I clout the snare drum I’m going to pass out!

Ian: What about doing a 720 spin on the snowy highway in our tour van in deepest Dakota on our last US tour??

Sam: I remember it seemed like it lasted for minutes. After two spins the van came to a stand still almost perfectly at the side of the road…..not far from a pretty hazardous looking freeway side ditch. That was so lucky!

the go team

Ian: On band low points. I lost hearing in one ear during the making of the last album “Get Up Sequences Part one” and Sam you lost hearing in the same ear about 10 years earlier in “Proof of Youth”. Kinda weird that 2 members of the same band lost hearing in our right ear eh?

Sam: Oh yeah the hearing loss thing was such a bomb in my life and yes something we can relate to each other about. It’s hard to really explain how it feels as a muso to suddenly lose half yr hearing. I just was in shock and well it did get me really down for a while. I just kept thinking it was going to come back but once is accepted it it got easier although learning to live with the tinnitus which replaced the hearing was a long journey…you kind of have to get the zen part of yr mind working on it otherwise it gets really uncomfortable. What happened to me is like a unexplained sudden . I had no warning at all…it just went…gone!
How about you? I remember reading you describe making get up pt 1 as being like a lifeboat in a way, keeping you focused …but it must have been difficult coping with the stress / upset of it ?

Ian: Yeah I think we both had something resembling PTSD for a while there. Hearing for a minute was unbearable and daleky and robotic – so there was a genuine moment of not knowing if i could carry on with music. Yeah this next Go team tour will be the first gigs I’ve done since I lost the hearing – that will be a kinda milestone.

Sam: the whole tour will be weird as we haven’t been on the road for 5 fucking years and we’re taking 4 kids with us. Ninja how do you feel about bringing yr 2 bambinos with us??

Ninja: It’s a terrible idea. That’s why I’m filming it. But Sam reminded me that years ago before motherhood, I had confidently stated “when I have kids, I’m bringing them on the road!” So here I am – my babies go where I go.

Ian: I hope this doesn’t mean yr cartwheels in corridors are over.. Pretty much every night after a show Ninja films herself doing cartwheels down the corridors of hotels we’re staying in. Once the front desk in a Travelodge threatened to report us to our head office. Nearly 20 years after our first gig we’re still be thrashing.

Sam: 7 fucking albums !!

Ian: and still got the funk. Go forth and thrash….


New album “Get Up Sequences Part Two” is out now on Memphis Industries. Link here

Tour dates start March 3rd. Details here.