Officially launched in 1984, UK-based IT BITES are still a relevant and thought-provoking
entity in 2012. Hailed as everything from prog to pop to art rock over the course of their
career – which was temporarily halted by a 16 year break between 1990 and 2006 – the band
continues to boast a diversity that has even their most devout fans guessing from album to
album. Their new outing, Map Of The Past, keeps this tradition alive and kicking.
“Basically, it’s about going back through the past and fixing everything that ever went wrong
in a person’s life. It’s simple enough, because everyone looks back at the past with a mistyeyed
longing. Most people remember their childhood fondly and are nostalgic about those
things; it’s almost as if the past has a champagne filter on it. Some of it is a bit blurry, and
you can’t revisit it, so that’s where the intrigue comes from.”
Map of the Past is the first concept album of It Bites twenty-five year career. It explores the
theme of the past, as seen through old family photographs. There is a constant sense of
nostalgia running through all of the songs and the listener gets to visit The Titanic along the
John Mitchell and John Beck wrote the album over the course of 2011 and it was recorded at
Outhouse Studios in Reading. Founder members Bob Dalton were joined by the multi-talented
John Mitchell on guitars and lead vocals and Lee Pomeroy completes It Bites 2012 on Bass and
“There’s never been a process where we’ve said ‘We need to do this here, we need a fast
song there…’ That’s not how it works for us. Music is quite a fantastical notion, really. There
was the thing in the ‘90s where everyone wanted to wear lumberjack shirts and gaze at their
shoes (laughs), but I think music should be about escapism and other-worldliness. There’s
enough dull shit that you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, so the more preposterous
we could make this record the better. So we did. We put the London Symphony Orchestra all
over it and made it ridiculous. We wanted to make an album that’s better and more
ridiculous than the last one (laughs).”
“Ridiculous” meaning a complete disregard for any preconceived notion of what an It Bites
record should sound like.
“This band has never fit into any particular category, ever since I was a fan,” says Mitchell.
“They weren’t a prog rock band, they weren’t a pop band, they weren’t a metal band. They
dipped their toes into so many music areas over the years it’s difficult to pigeonhole this
“Everybody needs to compartmentalize a band because it makes them feel comfortable, but
that’s not the essence of music. Music should challenge people even as they’re enjoying it. It
should make them think.
“That’s the fun of it. I want it to be so fantastic, and I don’t want it to be taken too
seriously. I want people to listen to us and have the music take them on a journey.