They Were The Pipettes – The Pipettes Interview


Because It’s Not Love (But It’s Still A Feeling ) By The Pipettes

As mainstream “Indie” continues to drown in the self made quagmire that reflects the music industries apparent “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” mindset, (whereby they seek to tirelessly reproduce band after band that conforms to the skinny lads with guitars genre) people like Pipette Puppetmaster Monster Bobby  would say the more discerning music fan is finally beginning to wake up the fact that pop is actually the new Indie. Mind ,some may say thats bollocks however  The Pipettes appear to be band not afraid to reach back and reclaim all that was great about pop music, but also a band who claim they  put their own unique stamp on that sound, they suggest that they  write classic Motown Record-era Girl Group songs with a modern twist and suggest that people are missing that sense of fun that seems to be amiss in today’s monochrome world of pop. A world that is currently in the stranglehold of nihilistic young men whining about the futility of “being” and the eternal agony of having greasy hair and “combination skin”. Or not???

The Pipettes wish to put the  fun firmly back into pop and provide a well-needed slice of escapism. Oscar Wilde once said “Suffering is one very long moment”, if we were to update that maxim and apply it to the modern world we could say “Suffering is listening to Razorlight” so, is this the new pop or just a rehash of well worn soundbites and clever PR ??… We dispatched Mr. VP to have a little chat with Rosay Pipette prior to the release of their album in America to find out how things are in Team Pip…and seek answers to questions that other publications wouldn’t have the audacity to ask…

VP: This year has seen you concentrate on The U.S. ahead of the release of “WATP’s” (2/10/2007) You’re due to go back out there I believe (once the visa delays are sorted). What was the overall response from the U.S. crowds and indeed the media over there?

Rosay: We’ve been to the states twice now, and both times we have been really very pleased with the reactions we have had. I don’t think any of us really expected to get as much attention as we did, and I think having support from sites like pitchfork from early on really helped. I think that because we had already been going for a couple of years before our first trip to the states meant that the band was a much more fully formed concept through experience etc which hopefully came across in our performances. I think we are a better band for the last tour we did out there as I suppose we felt we had so much to prove. It will be interesting to see how it goes this time around! We certainly witnessed some very good dancing!!

VP: I did hear a rumour that the whole album was to be re-recorded for the American release? True or False?

Rosay: False. We did remix it though.

VP: What’s been the best thing and the worst thing about long haul touring?

Rosay: The best thing is getting to travel to all of these amazing places and have people listen to your music and (hopefully) get a positive response. Its quite incredible when you get the feeling that you’ve communicated in some way despite cultural and often language barriers and differences and to see people dancing to songs we wrote in a little studio in Brighton… The worst thing is missing family and friends and some of the smells that develop on the bus…

VP: What are the plans for the rest of the year, will fans in the U.K. be able to get their grubby mitts on any new material before the year is over? Any more live shows in Blighty planned this year?

Rosay: Well there isn’t really any resting going on for the remainder of the year, we’re in the states for five weeks, then promoting the record in Japan and Australia, so it is unlikely we’ll get to do any shows in the UK before new year unfortunately, same goes for new material I’m afraid. Hopefully we’ll get the chance for some more writing; there are just not enough hours in the day!!! Next year we’ll be cracking down on that side of things so a little patience is required unfortunately!!

VP: Joe’s left to concentrate on his own band, and has been replaced by Jason. Although I’m sure you’re all very supportive of Joe Lean &TJJJ aren’t five skinny Indie lads much loved by theNME the sort of band you’ve spoken out against in the past? (Ooooooh controversy! I’ve gone all Paxman! )

Rosay: It is true that we have always felt fed up with the NME culture, and a lot of that had to do with the fact that none of these bands that they champion, really seem to care about song craft in any way… Joe is a very talented songwriter and I think that really comes through in Joe Lean and the Jing Jangs…. I think they feel just as bemused about the attention they have received from the NME, but It would be great if they could use that forum in a creative way, which is they’re intention. It goes without saying that they all need a good feed up though…

VP: You’ve complained in the past of sexism in the music industry. Does it annoy you that in some quarters you’re dismissed as a retro novelty band? Conversely a group of blokes who wear retro clothes, have a sense of fun, have their own dance moves and call themselves “Madness” are treated with respect?

Rosay: It is annoying but it is something that we try not to concentrate on too much. We just want to be the best band we can be, and in fact I find the novelty thing rather funny. We’ve always said we would love to have a one hit wonder, but I think people chose to take us on face value a lot of the time, and we couldn’t care less. We’ve been doing this for four years now, so we certainly don’t see ourselves as a novelty, and it does get boring to be constantly reminded of gender, and the fact that people forget there are four boys in the band….

VP: What have been your own individual highlights this year (apart from this interview obviously)

Rosay:
Going to Japan for the first time was incredible, driving through the Arizona desert, playing the main stage at Glasto, going to Austria and being serenaded by a chef and the promoter who sang us all these amazing Corinthian folk songs with lots of Corinthian brandy, meeting Bryan ferry was funny…

Becki:
Being able to travel to so many different places. Serbia especially, meeting Beastie Boys and CSS was incredible. Going to Japan and America were also highlights.

Gwenno :
Getting to tour a bit more, playing all the major festivals and getting to record those new songs, it was a very interesting experience and I’m very proud of the outcome.

VP: Your website http://thepipettes.co.uk/ has some interesting “characters” within its forum, they draw pictures of you, they Photoshop you, they write poems, musicals and stories about you. What the devil do you all make of it? Is it the sort of thing you excepted when you joined a band?

Rosay: Its certainly not the sort of thing I expected, I think we do have a pretty creative bunch of fans!!! I do find it all a little strange, and it’s quite hard to relate to, but its great that people care enough to do things like that… I do like the caption competition ….

VP: Do you all still reside in Brighton, or have you had to flee, pursued by lovestruck males who regularly serenade your balconies until late in the evening and whom constantly festoon your porches with red roses, fine wines, Belgium chocolates and love poems ……….Or Not ?

Rosay: Well we are split half and half between London and Brighton. I have just moved back to London but it was certainly not in response to any of the above!!!!

VP: Glastonbury? A lot of people have been whingeing about it being too corporate, middle class and Middle aged. Should we adopt a “Logan’s Run” type policy and ban anybody over from 30 from gigs, record stores etc. Should they simply be given a packet of mint imperials an ill-fitting cardigan and be left in the corner to mumble about the “good old days”. What did you think of Glasto this year?

Rosay: I think its great that there is such a broad mixture of people at Glastonbury and it would be terrible to make festivals exclusively for young people (reading is a case in point!!) perhaps the headliners recently have been pretty uninspiring on the whole… I enjoyed Glastonbury much more than last time (!!!!). The fact we got to play on a real stage was good enough for starters! It isn’t really a music festival; it’s more of a cultural event, which I think people forget. I think it’s a bit too big for me personally though….

VP: How far along are the new album/new songs? Will it be a completely different sound to what we’re used to, will we lose the do-wops, if so can you give anything away yet or will we have to learn the virtue of patience?

Rosay: As I said its not really been the priority this year. We have started writing again, whether those songs make it to the second record is yet to be seen, we really don’t know how its going to turn out yet, it will definitely not be another version if WATP, but we can’t really give anything away. We know that it will involve a broadening of the concept….

VP: How do you (Rosay) manage to ladder your tights all the time?

Rosay: I don’t know tights just don’t seem to like me very much, although I have to say that I have been preserving them much better of late, and have endeavoured to wear tights in one piece. I’m just a bit scruffy I’m afraid…

VP: You all seem to like a wide range of different musical styles, do you ever argue about music. Who would each of you recommend to look out for in the coming months?

Rosay:
We do argue about music all of the time, which I think is really healthy. I would hate it if we all had exactly the same taste and agreed about everything. One of the best things about being in this band is learning from each other. I’m really excited about the new PJ Harvey record…

Becki:
We do but my music taste has broadened so much since being in the band that it’s definitely a good thing. I’d recommend the new M.I.A. album.

Gwenno:
We argue about music all the time! That’s only healthy in a band like ours though I think. I’d recommend The Gentle Good and The Real Heat.

VP: What’s the weirdest request/Myspace message /piece of fan mail you’ve received since being Pipettes?

Rosay: Someone once asked where we got out tights from on our gmail. I naively replied only to discover the impetus for the question was because the bloke had a tights fetish, which made me feel quite sick….

VP: Finally sum up your year in five words beginning with the letter ” P “

Rosay: Playing Parties Proves Pleasingly Popular…HUZZAH!!! (I’m quite Proud of that, it’s a sentence!!)

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

We Are The Pipettes Fan Site

“We Are The Pipettes” U.S. Version 2/10/2007

“Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me” U.S. EP

The Pipettes North American EP – ‘Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me’ is available in stores or alternatively you can download the EP from iTunes.

“We Are The Pipettes” U.K./Europe

iTunes UK
The album is also available in the rest of Europe. Click below for order from the following territory.
Germany

Norway
Sweden

VIDEOS

“Because It’s Not Love (But It’s Still A Feeling)” By The Pipettes

“Judy” By The Pipettes

“Dirty Mind” By The Pipettes

Wallpapers

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“Strange And Beautiful” – Strange Idols Interview

 

“She’s Gonna Let You Down Again” By Strange Idols


Lets cut to the chase, Strange Idols is a great band . Unlike other reviewers Im not going to wax lyrical about how their sound conjures up Aztec Camera jamming with New Order whilst they whistle “Crash” By The Primitives. I’m certainly not going to say their sound reminds me of pure cloudless azure skys and ice cream kisses. I defiantly won’t say they induce that sense of well being that can only be achieved by drinking your very first sip of ice cold “Bud” whilst simultaneously discovering your lottery numbers have come up trumps and Charlize Theron is asking if she could possibly get you another beer from the fridge and should she wear stockings and heels later ? No I will simply say that Strange Idols is a great band and their music makes me happy. But how do they do it ? What is their magical formula ? It is time to dig a little deeper and discover more about this extremely talented bunch….

VP : Whats the story – How did you come into being?

Strange Idols : Strange Idols formed shortly after Davey, Julian and Laura all moved to London, independently, to go to art school. They immediately bonded over a shared love of music, in particular bands like Hefner, Blur, New Order, Pulp, Beach Boys and many Many others… They were aghast with the current climate of the London post-Libertines music scene and decided to do something to address – if not change – it. So they formed a band. Danny and Frederick joined shortly after and they started writing and gigging across the UK frequently.

VP : What singles have you released so far , and when can we expect an
album ?

Strange Idols : Singles released thus far have been , It’s No Fun! / Old Times on Shady Lane Records October 2006 and She’s Gonna Let You Down Again / Berlin on Modern Pop Records April 2007. A new single He’s Out Looking For Love will be released this November (2007)

VP: Are you planning a tour in light of the forthcoming single ?

Strange Idols : We will be expecting to play across the country around Oct / Nov to promote the new single. Check www.myspace/strangeidols for updates and if we will be playing near you! So far confirmed is Lund, Sweden 12th Oct, Shepherd Bush Empire 3rd Nov and two dates in Spain in January.

VP: Who would you say your musical influences are ?

Strange Idols :Many and varied. But I think the bands we betray our influences to the most are New Order, Aztec Camera, Blur… Certainly in terms of writing and arranging quintessential English pop songs.

VP: Who is strange and who is idle ?
Strange Idols : All of us can be strange in our affectations and idiosyncrasies from time to time. I don’t think the others will thank me for incriminating any of them personally by leaking secrets or stories! None of us are idle, we simply haven’t had time to be of late!

VP: Glastonbury ? Has it become too corporate or is it still THE festival to
be seen at and to play?

Strange Idols : There does seem to be an issue with Glastonbury being turned into a corporate, mainstream, no longer ‘festival for festival’s sake’. We played End of the Road festival last week which only, purposefully as a capacity for 5000 people, and the whole weekend was amazing. All the bands were great, the landscape and environment where beautiful without being peppered with mobile phone billboard sized adverts and what not and the whole thing just seemed so effortlessly lovely and efficient. I’m sure Glastonbury will continue to attract the volume of people it does, simple because they (the organisers) want to ‘think big’ and I guess the money to fund that has to come from somewhere, hence the corporate nature of the festival. We haven’t played there yet, but of course we wouldn’t turn it down, for the sake of politics!
ha.

VP: Manufactured bands what do you think of them? Spawn of Satan or jolly
good fun?

Strange Idols : Absolute crap most of it. It depends what you consider manufactured to mean? I think even bands with integrity and sincerity who do it off their own back tend to ‘manufacture’ themselves in some ways. Even if they’re not conscious of it. But things like Steps, S Club 7 – utter crap. But also it doesn’t kill anybody so isn’t worth getting too worked up over their existence. Just avoid it like you would a dog poo in the street.

VP: Simon Cowell public execution or knighthood for services to music ?

Strange Idols: Neither. Refer to above Q&A…( Bah I was just sharpening my axe…!)

VP: Pop and Politics should they be mixed ?

Strange Idols: Yes, they have been in the past very very well. Billy Bragg. Dylan. The Clash. Rage Against The Machine. Manic Street Preachers… Music is a vehicle for expressing what you think about something. A voice, as any art form of expression is. But if people really believe that a pop song will change the world under a political spectrum then that is laboring under a delusion of grandeur and is futile. But apathy is no better either.

VP: The Richard Dawkins Delusion – Is he a visionary or a prize plumb with a  God Complex ?

Strange Idols: I have no idea who he is?… ( you ain’t missing much )

VP: Five words that sum up your philosophy ?

Strange Idols: D.I.Y- hardgraft- sincerity- belief- fun!!

Links

On Myspace

Video

“It’s No Fun” By Strange Idols

Strange Idols Wallpaper

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

“The Cassettes Are Wimps” – The Young Playthings Interview

“So Good So Bad” By The Young Playthings

The Young Playthings are what one would term “proper Indie”, and have certainly embraced the DIY ethic with a gusto and a work rate that would shame many a band . They have been Gigging tirelessly up and down the country – yet always have the energy to hurl themselves around stage with reckless abandon and give their all… You can’t really see TYPTs ever becoming a shoe-gaze band thats for sure, their enthusiasm and obvious love for what they do is as infectious as avian flu , but obviously with much more pleasant side effects. Their debut album ” Who Invented Love ? ” released on indie label “Smalltown America” has plenty for fans of jangly guitar pop/punk and has a definate Lemonheads meets Weezer and Green Day in “Arnolds Diner” type vibe. (Which can’t be bad ). Their lyrics manage to be poignant in places whilst conversely chuckle-inducingly smutty in others, yet the manage to “pull it off” (ooo-er) without ever being offensive. The VPME sent roving reporter Elz Bellz along to chat to Bateman about his musical mission and life as a Young Plaything

Elz: Where did the name “The Young Playthings” come from?

Bateman : I used to be really into Italian horror films. In the 70s there was this trend amongst Italian directors – hacks and auteurs alike – of making versions of popular genre movies from Hollywood and being a bit avant garde or schlocky with the style, with the hope/aim of creating something new and exciting. So all the horror films became even more gory or weird, to the point where you have these films like Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox, where they killed real animals and filmed it, or zombies fighting Great White sharks in one of the endless twists on the zombie theme. Anyway, when we formed the band that eventually became The Young Playthings I made a list of all these films with weird titles that I liked and asked everyone else in the band to pick the one they liked the most, and The Young Playthings was the unanimous winner. The Young Playthings was an avant garde soft-porn film, financed by the Italian film industry but made by a Swedish director. The twist is that as the film progresses it becomes unintelligible; so the characters start out speaking English (I think) and end up speaking gibberish. I’ve never seen it – it sounds crap.

E: To you, what is the most important part of being in a band?

Bateman : I don’t know about important, but I most enjoy writing songs and then arranging them as a band. Writing a song in your bedroom then seeing it brought to life as Jors Truely and Tibor add their parts and it becomes a cohesive, finished article is endlessly exciting and I never tire of it.

E: How do you think your sound has developed since you formed? Would you say you put on a better live show now than you did a year ago?

Bateman: This is a hard question to answer! The way we sound has definitely developed since we formed and much of that evolution has come from finishing recording our first album and a sense of ‘okay, we’ve recorded all these songs that were written years ago, now how do we want to move forward?’ One of my favourite records ever is I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One by Yo La Tengo, because it’s like an old friend of mine said, it’s the perfect mix-tape. Every song sounds different and I want to make records like that. I’m really proud of Who Invented Love? and I think it sounds great in terms of performance and production, and I don’t think that every song can be accused of sounding the same, but it isn’t as eclectic as I would like. So we’ve got drum samples on some of the new songs, slowed things down in others, turned down the distortion elsewhere etc. They’re still pop songs but they’re a bit more danceable, a bit sassier. As for playing live, as a three-piece it’s tough because you’re constantly pushed to the limits of your physical capabilities because there are only three of you. In bands with more people individuals can rely on others to support them if they stop, or fuck up, or, conversely, so they can ‘perform’ more because they’ve got the back up. So yeah, I think we are a better live band than we were a year ago because we’ve got better songs now, but I still think there’s more we can do; I’d like to put a bit more ‘performance’ in our live show rather than it just being full-speed ahead through a load of guitar pop songs.

E:You’re releasing ‘Hot Sex With A Girl I Love’ as a digital download only single. What’s your favourite format to buy singles on (and why)?

Bateman :When I was a kid I used to occasionally buy 7 inch singles – I think I must be of the last generation where, as a kid, buying vinyl was still normal, like you went to Woolworths and bought the new KLF or Glenn Madeiros single or whatever (they are two I can remember buying from Woolies as a kid, in the summer in the town where my aunt lived) and not because it was vintage, like ‘oooh, vinyl sounds so much better than digital’, but because they didn’t make cd singles yet. But after that I stopped buying singles because I thought it was a waste of money – why not just buy an album, or tape the song off the radio if you only liked the one song? As a teenager I lived in Hong Kong and, unlike the UK, we didn’t have pop charts; my friends and I had to buy American fanzines to find new music and trade new discoveries with each other. Now, with iTunes and whatnot I’ve started buying singles again. It’s so easy. I’ve always been a bit of a philistine when it comes to technology but I love my iPod. God, I sound like some middle-aged twat writing in the Guardian about how ‘with’ it I am! But seriously, it has honestly revolutionised the way I listen to music so I would have to say that downloads are my favourite format for singles. Haven’t bought an album that way yet though.

E: You’ve supported the Pipettes several times; in fact, you could say they introduced you to a whole new audience. Are there any upcoming bands you’d like to give the same opportunity to?

Bateman : I don’t think we’re at a level yet where we can invite upcoming bands to support us; it’s more about finding like-minded bands who are at a similar level to us so we can put on good shows, not these horrible bills where some faceless promoter puts on three or four bands who can each bring a few friends but who sound totally different to one another and/or have a totally different approach to music. We’re in the far north of Scotland as I write this, heading to Forres and Aberdeen to play a couple of shows with Dan Against The World, who we played with in Aberdeen last year with the Pipettes. They have the same kinds of melodies as a lot of the pop punk bands I love from the mid 90s, with the same innocent-love sentiments, but they do it in a very British way, with clean guitars and keyboard melodies etc. In London a couple of weeks ago we put on a show with Winners and Murdoch who we all really like too.

E: Speaking of the Pipettes, who would win in a fight between you and them? Their new drummer looks pretty hard.

Bateman: If we were fighting the Pipettes we would lose, because we’re gentlemen and we don’t fight girls. Plus, they’ve got high heels and tough attitudes and we don’t wanna fuck with that. If, however, we were fighting the Cassettes we would win, hands down. In fact, I reckon I could beat the Cassettes in a fight by myself they’re such wimps.

E: Since we should try to make this seem like a serious interview, what’s your opinion on the current state of the “indie” music scene as pushed on today’s fourteen-year-olds by the NME?

Bateman: The NME occupies its own special place in the music industry and that’s fine by me. I have no interest in it and it’s never shown any interest in us (though I’m not saying I would say no to their publicity should it ever be offered to us!). Again, this is me showing my age, but when I was a kid I used to buy Smash Hits and, to me, the NME is now to ‘indie’ music what Smash Hits was to straight-up, Stock, Aitken and Waterman 80s chart pop music. In that way, I can understand its appeal to kids, but I guess to some people the co-opting of ‘indie’ by corporate music biznis is anathema and I can also understand that. For me though it goes back to how I grew up listening to music; I was never spoon-fed new music because the infrastructure for it didn’t exist where I lived so I had to go out and find my own. All my attitudes about how to approach playing music stem from there. The one thing I do truly hate about the NME though is its interpretation of what’s sexy; stick-thin, sexless little skeletons, who declare how sexually open-minded they are and yet can’t bear to bare their bodies to people of the same sex. It’s like, when did prudishness become sexy?

E: MySpace: does it live up to the hype?

Bateman: Yes, I actually think it does. It has its imperfections but it’s great way for new bands to broadcast their music for free to, potentially, millions, even billions of people.

E: What’s on the cards for the Young Playthings in the future? Any long-term plans?

Bateman :I’d like to record a second album with all the new stuff we’re writing. Step by step, take each day as it comes. Obviously, we want our renown to spread to each and every land across the globe and be celebrated as mini deities. But I’m not holding my breath…

E: You have five words to end this interview in any way you wish (please don’t disgrace the VPME or yourselves unless you really can’t resist).

Bateman: I only need five letters thanks – PEACE.

(thanks to Elz Russell)

Links

Myspace

Small Town America

The Young Playthings – Yr So Fit (For Me)

The Young Playthings – She’s A Rebel

 

Video

“Love Me Like That” By The Young Playthings

The Young Playthings Wallpapers

Original Album Art By Mark Standbrook

“Hardcore Uproar” The You/Me Interview

“To Live” By You/Me

You/Me are a downbeat two piece girl boy electronic from Eskilstuna, Sweden. They first came to the attention of the VPME in spring via the influential Swedish music blog Swedes Please. The combination of Anna Berglund’s seductive vocals and Ander Nyberg’s synth wizardry creates a sombre and epic soundscape resulting in an incredibly intimate experience for the listener.
Influential Scandinavian music website It’s A Trap described them as being the surprise hit of the Emmaboda festival and for “record labels to start queuing” in order to sign them. To date the band have put out one self-released EP entitled Flow My Tears.

VP: How did you meet ?

You/Me :We met at school in 2003, we both attended the music program, and played together in another band at first, but then decided to form a band that suited our wishes in music better.

VP : What is the population of Eskilstuna and how has it influenced your music and the people you are today ?

You/Me : Recently we have both moved to Stockholm but Anna grew up in Eskilstuna (90.000 inhabitants) and Anders grew up not very far away in a smaller town.
Anna: Eskilstuna is a pretty shitty town, and as a normal reaction to that, you feel like you want to escape, (like most youths who lives in a shitty town) music became my way out.
Anders: in Eskilstuna, 90% of the local bands played Hardcore and I wanted to make music that is as far away from HC as possible.

VP: The lyrics in your songs are incredibly intimate, which is unusual for synth based music as the genre normally features throwaway or meaningless words. Are the lyrics all influenced by your own personal experience?

Anna: YES. I don’t sit down, thinking about what lyrics to write, the words often comes to me at different places, like the supermarket or when I’m walking to buy cigarettes, so I guess they are taken from my own perspective on life, my experiences and my subconscious. and of course I get inspired bye all kinds of stuff, like samurai-movies or old relationships.

VP: Since playing the Emmaboda festival a number of UK tastemakers have been quick to sing the praises of You/Me. Notably Monster Bobby (of The Pipettes), Ricky Haley (of Liars Club fame and whose Alt Delete label put out the first New Young Pony Club single) and former VPME interviewees Tack!Tack!Tack! (who were instrumental in bringing Those Dancing Days to the wider attention of the Swedish music industry.)
With this in mind can we expect to see you in the UK anytime soon?

Anders: yeah, we have been thinking about it, and recently we have been in contact with Nick Levine (T!T!T!) but we have no Idea what the future holds, so maybe yes maybe no, we’ll see. but hopefully.

VP: I see you are playing Italy later in the month. How did that come about?

Anna: It’s a contact that we made at the Emmaboda Festival this year and we are really exited about it.

VP : “Through Four Kinds” is by far the most upbeat track on the Flow My Tears EP. Its tone is totally different to the rest of the material. Does this hint at a possible future direction for the band?

Anna: “Through Four Kinds” is one of the first songs we made, but I don’t really agree with that its so different from the other ones, when we write our music we don’t plan to make a “uptempo song” or a slow one, it just happens by itself, as the song gets made. but sure there will be songs you can dance to or listen to when you drive around in your car.

VP : Do you have any other releases planned in the near future?

Anders:
Yeah! We are working on some new material, but we are still looking for a label. soon we will have material for an album, and as soon as we find someone who wants to release it, we will.

VP : Sum up yourselves only using five words?

You/me :
minimal, frank ,moving, new, forgiving

Links

On Myspace

You/Me Wallpaper

“What’s Interesting About Being Normal?” – Screaming Ballerinas Interview

“Crucify” By Screaming Ballerinas

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness inexplicanly thrust upon them by the NME . But rest assured SCREAMING BALLERINAS would not wilt under the pressure of being touted as “the next big thing”……Their Disco punk pop is just the ticket and exactly what the stale corporate indie rock scene needs right now. Screaming Ballerina look as good as they sound , and in the fabulously named Laura Trouble (or a ” Lorra Lorra Trouble” as Cilla would say) they have a singer whose crystal clear vocals manage to convey sweetness and menace in equal measure which should appeal to Indie kids and pop fans alike. A recent line up shake up has seen the addition of Anastasia Barker ( keyboards) and Ross Hammond (bass) joining Laura, Ollie Pound ( guitar) and David Flower(drums) . Their incendiary live performances are currently creating a huge industry buzz and it seems only a matter of time before they’re snapped up by a big label.

Some bands contrive to be cool, but few bands are as effortlessly cool as Screaming Ballerinas. We dispatched the quite obviously uncool Mr Von Pip to meet up with the young scamps and to ask one or tutu questions!

VP: How did you all meet?

OLLIE- I lose track… Laura and I met through the “Dolly Rockers Club” she ran with Eloise Define. We wanted to make a pop racket that we could dance to. The band that would be the Dolly Rockers ideal house band basically. David moved from Derby to be in the band, after Laura found him on myspace.

LAURA – David drove all the way down from Derby just to audition! My space was the middle man to how we met both him and Ross! Ross started out on keyboards then sold his keyboard to Stars(Ansastacia) when she took over! Ross is now bass player extrodinaire! I met Ollie through going out and stuff, I think it was before Dollys even started! Nambucca on Holloway Road was the culprit I reckon…which is where I met Stars too…..drinking and hugging and falling over alot!

ANASTASIA- Met Laura when she was dressed as a bunny/fluffy creature of some kind- on the dance floor of a mutual friend’s fancy dress birthday party at Nambucca a couple of years ago.. Well at least I think it was then…

DAVID- I met the band simply through asking for an audition via a bulletin I was sent on myspace! They liked what I could do and so asked me to join.

VP: Screaming Ballerinas is a great name , where did it come from ?

OLLIE- That was our mate Tara Starlet! We were talking about dance I think, not really sure – but the conversation got onto ballerinas somehow. We thought it at the same time I think – the image just popped into both our heads.

LAURA – When Ollie suggested it I was like “Don’t be fucking mad” but it is pretty genius and just suits us..

ANASTASIA- Tara Starlet came up with the name?? – didn’t know that. Love that girl.. Thanks Tara!

VP: When will you in a position to start releasing your songs for public consumption

LAURA- When we are ready for world domination you will Know! We are just exited about the new line up and getting the live thing and the songs nailed at the moment.

OLLIE-
We’re already doing that I think – at the moment we just want people out there to know and love the songs. So, slowly but surely we’re getting them up on myspace for people to hear. we’re taking our time on each one, so that it doesn’t go up until we’re all happy with it. we’ done another 3 which are nearly ready – and should be up really soon.

VP : Is Indie music dead ! Has the current scene lost its ethics and become too corporate and mainstream ?

ROSS- In some ways maybe, Indie music is changing all the time anyway. What was indie in the 90’s is not the same as Indie now. We’re just trying to do something new.

LAURA- I don’t think there is a scene is there? Just loads of boring bands that sound exactly the same. Copying the Libertines or jumping on the new rave band wagon. But I don’t really care, all the more room for us….

OLLIE- What gets me is that we really don’t have stars anymore. Bowie looked like he was from another planet, and behaved like a star – you’ve got to be a bit arrogant and tread that fine line, but few people really do anymore. The Internet has made bands / people too accessible – and that weird desire that everyone has to be ‘really normal, actually’ is bollocks. What’s interesting about being normal?

ANASTACIA -I agree with Laura- the ‘Indie’ sound is ready to become a bit more adventurous. ‘Indie’ means independent- and I think some bands should take more notice of this.

DAVID- I ‘m not interested in any of it. Besides XX Teens and few other bands, I only really pay attention to metal and that’s going down the toilet too!

VP: You’ve got great tunes and you all look the part . Was your image carefully crafted or is this pretty much the way you all are ?

LAURA- I love dressing up so I would do that no matter what but luckily the rest of them are hotties anyway. Its not contrived at all…we didn’t have a meeting and discuss a ‘look’ or bring in a stylist or anything!

ROSS- It’s the way we are, we don’t dress up to rehearse or anything like that.

OLLIE – It is important that you look coordinated as a band, no matter how contrived some people might see that statement. (it should just be about the music innit?) – but thats rubbish – its about the whole package. Think about all the great bands, and whether its pronounced or not, the band has a dress code. Doesn’t have to be a uniform as such – but we tend to dress fairly similarly anyway –

ANASTACIA-Not carefully crafted at all- but Laura is definitely to thank for my new found skills of back combing my hair.

DAVID-I dress how I like, how I do everyday.

VP : What would you all say , individually , was the one song or moment in Pop that made you sit up and think “Yeah thats it thats what I want to do” and inspired you all to get into music?

LAURA- I remember watching my dads “Old Grey Whistle Test” video when I was 15 and jumping around with a TV remote control as a microphone to “Kid” by the Pretenders. Brit pop was also just this big shiny exciting world that i wanted to be a part of. Seeing Pulps video for ‘Common People’ for the first time also made me want to start a band.

ROSS- Brit pop, I saw a documentary about the Stone Roses, thought they were ridiculously cool.

OLLIE- For me it was probably Nirvana. I’d been into music hugely before – but seeing the way Kurt played guitar made me feel like I could do it as well.

ANASTACIA- For me- it’s Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins- there music is the sound track of my childhood, and I can confidently say that Thom Yorke and Billy Corgan are two of my heroes.

DAVID-Drumming was what got me into playing with bands. It was listening to “Nevermind” from the early age of ten that made me take up drums, that and being inspired by my best mate during my first year at secondary school. The funny thing is that nowadays I find Dave Grohl extremely overrated as a drummer. My heroes today would be Dave Lombardo, Vinnie Paul and the legendary Buddy Rich.

VP : Has the Internet been helpful in establishing a fan base , or is the power of the net exaggerated?

OLLIE- The nets pretty helpful with almost everything. I wonder how on earth bands promoted themselves before it at times!

ROSS-Myspace is unbelievable for plugging your band. Especially gigs, its the main form of networking for any band I would imagine. I wouldn’t be in the band if it weren’t for myspace.

DAVID- I’d say the net has certainly helped us to reach out to people. Myspace is a brilliant tool to use for checking out bands, everything you need is all on one page. It makes the need for the traditional website seem pointless now.

ANASTACIA- The Internet is so helpful to bands- it’s a way of distributing your music not only amongst your friends but around the world.

VP: Whats been your most memorable live performance so far ?

OLLIE- Bristol Academy supporting the Rakes was pretty special – the crowd was going nuts. Was amazing –

DAVID-For me it had to be our gig at the Birmingham Academy when we supported The Rakes on a few of their dates. We were confident and the crowd seemed to like it all!

LAURA-
Im just excited about the next chapter. with the new line up. Its a new band really…woo-hooo

ANASTACIA-I haven’t yet played a live show with the band since joining- but I can’t wait!

VP: Whats were the first singles you all bought as youngsters ( tell the tuth ! )

ROSS- Probably something by Will Smith, “Summer Time” maybe?

OLLIE- I’m honestly not that sure… I didn’t really buy singles when I was young, more often bought albums. I know the first album I bought was Queen’s innuendo on 12 inch. The first CD I bought was Supergrass “I Should Coco.” The first cassette was probably “Nevermind.” Single though – I’m gonna say the Longpigs “Lost Myself.” I bought it from Woolworths in Stourport.

LAURA- Probably “The Bart Man “or something. Ha ha. Or the “My Little Pony” soundtrack….

ANASTACIA- Honestly.. Either a Take That single, or a SpiceGirls single. They were every little girl’s favourite band at the time 🙂

DAVID-The first single I ever had was Oasis’s “Do You Know What I mean?”. I had it on tape format. I couldn’t afford to buy music before that time, otherwise my answer would have been Prodigy’s “Outta Space”!!!

VP: Whats planned for the rest of 2007 ?

OLLIE- A series of breath taking gigs with our new shiny fantastic line up!

DAVID- I guess we have to write more and more and gig in and out of london. It’s still early days for us and we’ve had a big lineup change recently, so we’ve got a lot of working to pressing on with.

VP : Sum up Screaming Ballerinas sound in five words …

ROSS –Dancey (if thats even a word), fast, pop, punk juicy goodness. xx

OLLIE – Music you can dance to

ANASTACIA- As good as it gets

DAVID- We don’t sound like Blondie

LAURA – A disco pop punk explosion

Links

On Myspace

The Dolly Rockers Club

Video

“Crucify” by Screaming Ballerinas

( made by err..me!)

 

Screaming Ballerinas Wallpaper
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

 

 

 

“Say Hello,Wave GoodBye” The Au Revoir Simone Interview

 

“Dark Halls” by Au Revoir Simone

Au Revoir Simone( Erika Forster, Annie Hart, and Heather D’Angelo) demonstrate just how layered synth music (triple keyboard action!) should work, how it can sound warm, human and emotive. True there is a glacial beauty about their sound but at no point does it ever sound cold, or detached. In the past bands who have employed drum machines and synths as their primary source of instrumentation have been accused of sounding clinical or robotic. Au Revoir Simone could never have this criticism leveled at them. Beneath the electronic frosting they have a passionately beating heart, and their songs celebrate the spirituality of nature, reflect a sense of wonder at the joy of being, and are expertly combined with sweeping synths and wistful, dreamy vocals.

These songs conjure up setting suns, mountain lakes and shimmering star fretted skies. This is music that truly transports the listener to a different place, whether its the halcyon days of those endless sun filled school holidays of yore or the warming glow of Christmas lights through a frosted window on Christmas Eve. There is without doubt a TS Eliot type quality to the feel of the music. ”In a sense “the music sounds visual” (listen to the music, close your eyes, and you`ll get what i mean) You can certainly understand why somebody like David Lynch is apparently such a fan.

But its not all hypnotic, ethereal beauty and celestial voices, they can lay down some seriously danceable pop tunes too. Their latest album “The Bird Of Music “ showcases this diversity and proves that they really are the aural equivalent of the “Aurora Borealis”.

The VPME was lucky enough to be able to grab a few minutes with 1/3rd of the band and say “Bonjour Annie”

VP: How did the three of you meet?

Annie: Erika played in my boyfriend’s band, Dirty On Purpose, and one day we were taking a train home together from a weekend in New England with friends and really hit it off. We wanted to make an all keyboard band for no particular reason other than we really like keyboards. Heather came to practice soon after hearing about the idea and our band was born.

VP: Where did the name ” Au Revoir Simone” come from, what particularly
appealed to you all about it?

Annie: It comes from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, which is one of those films that you’ve watched so much it starts forming your personality. It sounds romantic and alludes to following one’s dreams and hopes, but is also essentially dorky.

VP: Your currently touring at the moment. What are the best things and the worst things about touring? Do you have a tour rider that would put Aerosmith to shame?

Annie: The best thing about touring is getting to play every night, which we adore, especially meeting our sweet fans. The worst part is not getting much sleep, which I desperately crave. As for our rider, we’ve got an anti-oxidant-packed bunch of fruit, vegetables, dark chocolate, tea, and red wine, along with a wish for world peace. I don’t
know what Aerosmith likes to eat or hope for. (That’s probably for the best )

VP: What sort of things inspires you to write your songs. What’s the
process?

Annie: Solo motion and movement usually gets my brain moving, like on a bike ride or a long walk. I usually get into a state where I start singing aloud to myself and some things are good enough to bring to practice and some I just forget.

VP: The current music scene? Awash with originality or the same old same old?

Annie: I think the music scene has always been creative and awash with originality and I am grateful to be part of it.

VP: I’ve read that David Lynch is your best friend. What’s all that
about then?

Annie: David is a really great person and a vocal fan of our band, which we find completely flattering and a complete honour.

VP: Over here in the UK, we feel rather embarrassed that Simon Cowell is behind the global conspiracy to stop musical creativity, and to control every aspect of Pop. What do you make of this “American Idol/Pop Idol “nonsense?

Annie: I’ve never heard of this global conspiracy to stop musical creativity. But people should feel free to be themselves and listen to their hearts instead of a T.V. show. If a judge on T.V. is making you stop being creative, you should probably stop watching so much T.V. and spend more time playing music. It’s way more fun.

VP: August and September appear to be taken up with touring NorthAmerica/Canada, what’s the plan after that?

Annie: We’re going to be opening up for AIR in Europe in November. We are quite excited about that.

VP: Sum up yourselves using only five words?

Annie: Nerdy-fun-keyboard-loving-woman

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

 

Buy Au Revoir Simone’s music from iTunes or emusic:

Buy their cds and t-shirts Here : aurevoirsimone.com/shop

VIDEO

“Sad Song” By Au Revoir Simone

Au Revoir Simone Wallpaper

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

“Back To the Future” – The Honeydrips Interview

“(Lack Of )Love Will Tear Us Apart “By The Honeydrips

Meanwhile back in Sweden ….a chap called Mikael has certainly pulled the wool over my ears. When I first heard (“Lack Of Love) Will Tear Us Apart” I quite rightly expected that such an expansive, dreamy sound would of course have been produced by a band of at least the same size as, say, the Polyphonic Spree, but I was in for rude awakening . “Lack Of Love “(featuring dreamy vocals from Cat 5‘s Hannah ) is the lead track from The Honeydrips excellent album “Here Comes the Future”. It’s a wistful, thoughtful album that seems to weave it’s way through various genres, 80’s bleep pop, Indie, electro folk, jangle pop, twee, its all there (except maybe Death Metal, but you never know maybe next year eh ? ) . The vocals conjure up the ghosts of Lloyd Cole and Edwyn Collins and possibly a less grumpy or gruff Jim Reid . I met up with The Honeydrips and was aghast to find only one member of the band had bothered to turn up …………….

VP: Just who are the Honeydrips

MC: The Honeydrips is a one man band consisting of me: Mikael Carlsson, Gothenburg, Sweden. (Phew!)

VP: How would you describe your music ?

MC : The idea behind The Honeydrips is for me to explore whatever kind of music I want. So far the music has varied from The Jesus & Mary Chain styled fuzzpop to chansons in Swedish, via techno pop, 80:s-sounding twee and more. The keyword though, spells P-O-P.

VP: Who would you cite as your main musical influences /heroes

MC : Given the answer above, the influences vary a great deal. But I do have a few influences that are more important than others, like Felt and Saint Etienne. They’ve influenced both my music and the attitude behind it, allowing themselves to develop in whatever direction they wish.

VP: Imagine a world without mobile phones or the Internet . Could you cope ?

MC : Well, since I’m 27 years old, I’ve lived more than half my life without these things. So yes, I could cope. Some might even say we were happier without it that with it. I suppose I disagree.

VP: What would you say are the best and also the worst aspects of being a musician in 2007 ?

MC : Ummm… The best part might be that it’s easy to reach out to people, with the Internet and all. And it’s easier to make music on your own nowadays. Before you had to recruit a band and rehearse the songs with them, hire an expensive studio just to be able to record a crappy demo tape. Now you can do it all on your own in your tiny flat. The worst part is timeless: it completely messes up your mind.

VP : You played T!T!T! in July (07) and I believe you used your mobile phone as your sole source of instrumentation ??True or False ? How did the audience react to that!

MC : That’s true. I usually do that, it’s practical. The audience were kind enough not to call or text me during the show. I take it as a token of their appreciation.

VP : You released the rather impressive Album “Here Comes The Future” in March 2007 . Which are your favourite tracks from it ?

MC : My favourite song is the last one, “In some distant future”. For personal reasons. But if i didn’t love all of the songs, I would never had released the album. Too many albums with just a few good tracks have been released in the history of pop music. I waited a long time to do this album, so that it would be perfect all the way, plus work as an album. And that’s another thing, many albums are merely a collection of songs. I wanted my album to work as a whole. This is my gift to future generations for Christ’s sake!

VP : And to finish on a lighthearted, upbeat note , when your time is up, and you sense the reapers icy fingers on your shoulders, as you are about to shuffle off this mortal coil, what would your last five words be ?

MC : Stay away from music making.

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

Sincerly Yours (Cd Available)

VIDEO

“I Wouldn’t Know What To Do ” by The Honeydrips

The Honeydrips Wallpaper

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us