“Dead Can Dance?”….Dead Disco Interview

“Automatic” By Dead Disco

Art students eh, can you trust ’em to do their studies or do they just muck about eating lentils whilst daubing skulls and crossbones on Rubik’s cubes and super gluing them together to represent “The Futility Of Toil And The Certainty Of Death.?” Or maybe they pass their days putting lambs heads on the desks of a mocked up stock market office naming it something rather arsey like “Glutton Dressed As Lamb” and declare it to be some sort of postmodernist ironic statement about the erm….lets see…. “The Corporatisation Of The Soul”.. I prefer Cludeo myself, Colonel Mustard, candlestick, library, straightforward fun, nobody gets confused, nobody gets hurt- but there you go. Some students, who don’t spend all day bunking off lectures to secretly watch Jeremy Kyle and Jerry Springer, actually use their time at Uni to do something creative, like…. form a band. Don’t let Blur put you off, some art school bands are actually very good. They don’t all become bowl headed, florid faced impresarios who produce rock operas based on “Monkey” or angular floppy haired cheese makers with airs and graces who fop about on Question Time and Radio 4. A point in case of an art school musical union turning out rather well is Leeds band Dead Disco. They produce snappy electro punk pop, which we love, in fact we love it so much we risked an interview with them. We found them to be pleasant, down to earth young ladies who didn’t appear to display any inclination to cleave us in half with a chainsaw and then suspend us in glass tanks full of formaldehyde for arts sake, which was obviously a relief… They are a great, great band, very talented, and certainly deserve HUGE success (even if they don’t find tribute bands inherently evil 😉 )

VP: You met at school and then developed the idea to play music at Art College? What was it that prompted you to form the band and who came up with the name and why?

DD: Lucy and myself (Marie) were at school together in the Yorkshire Dales and we were both heavily influenced by music since we were small so it was more about when we would start a band rather than why or how. But it was when we were in Art School that Dead Disco started to take off. We auditioned for a singer and drummer as before it was just the two of us and the rest is history. As for the name, we needed one sharpish if we wanted to start gigging and sending out demo’s, so we literally picked words out of a hat and Dead Disco were just a couple that were there… best of a very bad bunch.

VP: You’ve released a couple of highly rated singles, and recently have been reportedly recording your debut album in L.A. How’s that been going and do you have a release date and album title as yet?

DD: We recorded ‘You’re Out’ in LA and we did go out again to record some other tracks but I think we’ll be doing the album over here, there isn’t a release date yet but we’re pretty much brimming with songs so it shouldn’t be too far away.

VP: What sort of music/artists would you say has had the biggest influence on you?

DD: It has to be Fleetwood Mac; Lindsey Buckingham is Lucy’s idol. They are such an amazing band both on record and live, and they have lasted such a long time there isn’t much you couldn’t look up to.

VP: What’s the plan for 2008, album promotion? Gigs?

DD: More new songs and gigs is the first step, and we’re really excited about sharing these. We think the best way to tell if a song is worth while or not is to see how it goes down live.

VP: As you all seem to have an innate sense of contemporary chic , and like myself appear to carry off a certain flamboyant panache with ease 😉 did you sit down and think, as a band , “we want to have a certain image,” is the way you present yourselves as Dead Disco a pretty accurate reflection of how you are normally ?

DD: We didn’t plan the image, both me and Lucy are very into fashion (being art students) and we actually run our own online store where we sell and make clothing and accessories (www.artdisco.co.uk). It’s just part of what we like to do so giving us an event or an excuse to do this just brings it out in us.

VP: What’s the weirdest fan request you’ve had?

DD: One fan did ask for a lock of Lucy’s hair once, unfortunately we had to pass on that offer… could’ve been voodoo or anything!

VP: What other bands do you think may make a breakthrough this year and are their any forthcoming releases you’re really looking forward to?

DD: We’re very glad that the Futureheads are finally coming back, we were big fans and its great to see that they are touring again and bringing out a new record.

VP: Tribute bands? Should they be legalised?

DD: We don’t mind a good tribute band, although we did see a pretty scary AC/DC once that actually put us off AC/DC for life. The fake Angus Young decided to get naked and run into the audience. No in all seriousness it’s just a bit of fun really, we love those shows like Stars in their Eyes and that new one The One and Only… it’s pure entertainment genius! Artists should find it flattering to have someone want to spend their lives mimicking them. (Or deeply disturbing?-VP ;))

VP: I had a terribly dull New Years Eve, I was ill and to make matters worse Nick F***ing Knowles was presenting the New Year show on BBC 1, which was incredibly dispiriting. How about you? How did you spend it?

DD: We had a very good one thanks, we got drunk on mulled wine, ate goulash and roasted chestnuts, then at midnight we all had whiskey, haggis, tatties and neaps just like you should!

VP: What things generally in life are likely to irritate you and lead to a tirade of swear words and much wringing of hands? (For example Graham Norton, bad manners, herds of unruly sheep, or children called Nike and Chelsea Lou Loubelle)

DD: We always try to think of what we’d put into Room 101 like this, problem is we have quite a few, one is Baby on Board signs, especially ‘Hot Chick on Board’ or ‘Little Devil on Board’… you get the picture.

VP: It’s been said that 2008 will be a bit of a miserable year, we can apparently expect to see a lot of Gordon Brown’s cheerless face, hewn from lumpy dough and porridge, dourly announcing the latest on the credit crunch, rising fuel bills and interest rates. Whilst terrifyingly, 2008 will also herald the return of Boyzone. What tips do you have to lift the gloom?

DD: Get yourself a new look with the help of our clothing and accessories website (www.artdisco.co.uk)... hint hint… how rude! 😉

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

Art Disco (Loads More On Website)

Icecream Necklace Notorious Ninja Necklace One-Up Mushroom Necklace Mr T Necklace
£6.00 £8.00 £6.00 £10.00
Gun Necklace Neon Quartz Watch 3D glasses Necklace Tiny Doll Necklace
£5.00 £5.00 £6.00

£8.00

Videos

“You’re Out” by Dead Disco

“Picture Perfect” (Live) By Dead Disco

“Automatic” By Dead Disco

“The Making Of Your Out Video”

Wallpaper

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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

Dial “M” For Monster – Monster Bobby Interview

“The Postcard” – Monster Bobby

 

Mention “Monster Bobby” and invariably the response will be something like “Aha! Brighton’s answer to Phil Spector !” or “Oh yes, he’s that Pipettes chap”. But as well as playing guitar and co-writing songs as a member of The Pipettes backing band The Cassettes, Monster Bobby has been one busy geezer. He’s organised club nights, concerts, and produced fanzines (notably “Totally Bored” ) as well as performing as a solo artist releasing mainly limited edition singles such as the excellent “Heaven Hides Nothing”.

On 13th August, 2007 MB’s long awaited debut album “Gaps” is released in The UK via Hypnote Recording Concern (July 17 in the U.S.). The album features “the almost complete absence of any gaps between tracks, each one segued into the next with the aid of field recordings and other assorted noises and soundscapes,” In addition to those noises and sound scapes, “Gaps” features bassoon, glockenspiel, tuba, and cornet. Interestingly the album title is actually not a play on the way the songs fit together,but was titled in advance and somehow just serendipitously came together with no actual “gaps”

In between being mysterious and profound, the Monster that is Bobby took time out to speak to the “VPME” and answer the age old question “ So what’s it all about?”

VP: Where does the name “Monster Bobby” come from?

MB: My flat mate, Lydia, who I lived with in halls at the time I started playing (and the Add N to (X) song that came out around then.)

VP: What are the overall plans for ‘Gaps’? Are you going to tour it? Release any singles off it?

MB: I don’t know. I’m going to the Edinburgh festival for a week to play at a night called folka dots. I think really the overall plans for “ Gaps,” from my perspective, was to record an album of my songs with little bits of field recordings, a real brass and woodwind section that we’ve basically done our best to make sound like a load of synths and samples from old records from the forties, and an awful lot of noise. After that, well…who can say…

VP: Some of the song titles on the album may well be contenders for “best song titles in pop” where do you get your inspiration for such songs?

MB: Walking… and hypnagogic hallucinations.

VP :It’s been reported you’re launching your own record label, any news?

MB: It will be called Little Other Records. It’s musical output will resemble, to a fair extent, the kind of music I used to put on “Totally Bored” compilations, especially Mrs Reed, Bens Pens, Hot Roddy, Les Domestico…maybe a few others…we’ll see…., and it will be run on Lacanian principles (hehe)..

VP: What are your thoughts on the current Music scene?

MB: I don’t really listen to much current music, except by accident. I like Bonde DoRole, yeh, Brazil seems to have a good music scene right now. I don’t really like any of the London bands, lots of good stuff coming out of Sweden last few years mind you…

VP: This year has seen you play Mexico, the US, Glasto, etc what have been your personal highlights?

MB: Missing my alarm clock, running through the streets of Lund, somehow bunking the train from Lund to Emmaboda, jumping straight into a taxi that my friend Nick had booked for me ten minutes before from Emmaboda station to the festival, setting up and sound checking in about three minutes then just about being able to squeeze in a 25minute set before the main stage started going and I got a drowned out (I was, even after all that, an hour and a half late)…seeing Bjork at Glastonbury, the animal collective at Benicassim, and the Wu Tang Clan at “T In The Park…Money Mark wanting to take photos of Seb’s casiotone at the exit festival in Serbia….finding a BBC radiophonic workshop record that I didn’t have on Haight Street, San Francisco….watching sheet lightning illuminate the mountains from a balcony in the Swiss alps.. hearing three chefs sing Corinthian folk songs at the lakes festival in Austria.. Karaoke in New York, Hamburg and Helsinki…. train journeys in Austria and Sweden and Switzerland… the sound of being caught between three competing mariachi bands at a bar in Guadalajara…finn air breakfasts…going home every now and then and watching lots of Hitchcock films…

VP: Who’d win a dance off between The Cassettes and The Pipettes?

MB: Me.

VP: Sum yourself up in Five Words

MB: I would prefer not to.

NB/ The VPME can confirm that Monster Bobby is not Phil Spector, and that no aspiring Hollywood starlets were injured during this interview. (Additional thanks to Bright Eyes, Fran The Fan And Mr Cakes

“Gaps” can be Ordered here

Links

Monster Bobby On Myspace

Hypnote Recording Concern

VIDEO

“My Band”- Live – Monster Bobby

MONSTER BOBBY WALLPAPER

Recommended – Kate Nash

 


“Merry Happy By Kate Nash”

  • Kate Nash

Kate Nash has lazily been described by the music press as the next Lilly Allen or “Mini Allen” but despite them writing about similar themes , their music is quite different . Lilly employs a mix of pop and ska , whereby Kate has an edgier punkier, do it yoursef feel to her tunes. Kate’s first unofficial single “Caroline Is A Victim” was released in February 2007, and was described by Pop Justice as “ one of the worst records of the year – the shocking ‘Caroline’s A Victim’. Even she seemed embarrassed by the whole affair.” Slightly harsh but the single was a double A-side and featured “Birds” which was by far the better track and showcased Kate’s lyrical dexterity and ear for a “killer” tune to greater effect than the rather gimmicky “Caroline” . Her first Official single the brilliant “Foundations ” surprised everybody and rocketed to number 2 in the UK charts and her albums (“Made Of Bricks”) release date has been brought forward due to the success of the single

So Whats It All About ? Music Journos love to categorise musical styles and create new and rather absurd genres . “Chavtronica” is possibly one of the most ludicrous labels attached to Kates music, however she claims to have been more influenced by early punk and female stars such as Regina Spektor ,than say, “God’s Own Chav”, Mike Skinner. So how does Kate describe her songwriting ? “I think telling a story is my strength as a songwriter . That’s because I did an acting course, and I’ve read a lot of plays, and I love films, and the theatre, I wrote a lot of short films and stuff before I wrote songs. So I think I’m good at writing stories. I write a lot of really human, simple stuff, so hopefully it’s relatable to a lot of people”

Links

Kate Nash on myspace

VIDEO

“Foundations” By Kate Nash

Old Favourites-Lush

 


“I Have The Moon” By Lush

  • Lush

One of the Nineties’ most unusual indie bands, sprang from a friendship formed, at 14, by Londoners Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson. As they put it “music was it“. After learning the ropes in other bands “Lush” was formed with Mikis then boyfriend Chris Acland on drums and Steve Rippon on bass (later replaced by Phil King )

So whats it all about ?? “We were kind of punk rock in one way”, says Emma Anderson. “We did think ‘Well, if they can do it, why the fuck can’t we?’ Basically, our idea was to have extremely loud guitars with much weaker vocals. And, really the vocals were weaker due to nervousness – we’d always be going ‘Turn them down! Turn them down!’.” “We started by writing crappy riot grrl anthems,” says Berenyi, “which was probably charming in a juvenile way. But there was a very rapid shift from the minute we started to write for records. The music, the lyrics became much more thoughtful and expressive, more important, really. I remember that change beginning when Emma wrote “Thoughtforms”, it certainly made me think I needed to get my act together.”Often pigeonholed as part of the so called “shoegaze” genre , In reality Lush always had a poppier edge and were probably more akin to The Primitives and The Sundays.

The bands biggest commercial success with their final album “Love Life” ironically could well have been their undoing . Miki descrbes writing songs for the “LoveLife” album as”a kind of ‘give ’em what they want’ thing. Of course, my idea of commercialism is still a long, long way from other people’s. “Ciao!” may be a lilting duet with Jarvis Cocker but it’s still basically two people telling each other to fuck off.” This success led to pressure to “break America” but alas the sheer volume of shows and the travel led to frustration and bad feeling Chris Acland, was ordered to rest by his doctor, and returned to his parents’ home in the Lake District. Anderson, dissatisfied with the direction , called a meeting and announced her departure. “It was total overkill,” says Anderson “I felt like a product being shoved down people’s throats. It felt soulless.” “Everyone was sick of touring,” says Berenyi “and Emma said she didn’t want to go through anything like the Lovelife experience ever again. She thought we should continue without her but I said no way. Things were left at that with no definite decision. Being the eternal optimist, I believe it was rocky but it would have continued, gone in a totally different direction. Then two days later we heard about Chris.” At his parents home – Acland had hanged himself.

“For me,” says Berenyi “That was the end. There was no way on earth I could have gone on with Lush without him, because I always firmly believed that without his benign influence Emma and I would have torn each other apart years ago. Not to mention the obvious fact that he was one of my closest friends ever and there was very little else I wanted to do without him, for that matter. So I guess to Emma the end was aready in sight. For me personally, it was Chris’s death, and Chris’s death only that finished Lush. I enjoyed being in the band immensely, I’m glad I did it. But that really was a full stop, his personality was such a major part of the band.”

A tragic end to a young life , and to a fantastic band . The record “industry” should realise that music isn’t just a product ..music means more to the fans and the bands than simply a profit margin….yes I know the record company has to make money but at what price??? …..one day they might actually listen……

Links
Emma Andersons Band -Sing-Sing

“We Miss Miki Campaign “

The Jesus And Mary Chain ( Phil King Plays Bass with JAMC)

VIDEO

“Lady Killers” By Lush

 

Lush Wallpaper

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us