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

Advertisements

Some Candid Talking- Havana Guns Interview

“My Surfing Days Are Over” By Havana Guns

Life can be funny,… unlike Jenny Éclair. But there are many other things that play havoc with my quest for meaning in life, for example, how did George W Bush attain power, how did Tony Blair become a political Del-Boy and sell the “WMD Could Be Deployed In Just 40 Minutes” scenario to parliament? Why is David Beckham so revered? Did Dame Thora Hird ever throw aside her floral nylon nightie and indulge in rampant rumpo,… like……ever …………And did I imagine it, but was racist, homophobe Jim Davidson, once considered a suitable candidate to present family entertainment on Saturday nights, at teatime! Yes such questions are irksome but they hardy keep me awake in the wee small hours. However one question and one question alone often keeps the sandman at bay, and it is this, “Why aren’t Havana Guns one of the most popular bands in the U.K? ”

The “VPME’s” nemesis, the ludicrously named “NME” called them” Blondie for the Libertines generation”. The band themselves describe their sound as “Motorcycle Pop”, but what delights would a casual listener expect to uncover? Well, imagine the Jesus and Mary Chain complete with Peter Hooks thundering bass lines, or Blondie forming a supergroup with The Sundays,The Primitives,and The Pixies or picture if you will, The Supremes hanging out in Surf City, The Shop Assistants mud wrestling with the Go-Go’s,(steady) or Lush jamming with My Bloody Valentine. Yes if you can picture all this and its sounds your cup of tea then, hey, get yourself acquainted with Zoë Durante, Philippe Di Nero, Linda Hollywood, Greg Gallo, and Nenad “Killer” Santiago. AKA Havana Guns.

Life, as I have mentioned can indeed be funny, but also unfair, I submit, if there really was such a thing as “Pop Justice”then Havana Guns would have kicked Simon Cowell’s high waisted derrière all the way to Devils Island for his heinous crimes against music, sentencing him to the dreadful (and some would say a too harsh) fate of listening to his own monstrous pop creations for all eternity. At which point Havana Guns would then emerge as our musical saviours, they would re-educate a post-Cowell world, and demonstrate that music really does matter, it can be good and just and have meaning. And Havana Guns matter, and Havana Guns have meaning and they are good and just and we should embrace them

So what’s all this “motorcycle pop” stuff about?

VP: Where does the name come from?

Zoe (Vox): We were initially called “Hamburger Buns”. When we booked our first gig, the promoter got the name wrong and put “Havana Guns” on the poster. Since the poster was already sent to the printers, it was too late to change it, so we simply adapted the name.

VP: You have been described as “motorcycle pop” band? What exactly does that mean and how would you describe your sound?

Philippe: That was from a US reviewer. I guess he probably meant that we mix some dark noisy sides with a pop songs. I liked the sound of it, so I put it on our myspace page as a quote. Greg (Bass) actually went as far as buying a motorcycle this summer.

VP: My space, the bee’s knees or the dog’s bollocks?

Linda: We all used to be MySpace addicts, we are currently being weened off it with a dose of Facebook.

Philippe: Why are there so many error messages all the time? They got $580 millions from Murdoch; couldn’t they spend 0.1 % of this money in bug-fixing?

VP: What do you think of the current music scene

Philippe: I am not very impressed with the current UK scene. To me it feels a bit like in the late 90’s when the music scene was just awash with thousands of Britpop clones. Everyone says that UK music scene is great now because there are so many bands doing well. I’d rather have few great band leading the way, than hundreds of mediocre bands swamping the scene.

Linda: Kaiser Chiefs just scare me. Every single one of them looks like a weird scary ventriloquist dummy. Specially the little man with the hat.

Philippe: What’s the deal with NME solely hyping bands based on the amount of hair (Horrors) and amount of tattoos (Gallows). What happened to the days when “Indie” was all about new and creative music?

VP: In the past you’ve released limited edition 7”s, any plans for Cd releases or an album?

Zoe: We are doing an EP next, this will be also on iTunes etc. No plans for an album yet: We are thinking of just releasing a series of singles and EPs, a bit like The Smiths and other Indie bands did in the 80’s.

VP: The Spice Girls- “ Girl Power” Or “Pure Greed”?

Philippe: My favourite spices are: Pepper, Cinnamon, Oregano.

VP: What have been your highlights of the year thus far?

Linda: We did this gig at the Barfly and some friend of ours prepared pyrotechnic FX for our stage show. On the first chorus of the first song, he had these fireworks go off, and set the roof on fire. The gig was stopped, and we didn’t get paid!

VP: Your record label is called Cigarette Music, any views on The UK smoking ban?

Philippe: I think a spitting ban should come next.

VP: Sum yourselves up in five words

Havana Guns: Hundreds-making underrated under aged undertakers

Links

Official Site

On Myspace

I Want My Havana Guns

Singles

She Always Goes Down

  • Released: February 9, 2005
  • Format: 7″ Single
  • Label: Cigarette Music
  • B-side: “Sister Brother”
  • Writer: Philippe Di Nero
  • Video Director: Dan Knight
N.Y.C.S.

  • Released: March 26, 2007
  • Format: 7″ Single
  • Label: Cigarette Music
  • B-side: “I Want To Die”
  • Writers: Philippe Di Nero / Linda Hollywood

VIDEO

“She Always Goes Down” By Havana Guns

I love this band