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

“Ain’t Never Been Cool “- The Lucky Soul Interview

“One Kiss Don’t Make A Summer” By Lucky Soul

I don’t know about you but the summer seems to have passed me by this year, the rain, and the biblical flooding have had me dashing off to B&Q in a quest to acquire Ark building materials. However I have a theory, this year has nothing to do with global warming, oh no, I earnestly believe that this year those serotonin boosting rays of sunshine have somehow been vacuum packed into Lucky Souls debut album “The Great Unwanted”.

There is something unremittingly summery about Lucky Soul’s sound, it has a strange and disturbing effect on me, I am transported to a world where I imagine myself starring in a 1960’s “pop movie”, cruising along country lanes in a flat top Aston martin, picking up mini skirted beat girls whilst stopping off at various arty Warhol-esque parties. (Ahem!) There’s no denying Lucky Soul have a retro feel to their sound, classic ’60s influenced songs with shimmering female vocals, there’s a pipette of Phil Spector in the “Soul” cocktail plus a dash of St Etienne a squirt of Motown and a splash Dusty Springfield. And hark! Is that a warmer, cuddlier Dubstar mooching around in the background?

The female-fronted six piece from Greenwich, South East London certainly look the part, Ali the glamorous blonde bobbed lead singer backed by the five very dapper suited and booted chaps look a little like “Parallel Lines” era Blondie. The difference being these gents look much politer than Debbie’s dissolute bunch of ne’er do-wells. I can imagine these young fellows pointing out in true beat movie style to some dance hall ruffians “We don’t fight; that’s for squares”. But there’s nothing gimmicky about Lucky Soul they play tight finely crafted pop songs that, although influenced by a different era very much belong in the here and the now. It’s happy feel good music, and it’s the perfect antidote to the miserabilst and inane mumblings of the likes of self-declared “genius”, Johnny Borrell and his ilk. And did I mention they have great song titles too? ” One Kiss Doesn’t Make A Summer”, Lips are Unhappy” “Ain’t Never Been Cool ” and “Baby I’m Broke”, would all look rather splendid on T-shirts. Seriously though “The Great Unwanted” deserves to regarded as a classic, has there been a better debut album ? There is not one weak track, not one filler, every song could be a smash hit single, it really is the mark of a band that are truely deserving of the title “genius”

So If you missed out on the sun this year, worry not, just pop “The Great Unwanted ” on your musical appliance of choice and dance yourself dizzy, ok so it wont give you a tan, but it will certainly lift your spirits and you won’t have to worry about those pesky UV rays!

The VPME – got lucky and managed to grab a word or two with “the Soul’s” keyboard wiz Malcolm Young, (however we politely avoided asking him about his strange mutant toes)

VP: Your album “The Great Unwanted” is a fabulous summery album, was the finished item all that you’d hoped for and more?

MY:We’re all really proud of what we’ve done, but I think Andrew is such a perfectionist that he’s always thinking of ways that it could have been better. Our producer, George Shilling, really pushed us hard, and got us to perform better than we thought we could. It was a steep learning curve, and I’m really looking forward to going back and doing another album.

VP: Your bound to be compared to bands like St Etienne does it annoy you that people are always looking to label the latest bands “the new (insert name here)”

MY:Most people like familiarity, and they can’t get their heads around new things very easily, so it’s a handy label to stick on something. It’s the same with book publishing – everything’s the new Dan Brown or Harry Potter. If you liked X, you’ll love Y – it’s lazy marketing, but it doesn’t bother us. As long as they’re comparing us to good bands…

VP: It’s nice to see a band that take a pride in its appearance, was this a conscious decision or do you normally look so well heeled and dapper

MY: It was partly a nod to the old Motown revue tours, where they all looked so smart, partly an easy way to have a band uniform, and partly a reaction against the general trend of scruffiness. And for lazy marketing purposes, it’s always good to be remembered, whether it’s for the music or just “oh yes, Lucky Soul, they’re that band in the suits with the pretty blonde singer”. And it’s nice to make it feel more like a performance – you get changed and go onstage, and you feel like you’re making a bit of an effort. Too many bands just turn up and play a bunch of songs, and don’t care about putting on a show.

VP: What do you make of these scruffy loud, anemic Indie boys? Are there any bands within this genre that appeal to you?

MY: Toby and I used to be scruffy, loud, anemic Indie boys, and there’ll always be a place in my heart for a bit of a racket, but so many bands around now are just so formulaic that I can’t even remember their names. Again, it’s lazy marketing, A&R people seeing that a band did well, so they’ll churn out another band as similar as possible.

VP:Whose in charge? Come on be honest now, it’s Ali isn’t it?

MY:Maybe I shouldn’t answer this one, just in case I get into trouble.

VP :What do you make of this blogging malarkey? Some people believe that it’s dumbing down the Internet, others that it is free speech in its purest form. What say you?

MY: I think too much is made of the blog revolution. It’s great that people are able to put their thoughts out there, as long as they actually have something to say, but so much of it goes unread. Big business will always control the mainstream media, and most bloggers give up quite quickly unless they’re passionate about what they want to say. It’s a little like Speakers Corner in Hyde Park – the lack of quality control is what makes it interesting, but as with so many things, there’s just so much out there that you can’t be bothered to trawl through most of it.
We’ve had a lot of good press from bloggers, so personally it’s very flattering to know that someone in some far-flung corner of the world likes what you’re doing.

VP:Highlights Of 2007? When Where and Why?

MY:Personally, getting married, for obvious reasons.
With the band, just seeing the album out in the shops and reading positive reviews (in the press and from bloggers, and from people putting comments on Myspace) have been great – it’s really been a validation that what we’re doing is worthwhile.

VP:What’s your view on file sharing? Killing music or reaching millions of potential new fans

MY: From a financial point of view, it’s frustrating to think that people are just getting our album for free, but hopefully they’ll like what they hear and come and see us play. Besides, we’re all guilty of discovering new music and not being prepared to pay for it.
Home taping never killed music, and nor will file sharing. It just means it’s harder to make money from it…

VP:Simon Cowell’s smug face often fills me with an uncharacteristic urge to punch him very hard on his nose. Does anybody have that effect on you?

MY: The few times I’ve watched the X factor I’ve thought that he wasn’t that bad. He smashes the dreams of all the deluded people who go on there thinking that they’re going to be the next Mariah Carey. Even though you can hear him counting all the money in his high-waisted trouser pockets all the time he does it, I think he’s doing them a service by telling them to forget about being famous and get on with their lives.
There are plenty of people out there who rile me: Johnny Borrell, obviously. David Cameron. That little scouse kiddy from X factor. Madonna and Guy Ritchie. The Beckhams. Cristiano Ronaldo. Don’t get me started…

VP: Five words, which would best describe the Lucky Soul sound?

MY:Big, shiny, fragile, resilient, lovely.

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

US Release

CLICK ON THE FLYER TO ORDER ‘THE GREAT UNWANTED’

VIDEO

“Add Your Light To Mine Baby” By Lucky Soul

“Lips Are Unhappy” By Lucky Soul

LUCKY SOUL WALLPAPER

 

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