“Ice, Ice Baby!” – The Icicles Interview

“La-Ti-da” by The Icicles

“Songs For Warm Days And Cold Nights” ……Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A. The Icicles boast the sort of tunes that would surely touch the most dispassionate, unfeeling of souls with their sweet melodies and sublime vocals. It’s perfect pop to warm the cockles of your heart and have you tapping your foot with delight. Their debut album “A Hundred Patterns” released in 2005 was a huge critical success, which later led to Motorola, picking “Sugar Sweet” as the theme song to a worldwide ad campaign in November 2006. They have recently released their second album “Departures and Arrivals ” and “great Scott of The Antartic” it’s a corker of an album! Is it Indie?Is it Twee? Is it retro folk pop or grindcore two step Nu-gaze ?- Who cares !!! Throw these ridiculousily contrived genres out of the window and just enjoy the warm fuzzy glow that the music provides without any peconceptions. It’s as soothing as a summers breeze, as warming as a mulled wine on a frosty day. The Icicles provide a great big earful of happiness, which induces feelings of wanting to dance with the same care free abandon that only embarrassing inebriated mad uncles at family weddings can muster, conversely at other times you`ll be content just to sit in your favourite chair relaxing with a dopey, yet satisfied grin on your face. “Departures and Arrivals” is a lovely slice of pop, influences such as 60’s girl groups,folk,even Blondie and Camera Obscura subtly reveal themselves but these are merely reference ponts and never overwhelm the listener. In a perfect world it’s how music should sound:- sweet, touching and from the heart…The Icicles have arrived so prepare to be swept up in their dreamy euphonious refrains….

VP: Where When and how, yes how did you all meet up?

Gretchen: Joleen and I went to college together and played music in our apartments when we were neighbors. The band originally started with Korrie Sue who was another college friend. We flyered for our original bass player and that was the beginning of the Icicles. Things changed up a bit and we were suddenly on the look out for a new bass player. Emily was a friend of ours who we met at various pop shows. She learned our songs and wowed us when she tried out for the band. Soon we were looking for a new drummer as well. Greg, too was a friend we know from the local music scene. After recording our first album together we loved having a Jeff Baron (from the Essex Green & Ladybug Transistor) as guest lead guitarist and thought it was time to find someone of our own to fill his shoes and approached Rebecca. We had all been aware of how great her guitar work was and after some hesitation about her possibly saying no, we finally sucked it up and asked if she would consider joining us. And it’s been dreamy ever since.

VP: For those who are new to the Icicles what can they expect?

Joleen: To smile, blush, toe tap, sway and may be even get up and dance.

Gretchen: Dreamy, melodic pop.

VP: What have been the highlights of your time together so far?

Joleen: Playing music for people is the biggest highlight. Travel is also a huge highlight and meeting so many nice people.

Gretchen: Having been featured on a Motorola/Vodaphone ad and a Target Ad (here in the US). Touring has also been absolutely amazing. We’re REALLY looking forward to the UK!

VP: Any lowlights?

Joleen: We have brought ice storms to the southern states and rain to the desert. We have a fear of weather. It must be our name!

VP: What were the first records you all bought?

Joleen: Olivia Newton John “Lets Get Physical”, Footloose sound track, Michael Jackson Thriller!!! and Madonna “Like a Virgin.”

Gretchen: Michael Jackson Thriller, The Human League

Emily: REM “Out of Time” and Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam (not necessarily proud of that one)

VP: Any bands in The UK that appeal to you all at the moment?

Joleen: M.I.A. and The Go Team

Emily: Currently: The Loves, Alberfeldy and Darren Hayman. Longer time fan of Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura and the Pastels

VP: In the UK we are awash with reality TV and Pop Idol type shows, is this the same in the US? What do you make of this “American Idol” malarkey?

Gretchen: It’s non-stop here! We’ve got American Idol, American Band, Making of the Band, America’s Most Talented and the list goes on and on! I don’t really dig these shows.

VP: Social networking. Myspace, face book etc, a great way of getting heard, or eroding the very fabric of society

Gretchen: I think it’s a great way to connect with people and a great way of getting heard indeed. I think that for bands they are a great resource!

VP: Who are your Heroes musical and also non musical ?

Gretchen: My heroes include Mister Rogers, Pippy Longstocking, Ani DiFranco, Julie Andrews

Emily: Musically mine include Paul McCartney, Morrissey and AC Newman, all fantastic songwriters!

VP : You plan to come to the UK soon, where you can sample the delights of rain, flooding on a biblical scale, anti social behaviour and of course Tea and scones… Any news?

Emily: We will be starting our tour out in Sweden and Denmark and then heading to the UK for the second week. As of right now we have shows booked in London, Birmingham, Pontefract and the West Midlands for the Indietracks show. We still have a couple open days that we might fill, but if we don’t it just gives us more time to try to dodge the rain as we enjoy tea on our days off! We’ve all vacationed in the UK before, but the band has never toured or traveled there all together, we’re very excited and counting down the days.

VP: Where on earth did you get those lovely Uniforms for your promo photos?

Gretchen: We made them! Joleen is the head seamstress in our group. She is amazing! (Check out her Web site: www.flutterfashion.com) She spoiled us with the fantastic flight attendent costumes for our cd release party jackets hats and all!

Joleen: Matching outfits are part of living the dream so there is a lot of sewing going on and every one does their part.

VP: Sum yourselves up in five words
Joleen: Melodic, shy, colorful, pandemonium, cool 🙂

Gretchen:
passionate, crazy, leo

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

Joleen’s site

Video

“Regret” By The Icicles ( Live on LiveBlock Radio)

Wallpaper

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

“Brighter Than The Sun” – The Sunny Street Interview

 

“All The Way” By The Sunny Street

What can I tell you about The Sunny Street ? Well, if I’m honest I’d have to say I had no idea who they were when I randomly (yes, I use the word correctly which is a rarity these days) came across their delightful cover of New Order’s “All The Way.” Thanks again to the Internet, great new music can be found with a little bit of effort and I found myself enraptured with this gorgeous acoustic version featuring a hauntingly swoonsome vocal. I endeavoured to find out more about The Sunny Street and was delighted to find that they had other great songs in up their talented sleeves . The duo hail from France and have recently moved to dear old “Blighty.” I had a little chat and was also rather pleased to discover that although they said their english was a little “fragile”they could do what many English speaking bands have singularly fail to do, yes, they were able to understand my questions ! So with out further ado let’s direct our feet to the “Sunny Side Of The Street” and say “Allo, Allo” to this captivating duo

Note: I have tried to keep my questions clear, concise and not use slang or colloquial expressions, which could confuse….

VP: Blimey Guv ,Wotcha !Sunny field of wheat,where did ya meet and ‘ow did ya come ter form a band, me old china?

AHEM !

VP: Tell us about yourselves , Who are you? How did you meet ?

TSS: The Sunny Street is just two persons: Delphine and Remi. We’re both 25, French and we met each other at the university in the south of France. Delphine sings and Remi plays the guitar.

VP: You say your both originally from France …what was behind the decision to move to England?

TSS: It’s been very old dream for both of us to move someday to England. After our studies we didn’t really find jobs we liked and we were a bit fed up, a bit bored… Sounded like it was time for a big change and we came to London. We’ve always liked big cities and, we’ve been here for more than a year now and we’re extremely happy.

VP: You’ve done a fantastic acoustic cover of New Orders “All The Way” What made you pick that song? Are you big New Order fans ?

TSS: Thank you! “All The Way” is maybe my favourite song ever, one I have no problem to put on top of every list. I first listened to it when I was 8 or 9 on a cassette of Technique I found in my brother’s room and then I couldn’t stop playing it on my walkman. We’re actually in France on holidays ay the moment and we had the chance to see “Control” it was so touching. This music is very important to us.

VP: Have you any upcoming shows / plans you can tell us about ?

TSS: We have a gig at Lund in Sweden planned in the end of November and for the moment that’s the only concrete plan, but we will know more very soon. We’re currently recording new tracks for singles. It’s thrilling.

VP: Who are your musical influences ?

TSS: Numerous I guess; we are pop lovers from Blur to Belle and Sebastian, from 60’s french pop songs to Hidden Cameras… We like melodies, melancholy, rhythm.
But for the Sunny Street it would be more specifically 80’s influences like Felt, Brighter, and yes… New Order and Factory records for example.

VP: What do you make of English T.V shows ? ( You can be rude I think they are complete mind rotting rubbish in general with the odd exceptions)

TSS: The TV in our flat never worked, no signal, so we don’t know exactly… We’ve seen this show where two teams buy antiques and try to sell them at auctions and a Big Brother episode, not really too different from French TV. And we’ve also seen this show where disabled people chose to cross the Sahara on foot whilst showing no tolerance and being extremely rude to each other… It was a fascinating yet also very sad show. But it will be on in France in few years I’m sure… We watched the TV a lot in France and we miss it a bit here. We buy cheap DVDs instead.

VP: Myspace Or Facebook ? Are they a good thing ?

TSS: Myspace. We don’t know Facebook too well, but it seems more of a personal network and we found with myspace a way to make our music a little bit more available… I know myspace is criticised a lot… but for us it helped a lot, we found a label, gigs and it continues so I think it can be a good thing.

VP: Sum up your last year in five words

TSS: Feels like home at last.

Links

Myspace

Buy The Ep “They Hurt You Everyday” -Click on image

Video The Sunny Street @ Brixton Windmill

Wallpaper

 

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