Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Talked To Slow Club

Slow Club released one of funfunfun's favourite albums of 2009, Yeah So (my list will be up before the new year). I spoke to Rebecca from the band ages ago for the second issue of the funfunfun zine and seeing as how I never got round to publishing it, here's the interview in all its glory:

Depending on when I finished this zine, your album Yeah So will either be just about to come out or will already have been released. Are you happy with the final outcome?
Yes, very. It is a good collection of what the band is right now. after a lot of thinking about track listings and what to record/what to get rid of, I think we made the right choice.

Did you go into the studio with a set idea of what the album would sound like?
Not really, we have gone through the whole process a bit in the dark. producing it ourselves was never something we decided on but it just ended up happening. I dont know if that was wise or not. It just felt like the only way to do it at that time, or something, I guess. Maybe.

Why is the album called Yeah So?
I think it just beats anything anyone can say to you. I suppose it is a bit brattish but, we don't mean it like that really. Its called it cos it is OK>>??!!!

The release of the debut album is a big landmark for any band. How has Slow Club changed since you started? What's been your highlight?
We have changed loads. Our brains are in totally different places now and I think thats a good thing. We started out for fun totally, and we've been really greatful for the time we have had to become what we are now and slowly write and record and now release what we wanted to. There have been tonnes of highlights, its hard to pick one (and partly because i cant remember much) but just generally seeing crowds being 3 people and 2 being my parents to being able to play to lots of people that really like the band is just all we ever wanted.

How much have Moshi Moshi helped get you to where you are?
LOADS they are the best. We have been given space to make what we wanted, room to say 'can we do this' and 'we'd rather not do that' etc. They are the greatest most wonderful awesome label the world has ever witnessed OK?

The first time I saw you live was at Lee Rosy's Tea Room in Nottingham on, I think, your first headline tour (which was great btw) What's been your favourite show and why?
Every single show is my favourite show. but I love mum shows, like the Union Chapel, when they are special and mums come.

Do you write about experiences or emotions?
Both, all everything. We have different writing styles that combined can take over the WORLD right?! I get a bit whiney and emotional sometimes, while Charles has the big guns and he brings the beef. but, sometimes I (obvs) bring the beef whilst Charles is being the big girl about stuff. But every single line has a story behind it that we could tell you. That has become a bit of a rule when we write.

I've always wondered about this. How did your odd collection of percussion objects come about?
I had chair lessons from an early age, and just sort of fell into the pot and spoon business. But i got fed up of all this and now i am just consentrating on the art of street DANCE.

You played New York and SXSW earlier this year and are going back over to the States in the summer? What's the reaction been like to Slow Club over there?
We really loved going the the US and can't wait to go back in August. I guess we will see the change when we go as the album will be out etc. I quite fancy moving to LA and roller blading in a bikini everyday, so hopefully we can get famous enough over there to support that lavish lifestyle I am dreaming of.

The festival season is pretty much upon us and it looks like you've got quite a few lined up. Do you enjoy playing festivals? If you organised a festival, who'd headline? (can be dead or alive)
I get grumpy at festivals because I dont like tents or standing up for long. but they are fun to play and its always wicked when people turn up to see you instead of like Basement Jaxx or The Prodigy or whatever. How many stages? over how many days? This is an impossible question. Well, I would say the whole festival has to be sat down and the whole floor carpeted and no shoes or wacky hats allowed. And, I think maybe GaGa followed by DC on the smaller stage and Rod followed by the Carpenters on the main. But I probably don't think this at all. Let me have a think.

After the album is released and festivals are done, what's your plan for the rest of the year?
Sexy music EP, Christmas EP, Sleeping, Crafting new mega band sound, keep up to date with Eastenders and trying to be good.

Slow Club - Christmas TV (live)

Slow Club & Annie Hart - Killing Moon

Slow Club's Christmas EP,Thanks For Nothing, is out now on Moshi Moshi

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Talked To Sky Larkin

Sky Larkin released one of funfunfun's favourite albums of 2009, The Golden Spike (To find out how much I liked it, check back next week for my end of year list). They also released a cassette ep back in May, headed by, and entitled after, my fav track off the album, Antibodies, and which contained personal b-sides created by each member of the band. Singer/guitarist Katie took some precious time out of the band's hectic schedule to answer some questions posed to her by funfunfun. Her responses were meant to feature in funfunfun zine #2 but it never saw the light of day so here they are:

Why did you decide to release Antibodies ep as a cassette?

We wanted to release it on a format that offered us the opportunity to do some different and exclusive content- side b of the tape doesn't exist digitally!

Did you listen tapes as kids? What was your first/favourite? I had Parklife and played it continuously for weeks on my My First Walkman. Happy times :)

My friend Felicity made me a Nirvana tape when I was 12 which had a pencil crayon cover.

The b-sides really show off different sides of the band. How did the idea for it come about? And how did each of you decide what to use your ten minutes for?

I liked having the opportunity to explain myself and to feel like I was having a direct conversation with the people who listen to our music. Nestor loves bassy rumblings and Doug loves gumtree.

What would be your Gumtree personal advert?

Three headed hermaphrodite seeks ears for intimate relations.

The Golden Spike came out earlier this year. Have you been pleased by the reaction to it?

Definitely! We had no idea how it would go down and it's amazing how and where it has ended up around the world- apparently good old British Airways have it in their inflight entertainment system!

Having got a lot of attention from the first demoes you put online, did you feel pressure at all to live up to the hype with The Golden Spike?

I guess we didn't want to disappoint ourselves so we worked hard to get the album what we wanted it to be before we left for Seattle, what we do is rooted in playing live so that was important to us

You went over to the States to record the album with John Goodmanson. Why did you feel he was the right person for the job? How was your time over there?

He has been at the helm of some great records and is a real gent! Our time in Seattle was intense but fun, flavoured with coffee and trips to the aquarium, experience music project and sci-fi museum.

You're one of the bands that contribute to the Awesome Pals blog. Would you say that the AP bands form a sort of community/scene? And what do you think connects them all?

Quite literally the internet does- I guess our generation of bands can not only connect with fans more directly but also each other. It means scenes don't have to be geographically located and can be more about attitude and ethos. And bumping into each other around the country and having fun.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which one would you pick?

Some huge extensive box set I guess, the new Pixies one would suit me just fine.

Sky Larkin - Smarts

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Fang Island

Fang Island are back. Back with tunes that are as riffing and rocking as ever. Daisy sounds confident and triumphant. It's Thin-Lizzy guitar lines, chanted lyrics and bold key strokes combined to make a soaring and thrilling three minutes and nineteen seconds. Life Coach is a more stacatto affair with pounding chords and thudding drumsticks but the band get all Arcade Fire on us halfway through with group chanting and a climax of epic proportions. My socks were thoroughly rocked.
These tracks are off the band's debut full length Fang Island which is out early next year on Sargent House. The album's artwork pretty much sums up the band's sound and that's why I'm so excited about it, a castle fighting a fairy, who wouln't be excited!!!

Fang Island - Daisy

Fang Island - Life Coach

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Four To Forget

I wrote about White Collar Weapons a while back, before my "disappearance" and I describe their sound as "halfway between Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys." While you can still hear these slight influences in their sound, when I saw them at Betsy Trotwood a week ago, they had got a bit softer. Not in a bad way. More in a subtle harmonies, acoustic-y, lovely way. They've teamed up with another band called Summer Holiday to make a super collection of musicians, like that idiot on that mobile phone advert but much much better, and together they produce tasty sounds (see here)
The song you heard from the link above (if it works) is called Digginest Team and is fantastic. FANTASTIC I say. It was one of my favourite melodies of the year and is just splendid. It is off the band's new ep, Four To Forget, which is out today!!!! The record was recorded before the merger of the two bands so has more of the electric guitar elements of WCW earlier stuff but hints at
exciting things to come.
You can get it from here which I think you should. Just buy Digginest Team if you can only afford one track.

White Collar Weapons - Fallen Animals

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