zaterdag 5 juli 2008

The Whip interview part 2

Bruce: Well, yeah, but we don’t have enough friends yet in Europe.

IKRS: Soulwax are from Belgium, so you can bring them along!

Bruce: [laughs] That would be cool.

IKRS: You’ve worked with French label Kitsuné in the past. What is their reputation, and how important is that compilation album they bring out and on which you’ve featured twice?

Bruce: Yeah, they’re really nice guys. And it’s really good for us to get involved with them. They just got in touch on MySpace and wanted to work with us. So it just went from there. And they put our single out and they did a compilation as well, so it’s been good. And especially in Europe and Japan they’re definitely big, and being on a compilation definitely helps a lot down there. And they’ve dj’ed at gigs a few times and they’re nice guys. And dress smartly, they’ve got their fashion label as well.

IKRS: Really, I didn’t know?

Bruce: Yeah, they really started out as a fashion company and started doing music and stuff like that. They’re really snappy dressers as well.

IKRS: You got clothes as well from them?
Bruce: Oh, just the records, I’d love to get the clothes, they’re snappy dressers, but just the records though.

IKRS: Earlier you said you’ve already got a few new songs. Do they sound in anyway different from what you did on your last album, or…?

Bruce: I think they sound a little bit dancier. Just a bit dancier. We’re working on them right now. [someone plays music, Bruce laughs] We’re working away at the moment. That’s what it sounds like.

IKRS: So it’s going to be more dancefloor oriented?

Bruce: Yeah, just a little bit, but there’s still songs in there. We always make sure that there’s a good song behind what we’re doing, and not just a beat. We want to put a little bit of song in there so you can listen to the album at home, and not just in a club. That way you can listen to it in different environments and it still works.

IKRS: How important are lyrics in electronical music and music like yours?

Bruce: Yeah, pretty important. I mean, I try to get as much as possible in, but sometimes with a lot of lyrics it sounds a bit confusing, so to kick up the vibe we sometimes cut things out. Like ‘Trash’ was this song with loads of verses, and it had really deep lyrics. And the song just didn’t sound as punchy as it could, and not as dancy, so we just took the loop of the “I want to be trash” bit, that’s all we kept. But originally it was just this long, boring song. We just kind of cut it up. So yes our album took criticism by cutting out loads of lyrics, but it’s all for the benefit of the song.

IKRS: Because I would guess that, to make it dancier, you would need a bit more repetition than you would making other music.

Bruce: Yeah, and sometimes people criticize the repetition, but they obviously don’t get what we’re doing. Making dance music. Kind of a fine line to tread, and we’re in between different places so people get pissed off sometimes, but we’re happy with what we’re doing.

IKRS: I’ve read that you’ve done film school, and a lot of people I interview have some sort of art background. Whether it is film school, or fine arts or whatever. Do you think that all the arts are connected somewhat?

Bruce: Yeah, I think it’s all being creative really, you know making music and film. I just really like creating arts really, and they definitely are linked.

IKRS: Do you still use what you’ve learned in film school for, for example, your clips or the stage decoration?

Bruce: No, no, we should do that, we should start getting more involved in it. We just kind of left that to different people, the videos and things like that, but it is definitely something in the future that we like to get into at some stage.

IKRS: Well, from what I hear I guess you’re a busy enough man already.

Bruce: Yeah, yeah, that’s what I mean. We just didn’t really have the time.

IKRS: You want to say any last words to our Dutch audience?

Bruce: Yeah, just that we are looking forward to coming there and having a party in December. Looking forward to having a good time, having a hoot.

IKRS: Okay, great, then I’ll see you in December.

Bruce: Brilliant mate, hope you say “hi” then, thanks a lot!
IKRS: Okay, good luck with the recording.

Bruce: Cheers mate, bye bye.

We want to thank The Whip and Francesca Skirvin for making this interview possible. The images are from the band's MySpace. To get back to part 1, click here.

Interview with The Whip part 1

The Whip have steadily made quite a name for themselves. Not too long ago they played in New York alongside, among others, Soulwax. And that isn’t without reason, because the band from Manchester makes infectious electro-punk to dance to. The band is now touring Europe and in the mean time they’re trying to ready their second album. I talked to singer Bruce about that upcoming album, Soulwax, lyrics, and playing live. (This is the initial transcription and might contain errors. A translated and brushed up version appeared in the winter issue of our fanzine. Thanks for understanding.)

IKRS: I saw that tomorrow you are doing a hometown gig in Manchester, that must still be something special, right?

Bruce: Yeah, definitely it’s fine. We travel so much and don’t get too much time at home so it’s going to be nice to have all our friends down there and have a party with them. And the Warehouse project is a really good club actually.

IKRS: It’s a special night, the Warehouse Project?

Bruce: Yeah yeah, it’s really good. They’ve been doing it for about a couple of years and this is going to be like the third time we play it, so it should be really good, looking forward to it.

IKRS: After tomorrow you’ve got some downtime gigging wise, what does a regular day like that look like?

Bruce: To be honest all we’re doing is just staying busy. I mean, like today, we don’t have a gig, but we’re at my house recording new songs and getting a new album together. We’ve got a couple of songs at the ready and we can carry on with that, and we can just carry on until next year to put another album out.

IKRS: I’ve read in a couple of interviews that you’re planning to try and get a new album out around the same time next year. So that’s still on the slate and that’s still going okay then?

Bruce: Yeah yeah, hopefully yeah. We’re just getting all the songs together now so if it’s good we’re going to do them in the tour in November and December, and we’re just going to be playing some of the new songs live and try them out and see which bits the audience reacts to. You can tell pretty easily straightaway if the songs work or not from audience reaction. But it sounds good and we’re optimistic about it.

IKRS: I’ve read that you guys also like to write songs on tour, because you get ideas from the dj’s and stuff, and do you take songs that aren’t completely finished and just hone them while playing it live?

Bruce: Yeah yeah, these songs we’ve got now, they’re not really finished but we’re just going to do them in a live setting. We just like changing it a bit overtime really, and sometimes we play some of the remixes we have done of other people’s songs. And trying out different things, really.

IKRS: That’s something else you guys often do, make remixes. Are there new remixes you guys plan to do, or have done in the recent past?

Bruce: No, we did loads. The last songs we did were one for The Music and for Hadouken, but lately we’ve concentrated on making music of our own. But as soon as we’ve got the album done we’re definitely up for doing some more remixes again. It’s fun to mess around with other people’s stuff.

IKRS: What is to you the key to a good remix, what do you try to do and what do you pay attention to?

Bruce: You just try to think of a more dancefloor approach, you know? You just try to find that little hook, that little hit nothing part, just crank them up, that’s the best way to do it really.

IKRS: What do you think is a really great remix, that just has that hook and gets people on the floor?

Bruce: I really like the Soulwax remix that they did for Justice.

IKRS: You’re playing with Soulwax in NY to kick off the tour I saw?

Bruce: Yeah, in New York, that will be brilliant, yeah. At Irving Plaza and stuff. That’s going to be a fun night. I think we have a couple of gigs with them later on in the year as well. So we’re really happy with that. I kind of look up to them, I think what they’re doing is great.

IKRS: Soulwax has like three different identities, with the actual Soulwax band, 2manyDJs, and I believe one more. Do you listen to all their stuff?

Bruce: Yeah, I just really like that Night Versions album that they did. And the remixes. When we just started we were listening to loads of dance music, and one of the remixes they did was Felix Da Housecat, ‘Rocket Ride’, and I remember hearing that at the time and hearing the live version with the electronic music and it just seemed like a great way of mixing things. Because when you try a remix you need to climb into the energy of it. When we heard that remix we were like: “wow man, that’s a really good way of doing it”. So we kind of write them up. And then Soulwax tried to do it on their own album stuff like that, you know, I mean, really looking ahead and in the future and it’s really inspirational what they’re doing.

IKRS: After NY you’re going to do a headlining tour through Europe. I’ve read you like to play in between DJ sets or do a DJ set yourself afterwards. Is that something you plan to do on the upcoming tour, or is that harder when you’re headlining?

Bruce: I think it’s kind of harder. We’re doing a lot of our own, eh, gigs in venues and only a few of them in clubs. I think one of them will be with Justice somewhere, and with a few dj’s. But we’re bringing djs along for each gig, definitely in England, I’m not sure about Europe. We’re having different friends in different towns dj’ing in between the bands, kind of local bands that we’re touring with like that.

IKRS: Well I hope it’ll be the same in Europe!

For part 2, click here