1.One of the first things that drew me to The Big Pink, was how
melodic and dreamy your songs are, but from all of your favourite music,
which melodies instantly spring to mind?
Let me think of some of my favourite melodies
I love old
soul melodies, like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke Lost And Lookin
I like that melody. But then I like things like Mayonnaise by
The Smashing Pumpkins that melody is so cool! But yeah, youre
right, I love beautiful melodies and theyre very important to
*I ask Robbie as love is the central theme / lifeblood of The Big Pinks
songs, if he has any favourite love songs*
I think again, I would say a lot of old soul music, definitely.
2.Are you pleased that youve now managed to get through the
initial blog / press hype intact, and that your music is being accepted
on its own terms?
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean and Im really pleased
that its like that now. It got really annoying, the fact that
a lot of the interviews were just about us and some boring stories that
the press had tried to make up about us, and they werent really
concentrating on the music. They didnt really have the album,
or the album hadnt really set in yet properly, so they would just
want to talk about something completely ridiculous, like how much we
party or this and that. They just made up boring stories you know, so
its really nice now to actually be because we are musicians
were not trying to be anything else. We are actually very
boring really (laughing), we just play music!
3.In many ways, Dominos has been a breakthrough single for The Big
Pink, but was this the song that you thought would strike a chord with
so many people?
I guess we kind of knew that it was the song with the most single
potential on the record. I mean its weird, because we didnt
really think about being involved in The Charts or releasing singles
or anything like that, when we first started writing music together,
it was always a bit weird that that happened anyway, that that song
even came out. Velvet was more strange to me though, because that really
came from nowhere and we didnt think that would ever be played
on the radio you know, so it was a very strange feeling.
4.Of all your songs to date, which one has been your favourite to make
from start to finish and how do you eventually agree on the final
sound of a track, if youre both pulling in different directions?
I think Velvet has been my favourite to make from start to finish
I love that song! In terms of us both pulling in different directions,
were pretty good at not being very precious about our parts or
our bits and what we do. So if he doesnt like something that I
like, then I just dump it! And if I dont like something that Milo
likes, then he dumps it! Were very easy-going, its not really
5.You took your name from The Bands debut album, Music From
Big Pink, but are there any other records that you just love the overall
atmosphere / sound of?
Um, I dont know, let me think (long pause + thinking)
There are so many records that I love the overall atmosphere / sound
of. I dont know why Im thinking about Filth Pig by Ministry,
but I think that album overall, has this really sinister and dark (pausing),
I think that was the end of them being a serious, serious band
thats such a moody album, its really great! Actually, I
need to listen to it again, I havent listened to it for a long
time, but that record is really brilliant! Or maybe Dark Side Of The
Spoon also but those two records, because theyre sinister.
6.Black Rebel Motorcycle Club once released a download-only collection
of instrumental tracks is this something that you would ever
Yeah, on the last US Tour, we were considering writing an EP,
like drums, guitar and bass, with stripped-down vocals and no electronics,
but we didnt get round to it because its so tough writing
on the road. But we were considering doing that, like a 1000 white labels
and downloads not even releasing it properly through the label
or anything, that was the idea. Maybe in the future.
7.How has the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour been going, and when performing,
what type of experience do you hope that you give to your audience?
Its been going really well weve had such a
great time and the shows have been so brilliant! I think when we play,
we just try to make it as exciting as we possibly can. But the thing
about being in a band, is that it is quite repetitive. I mean youre
always kind of doing the same things thats one of the toughest
things about being a musician, is the fact that it is so repetitive.
So, I think we just try to have as much fun as we possibly can onstage
and rock it as hard as we can, every night, even if youre not
totally feeling like getting onstage.
8.When I first saw The Big Pink playing live, I was completely enraptured
by your whole set, but who do you think are some of the great live bands
in the history of popular music?
Great live bands (thinking)
Beastie Boys are great live,
Ministry are great, I think Metallica are incredible live, Guns N
Roses are amazing, I never saw Nirvana
There are lots, but theyre
some of mine.
9.On a similar note, who for you are some of the great musical pioneers
+ what do you think has been the most influential musical movement?
Id say punk music was maybe the most influential to me,
seeing that punk was in everything that I liked every kind of
music that I was into, had that element to it. So, I think punk has
influenced every type of music that Ive ever been into, whether
it be hip-hop or metal (pausing), all of the bands that Ive ever
loved, their punk element is something that has been a consistency throughout
them all, and I hope that that is in my music as well! I dont
know who the pioneer was in that I wouldnt say it was the
Sex Pistols I dont know who it was, who the one sort of
person was? But there are so many icons who have had that thing.
10.In January, The Royal Mail launched a set of ten 1st class stamps
that celebrate classic British album covers. But what are some of the
iconic British album covers that you would have chosen?
Im trying to think what I like thats so good. I think
Dark Side Of The Moon is pretty iconic (pausing), Im just thinking
about ones that really moved me when I was younger I guess. I know its
American, so it couldnt be used on a Royal Mail stamp, but I think
Appetite For Destruction is pretty special. Yeah, I think Ill
go with those two.
11.Continuing with this train of thought, both Beach House and Massive
Attack, commissioned different directors to create videos based upon
songs on their new long players. Would you ever like to try something
Yeah (excitedly), I would LOVE to do that! Like, I love when someone
translates our music into visuals, it changes the song completely for
me its really amazing when someone does that, because you
have a completely different idea of what you think the visual is to
your songs. I think it does translate visually in your head when youre
writing it and when youre performing it, so when someone then
takes that and turns it into their visual, it does transform it, to
a point where it kind of solidifies it in that kind of realm. Like Dominos
is now very much the video for me in my head, and Velvet is very much
that video in my head everytime I play it, I see it (smiling)!
So, Id really be into commissioning different directors to create
videos based upon our songs.
12.You said that you see The Big Pink as a gang and that life
on the road is like a separate reality. But since being signed,
has the workload been what you were expecting or has it been more intense?
FAR MORE INTENSE!!!!! Its crazy, we dont have anytime
ever, to do anything! Its constant, like literally, we
had 2-and-a-half-weeks over Christmas, but I havent had a day
off (pausing), I mean even the days off, theres always something
to do. After we finish this, we go straight to rehearsals for the NME
Awards, and then we go straight to Australia, then from there we fly
to LA and start the whole US Tour!
13.What have been some of the standout moments in your career so
I think working with Alan Moulder was incredible. I think playing
at The O2 with Muse was pretty incredible. I think selling out the Electric
Ballroom was a pretty amazing feeling, that was probably our biggest
show (pausing), in fact, were playing The Forum I cant
wait for that! But the thing is, everythings pretty special at
the moment for us (smiling).
14.Peter Hook has just opened FAC251 - The Factory in Manchester,
but if you could own a club anywhere in the world, where would it be
and what would you call it?
Oh, I dont know (laughing). Probably somewhere around East
London me and Milo have been talking about opening a little bar
at some point actually. I dont know what wed call it, Dukes
maybe? We want a little dive bar (laughing), but its definitely
something that were planning on doing.
15.As youre both also passionate about DJing, are there 2 tracks
that you think would work well as a mash-up, e.g. Sugababes Freak
Like Me vs. Are Friends Electric?
(laughing) Well, we both DJ, but Im the one who goes out
most of the time! Last night, Mary, Mary by Run DMC went really well
with Gravel Pit by Wu Tang Clan, but theyre both hip-hop I guess.
I dont know, it would be nice to mash-up some of the old soul
stuff maybe, with some hip-hop or something like that some of
the breakbeat stuff is sounding so old these days, that maybe it would
fit in with some of the soul classics.
16.Having lived with A Brief History Of Love for a while, are there
any major changes that you would now make musically or lyrically?
Its tough when committing to a record, because you always
want to change stuff, like I could go back into A Brief History Of Love
and redo the whole thing again, but I dont think we could make
it any better. I think wed make it different, but whether thats
necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, who knows.
17.Do you see your sound evolving in the future and when do you hope
to release your follow-up LP?
Well, were eager to get back into the studio and write more
stuff. We wrote another song before we came out on tour, we had a couple
of days in the studio, so were going to start playing that one
out were just itching to get back into the studio really,
to get more new material. Evolving musically, its so hard to tell,
because we definitely didnt define the sound on our first album,
so I dont know really where were going to go with the next
one I couldnt tell you. We love programming beats and we
love melodies and we love walls of guitars and stuff, so, I couldnt
tell you (laughing)! But, were going to try and write as much
as we can this year, and then try and get it out at the beginning of
next year were thinking.
18.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Chips, definitely (laughing)!
A very special thanks to Robbie, to The Big Pinks
Tour Manager Dan, and to Annette @ 4AD, for all of their time and help.
Im not looking for love
But its hard to resist