1.A lot of music fans will be aware of Late Of The Pier from the
initial press coverage that you received a couple of years ago. But
how do you feel that youve changed both as a group and personally
since that time?
Well, thats a really strange concept, because what this
tour feels like for us, is almost like our first kind of tour in a strange
way. Like you have about 3 years of initiation where you start a band
and get spoken about, but basically, youre not really poking your
head out into the mainstream until youve had press coverage for
a year or two. So, I guess weve kind of changed in that respect,
and these crowds are a hell of a lot different to the audiences we used
to play to. Obviously, 3 years is a long time, like you start a band
because its fun and its your way out of going to University
or whatever. But after a while, you actually realise that this is a
job, like we have a salary and we have all of the trimmings of a professional
outfit. So its almost battling against that professionalism, still
delivering something creative and still being an artist, rather than
a performer. Thats what this period feels like for us now, so
thats the difference I guess.
2.Do you believe that rock n roll is at its most interesting,
when it incorporates other musical genres and pushes boundaries?
I dont really think anyone knows what rock n
roll is but I think to us, rock n roll is just doing
something really kind of different and doing it with a lot of conviction.
I think rock n roll is more of a conviction thing, rather
than an attitude thing or a sound thing. Like you say, incorporating
different things I guess nowadays thats what the new rock
n roll is, its kind of creating your own niche and
doing it with a hell of a lot of belief and gusto! I dont think
it matters if you use different instruments and stuff, I think its
just about being different and being really strong with it.
3.Of all the records that you own, which do you tend to go back to more
the ones that were instant, or the ones that took time to grow
Oh definitely the ones that took time to grow on me. I mean even
some stuff like the Pixies, like when I first listened to them, it kind
of annoyed me (laughing), because theres lots of really grating
noises there and its really kind of pokey. I guess its similar
to us in that respect. But, something drags you back to it and the more
you listen to it, the better it gets! Some records are really cool like
4.Are there any records that you would like to see dissected track-by-track
as part of the Classic Albums TV Series, whereby musicians,
producers, engineers etc. talk in detail about the making of an LP now
considered to be a masterpiece?
Um (thinking), well Ive recently got into this Greek avant-garde
composer called Vangelis. Hes recorded lots and lots of really,
really strange stuff and when you listen to it, you dont understand
how he made it. With a lot of great music, you kind of think, How
the fuck did this thing become a song? Like what things were put
into it, how did they do it? It just baffles you and as a musician,
that kind of music is just brilliant and Vangelis is really strange
to me. Its a really organic thing, but its all made on synths
and its incredible how it sounds so earthy and natural. So, Id
like to see one of Vangelis albums dissected.
5.As a band, what was the first song that you ever played together,
and how long after this was it until you realised that you had something
special / that there was a chemistry between you all?
The first song we played together, was called Wasted Intellectual
(smiling) it would be really funny if people listened to it now!
Basically, wed just get out of school and write something stupid
(laughing), but that was the song that made us pick up instruments and
play along. We rarely did covers strangely enough, I remember covering
The Beatles Birthday once, but that was pretty much it really,
we more-or-less got together and made our own songs.
6.How closely do your songs match whats in your head?
With every creative art, thats the real hard thing, jumping
over that hurdle having a bead of inspiration and having this
idea in your head and getting that out through your fingers. Its
never realised, because I think if it was realised, wed all get
a lot of satisfaction from what were doing and feel invincible
in a strange way, but I guess its close. Its like one of
those things where you try and translate something, and even if you
get it wrong, you can find a result thats kind of different but
7.If you were asked to edit a music / culture webzine, what features
would you commission?
I guess if you were doing something quite big and you had quite
a big platform to speak from, youd maybe water it down a little
bit and try to get people into music thats just on the edges of
what theyre listening to. Because if you went straight onto NME.COM
and spoke about Vangelis, nobody would really get it (laughing). Theres
lots of really, really interesting music in the world, but Ive
lost my laptop at the minute I put my finger through the screen,
so Im like 2 months out-of-touch. But theres this really
good band called Pink Stallone and theres a really, really good
scene in America called The Wham City Scene, which is based
in Baltimore (pausing), Baltimores a really rough, dangerous place,
but theres this incredible community there of avant-garde artists.
All of the stuff is really experimental, but it sounds really childish
and it kind of encompasses musicians, artists and video directors. Its
really cool, so Id probably commission a feature about that.
8.What have been some of your personal highlights so far?
Um (thinking), well we played in Manchester last night and there
was a guy outside selling fake bootleg Late Of The Pier T-shirts
I thought, Weve made it (laughing)! It was really
strange, because now I know that weve got people copying our T-shirts
and selling them, trying to make money out of us (laughing). But performance-wise,
Japan was really good, because there were about 10,000 people all moving
in-unison and they were really enthusiastic and excited, so that was
really cool (smiling)!
9.And what do you most dislike about The Music Industry?
Its an Industry for one it is a money-making venture
and thats always going to have some trappings of negativity, or
its going to feel slightly (pausing), I dont know, theres
a lot hidden in it and a lot of bravado like, We say this, but
well do something else. There are a lot of nasty undercurrents,
but on its face its lovely everyones really friendly
and everyones really nice, but you know deep-down, that quite
a lot of them are lying. Its that kind of mistrust which is nasty
about The Music Industry.
10.A new record label called Bandstocks www.bandstocks.com was launched
in August 2008 by Music Business Lawyer, Andrew Lewis, and enables music
fans to invest in new and semi-established artists. In return, getting
a share of any profit, your name in the sleevenotes, album progress
reports, priority gig tickets and exclusive merchandise. What are your
feelings on this concept?
I think as a fan, its really, really cool to feel like you
own something its that act of ownership that makes it really
cool! Like if you get into bands and nobody else is into them when theyre
really small, you kind of feel like you own them in a strange way. Its
kind of like on the complete other end of the scale isnt it? You
actually own shares in a band! I guess instead of buying a record, youd
be a lot more into it and youd feel that youve given a lot
more to this person youre kind of giving yourself away
to an artist, which is a really cool thing to do (smiling)!
11.If you were the CEO of a successful record label, which artists /
bands would you most like to have signed to your roster?
Weve got our own little record label and its just
basically our friends really really interesting small little
things. Theres a guy who lives near Oxford actually, called The
Power Cosmic, who basically just gets tape loops and all of his music
has this beautiful message and openness hes really nerdy
and hes really geeky and hes a devout Christian as well,
but hes a really, really cool guy. Its just music with feeling
and people who are doing something different and exciting (pausing),
Id really love to sign Dan Deacon on a permanent basis, that would
be amazing! Yeah, there are lots and lots of really good bands
you could go on forever really, but it wouldnt just be one particular
genre, it would be all over the place.
12.What would be the first thing that youd do if you won millions
on The Lottery?
Id go on holiday at the minute (laughing). I would really
like to travel, but Id like to have people in cities or a travel
guide to show me around, and Id give money to all of the people
I met along the way and maybe hypnotise them
in a good way (laughing),
in a good way!
13.How does it feel all living in the same house together?
Well, we kind of done that for about a year-and-a-half, but were
on tour so much now, that when we do go home, we kind of go to our respected
girlfriends and kind of runaway from each other for a few weeks (laughing).
Like Ive moved in with my girlfriend and Sams moved in with
his girlfriend, and the other two are finding houses now. So that period
is over, yeah.
14.When playing live, do you feel a synergy between the band and the
Yeah, good gigs you do, bad gigs you dont. Automatically,
thats what youre trying to attain thats more-or-less
like the goal of a gig, to make a bond with the audience and all feel
at one and all be involved in the same party. Thats what makes
a good gig and when you dont reach that, its a bad gig.
An average gig is when you kind of have it sometimes and dont
other times. Yeah, its pretty much the judge of a good or a bad
15.Some groups talk of how they wish they could watch one of their
own gigs in the crowd, to experience what their fans do. But do you
ever watch video clips of your live performances out of curiosity?
Not really, because theyre always filmed really boringly
to be honest. I like what The Beastie Boys did, where they gave everyone
a camera and basically they just cut it between shots. Thats really
cool, but I think if I was just seeing it from one viewpoint (pausing),
Ive more-or-less seen it from where I stand on stage about 200
times now, and I think I would be a little bit bored. I dont know,
maybe if you got a good director to do it, like Michel Gondry, he could
set up a wheel and strap cameras to it, or film it through a kaleidoscope
lens, something like that (laughing).
16.Can you tell us more about your warehouse gigs across the UK?
Yeah, they were really cool! Basically, we got the chance to programme
the line-up and we took Micachu, Digitalism and theres this guy
called Simon Bookish, whos been a real silent hero of ours for
ages hes always been making really interesting and challenging
music. We just played with really good line-ups it was like walking
into your iPod or something, apart from you had people there (laughing)!
We played really late at every one of those gigs, we were playing at
3 oclock in the morning and stuff, and the crowd were just in
a different state of mind and thats ultimately what we wanted!
We were bored of Barflys and dare I say it, O2 Academys
(laughing), and we just wanted something fresh and to feel different
on stage, and we got that, so we were happy with it!
17.Whats the best and the worst dressing room that youve
ever been given at a venue?
Oh My God, we were in an amazing one in Glasgow the other day
(excitedly). I dont know if youve heard of the Scottish
author Alisdair Gray? He kind of part-owns this church in Scotland and
the dressing room is in his private loft, and you go in and theres
like wood-panelling, theres deer heads on the wall, beautiful
leather seats and a really big boardroom table, a Last Supper kind of
one. But even the worst dressing rooms are kind of fun sometimes (laughing),
because basically, if youre in a bad place, you can do what you
want you can do bad things in a bad place (laughing)!
18.Do you have any interesting tales from your time on the road,
and what has been your most rock n roll moment to date?
Yeah (laughing), it used to be a lot more fun when we drove round
ourselves we had this really long Citroën Estate and we
used to get our friend to drive us around, she used to pretend to be
our Tour Manager (laughing)! I mean we broke down quite a lot (pausing),
we met some really interesting Russian breakdown drivers who smoked
pipes and told us these strange stories that I probably cant repeat
in an interview (laughing). Theres other times, where wed
play a gig and driving home wed be tired, so wed find a
forest and sleep in the forest and one time, we woke up and saw
a guy wearing a mask holding a gun! We shook if off and then hed
gone (laughing). There are some really good stories and you kind of
miss that a little bit when you have a bus, its that whole thing
of being professional again, which were fighting against at the
19.There seems to be a real community amongst musicians these days
do you think this is a healthy way of nurturing new talent?
I dont think theres really that much of a community.
I mean we havent really felt it anyway (pausing), weve toured
with people and weve been friends with them, but I dont
think theres a solidarity kind of thing like everyone being
in-tune with each other. I think bands strive so hard to be different
these days, that theres a little bit of one-upmanship between
bands. So no, the thought of a community isnt really there
I think people may think that theres one, simply because of scenes
20.Are there any musicians who you would like to play an instrument
as well as?
Yeah, obviously Hendrix (without any hesitation)! Our sound guy
was showing us this other musician who he was really inspired by, whos
called (pausing), Ive forgotten his name, but he was a left-handed
guitarist as well and he used a right-handed guitar. I was watching
that Hendrix Woodstock thing and seeing him playing with his mouth wide
open, its that really kind of instinctive thing, where it doesnt
even seem like a skill. It just seems like something they have deep
inside of them that theyre kind of doing, and thats really
admirable and really desirable its something I really wish
I had. But Hendrix is a really obvious example (pausing), theres
also this guy called Gonzalez and hes a real eccentric, hes
done a lot of really weird things. He did this one album called Solo
Piano and its just really touching, to hear someone play an instrument
with so much grace. Yeah, thats amazing!
21.And are there any artists or bands that you really dislike, but cant
help liking one of their songs?
There arent really any bands that I really dislike, but
I do have some guilty pleasures (smiling). Like theres a lot of
really good pop music (pausing), The Bee Gees, a lot of that is beautifully
written theres a lot of soul in there for white people
I think (laughing)."
22.I really love your promo videos, but if you were put in charge of
an MTV Takeover, of all your favourite music videos, which ones would
you absolutely have to play?
Theres this really dirty, but really good video by a band
called Add N to (X). Its called Metal Fingers In My Body and its
just a disgusting video! Theres also this guy from Canada called
Prurient he hasnt actually made any videos but he
basically plays topless and hes all about noise and feedback.
He thrashes about on stage just hurting everyone around him, and you
see loads of punks at his shows cheering him on and hes just a
skinny white guy hurting himself! Its really interesting.
23.If you could collaborate with any dance act or DJ to create a
Late Of The Pier Vs. crossover track, who would it be?
Its funny that you should say that, because we try and do
that with our music anyway we kind of see it as a crossover,
were more like an electro band with a DJ kind of thing. There
are some really, really talented people out there, and dance music has
been the area pushing it a lot more than guitar-based music for like
the last 5, maybe 10 years anyway. So yeah, theres loads of people
24.What are your hopes for Late Of The Piers future?
I think we just think short-term really the long-term is
just something that happens and I think its best to be like that.
Obviously, you have deep-down hopes and ambitions and stuff, but they
might not be realised and (pausing), I dont know, I think its
good just to be incredible in the short-term and hopefully that will
ripple onto the future. But if it doesnt and you make a massive
poke or an impact, what more do you really want?
25.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Ooh, cream buns are so much more exciting (pausing), why isnt
there a kind of savoury snack with the extravagance and fun of a cream
bun? Well, theres your answer! Maybe its because people
think sugar is fun, but I think savoury things are fun as well (laughing)!
A very special thanks to Sam, to Late Of The Piers
Tour Manager Rob and to Mike @ Infected, for all of their time and help.
Oxford Set List
Bathroom (w/ remix)
Pineapple pieces in brine
Fucking around with your mind