you called Performance?
When we started the band we were interested in the ways in which the
idea of a band could be deconstructed and reduced to its essential components.
Back then we were more preoccupied with the synthetic and the inhumane
and we were interested in the theory of performing, performance as logic
and a process through which ideas, identities, politics and sexuality
How does that translate in terms of your lyrics and stage presence?
the process of actually being in a band can erode the theories
that first underpinned the band. Increasingly, the band is more about
juxtaposing the synthetic with the humane. Musically, we try to contrast
the mathematics of pop with rough guitars slung round shoulders and
lyrics performed as if death depended on them. So our stage presence
is a little too human nowadays, I'm less taken with the idea of being
explicitly jealous. I'd rather be accountable than simply austere.
In terms of the point about performance being the process by which identities
are expressed, this is more of a lyrical issue. Many of the songs concern
the activities that, when performed, generate identity. For example,
'Dotted line' does this in relation to the activity of language, rhetoric
and acquiescence. 'I Want Out' does it in relation to work/service.
' Surrender' is Romance, 'Live a Little' death etc
How long have you been together?
Two and half years. Although Laura and Billie are sisters and Joe and
I went to school together.
Any embarrassing pre performance incarnations we should know of?
Lots. But none you should know of. Two words - hip hop. I've said too
much. Mark my words. The past will make fools of us all.
What are your main influences?
I've never been massively musical. I enjoy the novels of John Banville.
The poetry of Blaise Cendrars. I do like Leonard Cohen and Simon and
Garfunkel. The others are the truly musical ones. They're into Depeche
Mode, Bowie, The Slits, Prince, The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk, Roxette
among many other groups.
Would you consider yourselves to be a bit pessimist?
No. I barely believe in emotion. Not my own anyway, only the emotions
How can our readers get hold of your music, and why should they bother?
Well, you ought to register on our website. Weareperformance.co.uk.
We're trying to make it into an interesting forum for different forms
of creativity. Films, poetry, short stories, artwork. It would be great
if your readers could contribute to these things.
Performance write death pop for you to dance and die hysterically to.
We believe in the politics of your misery and would be happy to discuss
it with you. We believe in brilliant life. In creating things in the
face of this horse shit universe.
Tell us about your fanzine 'To much information'
Too Much Information is meant to be a visual representation of ideas
Laura has. As a band, we're fascinated by the idea that society is somehow
groaning under the weight of its own informations. There is too much
evidence of everything. Sex, love, government, God, happiness. Therefore
none of these things exist.
Is artwork important to the band?
Yes. We feel that if you submit to the creepy structures of our dear
leisure capitalism then you should be prepared to marshal your troops.
Don't be a fucking coward and draw a line around the concept of a
band. Make sure you control everything from artwork to merchandise.
If you don't, then a twat will. I think artwork has the power to enhance
your understanding of music.
you see yourself doing in 20 years time?
I want to be a writer. I want my youth to produce evidence that I was
once alive. If you can write short stories, please go to our website
and write one. We believe in creativity, detailed thoughts and fucking
Richey or Nicky? *Sorry this is a manics inspired fanzine
Not sure. I'm not a massive fan. Not lately anyway. I'm very interested
in their earlier incarnation. A very interesting band about whom I don't
know enough. I tend to quite enjoy the company of Manics fans.
Have you got any heroes?
Yes, my hero is Arthur Rimbaud. For today, at least. Rimbaud was a poet
who stopped writing when he was about twenty one. He was a communard
in Paris 1870
I'd like to go back in time. I think I'd shine.
What books are you reading at the moment and what records are you
I'm reading a book called Athena by John Banville. Banville writes books
in which little happens but each half-moment is somehow charged with
mysterious activity. If I were you I'd read 'Humbolt's Gift' by Saul
Bellow. He's American. And Dead. He won the Nobel Prize.
I've become a fan of a band called 'The Passage'. They were contemporaries
of Joy Division, but felt that joining the 'Factory' set-up would compromise
their musical and intellectual foundations. This may have been a little
foolish. I'm not sure.
There's a link
to their website on the new 'Performance links' section. For me, their
music represents a combination of pop structure and political/sexual/social
criticism that we aspire to. They did a few Peel sessions but never
really received the support they deserved.
I like the
Anthony and the Johnsons record. (I can hear you yawning my tardy relationship
with pop) My lady story is one of breast amputation, too. I like a band
called the Maccabees. They're from Brighton. Where the sun often shines.
What can we expect from the album?
A dozen or so attempts to salvage the infectious for the caring, meaning
for the right and love and sex for the loveless and sexless. I have
a taste for rhetoric this morning. No. We try and write pop songs that
might put an end to shit pop and explode meanings that might be important
to people. Mostly about the relationship between the human subject and
late capitalism. How our hearts have become amazingly cultured. Economic,
How does it feel knowing that Peter Hook is a fan of the band? And
are you fans of New Order?
Yes, yes, we like New Order and Joy Division, too. I've never really
thought about it. It feels alright. New Order are responsible for some
very good and innovative pop songs. Lovely.
Name some of the bands you've played with.
The Maccabees, The KBC, Brian Ferry, Pink Grease, The Bravery, The Others,
Komakino. About a million others, too...
Tell us about your new single.
Our new single is called 'Surrender' and concerns the inherent humiliation
of sex and love in a world of massive problem and monumental levels
of desperate dying. It has a chorus you can dance to.
What makes you cry?
Television. It moves me terribly. I recently wept at X-factor as a family
gathered round to console their loser daughter.
Can you remember what music you liked when you were a kid?
Yes, I liked Rachmaninov and Ace of Base.
"Politics and music" - discuss.
The meanings generated by pop music can be placed within a triangle
of themes, Sex, Power and Death.
In light of this, politics can and probably should play a role in music.
I enjoy writing about the politics of flesh, underwear, ditzy deaths.
Talking about small politics
The politics inherent in the minutiae
of each day..
Pete Doherty - Hero or Villain?
Certainly neither. I think he's an ok celebrity. But I like comedy.
and he's not very funny. My favourite frontmen had more interesting
you wish I'd asked but haven't?
No, no. I'm tired now. I wish we could have discussed things in more
And finally.. Chips or Cream buns?
Chips - no contest.
thanks to Rhys at somefriendly for sorting all this out, and Joe Stretch
of Performance for taking the time to talk to us.
new single 'Surrender' is out on the 28th of November
Now look at weareperformance.co.uk
to this interview off on our message board here