1. Things seem to be really taking-off for The Ting Tings at the
moment, how are you both feeling?
Katie: "We're really excited and it's gone so quick! Because we
haven't been together for very long as The Ting Tings, so it feels like
we're steaming ahead doesn't it (looking at Jules)?"
Jules: "Yeah - no breathers (laughing)!"
Katie: "Which we like, because it's the first time ever, that we've
actually been really busy and enjoyed it (smiling)!"
2. For music fans who may not yet know much about you, could you
give us some background information on your musical pasts / how you
Katie: "Well, me and Jules used to be in another band together
with somebody else - a completely different band called Eskimo - so
that's how we met. I've been a pop lover since I was about 15-years-old,
so I come from a pop background! And then, we moved to Islington Mill
in Salford, and they had all sorts of really crazy bands on, which really
opened up my mind. It's still really pop, because I love catchy music,
but watching crazy Japanese bands opened us up a bit (pausing), well
Jules: "Yeah, we met in a band before and it didn't work out. We
thought that was the best band ever, until we finished that one and
realised that it wasn't that good (laughing)
Katie: "It was alright (laughing)."
Jules: "When that finished, me and Katie just started writing,
which was in January of this year, and then a month or two later, we
played a living room gig in our studio where we were working. We just
created a little living room environment, and played a gig for about
20 of our friends. And then, that went from 20 to 40 to 80 to 150 odd
people, over 4 gigs (smiling)! XFM Manchester were advertising the gig,
and we only had 3 songs at the time, so that's exactly how we got this
band together - just the aftermath of another band. We thought, "Well,
we'll give it another go" - just writing - and this is where we
are now, we're playing decent size venues!"
3. How would you say your personalities and musical ideas blend together?
Jules: "Well like Katie said, I think she's really (pausing), it's
quite weird, because when we started working together, I think Katie
was really pop and I was really kind of songsmithy, and into my bands
and stuff. But now, it's kind of done a whole reverse thing. Katie's
discovered all of these
Katie: "I'm obsessed with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club!"
Jules: "She's kind of gone mental over all of these bands, and
I've gone really pop! Any trashy-pop, I'm like, "That's wicked!"
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
4. What was the first record that you ever bought?
Katie: "God, mine's terrible (laughing)!"
Jules: "My first single, not that I ever bought, but the first
single that I cherished, as in you know, I just wouldn't let it out
of my hands, was an Elvis Presley 7", The Wonder Of You, that I
probably got off my parents or something. But, it was the b-side that
turned me on, and that was Mama Liked The Roses, which I used to take
a broomstick (pausing). I had a broken arm at the time, but I used to
mime it and do shows for my family, using the broomstick as a mic stand
(smiling)! So that was the first real encounter for me as records go."
Katie: "Mine was (pausing), I don't even know who it was by, but
you'll know the song. I bought it from a car-boot sale and it was (singing)
"Ooh, baby I love your way" (laughing). But, I think the one
that I actually cherished, was Madonna's Holiday. I remember trying
to make up a dance routine in the living room to it (smiling)!"
5. You've been hotly-tipped as 'Ones To Watch,' as 'Pop Art Revivalists'
and as 'The Future Of British Music,' by both the music press and numerous
music insiders. Does this please you, or does it feel like unnecessary
Jules: "It was an added pressure at one point, because we were
finishing our album - so we were stuck in a studio - and there seemed
to be all of this excitement going on outside the studio, and we wanted
to feel it and dig it
Katie: "We weren't getting any of it were we (looking at Jules)?"
Jules: "No, we just kept getting press and e-mails coming through,
and we were like, "It doesn't mean anything to us, because we're
stuck in this cage just finishing our album." But now, we're about
a week short of finishing our album, we've got all of the songs written
and recorded, and we're just kind of mixing them at the moment - there's
some mixing going on in LA (pausing), everybody seems to be wanting
to mix our tracks! So when we get off of this tour, we're about a week
away from finishing the album. So now it feels better, because when
we're on tour and we're out of the cage, we can play in front of people
and really get in amongst that excitement! We're so loving being on
tour and getting out, whereas before, it was always exciting, but it
was frustrating as well, because we didn't seem to be a part of it."
Jules: "It all happened with the little record we put out, and
we were in the studio, and it all kind of floated on out there and we
weren't able to touch it."
6. What is it ideally, that you would like people to 'get' from your
songs, either when they listen to them on record or when played live?
Katie: "For me, live, you just want to make people shiver (smiling)!
Because when I go watching bands, if they make me (pausing), if they
really catch me, it's such a good feeling! Obviously you can't walk
round to somebody going, "Did I make you shiver, did I make you
shiver (laughing)." But, if you could, it would be such a good
feeling to know that you've made people feel something through expressing
yourself! So, just feeling good with it really, and wanting to dance
to the music!"
*On stage, a 4-track also runs samples in the background, thus enriching
the band's overall live sound*
Jules: "The reason me and Katie were doing this band (pausing),
it's not about anything - that's the point! It's just about us doing
it, that's the main thing!"
7. With Radio 1's 40th Anniversary now upon us, if you were asked
to guest host your own radio show as DJs, which records would you play,
and who would you most like to invite into the studio for a live session
Katie: "I would play loads of Talking Heads stuff, because I'm
currently obsessed with them (smiling), and I would love Björk
to come in for a live session - she always has great musicians with
Jules: "I think I'd get David Byrne in, he'd be totally wacky -
I'd so like to get him in for a live session (smiling)! What bands would
I have (thinking)? There are hundreds really
Katie: "You'd probably go for Spanish percussion wouldn't you (looking
Jules: "Yeah, I'm not going to go into it, but I think a lot of
Latin bands would be great to get in for the percussion, because we're
big fans of percussion and stuff like that! That'll be our next record
(laughing), Que Passa (mimicking Latin percussion)
Katie: "Yeah (laughing)!"
8. Is there a particular band or artist, whose career path and musical
output / consistency, you greatly admire?
Katie: "Blondie, but I hate saying it, because every girl-fronted
band says Blondie! But they have really good pop tunes, and that was
like hit after hit after hit!"
Jules: "Yeah, it was great wasn't it? Big pop tunes!"
Katie: "I think Heart Of Glass is probably my favourite Blondie
Jules: "Yeah, that's my favourite one as well."
*I mention Debbie Harry's new solo album, Necessary Evil*
Katie: "Yeah, we've heard about that."
Jules: "We were listening to her being interviewed by Steve Wright
on Radio 2 the other day, on our Tour Bus
Katie: "They were playing all of her old tunes weren't they (looking
Jules: "Yeah, they did play a new tune though, and it's good, but
it's not what we adored about Blondie. So, in terms of musical output,
like Katie, I would also say Blondie, because I'm a big fan. But there's
Katie: "Yeah, I have a few."
Jules: "Like the Average White Band, there are tracks of theirs
(pausing). But I suppose the one song we've really been playing for
the last 2 years, and the one we always go back to, is Once In A Lifetime
by Talking Heads. If there's anything that's played to death, it's that
Katie: "It's simple, but it's brilliant!"
Jules: "We're so inspired by it, and we just kept playing it to
death when we formed the band!"
Katie: "I've got quite into a Malcolm McLaren CD as well - somebody
loaned it to me and I play that a lot!"
9. Is there anybody that you would love to have a drink with?
Jules: "I can't anymore, but I would've loved to have had a drink
with George Harrison, because he was my favourite Beatle, being a fan
of The Beatles. All my friends used to say, "Who's your favourite
Beatle - Lennon or McCartney?" But it was always Harrison for me,
because I thought he was the coolest Beatle, and he seemed to get away
with everything you know? The whole kind of front limelight thing -
he just sneaked in, but he made some amazing music as well! And then
tragically, what happened, happened. What's yours (looking at Katie)?"
Katie: "I don't know?"
Jules: "She'd probably have Salvador Dali, and talk about all of
his mad paintings and stuff. Or Van Gogh."
Katie: "Maybe just with some completely random person (laughing).
I'm not sure? I think it would spoil it, say I met somebody who I was
into, like a Björk or a David Byrne. I'd rather just see them in
passing, than have a drink with them. I'd probably puke on them anyway
- I don't handle my drink very well (laughing)!"
10. Do you have any special memories of places you've visited, bands
you've met, or standout gigs / festivals so far?
Katie: "I've got a standout gig, just for the sheer oddness of
it. There's a band called (pausing), oh shit (thinking), it's a Japanese
Acid Mothers Temple."
Jules: "Oh yeah!"
Katie: "They played at Islington Mill, and they were these crazy
guys, with long permed-hair down to their waists, and the noises that
they made were just incredible! They had real hardcore fans at the front,
crying and rolling round on the floor
Jules: "It's crazy psychedelic rock!"
Katie: "Yeah, and I would never have seen that if I hadn't been
at a place like The Mill. So that's quite memorable, just because I
wouldn't have normally found myself there."
Jules: "Mine would be when we played V Festival! When we got there,
we walked to our dressing room, and we went past a dressing room with
Kanye West on it, and The Ting Tings was right next door. And we were
like, "Yeah, we're right next door to Kanye (laughing)!" And
as we went into our dressing room, there was Kanye taking a piss
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
Jules: "And I was like, "I've got you!" But he kind of
looked at me as if to say
Katie: "How dare you look at me having a piss outside your dressing
room door (laughing)!"
Jules: "Yeah. If I'd had a camera, I would have got it and put
it on our MySpace page for sure (laughing)!"
11. When you do have some free time to yourself, how do you like
to spend it?
Katie: "I like reading - I read anything though (laughing). I've
just bought New Scientist and I like National Geographic! It's not because
I'm trying to be intelligent (laughing), its just interesting isn't
it? And, I like frightening myself about Malaria and stuff like that
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
Jules: "To be honest, I haven't read a thing since January, I've
not had a minute to do it
Katie: "But you've got other hobbies haven't you (looking at Jules)?
You like running."
Jules: "Yeah, I might try and run a little bit (pausing), but I
mean I only started again this morning, and I made it 100 yards from
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
Katie: "This is it, he's planning to run - he's not actually running
- that's the hobby (laughing)!"
12. What is your idea of heaven?
Katie: "A beach, a mountain, the best seafood restaurant in the
world, and maybe a horse as well - a little one (laughing). And, we've
just written a brilliant song, because there's nothing like the buzz
of writing a song that you're really pleased with - you're on such a
high! It's such a low when you're going through a dodgy day or something,
and a song's not turning out right, or the production's not right. So
yeah, we've just nailed the best song we've ever written
Jules: "On a beach, with a little horse running around, and a mountain
in the background (laughing)! You can't beat that I'm sorry (laughing),
that's pretty unbeatable (smiling)!"
Katie: "And I'd like a dog (laughing)!"
13. Have you ever seen a live band that you didn't know anything
about, but were completely blown away by and just had to find out more
Katie: "I think we can both say one, who we saw together
Jules: "Who's that?"
Katie: "The Thermals."
Jules: "Oh yeah, that was so good! They're kind of a 3-piece (pausing),
they'd probably hate me saying this, but like a Green Day punk thing
- better than Green Day though, more raw and a lot more energy! We went
to see them where we live - there's like a little club with bands playing,
and they came through Manchester, and the bass player was so cool! She
had little short dreads and she was rocking with her hair, and the music
just got better and better! The drumming was great, the singing was
Katie: "It's a band that I'd never heard of, and we stood on sofas
Jules: "And we went straight out afterwards and bought T-shirts!
They were really good!"
14. You've already played gigs at your home in Islington Mill, but if
you could play a show anywhere in the world, at any venue, where would
Jules: "We don't know where's good to play, because we've been
living in our little cage for a long time (laughing)."
Katie: "A massive stage at one of the festivals! We went on the
side of the stage for the Foo Fighters, because they had a thing called
an 'Open Stage' and we scrambled on at V was it (looking at Jules)?"
Katie: "We were looking from the side, and as the crowd screamed,
it hit you - you could actually feel the sound! So to play a stage like
that, with thousands of people watching you must be such a buzz. I don't
know how they sleep at night, the Foo Fighters?"
Jules: "When we did the Rip Curl Festival in Cornwall - we were
on a little stage - and what were they called (looking at Katie)?"
Katie: "The Guillemots."
Jules: "Yeah, The Guillemots (pausing), I don't think they were
headlining were they (looking at Katie)?"
Katie: "No, they were high up on the bill though."
Jules: "They were on about 9pm and they came to see us, and then
they invited us on stage with them, to do the percussion for their last
song. So we went along with our big drum and our cowbell, and we joined
them on the last song. And what was fantastic about that, is that it's
right on the edge of the coast and there's a cliff, and you can see
the sea! And when we were playing with them, the sun was going down
- it was just literally going under the sea - and we watched that happening,
while we were whacking our percussion to about 15,000 people! That was
a good feeling
it was a great festival (smiling)!"
Katie: "I get stage jealousy though as well. I find it hard to
watch bands who are playing to huge crowds, because I get really jealous
(laughing)! In a nice way, because I wish them well, but I'm like, "I
can't wait for the day that we get a bit of that!"
15. What are your thoughts on the Led Zeppelin Reunion Show?
Jules: "I think it's good, because I mean they're a phenomenal
band! I've got the Double CD, Remasters, which is one for the record
collection - you've got to have it! And anybody who's half into them,
has to have that album! I can't remember the name, but there's a track
on there with amazing drumming. So a band like that, I think have all
the right to reform and do shows. They've got such great records and
there are so many songs there. It's like ABBA - I think you'd always
accept ABBA doing it again. But, I don't think they will, because there's
too many fractured relationships."
*I say that I once read an article about Agnetha Fältskog, who
apparently, is the only member of ABBA who has no desire to reform with
the band, as she now prefers to live her life away from the public eye*
Jules: "Is it really, just her?"
Katie: "I would go and watch Led Zeppelin though. But I mean, who
are we to bloody say you know (laughing)?"
Jules: "If I'd been through what they'd been through, and I'd made
such influential music, and I was at their ages, I'd hope to think that
me and the band could get together, and go out on a World Tour. Because
there's a hell of a lot of people, who love that type of music, that
kind of rock, glam rock in certain areas - the audience are always there
for them and it will always be good! Like ABBA, there's always an audience
for ABBA, but the bands between the pop and the rock, in the middle,
struggle to go back out. But Led Zeppelin man, that's forever!"
16. Many young music fans wear music T-shirts almost as a badge of
honour, but over the years, which artist / band do you think has had
the coolest T-shirt design?
Katie: "I know we're going to have the coolest (laughing), because
I'm making them myself!"
*I ask Katie and Jules if they think music T-shirts are important*
Jules: "I think music T-shirts are important - all of The Who T-shirts
are my favourites (smiling)! I used to have loads of those that I used
to wear, with the arrow and the W. But Katie's making ours at the moment,
and she's doing some amazing stuff!"
Katie: "You know the masking tape that we used on the promo CDs?
Well, I've hand-written The Ting Tings on it again, and laminated the
masking tape and stitched it onto T-shirts! So, in-between the tour,
I've got to go home and sit at the sewing machine all day, and sew these
T-shirts together (laughing). It's going to be great and we're only
going to do 150, but you know, I think I've set myself up for a bit
of a challenge there (laughing)."
Jules: "We're going to take them with us to the 4 gigs, that we're
doing to launch our next single."
Katie: "I mean I've never worn loads of band T-shirts, but the
one that sticks in my head, is obviously The Rolling Stones one, just
because of the lips. Yeah, that'll do (smiling)!"
17. Do you have any prized-possessions?
Jules: "Um (thinking), a guitar (laughing). I've got a 1978 Fender
Strat, which means a lot to me. Katie's using it at the moment and she
keeps dropping it
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
Jules: "She's fallen in love with it, and we're just about to buy
her another guitar, but the one she's using, she just loves it! But
when she spins it round - when she's doing percussion - it just disappears
off the stage (laughing). So, we're going to have to get some lock-in
bolts (laughing). But, I think that's probably the only prize-possession
that I've got really."
Katie: "Mine's an artist from Manchester, called Rachel Goodyear.
She made some posters for gigs and I really loved them, and I want to
buy some of her original work. But, I've managed to peel some of her
posters of the wall, and I'm trying to stop them getting damaged around
the studio, like cups being put on them and stuff. So, that's the only
thing that I'm guarding at the minute. But I don't really do personal
possessions, because I tend to lose things every 2 years (laughing)."
18. In terms of songwriting, Björk shares The Beatles' idea,
that "If you don't remember a lyric or a melody, it probably wasn't
worth writing down in the first place." How do you feel about this,
and can you tell us about The Ting Tings songwriting process?
Jules: "That's really interesting, because when we started writing,
that was the criteria for us. Because we weren't serious about it (pausing),
as in we didn't think at the time we were forming a band, we'd do anything
but just write and record stuff, to see where it went. We've recorded
10 songs for this album, out of about 20. And when I say 20, we'd be
recording a song, and if we got to the chorus and started changing the
lyrics, saying, "That's not right is it?" As soon as that
happened, we'd just press the erase button."
Katie: "Yeah, we've been really critical haven't we (looking at
Jules)? And if it doesn't make us feel good, even for an hour, it's
Jules: "Yeah, we just move onto the next one
Katie: "And it seems to be working for us. I love everything that
we've got - there's nothing that I half-like on the album - I love it
all (smiling)! It's my taste and Jules' taste in music, and I think
it's the best thing that you can do, to feel comfortable with it, and
feel comfortable playing every song on the album!"
Jules: "When we were in a band before, we were very precious about
everything, and we were just carrying so much baggage. We had so many
songs that were half-finished, or not very good, or that we had from
jam sessions, and that's why as The Ting Tings, we only started with
3 songs. Because we just wrote loads of rubbish
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
Jules: "And then we binned it all! But with those 3 songs, we thought,
"Oh, these are really good - let's just start rehearsing!"
And that's how we started the band."
*I ask Katie and Jules, if they've gauged audience reactions to their
Katie: "Yeah, we rehearsed for a lot of friends
Jules: "When we played the 4 gigs in our living room, the first
one was just those 3 songs, and we invited our best friends - who are
all artists - and they came in to hear the songs and we wanted to see
what they thought. Because they're friends, and they're all kind of
designing and doing artwork and stuff, and we always see their work,
and we're kind of doing artwork as well. So when they came over, we
said, "Look, we've got these 3 songs, we're starting a band - what
do you think?" So, I suppose that's gauging the audience, but they
all loved it, and as I said earlier, the number of people grew with
each show, and then, there were also people from The Music Industry
watching us. So we were gauging it all of the time I think. I mean now,
we play a 4 or 5 song set - we're only allowed 25 minutes in the support
slot (pausing), is it 4 or 5 songs we do (looking at Katie)?"
Katie: "5 songs!"
Jules: "Yeah, a 5 song set. So in the 4 months that we've been
taking it seriously, we've actually managed to put 2 more songs in the
Katie: "Yeah (laughing), and we'll probably put another 2 in over
the next couple of months, before playing the whole album eventually
19. What are the main themes of your lyrics?
Katie: "Somebody told me recently, that they're all quite angsty
- they all have a bit of a moan factor to them
Katie: "Yeah, dark! Like That's Not My Name - I mean it is an uplifting
song, but some of it's quite sad in a way as well, isn't it (looking
at Jules)? Feeling a bit shit about yourself. So yeah, I think all of
our songs (pausing), maybe apart from Great DJ - which is all about
having a DJ helping you to sort your head out - I think have a slight
undertone of moaning, but I don't know why? Maybe it's because we were
in a band previously, and it had all gone completely wrong?"
Jules: "Yeah, it could've been that
Katie: "I think at the time when we'd written that batch of songs,
we had gone through a bit of a shit time to be honest."
20. Do you have any favourite haunts in Manchester, that you'd recommend
Katie: "We always go to Salford Arms don't we (looking at Jules)?
And we've found a new one called The Crescent
Katie: "We all go there and sort of make our promo CDs, as we're
doing the pub quiz (smiling)! So, we're sat in the pub drinking, with
our laptop, trying to do a pub quiz at the same time (laughing)!"
*I ask Katie about the now famous / highly collectable shocking pink
"Well, it wasn't intentional really, I just had a roll of pink
paper lying around which I wanted to use for something, and so I thought,
"Why not use it on our promo CDs?" Then I wrote The Ting Tings
on masking tape - so our name wouldn't rub off - and stuck this onto
the discs. It's as simple as that (smiling)! But The Crescent, a bunch
of us go out there don't we (looking at Jules)?"
Jules: "Yeah, The Crescent is where (pausing), well, I don't know
if it's true?"
Katie: "Yeah, it is true!"
Jules: "It's where Karl Marx started writing his book (The Communist
Manifesto), setting up new rules that actually bred Communism when the
book was published. He used to sit in this pub and write it (pausing),
that's not why we go there by the way
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
Jules: "We were introduced to it by a couple of our artist friends
(pausing), it's around the corner from where we live, but we didn't
even know it was there
Katie: "It looks a bit scary - I don't know if you've been to Salford
- but you'd probably think, "I'm not going in there (laughing)."
But if you actually go in, it's alright, but it is a little bit dark
and dingy looking. And there's also a really good Chinese restaurant
near where we're based, which is dead cheap and it's the best Chinese
food I've ever eaten! But, it looks like a greasy spoon café
(laughing). I mean we always seem to end up in there don't we (looking
Katie: "We were thinking of actually inviting loads of people from
The Mill, to come down and play our album when it's finished, sat in
the Chinese (giggling). Because we spend so much time in there anyway
(laughing), eating shit for like £2 each!"
21. Albums vs. iPod Playlist - which would you choose?
Katie: "Albums (without any hesitation)! You get more into the
headspace of whoever's album it is don't you?"
*I say that some of my friends no longer listen to albums, just certain
songs on their iPods, but that for me, records will always be much more
Jules: "Yeah! You know, we've got iPods and we don't use them -
because there's so much choice. You look at your iPod and you think,
"I'll listen to
" and you start scrolling and scrolling
and scrolling, and in the end, you just don't listen to anything (laughing).
Whereas if you've got a record, you have to take the record out of the
cover and everything, and there's so much more to it
Katie: "I think fans of music, would tend to want to go back and
listen to an album, because that collection of songs, is saying something
about an artist that you really respect, and you want to listen to them
as a whole, and see what they've got to say."
*I ask Katie and Jules if they have any favourite record sleeves*
Katie: "I'm going to keep saying the same thing (laughing), but
I'm not going to say that one
Jules: "Well, you're going to have to say something different then
aren't you (looking at Katie + laughing)? But that's really interesting
as well, because we're just currently thinking about our own sleeve,
and so it's kind of weird, because we've been looking at a lot of record
sleeves for research
Katie: "I like Björk's newest one (Volta), where she's dressed
in that big, sort of bird machine thing - that's really quite fab!"
Jules: "I'm trying to think of something that's honest, rather
than something that we're just researching at the moment and liking.
I'll tell you what I did like, UB40 did an album and it was The Dole
Card (Signing Off), and I thought that was quite cool, because I was
signing on at the time (laughing)."
Katie: "I tend to like albums with stickers on them and stuff -
I've got a real child-like mind (laughing)! It's like, "Ooh, you
get something free to stick on it (laughing)!" So yeah, I like
Jules: "Beck did something like that recently, where you could
create your own cover (The Information)."
Katie: "I like stuff like that (smiling)!"
Jules: "We're at a crucial stage with our sleeve (pausing), we
just got given a present on tour - one of our friends came along the
other day, and beautifully gave us this book of all the greatest record
sleeve covers. It's full of classic albums! And so we've been in the
Tour Bus, just going through everything, and that's why at the moment,
I think it's really hard to go with something
Katie: "Too much in our heads."
Jules: "Yeah, we've got so many ideas, but I'm going to leave it
there, because we don't want to
Katie: "We personally (pausing), or I personally, just want an
album cover that says what we're about, as opposed to a nice, polished
picture of us trying to look hot
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
Katie: "Or trying to look half-hot (laughing)! I'd rather have
something that's a bit feisty. But whether we'll win that argument,
I don't know? But we're determined too!"
*I mention the current controversy surrounding Hard-Fi's Once Upon A
Time In The West, NO COVER ART album sleeve*
Katie: "If they paid somebody to do that (pausing), I mean anybody
making any sort of statement, like fair play to them, because they're
setting themselves up for people to go, "Well actually
like I've just done (laughing)! But, if the sleeve was designed for
them, they could have done that themselves really couldn't they?"
22. What's on your Rider today?
Jules: "We photograph our Riders, but we've been a bit lazy with
putting our MySpace together. Because we did vow that when we were going
to go out on tour, we would photograph our Rider everyday, and hopefully,
see it grow!"
Katie: "But it's not (laughing), it's gone back on this tour! On
the Reverend And The Makers tour, we got ham, we got pitta bread
but on this tour (pausing), they're even stealing the beer! Did you
see how that guy came in with the beer, and then took some back and
Jules: "Yeah, we only actually had 1 crate, and then everybody
started nicking our beer - and we share that with the other support
band as well! So, we've refused to photograph 1 crate of beer
Katie: "Yeah, in disgust (laughing)!"
23. Reports suggest, that there has been a fierce bidding war between
many major record labels eager to secure your signatures. Have you signed
a record deal yet, and if so, what made you choose this particular label?
Katie: "Yeah, we've signed to Sony
Jules: "And there's one reason why we signed to Sony
Katie and Jules: "Rick Rubin!"
Katie: "He's started being a consultant to Sony, and he sent us
an e-mail saying, "If there's anything we can do to help you
and he's really into our music, and they made the effort to bring the
bosses over from America
to Salford (laughing)! So, we have to
thank them for that (laughing)."
Jules: "It's quite funny, because we were playing in our studio,
and we had The Head of EMI and The Head of Sony, sitting on our floor,
watching us play to all of our mates (laughing)! It was weird."
Katie: "It just felt right with Sony from the start though. Mike
Pickering, he's a guy at the label who we get on really well with, he's
Jules: "He's brilliant!"
Katie: "We've seen the shitty side of The Music Industry in the
past, but for the past 6 months, we've seen the most lovely side (smiling)!
I'm sure it'll spin round and bite us on the arse again
Jules: "Yeah, yeah."
Katie: "But at the moment, we're seeing a really good side!"
Jules: "Mike Pickering is an important part of that as well, because
he chased us hard, and then, when we did get to meet him, he was fantastic!
He's down-to-earth, he's been in bands, he's done the whole Haçienda
thing, so he understands what it's like to be a band, not just work
for a label. He's totally on our side and he's brilliant (smiling)!"
*I wish Katie and Jules all the best with their music and career*
Jules: "Thank You!"
*I also say that The Ting Tings are now labelmates with the Manic Street
Katie: "Really (surprised)?"
Katie: "We got a load of CDs from Sony didn't we (looking at Jules)?
We cleaned out the cupboards (laughing)!"
Jules: "Yeah we did
and we got a lot! We were really surprised,
because we'd heard all of these rumours that you can't get the stock
anymore you know? It's all tight, but it's (pausing), well it's Mike
Katie: "Yeah (laughing)!"
Jules: "He was like, "Tell them where to fuck off and do what
you want!" And, we just came home with bags full of stuff! It was
fantastic you know? But we still haven't listened to it all yet - there's
too much! We've obviously been really busy as well, but we're hoping
that we can now get on with playing and finishing the album, and start
to sort of listen to our own music by Christmas time, and see if we
Katie and Jules: (both laughing)
24. Can you tell us what we can expect from your debut album, and what
your biggest hopes are for The Ting Tings long-term?
Katie: "You can expect a really good pop album, that's quite experimental,
and I think you're going to be able to hear that we're into what we're
doing! The album is going to be self-produced, and I think we've managed
to keep the production how we like it, which is a little bit home-made,
but not wrecking the songs so much that you can't hear them for the
Jules: "Yeah (laughing)."
Katie: "We've just been really inventive with the sounds and the
percussion. We have feel-good tracks and a couple of downbeat ones
Jules: "We've kind of made-it-up as we've gone along in the studio
- we set our studio up in The Mill as you know, and just experimented.
I suppose it is an unorthodox way of recording an album, and if there's
room, we try to tap into that. There's no proper way of adding a mic,
or there's no proper lead to use or anything. Sometimes, it works really
well, and other times, it's just a mess and we have to re-record stuff
because it's too hissy
Katie: "But sometimes, we just caught a little bit of magic in
the songs, with them being wrong in a way."
Katie: "You can hear it, and I know if we tried to reproduce it,
you'd lose the magic. Even like with That's Not My Name, how it sweeps
up at the end and takes off, I think it's because it's not programmed
Jules: "Its just pure energy isn't it?"
Jules: "We wrote a new song called, Infesilacarpi Song, which it
was titled, because when we were demoing it and recording it, Katie
went in and just done a guide vocal, and she made up her own language!
She put it down and it sounded pretty awesome - it sounded really good!
So we wrote lyrics to it, and Katie went back into vocal it, but it
just didn't work."
Katie: "Yeah, the words didn't fit with how the rhythm was. This
language that I'd sung in, I didn't know what it was, but I just couldn't
put English words into it (laughing), and it spoiled it. So we left
it - just a whole load of bullshit (laughing)!"
Jules: "Yeah, it's going on the album like that, and it's on the
b-side to the next vinyl we're doing. So, we've self-produced the whole
album and mixed it, but we are getting mixes done by Dave Sardy in LA
Katie: "He's come up tops at the minute hasn't he (looking at Jules)?"
Jules: "Yeah, he's done some really good stuff!"
Katie: "He's not changed it, he's just made it sound a bit more
Jules: "Yeah, so at the moment, are long-term hopes are to just
finish the album (laughing)!"
Katie: "Yeah (laughing), we've never finished anything in our lives
(laughing)! So to finish an album would be amazing!"
Jules: "We're just a week away - after we get back off the tour,
we've got a week of finishing 1 vocal and making sure the last few mixes
come in, and then we're done! That'll be an achievement, and I think
we'll be so relieved that we've got it done, and we can just concentrate
on our live stuff then."
Katie: "We haven't really had time to look at our live set, as
much as we've wanted to. Just because we've been finishing the album,
and although we want to put new songs in the set, we haven't had a minute
to rehearse them. But, once the album's finished, any spare time we
have, we can do this, and we can also think about the visuals behind
us and stuff like that. So it's exciting!"
*I ask Katie and Jules if they've thought of an LP title yet*
Katie: "No, we haven't
Jules: "No, we've not even thought about a title yet."
Katie: "Maybe like I said before, We're Planning To Run (laughing)
Jules: "There you go, you heard it here first (laughing). No, we
haven't thought of a title and we're thinking of covers at the moment
- but Katie's actually designed something that's absolutely fantastic,
and we're just trying to progress with that a little bit in our spare
time. But once that's done and we've finished our album, I think a title
will just come out of thin air (pausing), oh actually, you did have
a title didn't you (looking at Katie)?"
Katie: "That's Not Our Name
Jules: "The Ting Tings - That's Not Our Name."
Katie: "Yeah, but not anymore. We'll find one!"
25. Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Katie: "Ooh, that's really hard."
Jules: "That's a brilliant question (laughing)!"
Katie: "Can you have gravy on your chips?"
Jules: "That's like saying, "Can I have a gold bar on my cream
bun?" for Christ's sake (laughing)!
Katie: "Chips and gravy, I find a lot more desirable than chips
on their own."
Jules: "Chips! If I'm hungry, I'm more hungry to eat something
sour than I am sweet."
Katie: "Yeah, but mine would have to be specified chips - chips
with gravy and loads of vinegar (laughing)!"
Jules: "And if I had to specify, I would like to have salt and
vinegar on mine, but I'd have to do it myself, because they don't do
it properly in takeaways - I like to shake the bag and make sure all
of the chips are covered equally (laughing)!"
A very special thanks to Katie and Jules, to The
Ting Tings' Tour Manager Rich, to Tav and Martha @ Outthere, and to
Rosey for all of their time and help.
"They call me quiet, but I'm a riot"