The Ting Tings
Live @ Carling Academy Bristol
September 22, 2007
Interview & Photography: Steve Bateman

For those of you who keep a close ear to the ground, the buzz surrounding Manchester's The Ting Tings (a name meaning old bandstand in Mandarin Chinese, among other things), is now probably old news. But for those of you who haven't yet heard of this vivacious 2-piece, you can rest assured, that the young band's fresh, clever, colourful and infectious Pop Art, will soon have you hooked, and will reel you in with little or no resistance!

Rough Trade astutely described The Ting Tings' sound as, "A mix of The B-52's, Bananarama, Toni Basil and euphoric electro-pop," and limited to a mere 500 copies, the band's glittering debut 7", That's Not My Name / Great DJ (Switchflicker), was released this past May.

Before the record was available to buy however, the band shrewdly sent out hand-made shocking pink promo CDs (with The Ting Tings simply written on masking tape), to ensure that their demos wouldn't go unnoticed. Which they didn't, and essentially, this is what first started the ball rolling, as both tracks immediately became firm favourites amongst Manchester radio stations, the local music scene, and that haven of all danceable alternative music, Indie Clubs.

This then led to support slots with Reverend And The Makers, and pivotal appearances at the Glastonbury and V Festivals. Coupled with copious amounts of praise from fans, the music press, music insiders and even famed American rock producer, Rick Rubin, who took it upon himself to e-mail the band personally! All of which, are only a handful of reasons why Katie White (vocals / guitar / bass drum) and Jules De Martino (drums / vocals), are quickly rising to prominence, and why you just have to catch The Ting Tings playing live as soon as you possibly can!

Another key component in the group's story (who are represented by the same management team as Ash), is Salford's Islington Mill (, which is "a developing project that aims to secure a professional environment for artists and other cultural industries to thrive." Not only is this a place where Katie and Jules can write, rehearse and socialise with like-minded people, but it's also where they share an apartment, and if you're lucky, even stage the occasional House Party gig!

At the moment however, The Ting Tings are touring the length and breadth of the UK, and are also set to play 4 very special shows around the world - 1 in Manchester, 1 in Berlin, 1 in London and 1 in New York - to launch and promote their follow-up single, Fruit Machine (Legendre Starkie Records).

And, recalling Andy Warhol's concept "to combine music and art" (for The Velvet Underground's debut LP in 1967), Katie announced to the NME, "At every gig we're going to get the crowd to do the art on each single, so people will paint for the next crowd and so on. It's going to be really cool!" In the same article, Jules openly admitted, "The thing is, this wasn't even supposed to be the finished product. Me and Katie were just mucking about, working on songs together, but when we played them for people, they said 'That's It!'"

After contacting The Ting Tings through MySpace with a R*E*P*E*A*T Interview request, Katie replied instantly, and our meeting was then arranged for 6pm at Carling Academy Bristol on Saturday, September 22, 2007. Coincidentally, the band are today supporting another inventive pop act on their tour, New Young Pony Club. Both Katie and Jules were really, really lovely, with the duo's live set, as energetic, bright and fun as they are in person! They even took the time to write personalised messages on my 7" vinyl as well!

There's perhaps nothing more to add before our interview, other than The Ting Tings have arrived, and the world is certainly a much better place for them…

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

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 both met?
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 me!"
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 added pressure?
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."
Katie: "Yeah."
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 + interview?
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 her!"
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 at Jules)?"
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 song."
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 at Jules)?"
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 so many…"
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 tune!"
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 band… 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 the hotel…"
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 information on?
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 great…"
Katie: "It's a band that I'd never heard of, and we stood on sofas watching them…"
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 it be?

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)?"
Jules: "Yeah."
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*
Katie: "Ahh…"
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 gone!"
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 songs*

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 set (laughing)."
Katie: "Yeah (laughing), and we'll probably put another 2 in over the next couple of months, before playing the whole album eventually (smiling)!"

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…"
Jules: "Dark!"
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 to us?

Katie: "We always go to Salford Arms don't we (looking at Jules)? And we've found a new one called The Crescent…"
Jules: "Brilliant!"
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 promo CDs*
"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 at Jules)?"
Jules: "Yeah!"
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 romantic*
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 geeky stuff."
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 went out?"
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 so cool…"
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*
Katie: "Ahh!"
Jules: "Thank You!"
*I also say that The Ting Tings are now labelmates with the Manic Street Preachers*
Katie: "Really (surprised)?"
Jules: "Yeah!"
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 Pickering again…"
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 like it…"
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 distortion (laughing)."
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."
Jules: "Yeah!"
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?"
Katie: "Yeah!"
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 wider!"
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"

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looking forward to it. (Laughs). It's difficult to say because the last few months have felt strange, it's felt like going down a plughole. I've got a real sense of vertigo at the moment. So I can't tell you that I'm looking forward to it. I will get through it and find where I land after that. That's what will happen.

Lucy: 'Taxidermy' and 'Drink Me' are quite drastically different in their musical styles, so what kind of sound can we expect from the 3rd album?
KJG: We don't know yet. We're playing a lot of new material tonight so you'll be able to judge that for yourself. When I'm this close up to it, it's really difficult to tell. I'm on a bit of a negative slant today, but usually with our music I can only hear the bits that have gone wrong rather
than anything that went right. When you reflect back on something it's very difficult to give an objective opinion, and I don't believe in objectivity anyway, I think everything's subjective. I just throw a deck of cards and
wherever they land, that's where she finds herself. I'm not really the one to explain my part in it, you must do that as the observer really, and of course that will reflect your part in the grand scheme of things.

Lucy: Do you enjoy playing live more than the creative process in the studio?
KJG: (Laughs) I don't enjoy any of it. It comes and it goes, ok? There's nothing like when you're writing and you manage to catch something by its
tail; when you're looking for those things underground that are skittering out of sight just when you're about to catch them. And when you catch them it is worth it, but it's a momentary pleasure. I've got so much noise upstairs, and I can hear things in my head that to me are absolutely devastatingly beautiful. I'm always trying to download them and get them
here, but they never get here in the right state, they're always very disabled and they don't even begin to imitate what I can hear in my head.
It's a frustrating process in the main.

Lucy: Your lyrics are simultaneously emotionally expressive and cryptic. Are you looking to be understood by your audience?
KJG: I'm always trying to understand myself, but it's like there's a point in the centre of the room, and there's a hundred windows to look at the same point from. All I can do is give you different angles on the same thing. God, you know, if I could find one conclusive thing in anything I would probably have something to put an anchor down on. But I cant, and I haven't met anyone that can. You can pick out anything you like in my lyrics, I don't seek to be cryptic. I love words for the sake of words, for me they're kind of free standing, and they don't really need to be explained. I think every word has its own character and colour and picture and the result you get with lyrics just depends how you put them together. You could just do it in a William Burroughs esque way, or throw the deck of cards, and you'd probably still find something that our tiny little minds would latch on to in order to gain some kind of emotional understanding. I don't think there's a constant, the only constant that there is for me is that there is no constant. I use myself as my canvas, I gut myself and fillet myself the whole fucking time, I'm always hooking myself out of the water, I'm always cutting my own head off and disembowelling myself, and as you can probably tell I'm quite angry about it at the moment. I'm very tired of it all, of my
process and how I find life, because it always seems to be about living and dying all in one breath. I'm getting pretty fucking tired of that.

Lucy: Do you think drugs stimulate or hinder creativity?
KJG: Well that depends on the drug, because I think most things arrive in the form of a drug really. I know in myself that if anything I am, much to my greater expense, an adrenalin junkie. My synapses don't work well enough to put pills in my mouth, I can't do that, despite popular opinion. I don't need any help breaking down, put it that way. There's not much holding it
together. If there was a drug that could put aline between two polar opposites and make them in to one thing I'm sure I would have it
intravenous, but I haven't found it. I think drugscan be a bit of a lazy way for creativity anyway, you're better off in the cold light of day in the mirror.

Lucy: As a band, you are distinguished by the extreme physicality of your live performances. Do you consciously make an effort to put on a show or do your performances just naturally come to you, and whatever happens, happens?
KJG: It's a bit of both, because you see, I think taking the stage is one of the most unnatural things anyone can do. In a way, just walking on stage actually creates an altered state - its not right, no one's meant to do that, unless you're a priest or a magician, or something like that. To put somebody who's very incapable in many ways in to that position creates a combustion reaction inside me. I know that, and I take the stage knowing that. Obviously there's all the usual things that affect my performance; if I'm on my 45th day of a tour I'm probably gonna be pretty fucking tired, so I'll be dictated by that. If I'm doing new material like tonight I don't
know what's going to happen, because we haven't built the train tracks yet. The beauty of playing live is when my drummer goes in to 5th gear or in to 10th gear, and for some reason there's something that hits me in the base of the spine and I'm gone, and that's Halleluiah for me. During the last few months a lot of strange things have been happening onstage, I think the process is changing. I don't know what's going to happen tonight, I've been having quite a tough time on stage, I feel like something's pulling me under, as if something's got me.

Lucy: So does the crowd influence your performances on stage?
KJG: Yes they do. I'm unkind enough to be pretty impersonal about how I do it, so I use them for me to kick against in effect, or to surf on, (I don't
mean physically surf). If you're in an empty roomand there's a couple of people at the back, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a bad show -
they might get the show of their lives. And then again when something's really heaving and going off, I get quite a distorted view of it, because I
can feel quite overwhelmed lose my sense of place in the situation. I lose control of myself. I don't know, I probably wasn't meant to do this, I
wasn't built for this. It wasn't a career option, I didn't start there and go there, I didn't pick up the things on the way. I've sort of gone round
and round.

Lucy: As the lead singer of the band, most media interest is focused on you. Do you feel pressurised by your position or do you enjoy being the centre of attention?
KJG: I've been here on this wheel long enough,(and I say this with a little bit of trepidation because I think you have to be really careful with this kind of thing, because the motivation to do it in itself I think is usually pretty corrupt) I'm not doing it for anyone else, I need a cheque through the door like anybody else does, you have to keep eating, you have to keep living. I'm looking for some sense of going home on my own terms, and people's critique of me is not relevant, whether it's positive of negative.
I do need a cheque through the door though, otherwise I'll have to go and be a butcher or something.

Lucy: What is the religious meaning behind the song "For I am the way"?
KJG: If you use the word religion in its truest sense, all it means is communion, it hasn't got any of the attachments to any written word. My
understanding of the word communion is loss of the sense. Another way of looking at it is you've got to get in to get out, and the only thing that I
know to be true is me, is this tiny little dot in the centre of the universe. It's the only thing that I know feels pain; I can see other people's pain and I can feel it in an emotional way, but not in a physical way. I find myself in the unfortunate position of feeling like I am the
centre of the universe and that everything is a projection, made by me - i.e. you two don't exist, you're something that I created. I don't wish that
sense upon anybody because it's not a good one. Through 'For I am the way' I'm saying that you've got to get in, because the only thing one knows to be true is oneself. And on a good day, if you stand on top of a mountain or go to the desert or stand in the ocean, and become completely inconsequential, linear time stops and you become everything and nothing. That for me is
communion, that's how I define religion. I thinkthere's a line in there which goes "Today the only bridge I have I burn" which sums it up really, because it is about cutting all lines of communication in order to really truly commune.

Lucy: Do you think that in the future your creativity will move from the sphere of music in to literature for example?
KJG: It's real hard to say. In a way, that sounds like a much easier life. But for all I know I'm deluding myself. I'm looking for someone to help me frame something at the moment, and someone is actually, someone's being really good to me. I would love to write, but I don't know if I'm good
enough to do it.