Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Off to Wordpress

So I've moved my blog on over to Wordpress! You can now follow me there. I'm starting off on such a high note with an interview with Abisha Uhl of Sick of Sarah. So go check that out and subscribe.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favorite Sh*t of the Year!!!

Album of the Year:

JK: Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

This record was such a departure from everything I had been listening to at the time I heard it. In fact I only heard it about a month and a half ago when I started desperately trying to find and listen to all of the year's releases I missed so that I could compile a 'Top 10' list for Alter The Press! (which you can find HERE). I think it was the lyrics that got me. Most of the lyrics are so dark, depressing and hopeless. The music behind the lyrics are actually dreamy and ambient. This provides the light at the end of the gloomy tunnel. The lyrics make you feel sad but the instrumentation is that gleam of hope that gets you through the record without having an emotional breakdown. It's a gorgeous record. I'm really into hard rock and lately some metal, but this was refreshing. It's amazing how much you can hear and feel when you slow things down.

LLV: The National - High Violet

Have you ever been drawn to something, but could never explain why? You just loved it. Simple as that? This is how I feel about The National’s High Violet. From the first listen and every listen after that, I knew it was going to be my record of the year. I don’t necessarily understand all their songs, but there are many lines and verses that I found so much comfort in. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with Matt’s voice – deep, stern, and full of emotion, without making many or drastic vocal changes. The beautiful instrumentals that compliment Matt’s hypnotizing voice provided me with many much needed escapes for 47 minutes at a time. What did I get out of those 47 minutes? A beautiful soundtrack for solitude from the harsh realities of life.

Song of the Year:

JK: Blood Red Shoes - "Colours Fade"

The opening line got me, "You take all you have and you leave it behind in the hope that there's more to find. In blind ambition, yeah in blind faith, you wait for things to change". That's what I did when I left the city. That's the stage I'm at in my life, as are most people my age. This is when we make those first big life decisions without any certainties of a positive outcome. All we know is something has to change, we've got to move forward so we finally take the necessary steps and hope for the best. I love this band. I decided against a 'favorite new artist' category but if I had to choose, I would pick BRS. I'm a complicated person. I don't process emotions well and I've never even been in a relationship worth crying about. So it's hard for me to relate to songs about love and romantic failures. BRS write about everything else, all the other ways in which life flat out sucks. "Colours Fade" is a perfect example of that. Press Play. Cue cheesy anthemic fist pump!

LLV: Foals - Spanish Sahara

If I were to base this off of the song with the highest play count, Holly Miranda’s Slow Burn Treason would be the “winner”. I love that song; I had it on repeat for days, spending many nights in bed crying to it. It had been a while since a song (or record) had affected me to the core on such a personal level. So while it’s definitely in my top favourite songs, Foal’s Spanish Sahara – a new song I got – is my number one. I’m not even going to explain why – I’ll let the song do that. Wait until about midnight. Put on a good pair of headphones. Turn off all lights. Lie in the middle of the floor. Close your eyes. Press play.

Video of the Year:

JK: Arcade Fire - "The Suburbs"

I know, I know! So predictable. I hate myself. But it's so great! This was a great year for music videos. Which is saying a lot because I'm quite sure I'm missed some. Hesta Prynn's stop motion clip is great. Also I have to say Band of Horses have been putting out great videos as well. And I mean did any band come harder than Ok Go this year? All their videos blow my mind. In the end though, I love a video that tells a story. I love cool visual effects and great editing but I always find myself most impressed by videos that are more like short films and tell a complete story, in a very short period of time. I was going to go with Cee Lo's video for his Band of Horses cover, "No One's Gonna Love You". It's pretty much every romantic/drama film you've ever seen. It blooms then comes crashing down in less than five minutes. Perfection. However, again, romance/relationships are lost on me. But a video about fucked up teenagers in the suburbs isn't.

LLV: Hesta Prynn - "Can We Go Wrong", Blood Red Shoes - "Heartsink", The Good Natured - "Prisoner"

Three-way tie. What? I suck at choosing. Common theme: Editing and Artsy. (1) HESTA PRYNN – CAN WE GO WRONG. 13k photos! THIRTEEN THOUSAND! That’s incredible. And the video looked fantastic. It’s probably the art geek in me, but that’s how stop motion is suppose to be. So smooth. Plus who doesn't love Central Park and Simon!? (2) BLOOD RED SHOES – HEARTSINK. Simple, but effective. The editing was great, with all the shots of fans and slowing down of parts. The concept of smashing prized possessions was also great. It had a powerful effect. (3) THE GOOD NATURED – PRISONER. Alright, so I’ll admit I’m not 100% sure if I fully understand the video, but that attracts me more to it. It’s really artsy and I miss weird fucked up videos. The video and what I take from it, made me like the song more.

Collaboration of the Year:

JK: Tiesto ft Nina Diaz (Girl In A Coma) - "In Your Mind"

Probably the most unexpected, most "wtf" moment in indie music this year! But it's great! Weird, but in the best way possible! Nina's unique powerhouse vocals lacing a Tiesto beat? Amazing. When this popped up in my subscriptions on Youtube I didn't know what to expect! Nina's voice is so wonderfully odd I honestly would never think it would work with a dance/techno/trance-y instrumental (program) in the background. But it works well. She isn't overpowering Tiesto and he isn't drowning her out either. It sounds like just what it is, a collaboration and too often collaborations come across as competitions, like the artists aren't friends at all and are trying to over power each other on the same track.

Runner(s) Up: Fences ft Sara Quin - "My Girl The Horse", City & Colour ft Shad - "Live Forever"

LLV: Peter Lee Johnson - "Changes (The Way It Is)" Tupac, Bruce Hornsby cover

This is probably cheating, (*JK interrupts* "IT IS!") but I don’t care ("Fine!"). I may be a total sucker for anything with violins, but Peter Lee Johnson is a phenomenal musician. Fact. And what he does to the songs he covers is pretty much breathtaking (I mean he made me like a “Katy Perry” song o_O). Changes by 2Pac is by far one of my all time favourite/life changing songs. I didn't think anyone could make me appreciate it more than I already did…until I heard this cover. As I listened to it, I could hear all of Pac’s verses and the violin made it more inspiring, beautiful, and hopeful. It made me tear up.

Runner(s) Up: Biggie vs The XX (LLV doesn't understand the word 'collaboration'), B.o.B ft Hayley Williams & Eminem - "Airplanes pt II"

Concert/Show of the Year:

JK: Kaki King w/An Horse, City & Color/Tegan & Sara w/Ra Ra Riot and Wintersleep

I'm a loser. Well, it's not really my fault. Due to my hopeless work schedule and lack of funds I rarely even make it out to a show. I'm no concert or music snob. I'm not jaded and hope to never be. I have yet to go to a show and not enjoy myself. I have yet to leave a show going "Well, that sucked". I love live music. It's amazing to me. Live music is transcending. My only complaint is to the bands who you can tell themselves have become jaded. I'll admit this was where Tegan & Sara disappointed me. I've only seen them twice and I think I missed the phase where they were rough around the edges and really had fun doing this. I understand why they're the way they are after so long. Not much surprises them and not much is new to them. Their professionalism at times just came across as them being "over it". But I've also seen amazing footage of shows that prove they can still let loose and have a good time. I'm just referring to the vibe at that particular show I attended. End Rant.

Point. Kaki King is fucking amazing! She's charming, hilarious and charismatic on stage. When you're not laughing you're simply in awe of her raw talent. There's never a moment to relax or feel settled. You're always on edge and always engaged, simply because she is. I loved that! It took quite a few shows, quite a few months later for anything to come close. When I went on a road trip to Toronto in late August to see City & Colour and Tegan and Sara with some Ra Ra Riot on the side, something finally did. Great performances from Dallas, Ra Ra Riot and TnS. When Tegan & Sara joined Dallas on stage for "At The Bird's Foot" I almost lost my mind! Then when Gord Downie (The Tragically Hip) joined him for "Sleeping Sickness" I DID lose my mind, along with everyone else in the amphitheater who all jumped up and pushed to the barriers screaming their heads off!

Runner Up: Tegan & Sara w/Holly Miranda & Steel Train (March 27th). Yeah, they were a little uptight, but still awesome! With fantastic support acts!

LLV: Roger Waters, Holly Miranda w/Braids

Roger Waters hands down! But with the small concerts I see, it would be hard to beat this one. It was amazing to see all the different generations in attendance. The concert took me back a few years when Pink Floyd were pretty much the only thing I listened to. My love for them was born again. And that’s just the music. I can’t even put into words the visuals that were going on throughout the entire show. Things flying, massive blow up puppets, the wall made of TV screens being built and exploding, and the imagery on those TVs. It was beyond amazing. And if you caught one of his shows you know what I mean.

Out of my not-so-extravagant-concerts…aka club concerts, the Holly Miranda/Braids concert takes the cake. Braids were probably one of my biggest obsessions this year. I had never heard of them before this concert. And I kid you not from the second they started playing my jaw dropped. It pretty much stayed there through the set too. If you've heard their music, there is a lot going on and to see them pull it off live is just………. There is one moment I clearly remember. Native Speaker – the title track off their upcoming album. Watching Raphie just belt out the lyrics. Her voice is just too amazing and unique I couldn't stop staring in awe. The four of them are extremely talented and since that night I haven’t wanted an album to come out so fast then Native Speaker (Jan 18). The jaw dropping didn't stop there. I had seen Holly Miranda before, but it was only her and Timmy. This time she had a full band. Hearing her songs with a full band made them even more powerful. And holy crap that drummer can play! I can never get used to Miranda’s voice…so soulful, raspy, and beautiful. Her cover of an Etta James song sent chills down my spine. It was a very powerful night of music that I now compare all concerts to.

Runner(s) Up: Blood Red Shoes, The XX w/Warpaint

What's YOUR favorite album, song (or single), video, collaboration and concert of the year? You don't even have to pick one for all you can answer for one AND you can have ties, obviously we're not the people to force you to make a decision!

City & Colour footage: http://youtube.com/wojo4hitz
Roger Waters footage: http://youtube.com/concertaholic

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Really Long Nerdy Post about Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae is awesome. I've been obsessed with her and the world she's created for months now. Which actually means I'm very very late. I decided to write this blog post for those who may, by some chance, be later than me.

Monae's debut full-length record The ArchAndroid came out in May. But that's not the place to start trying to figure her out. In 2007 she released an EP called Metropolis, it's on this release that the story begins. The story is that of an android named Cindi Mayweather who falls in love with a human named Anthony Greendown. Cindi is then marked for disassembly and left to wonder the streets of the 'Neon Valley Street District' to hide from bounty hunters.

It's a quirky concept but it's easy to get lost in. If you need convincing watch the short film/video for "Many Moons" off of Metropolis, in which many of the recurring characters mentioned throughout Monae's work are introduced.

So what follows Metropolis is 2010's The ArchAndroid. There's too much to say and I can't think of a not-complicated way to say it so, I'll literally let wikipedia fill you in:

The ArchAndroid is the follow-up to Janelle Monáe's debut EP Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) (2007) and consists of the second and third parts to her Metropolis concept series. Partly inspired by the 1927 film of the same name, the series involves the fictional tale of Cindi Mayweather, a messianic android sent back in time to free the citizens of Metropolis from The Great Divide, a secret society that uses time-travel to suppress freedom and love. In an interview for the Chicago Tribune, Monáe said that she was inspired by the quote "The mediator between the hand and the mind is always the heart". discussed her incorporation of the android as a metaphor for a minority and the role of the story's protagonist in an interview for Blues & Soul, stating "she represents the MEDIATOR between the have’s and the have not’s, the minority and the majority. So in that way she’s very similar to Neo, the Archangel from The Matrix'. And basically her return will mean freedom for the android community".

If you're caught up on this being a conceptual series about a freaking robot and thinking you won't be able to relate to the material you're probably wrong. I for one cannot make it through "Cold War" without feeling an overwhelming sadness when she sings "I'm trying to find my peace, I was made to believe there's something wrong with me and it hurts my heart. Lord have mercy, ain't it plain to see this is a cold war?". It really doesn't help that she breaks down in the video, despite her efforts to compose herself.

My friends are probably tired of me quoting "Locked Inside". This song is heavily filled with the ideas and concepts of the world Janelle and her team created but they're universal at the same time, depressingly so. Parts of the track sound like domestic abuse of some sort ("...he hates to talk but loves to fight") then it jumps right into genocide ("the color black means it's time to die"). It's all about interpretation.

Mostly The ArchAndroid is just FUN! It's one of the more interesting releases of 2010. It's a big project and it produces a big sound that Janelle handles well. She has amazing range and is very flexible vocally. I don't think anyone ever expects what they hear from her on "Come Alive" where she screams and delivers piercing, scratchy vocals. Then there's "Make The Bus" with Of Montreal, great song, even though as far as I can tell it makes no sense. It's completely out of control.

The ArchAndroid was a great departure from the emotional ups and downs of indie music I fill my brain with everyday. I've listened to about 60 of this year's releases and basically this record became my chaser after I overdosed on the heartbreak of it all.

I highly recommend this record. I'll post my favorite records of the year later this month along with a little rundown of my favorite...everything else of the year. But let's start here. Seriously, give this one a listen.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Interview with Sean Moeller, founder of Daytrotter

What do Ra Ra Riot, Cold War Kids, Raphael Saadiq, Ani DiFranco, Fleet Foxes, and The National all have in common? Yeah, probably whatever you're thinking but also, Daytrotter! All these artists along with hundreds of others have stopped by the Daytrotter studios to perform quality stripped down sessions for the site. By doing this these artists have contributed to the 16 million sessions downloaded so far by members of the site since it's launch in 2006.

Usually I get obsessed with an artist and want to know everything about them. I reel it in a little bit, pull myself together, and ask for an interview. However, back in June I got more obsessed with a website than I had been with any band in a while at that point. That site was Daytrotter. I was led there by Steel Train, who have now done two sessions.

If you want to see the magic for yourself go to the site. Pick three of your favorite indie bands and search for them there. Chances are at least one of them will have a Daytrotter session. At least this has been my experience. Now when I'm researching bands one of the the first places I go is DT. If I find a session I choose to listen to it before the actual record. I choose to read Sean's essays prior to cracking open a press release. The site is truly a music lover's dream.

I'll start with the obvious question: Why did you start Daytrotter?

The reasons why aren't really fuzzy, they're just sort of insignificant, the more I think about them. I really just wanted to try something. I was working for the newspaper here in Davenport and doing a handful of freelance writing for a couple of music magazines across the country, but it felt like I was always getting pushed to write about bands and people that I didn't really think were all that great -- instead of getting to write about those I thought had the most merit. I thought, "Why not try doing something else?" and so Pat Stolley, Johnnie Cluney and I started doing this. There was no over-planning or brainstorm, just a decision one evening of, "Let's start this next week and see where it goes."

Were you at all inspired by the Peel Sessions?
I've never actually listened to a Peel Session, I don't believe. I think I own a CD of a Hot Snakes Peel Session, but I've never listened to it. I obviously respect John Peel and have read a bit about him since we started Daytrotter, but I can safely say that Daytrotter wasn't inspired by anything at all. Funny how that works sometimes.

Daytrotter promises 7 bands, 28 songs a week. Was this tough to accomplish when DT first launched?
Well, we didn't do it like that at all in the beginning. We released one session a week. Then about three months in, it was two a week. Then we jumped to three a week about a year later. Shortly after that, we were posting one a day Monday-through-Friday. Now we're at seven days a week and starting in January, you're likely to see 2-3 sessions a day. It's impossible for us not to do that at this point. It's not hard at all.

Your essays and biographies of the bands are always incredible. I read some over and over. Did you or do you write professionally for other sites or publications?
Thanks so much. I spend a lot of time on them. I wrote for 12 years for the Quad-City Times, a newspaper here in the Quad-Cities and I did some freelance writing for Rockpile, Punk Planet, Filter and a handful of other places. Mostly a ton of publications that don't print physical copies any longer.

Could you take us through the process of preparing for a band to come record and then how exactly the sessions are recorded?
There's really not much preparation. We just wait for them. I book all of the sessions and they're all recorded live in one room -- no headphones or overdubs. We have a bunch of Otari 50/50 quarter-inch tape machines and we lay everything down onto quarter-inch tape. It's pretty sexy.

Are there other Daytrotter studios now, aside from the Horseshack?
We are now using Big Orange, the studio we have used for the past five years when we travel down there to tape during SXSW, as a second studio. It's a great thing to have available. We tape about 20 sessions a month down there, in addition to our close to 40 a month here in Rock Island. We're looking into the possibility of having a third studio in London sometime soon. We'll see how that goes.

Are you always around to personally oversee sessions recorded?
I'm usually always here. I hate to miss sessions, but reality gets to me sometimes as it's really hard to write at the studio and the writing really does demand a lot of my time so sometimes I have to choose between being at the studio and being productive/prolific.

What has been some of your favorite sessions?
I really do like all of them as I personally invite every band/artist to the studio, but there are certainly some sessions that really stand out. Kris Kristofferson, Gayngs, every time Delta Spirit's here, Avett Brothers, Blind Boys of Alabama and too many others are really at the top of my list for memorability. I have a feeling our upcoming session with Naughty By Nature will rank pretty high too.

I'm a huge fan of Johnnie Cluney's illustrations, just one of many things I look forward to in a new session. I can't help obsessing over how cool it would be to own vinyls with his pictures as album art. Any plans to produce vinyls of DT sessions?
Get ready. Yes.

The Naughty By Nature session takes place at Rock Island Brewing Company in Rock Island, IL. Tickets are $20, proceeds go to QC Times/United Way Wish List.

Some Personal DT Faves:

http://Daytrotter.com (If you hadn't figured that one out yet...)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interview with Triple Threat, Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya, another musical Canadian gem took time out from packing and planning and who knows what else while preparing to leave for India to answer some questions for me. The singer/songwriter turned electro-pop wonder is crossing the North Atlantic Ocean to support indie-pop band Tegan & Sara.

Shraya has been releasing music consistently over the last decade. After receiving praise for his acoustic records he switched it up and went electro-pop and doesn't seem to be looking back. I don't think he needs to as he's made the better contributions to the genre over the last few years. He truly has a talent for producing this sound in way that sounds so vintage yet completely original.

However, his talent goes beyond music. He recently wrote a collection of short stories called 'God Loves Hair' and has been touring and doing readings of it since spring. And just recently he released a short film, Seeking Single White Male, which shed light on some of the racism he has encountered as a man of color. So I was excited to get some insight about these projects as well as his music.

You've been traveling and doing readings of your book God Loves Hair for a while now. Are you excited to be playing shows again?

Doing readings has been such a wonderful change of pace after playing music shows for 9 years (not including the cheesy talent competitions in shopping malls as a teenager). I love the intimacy of readings, making a connection, not via melody or instrumentations but storytelling. But yes, I am very excited to be playing shows again and particularly excited about this upcoming tour because a) Tegan and Sara! b) it is the first tour where I will be playing shows and doing readings.

According to Tegan you've been to India "many times". What are some things you like to do for fun while visiting India?

I have been to India many times but the last time I was there was in 1998 and it was a completely different kind of trip. So in a lot of ways I feel like I will be experiencing India for the first time. That said, I am looking forward to drinking a Limca – a lime flavoured soda pop that is so unbelievably delicious – and riding the auto-rickshaws (and praying that I don’t fall out).

"Your Name" - Vivek Shraya ft Sara Quin

So much of your material has this cool 80s feel. It feels like the beginning of electro-pop and not as techno as contemporary electro-pop usually sounds. Were the 80s a particularly influential period for you, musically?

Meghan Toohey (producer of If We’re Not Talking and Keys & Machines) and I both grew up in the 80s so I think that between her love for Prince and my love for Madonna , that sound comes naturally to us. Contemporary electro can also sound a little gimmicky with random synths slapped on to a beat and I strive for a musical efficiency, where each layer serves a purpose and enhances the song.

Your song "Fevered" was featured on Degrassi. Were you excited about that at all? Are you a fan of the show?

That was definitely a career highlight for me, particularly the way the song was used in a high school dance scene. Teenagers dancing to Fevered! I have not watched the new version of Degrassi a lot, but the original Degrassi was HUGE when I was growing up.

SEEKING SINGLE WHITE MALE (short film) from Vivek Shraya on Vimeo.

I have to ask what inspired you to make 'Seeking Single White Male', your short film. It was so sad and touching but also deeply personal.

Growing up queer in Edmonton was such an isolating experience and so I often imagined that gay bars and the opportunity to connect with other queers would feel like a homecoming of sort. But as a person of colour, I found I would almost literally disappear in those spaces, even when a conversation was had with another. This triggered a slow and innocent process of assimilating to a white aesthetic to be seen. It felt important to create a piece that spoke of and brought visibility to this experience, which is unfortunately the experience of many queer people of colour.

I'd like to note how soon you tackled this race issue after addressing Gender/Queer issues in your book. Can we look forward to more projects such as these from you in the future?

For most of my artistic career, music has been my central outlet. Writing/releasing God Loves Hair opened doors I had never considered before and has made me excited about art in general, particularly art to bring awareness and change. So yes, I hope to make more projects that discuss the various issues I am passionate about.

You tweeted that there will be new music in 2011. When can we expect a new release?

Either the summer or early fall. Fingers crossed!

Quick rundown of your favorite 2010 releases:

Robyn’s Body Talk (particularly pt 1) owned 2010. Hands down. Lately, I have been listening to the new Kanye record obsessively. The production is stellar. It makes me want to be a better musician and a better man.

God Loves Hair Reading - Gay Bombay event
11/21 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Tegan & Sara w/Vivek Shraya - Hard Rock Cafe
11/23 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Tegan & Sara w/Vivek Shraya - Hard Rock Cafe
11/25 New Delhi, Delhi, India

God Loves Hair Reading - Bengaluru Pride
11/27 Bengaluru, Karnataka, India


photo by: Juliana Neufeld http://juliananeufeld.com
photo 2 by: Sarah Bastin http://sarahbastin.net

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview with Laura-Mary of Blood Red Shoes

The two-piece manages to create a dense sound looping guitar, drums and vocals together flawlessly. They sing about everything but love and relationships. They're more about telling you what's wrong with where they come from and how bored they are, or how hard it is to concentrate. See now that's what I related to.

As with many things in my life, when sending in this interview, I was met with bad timing. The band had just embarked on their first North American tour and had subsequently become insanely busy. Immediately after the tour they went home and did an intimate in-studio show with 50 fans and are now touring again! The speed of Indie!

Instead of trying to be clever and change the wording of the questions so that they're past tense like Laura-Mary's answers I decided to...not. They became busy and therefore some things I ask about have already happened, NBD right?

You guys are touring North America for the first time this month. But you have played in the states before. Have you noticed any differences between your UK and North American fans?

There are some differences like that people travel further to see you in the states, but thats just coz ITS MASSIVE. people seem really grateful that you come to the states, which always suprizes me as there are so many bands in north america...so many to choose from, but yet people are really grateful which is nice.

You play festivals quite a bit. What do you love about playing festivals?

Its just so much fun. I mean there are terrible festivals....but we have been really lucky! and this year were some of my fav festival experiences ever. It is great to play to people that dont necessarily know anything about your band. Its exciting to try and convert people into liking your band. Then afterwards you can watch bands and bump into friends that you dont get to see most of the year because we are both touring all the time.

Do you prefer big festival stages to smaller venues?

i like both, for different reasons. Big festivals are fun because there is not a huge pressure as its not your own show, you have a short amount of time to put across your point. Small shows are really intense and intimate its a whole other thing! you change how you talk and play. They are both a challenge and both equally as fun.

During your fall tour in 2008 you played 12 countries and now you're touring North America which includes stops in Canada. Is there anywhere you would like to play that you haven't yet?

Russia and australia

For your new video for "Heartsink" you asked fans to bring things of sentimental value and destroy them. It turned out great on film but what was the set like? Were the fans at all emotional about what they had to do?

Not really, everyone was pretty quiet and up for just smashing things. Maybe they were emotional inside but it was hard for us to tell...they didn't really show that.

There was also a remix contest for a fan to get their own remix of "Heartsink" released as a B-side. How did that go? Did you personally get to hear the entries and pick the winner?

Yeah of course we heard it!! we had to pick the best one...no one else could have done that!! Been weird if someone else chose it. We listened to loads and narrowed it down to two and then we picked the one we did as it just took the song and changed it but with still using the main parts. it was a bit dubstep, we just really liked it. The best one won for sure.

Laura-Mary, have you ever considered bringing a second guitarist on the road?

No way! there would be nothing for them to do. maybe if i wrote loads of parts i couldn't do live then it would make more sense...but we write songs as a two piece so bringing anyone else in would be weird.

Will you ever re-release or rerecord some of your earlier releases from '05 and '06?

I very much doubt it...we would rather write new songs then going back to seriously old ones. But i guess never say never! but i VERY much doubt it

You've released a few instrumentals. Were these songs initially intended to be instrumental or was the decision to not add lyrics made later?

Well Melvo we wrote in an hour to use as a b-side and it kinda just rocked without words. Carry knots is one of my fav songs and i tried singing over it...but it just didn't seem to work. Sulphites i think would be ace with vocals...so will at some point prob try and do something with that.

Is it true that Edgar Wright, the director of Scott Pilgrim vs The World is a fan of yours and personally had "It's Getting Boring By The Sea" put on the film's soundtrack? Were you guys excited about that? Were you familiar with the graphic novel or the film beforehand?

Yes its true that Edgar Wright likes our band, he came to see us and we met him. He told us he was researching for this new movie he was doing which turned out to be Scott Pilgrim. He is an awesome guy!
I was not familiar with the graphic novel beforehand but i saw the movie and i think it is a great story. We were really excited about having our song on the film, it was ace.

I read that you're working on new EP or will be soon, is that correct? Is this the new material that 50 fans will get to hear at the intimate in-studio show next month?

We are working on new songs yes, we may release a ep...but if it goes good then prob will just get on with album number 3. We want to have loads of new material and we have been doing our best writing on the road. We will have alot of time next year to really get down to it and write as much as we can...its really exciting.
We played the intimate show but didn't play any new tunes in the end, as i was ill with flu and instead of the day we had to rehearse i was in bed trying to recover as the day after that show we were going on tour for a month and a half (which i am currently on now) so we played our songs and people were cool with us not doing new ones, as we didn't want to play them if they were not properly rehearsed. People seemed to have a good time and were just happy to see us in a living room basically.

Are there any US and/or Canadian based indie bands you guys are into?

Yeh LOADS to name a few Queens of the Stone Age, Women, The Bronx, Smashing Pumpkins, Warpaint, Jesus Lizard, Sonic Youth. i dunno most of our record collection is from the states or canada

Oh, and Laura-Mary could you update your blog with more amazing photos soon please?!

hey you just reminded me!! i kinda forgot about that blog thingy...in fact i might start it again on this tour, as i got some ace photos from america and japan recently!
thanks for the reminder...also i didn't think anyone had seen that!!