All My Little Words

Interview with Gomez

Posted in Music by nickchristian on June 24, 2013

This one is from the same summer as the Pipettes interview and again, first published on the online magazine Subculture. 


To say that, with their fifth and latest studio release Split The Difference, Gomez have “returned to form” would be an injustice. Nearer the mark would be to suggest that, in the wake of the indie resurgence, their music has become more palatable to the not-so-discerning British public. Having emerged in 1997 with the album that would win the Mercury Music Prize, Bring It On, Gomez have been one of the most consistent British bands of the past decade. With a quintet of studio albums, a collection of B-sides and rough-cuts and a live album to their name the band have faced the slings and arrows that come with the outrageous fortunes of the music world and remained as strong as ever. Subculture caught up with bassist Paul Blackburn shortly before the band’s recent performance at Latitude festival.

Subculture Magazine: Your first album, Bring It On came out in ’97 and you guys have been together for about ten years. How would you sum up the last ten years?

Paul Blackburn: It’s been a bit all over the place really. A lot of travel. Everybody says “rollercoaster ride” and that’s kinda true but it’s been said so many times before that it’s that old one again. So yeah, it’s been life.

SM: And, looking back on them, how  do you feel about your earlier albums?

PB: To be honest with you, I’ve not listened to Bring It On for a long time because we go around playing the songs anyway you kinda hear it when you’re playing it live. I remember the last time I did visit it, it was quite interesting after playing it live so much it sounds a lot slower and a lot more…. I think we rock it up a bit more live.

SM: Are there any tracks that you play live because you’re obliged to, because they’re fan favourites, that you’d rather avoid?

PB: Definitely. I guess there’s a couple of songs that people won’t play. We’ve not played Tijuana Lady for a long time. People definitely like it – I wouldn’t mind playing it – it is what it is I guess. To be honest I don’t really because it’s all stuff that’s your material. Obviously you want to play the new stuff and get people into the new stuff. It’s always going to be a balancing act of new and old, trying to keep all sides happy.


Interview With The Pipettes

Posted in Music, Uncategorized by nickchristian on June 24, 2013

This interview was originally published by Subculture Magazine in the Summer of 2006. It’s reproduced verbatim as the original, although the introduction has been slightly edited to make me sound like (slightly) less of a twat.

Three girls at once: Honestly

Why do we love The Pipettes? For the obvious reasons, obviously: For the polka dots; for the synchronized ‘50s-American-diner-style dance moves; for their unapologetic, titillatingly tutti-frutti pop songs; for the fact that they are women who, while the music industry is collectively wetting itself over girly indie boys, are unafraid to be girly girls.

Those reasons alone should be enough but having recently spent some time in their exalted presence, we here at Subculture have a few more.

An interview never sounds as good in print. The written word alone cannot render the sincerity and consideration with which these girls speak of their band. Nor is the English language sophisticated enough to depict the enormous variety of giggles that can emerge from three such vivaciously engaging ladies over the course an hour. Only when you come to transcribe the audio from such an experience do you realise quite how fucking useless the exclamation mark really is.

Nick: You signed your record deal a little over a year ago but you were around for a fair while before that. The whole thing seemed to be a long time in coming: did you ever wonder if maybe it wasn’t going to happen for you?

Gwenno: Did you think it was?

Rose: We didn’t really think about it.

Becki: No we just started the band and kind of thought “oh, this is a bit of fun isn’t it?” and then when people started liking it that took us a bit by surprise. And then when we got offered a record deal and stuff it was all a bit like “oh!”.

R: It felt like we just tricked them. I always felt like “Aaaaah!” like we’d managed to slip through the net somehow. We didn’t, and to be honest still don’t really, feel like we have, though aspirational and ambitious, expectations of anything necessarily.

G: No. It’s one step at a time isn’t it? It’s been so gradual, even since I’ve joined.

R: But then you relate it to other bands who’ve been going for years and years and years and actually it’s been quite quick. It’s all relative I think.

N: But you guys, it seemed to me at least, were for a while probably the most well-known unsigned band in the UK. A lot of people had heard of you outside of Brighton yet still it seemed you weren’t getting the attention from the labels. Why do you think that, in spite of the notoriety, a deal was so long in coming?

G: It’s the not fitting in thing I think. At the moment people are signing up any two-bit indie band that comes along in a pair of skinny jeans and a funny haircut. The Pipettes is nothing like that so I think it took a while for….. obviously major labels didn’t quite know what to do with us. We went with Memphis (Records) because they just signed us cos they liked us.

R: They took a bit of a punt on us.

G: Yeah. It was like: ‘kinda like this; don’t really know what it is; sign it!’ seemed to be the attitude.

R: The whole thing at the time was like ‘we really like you but we can’t place you and we don’t know how we’d market you’ and all this kinda stuff. It definitely required someone that was a bit less calculating in that way to get us on board I suppose. (more…)

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