Et Tu Brucé (interview)

“West London meets West Coast”. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Jamie White about the new self titled record, the sound, Split Enz, adding a middle 8 quickly and being in between albums.

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How did you record ETB?

We had recorded our debut album ‘Suburban Sunshine’ at Bonafide Studios in London, and felt very much at home there, returning to record the new album either side of our American tours.

There was a wealth of material to pick from, but we took a little longer finishing up. Unlike previous studio sessions, we were a little more sought-after and suddenly aware of the expectations and demands on time.

Some songs we started recording were held back as they didn’t appear true to the album. It’s important that a collection means something, has some connection to the collaborative feel, rather than being forced into consideration.

It’s easy to do, new always sounds better when you’ve lived with songs for a long time, but we took our time and tried to deliver without prejudice.

 

A song like The Light sounds like it has been around for ages (that’s a compliment). Did you know you had something during writing and recording?

Thanks! From both sides, writing and recording, we knew we had a single in the making. It was an attention grabbing, high tempo upbeat song, which made us all smile. Once recording was finished it became the firm favorite for the album opener and set-closer. I felt it was going to excite when I started writing it.

The music flowed easily, and everything aside from the middle eight came out in one parcel, from the intro to the end section. Having the lyrical hook, title and music was encouragement enough, and within a day I played it to Mattie (O’Toole, former guitarist) and we finished writing the lyrics and added a middle 8 very quickly.

Through recording it sounded great. It didn’t grab any more attention than other tracks, but that was probably because we were so committed to creating an album instead of hammering out a group of songs.

 

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Naming the new record ETB. Does that mean you have found your sound? What changed since Sub Sun.?

We have never knowingly searched for a “sound”. Our individual influences and varied musical backgrounds can be heard through the music, and comes together organically to create the ETB personality.

The self-titled album was something we always wanted to do, a ‘this is us’ statement hopefully without the pomposity sometimes attached to it. The main changes of note from the 1st album were the personnel, with Siôn joining to replace Mattie.

Many of the same engineers worked on the album, although Elliot (Boothe, ‘Suburban’ cohort) had moved on by then, and Peter (Keeble, who mixed ‘Suburban’) took a job outside music .

The experience gained from recording the 1st album helped polish our techniques and create a finer 2nd

 

 

She tells you she will decide on a 5 song mix tape if there’s going to be a 2nd  date or not. Which 5 songs?

Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield ,

I Got You – Split Enz,

Always the Sun – The Stranglers,

Dead Flowers – Rolling Stones,

Sweet Is The Night – ELO.

I think I’d keep the tape myself, and spend the evening in.

 

If you could tour the world with two other bands, who would they be?

 

Iron Maiden (because they fly their own Boeing 747) and ELO (because it’s Jeff Lynne). However, we’d be open to offers from anyone.

 

What will 2017 look like ? How will you promote ETB?

2017 is hopefully going to be the year of the festival for us, and playing over the UK and Europe.

There are still two singles to come (including The Light) but we are close to being ‘between albums’ that period of time where the new material starts to become too electrifying to ignore. T

here is a stack of demos for the 3rd album, being added to regularly. The only question is whether to make it a double album or not?

BUY here

 

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THE SQUIDS – Oh Shrek Yes

Lolipop relased The Squids’ Oh Shrek Yes recently. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Tony Infante about their ‘foggy sparkly buzz/ heavy bass sunshine sound’, songwriting and John Fogerty.

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In an era of noise and anger its a treat to hear an album so craftily put together and well-arranged, wrote Daniel Sweetland @larecordmagazine.

You weren’t aware of that during recording or were you?

We weren’t intentionally making something as a response to other bands or a popular current sound, we just wrote songs and recorded what came out naturally! 🙂 Also, I would argue that stuff can be noisy and angry and still be craftily put together/ well-arranged!

You recorded at Lolipop studios. Lolipop’s own Wyatt Blair was producing. What did he bring to your sound?

Wyatt helped us get that sparkly buzz/ heavy bass sound on the album, we used his fender champ for the lead guitars and the jazz chorus 120 for the organ, it sounds insane and I love it!

 

These songs weren’t written on an acoustic guitar, were they? How do your sings come together? How / when does that foggy, fuzzy sunshine sound appear?

Some of them were written on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, organ, it happens in different ways! Usually I have chords/ melody/ arrangement in mind and we fine tune it with the band. The foggy sunshine sound is just how we sound when we play, then accentuated by Wyatt’s magic fingers!

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

1. “I Love Twins” The Coors Light Band
2. “Temporary Secretary” – Paul McCartney
3. “Zombie Jamboree”- Rockapella
4. “Centerfield” – John Fogerty
5. “America” – Uncle Greg

These songs are all really important to me and if she didn’t like the mixtape she can go die.

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How will you promote O Shrek Yes?

Playing shows! Getting blogs to write about us! We still have no idea how to do either so please help us!

Buy here

SUNSHINE BLOOM – Power Pop is Dead

Sweet Sweet Music is blown away by Sunshine Bloom’s Power Pop is Dead ep. Do we hear Boston covering The Knack? We talked to this young band from Birmingham (UK) to find out what is happening.

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Listening to The Spark and I am wondering if I hear Boston covering The Knack. Will you take that as compliment?

We certainly will. For that song we wanted something edgier and a bit more angular like The Knack but with the same strong pop melodies that you would find in say a Boston song. We love both bands and used to cover The Knack occasionally in our live shows. This song works really well as a set opener and gets people up and dancing from the get go!

Or ELO covering an old Nick Lowe song. Or … is that what you with Progressive Power Pop?

I love that idea!!! Two great bands and massive influences on us. Rob (our guitarist) in particular is a big Nick Lowe fan. He’ll be pleased to hear that. I think it’s great that you can hear the eclectic mix of genres in our music. This was always our aim…we never set out to be a particular type of band, we just want to write good melodic music that we would like to hear. The progressive element is key too, we like to push a few boundaries!

The quality of the song, the quality of the sound. For me, it is hard to image this isn’t produced by a band that has been around for ages and/or has been in touch with world fame … where does this all come from?

We have played a lot of gigs which I think is key. You hone your craft at live shows and learn what works well and what works less well. The audience let you know there and then which songs work and which don’t. Being in touch with your fans is really important, they have to come along for the ride! Some of the songs on this EP have been a long time in the making, we wanted to ensure that we were super proud of what we released which we are. We took our time. Given also that we did the whole thing ourselves and didn’t spend any money on creating this EP, it’s great to hear that you think it sounds so professional. It has been a labour of love.

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She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

OK, so we have put this to a band vote, each member can pick one song and we can have 1 whole band choice.

We decided on the following:

  1. New Mistake by Jellyfish (James – Vocals / Bass)
  2. She’s Gone by Hall and Oates (Shaun – Keys / Guitars / Vocals)
  3. My song is Take Me Down To The Hospital by The Replacements (Rob – Guitars / Vocals)
  4. Gone is Gone by Gift (Jack – Drums)
  5. Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey by Wings (Everyone)

How will you promote Power Pop is Dead?

We launched the EP at the end of last year to a packed out show in Birmingham (UK) which was a huge success. We are now busy pulling together dates around the UK for the first half of this year including a slot at the prestigious IPO Liverpool at The Cavern Club. Hopefully this means that as many people as possible get to hear our music. The EP will be for sale at the shows and can be downloaded / streamed now from all the usual places. We are also working hard to get exposure in blogs like this where we can get our music out there to an audience who share the same passion we have for great Power Pop.

Is it ‘dead’ like Rock and Punk and Blues ?

Ha! I think the name of the EP was meant to be tongue in cheek, releasing the most Power Pop style EP under a title saying that Power Pop is Dead. For me it’s less of a question around a genre being dead as asking was it ever really alive. Things ebb and flow, one thing morphs into another and that’s gotta be a good thing right?

 

Listen on Spotify

 

 

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Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip

The B-Leaguers and Hooligan Crooners met up…over a pint or two … and decided to do a split mini album. It’s called Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip (release end of March 2017).

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Barry Phillips (Hooligan Crooners) and Jim Styring (B-Leaguers).


What can we expect?

Jim: ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ Good, honest punk rock and roll!

Barry: ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ pretty much builds on our first two EPs “Hell Yeah! It’s Hooligan Crooners” and “From Paradise To Halfway”. People said we’d found “our sound” with the second (From Paradise…) and I think this is more in the same vein…hopefully as good or better!

A split mini album, how did this came together?

Jim: We’re good friends with the guys from Hooligan Crooners and both bands share similar influences and sound. We knocked a few ideas around, but knew from early on that we’d like to do something together. A split mini LP was suggested, and we all agreed it was a great idea. ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ is the result, and we’re all very excited for people to hear it!

Barry:  It started as a social-media love-story…Internet dating! We run PWVA Records and were looking for other bands we could release on the label. The initial idea was that we would sign bands from mainland Europe but I heard Rock’n’Roller Tunes (via Facebook and YouTube) and was blown away. The guys from B-Leaguers sent me the first LP, we met up…over a pint or two and it was a done deal. We share the same philosophies and values.

Did you try to create a whole or do these songs just easily connect, without trying too much?

Jim: We wrote the songs separately, but there’s a natural connection there, as we listen to, and are influenced by, the same kind of bands. Big singalong choruses, with the punk rock DIY ethic.

Barry: It’s all organic and nobody is trying to force an issue or create a “concept” album. It just seems that the bands have similar influences and approaches both to song-writing and recording. Actually, it’s difficult to say how much is due to “influences”. Hooligan Crooners rarely “deliberately” write something in the vein of [x]. We just write things on an acoustic guitar and then we play them in the way we enjoy playing and would like to hear. That said, there are some very obvious nods in the direction of quite a few bands…that usually manifests itself in arrangements, particularly in the recording studio. And we have absolutely NO problem when a reviewer says “sounds like The Boys, Generation X, The Clash, Social Distortion etc etc”. That’s a huge compliment.

How will you promote the album?

Jim: We play a couple of shows with Hooligan Crooners in March/April, while the guys are over here in the UK. The official launch of ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ will be at the Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield, on Friday 31st March. The following night, Saturday 1st April, we both play the Punk & Disorderly Festival, Salisbury. And there’ll be a new song and video out from both bands very soon.

Barry:  A short tour (4 dates) of the UK at the end of March and beginning of April. A couple of those dates are with B-Leaguers (The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield for the official album launch on March 31st and Salisbury Punk & Disorderly Festival on April 1st) and we are really looking forward to those. Then we have some dates in France in early April. In September and October we will be playing in France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and perhaps even returning to the UK. We’ve been lucky and had quite a lot of radio play with the first two EPs so we’re hopeful that both bands will get our fair share with “Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip”.

Watch here and here