DOLLY SPARTENS – Time Sides With No One

Losing a band member can easily mean the end of a band. Not so for Dolly Spartans. They return with Time Sides With No One. Five Garage Pop gems. Michael Eliran tells about challanges and dedication.


You can feel the pain listening to It’s Not Easy. Difficult song to write?


“It’s Not Easy” was definitely a challenge, but the evolution of the song came pretty naturally. The process was definitely driven by emotion first and foremost. I came up with the beginning part in the middle of the night. I couldn’t sleep so I brought my guitar into the bathroom (not to use the bathroom but because the acoustics were different and it was an isolated space) and that’s where the first part of the song was written. In the weeks after that the song came together bit by bit. It took a lot because I had an idea where I wanted the song to go, so in that sense it was difficult, but it was a natural process.

Losing a band member can easily mean the end of a band?

It definitely can, and for a while we had no idea what we were going to do. Losing Chris was really hard, and for the following months we were basically inactive. All we could do was continue to work on the EP as a dedication to him. The momentum to keep going came from us wanting to honor him.

Garage Pop. That’s exactly what it is, isn’t it? And New York all over?

Yeah I guess you could say that. It’s not really my place to categorize my music, but it seems like that label’s stuck. New York’s not really one thing at this point; there’s so much going on that although there are definitely those kinds of bands here, it’s not the predominant sound by a long shot.

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

Success is entirely subjective. To me, this EP is “successful” as long as people get something out of the songs or can relate to them. Also, we’ve been donating our EP proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union so if our contributions help them in any way, that’s another form of “success” for us.

She will decide on a 5 song mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?



Oh man. I couldn’t possibly pick five… we’ll get back to you on that.

How will 2017 look like?



It’s gonna be a busy year. We’re playing a bunch of shows these coming months and touring, as well as working on videos, so stay tuned.
Watch And Listen

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CORIN ASHLEY – Broken Biscuits

Corin Ashley lost the ability to do the thing he is clearly meant to do. He fought his way back and he just released Broken Biscuits, a wonderful WONDERFUL collection of pop songs inspired by his recovery from a pretty major health crisis.

But there was much more to talk about. Find out about Delia Derbyshire, Graham Gouldman, XTC, Jellyfish, friends, playing with Jody Stephens, the wish to tour Japan and 60s or early 70s pastiche.

 Corin Ashley (courtesy photo)

 

If I wonder if 10CC was a big influence on you while making Broken Biscuits, would you take that as a compliment? Or were there others that inspired you?

I would definitely take that as a compliment, but I would saw that Grahm Gouldman is more of an influence specifically. There’s a song on my last album, “Marianne” that is an absolute celebration of Graham Gouldman’s writing.

I have a recording of him, Neil Finn and Roddy Frame doing a songwriting circle where they sing on each other’s songs and I have listened to that a million times.

The biggest influence on this album was that I had a pretty major health crisis halfway through making it. I had a stroke due to “a series of unfortunate events”, as they say. It completely wiped out the use of my left hand and paralyzed one of my vocal cords, and really messed up my ability to speak, let alone sing. I did about 9 months of therapy to get back to being able too really play and sing again.

It was a rare opportunity to reconsider music on every level after having played for 30 years. I had to go back to my building blocks as a musician, which are Wings, Badfinger, Supertramp- things I grew up listening to – and then, purely from a learning-to-play-the-bass again perspective, the Police.

That whole period of being a bit of a frazzled blank space mentally was a big re-set button on my music, too. When I couldn’t even really comprehend notes for a while there, the sound of the MRI machine sounded like music to me (which I actually took as a hopeful sign) and I got really into Terry Riley’s music for a while, and Brian Eno suddenly started to make more sense to me. Bowie’s “Black Star” album was the soundtrack to my whole hospital stay.

Now, as a matter of music that maybe influenced this album, I would mention the Eels, certainly Jellyfish, XTC (always)- but these are things that are more in terms of arrangement or production ideas. I’d be inclined to think “OK, I want to do a compressed Nashville tuning electric part like the Eels on this section”. Or, on the last song, the Dean Martin cover, with the strings and woodwinds arrangement, I added some strange bits like a pedal steel app on my iPad and a music box, and that track is labelled “Jon Brion nonsense”, so that’s where direct influences come into play.

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What about Broken Biscuits? It’s more than just a record title, like a theme?

Yes, it’s so funny how these little matters of happenstance can take on more profound meanings. I stumbled across this term “broken biscuits counter” in a rock bio of Ron Wood and just liked the sound of it. I tucked it away as lyrical idea and then I encountered it again in a collection of synth piece done by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the early 60s- the very early days of music synthesis.

This artist with the best name in all of music history: Delia Derbyshire- c’mon, you gotta love someone named Delia Derbyshire, right? The name alone conjures up sexy 60s intrigue.

So I wrote this first song on the album as kind of pastiche of 60s or early 70s spy caper with lots of travel. It doesn’t particularly mean anything, but it could also mean anything the listener imagines, right? So, then, when all this happened with my brain, I really felt just shattered inside.

With a stroke, your brain is still trying to fire off signals to burnt out synapses constantly, it just feels like there are burnt wires inside your head that are sparking and fusing constantly.

I came back to the idea of broken biscuits- do you have the saying “that’s the way the cookie crumbles” in the Netherlands? It kind of means “that’s just your bad luck” when something happens. Anyway, all of this was tied together in my head and then I told my friends Aaron and Liz, who are designers. They went to Liz’ photo studio and actually cut biscuits with an exacto knife to make the letters and did this album cover for me.

MInd you, I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to finish this album at all, but they gave it to me a surprise, as encouragement and motivation. They spent hours on their knees, cutting the biscuits up and making the cover, so I really felt like I owed it to them as friends to get better.

 

Magpie over Citadel. What a beautiful BEAUTIFUL song! And what a Prog Rock song title it is?

Thank you. That’s possibly my favorite on the album because it’s quite a simple song. That’s another example of how my friends lifted me up when I was down. Rob Anastasi, a songwriter I know, asked me to go to Memphis to play bass on a few of his songs.

Perhaps it would have been more practical for him to hire a bass player who hadn’t had a stroke, but he really gave me some confidence- honestly, once I found that Jody Stephens would be playing drums, I would have played bass on his sessions one way or another no matter what. But I was able to book the next day, after Rob’s session, and leave the drum mics up since we already had sounds.

I had this song kind of half written and it was still very fresh and exciting when I recorded it with Jody. I didn’t have a lot of pre-conceived ideas about what I wanted to do with it. I just told him “On this one, If you could just play like Jody Stephens from Big Star, it would be wonderful” and he did exactly that.

It felt like I had played with him before after listening to his drumming for so many years.

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When would you consider Broken Biscuits to be successful?

It doesn’t have much to do with money, I can tell you that.

The fact that you said you were driving around in the Netherlands singing one of my songs with your son is special to me.

These songs, you write them and then send them out into the world to make friends.

For it to be really successful, someone would put the album out in Japan and I would have a reasons to go play shows in Japan. That has always been a dream of mine. I don’t know, I suppose with this album in particular, I’d like to leave some breadcrumbs behind as encouragement for other musicians who might have an injury like mine in the future. Not just musicians, but anybody who loses their ability to do the thing they are clearly meant to do and has to fight their way back.

Buy Broken Biscuits here

DERRICK ANDERSON – A World Of My Own

A World Of My Own is getting great reviews. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Derrick Anderson about ‘his all star cast’ , the meaning of success, domestic bliss and Otis Redding.

Derrick-Anderson

A World of my Own had an all star (power) pop cast. How did this came together?

Shortly after my band The Andersons! (yeah, the exclamation point’s a part of the name) broke up in ’04, people began asking “when are you gonna make a record?” As the years went on, I would hear that more and more but since I no longer had a band, I had to consider how I’d go about making a record, once I finally decided to do it…years later.

By that time, I’d been playing with The Bangles for a few years and I’d subbed on bass with The Smithereens for several years as well. I’d also been playing with Steve Barton of Translator for years and through all of that, I’d amassed a lot of great, talented friends orbiting in my musical universe, including The Cowsills, having played with them as well. I’d played with Matthew Sweet through his connection with The Bangles and I knew Tommy Keene from my years in The Andersons!. So, it seemed the best way to go would be to choose folks I thought would be rightfully suited for each song and to see if whoever I had in mind would be up for it. Thankfully, they were all up for it and I think everyone involved had a blast doing this little project!  It literally took years to do it this way, but the end result was well worth it. Some of the songs had been around awhile, but never had a “proper birthing” until now. I just had to wait for the stars to align, as it were.

Was there a specific moment  you realized you were on to something special?

Once I heard what The Bangles laid down on “Something New” and heard Jim Babjak’s (Smithereens) tracks on “Waiting For You” I truly knew this was going to be an enchantingly great record!

And then …. you get all this great reviews. What about that?

My main goal with this record was to do something that I could be proud of. Just to please myself, and it was an all-around labor of love. The reviews have been fantastic and that’s just icing on the cake! I’m thrilled that people seem to enjoy it as much as I do.

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

The mere fact that it exists is a success. It doesn’t take much to make me happy!

She will decide on a 5 song mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

I’d almost have to disqualify myself from that one due to my 20 years of domestic bliss. It’s hard to put myself back in that headspace, but I’d say:

Pretty Word – Sergio Mendez & Brasil ’66
I Can’t Explain – The Who
Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
Let Me Be The One – Carpenters
Give Away None of My Love – Otis Redding

How will 2017 look like?
Busy and  prosperous!

GREG IERONIMO – Never Leaving California

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Greg Ieronimo about Never Leaving California, tripled vocals, guitars being the lead, Redondo Beach, success and Slayer.

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That ‘Weezer Wall of Sound’ suits your songs very well, does it?

Selfishly, this production style is my favorite: I love throwing on headphones and feeling completely enveloped by a rock song. My roots are mainly alternative/grunge but I also grew up on heavier stuff like Pantera and Slayer. There’s something about the wall of sound for Power Pop that I really like, because it accentuates the guitars being the lead role in the sound. Plus, I like my vocals better when they are doubled/tripled etc. And for my song style influences in general, you’re basically getting Beatles, Nirvana, and Pantera mixed into one – so wall of sound just feels right.

Never Leaving California. Why not?

You never know where tomorrow will take you, but if I have anything to say about it, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. My fiancé and I have lived together here for almost a decade together on the beach in Redondo, and it may sound a little dramatic, but I feel like a fish out of water anywhere else. I grew up in Connecticut, and that is where my closest friends and family are: that will always be “home” too. Another way to answer this question is… have you ever been to LA/Redondo Beach?? ‘Nuff said… ☺

You don’t release records every day. How did Never Leaving California came together?

If I had the resources, I would love to put out records every few months (every day might be a stretch since I hate most songs I finish). NLC was recorded and mixed over two years, Fall-2014 to mid-2016, with another 8 months delay I could not help, regarding licensing. The songs usually come together when I am inspired and bust out a hook/melody, then I’ll sit down and complete the piece. After my 2014 EP, Bipolar Love, I really wanted to hone in on my sound, and put out a record I could be 100% proud of: no corners cut, no regrets, and my only motive was to write and produce a record I could say defines my musical style. That meant going through a lot of different mixes, masters, etc (took a lot of time). But I am proud of the end result. My mom said she really likes it too. ☺

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

Good question. I guess I just want it to reach the people that will enjoy it. I always hope a song will get picked up for a TV show or film, but that’s a bonus to me for this album, and would be beyond “success”. I think I’m already happy with releasing it and getting some good feedback thus far. And again, my mom is very proud already, so I have that going for me.

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

If I have to use MY songs:

1) You Love Me
2) Lucky Day
3) Best Day of Our Life
4) Rewind
5) Act Two

How will 2017 look like?

A: In 2017 my goals are to market Never Leaving California as much as possible to radio and music supervisors, and also WRITE and RECORD as much as I can. I record with a musical dynamo, Kevin Fisher, who has his studio in San Pedro, so I hope to spend time there this year recording new songs. I am also privileged to have a brilliant graphic designer, Chris Nazzaro, to do my album art. I hope to work with him again this year, or early next year, for the next album. I want to put out another record (likely an EP) within 12-18 months. So if you like what you hear on Bipolar Love and Never Leaving California, get ready for more!

 

 

 

VISTA BLUE – WONDERBAND

 

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To celebrate MLB’s Opening Day Vista Blue will release Wonderband, on April 2nd.

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Mike Patton about the baseball theme, saber-metrics, Nashville, releasing 8 (EIGHT) EPs last year and, of course, the new record.

Listen to Designated Hitter ( a Sweet Sweet Music Blog EXCLUSIVE!)

New album, release April 2nd, what can we expect?

For Wonderband we went back to our baseball theme, which seems to be something of a “home base” for us. Aside from music, my two main hobbies are baseball and horror, so I could probably write songs about that stuff all day.

On this baseball album, we also went back to more of a Ramones-core kind of sound, so I think it’s a lot like our 2015 debut, Good Eye. And Mark just got a new Fender Jazz bass that he was excited to debut here.

Overall, it’s still just Vista Blue, with songs that tell stories about normal stuff, this time related to baseball.

Songwriting seems easy to you? What’s the secret?

Haha! I don’t know that it’s any “easier” for me, but there is this thing where I constantly have new ideas and melodies popping into my head. Most are not any good, but every now and then I like one enough to put it into my “idea pile.”

Using themes for my songs and releases has completely changed my approach. When we started Vista Blue, we decided every release would have a theme. And like I said, baseball and horror seem to be the easiest for me. So we’re starting 2017 with another baseball album to celebrate MLB’s Opening Day.

One thing I’ve been doing lately is listening to Nashville’s Hippie Radio 94.5 and just having fun taking titles of classic songs and adjusting them for my themes. So that’s how we ended up with songs on this album like “My Best Friend’s Glove” and “WAR (What Is It Good For?),” which takes a look at the use of saber-metrics. And there’s the Ramones-inspired “I Wanna Be Your Shortstop.” Stupid stuff like that.

So we ended up with about 20 baseball ideas this time and decided to go with nine tracks.

Will there be some live gigs to promote the record?

You know, I don’t think so. We were hoping to do the International Pop Overthrow again this spring, but it isn’t coming to Nashville this year. We’re looking into a couple of possible shows this summer, but we’ll see if that works out. I’ve been very picky about playing shows with Vista Blue. I see it as more of a project where we can make lots of fun music, as opposed to playing live as much as possible. We’ve all done that already. Nashville just isn’t a great place for a band like Vista Blue, so it takes something special to get me to play live now. I’d really like to hit New Orleans or even Cincinnati soon though.

The definition of ‘success’ has changed the last couple of years. When would the new record be a success to you?

Everything we do from this point forward is just a bonus for me. Having podcasts and radio shows play our music, and having blogs like yours pay attention to us… this is totally success! We just enjoy knowing that we’re reaching people and making new friends.

Of course, playing with Weezer or Nerf Herder would also be success… Gotta keep some dreams alive.

Where can we hear, buy, see the music?

As always, Wonderband will be completely free to stream or download through our bandcamp  site as a digital release. We really like having all of the songs available for free. This hasn’t been about money for us for a long time. We just want people to hear the songs.

There are no plans for a physical release right now, but those projects seem to come after the digital release these days. So we’ll see.

What’s up next for Vista Blue?

Well, we have some other ideas for releases this year. Last year we released EIGHT EPs, so we definitely had to slow down a little. But we have a number of themes we’re considering, including football, covers, and a set of children’s songs.

Something fun that is coming out soon is our debut 12-inch, from Something To Do Records. It compiles a lot of the music we recorded the last two years. The title is Seasons, and the two sides represent Summer and Fall.

We’re also hoping to do a really cool split 7-inch with The Zambonis for the 2018 Winter Olympics, where we both record songs about curling. For those who may not know, The Zambonis only write songs about hockey, and they were a major influence on us when we started Vista Blue. The Olympic split would be a blast, and we’re hoping to find a label who might be interested in releasing it.

 

V SPARKS – New Sensation


V Sparks’ New Sensation is a six song ep. High Energy Glam Power Pop! Addictive!

That high energy attitude/controlled madness (please take that as a compliment) does that come naturally to you?

Haha! I think what you mean by that is our songs can at times seem chaotic with a lot of layers for example in “Death Of A Star”. It comes naturally in the form of song because we have a case of A.D.D. and cause we enjoy walking the line between pop and abstract. That being said, its not like we go around all day breaking shit and jumping in front of trains.

New Sensation has that ‘here is a band at work-feel’ is that hard to achieve with all those modern recording technologies?

We go into the studio having a very clear idea of what we need to accomplish. The modern recording technology in our case actually helps us achieve that. The technology allows us to plan ahead and pre produce demos and know exactly what we want to do on the final recording. 

‘Sebastian you are a bastard’, you knew you had something when you wrote that line?

That was actually the first thing that I sang when I wrote it. In a weird coincidence our drummer is a grade school teacher and the day after I wrote it he received a letter from an angry parent. The parent told him that their child was being bullied by a child named Sebastian and he was calling him a bastard. So after that we decided to just stick with it cause it must’ve been fate. 

Watch Sebastian

Is it hard to makes the lyrics fit to those glam rock, power pop, indie rock tunes? Or is that a stupid question?

Not particularly. We generally write our music/melodies first and have gibberish lyrics to work it all out. Then we come up with a concept and fit the lyrics to it. 


What are your expectations for New Sensation? How will you promote it? How many people do you want to reach? Or am I talking only marketing bullshit now?

We put it out there to be heard by as many people as possible. The fact that someone such as yourself in the Netherlands has heard it and is interested is really encouraging. We’re gonna push the shit out of it and then back it up with another record were hoping to release in July.

THE LUNAR LAUGH – Mama’s Boy

And then there were three … . A lot has changed for THE LUNAR LAUGH the last couple of months; a new member (the third), a new Spanish record deal and 11 beautiful new songs. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Jared Lekites about the new record, Mama’s Boy.

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A lot has changed since the last record?

That’s true. We expanded the core lineup from a duo to a trio by bringing in Campbell Young on bass and vocals halfway through recording the album. Also Connor was only on some of the first album but with Mama’s Boy he’s on every track.

Connor and I also co-wrote about half of the songs on the album together instead of just me. So those factors contribute to the overall change, I’m sure. But also we didn’t want to attempt to recreate the sound of our first album anyway. We wanted to just make a new album and avoid any sort of formula.

A bit more harmony vocals and some extra westcoast, ‘softer melodies’, violins and trumpets?

We had more voices to work with this time around. The first album was a lot of me overdubbing vocal parts all over the place but this album has a bit more organic feel. We had some friends singing along with us on some tunes and with the three voices we were able to create some really nice and thickened vocal beds.

I love to arrange background vocals so it was great to have all these great voices mixed in with my own. It definitely contributed to that John Phillips/Brian Wilson/Bee Gees type background vocal parts that pop up in some of the songs.

Since I spent a significant portion of my childhood in Southern California, that west coast vibe always creeps in. It’s a certain mellowness that colors the music a bit. I really like the idea of working with the players out there, too. Adam Marsland played on a track on the last album and on the new album, Jim Laspesa and Derrick Anderson are the rhythm section on “She Gets Stoned”. It’s an honor to have guys with those kind of chops playing our music.

Same for the strings and horns. It blows my mind how a little song we came up with in my living room (The Bedroom Door) now had charts for trumpet and cello. I think we all got goosebumps when we heard the final mix.

A very comfortable, warm record (please take that as a compliment, let’s put it differently I liked evey song straight away). Was that something you were looking for?

We didn’t set out for it to be that way, though I’m happy you think so. I think our voices have a warm quality and that informs what we do in instrumental terms. Plus we had the opportunity to road test a lot of the songs by getting to play them in concert throughout the making of the album.

So I think that helped us become pretty comfortable with the music itself. But I was also really trying to get out of the comfort zone so that’s why songs like “A Better Fool” and “Living A Lie” are a bit of an about-face compared to the other songs.

 

 

And a Spanish record deal! That would not be possible 25 years ago. That’s the new music industry, isn’t it?

We were just as surprised as anyone. I remember we had a band meeting at Freebirds World Burrito and we were talking about the album and how we all wished we could get some kind of deal so that the album would reach more people.

We made a plan to release a really strong single and hoped that maybe something would happen locally with it. Well the single came out and within a few days, You Are The Cosmos was contacting us and asking if they could hear any rough mixes of the other new songs we were doing.

A fan of ours in Spain really liked the song and had passed it along to the label. I was so knocked out by it. It was right place, right time, and the right song. You hear the term “music industry” a lot but in my head it used to only apply to places like Nashville and LA that just keep churning out stuff like factories.

But then, I take a moment to think about it and realize “oh, I guess we are in the music industry now”. We are in the business of making records. Legitimate records too. We’re on a piece of vinyl! That’s a priceless feeling.

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Will you go on tour? Or any other plans for 2017?

Once summer rolls around, we hope to play a number of dates in the states. We don’t know if it’s just going to be us loading gear in a car and going it alone or if we are going to maybe plan on doing dates with another band. Naturally, we’ll do more in Oklahoma than anywhere.

We also got asked to contribute a song to a movie soundtrack which we did, but we have no idea if they will use it yet.

WYLDLIFE – Out on Your Block

WYLDLIFE recently released Out on Your Block.

In the words of http://www.jerseybeat.com ‘s Jim Testa:

They are young, loud, sweaty, snotty, irreverent, catchy, and clever. And maybe best of all, they’re almost the complete antithesis of the disengaged, Uber-ironic, overintellectualized, chillwave/chipcore/hipster scene currently dominating the lofts, basements, and alternative spaces of Bushwick. This is – proudly, unabashedly, unapologetically, and frequently shirtlessly – a rock ‘n’ roll band.

 

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Sweet Sweet Music talked to Dave Feldman about fuckboy bullshit, The Vapors, suck a T1000’s liquid metal dick, Little Steven and the French cult band Dogs.

And, of course, about that great great record they made.

 

Tonight, we are going to party like it’s 1978. How does a young band capture that sound?

We did our homework and really love those records and that era, and we’re frustrated with all of the mainstream fuckboy bullshit.

With all those modern day recording technologies a lot of bands do no sound like bands anymore. Doesn’t seem a problem for you?

Fuck robot rock, fuck auto tune. If you need a computer to help your band, go suck T1000’s liquid metal dick. Lucky for us, we work with people who don’t wanna change our sound. We sound like a real band because we are one.

Teenage Heart has it all. How did that one come together? Is it always like melody first, lyrics second?

I was listening to Vapors’ “New Clear Days” record A LOT at the time. I love that fucking record. I’m not talking about “Turning Japanese” I’m taking about the entire record. Anyway, I wanted to make a song with that type of new wave vibe, plus anything with “Teenage” in the title usually is a hit right? Everybody wants to be young, right?!

So anyway, I wrote the lyrics and had a melody in my mind that was almost exactly like “News at 10” or “Spring Collection” and Sam, brilliant sort, was like welllll lets do this instead. That’s how a lot of our songs come about. I will write the lyrics first with a melody in mind, I’ll kinda sing out to Sam since I don’t play any instruments and Sam will translate it to a WYLDLIFE song. Almost always it will turn out different and better than what I had originally. That’s Sam’s touch.

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How will you promote Out on Your Block?

I dunno, that’s really on Wicked Cool and Little Steven, isn’t it? We already got a couple tracks on the radio which is neat. We just gotta hit the road again. West Coast, Europe, your kid sister’s house, wherever. We’re trying to be smart about our shows, but let’s face it: we’re really dumb. We need as much help getting our shit together as far as playing out as possible. It’s a work in progress.

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?

That’s basically fucking impossible to pick! Let me see…

  • The Equals: “Diversion”
  • Stones version of “Mercy Mercy”
  • Dogs: “Maureen” , because that’s a fun song and almost everyone who listens to anything off of “Legendary Lovers” wants more.
  • BCR: “Rock & Roll Love Letter” and finish it off with
  • The Toms:  “Let’s Be Friends Again”

 

I would save Rubinoos “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” for the second mixtape because I don’t wanna come on too strong.

Alternate ending for this question: If this chick wants a mixtape after our first date she’s probably too needy and should take a fuckin’ hike.

If you could tour the world with two other bands, which ones would you chose?

I’d love to tour with our friends Dirty Fences because they’re our buddies but also they’re so fucking sick. But I’d also be really scared to play with them night after night because they’re so good on stage it’s intimidating! For the same reasons (minus the friend part) I would also say the Hives.

If it’s defunct or dead bands, I’d say Thin Lizzy or Bon Scott fronted AC/DC because, shit, why not shoot for the stars right? Get to see them every single night. That’d rule.

 

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?

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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!

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