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dimanche 30 novembre 2014

Album de la Semaine : Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Viet Cong
Viet Cong

Interview de Viet Cong, par Brightest Young Things

What’s the origin of the band’s name? 

Our drummer Mike [Wallace] came up with it.

Have you encountered any negative reactions – especially in the States – to calling yourselves Viet Cong?

We’ve got a bit of hate mail about it but nothing too crazy. We were kind of worried about having some vets working at the border, but it’s been all-fine in the States so far.

I’ve legitimately had four conversations in the past few weeks where people have been singing the band’s praises – a small sample size, obviously, but still. Have you noticed an increased enthusiasm about your music in recent months?

I dunno. There’ve been some more people at the shows on this tour than the last one, but we had no press or proper releases then, so that kind of makes sense.

What was last fall’s North American tour like? When your going across the country, without an album officially released, just getting your name out there, do you ever think, “What the fuck are we doing?”

Naw. It was pretty raw, but we’re all pretty pro at eating shit. I’ve done some good tours, and Matt and Mike have too, but it’s fun to just hobo-renegade and sleep outside on the side of the highway.

How would you describe your relationship with Chad VanGaalen? Have your experiences touring and recording with him had any effect on how you approach music, from a technical perspective or more generally?

I’ve been good friends with Chad for the past 6 years or so, and Matt’s been friends with him for a bit longer even. I think how it’s affected me is that no matter how bad a show goes now, there’s always been one that’s gone worse in front of more people.
Recording with him has been good, because he just kinda goes for it. When I was just starting to get serious about recording and production, he was good to see work because I realized you could just figure it out as you went along and not worry about it too much.

I spoke with Chad a few months ago, and he said that he had encouraged you to record by yourself.  Why did Viet Cong end up working with [Holy Fuck's] Graham Walsh? What sort of history – if any – did you have with him?
Graham is the partner of our good friend Julie, so that’s how we originally got hooked up with him a long time ago. We just wanted to do something a bit more hi-fi than what we’d done with the cassette, plus we wanted to go to a studio outside of Calgary to get some isolated focus. Anyway, he did a great job on the record!!!


How did you connect with Mexican Summer?
They just emailed us about doing a 7″ and it just snowballed into the reissue of the EP.

I read that a few of songs on Cassette were from the same sessions as the forthcoming full-length, but didn’t fit “the shape” of record. What’s “the shape” of the LP? A song like “Bunker Buster” – granted, in its rough mix form – feels slightly more expansive.
The songs on cassette were actually just all the songs that we didn’t want on the full length. It’s really kind of a b-sides thing more or less. Honestly, we just threw the cassette together the day before the last tour so we’d have some merch. I’m happy it’s getting a more proper release now, but it’s definitely a bit of a mixed bag.

Any concrete details you can share about the record?  Is it signed, sealed, and delivered?
It’s mixed and mastered, and the art is all done, but I can’t really say more then that right now. We have a label to put it out worldwide, and Flemish Eye will be doing it in Canada, but beyond that, you’ll just have to keep an eye out.

When can we expect to hear it?
The release date is gonna be in the fall sometime.

How would you describe the personality of Calgary musically?
Hmmm, there’s a bunch of good bands in Calgary right now. Lab Coast, Modern Aquatics, Un blonde, Teledrome and Fist City being some of my faves.

Do you think you’d ever leave?
I don’t know about moving somewhere else. We’ve talked about it, but I still like Calgary. It’s where I’ve always lived, plus all our families are there and all. We’ll see.

People have thrown a lot of comparisons at Viet Cong. Are there comparisons you’ve seen that make you scratch your head? Are there bands you’re directly inspired by or draw references from?
Whatever people are getting from it is fine, so nothing’s really made me scratch my head. I’m personally just trying to ape This Heat’s “Deceit”

Line Up :
  • Matt Flegel
  • Mike Wallace
  • Scott Munro
  • Daniel Christiansen

Label :
JagjaguwarFlemish Eye

Tracklist :
01 – Newspaper Spoons
02 – Pointless Experience
03 – March of Progress
04 – Bunker Buster
05 – Continental Shelf
06 – Silhouettes
07 – Death

dimanche 23 novembre 2014

Album de la Semaine : The Icarus Line - Avowed Slavery

The Icarus Line
Avowed Slavery

Interview de The Icarus Line, par L.A. Record

Amberlie Bankoff
Los Angeles hellions Icarus Line released their fifth studio album, Slave Vows, on July 22nd via Agitated. Joe Cardamone (frenetic frontman and owner of Valley Recording Co.) waxes about robbing banks, bloody steaks, and weeding out the pussies. The Icarus Line prepare to embark on an intense tour cycle beginning this weekend, October 13th, at The Fonda with Primal Scream. Check out their new record Slave Vows, which Pitchfork called “…feral and uncompromising…burdened, discordant blooze…every instrument is being physically wrestled and beaten into submission like rabid dogs…”Interview by Jacquelinne Cingolani
How’s Valley Recording going? ( note: Joe owns a studio in Burbank that has had many visitors ranging from Pink Mountaintops, Jay Mascis, and Annie Hardy and the Psychos (Annie Hardy from Giant Drag) Is it weird to balance the studio, touring, and making records?
Joe Cardamone: Yeah sometimes I feel like I’m robbing one or the other of attention. Sometimes it’s tough, sometimes it’s easy, but I never make money. I don’t know man, sometimes I think I should just burn this place to the fucking ground.
Haha, buyers remorse? Well, on a positive note, you released the new record Slave Vows through Agitated (UK label), are you guys getting ready to roam the European cities?
Well, it’s like nothing is gonna happen for me anywhere. Ya know? It’s like nothing is gonna happen if I just sit in London and well…you know try and make this thing happen. I’m not so career driven. It doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t really care half the time what happens. I live here. I don’t wanna go anywhere.  It’s like I’ll go over there, play a show and then go home.  If people buy our records and come to the shows that’d be awesome but if they don’t then I really don’t care, I’m still going to do this.
I think that’s the whole grand irony, it’s almost as if the more you don’t give a shit about it, the more it just keeps knocking. It works the direct opposite of other things which I find really funny.
Well, you have to do it for yourself ya know? If you’re not concerned with exciting yourself and reaching your own bar then you’re not doing anything. There’s just no rewards in pleasing other people when it comes to art.
Is that something that you learned? 
I’ve always been like that. I mean, I’ve learned it maybe in the few instances that I’ve compromised for money or for pleasing other people and the few times I’ve ever done it I was like, “Oh, this is pointless.” But, I’ve always been under the train of thought that I really wanna fuck with people and that’s why I do this. There is one main goal here and that is to freak people out and have a good time.
Speaking of the devil, you guys played at Taix the night before The Roxy recently. That was amazing. I was telling your girlfriend Charlotte how nervous I was seeing you hop from table to table and throw lit candles off the tables like some crazed loon. We both were worried you were going to fall! How was the Roxy?
Yeah that was weird. That part of town sucks as everyone knows but we got a lot of money to play there and we really need to buy a van.
Were you not feeling it? 
It was cool but a struggle. It’s like OH GOD! Everything on that part of town is a struggle. You have to overcome so much to be there…ya know? That’s just the nature of it. But, I’ve been doing this a long time and really all I want to do is be up there with those guys and enjoy the moment. Because at the end of the day if you can’t do that then you have nothing really.
But what if you aren’t feeling it? 
That’s the only thing I’m in the mood for. Even if I’m not in the mood ten seconds before we play, as soon as we start playing I’m in the mood. I always pretty much feel like this could be it, I could be dead or loose my hand, or whatever horrible thing could happen. I need to enjoy it ya know. It’s like I never know if I’m going to be able to play again.
So just live in the moment?
Yeah that is the rare instance where I am liberated from worrying about the future, worrying about money, worrying about the bullshit in life. When I’m up there I don’t even remember anything that happens when I’m up there. I’m not even there, it’s awesome, it’s better than any drugs.
So no poisoning yourself before you go on stage? I know you don’t drink and you quit using hard drugs so what do you do to prepare before you play a show?
I’ve never drank. It’s never been that good of a drug for me. It doesn’t have any positive benefits. I always liked street drugs that altered me in a productive way. Drinking alcohol doesn’t make me sing better and actually it makes everyone tone deaf.  You know the one thing I do to get ready when I can is eat steak.
I know! You’ve said that to me before! And super rare right?
Yeah, I always do that if I can. Something about red meat protein makes me feel like I have fuel inside. I can literally eat a steak, rob a bank, and get shot a hundred times and feel fucking great. That was the advice from the only vocal coach I have ever had. It was a coach paid for by a major label and it’s the only thing he taught me that I remember. I had a steak before the Taix show, that’s for sure.
I didn’t even know you guys were playing!
I didn’t even tell anyone.
I got a text from my old neighbor telling me my friend was playing and I had to come down. You guys blew his mind. It was cool to see someone so excited.
That’s the way it should be man. I still walk into places and hope I’m gonna see something like The Cramps.
Have you walked into anything recently that wowed you?
Swans at The Fonda blew my brains out! They were one of the best bands I have ever seen in my life. They played the same three notes on these giant chimes for twenty five minutes while they weeded out all the pussies in the room.  They pummeled people for about an hour and a half.  There is not a lot of stuff out there like that. It was so fucking loud when they were playing the chimes! It was like going through my fucking skull!
So then what is the problem? Solve it for me JC! Why aren’t there experiences like that happening all the time?
The problem is there are too many people in bands that have no business being in bands. It’s like if this is a hobby please keep it to yourself. They don’t need to smear their fecal, middle of the road garbage in our faces.  It’s like if you are going to be in a band you better be better than you think you are.
So is that the formula?
What the hell do I know? I’m not a huge success so, what do I know about anything except annihilate everybody.

Yeah, then what is success really? I think you had it in your opening statement. You have to do it for yourself first and foremost. That always rings the most truth.
I define success as an emotional thing more than anything you can quantize in numbers.” That’s why I love the studio (Valley Recording). It allows me to open people’s minds to new music or help a band explore other parts of their sound. It’s so rewarding. That’s what I don’t understand.  Why do people do this unless doing it is enough? The reward is being able to do this at all. Having the experience of moving people’s bodies with sound. It’s like that is the sacrament, that is the holiday.

Line up :
Joe Cardamone
Alvin DeGuzman
Ben Hallett
Lance Arnao
John Bennett
Kyle Spider

Label :

Tracklist :
01 – Leeches and Seeds
02 – Junkadelic
03 – Raise Yer Crown
04 – Salem Slims
05 – The Father The Priest

dimanche 9 novembre 2014

Album de la Semaine : The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi

The Raveonettes

Interview de The Raveonettes, par Roland Li de Interview Magazine

On the eve of their show at Webster Hall tonight, Interviewcaught up with Sune Rose Wagner to talk about the new album and look back on the last decade.

ROLAND LI: How does the new album compare to your old work? What were some things you were trying to change up?

SUNE ROSE WAGNER: It's just different sounding, I guess, a bit of different guitar sounds. We added the piano on some songs, which we haven't tried before. Mainly, we really just focus on good songwriting. We don't really care so much how it compares to other stuff.

LI: Were there certain themes that you focused on?

WAGNER: They're all love songs, which they usually are. They're usually more sad love songs. We have quite a happy song called "She Owns the Streets," which is about a New York street painter. But beside that, I'd say it's about unrequited love. It's about unfulfilled promises.

LI: I also read that you've had some back problems recently. Did that change the songwriting?

WAGNER: About a year ago, I had a herniated disc. I wound up in the hospital in New York for four days. After that, there was a lot of physical therapy, and I was bedridden for a long time. I was super sad and depressed. You feel young, and you can't even put on your own pants. It upset me a lot. I definitely think that affected a lot of the songwriting. Personally, this is by far the darkest that I've ever written.

LI: How does the writing process work between you and Sharin?

WAGNER: I do all the writing. And then we talk about the different songs and what we like about them and what we don't like about them. We try to see if we can come up with something we can agree on.

LI: Are there ever disagreements?

WAGNER: There always is, yeah. I'm more easygoing about certain things, about timing and stuff like that. Sharin always is like, "We don't have time to finish the album." I'm always like, "Don't worry about it, we'll make it."

LI: Who was the producer that you worked with?

WAGNER: His name is Richard Gottehrer. He's a legend. He started back in the 1960s writing for girl groups in the Brill Building. Even before that, he had written a song called "I'm on Fire" for Jerry Lee Lewis. In the '70s, he co-founded Sire Records and he did Blondie. Then in the '80s, he did the Go-Gos. We worked with him on a few albums. He's been our best friend for over 10 years now. I consider him my American dad.

LI: I know that your music gets labeled as retro a lot. How do you feel about that?

WAGNER: I don't really care about labels that much. I wouldn't really call it retro. There are influences of things from the past, which there is in everything. I think we're quite a modern band, actually. We don't record with old equipment. We use computers and programmed drums. We don't use any guitar amplifiers. We're very much a modern band in the sense that we love computers and what they can do to music. I guess we're just good at a different sound.

LI: Is translating that into a live setting a challenge?

WAGNER: No, not at all, because we also play with samples and computers live. We don't like the sound of a drum kit just mic'd up onstage. It sounds boring to us. We bring our own sound and the drummer triggers different sounds that we find interesting.

LI: You've said that cinema is a big influence in your music.

WAGNER: Yeah. I think both Sharin and I are more movie lovers than we are music lovers. We tend to find inspiration a lot more in cinematic things like photo and film. I think our music has a very cinematic quality to it. When you listen to the music, you see little movies in your head, and that's the beauty of it, I think. People can make up their own stories. They don't necessarily have to know exactly what each song is about. It's their way of interpreting of interpreting different feelings or emotions.

LI: Was there a specific film or genre that influenced your writing?

WAGNER: I think the Twin Peaks series is probably the biggest one. I think it's the perfect combination of new and old blended together. I think that TV series was pretty perfect.

LI: Anything you've been into recently?

WAGNER: I think the new Wes Anderson movie, Moonrise Kingdom, was really good. It's definitely my favorite movie in years. I just love his universe.  I thought the dialogue was very dead-on. It was very clever, and it was very cute.

LI: The band is now over 10 years old. Did you ever think it would be such a long project?

WAGNER: I think when you're in it, you don't really have time to think about it. I do question a band's longevity, because most of my favorite bands only made one or two good albums. After that, I didn't care about them anymore. Sometimes I wonder if people feel the same thing about us. The way I look at it is, if we can continue to inspire ourselves and write really beautiful music that we're proud of, I don't think there's any intention to stop. It's all about a good songs, that's something I learned from Richard Gottehrer.

LI: Any lessons from your career?

WAGNER: We started out with a lot of bands in the same generation as ours, and there are very few left. Mainly, I think people get into it for the wrong reasons. They either want fame or the girls. I think music has to be a fun experience, but it also needs to be in your blood. I firmly believe I was born to write beautiful music, and that's what I do, and that's why I don't do anything else, because I have no interest and no passion for it.

LI: How did you first get into music?

WAGNER: I got a drum kit when I was five years old. When I was 12, I wanted to be a songwriter because I heard Bob Dylan for the first time. I didn't know anything about music. We didn't have any music at home. I come from a very small town near the German border in Denmark, so I had to travel five hours if I wanted to buy an album. So I had to read about it and I borrowed a lot of albums from the library.

LI: Is rock music as exciting as it once was? It seems that hip-hop and electronic music have taken over in popularity.

WAGNER: I'm lacking a little bit of excitement. The key moments in your life are when you realize how exciting music can be, like when you hear Nevermind for the first time. I grew up in the '70s and '80s. I was introduced to hip-hop when it first came out. Hip-hop music will always be my first love. That's why I love playing the drums. Any day of the week, I would rather listen to a hip-hop album than a rock album.

LI: That's really interesting, because people always compare you to bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain.

WAGNER: I really love hip-hop music, and I really love doo wop groups and girl groups. I'm more into what I grew up with. Those were exciting days, you'd take the train to Copenhagen and you'd buy the new Beastie Boys or the new Curtis Blow or Run-DMC. You held onto that record on the train back home, and you couldn't wait.

LI: Have you tried rapping at all?

WAGNER: I never tried,because I know I can't do it. Right now, I'm working on a project called The Sound of New York. I want to do a really grimy, hip-hop kind of thing and have a doo-wop group sing on the entire album, and then bring in all the noise and craziness from the days of CBGB. It's taking all the stuff that came out of NY and mashing all together. I made some preliminary beats. It sounds very promising. I change my mind a lot and have a short attention span, so we'll see what happens. I've lived in New York for 10 years, and I'm moving to Los Angeles in November. It's a huge change for me. I think I got nostalgic about it and I wanted to commemorate my time here. It's my little present to New York.

LI: What made you decide to move?

WAGNER: I'm just the kind of person who needs a change every once in a while. I'm not comfortable staying in the same spot for too long. Even 10 years, for me, is a very long time. I usually don't stay longer than a few years in a place. Sharin also lives there. But I will move back to New York at some point

Line Up :
Sune Rose Wagner
Sharin Foo

Label :
Beat Dies Records

Tracklist :
01 – Endless Sleeper
02 – Sisters
03 – Killer in the Streets
04 – Wake Me Up
05 – Z-Boys
06 – A Hell Below
07 – The Rains of May
08 – Kill!
09 – When Night Is Almost Done
10 – Summer Ends

dimanche 2 novembre 2014

Album de la Semaine : The Wytches - Annabel Dream Reader

The Wytches
Annabel Dream Reader

Interview de The Wytches, par Gold Music Magazine


Like a Pendulum - An Interview with The Wytches

The sky is clear and the air is calm. Grey clouds are floating across the sky. The bunker on the Heiligengeistfeld in Hamburg is majestically huge. My thoughts are running in circles. Everything seems to be everlasting. This building has outlasted decades of history, of war and peace and music. In the midst of my thoughts about this intangible eternity, there are these stairs made of grey stone which lead into the Uebel & Gefährlich, the infamous club high above the city. In this evening The Wytches are going to gig here. As the support band of Blood Red Shoes. I have the chance to interview singer Kristian Bell and drummer Gianni Honey of The Wytches.
They sit in the backstage area on black leather sofas around a small round table. White light illuminates the scenery. Together we go downstairs. We sit down in the grey staircase. The Wytches paint pictures with words into the silence around. We talk about beauty, creativity, inspirations, secret childhood dreams and the release of their forthcoming début album Annabel Dream Reader. The conversation suits to their music which is unique in its very own way. When I look around during the concert I realise that their music can cause quite different associations but the same reactions. The crowd is spellbound by dark guitar riffs, energetic bass lines, a captivating drum rhythm and these wise lyrics which create this particular mood. Their surf doom’s irresistible psychedelic grunge sound is wicked. Burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.
The Wytches tell stories about gravedwellers and crying clowns in their songs. Already the song titles wake up the imagination. The red stage floodlight illumines the dark club. Everything fits into this mysterious context. The Wytches’ appearance is intensive like the pictures Kristian and Gianni have painted. A hurricane, a blazing inferno. And in the middle there’s a band in the circus of life which is not as dark as it seems. Curtain up for The Wytches!
Hi, would you introduce yourselves?
Kristian: Hi, I’m Kristian and this is Gianni. Dan isn’t here, but we’re The Wytches.
Would you tell me a brief history of your band?
Gianni: We started in Peterborough about two and a half years ago and then we moved to Brighton from Peterborough. Then we met Dan in Brighton and then we just started gigging in December 2011.
Your music as a picture.
What’s the story behind the band’s name and what’s the significance behind it?
Kristian: I just liked how simple it was. It was quite obvious that there would be a million bands called The Witches, so I thought it would be quite funny. I guess the significance behind it is that we didn’t think that we had any significance because it is a high used name, you know. We just liked that it is so common.
Have you watched the film Control about Ian Curtis by Anton Corbijn? I’d like to go for the Annik Honoré question. What is the most beautiful you have ever seen?
Gianni: Fuck… that’s a question!
Kristian: Yes, that’s a very  big one.
Gianni: Fuck… give us a minute. That’s a question. We really have to think about it(laughs). There are a couple of things that brought me to tears. I can’t think of any. Wow, what a question.
Kristian: I couldn’t think of anything specifically (laughs).
Gianni: Probably when the plane landed when we got to SXSW Festival. I’m so scared of flying, so relieved. Yeah, that’s what I can think about now; I probably will have a better answer later. I really have to think about it, I’ll let you know! But you, Kris, I know, you’ve got something, but you don’t want to tell it!
Kristian: No, I can’t think of anything specific to say, but it’s a really good question though. I’d be too general.
Ok, then this question first. How do you get into your creative zone?
Christian: I write a lot alone, I just need to be alone normally, but if we’re writing all together we just need to be all a bit angry or pissed off. We also play better, when we’re pissed off, I guess. Like a lack of comfort or something, not feeling all great about ourselves. Usually when I’m not very well.
Gianni: Try not to force yourself into something, that’s the main thing.
Kristian: Yeah, that’s it.
Some of your lyrics sound like they’re taken from your favourite worst nightmares, what are your non-musical influences?
Kristian: Non-musical influences… What are yours, Gianni?
Gianni: Reading and my friends, the people around me, my uncle, my brother, my little brother. Yeah, lots of things. Football. That doesn’t really influence me but yeah, I just like it (laughs). Poker!
Kristian: I have an uncle who just generally influences me and inspires me. He’s into everything really, plays every instrument, so I guess, that comes on our music. He’s like an antique salesman. He lives in a little cottage. His house is full of the coolest things and I think he just generally inspires me. And then reading and stuff like that. Yeah and skateboarding.
Well, I skate too. On a pink skateboard.
Kristian: Oh, cool.
Gianni: Kristian fucked his arm up so badly from skateboarding.
Kristian: Yeah, I broke it three times.
Oh no, three times?
Christian: Yeah, I have this big scar here (shows scar on his arm). I had a metal plate in it.
Gianni: The third time he did it, they said, if he do it again they might cut off his arm, haven’t they?
Kristian: No, the third time I broke it, I didn’t tell anyone about it, because I was too scared that they would like amputee it, so I didn’t tell anyone.
Gianni: He ignored his plates.
That’s too bad. As a distraction, here’s the next question: Can you name three albums that you think are essential inspirations of The Wytches sound and spirit and why?
Kristian: I mean, definitely the Arctic Monkeys’ Humbug. When I first listened to that album I wasn’t that big on the Arctic Monkeys but after listening to that album I thought it was genius, it really moved me. Just the sound, the guitar sounds, the overall feel of it. That’s definitely a big one. What about you, Gianni?
Gianni: Well, for The Wytches. I don’t know. We’ve got really varied music tastes.
Kristian: Yeah, we don’t really listen to the same things.
Gianni: Like totally! Kristian’s really into Conor Oberst and I’m not really into it. I listen to Ghost Feet, like chill music for the van. For us, I guess, it’s quite a lot of hardcore.
Christian: Yeah, that’s right. And Abbey Road is a big one for me as well. This thing is very creative. The end is just like a big montage, like the second side of it. And then… was it three albums?
Three albums, yes.
Kristian: Three albums…
Gianni: Let’s go for a hardcore one. AFI? The All Hallows EP.
Kristian: All Hallows EP is sick.
Gianni: Yeah, we listen to that a lot. Fall Children is a very good song.
Kristian: I think if we’re talking about hardcore albums, there’s a band called Blacklisted, if you heard of them. They’re a big hardcore band and they have an album called Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God and it’s just like the biggest hardcore album ever.
Ok, well, you two grew up in Peterborough. How do you think, growing up in a small town has affected the way you write?
Kristian: When we were first got into it, it was a very cultureless city. There wasn’t much culture about it. I guess, in fact, that we didn’t know what was cool in music at the moment and what was popular in music, it just allowed us to get on with our thing. It’s all about isolation, I guess.
Gianni: Yeah, the city really made me want to get fucking out of it.
Your music is surrounded by dark symbolism and even the song titles reveal an entrance into a darker and deeper world of meaning. I think what makes your music differ a lot from other modern music is that you use the power of imagination to create pictures and images with sounds. Do you think it’s important for a band to create a particular image?
Kristian: I think, musically yes. I don’t think it is important to physically have an image as people. I don’t think it’s important to dress the same. But I do think, projecting an image in the music is what we want to do. It’s just another thing which gets people excited about music. What they see, what they interpret by themselves.
What type of atmosphere do you want to create with your music?
Kristian: It’s changed now. I used to just wanted to be like this big dark thing. But these days I just want to play music and that people just like the songs rather than what’s going on. Yeah, and I really like the darkness in our music, it’s all very funny. It supposed to be funny. I don’t know if we’ve achieved that, being like a laugh, but you know, that they can see, that we’re a bit over the top sometimes. That’s funny to us.
I think this perception is kind of unique nowadays.
Kristian: Yeah, I guess so. We don’t really know anyone else who does it.
Gianni: Probably The Horrors’ first album.
What were your dreams when you were children?
Kristian: I don’t know. I didn’t really have any (laughs).
Gianni: (laughs) I wanted to be a dancer. I always liked dancing but I never had the balls to say. Honestly!
Kristian: I think I just wanted to be a drummer in a band, because I play drums and that’s what I wanted to do really. And then I had this dream of stacking shelves in Tesco. When I was young, I thought it seemed so cool, because they were driving around on their forklifts. They look so sick, I wanted to do that. Or to be a space explorer.
Gianni: I wanted to be an UFOlogist when I got to like ten or eleven. I like UFOs, flying saucers. I wanted to study that. And then I realised that it’s just a fake really.
I hope all your dreams will come true one day. Next question: which one of your songs does affect you the most?Gianni: Playing wise probably Gravedweller. I really like the bass line. It feels like you’re in a Ghostbusters movie.
Kristian: I don’t know. They’re all so old to me now. I don’t really get affected by any of them. Well, none of the ones we play live anyway. There are a few on the album which I like. There’s one called Summer Again on our album. 

I’m very curious about the answer of my next question. Who does the amazing artwork for your EPs and tour posters?
Kristian: Our Friend Sam Gull. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s a very talented guy. And an interesting thing about him is that he never uses black in his work. He never ever uses black. Even if he sees something which looks black, it would be a dark blue or a dark green or something.

That’s pretty deep.
Gianni: Why doesn’t he use black, man?
Kristian: He prefers not to. I think it’s quite interesting. The thing is that his work is like an interpretation of our work, rather than just something that would suit it, like factually an interpretation. It’s just like a take on psychedelic compilations where there was so much going on on one sleeve. We don’t really like the thought of having a picture of yourself on an album.
Gianni: We’ve never been that good on photos.
Kristian: Yeah, we don’t think that highly about ourselves in that way (both laugh). Dan could be on the cover of one of our EPs. Yeah, but Sam Gull, he’s got a blog and everything.
Gianni: If you look closely, he’s in the Robe For Juda video. He’s the witch! The one with the green hair.

I’ll look closely next time. I think he does some of the greatest artwork I’ve ever seen. If you could choose any decade to grow up in, which one would you choose? Or are you fine with the present?
Kristian: No (laughs). I mean it’s such an obvious one but it would just be the 60s. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that. Most of the music I listen to is from the 60s or inspired by the 60s. I mean, I don’t really know what went down then but some of my friends’ parents say that it was the best time of their lives. Some people could definitely say that it was the worst time of their lives but I don’t know. What about you, Gianni?
Gianni: I just realise all the time how fucking painfully British I am (laughs). So probably like the 40s to see the war end, to see this optimism, like values start to change. Yes, 40s or 50s maybe.

What does 2014 look like for you?
Kristian: Well, we are releasing our album this year, so I guess a lot of touring and things like that.
Gianni: And festivals.

What festivals for instance?
Kristian: Probably the big ones. Not just in England, but we’re not really sure yet. I think, we’re doing Glastonbury.
Gianni: And we’re doing Bestival on the Isle of Wight which I’ve heard good things about. And we’re going to America in July with our friends METZ and Cloud Nothings, that’d be pretty sick.

How was SXSW by the way?
Kristian: It was fun, it seemed a bit too much at times.
Gianni: We lost our minds on a few occasions.
Kristian: Yeah, I’m not really into that like going out all day every day.
Gianni: See, that happened! (shows a tattoo of a pint glass of beer on his arm) So you can imagine what happened there. As we said, it was good, but it was fucking intense. Especially for Kris, because he had all the band shows and then he had all the acoustic shows, press stuff.
Kristian: Yeah, it was a great experience because me or Gianni hadn’t ever been to America before, so it was very fun to go there because everything there is so surreal for an English person. The sky looks bigger in America.
Gianni: When you fly in you’re just like “Is this fucking for real? This is huge!”. 
Kristian: I guess the best thing you can do is like have fun and make sure that you have fun. Because it is a festival where the majority of people watching you are industry members who are thinking about other things than just having a great time watching a band. But it was quite fun. Fat White Family, you know them?

Yeah, they’re cool.
Kristian: They killed it, that show was so good.
Gianni: And they’re really funny as well.
Kristian: Yeah, they’re very nice people. They absolutely smashed it. It was mad.
Gianni: You know, there wasn’t that many English bands over there, I expected there to be a lot more. You should really go there and see! It’s fucking surreal, I don’t think I have the energy to do it again. Even the water tastes like it got sugar in it. But it was cool. We appreciate it.

On April 19th is Record Store Day. Have you got plans to buy any records?
Kristian: I know that Conor Oberst is doing something on Record Store Day. I’ll probably buy that one. Definitely. We won’t be here though on Record Store Day. Is it just one day?

Yeah, just April 19th, I think.
Gianni: We will be in Belgium or Amsterdam this day. We haven’t really had a place to live since last year, so I don’t even own a fucking record player. When I get something to live, I will get a record player. It’s the first thing on my list, to buy some records.
Kristian: We don’t have any big possessions anymore.
Gianni: We just live of duffle bags. When I moved out of my house, all I had was just a duffle bag and my drum kit and some books. I’ve got a box, one box, a drum box with some books and small clothes in, some letters and shit likThat’s it.

Talking about books, what are your favourite ones?
Kristian: I’m reading The Big Nothing, the Elliott Smith book at the moment. That’s really good, that’s really, really good. It’s a bit depressing but very insightful. I was readingBeautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen as well, but that was very hard to follow. And I don’t think I’m clever enough to follow that kind of book (both laugh).

I have to admit that I didn’t even know that Leonard Cohen has written books.
Kristian: Oh, Leonard Cohen was an author before he was a musician. A big novelist.
Gianni: I read a lot by George Orwell. I like Dystopian novels and as well the Beat Generation stuff, like Bukowsky. Bukowsky’s probably my favourite. And probably George Orwell is also one of my favourites.
Kristian: We had a big conversation about Allen Ginsberg lately.
Gianni: We went back to the hotel and we couldn’t be silent.
Kristian: We were having this big debate…
Gianni: …dancing around in our underwear. And you were playing guitar in the hotel room! (both laugh) It was in Poland, I think. Poland’s very cool. Oh wait, I want to go back to the question from the beginning! Really strange things make me feel sad. Like people missing their train, running to it, but missing it. Shit like that. That moves me quite well.
Kristian: You cry when someone’s missing their train?
Gianni: I do! (Kristian laughs) I do and I don’t know why, I just do.

You said, you’re releasing an album this year.
Kristian: In August. It was going to be a lot sooner.

Has it got a title already?
Kristian: Yeah, it has got a title and it’s called Annabel Dream Reader and it’s out on August 15th. Is it August 15th? I just wanted to be really precise there. I don’t know when it’s out exactly and why it’s called that either. And I don’t know why we did it (laughs), we just did. Now I just feel very weird about our album, because we’ve been dangling a bit for ages now. You know, we had so much time to think about it, because it’s been recorded since October. It all must be a year by time it’s actually out, which is sad. All my confidence in it kind of disappeared.
Gianni: I haven’t listened to it fully yet.
Kristian: No, same. It’s just weird because I’m writing a lot more now, getting into new things. So now we’re still sitting on this album and the kind of new approach is a lot different.

I’m sure it will be smashing.
Kristian: Yeah, I’m sure.

My last question: What does nobody know about The Wytches until now?
Kristian: That’s it’s not as dark as it seems. I think people probably think that we love how dark it all is but it’s not as dark as it seems. It is a bit fun.

Line Up :
Kristian Bell
Gianni Honey
Daniel Rumsey

Label :
Partisan Records

Tracklist :
01 – Digsaw
02 – Wide at Midnight
03 – Gravedweller
04 – Fragile Male
05 – Burn Out The Bruise
06 – Wire Frame Mattress
07 – Beehive Queen
08 – Weights and Ties
09 – Part Time Model
10 – Summer Again
11 – Robe For Juda
12 – Crying Clown
13 – Track 13