Fused Magazine 36
In this issue Peter Doherty, Datarock, Pete Fowler, RTX, Patrick Wolf, David Shrigley, Dita Von Teese, The Juan Mclean, Little Boots, Gallows, Tiga and lots more.
FUSED MAGAZINE MUSIC, FUNCTION, FASHION LIFESTYLE, DESIGN, ART, CULTURE ISSUE HTTP://WWW.FUSEDMAGAZINE.COM HTTP://WWW.FUSEDMAGAZINE.COM/STORE 36 04 Peter Doherty 06 Army Of Trolls 07 Datarock 08 Red Light Company 18 Voluntary Butler Scheme 20 Dita Von Teese 30 Hercules & Love Affair 42 Pete Fowler 44 RTX 58 The Walkmen 59 Ladytron 60 Little Boots 80 Tilly & the Wall 81 Patrick Wolf 82 David Shrigley 84 The Juan Maclean 86 Tiga 106 Gallows 108 Mss Oddkidd Editor-in-chief: David O'Coy email@example.com Sales and Marketing: Kerry Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org Front Cover By Pete Fowler www.fusedmagazine.com www.myspace.com/fusedmagazine Fused Magazine, 315 The GreenHouse, Gibb Square, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA tel: 0121 246 1946 email@example.com DISCLAIMER Reproduction of all editorial/images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission. Fused cannot be held responsible for breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily the publishers. All unsolicited material submitted should be accompanied by a S.A.E. � fused 2009. 03 PEtEr DohErty PETE DOHERTY MUST BE SWEATING. AND NOT FROM A COMEDOWN. He faces two daunting milestones this month. The tainted dreamer has just turned and has just releasied his first solo album. This would arouse a dampness on the brow of most, let alone the modern day Peter Pan that is Doherty. His childlike wavering of responsibility and determination to bury his head in sands of romanticism (and smack) has left us frustrated over the years. Something intrinsic to our souls hates perceived talent (no matter how elusive it may be) going to waste. Stephen Street is like us. Except his determination to nurture musical flair has earned him squillions of pounds, the canny little bugger. Having worked with The Smiths, Blur, and The Kaiser Chiefs after sensing a project that could be hugely successful with a little tweaking, it is not surprising that Pete was next on his `To do' list. In his own words to the NME after producing Babyshambles `Shotter's Nation', "I want to prove to those people that he can make a decent record...still there underneath it all is a very sharp, wellread, artistic person that has let his less clever addictions get in the way". We heard from the two on their new release, `Grace/Wasteland'. Pete was far perkier and more engaging than expected. Although still conversing in his typically delicate and rambling manner, like a carefree bird hopping from one brambly hedge of a subject to the next, he managed to maintain cohesion in describing his new material - probably because his music appears to follow the same drifting pattern. When asked why he has decided now to release a solo album, he commented that it felt like the right time: "You got a messy desk; you need to put things in order... this untidy pile of strong ideas and things that got left out along the way". He referred to the fact that some personal musings never seemed to reach fruition in the previous bands, but now felt right to bring those brainchildren to a close. It can't have hurt to have producer Stephen Street rooting for him, especially as the last time they had met, Stephen had not so gently put it: "You've got to sort yourself out here, because if you don't, I can't work with you". Perhaps in an effort to quash any suggestion of hostility in the workplace, Pete mentioned that it went a lot smoother than during `Shotter's' in 2007. He humbly admits, "I was a lot more with it... er... and I wasn't with it last time... yeh, there wasn't too much cause for alarm... like last time". In return Stephen had only praise for Pete, although he did jovially add that from his previous experience he was "warmed up, as it were, to working with Pete in the studio". Talking frankly and uncomplicatedly, he told us he had a lot of respect for Doherty as an artist, despite the often negative paraphernalia surrounding him. "I was very, very confident that he had the ability, if he was focused, to make a great solo record". Which no doubt would reflect well on Street's own honing skills to boot. Stephen insisted on bringing in fresh talent to bring a new perspective and direction to Pete's own musical palette, calling in close friend Graham Coxon to "help, nurture, and put a slightly different angle on things". It wouldn't be the first time � Coxon was also dragged into the studio to rev his moped for a sound effect on Kaiser Chiefs `Employment', that's one for you trivia enthusiasts! "Graham was a big fan of Peter's. I took round the very basic demos that Pete had given me, to Graham, sat there with him, played the songs, told him the ideas I had in mind for it, left him with it over the weekend and he phoned me back on the Monday and said yeh, he'd be up for it". "The way we started the album was very low key, it was basically Graham on acoustic, Pete with an acoustic, sitting on either side of the screen... straight away I think Pete felt quite inspired by the fact someone as good as Graham had said yes in the first place... secondly I think he loved the way it was sounding, playing off of one another... In the same way Pete used to play guitar off of Carl". The songs are very poetic and dreamlike, with a running theme of Albion and Pete's romanticised beholding of English heritage; there is a fondness of modern day society interwoven with nostalgia for the literary England during which Doherty never lived, but you get the feeling he idealistically misses. The romanticism extends to his tenderly discussing loves lost and a girl who knows her "Kappas from her Reeboks" and her "Winstons from her Enochs", which sounds like a reference to Croydon born Kate Moss. Incidentally, Peter was overheard talking about Moss outside a London club earlier this year: "I miss her so much. I don't even read the papers because of her. I can't look at her". Sob. When asked how he felt about his new material, Pete's conversational structure slightly deteriorated into more of an insight into his own mind. It was quite unsettling how much I understood what he was getting at, babbling on about "all the boys together and all the girls together, skipping and dancing, kind of a ska feel", but when you hear the album... it makes sense. He talks about "jabs... which I always liked", purely jabs of sound of course. Doherty goes on a reminiscent flight of fancy, informing us, out of the blue, of his "Uncle Albert, he's not gay". Right, good to know, in case we were ever to come across aforementioned Albert and jump to the wrong conclusion and embarrass ourselves terribly. He tells us a story of wearing his Liverpudlian Uncle Albert's eccentric trousers at age 15, which he thought had magical powers. Found in the bottom of his Nan's wardrobe, he donned said trousers ("I thought I was the bollocks in them trousers") and went into a kebab shop demanding a kebab, and was then chased out by the shop owner with a skewer, "But the trousers didn't give in"... The fact that this is apparently the basis for one of his songs gave a sense of relief; the man was not going mad. It's quite an endearing story really. "I don't know how Stephen did that with my vocals actually, getting them sounding so good"; a comment that gives an idea of Doherty's own struggles to see himself as a valid artist, particularly when it seems he would so love to be up there with the literary greats of the past. The mentor/childlike relationship becomes apparent again when Pete tells us how it surprisingly took less time than he expected to record. "He'd say, "Right just one more and then you can go". And I'd be feeling it and just be getting warmed up and he'd say "Right that's it; I've got enough to play with. Off you go."" "It's very much what an album should be, a collection of songs that represent a certain period of time". Pete seemed proud of the album, and its relevance to that period: honest, straightforward and open. It was produced with the help of Babyshambles bandmates, and other selected compadres including Scottish singer Dot Allison and poet Peter Wolfe, or Wolfman, with a close knit, friendly ambience. "It sounds really daft but these people are my friends... and for this record to be made... it's really been my year". We recommend you give the album a listen. The diverse musical influences featuring give it a real twist of originality and confidence but maintain that naivety and folksy simplicity that we associate with our old mate Pete. "I've led a sheltered life, and I think this record reflects that". Woeds: Amelia Phillips Illustration: Kelly Thompson 04 05 06 DAtArock YEAH YEAH YEAH'S HAVE HAD HUGE SUCCESS WITH THEIR LATEST ELECTRO EXPERIMENT, WHITE LIES ARE OMINOUSLY HARKING BACK TO THE POST-PUNK ERA, FUSING ELEMENTS OF JOY DIVISION AND DURAN DURAN, La Roux is being touted as the new Annie Lennox, all this while actual relics of the bygone era themselves keep surfacing, most notably with The Specials and Spandau Ballet reforming. The Eighties are undeniably en vogue so where better to be than in a red hoodie dancing away at a Datarock gig? Formed in Bergen, Norway, Datarock have been taking inspiration from the late seventies and early eighties since their debut in 2005, a home studio project created on virtually no budget which sparked a five hundred gig tour in over thirty countries. Despite being heavily influenced by the synth pop era the group cannot deny that it's advancements in technology over the last couple of decades that mean they have any kind of a career at all. "We wouldn't have had a chance in the eighties" explains Frederick, one half of the dynamic Datarock duo. "We have over two and a half million fans from all over the world on myspace and we have sold virtually no records. On the last tour we played to six thousand people in Buenos Aires despite not even having a record out at the time. Record sales are in decline on average by 20% but that's not taking into account the fact that people over thirty haven't died recently. A record buying audience doesn't exist in the younger demographic so it's going to be hard in future to produce records on a big budget" With the group embarking on a new tour later this month the modern audience The new album Red, set for release in early June, was the first the group were actually given a budget to record with. "It's Ironic really because we built a career out of file sharing and then were given a sizeable budget to produce the second album with". Despite the Eighties revival Datarock are sceptical about whether the collective sense of a music `scene' will ever be the same since the invention of the internet; "The only real scene we have ever been involved in was the new rave scene which was a total invention of the NME. There were a lot of negatives about that new rave tour but putting those to one side you had bands from Brazil, Austria and France all performing together, it was so beneficial to be Simon Butcher are bound to fall in love with the eighties all over again. "Our live show is very energetic and we use a rotating line-up so most people who claim to have seen Datarock twice probably have not because we must have used about forty people by now. We wear red hoodies onstage and shades so people are never quite sure who is who up there, that's how we get away with it". To be sure to catch the entourage you can catch them in the UK from the 18th of May. The new record is as tongue in cheek as the last, while also retaining the intricate delicacy of its predecessor. "We wanted to make it as accessible as the last one so that you can go to a live show, get drunk and dance, but also we wanted there to be messages and obscure references for people to pick up on if they want to sit down with the headphones and analyse the material". Fear of Death, when first played sounds incredibly happy and upbeat while covering a morbid subject using lines alluding to Don Delillo's profound novel White Noise; "It's a book which was produced in the early eighties while eternally being perceived as modern because of its subject matter. The message I took from the book was incredibly positive, the fear of death inspires me to live for the moment. We decided to infuse Delillo's message into the song and keep the positive outlook". The Blog opens the upcoming album with canned cheering interspersed with intellectual jargon exploring the development of the internet, "we wanted to seriously discuss the advancements in technology but in an extremely Datarock way, updating the eighties for a modern audience" perceived as in a scene because each audience would check out a band they weren't expecting to see despite there not necessarily being a strong musical link between the groups. I don't think a scene with a strong musical connection will ever take place again. It seems as though people are trying to pretend there are connections by moving to the same neighbourhoods". 07 rED LIGht coMPANy 08 THE SOLID AND ANTHEMIC SOUND RUMBLING THROUGH RED LIGHT COMPANY'S ALBUM, `FINE FASCINATION', IS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. Not because it heralds their addition with White Lies to the `must have' predictions for 2009, but because this work unifies a five piece from such obscure beginnings who nearly missed their chance. Commitment to the plan, a period of incubation in the studio at lead singer Frennaux's house and the guidance of Adrian Bushby (big sound producer-extraordinaire) have quickly propelled these guys to potential glory. I caught up with Richard Frennaux to discuss the pitfalls of immigration and the fascination of pubescent nudity: I've read that you met your bassist, Shawn Day, after some long distance communication on the Internet? The whole thing started when I left an advert on a UK website looking for a musician to collaborate with. Shawn replied from Wyoming [the least populated state in the US] of all places! It was a real surprise to me but to be honest what I was looking for at that time was some commitment from somebody, whether it be from somebody coming over from a different country or anything like that. So I spoke to him and got him to fly over, which he did, and then I waited at the airport for him to be let out which happened (eventually!) once the immigration people were OK with it. Unfortunately once we started talking it emerged that he didn't have enough funds to stay, and that he was booked on the next flight back to the States. We still got enough chance to get talking though; I took him to a British pub, as he'd never been to the UK before, and got into it realising that we were on the same page despite the fact that we were from such different backgrounds. 3 weeks later, once he had the money to move back, he came over permanently. That was something I wanted to get into, the dynamic of the group considering the mix of nationality and different backgrounds... Yeah we're like the UN of bands! How does this play out in terms of influence on the music? Was it a common interest that brought you together or did the differences cause problems? Really the most important thing for me, was the commitment thing. I mean it's really important that people have that hunger to do that `one thing'. It doesn't really matter to some degree if it is a five-piece band as long as someone is driving the ship in the right direction. As long as people are reasonably on the same page, musically, then I think it's going to work as long as they are committed and they have passion for the music you are making. It was really the same story with Chris [Edmonds - keyboards] `cause he was never really a keyboard player, he specifically learned to join this band, he learned all the parts in a couple of weeks having never really taken the keyboard seriously. There are lots of examples of that in the band and it's the kind of stuff that I think interests me. In this day and age a lot of bands don't `go to school together and make music and all of a sudden it's happened for them', for us its been a staggered process of deportations and getting people to learn instruments! It's kind of different and it suits us well. When you say `different' as being something you're interested in, how do you respond when critics continue to make regular comparisons, you know, with Arcade Fire, U2, Editors and White Lies? Does this create pressure? Its always interesting to hear other people's take on the music that we're making, you know? Sometimes as an artist you become really un-subjective to what you're making I guess, so I find it interesting when people compare us. I think the current artists, or bands like White Lies, happens because there is a lot of electro music out there right now and there's not a huge amount of bands making guitar based music in the current climate. I think they are one of these 80's influenced bands, as we are to a certain degree, so there is always going to be a comparison. But I think with us it's a bit different as there's not just an 80's thing going on, I think there's also a breadth of material we're doing where I can see the comparisons with Arcade Fire and early U2, and its interesting to see that other people are saying so. Staying on these similarities with U2 and Arcade Fire then, I wondered how much of that was encouraged by your producer Adrian Bushby, someone so connected to the `anthemic' side of music? Is that something he's influenced in you? Kind of. With us when we first went in to make the record, we demoed it in my flat where I'd produced all of it. So I already had these big sounding tunes anyway because that's the type of way I produce. Then we took it in with Adrian for a co-production, so, I had these ideas about guitar sounds and keyboard sounds that I liked to maintain, and he just took what we were doing and kind of made it even bigger. He's great, you know, at shaping out a certain degree of our sound on our record, but at the same time we had that ourselves and we just wanted somebody to record it properly. It was really easy and it was great because a lot of the time we've had experiences with producers before that want to take what you have and make it their own. I find that quite scary prospect, being somewhat a producer myself; something I think has a lot to do with the sound of this band. I like to have control over that and he was just great at not having too much ego and being able to hear the music for what it is. Talking about the release of this album, at a time of year when everyone is making predictions of who will be big, what is the impact when you see your name on NME and HMV lists? It's nice to get the recognition for what you're doing and I feel like we deserve it! There are lots of lists, and I don't really know how far to believe them as far as top ten hits for next year, but I still like to see the recognition. Its good for people to be turned on to what's going on, as I know that people pay lots of attention to these type of things, so if it gets people into the new music that they haven't heard of before that's great. On the new music, and more directly the album title `Fine Fascination', is there any explanation for that? `Fine Fascination' was a track, actually, that was released, or will be released as a B-Side, basically, and I just thought that the title was really appropriate for the record we were making. Initially when I started writing the material, a lot of it was influenced by the film `Christian F', which was an 80's Berlin Bowie cameo film concentrating on the darker side of life, a lot the record has echoes of that in it. I felt like there was this fascination with this darker side of life that I was trying to explore, especially in the earlier times of writing, hence the reason behind the title. Is this type of fascination in the darker elements something that justifies the decision to put topless teenagers on the cover of the album? I think so, yes. With us, it's about making sure that every avenue that we're trying to express and explore, art wise as well as music, is reflected. Its important to maintain some kind of consistency, so we found this artist (toyne?) and she was making these images that, when you listen to the music, just worked. It was just a running idea, we started off with one single, it went on to another one, and then all of the artwork came together like that. It was just about giving her some space to take some images and choosing things that were appropriate. Lastly, for my own fascination, the `Arts and Crafts' music video with the Marylyn Monroe lookalikes, how was that? It's interesting because its one of those things where, as a young band, you have to do a performance video pretty much with every video, so it was all about taking that motif that goes around with it repeatedly and it works out well. Its got this idiosyncratic element where this slightly unhinged aspect of the Marylyn performance is suitable to the track you know, and of course I'm happy with it. Words: JP Watson 09 coUNtEr cULtUrE Photography by Patrick D. Wade www.patrickdwade.com Art Direction & Styling by Deanna Sadykov for Perrella Management Makeup by Elizabeth L. Lakomsky for Make Up For Ever Hair by Takahide Tokuyama at Artistic Cube Retouching by iemsarah at iemsarahgmail.com Model, Mey at New York Model Management 10 11 012 013 014 015 016 017 VoLUNtAry BUtLEr SchEME FORMER SUPERMARKET WORKER ROB JONES DELIVERS BREATHTAKING BRUMMIE BEAT POP IN HIS CURRENT GUISE AS OFF-KILTER ONE-MAN-BAND THE VOLUNTARY BUTLER SCHEME. Having served his apprenticeship as temporary keyboard and glockenspiel player with indie stalwarts The Boy Least Likely To, the 22-year-old songwriter has re-emerged as one of the West Midlands' most exciting young talents. Fused caught up with him to talk about writing, recording and reggae legend Pato Banton... Firstly, how are things going? Things seem to be going well so far. I don't seem to be failing at this at this particular time... Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Well, I'm a youngster from the West Midlands trying to make a little bit of pop music to entertain myself, and maybe others if it reaches them? I did my apprentice-ing/confidence building as the maternity leave glockenspiel, keyboard and recorder player for a band called The Boy Least Likely To. I was 20, never played any gigs before and the first gig I played with them was in an arena in Aberdeen supporting Razorlight. The tour lasted a week or two and I got to play Wembley Arena on my first ever tour. I didn't look up from my keyboard once the whole tour. The week after, I was back working in a supermarket. I felt a bit like I'd `made it' while I was out on the tour - I just kept ignoring the fact that I'd had to take holiday from my supermarket job to be on it. Grim times. How did The Voluntary Butler Scheme come about? I was just toying around with writing and recording some songs at home, whilst playing in other bands where I'd just play drums. I'd just record stuff and not take it too seriously. Basically, I just put some music on the MySpace and got offered a gig in Birmingham. I'd never done a gig as `lead singer' before, so I reluctantly took it - to see what it was like. I turned up with just a guitar and a loop pedal. I only had five songs, three were shit. I kind of walked away from the gig thinking `oh... you have to take this seriously, and if you wanna sing some good songs you've gotta put some effort in and write some'. So that was in Oct 07. Since then I've been putting the work in and have written most the stuff I have now. It's something of a one man band. What made you decide to go it alone? When I started playing gigs I was also playing drums in two other bands, so I thought it'd be interesting to see how it was different. Now I don't play in any bands and it's proving to be a lonely game solo. I was also thinking that I didn't want to start a band - with all the jackets and the haircuts. Then at the same time I didn't want to be some bloke with an acoustic guitar being all sensitive. So the one man with lots of stuff thing was me splitting the difference - or ignoring the other two? You've said `a bass drum on your back is worth two on the floor.' Yeah...tis a proverb I made up that oddly people don't seem to be incorporating into their daily proverb usage. I'm waiting for it to be an ancient proverb - but to be honest - I'm getting tired of waiting. You've just released your first single `Trading Things In'. It's sort of coming out through my own label called The Lowest Layer Of The Trifle. Although I have absolutely nothing to do with it, I just gave it a name. But I'd like to tell people I have a record label and act like Alan Sugar for the whole conversation. On your MySpace page you claim your other band members are Marc Bolan, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, James Brown and Roy Orbison. Are they all big influences on you? They're all people whose music I love but I just liked the idea of being this dictator frontman, putting legendary talent on rhythm guitar and bass and me just taking the mic, all shy and static, and all in all not legendary. Tell me about the supposed Pato Banton collaboration. The song `Trading Things In' bears a tiny, tiny resemblance to `Baby Come Back' the Ali Campbell & Pato Banton tune. Well, I think I'd like it sounds like that, rather than it does. But he's from the Midlands too. I'm desperate to hook that up. I defo wanna do a single with a Pato section. What are your plans for the future? I'm not sure I have any really. I defo haven't planned anything enough to have put it on paper. I suppose I'll keep having a blast at this for a while. I'm hoping to lead towards an album in the coming months. Hopefully on my label that's not really mine. At the moment I'm just trying to squeeze that few songs out. I already have 20. I just have this feeling that there's some gold to come in this final stretch. Words: Toby Rogers 018 019 DItA VoN tEESE ALTHOUGH MANY MAY TRY, FEW WORK THE RETRO BOMBSHELL LOOK LIKE DITA VONTEESE. LARGELY BECAUSE THE MODEL, BURLESQUE DANCER AND FASHION ICON HAS MORE COMMITMENT TO HER STYLE THAN MOST CELEBS HAVE TO THEIR MARRIAGES. For someone with such bright lipstick, I'm a little surprised to find Dita softly spoken. Sure she's confident, witty and feisty but it's all so understated.Perhaps this is down to her gradual and organic rise to notoriety. The short story of her trajectory is from lingerie clerk to the biggest name in the burlesque revival."Basically one thing led to another," she said in her slow Michigan-hailing drawl, explaining how she came to be the biggest name in modern striptease. "I feel like the reason for me finding out about everything and why I'm successful is because I really got deep into the history of things. "When I was working in the lingerie store I got into the history of lingerie and what women wore in each era. Then I found out about vintage lingerie and started collecting it, then I wanted to be photographed in it. So I started researching vintage style pin-up photos and then I found out the models in men's 1930s and 1940s magazines were strippers and that's when I learned about burlesque. It was all very natural and all very honest and just came from me wanting to know more." This outlook - and a background studying historic costuming - has spurred countless lingerie manufacturers to bay at her manicured feet to lend her household name to their ranges. Friday-night staple, Wonderbra were the brand to win her over and the Dita co-designed range launched this month. Lured by the brand's iconic reputation and the fact she still has her first Wonderbra, Dita sought inspiration from her private vintage collection to create her own dream piece (including an ambitious bra with a top wire) blending design details from her favourite decades. "I have a huge collection but I felt like there were still these big fantasies and Wonderbra let me do that," she said.Although it has the same traffic-stopping potential as the infamous Hello Boys campaign, the subtext for Dita's collection is very different. She hopes to get women thinking differently about their lingerie and why they wear it."I never use it as a tool for seduction," she said. "I use it as a tool to seduce myself, have my own confidence and have a secret for myself."Or say I do have some kind of sexual encounter, I'm ready any time. I like the idea of this effortless seduction where you're not trying to be sexy, you just are." Unsurprisingly, Dita is not a fan of the buying to impress your boyfriend approach."Why don't you buy something sexy to wear for yourself and then your boyfriend just finds you in it?" she says, almost with exasperation."That's sexy. Then he's going to remember you as that girl who was always sexy and wasn't doing it for anyone else." It's fascinating Dita has turned an interest in alternative fashion into hugely successful career. And she seems equally as taken at how fortuitous it is that she has fused a passion with a profession. "I've always been committed to my look and my style, completely committed head to toe, but I never thought it would turn into a career into the extent it has for me," she admits."I was just some obscure strange girl, obsessed with vintage lingerie and retro style, that's the way I was I didn't really think about what it could be. "It feels good and it feels right because I know I didn't do it for the money or to be famous. That's the secret to my success. I did it because I had to, because I love it. I didn't have a choice because I'm obsessed with it in a way no one else is."It's like I never quit playing that game of dress up that I enjoyed when I was five. "Even if it wasn't always the right choice and I didn't keep my man, I still had a commitment to my own look and didn't let it falter because this is who I am, this is what I enjoy, take it or leave it." By applying the same ethos to work, Dita became the biggest name in new burlesque and the first ever guest star to perform at the renowned Parisian Crazy Horse cabaret club (a career highlight for the performer).She said: "When I started doing mainstream events, people were saying `can you just wear a full bra and full-back panties?'"And I said `No. This is what I do. This is burlesque and burlesque is about G strings and pasties. Gypsy Rose Lee wore G strings and pasties and this is how it needs to be for me or I don't want to it'. "I had a strong commitment to it and keeping it true to the spirit of what it was, not trying to dumb it down and commercialise it and reminding people this is a racy form of entertainment and that shouldn't change."I started doing my show when there wasn't even a burlesque revival. I was just a girl in a corset and stockings and high heels dancing to Big Ben music in a strip club." Far from "just a girl" anymore, Von Teese has gone from those three minute slots in strip clubs to shows which cost $70,000 to finance and anywhere from six months to years to devise. With this sort of time and effort going in, it's not hard to understand why Dita's got to the point of not wanting to do her most famous routine where she bathes in a giant martini glass all the time. "I insist people give the other acts a chance," she said."Most people who have seen all my acts will say the glass is the least extravagant and opulent. It's the easiest one for me to do. It's a piece of cake. I could do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back. But I want to challenge myself and think about things more and be a little nervous about how it's going to go." And if you're thinking of booking a show, the new stuff is what you're going to want to see. Dita has plans to move away from the playful 1940s-inspired routines to something a little more severe. "I wanted to do something just a little darker, so I've built this really big opium den set and it's really beautiful. I'm doing the classic, evil dragon lady smoking so much opium that she starts taking her clothes off, so it's a darker show. "It will be my most expensive show to date for sure." It's hard not be won over by Dita. I like the way the world thinks she is out to titillate men, when, truly, she's out to entertain herself,"It's nice to see an alternative form of sexy," she says when I ask about burlesque's unisex appeal. "Besides what the media feeds us of women running on the beach in slow motion with the spray tan and perfect body and all natural make up, not all of us can fit into that image. Some of us need a lot more help and I'm talking about myself."I could never fit into that and a lot of other women are like `well I can't be that girl but maybe I can try to be this girl. I can put on red lips and false lashes and a garter belt and stockings and play with a feather boa and feel fabulous`. "It's another version of sexy and those of us who don't fit into the Baywatch beauty, we have our own way." Words: Kerry Eustice / Illustration: Marguerite Sauvage 020 021 coUNtEr cULtUrE 22 This Page: Black vintage cardigan from Camden market, Blue ripped vintage t - shirt from Camden market, Black jeans by `Dr. Denim Jeansmaker', Customised necklace. Opposite page: White t - shirt by Topman, Black jeans by `Dr. Denim Jeansmaker', Suede Chelsea boots/ winkle pickers from `The Face' on Carnaby Street. Next page: Blue chequered shirt by All Saints, Black belt by All Saints. 023 024 025 026 This page: Vintage leather jacket from Episode in Camden, vest from H & M, Jeans by Cheap Monday. Opposite page: Jeans by Cheap Monday, Vintage maroon jumper from Broadway Market, 2nd vintage brown leather jacket from Camden Market. 027 Jeans by Cheap Monday, Vintage leather belt from Rockit in Brick Lane, Vintage leather jacket from Episode in Camden, Red cardigan from Reiss Regent Street, vest from H & M. 028 Photography by Ruggiero Cafagna - ruggierocafagna.com Styling by Haruka Suzuki Photographer assistant: Luigi Apollo Make up:Ken Nakano using Estee Lauder Make up assistance: Aki Ogawa Hair: Yoshitaka Miyazaki Model: Lawrence@oxygenmodels.com 029 IT SEEMS THAT CURRENTLY THERE IS A DISCO REVOLUTION GOING ON, AND ANDY BUTLER THE BRAINS AND THE DISCO BEAT BEHIND HERCULES & THE LOVE AFFAIR IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF THIS. This `musical project' hailing from NY and signed to DFA are just quite simply dreamy and have crossed over into the realms of dance-stroke-disco with tremendous effect. Their debut self titled album received critical acclaim and rightly so. We relished our chance to grab 5 minutes with the super cool DJ turned promoter, and now producer. You moved from Denver to Brooklyn when you were younger � what influenced that decision? There was nothing other than (puts on funny voice) `where should I go next'? New York happened to spring into my head first at that particular time. It wasn't a very profound moment unfortunately. However the only thing that really hooked me was going to visit the University, I later ended up attending. That school [NY University] is great and the first night I visited there was a live acid jazz band playing with a DJ cutting records and all of these students playing really out jazz music, oh and lots of beautiful women! It's a very female-heavy school because it was previously an all-women's school. I came from an all-boys high school, so I was so excited to be around all of these really cool girls dancing to really great music. Basically that night I realised `this is the school I want to go to'! We are all big fans of the album the office! We all wondered what the main influences are behind the music? Definitely synth-pop things like OMD, and essentials like Kraftwerk, and Yello who are also a huge influence on me. Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Dr. Buzzards Original Savannah Band, Arthur Russell, and all this kind of silly, kooky, and heartfelt disco music. There are also some more straight disco music influences together with classic house. How did all of you get together to form the band? It's actually really strange. I was basically writing songs and I would have all my friends come round and sing. Eventually I had like 5 songs and my friend Anthony was like `you have all this material, why don't you go and take this to a record label?' So that's how the band formed! It's really funny how it all worked out because it wasn't thought out at all, it just all worked out. It states in the recent press cuttings on you guys that the band is quite an `experimental project', so will there be another album? YES! Phew.... I think that a lot of people do assume there will not be another album; it's quite funny really. Things will definitely evolve, the shape of the group will evolve, and new people will be introduced. It's really fun pitching music as more of a conceptual, really fluid process as opposed to this fixed thing distinguished by personalities and people. It's more about the music, the sounds and the stories. I want to weave a web that's quite extensive and not limiting. Obviously with your background as a DJ surely you could recommend three top tunes to play on the dancefloor? Alright, (thinking for a few minutes). One record would definitely be the Stop and Go Dub of `Express Yourself' by Madonna. It's a kinda really early techno version of the track, which sounds great; it's just pure classic. It's very classic house sounding. Next up will be an early MK record. Perhaps a Mark Kinchen? He's a Detroit producer, erm probably the Fourth Measure Men stuff? Yes, I'm going to choose `Only For You' by Fourth Measure Men. That's another good one. Lastly I'm going to choose DA Rebels `House Nation' � classic Chicago House. You heard the man. Don't know about you but we are to polish our best disco shoes and DANCE. Words: Kimberley Owen Illustration: Nick Deakin 030 031 coUNtEr cULtUrE IS c r AN MF DA A So... So WhAt? Photography, Hair and Make up: Macushla Burke www.macushlaburke.net Styling: Sheri Ann Tualla and Macushla Burke Model: Ruby Brown Camerons Models, Melbourne Australia Special thanks Daylight Studios, Melbourne Australia 32 Rodeo Show Skyler Jumpsuit, Fox Stoll 33 034 Perla Wrap Tights: Saxonne, Showtime jacket: This Is Genevive, Suede Vest: Goddess Of Babylon, Army Pixel Print Long Sleeve: Redley 35 036 Vest: Carley Hunter, Cropped Leather Jacket: This Is Genevive, Perla Wrap tights: Saxonne 37 038 Rodeo Show Skyler Jumpsuit, Fox Stole, Shoes models own Rodeo Show Skyler Jumpsuit, Fox Stole, Shoes models own 39 040 Racer: Salasai Lace , Bodysuit: models own, Tights: American Apparel 041 042 PEtE FoWLEr FOR THIS EPISODE OF FUSED WE DECIDED TO TAKE THE COVER TO THE ISLAND OF MONSTERISM. Pete fowler, artist behind album sleeves for the super furry animals, cartoonist, toymaker, resident of a parallel world, all-roundmonster-man, took time out from a wild schedule and produced the cover for this issue. He also gave us a panorama of his world when we bent his ear. Jon Watson caught up with him: How would you describe yourself? Brownish hair, glasses, cord wearing artist/illustrator/painter/doodler. Are you represented somehow by `monsterism'? Absolutely! Monsterism is made of the stuff I soak up through interests, influences and the world around me that I experience, it's a filter that I've constructed to project myself through to a degree. It's how I'd like to see an alternate world. Do you see an alter-monster in everyone? There's some out there more monstrous than others! I think it's personalities of people that I maybe pick up for characters sometimes, maybe I recognise the monster in myself too. We're all beastly really aren't we? I'd say so! With artists it's always interesting to know about inspiration. What or who is yours? (Does Maurice Sendak feature somewhere for example?) I love Sendak, of course `Where The Wild Things Are' is still a benchmark in illustration, imagination and the balance of simplicity and complexity. `Noggin The Nog' could be one too, amongst the great kids TV shows of the 1970's by Oliver Postgate. I love Jim Woodring and Shigeru Mizuki particularly for their incredible imaginations and craft. What else influences the monster world? Music is a big inspiration and influence for me in my work and I think that has been seeping in there for a while. I tend to be more interested in music rather than following illustration or art particularly, I tend to get freaked out by incredible artists if I look at too much work so music is just always there when I create. Animals are something I'm interested in, birds, sea life and horned creatures are creatures I think have inspired me. There is a big amount of creative storytelling going on in your work. Do you see yourself as the narrator? To a point I think, I've never really spelt everything out in my work and like to leave space there for people to use their imagination and project their own ideas onto it. It's different with animation and dialogue but I love to leave some sort of mystery here and there. Someone like Sendak is the master of that, not imposing on the story too much, giving it a life of it's own. How much of your work is geared towards children? Children seem to like it, but I never until recently geared my artwork to anyone specifically. I created the work that pleased me and happy to know that kids like it, they can be very critical! I'm in the early stages of planning a cartoon for kids so it's something I have to look at more closely. The fun aspect of creating is something I try to keep alive with everything I do. I'm not really the tortured artist type and I like to think my work has a sense of humour in some way. Continuing with this potential venture into the world of animation, will you be taking something to the slow beast of broadcasting? What can we expect? As mentioned I'm in the early, too early to name names, situation with a broadcaster at the moment and indeed it is a slow beast. I've been in a co production deal with Baby Cow for a while and we've been pursuing various angles and speaking to a lot of people. I'm hoping it will surface and not get tied up too much. A cartoon has been one of my main goals for some time so it's very exciting to imagine that making it to TV in the not too distant future. How does music fit in to this picture? For me, it works and continues to do so without being tiresome. Again music is a big influence in my work and to work with SFA and all the artists on my CD make sense to me and fit in with my ethos of sound and vision. I think it's foolish to separate the two senses. I think they compliment each other well and for me the LP sleeve is most holy. So you believe that the artistic/musical experience unifies? I've never really though of the two apart. I guess growing up through the 70's and 80's music had an exciting visual to it for me, be that from the covers or sound and design. I think that forged the two elements for me, there's been many records I've bought and continue to buy on covers alone. Working with SFA over the years I think I've created a visual identity for them and the always felt the association felt very natural. More particularly, could you describe the story behind your new album `A Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island'? It sort of follows on from a CD I compiled on Heavenly, but the tracks on this release for Lo are almost entirely produced specifically for the album by friends and musical heroes of today. I was lucky enough to get amazing sounds back from all included and feel honoured that they came to the Island. The idea behind it is an imaginary soundtrack to the sultry Island of Monsterism through a psyche/ exotica/electroid lens consisting of all instrumental tracks with links by the sunburned/fried beachcombing narrator. Finally, how do you go about attracting such a group, including the likes of Jerry Dammers, Gruff Rhys and Luke Vibert, to your absurd island? Lots of pleading and begging! I've known Gruff since first working with SFA and Luke from my days in Cornwall. Jerry is someone who I've met a few times and the guys at Lo knew him so it was a case of making a list and seeing how we could get on. Some artists couldn't make it but I think we got together a fantastic range of artists on board and think there is something on the CD for every freak and beast! Jon Watson 043 044 rtx RTX'S JENNIFER HERREMA STUMBLES ACROSS THE STAGE AT LONDON'S CARGO HOLLERING AND GROWLING, her band churning out monolithic slabs of heavy rock. Perched atop at least four inches of heel and wrapped in her trademark furs, she is noticeably still the petite blonde who once defined heroin chic as a model for Calvin Klein. Her voice is even more recognisable, distinguishing her as one half of iconic rockers Royal Trux, the band she fronted alongside former partner Neil Hagerty for some 14 years before their personal and professional split in 2001. She clambers off the front of the stage to take charge of her band. It's soundcheck, and there's another three hours until she'll be singing again, with twice the intensity, for the show proper. Before that there's time for a chat. `It's been going really, really great,' says Herrema of the European tour the band have been on for the past week. `Except we got sick. I got really sick.' Despite her nagging cold we've ventured outside, ostensibly because it's quieter, but really so she can enjoy a few cigarettes while we talk. RTX came to light in 2004 with debut LP Transmaniacon, and have just released their third, JJ Got Live RaTX. `The first record I knew what I wanted,' says Herrema. `Always a rock band, but I didn't want it to sound like classic rock, or retro rock, but I wanted it to encompass very much the same kind of philosophy that Royal Trux had. It's just a very different sound because my influences are very different from Neil's. I was trying to set kind of a blueprint for what would come next.' That first record came about after Herrema hooked up with drummer and engineer Nadav Eisenman, who in turn introduced her to guitarist Jaimo Welch. `The first one was just me and Jaimo,' she explains. `Just me and the redhead. We just did it in the studio, just overdubbing and shit. This engineer guy I started the band with [Eisenman], he'd never recorded any bands or done anything, but he's technically brilliant. He knew all about gear but had never done any recording and never had any gear. I had my studio in Virginia so I was like: "Let's go".' The results have shaped RTX's future sound, taking the scuzzed, fuzzed and strung out sounds of Royal Trux but substituting the free jazz harmolodics of Ornette Coleman for influences ranging from Blue Oyster Cult to `80s hair metal. `I don't really know how we're thought about in general,' Herrema ponders. `Specially where I come from - out west - there's all this resurgence of retro and hippy shit and folky shit. There's some really good artists that are doing it, but at the end of the day, it's just a bit old. We've been the antithesis of that for quite some time, and I think it's just getting recognised that that's kind of a good thing.' The use of raw, inexperienced talents to complete Herrema's musical vision has also become a trait. The expanded band now features guitarist Brian McKinley and bassist Kurt Midness, while drummer Chris Irizzary substitutes for Eisenmann on this tour. `I played with people who are like: "I've made all these records and I've done this,"' says Herrema. `They have all these preconceived notions of what you must do, and I'm like: "No no no". It worked out best this way, because we're all pulling together from the get go.' Of Course, Herrema herself was notoriously inexperienced when she formed Royal Trux with Pussy Galore guitarist Hagerty at the age of 15. In the past Herrema feels that there has been a lack of respect for the amount she contributed to Royal Trux records. `Yeah, I think that's true. There were two of us: 50% here 50% there, that's how it has always been.' She is quick to note the importance of all the members of RTX. `It's not a dictatorship,' she says. `I'm not trying to control and tighten the reigns on the whole thing. I want everybody in it, but ultimately if there's a bad sound or a bad idea I'm not having that.' As the band has expanded and become more experienced, Herrema has found new ways to keep them on their toes. For JJ Got Live RaTX, she insisted the whole album be completed live in her Southern California studio in just two weeks. `I think this record threw everybody through a loop, because I knew exactly what I wanted it to sound like,' she says. `It was like: "Okay, we have two weeks". I had them working until 4am every night. 11am until 4am, and they hated my guts. But it really pulled shit back when they'd get pissed and tired and angry.' The completed record justifies the means. RTX's most lithe and catchy work to date, it's shot though Herrema's trademark aural attitude. From the immanent threat of opener You Should Shut Up, to the brash blasts of closer Too Badd, the band gel like never before. `It's definitely more of a band now,' confirms Herrema. The speed of recording is reminiscent of Herrema's previous project. `Royal Trux records we worked pretty quickly,' she explains. `Early years we worked pretty quickly, then when we got our own studio we took more time.' Royal Trux seems a long time ago now, but Herrema still has trouble getting her head around what went wrong. `It was kind of crazy,' Herrema recalls. `I mean, I never broke up Royal Trux ever. It's just I had to break up with Neil and then he didn't want to talk to me anymore. So that's that. During that time that I left him, my dad was dying and I was trying to find what I wanted to do that was separate, then selling the house and moving. There was a lot going on at the time.' Herrema coped by relocating to Southern California, leaving behind years of drugs abuse and taking up a lifestyle that is `just chilled out'. Her relationship with Hagerty remains frozen. `He won't talk to me still,' she says, no doubt disappointing anyone desperate for a Royal Trux reunion. `He writes me emails occasionally about the cats and stuff. I just think it's a real shame. I don't know: it's fine with me; it's just a little weird.' For now, RTX will more than do. And as much as her four young charges whip up a ferocious noise by themsleves, it's clear when she takes to the stage that one woman is in control of RTX. `Only one person can have the big picture in their head,' admits Herrema. `I do have that: I do have the big picture.' Mark Ward 045 thoMPSoN LES Nyc THOMPSON LES WHERE ART & STYLE COLLIDE. The super-stylish Thompson LES hotel is Located on Manhattan's Allen Street, where the East Village meets the Lower Eastside and has amazing sweeping views of downtown Manhattan (especially from it's members and residents only rooftop terrace bar). The hotel is sleek and modern with spacious loft-like rooms and features an array of artwork by some of the most influential names in art. Pieces by Stephen Shore adorn the walls, each room has it's own individual black-and-white illuminated photograph by Lee Friedlander and you even get to take a dip in the pool with a giant portrait of Andy Warhol taken by Gerard Malanga peering up at you. It really is the perfect place for those who appreciate the Lower East Sides hip, anything-goes energy. www.thompsonhotels.com 046 047 coUNtEr cULtUrE Photographer: Carlyle Creative - carlylecreative.com Hair & Make-up: Sophie Gentle Stylist: Gavin Abrey Model: Katie Henderson 48 Dress and Necklace: Urban Outfitters 049 050 Dress and Necklace: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: La Chateau 051 052 Dress: Urban Outfitters, Leggings: Models Own, Shoes: La Chateau, Guitar: Fender 053 054 Top: Models Own, Skirt: Urban Outfitters, Necklace: Aldo 055 Top: Models Own, Skirt: Urban Outfitters, Necklace: Aldo 056 Corset: Vintage, Belt & Jeans: Models Own thE WALkMEN IN EARLIER MOMENTS, WITH SINGLES LIKE `THE RAT', THE WALKMEN PLAYED WITH THE SCURRILOUS AFFECTATIONS OF THE NEW YORK PUNK MOVEMENT. WITH THIS DETAIL IN MIND I EXPECTED A MEETING WITH THEM TO BE HACKNEYED AND ANGRY; yielding toppled beer bottles, posturing and slander. Instead, what confronted me backstage at the Green Room in Birmingham's Barfly felt more like a literary discussion forum, a slice of cake at Phillip Larkin's house. Lead singer Hamilton Leithauser lay slouched on a green sofa, relaxed and flicking over pages of Kingsley Amis's novel Lucky Jim, his comic magnum opus. Not to be outdone, a subdued looking Paul Maroon, guitarist, sat engrossed in a collection of philosophical essays, rarely flinching from the noise of the support act in front. Surprising as this was, it set the tone for a conversation which mapped their movement away from their ventures into darker postpunk, and showed a far more mature side that has developed outside New York city limits. "New York is really only five boroughs to us now!" laughed Hamilton talking about the influence of the city on the band. When asked whether he considered himself to be a New York idol, he seemed bemused. "We still have the community of Greenwich Village," he said, "where a few of the folks from before wave at us, but we go round unknown these days, and we don't represent the city for fuck's sake! I remember playing the darker clubs there, so it doesn't surprise me that we've been half forgotten." It's pretty clear that the guys have relocated, both musically and physically. Life for The Walkmen is spent travelling back and forth from the doldrums of New York State suburbia, where half the band has settled, to Philadelphia, where the bigger slice of rehearsals takes place. Commenting on what has been an ageing process, Maroon added: "We're all married men now, living on wide streets, living it quiet and staying focused on the better sides of our music. It's almost like we've more time to think about the changes we wanted to make and so our lives have changed direction from those dark clubs." Indeed the music has followed pattern. The much more developed sound of `You & Me', their newest and indelible album, introduced a slower commitment to the tonality of vintage blues and instrumentation. It also functions as a marker for their improvement as a collective, standing for something more thoughtful between the band when they perform. Paul Maroon remembers the changes well. "We used to thrash it out until we got to grips with the idea that we could actually do the slower stuff well! So with songs like `Red Moon' and `I Lost You' we moved on to much more reflective sounds we didn't even realize we had! The best thing about it, is that it changed our shape as performers." `You and Me' was originally pre-released as a charitable exclusive on an indie website Amie Street, with all the proceeds donated to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Manhattan, one of the world's oldest and largest private cancer centres. This was a fitting alliance; the album is acclaimed for its exploration of the different depths of human response, especially related to pain or grief. Even in Hamilton's more bittersweet and anthemic moments, so the darker and intense undertones of the music continue to play on. "I think it was a new challenge dealing with slower and more intimate material", Maroon remembers, "we wanted to carry on moving the crowd in the same ways as before, but realized very quickly that our adaptation could really get on each other's nerves man!" Matt Barrick, the band's drummer, admits that working towards `You & Me' took some getting used to. On their earlier stuff it was all about nailing strong and continuous rhythms, thrashing beats and sticking to their strengths, whereas this album asked much more challenging questions about their ability to improvise. "Once you signed up to what Hamilton was calling improvements," Barrick said with his glaring stare, "you knew that it was gonna take hard work, travelling between cities and testing yourself to improve as a musician. You just had to carry on working and you knew that Paul and Hamilton would keep it together, even when we did get at each other." `You & Me' marks the time for The Walkmen, then, that crowds stop shouting punk fuelled abuse at the band across the streets of Manhattan; it also characterizes moments where they relax backstage clutching some of philosophy's cannon or one of Amis's novels. The Walkmen are now growing into their roles as purveyors of a sound described by many as intimate, even beautiful. They have attracted the attention of the American and British public (the album was released here on Polar Bear Records), will be playing at this year's Benicassim, and are touring this summer with The Kings Of Leon. Maroon is happy to be given the honour and is confident that the changes will filter to the audience, adding "these are the types of concerts we might not have moved onto, without changing our direction, and I have no doubt that the crowds will keep up with us, wherever we go." JP Watson. 058 WITH FIVE STUDIO ALBUMS, A HEFTY NUMBER OF GLOBETROTTING TOURS AND THEIR OWN LIVERPOOL BASED VENUE TO THEIR NAMES YOU WOULD THINK THE WORLD WOULD WALK, TALK, THINK AND EAT LADYTRON. ALAS IT SEEMS THAT THE BAND ARE STILL HOVERING UNDER THE COMMERCIAL RADAR ALBEIT WITH A CULT FOLLOWING IN TOW. With the recent release of their quirky, haunting yet addictive album Velocifero under their belts, we felt after nearly overconsuming this masterpiece in the Fused office it was time to show Ladytron some love. How have you changed as a band on this album? On the first album obviously you feel a certain pressure as it's your first, but I think we have avoided the `dreaded second album syndrome' that most bands encounter. I think we have been lucky to have been, allowed to develop gradually over four albums. Commercial pressure can often be quite pressing so we are lucky in that respect. Most new bands get shelved for another act or even dropped after their first album due to the commercial pressure on them to obtain a certain chart position. This is mainly down to the attention spans of an audience as Myspace and the instant accessibility of music and this has increased their exposure to a constant flow of new music and therefore shortens attention spans. You seem to be touring constantly the tour schedule looks huge? How do you cope touring for so long? Sometimes it's quite deceptive it's often looks a lot more than it actually is. We tend to draw the line at any sections of a long tour spanning over 8 weeks from home! It really depends where we are touring, now we have a nice bus and the facilities are great � we don't even have to share DVDs, we all have our own little quiet time and Internet access too! There is no need for forced activities to take place anymore � ha-ha. Oh and American facilities are great. So what are your favourite places to play? North America is obviously a winner, however Russia is a special place too � St. Petersburg was amazing. We actually played a great gig in Bogota [Columbia]. People often have a perception that South America is quite dangerous in comparison to other places, but we played four cities there and they all went smoothly except one. So what happened at that `one' gig? Well we ended up getting shut down by the army! There were lots of soldiers and we were playing and all of a sudden the music stopped suddenly and we were just standing there! I think it may have been a scheduling issue though.... Words:Kimberley Owen Illustration: Stevie Copter 59 LIttLE BootS `POP' HAS BEEN TARNISHED AND IS OFTEN TREATED AS A DIRTY WORD, PARTICULARLY when acts such as Mr. Blobby and Timmy Mallett have topped the charts with cringe worthy hits. However there is a new breed of young poppets such as Alphabeat, Ladyhawke and Rochelle injecting the genre with some much needed credibility. At the head of the pack is Victoria Hesketh aka Little Boots with her blissful but seductive voice and space pop tinged disco tunes that are sending critics head over heels in love while adorning her with `the next big thing for 2009' titles left right and centre! When asked how it feels to receive such critical acclaim so early on she merely replies, "It's brilliant to have so many opportunities and that so many people are excited about my music and want to write about me, I'm extremely grateful." This pint-sized popstrel is not only modest but she is also down to earth which is refreshing when interviewing someone with the world at her tiny but chicly adorned feet. To say she has worked hard is somewhat of an understatement, with stints working at European theme parks, pop idol auditions, and even a spell in a Blues Brothers tribute band, Victoria is a definite candidate for offering new bands a few words of advice, "I think work very hard, be proactive and stay focused. Try to stand out from the crowd and be realistic, if things don't seem to be working then maybe its time to change." You may recognise Victoria from glam synth-rock band Dead Disco, who sounded a little bit Ladytron and yes we liked them but unfortunately commercial success eluded them. Victoria has taken all the best bits of Dead Disco turned them on their head, added a touch of glitter making it shiny, new and darn right irresistible. "Since my time in Dead Disco I have changed a lot, I'm now blonde! No, I think I'm a lot surer of myself and have learnt to trust my own intuitions and do things on my own terms." If you haven't had the pleasure of watching the Little Boots videos on You Tube the last twelve months you really need to get on the case, this lady has had hits a plenty and it's easy to see why when you view her playing piano sometimes in her bedroom or with friends in her living room singing to cover versions of Girls Aloud, The Human League, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Wiley, each performance is as individual as mesmerising. It's apparent that Victoria understands the power of the internet but more importantly she just really loves to perform. The videos also reveal how intricate Victoria's voice is and show a raw talent which is often missing from some of today's most commercially successful female artists. So the infectious `Stuck on Repeat' was produced by Hot Chip's Joe Goddard and she has laid down some vocals for Basement Jaxx, but it seems this girl has every man and his dog remixing her tracks, "there are a bunch of new remixes for my next single `New in Town' and my personal favourite one is by The Golden Filter, although the Fred Falke one is also brilliant and Drop the Lime one is really fun. I was also extremely lucky to record a duet with Philip Oakey from Human League which is a dream come true as I'm a lifetime fan." With so much Little Boots admiration evident in cyber space and a huge selection of tracks to listen to, videos to watch and interviews to read we are gagging for an album, "It's looking like 12 tracks of mainly electronic pop songs in lots of different styles, very colourful and upbeat." Working with Greg Kirstin from the Bird and the Bee in LA has definitely had an affect on the forthcoming masterpiece, "Greg is an incredibly talented musician, producer and writer and totally gave me confidence in my song writing, without him I might not have been doing this at all," she continues, "I also think it's good to get away and be totally focused, although sometimes it was slightly alienating and lonely [in LA] so some of that has been factored into the songs, but its very inspiring to be out of your normal surroundings." With her inspirations noted as Kate Bush, David Bowie, Elton John, Brian Wilson, Blondie, and Kylie Minogue it seems Little Boots' album will be a force to be reckoned with. She is not only talented and yes `fashionable' but she is slightly more accessible than high fashion's music priestesses Rosin Murphy, Alison Goldfrapp and the diva-esque Lady GaGa. And before you say it don't even think about labelling Victoria as a `shameless pop tart' as a few publications have dared, "Well I'd like to think I'm not a tart but I definitely have no shame about loving pop music." When asked how she would like to be remembered as an artist she simply replies, "Someone who made people happier." Pop is no longer a dirty word thanks to Little Boots, amen. Kimberley Owen 060 61 FUSED At SxSW Back in March Fused teamed up with `Dance Your Face Off' the Texan club promoters extraordinaire to throw the mother of all back yard parties at SXSW 09. The sun shone, the beers flowed and the music rocked it L.A.M.F. 062 Photos by Stephanie Kimberly 063 coUNtEr cULtUrE Photographed by Ella Manor Photography Assistant: Sam Chadwick Models: Kara and Leslie at Basic Styling by: Rika Watanabe and Allison St. Germain Hair by: Numidas Prasarn and Matthew Green Make-up by: Emma Bazan and Bennet Jason 64 065 066 Previous page: Mask: Valentina Companion, Dress: Clements Ribeiro, Stylist's own. This page: Dress: Young Fabulous & Broke, Feather broach: Urban outfitters s, Head Piece: Blanca V. Frolain Headpieces 067 068 069 Previous page:Dress: Antik Batik, Pearls: Vintage, Mask: Farfallina Piume Blanco. This page: Tank top: Calvin Klein, Skirt & Hat: Vintage, Fille De Joie, Belt: Mosc 070 chino Vintage 071 073 Previous page: Mask: Naso Turco � Pas Musicale, Gold piece: Vera Wang vintage. This page: Dress: Chanel Vintage, Feather Broach: Urban outfitters, Gloves: J 074 Juicy Couture 075 076 077 078 Previous page: Dress: Calvin Tran, Mask: Arlecchino Harlequin Black Female 079 tILLy & thE WALL "WE REALLY HAVE GOTTEN OURSELVES A LOT BETTER," EXPLAINS NICK WHITE, KEYBOARD PLAYER WITH OFF-KILTER OMAHA INDIE-POPPERS TILLY AND THE WALL. "When we began we never demoed any songs and were pretty happy with the first take. It's taken us some time to be comfortable with taking the time to get what we want from recording. We try to push ourselves with every recording to try new things." The result is O, the US quintet's most diverse album to date. Jumping from riotous new wave (`Pot Kettle Black') to pastoral country (`Tall Tall Grass'), churning psychedelia (`Chandelier Lake') and explosive electro-pop (`Beat Control'), it's a mature album with plenty of emphasis on each member's diverse writing style. Produced by the near-legendary Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Lightspeed Champion), `O' is a significant artistic step forward for the band. "Mike's been a friend of ours for a long time and we've always admired his work," White reveals. "He's also super easy to work with and open to anything you bring to the studio. He was our first choice and we were so lucky he had time to fit us in." "We had a really awesome time recording the album," White continues. "It was the first time we felt truly comfortable recording. We stayed at Arc Studio's guesthouse and were able to concentrate all our time and energy on making the record we wanted. We had so many ideas going into the session and came up with a bunch more while there. Our main goal was to try something new, to stretch ourselves." "We weren't necessarily trying to make a varied album," says White. "But we're Toby Rogers five songwriters who've had two years to imagine the album. We talked about a few ideas before working on any of the songs, and we each tried to bring ideas to all of them. When someone has a vision for a song, though, we really try to execute what they imagine." Continuing to embrace a leftfield approach to instrumentation (their percussion famously features tap dancing instead of drums), O adds pots and pans and a tap-trio to their refreshingly inventive approach to album creation. "At this point I think we see ourselves as some kind of collective," says White. "Part of our process is choosing which songs fit together to make an album that makes at least a little sense stylistically. We recorded, I think, fifteen songs for the album and came out with something we are all happy with. If I had to pigeonhole it, I'd say it sounds like a pop collective." Strictly speaking an untitled LP, O includes a foldout booklet with seven different sleeve designs by artist friends of the band that can be refolded and each used as the album cover - a nice touch that personalises the record for the band's fiercely loyal fans. "I can't remember exactly when we started calling some fans Tilly Kids," White reveals, "But we've always referred to each other and our friends as kids so it made sense that these were kids in a larger sense connected to us through the band." "When there wasn't anywhere for me to go," sing the group on album opener `Tall Tall Grass', "O, I stumbled into deep love with your rock `n' roll." A timeless statement. It shouldn't be long before a lot of people stumble into deep love with Tilly And The Wall too. 080 PAtrIck WoLF Your new album is called `Battle'. Tell us more about it. Well, the album is called `Battle' as in the project itself, but it has changed a bit along the way. I've decided to create two parts or moods; one is called `the Bachelor' and the other `the Conqueror'. Each has a different type of songwriting. One is about being a bachelor, pursuing relationships, discovering them and dealing with bad choices. While the Conqueror is about descending to the depths of the person, analysing where I am now as opposed to were I was. Initially I had intended to make a double album, dark and solipsistic, with no hope at the end but then I fell in love and I was `forced' to take a new direction. So one disc is a pure nihilistic battle record, and the second is battles of love. What artists have collaborated in your album? Tilda Swinton collaborates in this album by narrating in a few songs as the `voice of hope' but she is not exclusively in one part of it � she's like `the lover' in the songs. Eliza Carthy, an American folk singersongwriter has done this awesome collaboration. I did this adaptation of an old folk story called `The Turtle dove'. It is almost like a Shakespearian play, like a Hamlet adapted to modern times. The turtle dove story is about love and loss but the farmer gets involved in my version. He sees the turtle dove mourning for the loved one and doesn't understand. He only wants to marry so the wife and family can look after his estate when he is dead. I found the story fascinating � the meaning of love. So I rewrote it as a duet with Eliza, who is like my folk sister. When we recorded it she was heavily pregnant; in fact, it happened one week before giving birth. The pregnancy affected her vocal chords and her voice was really deep so she was perfect as the farmer! I am really excited about that duet. This is the first time you've recorded under your own label, Bloody Chamber Music. How was this experience as opposed to recording in previous labels? How easy or difficult was it to organise and `build' your label and album from scratch? It was so good creatively. I do not get stressed about money; I get stressed when people tell me what to do. That is what happened with the labels I worked with before. The business side of things creeped up all the time and I wasn't up for it. I wanted to have the freedom to decide what I wanted in my album, how long it was gonna be, what sound I wanted to get... and nobody would tell me otherwise. Getting into arguments takes so much of your creative energy and I didn't want them to ruin that; because that is all I am. Creating and writing songs is what I like. I've done it for so long � with money, without money... There is a reason why I chose `Wolf' � I can be really fucking ferocious and a real nightmare but that's because I couldn't give a shit about `compromising'. What advice would you give to those songwriters or bands starting off in this business? Stay true to yourself and be wary because some try to get money out of you and your creativity suffers in the meantime... make sure you are a good business person and that you have a good lawyer by your side. And try keep your focus on the audience and their response and your career as a whole - where you want to go and want to do rather than the outcome in business terms; looking at the creative side instead and looking at the people who will want to buy your record because you are making music for them. They will respond if you are being true. You've mentioned that your tour carries a big production this time. Yes, I'm trying to make big and fun and I am auditioning and rehearsing at the moment and choosing clothes... it's really exciting. Have you ever considered composing a score for a movie or a dance piece? I was composing something a while ago for `No ghosts' but I fell out really badly with the director at the time; I was also to get involved in other projects of similar kind but they fell through because of budgets issues... If you hadn't ended up as a musician, what would you like to have been? I've always been fascinated by inventions; all those gadgets and bits and pieces that you can collect and recycle and recreate some strange invention. You know, like in `The Goonies', where your doorbell is attached to this cable and ... (laughs). Yeah, I wanted to be in `The Goonies'. Liane Escorza 081 DAVID ShrIGLEy DAVID SHRIGLEY DOES A MEAN MICK JAGGER IMPERSONATION, ALL MESSY VOWELS AND VARIABLE VOLUME. HE CAN PROBABLY DO THE WALK TOO, AS HE SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO TURN HIS HAND TO PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING HE PUTS HIS MIND TO. Best know for his deliberately simplistic but hauntingly dark cartoons and books, Shrigley has made music videos for Blur, animations and even an album of his own -- which had everything except the music. His exhibition at the Baltic in Gateshead featured some of his most disturbing work yet, a series of new animations and sculptures. But first he's doing a mean impression of the star of Freejack, one that would put Alistair McGowan to shame -- that is, it doesn't start with the words "Alwight, I'm Mick Jagger". Vocal talents aren't what I expected him to be showing off, but he's demonstrating a very good reason not to use real phone numbers in your art: "I remember watching some film once with Mick Jagger in it and, one of my friends was telling me this story that he'd watched the same film. It's some really crap movie that Mick Jagger made in the 70s, and Mick Jagger picks up the phone and says to the operator [does Jagger voice] `yeah get me Hollywood 95604441....' and then, of course my friend who was watching it on DVD or whatever immediately picked up the phone and dialed this number and it was some guy, like a car park attendant in Hollywood and he was like `I want to speak to Mick Jagger, is he there?' and he was like `what, man? no man, this is a parking lot dude, I'm just working here' `I want to speak to Mick Jagger'." One of Shrigley's early pieces was a hand-written poster stuck on a tree trunk, `Lost. Grey + White Pidgeon ...A Bit Mangy Looking. Does Not Have A Name Call 257 1964', a seemingly public, yet shy type of art -- the doing was enough, if it got noticed no-one would be there to record it. "When I did it... there were two pubescent girls who started hassling me while I was doing it, like kind of sexually harassing me, and I was finding it really awkward, and I was going to write my real phone number on it, but then coz these strange little harpies were there, I decided to change my phone number. So I changed my phone number, it's kind of based on my own phone number, but there's a couple of digits changed.". Shrigley seems happy to have the idea, but let the artwork happen -- one of his sculptures features expanding builders foam growing out of a tent, or in `Cheers' a pair of grey fishing waders and Wellington boots. He is happy to have "a complete control over the lack of control. It's not like I'm frustrated by the unruly expanding foam, I like the fact that the expanding foam defeats my expectations." When a record company suggested that they take `Worried Noodles' -- his album without music -- and get bands to record the songs "it was a real collaboration ... I only chose some of the acts that were on the record and I think it's got a certain kind of pop theme to it that it really wouldn't have if I'd chosen [them]. It probably would have reflected my musical tastes a bit more, which are a bit more sort of noise/rock/guitar. It's stronger for that, for being a pop record and ... the more I think about it, as time passes, the more I appreciate what a good project it was." The album is a touch of showbiz on Shrigley's devout ordinariness, his work is almost shy with just a touch of menace below the surface. At the Baltic there's a garden gate that visitors will have to pass through to get in "I'd just walked past a gate on the way to my studio, a garden gate, and thought `hmm, gate' [laughs] `I could make a gate', so I made a gate. I spent a few months thinking about what kind of gate it would be and there's a gate". "I think when you find something extraordinary, it doesn't really need to have any art made about it. In a way, it doesn't really need to be made into something else, it doesn't need to be embellished and isn't really the right subject for art. So perhaps it's important, perhaps it's integral really to start with nothing and make it into something because if you start with something, you're not really expanding on it" "I think the kind of art I like the most is the kind of art where something is made out of nothing. It's kind of magical, you can have something that's incredibly mundane, incredibly insubstantial and then, through some kind of intervention or some kind of mediation, it becomes something really special. That's the kind of art that I like. Perhaps that's what I try and do myself, to make something out of nothing." Jon Bounds 082 083 thE JUAN MAcLEAN DFA EXTRAODINAIRE JUAN MACLEAN IS ARMED WITH A NEW ALBUM. NOT ONLY HAS HE ENLISTED THE HELP OF LABEL MATES AND EX BAND MEMBERS `HOLY GHOST' ON `THE FUTURE WILL COME', HE HAS ALSO ROPED IN THE TALENTED NANCY WHANG AS A FULLY FLEDGED MEMBER OF THE BAND. `The Future will Come' is beautifully crafted - part Human League circa `Dare' era and tarnished with a touch of LCD Soundsystem `s ability to mesmerise, this album could quite seriously be the underdog contender for album of the year. Watch out - DISCO has been resuscitated and it's seriously sublime. You said that you had "aesthetic and conceptual guidelines in mind" before going into the studio to record this album. Is that how you always work? Juan: No, I think this really is the difference between this album and the last. With the first record I really didn't know I was making an album, I was just really making tracks here and there, however this time I knew long before so there was time for more preparation. Who works out the vocal parts? Juan: Whoever sings on each track actually writes their specific bits. After all the music was completed, we went to a remote studio in up state NY and worked on the vocals together. It was quite collaborative and we helped each other out and gave each other advice. Nancy: It was great making this album; it was pretty quick in fact. I was really only in the studio for 3 or 4 days to record my vocals and write, it was nice and remote. Overall it was lots of fun. This album sounds sonically different to your first; will this have an affect on your live show? Juan: Funny you should say that as the reason this album is so different is down to touring so much. For the first album I didn't have a band so I didn't have to think about its live aesthetic too much however this album has been influenced greatly through after touring with the band. Nancy: The live show will be very exciting, and some people don't really expect to see a live band so they might be quite shocked. I think it will be really dynamic, particularly now Alison is coming with us to do our amazing visuals. This album makes me daydream, particularly the track `tonight' � did you have any preconceptions of the feelings you want to evoke in the listener when making this album? Juan: Well there always is a definite concern for the mood we were trying to evoke. My favourite track is also `Tonight' and with this track we purposefully recorded the vocals at night and with all the lights turned off. We tried to sequence the album so it provides a complete listening experience. It is not fun for the listener in terms of hearing an album that has just been slapped together or `filled'. It says in your press release that hardcore fans may be caught off guard by the new album, why? Juan: Those words did not come out of my mouth; I do think that they might find the addition of more pop songs and vocals surprising. The release of `Happy House' will have bridged the gap between the first album and this one and the people that have heard that track may see it as more of a natural progression. What was the hardest part of the album to make? Juan: Probably `Happy House' as it's so long and the solo live performances involved were very long. Playing piano for that amount of time is hard. Nancy: It's weird because I have never really written any songs and it was the first time I've had to come up with vocals from scratch. It was a pretty terrifying prospect for me as I really didn't know what I was doing! I don't know what happened with me though, I heard the tracks before and had time with the music but never actually wrote anything, but when I got there [to the studio] it just worked. We had already determined what kind of record we wanted to make which definitely made it easier. It was primarily based on our own experiences and human relationships which helped when thrashing out the lyrics. Plus we had a few days in the studio so there wasn't such an immense pressure. Was `Find a Way' cut from the album? Juan: It was originally meant to be on the album and we recorded it during the same sessions but it did get cut off the album. Are you bringing out a tour album? Juan: Yeah we will be selling records at the shows that can only be purchased at the gig. They are very cheap though about erm $5. (Awesome I can buy it before payday). What are your passions outside of music? Juan: A funny one is my passion for yoga; I'm a big yoga enthusiast! Surprisingly for a man I like Hatha Yoga, I'm into the holding of poses. Being a guy I thought I should do the harder stuff and progress quickly but then I always end up coming back to Hatha. My friends all take the Mickey out of me for doing yoga, James Murphy in particular - as he is fat and old! Oh, and he's also into street fighting. Nancy: Well, I really like handcraft, especially knitting and embroidery. I like doing general homemaker tasks and activities. I would have said cooking if I was better at it! Well Nancy we have heard you have a jumpsuit fetish? Nancy: That is currently my obsession; I need to find the perfect jumpsuit! Being 5ft 1 I find this incredibly difficult. I am however quite partial to Alexander McQueen's jumpsuit for Target at present, that's a good one. I am also into shoes. I have loads and I'm always like `who needs that many shoes', I was disappointed though when I counted them and realised I only had 80 pairs! Generally I'm just into collecting things; like vinyl, I have loads but I can't bear to give any away, even the ones I don't listen to as they are a reminder of past events, sort of like a scrap book of memories. When I sort through old vinyl's I might put it on and think `that reminds me of...' I'm sort of like that with shoes too, I only wear like a core set of about 8 pairs and the rest I just like looking at! What was the last record you bought? Juan: This is a tough one. Oh, it was Animal Collective's new album. Royksopp's is next on my hit list; I've heard it's meant to be great. Nancy: Well I had been looking for this particular Erik Satie record for years and I just managed to get my hands on it! My friend owns a record store in Portland and when I was there visiting I saw the vinyl wrapped up and it hadn't even been priced up before I said "I'll take it". His records are always hard to get. If you were playing a DJ set and there was a fire which 3 tracks would you pray the flames had spared for you to play? Juan: Oh Jesus, this is hard. Ok, so I'm going to be rather incestuous and say `Happy House', and then I'll go for the Frankie Knuckles remix of Hercules & the Love Affair `Blind'. Then I will pick an old stand by � Soulwax, NY Lipps Remix. What 3 words would you choose to describe yourself? Juan: Melancholic......(long pause), oh jeez think I'm trying to be too clever � oh Clever! Now you could say ironic? Juan: That was what I was just about to say! I was just trying to avoid it (laughing). Kimberley Owen `The Future Will Come' � Out Now. 084 085 086 tIGA SO TIGA IS BACK! HE'S DEFINITELY HOTTER THAN EVER AND WE DON'T JUST MEAN IN THE LOOKS DEPARTMENT. His new album `Ciao!' is set to knock the socks off the mighty fine album that was `Sexor' � it's harder, faster, stronger and a dam sight "more ballsy" than his first effort, by his own admission. We aren't going to sit here and bore you with how great the new album is or with tales of our admiration for Tiga, it really is time to just sit back, relax and bask in the words and wisdom of the bronzed Adonis...... How do you feel you have grown as an artist on Ciao!? I have really grown as a person and this can't help but come out in my music. I'm definitely more confident and in turn this has made me more adventurous. In the break between this album and the first I had a lot of time to occupy, I've had my own space and got to spend a lot of time with friends etc. I'm also more developed as an artist and its better. Getting older isn't great, but as an artist you begin to relax more and stop caring what people think. You start to realise your music career is on track and by the second album you can let it `all hang out' so to speak. This album is definitely more ballsy. What is your favourite track on the album? It was great to make `Luxury' as I got to work with Gonzales using a more traditional song writing route which was a new experience for me - with a pen and paper. We worked together in Paris and it was a lot of fun. Working with Dave & Steph [Soulwax] at producing the album was also a highlight. What was the hardest track to make on the album and why? Probably `Overtime', we finished the track a long time ago and it was the only song with a question mark hanging over its head. We had problems with this track and it wasn't even straightforward to fix, which is very unusual. What is your favourite collaboration on the album? That's a hard question for me as I like them all and it's really like grading friends! However I really enjoyed working with Gonzales as it was a new friendship, a new way of working and a new relationship was developed from making this album. How did the massive collaboration with Soulwax happen? Well it was really as a result of their work on the first album that our friendship really developed naturally to the point where I always play all my music for them now and visa versa to gauge their opinion. We are really involved with each other and we speak every day. They produced half of `Sexor' and I felt that to give this album a more cohesive feel it was perfect for them to be overall producers. So, I've heard shoes are one of your top three things alongside gloves and hair. So what are your favourite shoes? Oh, well I like to preserve my shoes; the best ones often end up like antiques in a museum, they are there to be admired. I have some black padded Pierre Hardy ones with this intricate gold ribbing. And I also have to mention the White Pierre Cardin vintage 70's shoes that Dave [Soulwax] picked up for me in the South of France, they are amazing. I also really like trainers, I just got some silver Air Jordan's in Singapore and they are so nice I can't even imagine wearing them! So, you really do have a passion for fashion. Who floats your boat in terms of designers? Lately I'm really into Japanese stuff, particularly Com des Garcons and United Arrows. I really like the Japanese take on traditional pieces, giving them a slightly modern edge. I used to wear a lot of Dior and I would love to invest in more Givenchy but it's just so expensive, I also like Hermes and Louis Vuitton. I wear a lot of APC too. Who or What inspires you? Books I read, most of the time I have ideas they often come from something I have read in a book. But music really can come from everything. So what's the Canadian music scene like at present? I've been so emerged in my own stuff that I don't know. The normal stuff like Late Of The Pier is great. I would like to recommend Proxy on my label Turbo Recordings; he's from Russia and his music is full-on hard techno rave. How do you find it easiest to write or create a new track? Generally it has always been loose; I usually come armed with a few samples here and there, a drum loop, sonic pieces and a few key lines, or a stupid phrase and style ideas. Or I will say I want to do a `disco track' and then I piece the framework together. The best songs normally come when I have a rhythm already sorted in my head, these often come from a Hip Hop track, a dance track, anything. Original ideas sometimes get changed and played over. Who do you currently admire? I would have to say MGMT; they made three of the best tracks of last year. But really I get new heroes all the time. I really admire the Hip Hop producers like Timberland and the Neptunes, sometimes they make tracks and I'm like `wow'. I also admire Aphex Twin and Jamie Lidell. I really admire LCD Soundsystem; James Murphy is incredibly talented, I often watch their gigs gawping and admiring from afar, as a fan and not just as a fellow artist. Interesting facts we should know about you? I was a championship wrestler at school! And I was also the smallest rugby hooker you have ever seen! What equipment did you use for the album? That really depends on which studio we were in. With Soulwax it was the full analogue kit; we recoded onto protocols but we also used a number of various synths including an EMS Synth and a Corp MS20. James mainly uses Logic combined with lots of synths, and with Gonzales it was project based using protools, whilst in Sweden we used loads of analogue gear and 301, 909, and 808 synths. Will you perform this album live or focus on DJ Sets? I would really like to get a band together but we haven't moved onto this project yet. I really need to start this project as it would be great and I would love to be able to perform the tracks with a live band. Ciao! � out now Kimberley Owen 087 Day D rea Photographer: Philip Valende Stylist: Kevin Stinson Maekup: Tiffany Torrence-Forde Hair: Eleo for MAC PRO Model: Amy Finlayson - Next Models mer Top by Tia Gugliotta, Skirt by Aaron Ashe 089 090 Top by Tia Gugliotta, Swimwear by Becca 091 092 Gown by Laila, Diamon earrings from whiteflash.com, shoes by Guess 093 094 Gown by Guishem 095 096 Dress by Lia Kes, Jewellery by jewlmak.com 097 098 Dress by Isaa London, Diamond necklace by whiteflahs.com, shhoes by johnfluvog.com 099 0100 Dress by Sheri Bodell, bracelets by whiteflash.com 0101 0102 Dress by Coast, Shoes by Mia Spiga, Bracelet by whiteflash.com 0103 0104 Dress by Tony Cohen 0105 GALLoWS WITH THE STATE OF EVERYTHING AT THE MOMENT, WHAT WITH RECESSION, PIG FLU, UNEMPLOYMENT, ETC, IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE GALLOWS and the release of their second album, named appropriately to remind us of what an amazing country, despite all this, we actually live in. So save your morale, boost your spirit, not only because of the hype and anticipation behind this release, but also to unite in your belief in the UK, go listen to Great Britain! Oh, hang on it's called Grey Britain, scrap all that, we're screwed. For anyone who doesn't know, can you give us a bit of background about the band? Gallows is a punk rock band that started in around 2005 in Watford. Just playing a bunch of hardcore shows and we basically stopped doing everything else to play gigs and that's how we made a name for ourselves, playing shows constantly. Was it love at first sight between you all or were there any teething problems? Well we had all been aware of each other for ages in the area and through various bands that we had been in beforehand. So yeah, we gelled pretty well from the beginning. And did that explode as soon as you guys got together compared to what you were doing before? It was much quicker because we were older and experienced and doing other bands before meant we kind of knew what not to do with this one. We made sure we had a demo circulating before shows so people would know our songs from the off kind of thing. What was it like around Watford? Was that where your influences came from and was it the whole North London vibe that spurred you on? It was sort of the same in most towns up and down the country. Basically we were mainly bored of bands that were playing around here on a day to day 9-5 existence really, so we just wanted to make a band that we would want to go and see if we weren't doing it. I mean in Watford there were quite a few bands, but playing pretty safe stuff and we just wanted to play something less fashionable. Where did the name come from? Was that something you just decided? In all honesty I had it in mind for ages, we were trying to think of a something and I like Gallows as a name so I came up with it, told the guys and found out that Quentin Blake, the illustrator, who we were all big fans of, describes his sense of humour as having a gallows humour. So we kind of decided that it was the right name for us. You quite quickly went from playing in small shows up to big arenas and touring quite massively around the world. Do you prefer playing a big arena in America or is it more comforting to be at a small venue back home? If I had to pick one for the rest of our lives I would probably go for the bigger shows. They've both got their own merits really. You obviously get more interaction and energy levels in smaller places, but at the big ones you get to play to more people which is ultimately what you want to do as a band, you want as many people to hear your song as possible. We are one of those weird bands � I think we are equally happy on either. I think the songs translate pretty well. They did on the first record anyway. I think this next record is going to translate to those bigger venues a lot better than the last one did. Right � so you bare that in mind as you are expanding as a band and translate that through the music? I don't know about that but I know you think when we are writing parts that `the kids are going to go 0106 mental when this part kicks in' and stuff like that. To some degree you think about the live show when you're writing it. How would you say the second album is different to the first? Well the first one was thrown together really quickly, really chaotic and messy, basically done on no money and with not much time and we didn't think anyone would really hear it. We thought maybe a few copies in a few shops and that would be it. This one was written knowing it was going to get a lot of attention, we really wanted to try and make the record that we always dreamed to make as kids. So in any way the records could be different, they are. It's almost like a different band. It is definitely a Gallows record but the way we went about it and the options were open to us that weren't there before were numerous. pressure was, just to not let anyone down, that like you say, had invested a lot of time and money into our band like we have. But at the same time is it quite important to keep your values the same? Yes it is the most important thing � we always have full control over everything we do that that's always going to be that way. How important is the image of the band. Is that something that you sort of created or has that literally just evolved? Do we have an image? I don't know. I think... I guess it's a mix isn't it? Do you think it is important for a band to carry a style as an icon or is it completely an iconic sound that you think a band should create? Definitely, we just want to known for the songs. That's why we don't have anything like gimmicks. We don't look fashionable, we're just five dick-heads from Watford. Our photo shoots are basically what we do down the shops. Image isn't really something I think about anyway, being the bass player. Going back to your artwork how did you link up with Dan Mumford? He did our first record `Orchestra of Wolves' - the artwork for that and the singles. We've known Dan for years. I think it was one of the first records that he did the artwork for. He was from Watford. Our drummer used to be in a band with him back then and my old band used to tour with his old band. As you're progressing do you think you are fighting against the main stream? I think with the state of the country at the moment, it's opening up to us a lot more. We're going to be around no matter what, we never expected to be getting the kind of coverage we have. We are just going to keep doing what we are doing, I think the more people that are getting pissed off and realise that the country is crap and the music is crap will probably be more in Gallows as a result of it. I guess it is more the mainstream fighting you than you fighting the mainstream. Pretty much I mean you know, fuck it. And do you think you have a strong voice to people who listen to your music? Do you think people really listen to it? Is that the impression you get? I guess they do. I mean it is hard from my position to see it and be aware of it, but I think people generally do listen and like our band, with any forum you've got you have a responsibility to use it in a general way that isn't going to have a negative impact on anyone else and that's about as far as I think that about it. Ok, to tie it off, If you could write a song about the queen how would it go? Jesus! It would have no words and would just be the most disgusting bass noise I could ever make basically. Jonny Cazzola. www.jonnycazzola.com People must have had a lot of faith in it because of the time, money and effort they put into you... That was really where the only 0107 MISS oDDkIDD YES, IT'S TRUE YOU CAN LOOK AROUND TODAY AND SEE LOTS OF ODD KIDS, WHETHER THEY ARE LOUD, CRAZY, OR THEY ARE JUST GENERALLY BOISTEROUS, IN FACT THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF THEM ANNOYING THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF PENSIONERS EVERYWHERE. There is however one odd kid that we are particularly infatuated with � MISS OddKidd. Currently residing in London and terrorizing the masses with her zany hip-hop-come-grindie-slash pop core tunes, this one woman lady mc has become somewhat of a myspace heroine. Influenced at an early age by the likes of Madonna, Kylie, Prince and stuff that "her mom would put on like Four Tops, Gene Pitney and Motown" plus a hint of Stock, Aitken & Waterman, its easy to see why this little lady can't be categorized. It seems the original OddKidd was given the most appropriate name, "I had a jumper with `Odd Kid' written on it, and my friends caught on. I thought it summed me up pretty well," she explains. Getting into music was not as easy as everyone thinks as she declares when penning her first lyrics "they didn't have any flow or structure." Well it seems that she has now found her feet musically and is now collaborating with the likes of Goldielocks, Drop The Lime, and Black Affair a.k.a Steve Mason (ex. Beta Band) on her latest offering `Sweat' and it's flipside `Sperm Donar'. It's easy to wonder how she got involved with such great artists so early on, "Drop the Lime contacted me through myspace after coming across me on a blog," she explains "I also met Black Affair through myspace as well and my boyfriend met Plimsouls in a toilet in Bristol and asked if he'd be up for remixing me! I never thought to ask what they were doing hanging around in there!?" As you are reading this you are probably thinking, `not another female artist', well its seems that Miss OddKidd is aiming to win you over by "being myself and collaborating with interesting producers, whilst taking a lyrical approach that people can identify with," oh fancy, she gets our vote. But surely with a mouth dirty enough to spit out the words "sperm donor" and a style as florescent as it is inventive Miss OddKidd's tracks and style are notably influenced by social situations, life, clubbing and day-to-day observations, oh an she also has a penchant for "watching animal documentaries" grrrrrrr. Making a name for yourself in London seems like a bit of a clich� nowadays but it seems this lady is somewhat of an advocate of re-locating to the big smoke, "People in London are spoilt for choice, and it's also very easy to befriend people in the same boat as you, which can be very helpful when you're in need of advice or inspiration." Signed to Locked On for her latest venture `Don't be Afraid to Sweat' with a little help from her pal and fellow label mate Goldielocks the future seems bright for Miss OddKidd, in fact is might just be fluorescent. World meet the original OddKidd. Kimberley Owen 0108 Barefoot wine has now ! arrived in Birmingham ooters Look out for our Baref ty, at events across the ci get encouraging people to at time! Barefoot and have a gre d 150 Local Available to buy at aroun resher, The Local, Independent Stores, Th dgens and Londis. . . Wine Rack, Co-Op, Bu To find out more about Barefoot email: com sandytoes2007@hotmail. up or join the Facebook gro `I've tried Barefoot Wine and I love it!' 8