Tuesday, 21 October 2008

"I've given up on teenagers" - an interview with Lo-Fi Culture Scene

Sorry it’s been so long since last post; I’ve had lots of work. To make up for it you can read an exciting interview I did with Lo-Fi Culture Scene frontman Jacob Wheldon from around a week ago. The band will be releasing a one-off video for their great song, ‘Footsteps’ (which you can hear now on their MySpace along with fantastic tune, ‘Silhouettes’) and then sometime around April they’ll be releasing their second single, ‘Waxwork’.
Since last time the boys have begun their GCSE courses, and it is a mark of his commitment that Jacob was willing to participate in an interview rather than, say, finishing off his English essay. Here is the result of that fateful interview: So, last time we did an interview [read HERE], it was just before Abstract was released. And that sold out, we saw your video on MTV2 and heard the single on the radio various times - were you surprised? It wasn't really surprising as our label had told us the press plan, but it was quite a shock when it actually happened, it's really weird seeing/hearing yourself when you're not expecting it. But it was nice; seeing ourselves on MTV2 was great and it made us feel like we'd accomplished something: we'd got to that next stage. Next year, in promotion of ‘Waxwork’ can we expect any touring? Hopefully next summer we’ll do some touring, but I can’t be sure. We’re doing some more out of London shows though; we’re supporting Mystery Jets in Nottingham, and South Central in Shrewsbury. Ahh; I really wanted to go see Mystery Jets in Portsmouth but they sold out! Yeah, they’re amazing! Recently they've become a major influence, and one of our favourite acts. Not just because of the second album but we've kind of,’re-discovered' their first album and we're hooked, so we're over the moon that we have the chance to support them [shameless plug time: I love the first album too; check out my review of it HERE on KHI if you haven’t already] I actually felt a bit of a Mystery Jets vibe in ‘Silhouettes’ though I can’t pinpoint why… But anyway, ‘Silhouettes’: I felt there was a more obvious confidence in the sound. Should we be expecting this sort of sound in future? There is a confidence that we have now, that we didn't before. Before, it didn't feel like we were in the driver’s seat; we were making music that was kind of popular: catchy tunes and poppy songs that we like as well, but it wasn't really what we wanted to be doing. 'Abstract' [youtube] put us in a position where we had more control over where to go next, we've been having a lot of talks about where we want to go, been listening to a lot of music, and trying out a lot of different sounds. 'Silhouettes' is what we ended up with. We're also trying writing songs around piano, using a few different sounds, nothing major, but just a slight change in direction. I'm not sure if it will stay that way; for now, certainly, the other new songs we're writing are in that vein, but we're so fickle with our taste it might well change soon... So next time we look you could be some hardcore electro group with your vocals less singing more screeching? It's possible. We're really 'digging' Gallows, Enter Shikari, as well as getting into some Iron Maiden at the moment so…you never know! [laughs] I'm excited already. Speaking of, Gallows were at Underage festival. You headlined one of the stages there - how was that? It was fun; we didn't perform very well, mainly because we were so tired having watched all the bands playing the festival earlier in the day. But it was nice; it felt like a good end to our first year in music. [Suspiciously, there is no YouTube evidence of said performance] So, if not Underage, which shows do you feel you've played the best? Our best show was probably at the Astoria for the NME - supporting Les Savy Fav & Los Campesinos! Our manager did our sound and got it absolutely perfect; everything just seemed to work for once! Were the crowd into it? Not really! [Laughs] Most of them were just shouting things like, “I swear you’re not old enough to be allowed into the venue!” Which…technically was true, but y’know. I think we won a lot of them over by the end so I was happy. Was it weird going from playing fairly small venues to the somewhat legendary Astoria? It was a really amazing experience - we played Astoria, and then the next week we played Monto Water Rats. It was so odd – Water Rats is an 180 capacity venue, Astoria around 1800. Do you feel like you gained some knowledge/experience from playing there then? I'd like to say yes…but, not really other than it put all the venues that we have played/do play in a bad light. However, we got to meet Les Savy Fav & Los Campesinos! They’re two of the nicest bands ever. And two of the best. Who’ve been your favourite bands to support so far then? Ah, so many. Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club, Mumm-Ra, Los Campesinos!, Les Savy Fav, Bloc Party etc. I’d have to say Bloc Party though; they’re my favourite band of all time, so it was like a dream come true. Are Bloc Party nice people? Yeah Bloc are really nice; we were so nervous before meeting them let alone going on stage! But they made us feel really welcome...Still nearly fainted though - when I shook Kele's hand... Whatever; I shook Jacqueline Wilson’s hand one time and you don’t see me showing off about it. Anyway, I won't judge you about this but...do you like ‘Mercury’? I do; I love the new Bloc Party album. It's very good. I just…don't get ‘Mercury’. I don't know what is about it that makes everyone dislike it! I just think it's a good song, simple as. Got a good tune, it's cool, got some funky stuff going down. Fair enough. So what have Lo-Fi got lined up for the rest of 2008? Well, we're writing a lot, hopefully going to get a proper recording session in. As mentioned earlier, we’ve got some great shows coming up with South Central, Mystery Jets, and some others which will be announced soon. We're playing a lot of the new stuff over the next few shows to see how it goes down. Having said that even if people are literally running to the hills covering their ears we will probably still keep it because we like it. "Running to the hills covering their ears" - maybe if you tried an Iron Maiden cover. We were thinking of covering 'Something Kinda Oooh' by Girls Aloud; Callum makes an excellent Cheryl Cole, don't you think? Callum might have to wear a bit more make-up, but other than that I think you're sorted. We already have the ginger as well. I like that you've thought this through; shows initiative. You'll go far. However, I always liked 'Sound of the Underground' better than 'Something Kinda Oooh' – it had a mean riff. 'Sound Of The Underground' is a tune. 'Love Machine' is the big one - but Arctic Monkeys covered that so that's out of the question Yeah - amazing cover too... Anyway, have your fans ever done anything weird? And do you have fans in places you hadn't expected? Our fans on the whole are just generally normal, good looking, fantastic human beings. Anyone being a fan from out of London kind of freaks us out. And we have a LOT of Japanese fans; it's a shame we can't really understand their English; we'd love to get to know them better! So a "konichiwa" to your Japanese fans? Indeed. But yeah, our fans are amazing; we love them all from Phillipe the French God, to Daniel, the Lo-Fi version of Jesus, to each and every one of them; they're all amazing. Except some girl called Tara. Yeah...Isle of Wight people - freaks the lot of 'em. Now let's not get racist, Tara; that's just plain out of order The Isle of Wight isn't a race of people... we're a community. Anyway, What's the reaction like at gigs outside of London? Cos I guess in London you've established a fanbase now whereas maybe not as much outside? Well to be honest we haven't done many out of London shows; we did Brighton with Bloc Party which was amazing - we had a great reaction. Then we played Truck Festival in Oxford and packed out the tent and then Shrewsbury with Bombay where the whole crowd seemed to like us. [pauses] It’s a shame the whole crowd was Bombay Bicycle Club and Flashguns, but, y’know. But you're going back to Shrewsbury regardless of apparently no-one coming? Yes; it was a great venue, and the promoter was really nice - it was his first night using that venue, and apparently it's come a long way. Also the promoter bought us Pizza Express; what more could you ask for?! You've got to love Pizza Express. Any recommended new bands? There aren't many new bands to be honest. I'd say at the moment, new bands probably; Flashguns and Catalan Corruption. I'm really into Ladyhawke and Frankmusik at the moment though. Oh, and Inflatable Mystery Parade. I like ‘Inflatable Mystery Parade’ as a band name; regardless of not having listened to them, I like them. Top band, really good. Bands you’d love to support/play with, in a dream scenario? Sigur Ros, Frankmusik, Radiohead, Late Of The Pier and Cajun Dance Party (everyone assumes we’ve supported the latter, but we haven’t). And Esser; he’s amazing. [sorry, I got bored of posting links by this point... just google them.] So, how do you feel about being linked to this sort of "underage scene"? Is it cool or demeaning or...? Like I can remember some Cajun Dance Party interviews where they got really tetchy about people talking about their age. We don't really mind, we prefer not to talk about it, but i think the underage scene is quickly coming to a stop; no-one really took the places of Bombay, The More Assured, Cajun etc. All Age Concerts and Assembly have stopped. Underage Club don't put on regular shows anymore; it's a real shame… It’s time for a revolution! Not like Lenin-style obviously. Did you know Lenin is on display in a glass coffin somewhere in Moscow? I found out the other day. Yeah…I knew that ages ago. Whatever Jacob, no-one even cares. But yeah, it's time for a revolution, teenagers are getting boring; every week it's the same, “did you hear about him and her?”, “oh yeah; this guy tried this drug”, “oh my god she got so smashed”! It's dull - the underage scene needs some spark! So Lo-Fi aren't digging that? I certainly am not. So what do you propose needs to be done? How should the youth rebel? I really don't know, but I think it's time that someone stood away from the crowd for once; everyone just follows each other into that whole situation as if it's law! The problem is, the other extreme seems to be staying in all the time and playing Halo or whatever on the Xbox 360. [And when you read this, you know I’m talking about you]. Well personally I spend a lot of time just writing songs, but I guess that's not an outlet for a lot of people…I don't know, I just think people need to consider why they're doing all this, and realise that they don't need to get into it all; to me it all seems pointless, I can have a good time if I drink apple juice at parties - it tastes better than alcohol and isn't bad for you, so it all just seems like the right option. But everyone's got to realise that for themselves if they want to. I'm impressed. What a mature outlook. I've given up on teenagers to be honest; they seem to be proud of being seen as bad people - it's just disgusting. I mean, I'm not saying that it's all teenagers, but loads of them are like that. Let’s get away from the old man rant and back to you lot being teenagers; you've just started GCSEs, so are you foreseeing a bit of a downturn in output as a band or not at all? I don't know, it's a hard one. I mean, so far, it's been just as usual, but the work hasn't really hit hard yet, so I can't really tell. We will try to keep the ball rolling, and to be honest, we all write in our free time, and we always find time to rehearse because we love doing it, and especially with the change of style we're much more passionate about the music. That makes us more eager to write and do things with Lo-Fi than before, so I think it all levels out. For people who haven't listened to you before: describe your sound in three words? Relatable, accessible, artrockguitarmusic. Your personal desert island track, and why? Just one song? ‘So Here We Are’ - Bloc Party. It has everything…it's full of emotion, it's full of beauty, it's got a great tune, you can listen to it in whatever mood your in and reflect on it in so many different ways Let’s finish off on an intelligent/political note to make us both look cool; who do you think should be the next US president? Obama. Standard.
Thanks to Jacob and Lo-Fi Culture Scene. And to thank you for reading, here is the Jack 'Bombay Bicycle Club' Steadman remix of Lo-Fi Culture Scene's, 'Catch 22'. [download]
Photo credit: Joel K Crisp


Anonymous said...

This is a really interesting interview - they've matured a lot over the last year both musically and generally as people. Shall be interesting to see them progress over the next two years still further!

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview. They've matured a lot over the last year both as people and as musicians. Will be interesting to track their progress over the next year for sure!

billiejd said...

u didn't ask jacob if his balls have dropped.


Anonymous said...

haha what a bellend