Interview: Solving the White Lies equation
Interview: Solving the White Lies equation
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Tuesday, 30, Jun 2009 09:04
By Matthew Champion.
inthenews.co.uk caught up with fresh-faced, convention-avoiding rockers White Lies backstage at Glastonbury. Find out what they had to say about three sets in three days, Bruce Springsteen's helicopter, and dressing up as cowboys and Indians.
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Matthew Champion: White Lies - Congratulations on the set yesterday, I was jumping around in the photo pit, how do you think it went?
Jack Lawrence-Brown: We were told it went very well, we were too scared on stage to really take in any of it. I was worried about everything the whole time and just very tense.
But there were a few moments when I felt this was going well. I actually watched it back this morning on my bunk in the bus on the BBC website and it looked good, we did well.
MC: Why the nerves?
JLB: Because it's Glastonbury and its one of the big boys, the second biggest stage here. There were a lot of people there, festivals are very different to other shows because I'd say 80 per cent of the audience is always going to be made up of people who aren't necessarily fans, they're just intrigued or curious about what you do, maybe they've heard a song maybe they haven't. So you're not going there playing to your home team, you're playing to people you really have to either win over or put off. You have half an hour to do that and it gets a bit tense sometimes.
MC: You've got two sets left, what have you got planned for those to bring people to all three?
Harry McVeigh: Well the set on John Peel [on Saturday] will be different, not hugely different, but different. It's obviously a different setting and we're going to be much more relaxed... hopefully a more relaxed performance.
MC: Is it possible for White Lies to be relaxed?
HM: (Really slowly) Yeah.
Charles Cave: Possibly even sexy.
JLB: It will still be intense but relaxingly-intense, possibly even sexily-intense; there you go.
MC: Any more Bruce Springsteen tributes?
HM: No because The Boss is playing today and we'll be playing at exactly the same time as he is, so it just wouldn't work.
MC: Will you try and catch any of his set?
HM: Yeah I would like to see a bit of his performance, he is renowned as one of the best performers in the world and his shows are meant to be amazing so it would be a shame not to see him once in your life.
MC: How's your Glastonbury experience overall?
CC: I came here last year for the first time as a punter, it was really, really good actually, I had a really good time. It's quite different on this side, doing the playing and everything. In a way it's a little better [being a fan] in terms of seeing bands, if you're playing you have to be realistic about who you can see. We know today we can only see two bands with our own stuff; just see the things that are important to you.
MC: Who are you most looking forward to seeing?
CC: We went and saw the Horrors [on Friday] out of interest whether they could do the new album justice live, and I think we were all really impressed with them though. They really stepped it up a lot.
MC: What do you guys do between your sets? We know that when people do just one they come in for the day and chopper out...
HM: (Points at helicopter) There's one right there.
MC: Probably The Boss...
JLB: What do we get up to at a festival? We wander around, eat some nice food.
HM: Well sometimes...
JLB: The food here is good, I think that tent over there has got really good food, went in the other day and they have some sit down dining, I'm going to go over there and get some food I think...
MC: Is that White Lies' top tip for Glastonbury cuisine?
JLB: Yeah I think it might be, I don't know what it's called though.
MC: Echo and the Bunnymen are on tomorrow, one of the bands your sound has been likened to. In terms of your own influences, where do they sit?
HM: Well when we were growing up in our previous band and just as teenagers we listened a lot to Talking Heads and I'd say they were a big influence on us. Not just in terms of music but in crafting original songs that are different but also accessible. But there are lots of things, we have a very diverse taste in music, we all have different influences, whatever we're into at the time influences our music.
MC: What's next for you guys?
JLB: We're touring until December, two weeks off over Christmas then get stuck into it, just get it done. We've all got pent-up energy and excitement and we want to put that into a new album, possibly take some time off while that gets mixed and packaged up. And then it all starts again.
MC: What direction are you going in?
JLB: To the food tent.
MC: And in a musical sense?
HM: Village People.
MC: More costumes?
HM: I'll be the cowboy.
CC: I'll be the sailor.
HM: And Tommy [Bowen] can be the Indian.
MC: Tommy's not here so Tommy doesn't have a choice...
JLB: The thing is with the first record, completely unconsciously... not unconsciously, subconsciously, is really pushing it towards a not 'now' sounding album, and a lot of the things coming out now seem to be drawing upon prog rock, and we will be making a huge effort to stay away from anything like that, otherwise it will be kicked into the same genre. So we just want to find a way of making out a pathway again and bringing an album out whenever it comes out that doesn't sound like anything out there and stands apart from other albums and rock bands.
MC: Three sets at Glastonbury, a number one album under your belts, did you ever think it would be possible?
CC: Yeah, you know it's not something you consider, there weren't things that were among our goals, so no I guess. It's very bizarre in terms of where we were this time last year. Last year at Reading we were on a smaller stage early in the morning but this year we're on the Radio 1 Stage, so that's how you can see the progress that we've had over this year.
MC: Final question, what is the next goal?
CC: Always the next record, and the next album. And just multiply everything by ten. Everything multiplied by ten.
MC: How about White Lies10 for the new album title?
CC: White Lies10! [Laughs]
JLB: Mate... tell me you haven't copyrighted that.
CC: A bit like Mariah Carey's E=MC2...
MC: White Lies do Mariah Carey?
HM: White Lies: Divide and Multiply? But then you're just back where you started...
CC: White Lies= pi
Review: White Lies, Glastonbury Other Stage, June 26th