Quotes collected back in 2002 (taken from my old fansite)
Tom at the Q Awards from Radio 1
ESP weren’t too impressed with their Best New Act nomination. They’ve been signed for ages and Tom says they’re finding it hard to get excited about being shortlisted: “For us it’s kind of strange. It’s a little late almost. We worked for nearly nine months a year or something on the first record. Some of those songs were two years old, so they’re like four years old now, those songs. It’s all kind of old news for us. Best New Band? We’ve been signed for two years! It’s weird – we just don’t feel like a new band” (but they won and they deserved it)
Electric Soft Parade have told Radio 1 about the down-side of being invited to support The Who at The Royal Albert Hall (February 7 and 8)
The label came up with a rubbish marketing campaign: we’re playing with The Who therefore let’s all get on Vespas and ride about town. We’d probably get a slap if we’d turned up on them.
Tom at the Mercury Music Prize from Radio 1
The Electric Soft Parade were just as concerned that everyone else was having a good time as they were – Tom just wanted to get his mum drunk: My parents are just out there like, ‘Oh, it’s so good, it’s so good’. I’m gonna get my mum drunk, ’cause she’ll have a good time if she’s drunk she’ll be fine. As long as she stays sober she’ll have a shit time… Yeah, just trying to make as many people as happy as possible, using whatever force is reasonable. Sorry… I just flicked fag ash on your shoe.
Steve Lamacq, Radio 1
If you open up the album sleeve there is a collage of photos that make up a room…
Alex: It’s Tom’s bedroom, that’s his bed on the left. Tom: It was taken in 97/98 and I was doing some recording and there was a four-track on the floor and guitars lying around. Some of the stuff which made the album was recorded on four-track.
Alex: A lot of the demos were done on a four-track, before we got in the studio and with loads of money. They formed the basis of the tracks and we just put other stuff on the top. If there was a vocal that was shoddy we’d just put a new vocal on it.
Tom: The way we built the tracks and arranged them was quite a complex way, and we could have done it a lot simpler. The way that each instrument works with the others and the way every instrument sounds different from the last makes the overall album seem quite varied. There’s quite a lot of stuff that people may not hear first time.
Success stories – Electric Soft Parade – Alex at XFM
To keep things going while on tour, they’ve started experimenting with different ways of song writing.
“We’re not the sort of band to say “This is what happens, this is what we do, this is how we write a song, this is how we play live” and never question it. It’s like “Why are we doing this, why is it like this, can we do it better?” That’s how we look at stuff. So recently we’ve been recording and writing using Pro Tools on a Mac. There’s no worry about tape space, so I’ll get on the drums and Tom will get on the guitar or piano and we’ll just jam away and play some rubbish. Occasionally fifteen seconds of it will be great, and we’ll listen through all the shite and go “That bit there’s good, I’ll have that”
So what advice would he give to unsigned acts that are trying to make it?
“Just believe in it man. If you do get signed and get a certain level of fame then you have to deal with people going “This band are shit” and shouting things at you at gigs, saying really nasty things about you on the internet and in newspapers – all sorts of things. If you’re slightly unsure that you’re any good and someone’s going “This band are the worst thing I’ve ever seen” your confidence is just gonna be knackered”
BBC Southampton 5th Nov
BBC Southampton’s Indy Almroth-Wright headed backstage for a chat with drummer/songwriter Tom White when their tour stopped off at The Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth.
How old were you when you discovered your musical talents?
Me and Alex kind of realised at the same time that we wanted to get more into music. I was about 10 or 11 when I first really got stuck into music. I’d had a lot of piano lessons and stuff before that. It’s interesting because a lot of people pre-10 years old if they learn anything other than the violin or the piano first are more likely to drop it, so I totally owe everything to my parents.
Were your parents cool about you leaving school and pursuing a career in rock’n’roll?
They weren’t cool at first because I had no money and I dropped out of college a week after I started my A-levels – Alex just dossed until we got some money coz we just had nothing. So they were very un-cool about it for a while but I’m glad they kinda chilled with us.
Do you ever fall out with each other?
We did this morning – me and Alex fell out because my dad said he’d give us a lift over from Brighton so he could come and see the show tonight. So, we all jumped into the car and then 10 minutes into the journey Alex started off on one. It’s not great fun when it happens but I guess it something that all siblings do – it’s not an attractive thing.
Did you enjoy the Q Awards launch party last week?
Yeah it was good fun – we didn’t think we fitted in there at all, we were rubbing shoulders with Chris Martin and Idlewild.
You’ve been nominated for best new act, but you’ve already got four albums out…
Yeah, that’s something that me and Alex brought up because we’re not a new band – but cheers anyway! There’s a lot of other bands that have formed in the last couple of years that could easily have walked away with that.
Are there any bands that you hang out with now?
A lot of the Brighton bands like Tenderfoot, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, British Sea Power – they all hang out at the same studio.
Who’s the weirdest person you’ve ever met?
I think probably Dave Grohl (Nirvana) – he’s quite a character. I met him at the Fuji rock festival and just kind of waved at him and he came over and hugged me. He was very excited, he’s got so much energy, he’s so driven as a person – he wasn’t particularly weird, just excited and having fun.
In the terms of ‘weird’, the guy from Muse, Matt – he’s not a weird bloke but the most surreal thing happened when we were staying in a hotel in Shepherds Bush. I was in my room with my girlfriend at 12 something at night and we got a call ‘Hi this is Matt from Muse, is that Tom?’ and I thought Matt from Muse just called my hotel room! That freaked me out a bit. And then he came down to my room and had a drink with us!
What’s been the band’s highlight so far?
Probably this tour actually, it’s been really ace. We’ve just learnt a load of new songs and me and Alex have been in the studio for a while and it’s just made it a load more exciting for everyone having the new tracks to play alongside the old – it’s just pushed it on.
What are your plans for next year?
We’re hopefully going to get a new album out in February or March and then we’ll just do the same thing over again – just tour playing everywhere hopefully go to Japan again and go over to Australia.
Alex and Tom interviewed on fm4.orf.at radio 13th Feb
“We’ve been making albums, we call them albums, they are kind of demo records, but we sold them and had our own label down in Brighton before we got a deal with an actual record company, so we’ve kind of been producing stuff and been recording in studios for probably four or five years”
“In Britain, after Britpop sort of faded out, a lot of dance stuff took over the mainstream. Before ‘Britpop’ there was ‘Indie’, and now it’s ok again to be ‘indie’. We are an ‘indie’ band, a rock band, whatever. You know, the thing is when a journalist or when someone says something is ‘indie’, people automatically assume that they are undermining it and kind of that people use it as a detrimental word. There’s a lot of baggage attached to it”
“I think being young is something that you can either use to your advantage or you can kind of let it annoy you and let it have a bad effect on things. It’s a positive thing for us because we know that we are not gonna burn out quickly. We’ve got so many more years on our side. We’ve got so much more time to develop what we are doing. It’s really exciting to know that we are at the start of it at 17 whereas some bands start their careers at 27. It’s good that people are realizing that we are not kids because it’s hard when people kind of go, oh they are good for their age or something like that. We wanna be judged like everyone else”
“A song like ‘Empty at the end’ is quite simple really. It’s kind of like the Strokes but before the Strokes, that kind of way of songwriting, very classic, sort of traditional songwriting. It’s not overly experimental songwriting. We like it as a song, but once you get into the record, it’s a formulaic, knowingly, but it’s a formulaic song, so once you get your head round the rest of the album there’s a lot of big epic stuff there”
Jo Whiley, Radio 1
What’s the least flattering thing that someone’s said about you?
Tom: I think an NME review for one of our singles which simply read “Bog Standard Indie”
Those phrases stay with you don’t they?
Tom: You never forget things like that… you never forget who wrote them either…
And have you met that journalist yet? And did you challenge him?
Tom: Yeah I did. No.