Janice Long 5.7.07
Janice: It’s lovely to see all of these people again. We’ve got Thomas White, Alex White, last time I saw you was in Belfast wasn’t it, it was years ago. And we had a fantastic night, you played and Suede.
Alex: And Goldrush… Tom: They signed us. Alex: That’s the first time we ever met them yeah.
Janice: Isn’t it strange, it’s a small world. And Matthew Twaites with us… and Mathew Priest, my god. The Dodgy fella. Alex: Literally your God, literally.
Janice: We’ve had some times together. We were just talking actually, we’ve presented programmes at Glastonbury for Radio Avalon and had some mad nights out. So lovely to see you all again, so where’ve you been?
Alex: All over, everywhere, where haven’t we been. America, Kent…
Tom: We’ve just done a month in America, like 2 shows a night with Brakes as well, who me and Alex also play in. In the interim, since the second ESP record we’ve done 2 Brakes albums and The Human Body EP and now we’ve got this third record out.
Janice: When you go out with Brakes are you supporting yourselves?
Tom: It gets a bit confusing at times but it works. The Americans seem to dig it. It went down well.
Janice: Tell us about Istanbul. Alex: Oh yeah it was great.
Janice: I just heard the most fantastic story about Marilyn Manson.
Alex: He’s got a little bit of an entourage going on, 27 was the count, something like that. Brakes have got about two and a half.
Janice: Wasn’t it the case that he didn’t want the English bands to drink the beer or something.
Alex: There was all kinds of things going on, it was pretty heavy. The thing that did our heads in was all his crew were all over the stage while the other bands were trying to set up, Long Blondes played and The Horrors played and their guys were trying to set up and all his crew were just like flies all over the stage. It was like, you’re not on yet, wait your turn.
Janice: I heard a couple of stories, one was “put that down” – The Horrors had actually picked up a box and it was Marilyn Manson’s confetti box.
Tom: It was a C02 cannon. The Tour Manager was like “you’ll die if that goes off in your face”, I won’t swear but he used some expletives at Faris from The Horrors.
Alex: He called him Horace, that was the best thing: “Are you Horace?”
Janice: And what was the other thing, nobody was allowed to look at Marilyn?
Alex: That’s the classic rock star thing, don’t look ’em in the eye.
Janice: But it’s just bizarre, isn’t it, music being this great leveller, and then you get people like that.
Tom: Well, this is it, our dressing room was right next to The Horrors and it was all marquees, so we just took the canvas divide out and the two dressing rooms became one big party and it was brilliant, and we all had a great day, and Marilyn Manson cordoned himself off with this Playboy logo curtain stuff.
Janice: Do you think maybe it’s because Dita’s not there anymore. Tom: Let’s not go into it.
Janice: Let’s have some music, what are you doing for us?
Tom: We’re going to do our new single which is coming out imminently.
Janice: We’ve been playing this. Tom: Brilliant. Janice: Misunderstanding yeah. Tom: Shall we do it? Janice: Please.
Janice: Yes! That’s the new single from Electric Soft Parade, Misunderstanding, which is from the album, No Need To Be Downhearted. And that’s the oldest track on the album?
Tom: Pretty much. Janice: Been around for a while? Tom: Good few years. Janice: Various productions of it yeah. Tom: It kind of evolved.
Alex: I read a thing. It was Leonard Cohen in Word magazine going on about how you can’t force a song. Hallelujah took 5 years to become Hallelujah, and everyone going on about what an amazing song it is, it’s so simple and everything but actually, it took him that long just to get round to being able to present it, just kinda letting it happen and not forcing it.
Janice: So is it like a little pit bull sort of going (probably gesturing but we can’t see it) and eventually you work it all out.
Alex: Kind of yeah, I try not to think about it too much, the whole songwriting process.
Janice: You’re doing Truck Festival, which is Goldrush’s Festival, isn’t it.
Tom: The Levellers Festival (Beautiful Days) both of those are proper family festivals.
Janice: Nick Harper was in and he actually wrote a song about that festival and The Levellers on his new album. Have you ever seen him?
Tom: Yeah I saw him in Brighton a few years ago. Janice: So still living in Brighton? Alex: can’t get out.
Janice: Do you remember when you came into Pebble Mill, when we were still there, and you Tom couldn’t make it to the session, you weren’t well or whatever, and you went and bought a guitar on the way and came in and did this thing all on your own.
Alex: I think that’s the guitar we were just on about, that guitar, I think we’ve lost it. Tom: We mislaid it at Glastonbury.
Janice: Alright, what are you going to do for us now?
Tom: We’re going to do a tune, it’s on the new album. It was first on The Human Body EP, which was the first thing we did with Truck. A song called Cold World.
Janice: It’s Cold World, and it’s Electric Soft Parade, who are playing live. No Need To Be Downloaded… (everybody laughs) No Need To Be Downhearted.
Alex: We’re changing it right now. Tom: Don’t need to download it, just buy it.
Janice: So you mention you (Brakes) went out with The Horrors, with nice Horace… and The Long Blondes. And The Twang asked you to go out, I love The Twang.
Alex: They’re brilliant. Tom: They’re proper dudes. They’re amazing, so funny. Alex: Local boys to here.
Janice: They came in here and just so nice. Did you have a good time with them?
Tom: Yeah they just treated us well, like I said earlier it was the first time a band’s ever personally kind of gone through the agent and gone “we want this band to come on tour with us” and I guess it was the first chance they’d had to choose the support and do that size tour. And we’d actually seen a bunch of months ago on their first NME piece, there’d been a shot of them in one of the bands bedroom or something and there was a little Holes In The Wall advert on their bedroom wall.
Janice: So real fans, that’s great.
Tom: Infact they turned up in our dressing room on the first night and started singing our tunes at us. It was pretty scary really.
Janice: Do you like them as a band because that guitarist…
Alex: We got right into it, we only did 5 dates, by the end we were just like singing every tune.
Janice: Either Way is such an anthem isn’t it. Alright, we’re going to do one more before you disappear and have an incredibly busy summer, working your socks off. Alright then, what are you going to do.
Alex: We’re going to do a tune called Everybody Wants, off the EP we put out. Tom: End of 2005, it’s the first thing we did with Truck, so we’re honouring them.
Tom: The Festival’s the best line-up they’ve had, I think. Rotary Club making burgers at the back of the field, it’s just one field, you can’t get lost, you can’t lose your shoes trying to trudge through mud.
Alex: It’s the perfect size for a festival, 5000 people is about the cut off. And the fact that they can’t make it like Glastonbury, they can’t go “we’ll just use another field”, there’s no more space.
Alex: (introduces) Everybody Wants: This is for Harriet my girlfriend, if she’s still listening and not fallen asleep. Tom: Sorry man, my guitar’s way too loud and it’s not going down. Janice: Tell you what we could do, is go to a track, go to the news and come out of the news with it… Here we are with Electric Soft Parade, and they’re about to do their final tune.
Tom: I think we’re all good now. I think we’re ready to go. It’ll be perfect. Everybody Wants, Take 2. I want to say hi to Kirstie as well up in Glasgow and Stuart down in Brighton and anyone else who’s listening and all that.
Janice: Paul Kramer, who’s emailed to say you were on the cover of the first Hit Sheet and you’re still his favourite band, and he said I’m made up you’ve got them in Janice. Tom: Well hello Paul.
Janice: Wow, why do I love my job – that’s why. Everybody Wants, Electric Soft Parade. That was absolutely brilliant, thankyou very much indeed. No Need To Be Downhearted is the album. Enjoy the summer, thank you for bringing Andy Winters with you because it was lovely to see him, I haven’t seen him for a long time. And to Mathew and Matthew and Alex and Thomas. Thanks, that was great.