FM4 Interview

Hi guys, Electric Soft Parade here in the studio. Can you briefly introduce yourselves please.

TW: My name’s Thomas White and I play guitar and I sing and write some songs and this is my brother Alex.

A: Hello!

So you’re a family on tour?

TW: Kind of, except our parents aren’t here and our cat isn’t here either.

I heard when you made your first album, your parents had to sign the contract because you were so young back then?

A: For Tom. TW: For me yeah our Dad had to sign my bit of the first contract ‘cos I was 16.

So tonight you’re going to play at The Flex in Vienna… TW: Are we not playing Chelsea?

Thanks for correcting me. A: We did play Flex in about 2002.

I read that you remember still the Flex gig you played 6 years ago.

TW: It was great, really good gig.

And so tonight it’s The Chelsea, also a cool club. But I think a lot of things happened in those 6 years, since you recorded your first album. How can you describe it, what’s your mood, how’s it going with the band and being on tour?

TW: Well I think the whole kinda musical climate’s changed, there’s a lot more bands, there’s millions, thousands more bands than there were when we first started out. So you can look at that one of two ways; you can look at it as in it’s over saturated and it’s impossible to get yourself noticed, or you can look at it as there’s loads of bands and most of them are pretty rubbish so it makes us look better, which is kind of how I see it. Sorry. But yeah.

Did you experience this rock music boom especially in England?

TW: The English press, the NME and stuff still do it, they still hype bands up when a band first comes out, and bands and labels still fall for it, you still get new bands spending ridiculous amounts of money on their first record and it’s still happening nowadays but I won’t mention any names, but there’s bands who’ve come out even in the last 2 or 3 years who’ve done exactly the same thing that happened to us on our first 2 records is still happening.

A: People don’t learn from these things. TW: The British music industry doesn’t learn lessons.

A: We don’t feel connected with that at all, we’ve always kind of done our own thing and just kind of exist.

You started with a major company and now you’re on an indie?

TW: Well we’re on different labels around the world now. With our first two records they were on BMG, it’s like a blanket thing that goes round the world, you’re automatically released on that label right throughout the world but indie labels suit us so much better because they just let you get on with it… at the end of the day, a painter isn’t told to paint all his paintings in green because green’s selling this year. It’s a singular vision which creates a piece of art…

A: It’s the irony of the music industry that they want something new and fresh but if you try and do something new and fresh they go no no, we know that works, do that. They try and push you around and labels like Truck and Rough Trade, they just take your record, whatever you say the record is and just release it and that’s perfect for us really not to have to adhere to some set of rules, or a guy in a suit telling you how to do it.

Could you as a band, The Electric Soft Parade, make your living just by selling records?

TW: No, playing live, merchandise, PRS, most people don’t really get the kind of levels a band works on. It is possible but that’s not really the important thing. The important thing is to make something idiosyncratic, something that’s true to us.

After 6 years, you started when you were 16 and you were 18, you’re still very very young, so does it sometimes feel like “all my adult life has been playing in a rock n roll band”, that’s a little strange sometimes?

A: It is quite weird, you ask about making money and stuff, if we can make money off it. We do other things, I’ve got a job and I play with a band called The Pipettes. Tom plays with various other bands and does his own solo project as well. We’ve got loads of things going on, we then come back and do Soft Parade.

Tonight, it’s bringing your new album to the Vienna Chelsea, and you’re gonna play new songs… A: Play the whole record in order. TW: With visuals. We’ve got a screen on the go as well.

Before you do that, you’ve brought your guitar and you’re going to play some songs now for our listeners. May I ask you what songs?

A: We’re going to do Silent To The Dark which was on our first album and we’re gonna do a couple of ones off the new album, Shore Song and Come Back Inside.

OK thankyou very much Electric Soft Parade. Thanks very much for visiting us.

A: Thankyou. TW: Cheers man.