wears the trousers magazine

latitude festival preview: wears the trousers meets slow club
July 15, 2009, 10:14 am
Filed under: feature, interrupting yr broadcast, video | Tags: , , ,


interrupting yr broadcast: slow club

2009 is a big year for Slow Club. After building up a devoted fanbase and a reputation as a live act not to be missed, Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor have gone and released their much anticipated debut album, Yeah So, into the world. Wears The Trousers caught up with them just before they took to the stage at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts to promote their recent single ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful’. Despite Rebecca suffering from what would later be diagnosed as tonsillitis, causing them to cancel their gigs supporting Jamie T in Bristol and Manchester, the pair were in a buoyant mood, happy to discuss their history so far, the new album, and hangover cures…

* * *

Yeah So has been anticipated for quite some time. Do you think your style has changed much over the last few years, and would it have been a very different record if you’d recorded it around the time ‘Me & You’ was released?

Both: Yes, definitely.

Rebecca: The most important thing for us was to wait until we were ready to record it as a band. It has been a long time coming but I think it sounds all the better for it. If people say it’s past its time or whatever, then fuck them [smiles defiantly]. That’s one of the reasons why we went with the title. It’s a cool thing to say. “Your new album’s shit.” “Yeah, so?”

There’s a lot of heartbroken songs on the record. Was it a conscious decision to leave some of your perkier numbers like ‘Me & You’ and ‘Summer Shakedown’ off to move away from the irritating ‘twee’ tag? Or are you just sick to death of those songs?

Charles: It wasn’t a conscious decision to pick slow songs. We just thought if we put some of our older songs on there, we’re going to have to carry on playing them for the next two years, so we chose songs that we still enjoy playing live. I think it’s about a 50/50 split between slow and upbeat songs on the album.

How do you approach songwriting? Do you each write your own songs or is it a combined effort?

Rebecca: We each bring bits into the studio and then we put them together to make songs. We both write lyrics and music.

How bothered are you about the format your music takes? Do you agonise over whether to release an EP or an album, and make several tracklisting changes, or do you just want to get your music out there?

Charles: We don’t really agonise over it.

Rebecca: We know that loads of people have already downloaded the album illegally. Moshi Moshi have tried to remove lots of the links. To start with I was really pissed off, and then I thought about how when we started out I’d just be happy if anyone listened to our music! We’re pretty passionate about vinyl, so as well as downloads we release our stuff on vinyl. For real people.

The B-side to your latest single, ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful’, is called ‘Wild Blue Milk’? Sounds lethal. What is it?

Charles: ‘Wild Blue Milk’ is a painting I like. As well as making music I paint.

Rebecca: ‘Wild Blue Milk’ – thicker than water but not as thick as blood.

Charles: The painting on the cover is one of mine.

Rebecca: And the photo on the back of the 7″ is one of a series of photos we came across in America of a load of headshots of blokes who look like they’re being photographed with their pants down.

I read that you recruited the backing singers for ‘Let’s Fall Back in Love’ through Facebook. You seem to have really embraced the social networking thing. Do you think it makes it easier to communicate directly with your fans or do you find updating four or five sites with your every move a bit of a chore?

Rebecca: Do you think we’re good at it? I don’t think so really. I sometimes wish we were better. We don’t know how to pimp our Myspace page or anything like that. It can be a bit of a chore, yeah. We sometimes think, right, let’s update everything regularly from now on…and then we forget.

Charles: I forget! Everyone’s got a Myspace page now though haven’t they. [puts on an American infomercial voice] “You gotta have a Myspace page!”

Speaking of Myspace, you’ve said on there that you’re influenced by Leonard Cohen (Charles) and Rod Stewart (Rebecca). But who are your favourite female artists?

Rebecca: We’re not really influenced by Rod Stewart! That was me doing a funny.

Charles: I like Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom…

Rebecca: I like Kate Bush too. Oh, and Karen Carpenter. I love Karen Carpenter. There’s a video of her drumming on, like, 10 drum kits, and she’s on fire. Amazing.

What’s your favourite album of the year so far? Do you have any recommendations?

Rebecca: What’s come out this year? One album I really didn’t get was the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album. Their balls hung so much lower on their other albums. Their new one is a big steaming turd.

Charles: The new Dr Dog album. That’s great. I think that’s the only album I’ve bought this year, actually.

The fact you’re from Sheffield seems to crop up in every feature on you. How much of an effect do you think Sheffield has had on your music?

Both: None, really.

Rebecca: I think it’s just because we’re not from West London, and we don’t really fit into the London scene, that it gets mentioned.

You mentioned on your blog that you’ve recorded a Take Away Show with Vincent Moon. Have you done a Beirut and recorded a video for every track on the album or did you just pick two or three?

Charles: We recorded most of the album tracks actually but only a few have made the final cut. It was great. We recorded all over Paris.

Rebecca: Although Vincent Moon is really horrible. Really violent. I still haven’t got over it. Sorry, you have to watch the video until the end to get the joke. He’s lovely really. [see it here]

Your live shows have a lot of energy to them and it’s hard to imagine you ever have cranky days. Is it sometimes a struggle to be that perky on stage? Is there anything guaranteed to make or break your mood?

Rebecca: It can be difficult sometimes. We played a gig recently in front of a load of old, middle-class people. They weren’t enjoying it and neither were we. That wasn’t fun. Most of the time it’s great though. Sometimes the worst gigs are the best gigs.

Charles: Yeah. I remember an amazing gig in Scotland where we both burst into fits of laughter for about 20 minutes in the middle of the set. No one else knew what we were laughing about but it was real gut-wrenching laughter. Just brilliant.

I noticed you, Charles, wandering around at the Latitude festival last year dressed as a dragon. Explain!

Charles: It was a dinosaur. It was a present from my girlfriend when she came back from Tokyo. It’s a great hangover cure though. A Sunday afternoon thing. Not every Sunday afternoon. Just now now and again. We’re playing Latitude again this year. We can’t wait.

When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up, and do you think the 10 year old you would be proud of what you’ve achieved?

Charles: The 10 year old me wanted to wear a red leather jacket and be in the Stereophonics.

Rebecca: You’ve done that though, haven’t you? I wanted to be an actress. But I think the 10 year old me would be down with what we’re doing now. Yeah.

Are there any moments you’d like to erase from your history?

Charles: No. No regrets.

Rebecca: Oh my god! So many. All personal though.

Imagine Slow Club never happened. You were unconscious and it was a dream. What’s your day job?

Rebecca: I’d probably be a nurse or something. Training to do something like that.

Charles: I’d just be sat inside all day, smoking myself to death.


Richard Steele
Yeah So is out now on Moshi Moshi Records. Slow Club play the Lake Stage at the Latitude Festival on Sunday, July 19th.


‘It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful’


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Nice post. The newest Dr. Dog album, “Fate” is great. They are working on a new one right now.. can’t wait.

Comment by phan

[…] To Thrill [4.5/5] 52 Spinnerette – Spinnerette [4/5] 51 Slow Club – Yeah So [4.5/5; interview] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Enterprise Computing: Poll Result – EMC Writes […]

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