1.Talking about The Music Industry, Steve from Blood Red Shoes recently
said that for any group, nobody will ever care about your band
as much as you do. Is this one of the reasons why you decided
to self-fund and self-release your new album?
Ty: Well, I definitely think theres an element of truth
in that, because you know, obviously when its your thing, youre
going to put a 110% into it! But then you do get some pretty rabid fans,
who are really excited to see you play and they buy everything that
you do. So I dont know. I suppose it depends. In terms of the
release, I think with our experiences with Modular, we just decided
because we had the advantage of selling the music overseas and having
that money to make the record, we thought we might as well, because
it would mean wed have complete autonomy and be able to do things
our way. It has been very challenging, but at least you know that youre
getting stuff done in as much as you can the way you want to, plus weve
had some amazing reviews for the album, so were very pleased
I dont think it could have gone much better (smiling)!
2.I read that writing and recording The Optimist was a painstaking
task, and as synthesisers, guitars and bass still play a prominent role
in your overall sound, I wondered from all of your favourite artists
/ songs, if are there any synth, guitar or bass lines that have stuck
in your head?
Ty: Thats an interesting question.
Lou: (starts singing the hook to Mantronixs Got To Have Your Love)
Ty: (laughs heartily) Yeah, theres always Mantronix, thats
a good one!
Sarah: I like the Tom Tom Clubs Genius Of Love as well (smiling),
Ty: Yeah, and I like Dark Sneak Love Action. Its usually
the simple ones that get stuck in your head.
3.On a similar note, I think Lost A Girl has a very memorable chorus,
but what do you consider to be some perfect choruses?
Ty: My God, theres loads of perfect choruses! I think Lets
Dance (David Bowie) has a perfect chorus and Girls & Boys (Blur)
has a perfect chorus. Loads of 60s stuff obviously, most Beatles
songs have perfect choruses dont they?
Lou & Sarah: Yeah!
Sarah: (singing) Baby, you can drive my car
Ty: Exactly! Theyre so effortless and really uplifting (big
4.Not so long ago, artists / bands used to release around 4 singles
from every album, and one of my all-time favourite set of singles has
to be from Nirvanas Nevermind Smells Like Teen Spirit,
Come As You Are, In Bloom and Lithium. But, which records do you think
have spawned a great series of singles?
Ty: Probably the first Suede album, that had 4 amazing singles
when it came out (The Drowners, Metal Mickey, Animal Nitrate and So
Young). The new Beyonce record, but thats probably got more than
4 (laughing), theres probably been about 6 great singles off that!
*I joke that its going into Michael Jacksons Thriller territory*
All: (laughing again)
Ty: Yeah, definitely (laughing) its going from strength-to-strength
for that record!
5.Continuing with this train of thought, whats the one LP that
everyone should own?
Sarah: Oh God (laughing)!
Ty: Thats so hard thats really hard that one!
Ty: Or Nevermind, that would be another one.
Sarah: Hunky Dory.
Ty: Or Low.
Lou: Low, yeah.
Ty: Unknown Pleasures
There are so many though, that its
hard to just pick one. Theres probably about a hundred!
Sarah: Steely Dan, The Royal Scam is probably my all-time favourite
album by them.
Ty: It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, The Blueprint
I mean, my God, where do we stop (laughing)?
6.Musically and creatively, how do you stay fresh and hungry?
Ty: I think creatively, its just a desire to push yourself
really and to try and be better. And also, I think in terms of how people
respond to us, theres always been people who really love the band,
but then theres also been people who arent sure. So, youre
always wanting to convert people and bring them round to your way of
thinking so that keeps you kind of creatively hungry. Obviously,
if you love music, you always want to hear new stuff although
as you get older, you get more cynical but you keep looking and
when you do find something new that youre into, its really
7.Of all your achievements to date, which are you most proud of?
Ty: Um (thinking), probably getting this album out and just the
experience weve gained in releasing it; commissioning videos,
finding stylists and finding people to work with. Theres very
much a sense of mutuality about doing that now, because obviously we
havent got as much money as a massive record label, so it really
is a case of playing people a track and if they like it, then theyll
go, OK, well do it!
8.How difficult is it returning to normal life after coming off tour?
Sarah: It always takes a few weeks, and those first few weeks
are a really weird time (laughing), because youre like, What
am I doing? But then you kind of slip back into normal life quite
naturally and I think we all like being back in London and seeing our
family and friends.
Ty: Yeah, definitely, its good to reconnect!
9.Is there anything that you can tell us about yourselves, which may
surprise your fans?
Ty: Well, Im quite shy.
Lou & Sarah: (thinking)
Ty: Sarah makes great Banoffee Pie!
All: (laugh heartily)
Sarah: I like Black Metal, but Im not into the macabre things
associated with the scene, just the music outside of it (laughing).
10.Are you aware that you have an audience when writing songs, and
how do you feel when they do eventually become public property?
Ty: Its not hard letting them go, but it is hard waiting
for reviews to come in. Because to a certain extent, I think that everybody
writes to please themselves and obviously youre just one person
among millions youve no idea whether anybodys actually
going to like what you do. So thats nerve-wracking, but you always
have hope that it will reach somebody and make them happy.
11.In terms of songwriting, some musicians talk about how although its
rewarding to finish writing a song, its also equally as fulfilling
knowing when to take a musical idea / lyric away, that isnt going
to work. Is this the same for you?
Ty: Its definitely a learnt skill, knowing when to say,
OK, thats enough, its not working.
Sarah: We tried for ages with different drum patterns didnt
we (looking at Ty), especially with Stone.
Sarah: The track just went through some crazy different sounds,
until it ended up
Ty: As it is now.
Ty: With Chaos as well, I mean we wrestled with that song for
a long, long time it was just like a monster that we couldnt
control, and finally, we learnt how to pacify it (laughing)!
12.Whats the most interesting story behind one of your songs,
and have you ever been left with the feeling, We couldnt
have written that when we first started?
Ty: Um, I dont know? I suppose maybe something like Lost
A Girl, because obviously that has personal resonance for me, but also,
I think thats the track that we went through the whole of writing
Fantastic Playroom, kind of going, We could never make a track
like that. And then when we started writing songs for The Optimist,
we kind of went, Lets try and write a song like that,
and thats what came out. So, we proved ourselves wrong (smiling)!
13.Ty has great stage presence, but who for you, have been / are
some of the greatest frontmen and frontwomen in the history of popular
Ty: Crikey (thinking), Grace Jones, David Bowie
Lou: David Bowie, yeah.
Ty: Elvis Presley, Madonna
Sarah: David Byrne
Ty: But as with the Whats the one LP that everyone
should own? question, there are so many to choose from.
14.If you could have been at any gig in the history of music, which
one would you have most liked to have attended?
Lou: If I could have seen David Bowie during the Low era, or on
the Station To Station Tour, that would have been amazing! I saw him
later on at the Isle Of Wight Festival and he was so good, but I wished
I could have seen him during those times.
Ty: I wouldve loved to have seen James Brown playing live
actually, when he sort of had all of his fine ladies
Ty: That would be pretty amazing, seeing Bootsy and all of those
people playing together, that would have been pretty rad!
Sarah: I would have loved to have seen when they had the expanded
Talking Heads line-up they had like 25 musicians onstage!
Ty: I wouldve liked to have seen The Stooges at the Scala,
when there were 15 people there
*I joke that its one of those legendary gigs which lots of people
claim to have been at, but in reality, nobody was probably even there*
All: (laugh heartily)
15.As well as playing your new tracks live, what has it been like revisiting
older material have those songs been given a new lease of life?
Ty: I think the older songs have the same lease of life that they
always had, because I think the stuff on Fantastic Playroom is so vibrant
anyway, it kind of lives long after you perhaps feel like youve
moved on you return to it and youre in that moment of when
they were written again.
Sarah: I think there are some people as well, who are listening
to the new album and they come to the gigs and when we play Ice Cream,
they go, Oh, its them!
All: (laugh heartily)
Sarah: Its good (big smile)!
16.As a group who also remixes other artists tracks, can you tell
us how you approach this?
Ty: Well, when we get the opportunities, its great
*I ask Ty if the band know in their minds what they want to achieve
Ty: No (laughing), we probably should do (smiling)! It depends
what youre given as well, like with the Amy Winehouse remix, I
think they just sent the vocal but they sent it too slow, so we had
to try and speed it up and then work with it, so wed be able to
track around it kind of thing. But, I think it just depends what they
give you its usually a drum stem, the vocals or whatever
they think the good bits of the track are. Id love to remix Jay-Z
(laughing), or M.I.A, that would be cool!
17.Do you have any favourite recording studios?
Ty: (looking at Sarah and Lou) Im sure you two do, youve
probably been in more than I have to be honest.
Sarah: RAK, and AIR Studios as well, where we did that charity
thing (looking at Ty)?
Ty: Oh yeah, its somewhere in Hampstead, George Martin owns
Sarah: Its amazing (excitedly), and Abbey Road is a favourite
of mine as well!
Lou: We all like going and doing Maida Vale sessions dont
we (looking at Sarah and Ty)?
Ty: Thats pretty amazing!
Lou: Because everythings just really 60s and 70s
Ty: Theres all these bits of obsolete kit, like lying around
and they have such top class engineers as well.
*I mention how The Smiths released Hatful Of Hollow, comprised of BBC
Radio 1 sessions, because both the band and their fans thought the recordings
were far superior to the re-recorded versions on their debut album proper*
Sarah: Did they (surprised)?
Lou: Yeah, Hatful Of Hollow.
Ty: It was cool for them to have had the opportunity to do that.
18.Earlier this year, Jarvis presented the NME Awards but is
there anyone who you think would be an ideal host for the 2011 ceremony?
Ty: David Mitchell (without any hesitation)!
Ty: Or Stephen Fry would be good, because people respect him so
Lou & Sarah: Yeah, that would be good!
19.If you could form a supergroup as a side-project, which musicians
would you most like to play in the band with you?
Ty: Sly & Robbie for the rhythm section
Ty: James Williamson, Graham Coxon on guitar and I dont
know who Id have on keyboards.
Lou: Id have (inaudible)
Sarah: And Id have Robert Fripp (laughing).
20.You seem to have a very strong sense of self, and have clearly
taken great care and consideration over the bands style and artwork.
Is this important to you?
Ty: Oh, very much so! Especially in this day and age, with everybody
being so media literate you know? People expect more, so I think it
goes hand-in-hand now, for bands to be really involved in their artwork
and their merchandise and everything else, and there are so many talented
individuals who can do it for themselves, which is always cool!
21.Would you agree that the twin staples of any successful group are
Chemistry and Compromise?
Ty: Yes (without any hesitation)! Absolutely!
Lou & Sarah: Yeah!
Ty: But also, I think with all of the great bands, theres
that sense of tension as well. So, Id add that to the mix, tension,
because I think you need that too.
22.If you werent a professional musician, what other job would
you most like to do?
Ty: Id be a doctor.
Sarah: I would like to work in film (pausing), I went to the cinema
the other day actually, so if I wasnt involved in music, it would
have to be film, but I dont know what I could do (laughs heartily)!
Lou: It would have to be music, because its the one thing
that I really love and I couldnt imagine doing anything else.
So, if I wasnt in this band, Id find something to do with
23.For the sake of new music, do you think its important that
BBC 6Music is kept on air?
Ty: Yes, very much so! I dont think there should be any
debate as to whether or not its kept on air, its plainly
obvious that 6Music should continue!
Ty: Because theres not really anywhere else for new musicians,
especially where theyre so heavily supported. Everyones
given a chance there, its not like Radio 1
Sarah: Yeah, especially because of the way Radio 1 is, you need
Ty: But it still has so much power, even though its kind
of useless in a lot of ways.
Sarah: Its just that name, Radio 1.
24.One reviewer described The Optimist as Dark Glossy Disco,
so what are some of your all-time favourite disco songs?
Ty: Oh Christ, Im probably the worst person to ask! Mine
would probably all be Diana Ross.
Ty: I used to listen to her with my Mum when I was very small,
because she liked Diana Ross.
Lou: Mine would probably be any of the Arthur Russell ones, and
then theres one called Like An Eagle by Dennis Parker, who used
to be a porn star
Lou: Im not sure how many records he made (laughing), but
Like An Eagle is one of my all-time favourite disco songs (big smile)!
25.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Lou: Chips with salt & vinegar, but if theres no salt
& vinegar, then
Ty: We usually have chips with Mayo!
A very special thanks to Ty, Lou and Sarah, to New
Young Pony Clubs Tour Manager Liam, and to Rob @ Sonic PR, for
all of their time and help.
Oxford Set List
Lost A Girl
We Want To
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Get Go
The architect of love
Does not remember us