1.NME Radio was recently launched and after topping a readers online
poll, Muses Knights Of Cydonia was the first track to ever be
played but if the decision had been yours, which song would you
have launched the station with?
Wow, thats a big question to start with (laughing)! I would
go for (pausing), it would have to be a big radio hit I guess, as its
starting a new radio station, so I
God, I dont know (long
pause + thinking)? Radio Ga Ga by Queen (jokingly)! No, Knights Of Cydonia
is a really good choice actually (long pause + thinking). Maybe The
Killing Moon, because were all big fans of Echo & The Bunnymen.
2.Whats guaranteed to make you turn the radio up
Well, collectively as a band and theyre a band who
are played on the radio all of the time we dont really
like The Wombats that much. If The Wombats came on the radio, that would
be something that would make me turn it off (laughing)! But turning
it up, Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire, I think that songs fantastic!
3.Some people believe that necessity breeds the greatest creativity
be it a need for escapism, or a need to express their innermost
thoughts and emotions is this something that you would agree
Yeah! I think definitely at the moment, theres nothing else
that we could be doing with our lives at all, so it is definitely a
necessity that we make music. I mean there is literally nothing else
that I could think of, that I would really want to do. So, I suppose
it is a necessity at the moment. Yeah.
4.Why did you hire Ed Buller and Max Dingel to produce your debut
album, and did you feel any pressure writing / recording songs for it?
Ed Buller and Max Dingel were good friends of ours very
good friends of ours! We recorded a lot of demos with both of them actually,
early on with White Lies and even further back than that. Obviously
Ed was a very renowned producer especially in the early 90s
with Suede, and Max Dingel is a fantastic engineer it was his
first production job actually on our album. We just thought wed
put them together, as sort of two sides of the coin. Ed is a very, very
creative person, hes got very wild ideas and is very ambitious,
and then Max is the same, but more to do with the actual sounds of everything,
and thats something else that were really interested in
creating amazing sounds and making everything sound incredible!
It was a very enjoyable experience, because were all good friends
with each other, but it was also very hard work and obviously at times,
you have the odd argument, because youre in a very confined situation
and space when youre recording, and you can get on each others
nerves very easily. But overall, it was a very enjoyable experience,
*The revered Alan Moulder (The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smashing Pumpkins,
NIN, Marilyn Manson) mixed White Lies debut album*
5.Was the record planned in your head and how important is studio
technology to you?
We had 5 songs finished before we went in to record the album,
that wed demoed with Ed and Max earlier on in the year and the
year before. So, we had to write most of the album while we were in
the studio its a 10 track album so we had half of
it ready and we had to write and prepare the other half (pausing), we
had a few bits and bobs, but most of it was written in the studio. Some
of it was very planned and then using what wed planned for that,
and the sounds we used for that, we took that to the other songs and
made everything as coherent as possible.
6.One of the most outstanding aspects of White Lies music,
is your extraordinary voice but which vocalists do you find inspiring?
Thank You very much (smiling). Id say Scott Walker is one
of the singers that I most admire.
7.Of all the records you own, which have you played the most?
At the moment, we obviously listen to a lot of Echo & The
Bunnymen thats something that we always listen to a lot.
But The Secret Machines first album (Now Here Is Nowhere), is
probably the one that Ive played the most through the years since
Ive owned it. I always go back to it and I listen to it every
now and again. So yeah, that would be one that I listen to over and
8.MySpace Music has just gone live in the USA with the UK version
set to launch very soon and the new service enables artists and
bands to upload and stream their entire back catalogues on their profile
pages, with links to amazon.com to buy songs etc. Do you think this
is a positive step?
Thats a fantastic idea (excitedly)! That sounds like an
amazing idea! Its great to be able to listen to music online (pausing),
I dont know if you know about the website The Hype Machine (www.hypem.com)?
Thats fantastic, but obviously on MySpace, it would be amazing
to just go through and listen to artists and bands whole
back catalogues! I mean the only danger is that people might be able
to get their hands on songs without paying for them, but I dont
think there will be too much of a problem with that. Itll be really
cool to be able to do that I mean youll be able to properly
MySpace DJ then, you could do a whole DJ Set! Itll be great!
9.For me, the name of a band has always been important and I think
White Lies is one of the very best! But which groups do you think have
Echo & The Bunnymen is a fantastic name for a band, its
very strange and thats why its very striking. Again going
back (pausing), its all our favourite bands really (laughing),
theyve got great names! I mean The Secret Machines is a fantastic
name for a band, Interpol is a fantastic name for a band, Joy Division
is a fantastic name for a band its not something I listen
to as much but yeah, there are a lot of striking names out there.
10.And in reference to your band name, whats the biggest white
lie that youve ever told?
Oh, we always get asked this (laughing). I dont know? I
dont really tell that many lies to be honest. But a white lie,
would have to be something like when someone gives you a present that
you dont really like and you just say, Thank You very much,
I really like it, its great! And then you chuck it away
the next day or something (laughing). But thats just normal. No,
Im not a big liar (laughing).
11.Do you have any hobbies outside of the band?
Well, theres a difference between being at home and being
on tour. On tour, we just try and keep ourselves (pausing), not busy,
but we try and do loads of different things. I dont know, like
you go bowling one night, or you Go-carting or something. You have to
keep doing different things as a group, otherwise, you end up getting
into the same routine everyday, and it gets really demanding and you
start to sort of fall out with each other and stuff. So we try and keep
ourselves very busy when were on tour. I guess when Im at
home, I just listen to music and occasionally, I might go to an art
gallery or go to the cinema.
12.What is the one thing that you couldnt live without?
I dont know (thinking)? Probably my hearing, but I think
every musician would say that I think that would be my worst
nightmare, if I lost my hearing. A material possession would probably
be my guitars I do love my guitars (smiling)!
13.There was a recent discussion about how so many different musical
avenues have now been explored, that there may never be another innovative
musical movement. Would you agree with this?
No, I think thats complete rubbish! I think most musical
movements have revisited something in the past anyway you can
always trace things back to their roots. Its always been done
before in various different ways, so I think thats rubbish! With
technology being what it is, music is always moving at a faster and
faster pace and in new directions, so who knows whats going to
happen in 10 years time? It could be very strange, and I think that
will make a big difference on the music in the future.
14.Some people also feel that the significance of lyrics is being lost
through downloading, due to a smaller number of music buyers looking
at CD booklets, or incorrect words being posted on websites. Are lyrics
important to you?
Lyrics are important to me, but that kind of thing can depend
on the space in a song, and with our songs, we do try and leave a lot
of space, so that the lyrics can actually come through and people can
hear them clearly. And thats something that I aim for when I sing
as well, to try and get the lyrics across as clearly as possible. For
some bands though, lyrics arent as important as the music, so
then, it doesnt really matter whether you hear them or not.
*I ask Harry if he likes the Manic Street Preachers, saying that I think
they have some really great and interesting lyrics in their songs*
Yes, they do.
15.Do you have an opinion on careerism in music and what
would you say the ratio is, between musicians who make music for love
and musicians who make music for money?
I think that if you dont love the music that youre
making, then youre less likely to make money I think the
two probably go hand-in-hand. You wont have a career in music
unless you love doing it, and youre not going to make money unless
you love doing it! I think the band who makes loads and loads of money,
without being passionate about what theyre doing, is a myth.
16.Do you think indie music is now beginning to return to its independent
Yeah! I mean labels like Domino, are an example of a big independent
label competing with major labels, especially with new signings. So
definitely, and I hope it continues, because its definitely a
good thing! It spurs originality from the way bands are marketed,
to the way that they look and even sometimes, to the way a record sounds.
Its a very important and good thing! Maybe indie music will steadily
return to its independent roots, who knows?
17.What posters did you have on your bedroom walls as you were growing
None of them were bands actually, most of the posters that I bought,
were for art exhibitions. Thats going to sound really pretentious
Im going to sound like a real loser (laughing). My Mum
was a big influence on me in that way and when I was really young, she
used to buy me posters and I put them on my wall, and Ive never
taken them down. Ive got a Gilbert & George poster on my wall
theyre fantastic and various others (laughing).
I cant remember all of them!
*I ask Harry if he likes Mark Rothko*
I do, yeah, but I wouldnt buy a poster I dont think
its not the same unless you go and see the originals in
real life theyre amazing!
*I mention White Lies artwork and how it reminds me of Peter Savilles
sleeves for New Order*
Yeah, we collaborated with a design company (Big Active) who came
up with the art direction for our sleeves.
18.Who was the last band that you obsessed over?
I think Id have to say, that the band Ive been most
obsessed with in my life I dont necessarily listen to them
as much anymore is probably Queens Of The Stone Age. I remember
when I was a younger teenager, 14, 15, 16, I used to listen to them
a lot! I used to buy all of their albums and I used to try and get to
as many shows as I could. So yeah, Queens Of The Stone Age are probably
the band who I have been most obsessed with in my life at a particular
time. Josh Homme is a legend!
19.As a music fan, whats the furthest distance that youve
ever travelled to see a gig?
Um (long pause + thinking), God, I dont know? Its
not far actually, because weve been in bands in various forms
since we were like 16, 17 and we started to pick up tours when we were
18, 19. So when you do that, you see bands all of the time anyway
when you start getting into it properly. So maybe when I was younger,
because I made the trek to Reading which for me, was a big deal
because I was pretty young when I first went to Reading Festival. I
really enjoyed sleeping in a tent when I was younger (laughing), but
now, because of this Summer I did it once we played at
Latitude Festival and went down a day early and stayed in a tent overnight,
and it wasnt as good as I remembered it being. It was kind of
uncomfortable, cold and wet (laughing).
20.In order to warm-up an audience before a group takes to the stage,
what songs should the ultimate pre-gig Mixtape have on it?
We tried a few songs actually earlier on this year, and one of
them was Portishead - Machine Gun, I think thats a great song
for setting the mood (smiling)! Its really pounding and almost
quite heavy, even though its just drums, a few synth bars and
the vocals. Um (thinking), it depends what band youre setting
it up for. I would go with not for us but maybe for another
band, Queens Of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow. Or The Secret Machines
would be a good one, even for us, because you can really feel their
music! But yeah, it would really depend on the band.
21.Some of White Lies songs have already been remixed by acts
such as Crystal Castles. But if you could handpick any artist or band
to remix one of your tracks, who would it be and would you like to return
Oh God, thats a good question! It would have to be a band
or artist whos good at remixing I think
*I say to Harry that I really love Crystal Castles remix of Death*
Yeah, I think thats great! Its weird, because before
we started the NME New Noise Tour and toured with Crystal Castles, it
was suggested and I was a bit edgy, because I had never really heard
of them before and what I had heard of them by word of mouth, was something
completely different to what theyre actually like. And when we
got that remix back, I thought it was amazing! Its a fantastic
adaptation of that song, how theyve changed it, and I think theyre
a great band now as well, after seeing them live on that tour
theyre fantastic! Who else would I like to remix one of our songs
(thinking)? I dont know (laughing)? A huge breakthrough song at
the time I think, was the song Windowlicker by Aphex Twin hearing
what he did on that song is incredible! The use of those electronic
sounds, was something that had never been done before it was
completely original and amazing to listen to! I dont think hes
ever really done remixes, so I would be honoured and Id be very
interested to listen to a White Lies remix done by Aphex Twin. But,
I couldnt return the favour (laughing), I couldnt even start
Ill leave it to him (laughing)!
22.Are there any musicians that you admire, who have told you that
theyre fans of your music?
I dont think were actually big enough as a band yet
for that to happen weve only been around for a year and
we havent released our album, so theres nothing for people
to grasp onto really. So no, we havent really, but I hope that
it will happen!
23.If you had the opportunity to interview another artist or band,
who would it be and why?
Um (thinking), Josh Homme would be one person that Id love
to interview, and Jack White would be cool. I listened to both of those
bands around the same time and around the same age. I think Jack White
is incredibly talented hes a really cool guy and a really
cool guitar player and The White Stripes are a really cool band as well!
So yeah, it would be one of them and Id probably ask, How
do you do it? But, I dont think I could do it, Id
be too terrified (laughing)!
24.Of your musical peers, who do you think are most likely to have longevity?
Theres quite a few I think. I hope Glasvegas make it properly
and have a proper career out of it, because I do really like their first
album and also, I think theyve got so many more directions that
they could go in after it I think theyll do amazing and
Im just looking forward to hearing what they do next. Were
also supporting them at the end of the year, so it will be nice to see
how well the tour goes down, and how theyre received by the people
who come to see them. But there are loads of bands that I would love
to see make it, Post War Years is one of them, The Joy Formidable obviously
theyre the two support bands who weve taken on tour
with us, and theyve been amazing every night! Its been really
25.Ultimately, what are the most important elements that you would
like White Lies music to have?
I definitely see it evolving, I just dont know what into
yet well just see what takes our fancy. At some point
if we get to this point obviously the third or fourth album,
Id like to do something very lush with strings, similar to Echo
& The Bunnymen - Ocean Rain kind of thing. Were all really
into Scott Walker as well, and I think the string arrangements on that
are incredible it would be really cool at some point, to be able
to do something like that! I mean obviously thats a long way down
the line, its a pipe dream at the moment, but maybe one day
26.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
A very special thanks to Harry, Charles and Jack,
to White Lies Tour Manager Giggsy and to Carl @ Coalition, for
all of their time and help.
Oxford Set List
Farewell To The Fairground
To Lose My Life
From The Stars
A Place To Hide
50 On Our Foreheads
The Price Of Love
Youve got blood on your hands and I know its mine
I just need more time
So get off your low and lets dance like we used to