Sunday, 28 August 2011

PRIZE PETS Interview

Secret Admirer sent PRIZE PETS some questions over email and they got back to us, as ASAP as humanly ASAP.

Where did the name Prize Pets come from?

J.S : From a newspaper competition, Baby of the Year was never going to stick.

Why did you form the band together?

J.S : We were all doing different things but i think we all wanted to do a 'rock' band together for a while and we only really knew one other band in our town that we liked and they looked to be having a lot of fun so we wanted to be having more fun because we were quite bored.
G.H : For 3/4 years before Prize Pets even existed Dan, James and I had all been promoting DIY shows in Nottingham, both individually and collectively under the name "New Weird Nottingham". After putting on so many shows and attending so many awesome gigs in Nottingham's (once) healthy DIY music scene it seemed like a natural thing to do. It definitely felt like things were changing in the city with promoters like Damn You and Liars Club both becoming less and less active which also happened to coincide with a number of friends moving away too, so starting the band was exciting and it seemed like a great way to spend time with my friends.

Do you feel like you are rebelling against anything as a band?

J.S : Everything all the time

What has been the best live show you have played so far?

J.S : I think I love nearly all out shows, usually the ones I like the most the others don't seem to like. Most Brighton shows we play are great because people get into us down there and also the two shows we played at The Old Blue Last in London were great, but I also loved when we played to 10 people in Bradford who have probably all forgotten us by now, we just played with a lot of energy, usually if i enjoy it, I'm not so bothered if anyone else does.

G.H : Ha, yes I remember Bradford, that was a strange show. It was in the middle of the summer and we played a polish working men's club in Bradford the night England played Algeria in the World Cup, they were showing the game downstairs whilst we set-up. I remember the atmosphere of the city being really weird/tense, probably a combination of the hot night and another crap England performance. Didn't seem to bother James though as he played great. Anyway my personal favourite show would have to be Dudefest 2 in Brighton, for a combination of reasons: Great bands, awesome BBQ in the sun, lots of friends plus it was the day that we first got our hands on our first 7", oh and we played pretty well too I think! Following closely would probably be the New Weird Nottingham Christmas Party we played with Golden Grrrls, in Nottingham of course!

What music have you released so far, and what are your plans for future releases?

J.S : We have released one 7" last summer which was three tracks all recorded in a day, they were great. Then we tried to record three tracks in two days and we totally sucked so we scrapped them and worked on them a bit more, recorded two of them again and they are on our new record with two other songs which we hadn't intended to release. We were approached by Palmist to do a split with this band Beaters from San Diago and we liked the idea of the split series and the other bands who were doing so we put together a side with for songs and that is out on August 15th 2011. Right now we are recording some stuff entirely ourselves because we can't handle being in a studio, we get to never and ess everything up and we can't afford loads of studio time so we are just doing recording ourselves for the time being. It's going well and we want to self-release a 4 way split with some friends bands so everyone has a record to sell at shows but not 300 copies each that they might not shift. Then we are having a live break for a while to do some other things but also probably right an albums worth of songs to record late next year. bit of a long answer.

What do you want people to get from listening to your music?

G.H : Er other than enjoy it? I just wanted do a punk band which would be fun to play in and to watch live, something that people could dance to or rock out to without feeling self concious and without any pretense. I hope people feel like that when we play!
J.C : I want people to make big decisions based on their experience of listening to Prize Pets. Such as; Whether or not to have kids, what to call the kids, whether or not to breast feed, whether or not to buy that new car, book that holiday or shave your head. I hope that we have a positive influence on someone someday that will make their big-decision-making a little easier.
For someone who hasn't heard your music before, what can they expect?
J.C : When you first listen to Prize Pets you should probably expect nothing, empty your mind and the answers will come to you.

How has the internet helped you as a band?
J.C : We are a band between two cities so the internet is vital to our keeping in touch and organisation. We also use it to keep momentum in the song writing / recording department by sharing ideas in mp3 format that we can then take to practice sessions, a great time-saving device.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

ECHO LAKE Interview

Leaving their contemporaries treading water in the same old genres, Echo Lake are diving deep into musical discovery. They aren’t afraid to do funky, math-y and ambient stuff on the side while they win hearts with their “suffocating” pop.

Interview Location : The Old Blue Last Pub, London.
Interview Duration : About half an hour.
Interuptions : A pesky wasp flying about.
Vibes : Peachy.

How was the band formed?
Linda : Me and Thom were at college together and we talked a lot about music. Thom had wrote some songs on his own and as we became better friends, we talked more about doing music together. And I sang on some of the songs Thom had done…so that’s how the recording started. And then we put them online and got offered some gigs. So we figured we needed a band. And then we got Thom’s friends to join in and play live with us. So then we became a band.
Thom : It all kind of really happened by accident.
What were you studying at college?
Linda : I was doing graphic design and Thom was doing illustration but we were in the same class, as they taught the subjects together.
Thom : We were really bad students.
Why did you choose the name Echo Lake?
Thom : Because…I don’t know, I was looking for a name for ages and nothing ever seemed right. Everything was already taken or didn’t sound…but then ‘Echo Lake’ was a painting by a guy called Peter Doig. And yeah, I kinda said it out loud, said it to Linda.

Linda : Sounded good. Sounded perfect.

Thom : It was the first name that I had suggested to anyone where an eyebrow wasn’t raised. We didn’t really think at the time. I think if we could change it, we would probably call ourselves something else now.

Linda : A lot of people are saying that the name really suites our music but we didn’t even think about the word ‘echo’ or what it meant. You know, we didn’t really think about that.

Thom : It’s just a great painting, he’s my favourite artist…so it seemed like a nice thing to name it after.
Was there a specific style of music you set out to make?
Linda : It’s just what came out really.

Thom : I think like, when I made the EP, I was trying to make, a kind of like, really suffocating sound. Like, loads of drones, loads of layers and then it was Linda’s job to make it sound like pop music. And now as time has sort of gone on over the last year, I guess the music is a bit more…a bit more in a direction. We kind of know what we are trying to do a bit more. It’s not  like a, shoegaze-y kind of thing. It was never meant to be like shoegazing music, everyone says that. But it was meant to be more ambient droning music, like, trying to be pop music. And if you see us live, it’s definitely not shoegaze.

Linda : I think people have mistaken us for shoegaze, maybe, because of the loudness. We play loud.

Thom : I appreciate that, the shoegaze aesthetic, and that makes sense and I don’t have a problem with it, but erm…and it does suite. But it’s not what we are trying to do. And like now, I think the newer stuff we’ve got is a bit more soulful, it’s a bit more…it’s bigger, isn’t it?

Linda : Yeah, it feels a little bit more confident as well.

Thom : Yeah, definitely.

Linda : Not as much burying of the singing or millions of layers.

Thom : I don’t think we buried it in layers because we were uncomfortable. It was like trying actually, to do something a little bit different. Kind of this really suffocating sound, which could actually be quite pleasant. But then, I think a lot of people just took it for…you know.
People are quick to put a name on things.
Thom : That’s fine though, because you need that.

Linda : It helps people, like you read about us, so you thought you’d listen to us.
It does help.
Thom : I’m the same when I’m reading about other bands, if this band sound like so and so, I’ll be like ‘they are worth checking out then’.
What’s the best gig you have played so far?
Linda : We’ve played so many now. I think the first one where we thought we’d played the best gig was when we played our EP launch party here.

Thom : Yeah, upstairs here. I still think that’s the best one.

Linda : We’ve had a few really good ones.
Thom : Field Day was great the other day. That was a lot of fun.
Linda : Yeah, we’ve only really done two festivals where you play outdoors.
Thom : What about that one?
Linda : 1-2-3-4?
Thom : Nah, the other one supporting Wire. There was loads of people there.
Linda : The venue was just so good.
Thom : It was like a proper rock show.
Linda : We were on this huge stage, in a big room and it sounded really good, to us.
Thom : To us it felt like an arena show, because it was like an air hanger in there.
Linda : Yeah, it was a big show.

: I still think the best one for me is the one upstairs here for the EP launch. It just topped off a perfect week. We released the EP on the Monday, Saturday we came and played here and we’d sold out the EP.
How did it feel to have your EP sell out so quickly?
Thom : I don’t know really.

Linda : It was good, but it was a bit sad because we’d never released anything before, so on the release date we met up, went into Rough Trade because we wanted to see our record in the shop but they didn’t even have it in stock because they had sold it all out on the pre-orders.

Thom : We had nothing to sell at our launch, which was a bit sad but it kind of topped off a great week. And then NME reviewed it a couple of weeks later. It happened just like that, I mean, I’ve been reading NME, well, buying it when I was about eleven. So it’s really weird, to open it and see us.

Linda : Your face wasn’t in it. (Laughs)
Thom : Mine was just behind you.
Linda : Oh yeah. (Laughs)

Are there any bands that influence your sound?

Thom : I don’t know, I just listen to so much stuff. I think I always listen to the production of stuff.
Linda : And I always listen to the vocal melody. I think it’s just a combination of listening to so much music for the past like two years.
Thom : At the moment I can’t stop listening to Neu!, but it’s only because of how the drums sound. Well, no, the music’s great but all I’m thinking is ‘how do they get the drums to sound like that?’. There must be an easy way.
Linda : And I never think about that for a second. That never crosses my mind. (Laughs)
Thom : There is no direct influence on it. I think it’s just everything…I mean, we’ve got stuff, we’ve got stuff on our internal hard drive that we will probably never put out. Because it doesn’t really flow with what we are doing at the moment. But it’s different. We’ve got really ambient stuff, really kinda rock-y stuff. Even some quite technical, kinda math-y stuff.
Linda : And some funky stuff.
Thom : Yeah, but this kind of stuff will never see the light of day.
Linda : Unless somebody robs us. Maybe don’t print that… (Laughs)
Thom : It’s not bad, we like it, it’s just…
Maybe it’ll all be on a massive compilation one day.
Linda : Yeah, B-Sides and that. We’ve got one folder that’s the album. And some tracks kind of get picked out and others added all the time. And there is another folder that’s B-sides, there’s like another albums worth.
Thom : I’ll spend a week listening to ambient stuff and then at the end of the week just write a massive ten minute piece of ambient music. It’s still Echo Lake but there is no real direction. I just listen to Bruce Springsteen all the time and that definitely doesn’t influence our sound.
Linda : I just listen to The Cranberries all the time.
What’s your favourite song you have written?
Thom : For me, I think ‘Buried At Sea’.
Linda : We’ve got a new one that’s my favourite. It’s called ‘Wild Peace’.
Thom : I like them all really but we’re finishing an album at the moment. I think you kind of have to like what you are doing. Because like, I was reading about The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, and they did an EP then they did their first album and half the EP was on that album. Like, we could do that if we wanted to. We could like re-record and re-mix the EP and put it on our first album.
Linda : We’re doing it a little bit, we’ve re-recorded one of the songs called ‘In Dreams’ and we are putting that on the album.
Thom : Well yeah, it’s not definite. But we are not like, looking back. It’s just the stuff we write now, we think is better. It’s hard to pick a favourite. But I’m going to say ‘Buried At Sea’.
Is that a good one to play live?
Thom : We don’t play it live any more.
Linda : We stopped playing it because we thought it kind of kills the song because it’s such a nice recording. We’ll probably bring it back when we get different equipment.
Thom : The way we played it live, it was almost like tropical. But it needs to be chilled out. I think our new favourite is ‘Wild Peace’ but no one has heard that one yet.

Why did you choose the label No Pain In Pop to release your EP?
Thom : They chose us really. (Laughs)
Did you get lots of offers?
Thom : It’s weird because when we first started, we put the songs up on the Monday, by the Friday we had been blogged about. That’s when No Pain In Pop got to us. They were one of the first, like, we’d had record labels contact us but…
Linda : With No Pain In Pop, we knew a lot of the stuff they did and some of our friends had had music released on them. They are just a really great label.
Thom : We had heard good things about them.
Linda : They did a lot of gigs in London and we’d been to them and they were always really great.
Thom : We’ve never had a formal record deal. It’s not like No Pain In Pop signed us. But they are our managers, like they manage us. We’ve done an EP and a single with them. They were the best bet to go for because we work so well together. And they are so patient as well. I think when we were being blogged about last summer, someone else would have wanted to rush an EP or a single out while the hype was still going.
Linda : They let us wait until February, just so we could get it right. There is absolutely no rush, so we can do what we like.
What do you want people to get from your music?
Thom : I don’t know, just like it I guess. I still can’t imagine people saying ‘Echo Lake’ in the way that I talk about bands.
Linda : I like thinking about people putting it on at home. They’ll put it on and start cleaning the house. I find it weird to think that people sit around and then think ‘oh, I’ll put this on’.
Thom : I don’t know, just for people to enjoy it really.
Have you hear yourselves on a DJ set or at a party yet?
Thom : We heard ourselves once down here (The Old Blue Last pub). I don’t know, just a couple of times.
Linda : I heard us at a club night but it was someone from No Pain In Pop DJing.
Thom : There was a guy, what was his name? The guy who had the baby.
Linda : Stuart. When his wife was pregnant, they listened to our song ‘In Dreams’ in the last hours of the pregnancy.
Thom : So he said that song will always remind him of the day his baby was born. It’s like the nicest thing anyone has ever said. I think I met him when I was drunk and I was like ‘oh my god…’, that was really embarrassing.
Have you always had a positive re-action to your music?
Linda : We’ve had negative reactions too.  Especially with our music video. We had a video for our song ‘Young Silence’ and the director, Dan, used an Xbox Connect to film it. So he was like the first person to of done it. And so the video got onto a lot of technology blogs. It had like a hundred thousand views. But on the technology blogs, the people commenting just really hated the music and were saying nasty things.

It’s quite easy to be evil on the internet because you don’t have to look at anyone.
Thom : It was really nerdy, techy blokes.
Linda : They were comparing us to Evanescence.
Thom : Yeah, Evanescence and Linkin Park are their favourite bands so…and I think our first EP review was fine. But I read it and the guy was saying ‘the first rule of song writing is…’ and he goes on about these rules of writing songs. And he was kind of slagging us off because we don’t follow these rules that he said we should. Isn’t that defeating the object? You know, the purpose of making new music. I only let it upset me for about half an hour until someone tells me to chill out.
Are there any bands that you are listening to or playing gigs with that you really like?
Thom : I think locally, I really like The Proper Ornaments.
Linda : Yeah, they are great.
Thom : I think they have got a great sound and they have nailed it.
Linda : I really like a band, they are a band of my friends, they are called Novella. They just had their first single out. I went to their single launch and it was really good.
Thom : I’ve just been listening to, like, famous bands…just Neu! all the time.
Linda : There is just so many phases of what we listen to. I can’t even remember what I was listening to this morning. Our guitarist likes to send us albums to listen to.
Thom : Washed Out!
Linda : I was listening to Washed Out this morning.
Thom : We went to see Washed Out, the day after the riots in London. We were a bit like: ‘Should we go out? Should we not?’
Linda : It was one of the only gigs in London that didn’t get cancelled.
Thom : It was just really eerie out on the streets. I just kinda felt like the news were scare-mongering people. And there were sirens going around all the houses but they probably weren’t even going anywhere, they were just trying to scare people. So I just thought ‘let’s go out’ and it was ace. Washed Out was amazing, he was better than the record. He sings differently live, he kind of croons.
Linda : I didn’t go to the gig, I wasn’t feeling well.
Do you have any plans to release any albums or EPs in the future?
Thom : Well, the EP is coming out in Japan, that’s in November.
Linda : With some bonus tracks. We’re just finishing up the album.
Thom : I think we are hoping to release something in America at some point. And you know, just this morning I missed my train because I was recording guitar lines and trying to finish up all the stuff on the album. We’ve got about three more to finish and then we’ve got an album.
Linda : We don’t know what the plan is for the album yet. Just chuck it around and see if anyone wants to put it out. Maybe put it out ourselves. I think the plan is to finish it within the next month. We’ll see.
Thanks guys!
Thom : Yeah, no worries.

Photography By Jack Parker

Thursday, 25 August 2011

TRIBES Interview

We joined lead singer/guitarist Johnny Lloyd and guitarist Dan White in their upstairs backstage area. We huddled in a circle of comfy chairs, with a half-eaten rider as a poetic backdrop. A few helpful contributions from bassist Jim Cratchley and one of their mates were thrown in for good measure. Lock up your daughters (and sons), because Tribes are in town and they want more snogging.

How did the name Tribes come about?

Johnny Lloyd: It was our mate Mickey.

Dan White: He’s here now.

J.L : Dan was reading a book called Tribe and erm…

D.W : Tribes, it was called Tribes. About tribes.

J.L : Tribes.

D.W : We spent ages trying to think of a name. We had Jesus The Movie and all sorts of weird stuff.

That’s pretty cool.

J.L : And he was like aww Tribes would be a great name. And we were like fuck it lets have it then.

D.W : Mickey was like ‘why don’t you call yourselves Tribes?’ We were like that seems to work. And it fits. And it seems to like, seems to work.

The banner is good. The massive one.

D.W : Simple.

It’s a strong word.

J.L : Yeah yeah.

What do you want people to get from your music?

J.L : I think like, off the record. Er, some kind of inspiration in their lives. But I think like tonight, just in terms of live, just people having a good time and getting drunk, snogging each other. Sort of remembering it.

I think there wasn’t much snogging tonight but people were having a good time.

J.L: (Laughs)

D.W : Bring that back I think. There’s not enough snogging in the world.

J.L : We really like the word snogging as well.

You could have had your name as Snog.

J.L : We could of done that.

D.W : Snog, or Snogs.

J.L : Side project.

How do you go about writing your lyrics?

J.L : Erm, I just do it all at once usually. There’s no pretentious method really. Just sort of get the music down whatever kind of mood you’re in.

What comes first, the melody or the lyrics?

J.L : It’s usually the melody. And the lyrics sort of come, just follow on really. It can be, I mean ‘We Were Children’. That was lyrics before it was a song. That’s kinda…I don’t usually do it like that. I don’t know, Dan?

D.W : I don’t know, err, like I suppose it’s the same. Whatever pops out when you’re playing.

It just comes to you.

D.W : Yeah, and you roll with it.

Cool. That’s good. Not too much thinking.

D.W : Never over think things. If you over think things it tends to like destroy itself.

Johnny has picked up a guitar and proceeds to noodle whilst a friend of the band comes over to contribute a jolly “fuck you bro”.

Have you guys always wanted to be in a band?

J.L : Yeah. We always wanted to be in a band together so we started one, really. It was pretty simple. (Laughs)

There’s a running theme of just going for it.

J.L : Yeah.

Bassist Jim Cratchley comes over to say “is the noodling going to come out on the…” (referring to the Secret Admirer hi-tech recording equipment)

J.L : Better stop that.

Where do you want to go with your band, musically? Do you want to carry it on? Or progress any further?

D.W : Further.

J.L : I think the record will shock a few people. We’re not this sort of grunge band that everyone and NME call us that. It’s a bit more than that and I think…there’s slower stuff on it. People will hopefully like take their own little things away, from it. We just want to make as many records as possible, put them out as quick as possible and tour as much as we can. And just not waste time like certain bands seem to.

D.W : The record is different because you sort of have to be a committed listener. Someone who is going to listen through it. Playing a gig like this you don’t want to play the slower, softer tracks. You gotta keep the tempo up. So that’s why the record might surprise a few people because there is another side to us that you don’t really get to hear live.

That’s sounds nice, two different sides. I think a lot of magazines are quick to just call you something to make it easier for people to understand.

D.W : Yeah.

So if they just say ‘grunge’ people will just understand it straight away.

D.W : It’s actually more misleading than it is informative.

J.L : They seem to be moving away from that, the music mags but I mean I think when the album comes out, they’ll eat their words a bit.

Hopefully people have their own positive ideas about you.

J.L : Yeah, exactly. And yeah we just gotta wait and see. It’s out in October.

D.W : I think the best thing so far, talking to people, is that people don’t quite know where to pigeon hole us. So that seems to be a positive thing. Know what I mean?

Yeah, definitely. You’re more diverse.

D.W : So the record should back that.

What bands inspire you?

J.L : Erm.

D.W : We get asked this a lot.

J.L : It changes week to week. Like we were actually doing a radio show on XFM on Saturday night about this.

D.W : For that radio show for example, we got asked about classic kinda songs that we all love and bands that influence our band. We also like contemporary stuff, like all across the board, the heavier punky stuff and we also like the more softer side of stuff like the country side of the Stones. Stuff like that.

J.L : So it’ll range from like R.E.M to Rolling Stones to like Black Sabbath, Zeppelin to Bob Dylan. Our taste changes together.

D.W : Like menstrual cycles.

J.L : Because we’re on tour now, for like a month. The music in the van has to be on five hours a day. So it’s constant playlists. Our moods change depending on what we’re into.

It’s good to keep an open mind.

D.W : I’d say we’re a part of the iTunes generation. It’s like, you don’t have to spend every penny you have on one record, you can listen to everything. And it means you could be inspired by so many different things at the same time.

J.L : You’re constantly flicking through loads of tracks, which is good or bad but it’s what we do.

So, you’ve had a lot of support from Mystery Jets and Pixies which is so cool. You probably get a lot of people mentioning that. But is there any band that you like, and that you want to get out there?

J.L : Yeah, there’s a band called The Supernovas that are on that charity label Strummerville. And they’re like erm, a local…The Supernovas, yeah. They’re a local Camden band. They’re really like punky, kinda Clash stuff. They’re supporting us on our London show at Dingwalls. On June the 9th. That’ll hopefully give them a bit of a boost.

D.W : It’s a really important part of music today. The Mystery Jets gave us a real leg up from the start. So if we ever get the opportunity to do that for anyone else, it’s nice to take that full circle. It’s really important to do that.

So it’s like more of a community.

D.W : Yeah, rather than slagging people off or hating on other bands. It’s pointless.

Do you prefer playing music live or recording it?

J.L : Live. Because when we are recording we are live as well. So it’s the same. But yeah definitely live. It’s all about the gigs for us and playing as many as we can around the country. That’s why we play every town around two or three times before the record comes out. To build it up. This gig tonight was our favourite, ideal kind of gig. Like 100 people in a room.

D.W : It’s interesting to see, to watch people who are like kind of intrigued. They don’t know the songs but they kinda want to sing along and they don’t know the words. It’s a really interesting time for us because you’re like playing these shows where they’ve got an energy. It’s hot and it’s sweaty.

J.L : You can see with “We Were Children”, people were waiting for it. And “Girlfriend”. But when it comes to the record, the next single out…people will become more familiar with us. Because in London they know our songs but it’s like getting it out, innit.

Hopefully other songs will become classics.

D.W : We hope so.

J.L : We don’t really see “We Are Children” as a classic, it was just the one we put out first.

Well, thank you very much.

D.W : That’s alright. Good luck with your fanzine.

Photography By Chloe Coles

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


We got it together with one of Northampton’s busiest boys in a jungle-themed cafe.
His name is Joss Carter.
He’s a beat making Internet entity, he’s the lead singer of a noisy band and he’s done a bunch of other stuff. He is one prolific/tanned cookie!

How many musical projects and bands have you been in, in your life time, so far?
(Pauses) Hang on. One, two, err, eerrr, arrr. One, two, three, four, five. Five successful ones. Well, like, ones that I think are more successful than say, Bogus. (Laughs) Do you want me to tell the people about Bogus?
Why don’t you talk us through the musical projects you have been a part of so far? Because there is just so many.
Those particular five, or?
Any one you like.
The unsuccessful ones? The successful ones?
Let’s go for…let’s start from bad to good.
Bad to good.
Ok, so I was in this band called Drool. (Laughs)  Er, that was a punk band, weren’t it. I was about eleven and I was, ok that was worse than Drool. I was eleven and I was in Free Advert Space and that was complete shite. I was like, yeah, trying to do Jeffrey Lewis-y stuff, but being a middle-class, English, white kid. So it kind of sucked majorly. Erm, Coastguard.
That was good.
It was ok, we had two good songs. One of them, I still play. I’ve done solo shows and they’ve been ok. Err, I’ve stopped going in order now, I can’t. Err, Blood Visions. Which is this, this noisy band that I’m in that are noisy. Bogus, which was a noisy band that we did and didn’t really do anything with. Various line ups, it’s like basically the same set…yeah. Err. J.Carter stuff which is all ambient-y electronic-y shit.
We’re going to get onto that.
We’re going to get onto that J.Carter stuff. Erm, ermm…erm, Boy Boy. Which is a pop band. And, and and and, I did about two songs under the name Illuminati Shit. And then put them on a J.Carter EP anyway.
So there is quite a few musical projects then…
Quite a few.
Do you think you are going to carry on being in loads of different musical bands and projects and stuff?
(Pauses) I think, like…yeah.
We both enjoy a chuckle before Joss makes a more in depth response.
Just, if you want to do something and you don’t think it fits in with the other musical projects, then you gotta do something else, haven’t you?
With your main band Blood Visions, where do the lyrics come from?
An angry place.

How do you go about creating songs as a band with Blood Visions?
Me and Lewis (guitarist from Blood Visions) will write a riff. And then we’ll show it to each other and then we’ll be like ‘hey! Why don’t we put this bit, on the end of that riff and then you can have a chorus.’ And then we might write a bridge or something together, then might write some other bits for it. Mostly Lewis, and I help him out. And when we get to practice, we tell Marvin (Blood Visions bassist) and Kirsty (Blood Visions drummer) what to do. And then we play songs. I write lyrics on my own, like the day before a gig or sometimes not at all.
What are the main inspirations behind the Blood Visions sound?
Cap’n Jazz. That’s it.
Nothing else? Or just, the blueprint is Cap’n Jazz.
No, there are lots of bands, it’s weird, the way we come at it. Because me and Lewis have kind of always shared musical tastes and like, when we started that band we were listening to a lot of Pavement and things. And Cap’n Jazz. At the moment I can honestly say that 90% of the music I listen to, is…you got like dub-ste…urgh. Techno-y stuff or R’N’B. So it has no relevance, really, to our music. And then like, the 10% of guitar music I listen to; tends to be happy music. So I don’t really…we are looking to write more slower stuff for Blood Visions. Jehu, this band Jehu, Justin Broderick has been in, have been a really big influence lately. Yeah.
Nice. What’s the best show you have played with Blood Visions?
That one last week was pretty swagged out. Erm. We had kids who were dancing and having fun. I think, I think that’s the best thing you can get at a show. I liked Umbrella Fair, as well. And I really like, as far as playing totally as a band goes, I liked playing Slum Party with Halo Halo and Pheromoans. I thought we played well that day.
How did the name Blood Visions come about?
It’s a good story this. We got to like, two weeks before a gig and err…Mel, who was putting on the gig, erm, was like ‘hey, hey! What are you guys going to be called? What are you guys going to be called?! Are you going to call yourselves Coastguard?’ And we were like no, Coastguard has been and done, Becca (Coastguard’s drummer) left and stuff. And we…this is new stuff now. And then we were like, sat around and we had some really shitty names flying around. I mean, Blood Visions is a shitty name but…

Photography By Jack Parker

What were the other names?
I kind of went back over the old Drool names, so like Balls Trapped In A Vice. That kind of thing.
We both enjoy another slightly immature laugh.
But yeah, and then we realised that Jay Reatard had died, the day before we had to do that naming. So we were like ‘Hey! Blood Visions!’.
One of his songs.
One of his songs, yeah. I think we might…
A tribute to him.
Yeah! Yeah, well his most famous song, and his most famous album. So…

With your electronic alias, J.Carter, is it like taking a break from the heavy, guitar-based sound of Blood Visions?
No. No, Blood Visions is like taking a break from all this, like J.Carter stuff.
So the other way around.
Yeah, like, cuz I mean lately…now that I’m off school, what I do, is I sit at a computer from nine till about five, making J.Carter songs.
Working nine till five! What a way to make a living!
Yeah (laughs). Erm, so to have a chance to go a bit mental and not be sat behind a computer screen…staring at it and concentrating really hard on getting beat cues and stuff right is kind of a nice break. That said, I enjoy the J.Carter stuff a lot, it’s not like it’s a chore.
Do you prefer working with others or by yourself when making music?
It’s hard to say, erm…I don’t know, it’s a different experience isn’t it? Like…I, I love the guys from Blood Visions because they are some of my best friends and they’re lovely people. So I like hanging around with them and working with them. And that’s always going to be a whole lot of fun. But I like working on my own because it’s always entirely what I want to do, y’know. I always find that I like Blood Visions songs a lot, but with the J.Carter stuff there is no compromise on it. I can, tomorrow, if I wanted to, I could go home and make a horrible noisy album, in one day. If I wanted to.
What music are you currently digging and listening to?
Err, err…like, I’m going to have to get my phone out because I can never pronounce his name. Yeah, this guy! Ezekiel Honig, he’s this German, ambient techno guy and he’s just really, really pretty. It’s just lovely. Lovely, lovely. You know when you’re listening to ambient music and you’re all like…
It feels right.
Feels right, and it…a lot of people say its background music but it’s, to me it’s like really lovely.
Foreground music.
Yeah, you really feel part of it, you know, it’s really big sound, so…

A German guy then?
I think he’s German. He sounds German. A lot of people that make techno are German.
What’s your favourite music blog?
What was the first record you fell in love with?
‘Silent Alarm’ by Bloc Party. It was the third record I bought. The first two records I bought were kind of, well, not as good as that record. The first one I bought was ‘How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’ by U2 and it was complete bullshit. Like, no, for a ten year old boy, hearing ‘Vertigo’ was awesome, it was like yeah! But, like, other than that, it was all quiet songs and it was shitty. Even at that age. Erm, then I bought ‘Hot Fuss’, which is an alright album. And then I bought ‘Silent Alarm’ which is a bloody amazing album.
Did it blow your mind?
Did it make you want to start making music and being in millions of different projects?
No, because I couldn’t play guitar at that point. Or do anything like that. I really wanted to and like, around the time I started playing guitar, I, who was I into? I liked The White Stripes a lot. And that was like, when I was starting…yeah. Secondary school. So, twelve.
I think I liked them then too. When you are first getting into music, it’s The White Stripes.
It’s good, it’s punchy.
What do you want people to get from Blood Visions, as a band?
As a band?
Yeah, from your music.
I think, its different things for different people isn’t it? I know that, it’s not meaning to be disrespectful or anything…but I know that we have a lot of people who come to our shows, who are a lot older than me. A lot older than us in Blood Visions. I don’t know what they take away from it, but like, I hope if you’re our age or whatever, it can be the sort of shit where you run around and punch each other to it. I mean, if you are older and you genuinely love that kind of thing then…not love it, like it. And you get fun out of washing us, then yeah, that as well.
Washing us?
Watching. Shut up man.
That’s going to be the best quote. What do you want people to get from your J.Carter music?
I don’t know, like, it’s weird because I was thinking about it the other day. And Im working on a new EP, which is going to have ‘Morningz’ and ‘I’m On’ on it. Also some other tracks, all of them, all of them…this is an interesting tid-bit, all of the tracks are named Caitlyn, Finn and Lorrie. Well I made ‘Finn’ the other day when he was coming home. I missed him, because he had been on holiday for like two weeks. But anyway! Get over that. The point is like, I don’t know, because it’s kind of techno but, techno and dance music stuff but it’s kind of for home listening stuff. And I don’t really see what…its music for me…to listen to. If people get fun out of listening to it, be at home or if they want to drop it in da club, then that’s a bonus. To be honest I don’t think it would work but they can do that.
If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, who would that be? Even if they are dead now.
Ooh. Ooh! Is this like a, assigning a dream line up for a band thing?
Yeah, if you want.
I’d have The Dream on vocals, he writes stuff for like Rihanna, Beyonce and is generally awesome. Matt Tong from Bloc Party on drums, err, Victor Villarreal from Cap’n Jazz on guitar…this is turning out weird. Who else would I have?
And then you on keyboards.
Me, me…me on keyboards with the guy from Four Tet; Kieran Hebden, and R.Kelly on backing vocals. And Beyonce, Beyonce can share the lead role with The Dream. Ooh, I dunno, can we just have a full on, just group of front people. So we’ll have Ciara, Beyonce, The Dream and err, Cassie. Yeah.
What would you be called?
Balls Trapped In A Vice. We’re going to be a doom metal band.
What, or who, do you think is the future of music? Excluding yourself.
Oh god, that’s a weird question.
Erm. Anyone currently listening to ‘Pet Sounds’ for the first time.
Who is your favourite band?
The Beach Boys.
Do you prefer playing music live or recording it?
Live. It has to be. It’s difficult though because we haven’t done any recording for Blood Visions yet. So I don’t really know, but with J.Carter, the whole…I get more fun out of listening back to it than recording it. As bad as that sounds I enjoy the playing and the writing songs when things start going right. But generally with things that take that long to happen, there’s a lot of sitting around and looking frustrated at a computer.
Have you still got that old computer thing?
No no no. I got a new one. It’s downstairs in the living room. Not the living room, the dining room. It’s alright, I spend most of my time on it. Making beeeats!
Do you prefer watching bands live or listening to records?
I dunno. I think it depends on who it is. I mean, I’d choose listening to a Kanye West record over going to see the average, unsigned Northampton act. That’s not a slight on Northampton acts, that’s how good Kanye is. Like, I dunno, it depends on what the record is doesn’t it? And who is playing. Generally.
Have you got any final words?
These sweets are good.