Lana del Rey: the dark side of the American Dream

Since Lana del Rey to public attention with her enigmatic ballad ‘Video Games’, she has become a central conversation point amongst music fans and bloggers alike. Now, with a top ten single, plus live shows in London and Paris already under her belt, Lana is currently on the precipice of releasing her second single “Born To Die” next month. A debut album is also in the pipeline, also titled “Born To Die” will be released a week later on January 30th. It’s been an epic journey for her so far, so ahead of the holiday season we thought it would be nice to discuss the more humble things in life and what makes this rising star tick:

On decamping to New York City from Lake Placid:

There was nowhere to sing in Lake Placid so I moved. I was born in New York City and I was meant to live there. It’s a city full of strange artists so I fit in.

On recording in New York:

I did not start immediately, I sang at open mic nights first and played lots of shows in Brooklyn. Then I met a producer when I was 19 and started recording.

On her musical message music:

I don’t have a message, Im just trying to get though my own struggles and losses through making music. I face dark decisions but I have the light inside of me to make good choices.

On her fashion style:

What I wear in my videos is actually what I wear in real life, I wear french dresses and also jeans and t- shirts.

On ‘Video Games’:

The song is about a time in my life when I was at peace with the fact that I was never gonna make anything of myself. Me and my boyfriend were two outsiders that had found love and felt lucky to have found each other and to be able to spend our nights together after he’d get home from work.

On David Lynch:

I enjoyed the themes he explored in his films, and I could tell he did whatever he wanted creatively without compromising, and he was interested in the dark side of the American Dream.

On her musical journey:

Surreal

On her favourite recording artists:

No one that’s alive, but maybe Eminem and Lil Wayne.

On her favourite icons:

Elvis, Kurt Cobain, because they have the most beautiful faces and fascinating souls.

On her top places for a day out in New York:

Go to Coney Island or walk along the water on the West Side Highway.

On what makes her smile:

I can’t remember

http://lanadelrey.com/

 

GOLDEN GLOW: Tender. Honest. Necessary.

Golden Glow is the brainchild of musician Pierre Hall, previously of the band Lead Balloons. The projectencapsulates Hall’s love of brit-pop, distortion and dream-like melodies with all music and vocals played and sung by himself. Hall has trodden a colourful path which lead him from early music days to Golden Glow; an automobile accident in 2009 left him unable to walk for almost six months leaving Hall’s spirits crushed. Rather than treat this dark period as a musical setback, Hall began to reflect and reapproach the way he worked his art. Unable to leave the house, his songwriting began to reflect hope and sorrow he felt inside. That was the moment that Golden Glow was born and finally, ‘Tender Is The Night’- the charming debut record which followed via Mush Records.

How has your musical journey with Golden Glow been so far and have you learnt anything?

It’s been good. Slowly but surely. Things are definitely heading in the right direction. I’m still learning – but i suppose like anything, things take time. If anything I suppose I am learning you’re only really as good as what you know. If i think back to music I was making 5 years ago, i feel like i was naive and inexperienced then, and this is more me. But ask me again in 5 more years and i may say the same about this.

Why did you decide to start this project?

It was around two years ago. After the break up of my first band, Lead Balloons. I had some time on my hands, and bought a digital 4-track recorder. I’d never done any of my own recording before. It completely opened my eyes.

Why? To keep myself sane.

Describe Golden Glow in three words:

Tender. Honest. Necessary.

What is your favourite track from your record and why?

Hmmm. A hard one. Probably ‘Adore Me’ as it came about completely by accident – but turned out exactly how I wanted it. I couldn’t have set out to write it. It kinda informed the sound  that I ended up going for.

What message or musical mood does Golden Glow have?

I’m not sure about message – as the songs touch upon several themes. Love, lust, isolation and mortality being the most common ones.

The mood is definitely reflective.

Do you feel like the life of a musician has changed over the years?

Definitely.  I was just talking about this to someone last night.

It’s so much harder to make it your life now, even compared to ten years ago.  In order to – you have to make a lot of sacrifices for almost minimal reward.

I guess its a case of choosing to be one of those people who does the whole sleeping on floors living for their art thing or those people who want the aspects of a normal life and relationships etc and are happy just to continue making  records in the meantime, knowing that they’re contributing something, whatever the outcome.

I suppose I’m in the latter camp. At the moment.

Where does the main inspiration for your songwriting come from?

Love. Life. Frustration.

Those people that have come before you and taught you lessons you can never forget.

The idea that there is something more than this, and that maybe what we are experiencing now is just an intermediary phase.

Books.

Lots of books.

Do you have any dream collaborations for Golden Glow?

Dead? –  Nico.  Love her voice and her whole vibe. I’m a sucker for a beautiful girl too.

Alive? – Maybe Jarvis. I reckon we’d be into the same stuff.

If you could have written any song in the world, what would it be and why?

Dion & The Belmonts – ‘Runaround Sue’

I love it. It has everything. It’s perfect pop. Great lyrics. Great voice. Femme-fatale-ish lyrics. A bona fide classic.

Best album of all time?

Everyones  is different – but for me, its The Bends (Radiohead). Just because, i think certain albums find you at the right time. And that one found me, and i’ve never been able to shake it loose.

It means everything to me.

Are you recording any more material, or are any more releases in the pipeline?

I’ve started writing songs for the new record – the process will be different from the last one in which i did everything myself on 4-track. I have a live band now, so i’ll come up with the rough ideas and they’ll flesh it out and then hopefully go in to the studio with a producer friend of mine in Spring, in time for an Autumn (2012) release.

Any touring plans ahead?

Not yet – as we wanna concentrate on recording, plus we all work etc. But definitely a few gigs here and there.

Watch this space.

http://www.myspace.com/goldenglowmusic

 

Sylver Tongue: Fear of failure + Science Fiction

Sylver Tongue burst recently onto our internet screens with the sultry video for debut electro track ‘Hook You Up’. It’s easy to push British female solo artists with a penchant for synthesizers and artistic music videos aside, but there appears to be something deeper and more intense about this project. For a start, it might be what drove producer and award winning remixer James Rutledge (Fever Ray/Everything Everything) to collaborate with her, and with more luminaries to be revealed soon, one can only expect Sylver Tongue to be an artist to watch. We catch up with the lady herself as she makes plans to announce her first set of live shows.

Hi Sylver Tongue, please introduce yourself:

Hi. I’m Sylver Tongue, i’ll have a Caipiroska please.

Where are your favourite places to be when writing music?

In the bosom of my bedroom.

We heard you are working with James Rutledge. What was it like collaborating with him?

Wonderful. James is a hugely gifted producer/musician and he has a cool cat.

As an artist, what other things outside of music inspire you to write?

Families. Relationships. Fear of failure. Science Fiction. Philip K Dick. Ridley Scott. Stanley Kubrick.

Your video is very striking and visual, who did you collaborate with for all the art direction and imagery?

I edited together images of abandoned Soviet Union monuments that look totally futuristic and otherworldly with lightning fields and burning red deserts. The film was saturated with ‘Suspiria’ inspired colours and projected over me as i sang the song wearing a mask of glass shards designed and made by Natasha Lawes. Pretty simple video really…you just need Aftereffects, a projector, a wall and a cool mask.

Are you in the studio right now working on a debut record?

I’m half way through recording the record and am rehearsing with my band for our first gigs.

If so- what kind of sounds and messages can we expect to hear on it?

Love letters to Grace Jones, Prince, Tina Weymouth and Mick Karn.

Do you have a clear idea about how the public will receive the music?

I know i have a record i can be proud of. Beyond that it’s all foggy.

Do you think emerging acts have an easy time promoting their music in modern times?

It’s much easier in these modern times for bands to be heard via the ether around the world. It’s now an instant medium. This also means that there’s a lot more competition as well. But competition is healthy.

What makes you laugh the most?

Larry David

When was the last time you were sad?

Black Mirror episode 3

Name your favourite books and movies:

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch – Philip K Dick
Ubik – Philip K Dick
1984 – George Orwell
Bladerunner
Alien
Mad Max

http://sylvertongue.com/

TYSON: “Money isn’t real”

Tyson wears disco like a badge of honour. The Londoner returned to the music scene this year with a new track ‘Fight’- something which wouldn’t sound out of place on a sticky dancefloor circa 1973- full of catchy loops and enough Prince-like funk to light a firework. In fact, the disco is something of an obesssion with him and runs through his blood. We have a brief chat with him here:

What are you doing right now?

Working on my new album, it’s sounding amazing. It’s like Tina Turner meets Visage.

What is your story and musical background?



I’m just a West London ghetto boy turned fashionista. I was bred on the usual Jodeci, Jagged Edge, Ruff Endz, then one day I stumbled across Bowie which changed my life forever.

What are the 6 most favourite songs in your record collection?



Tina Turner – We Don’t Need Another Hero
Desireless – Voyage Voyage
Laura Branigan – Self Control
Donna Summer – I Feel Love
David Bowie – Ashes To Ashes
Visage – Fade To Grey

Do you make your music for anyone in particular in mind?



I make music for everyone that’s tired of ‘the system’

Who was the last person you spoke on the phone with?


Michael Jackson

What do you believe in?


I believe in love

Name three things you can’t live without?



Ketchup, tattoo shops & my Donna Summer CD

Tell us a secret

Money isn’t real.

http://www.t-y-s-o-n.com/

READING RAINBOW: “dreams and love”

Rob Garcia and Sarah Everton are musical duo Reading Rainbow from Philadelphia. Having emerged from a former band Forensic Teens, the pair have now been making music in the vein heavily influenced by 1960′s garage rock since 2008, and have delivered two studio albums to date: ‘Mystical Participation’ and ‘Prism Eyes’. Here, they talk to us about Godard, Jodorowsky and 90s DIY.

What is your process for your songwriting?

I don’t know if we have a particular process that we always follow.  Songs for us begin as either a simple chord progression or a recording we made of one of us humming a new melody.  When we find something that moves us a certain way its usually pretty natural and intuitive how the song will shape up.  After we come up with the basic song structures and melodies, we then work on lyrics and harmonies.  Then put it all together with the drums and other layers of instruments.

Philadelphia is renown for it’s rock, punk, hip hop and jazz scene. Do you find it an inspirational city to live in for your musical creativity?

Absolutely.  Philly is a really great place to live for any type of artist.  There is always something happening, but its not as overwhelming and in your face as New York can sometimes be.  Where we live in Fishtown (the North-East), there are the best music venues in the city and also a large number of art galleries.  Its definitely inspiring being surrounded by creative people and then also great to have enough personal space to focus and get shit done.

Since your beginnings as a band, how do you feel you have developed as musicians?

I think we’ve grown tremendously.  When we first started, we wrote and recorded 8 songs, Sarah learned how to play the drums, and we played two shows all in the span of two weeks.  For being only a two piece band, we had to learn how to achieve the sound we wanted and so thats why we use a lot of distortion and we both sing.  Our first full length record was heavily focused on the aesthetic of huge blown out wall of sound.  And when we were ready to record songs for our second album, we wanted to use more harmonies and also step up the quality of the recordings.  We still didn’t lose any of our original sound.  With time we learned how to do it better.

Did you try to convey a particular message with Prism Eyes?

Prism Eyes deals with a lot of issues we are currently facing.  We are at the age when most people are starting to get tied down with serious jobs or are starting to have babies and we are beginning to question if that life is right for us.  We have dreams and passions that we can’t just give up.  If I get stuck in a job, I’m still gonna dream and I’ll put a veil over my reality just so that I can deal with it.

The ‘Always on my Mind’ video lends itself to French new wave cinema. Did any cinematic influences come into play when writing the tracks for Prism Eyes?

Probably subconsciously, but not directly.  We love watching movies from the 60′s and 70′s with great cinemetography and amazing washed out colors.  Movies from Godard and Jodorowsky are so focused on aesthetic and vibe that its hard not to be inspired.

The Weathervane Music/ WXPN ‘Shaking Through’ session you did last year gave an insight into the creative process of Reading Rainbow. Do you feel like the internet has changed the way bands market themselves like this for the better?

The internet has pretty much put everyone on the same level.  For something like music, it is tremendously helpful because it allows people to share their music with everyone in the entire world.  Its seems so bizzare to think about when we were young and how much harder it was to find out about new music.  Shaking Through was an amazing experience and they fully understand how the internet can be used to help out independent musicians.

Rob- you also have your Sprained Ankles project. What kind of an outlet is this for you, and does it relate to the music that you make in Reading Rainbow?

Before we started Reading Rainbow, I was in between bands and Sprained Ankles was my outlet for about a year.  I wrote a full length album’s worth of material and recorded it onto 4-track cassette.  They are essentially demos, but it is straight up soul and I love it!  Now things are moving full speed with Reading Rainbow, but its always great to go back and listen to those old recordings and fall in love again.  Hopefully and some point I’d be able to re-record those songs.

What are your main sources of inspiration for your music?

Dreams and Love

Do you have a particular single vision for your band, or is there a particular icon with a music career that inspires you?

Ever since we started playing music we were always a firm believer in working hard and getting shit done.  Why would we pay someone to record us when we could record ourselves?!  Especially when we started out, it was extremely important not to have other peoples input so that we could find our own sound and develop our method for doing things.  As far as inspiration, Sonic Youth are huge for sure.  They pretty much define 90s DIY.  As we’ve grown as a band we now fully realize the benefits of working in a real studio and having a booking agent!

Why did you decide on the name Reading Rainbow?

Before Reading Rainbow, we played in a 3 piece band where we both played keyboard and sang and we had another drummer.  It was heaviliy influenced by the late 70s synth punk band The Screamers.  We had a song called Reading Rainbow and had allways thought that it would be such an amazing band name.  The idea of taking something out of its original conext and creating this entire other meaning for the name really appealed to us.  If you think about it, Reading Rainbow is a really trippy band name.  Plus when you add all the childhood nostalgia it really felt natural to us.

www.readingrainbow.bandcamp.com

LEAGUE: ‘good old technology’

Jorge and José aka LEAGUE are two guys getting sick of living in the city, inaction, routine, absent-minded friends, absent-minded conversations, and most of all with a deep need for contact with wildness. They write us an open letter to get things of their chest…

We didn’t give making music too much of a thought in the beginning. We ended up heading to the beach with a tent and an SAS (British Special Forces) survival guide and ended up staying for six months from Winter to the end of sSpring. This was really the trigger that made us have the time to start thinking about a lot of things, most of them concerning Man and human nature… it really made us put in perspective how big questions that were made for centuries started to disappear from our minds over the past 40 or 50 years and how they’re still to answer, maybe now more than ever. Oh and we also drove a couple miles to the supermarket once a week.

When we got back we started to put things together and recording all ideas (good old technology!), and it really started to make sense to combine this nature and isolation experience with more social and emotional issues, we are, as humans, made of this two opposite worlds.

We are form Portugal, from a coastal city, which, by itself doesn’t inspire creativity in a strong way (a small city , not much to do culturally , not much people, things don’t come to you as in a more urban place), but it definitely influenced us as individuals, as big cities can be a sometimes a bit choking for your soul if you want to breathe a little more widely. 

We’re inspired and trying to learn from a lot of music from the past, from almost every genre, from Sinatra, Janis, Vashti, and Pink Floyd guitars. We grew up on 90′s bands like Blur and Radiohead, and two years ago we were playing electro as a DJ duo, so it’s really hard for us to know where music is going or even trying to go with it… we don’t really care about being at the cutting edge of fashion or modern in music, it all comes natural and as global feeling to people and probably as a result as outside factors and paradigms.

Being in a band can be a way to get a wider conscience about the world, citizenship and people’s REAL problems or it can make you get lost in a really alienated self-centred superficial routine, it all depends on what you’re into – playing guitars with style, drinking beer and getting a couple tattoos, or working with an inner need to build something.

We remember hearing the klaxons album a few years ago but we get into it much. Golden Skans is a great song from the commercial point of view, it works on the ears instantly, just as Gravity’s Rainbow does. We probably have some technical things in common, as with loads of other bands, we use both our vocals at the same volume in some songs to make it stronger, and some background choirs to fill the verses which we understand the resemblance. Both lyrics can evoke an open fictional imaginary , but Klaxons are very Ballard-baed and are inspired by Science Fiction, which is not really our universe. In general they’re not much of an influence to us.

A note from José:

If I could live anywhere in the world I would locate to San Francisco in Brazil, so i could eat papayas and Cajun all day long. Although our songs have a strong visual character, I can’t name movie or artist in particular that inspires us. Things come really naturally without a lot of thought or a creativity train, and sometimes it works if I sing over Justin Timberlake’s chords, or sometimes I just try to make things in a work with a more mechanic perspective.

A note from Jorge:

I can’t really imagine living a single place for a long time, I wish I could merge like London with Paris and San Francisco so I could have a lots of life on the streets and also at the same time eat cool sandwiches filled with ketchup on a sunny day in a wide avenue near the sea – oh and maybe with some Australian city like Brisbane so i could feed the cangurus that passed by among the the young people smoking weed.

Lately I’ve been finding movies as a great source for motivations or concerns, but it’s hard to tell, I’m not the kind of person who can write about something freshly on my mind, it’s really hard for me to tell where things come from, maybe echoing from a simple afternoon on the rock pools years ago, maybe from an entire night spent in silence among a lot of people. Usually, when composing, images are the starting point and come always first, landscapes, a high eels on the moss, books, magazines , movies, publicity, right now images come from everywhere really and we can’t help it.”

http://soundcloud.com/league

PARIS FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS: LUTZ

Architecture and structure was at the forefront of the Lutz show for SS12. Lutz cut into fabric like one would cut through a plaster wall- creating lines and holes to reveal the body in unexpected places. Knife pleats, off-kilter seams were set to a running theme of graphic prints inspired by dripping paint.

The German designer went to Central Saint Martin’s College in London, then moved to Paris to the house Maison Martin Margiela. In 2000, he decides to launch « Lutz » with David Ballu. The first collection is presented at the studio of Fabrice Hybert, attracting the attention of press and boutiques such as Maria Luisa and L’Eclaireur in Paris and Lift in in Tokyo. Lutz is awarded the « ANDAM » Award – biggest Fashion Award worldwide – in 2000 and again in 2002. Key pieces are acquired and shown by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée Galiéra in Paris and the Goethe Institute in Tokyo. Lutz’s approach to fashion has been described as « decontextualisation ».

http://lutzparis.com/

PARIS FASHION WEEK: ELLE AIME LA MODE

Elle Magazine selected new fashion talent to promote during Paris Fashion Week. The rising stars such as Belle Ninon, Natali Brilli and Barnabé Hardy have already  been supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communication. Their projects were helped with financial advances from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Balenciaga and the IFCIC (Financial Institute for Cinema and Culture).

Select garments from each designer were presented in wooden delivery crates conveying how fragile the pieces were. The crochet dress from Maison Rabih Kayrouz, a jersey garment hanging beautifully was a real standout piece, as were Gustavo Lins and Lefrance-Ferrant.

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

Barnabé Hardy

THE VALENTINES PART 2: a day with Chris Leader

The Valentines are a band from Brighton, UK consisting of Jegard, Chris Lowe, Leader, Curtis, and Carlito. The band are a string of influences, from garage punk, to indie pop- all weft together by a shared love of party music. It was their delightfully shambolic charm that found them supporting The Libertines for their comeback gig at Forum last year. From there, the music hasn’t stopped since as the band began to play shows in London and Paris. After lead singer Jegard relayed his life story in Part 1, it’s Chris Leader’s turn to talk romance…

Hi Leader, what have you been up to today?

Woke up at 9.37am (fully clothed), drank a Yazoo, brushed my teeth, had a fag, collected my Dum Dum Girls & Nirvana vinyl, ate a burger, played on the bumper cars, had a sing song with the other Valentines on the beach, then played a gig with the lovely Carl Barat.

Who are your top 5 heroes?

George Harrison (God)

Dee Dee Ramone (for being the coolest member of the coolest band ever, and loving pizza)

Kip Berman (because he’s the nuts)

Kurt Cobain (for making music click)

Cassie Ramone (because i love her guitar playing, the Vivian Girls, and The Babies album is the best release this year. They might be in this magazine too…)

Kevin Shields (for being a genius)

Jack Kerouac (for saving / changing my life)

Roy Lichtenstein (have you seen “Sunrise”?)

(the above is no particular order, and four people were joint fifth, which is why there are eight on the list)

Above: Chris Leader of The Valentines

When it comes to songwriting, do you all have a hand in the mix or are lyrics and music score a very much a separate operation?

Songwriting is very much Jegard’s thing in The Valentines, as is poetry, romance and modelling.

Do The Valentines comes with any kind of message?

“Beep beep – your remaining balance is £1.19″

Where is your favourite place to write songs?

In my bedroom, in the winter, at night, when nobody is in the house.

Who is the poet of the group?

Poet of the group?! I don’t believe it! I mentioned that earlier…

Who is the romancer?

Romancer too?! Christ! This is spooky…

If you were to write a Valentines Day song for anyone, who would it be for?

Amanda Knox

Who is most likely to get a modelling contract in the future?

You’re having a giraffe…see previous Jegard related answers.

If someone was to walk a mile in your shoes how would they feel?

Have you seen Mrs Doubtfire? Like that.

Describe what true romance really is:

a great film which contains my favourite piece of cinema ever (the Christopher Walken / Dennis Hopper caravan torture scene. It makes me want to cry, not that i would though. Im very tough and manly.) In all seriousness, there is no way to describe it.

Tell us a band secret:

During recording, Carl, our drummer, likes to cover his upper torso in baby oil as it gives him a “better feel of the beats”.

Above: The Valentines

http://thevalentinesband.blogspot.com/

THE VALENTINES PART 1: a day with Jegard Valentine

The Valentines are a band from Brighton, UK consisting of Jegard, Chris Lowe, Leader, Curtis, and Carlito. The band are a string of influences, from garage punk, to indie pop- all weft together by a shared love of party music. It was their delightfully shambolic charm that found them supporting The Libertines for their comeback gig at Forum last year. From there, the music hasn’t stopped since as the band began to play shows in London and Paris. Lead singer Jegard (aka Christian) tells us what’s on his mind right now…  

Hi Jegard Valentine, what have you been up to today?

Played a show with Carl Barat last night. We initially weren’t gonna do it, cos the last time I saw Carl we played ‘knuckles’ for about an hour and he left me with a severely bruised hand. But Morrissey came to me in a dream and told me to play the show. Except instead of Morrissey it was the smiths drummer Mike Joyce. And instead of it being in a dream it was outside the off license. And instead of telling me to play the show he asked me for spare change.

Who are your top 5 heroes?

1. Dion DiMucci. Doo-wop legend with a voice that makes me think of the world in the way i wish it was. He’s our elvis.

2. Bambi.  What everyone forgets about Bambi, is that he grows up to be a proper noble, strong and decent badass. He loves his girlfriend and he fights that fella to protect her AND he saves her from a fire. I’d like do something like that. Have to wait for the opportunity though. Cant go around just picking fights and starting fires, thats not really on. Besides, I’ve always felt an affinity with Bambi. We both have big eyes and fall over alot.

3. Groucho Marx. I have dreams where me and Groucho are mates and we go to the park and mcdonalds and stuff like that. I could listen to his business all day. His wisecracks (or drunken bastardasations of them) got me through my teens. Example - “Fancy seeing you here after all these drinks.”

4. Brian Wilson. I cant quite put into words how much beach boys music means to me and has changed my life, so i wont try. God only knows is my favourite song of all time. That or ‘be my baby’ by the ronettes. Dont make me choose, or i’ll hoof you in the leg.

5. My Dad. I cant really say why without sounding nauseating, suffice it to say that i wish i was like him. a Very strong, together fellow who does everything right. I’m a silly, idiot who does everything - and i mean EVERYTHING – wrong.

When is comes to songwriting, do you all have a hand in the mix or are lyrics and music score a very much a separate operation?

I write the music and the words. I;ll be honest, its nothing less than a tyrannical dictatorship. NBut thats not to say its just ‘Jegard and his puppety chumps’. We’re a gang, we’re true brothers. The vals would be nothing without each other. I’d take a pint glass in the chin for these guys, and I think they’d do the same. I hope they would. Thats not an invitation for a glassing, mind.

Do The Valentines comes with any kind of message?

Musically, yeah. We play with the archetypes of music- much like blondie, T rex, the ramones, oasis etc. I try to write songs that sound like they should have already been written. Something thats power catchy. Music comes from either the head, the heart or the genitals, sometimes a combination, sometimes all three. Bands now seem to have the wrong idea of whats important. Music to me, is in a shit state right now. Everyones obsessed with reverb (to cover up their crushingly pedestrian melodies) and irretrievable levels of twee. No-ones got any balls. We make extremely loud, fun pop music for you to get off your face and go mental to. We want to be the band that do songs that your bog-standard, devo b-sides, muso indie kid will like, and yet are still whistled on building sites. Builders whistled ‘common people’ and ‘parklife’. No builders whistle Foals or fucking White Lies. There’s no rock’n roll in the charts these days, literally NONE. Someone’s got to change that, it may as well be us.

Above: Christian Jegard Valentine, lead singer of The Valentines

Where is your favourite place to write songs?

It’s not my favourite place, its just the only place to do it – my horrible little bedsit. I cant wait to get out of it, i really cant. My songwriting process follows thusly – Sit on my bed and get properly twatted, listening to a mix of doo-wop, punk, britpop and glam bands to get in the mood. Then, when sufficiently rinsed, I bash out stuff on my guitar or keyboard and record it all onto this little brown fisher price tape recorder i’ve got. Some of its brilliant, some of its unutterably shite. I only know the next morning. Often, you can be off your tits thinking you’ve come up with the best lyrics of all time, only to listen to it back the next day to find its nothing more than a lengthey, one-chord rant about how shit ‘the brittas empire’ was.

A good example of this was one night i was on 2cb, scribbling away lyrics, thinking what i’d written down was the best chorus of all time. Two days later i found said piece of paper that contained this ‘amazing’ chorus and all it said was “blam! everyone look at me! smash!”

 Who is the poet of the group? I am.

Who is the romancer? I am.

If you were to write a Valentines Day song for anyone, who would it be for?

I’ve done that a few times actually. Well, not for valentines day – but yearly love songs. I had one meaningful relationship which broke up four years ago. Ever since, i write her a song for her birthday each year. I send her the CDs. She always calls me and thanks me for them. Miss her terribly. I’m not a lunatic. I’d like people to fall in love with each other at our gigs. That was why i called the band the valentines. I want to do some love songs but i don’t think the others will let me. I reckon we could be a musical cupids bow though. Who wouldn’t want that? love and romance are the best thing.

Who is most likely to get a modelling contract in the future?

Carl, our drummer. We’re all reasonably dashing, but he’s definitely the most attractive. He looks like a cross between michaelangelo’s david, and a strawberry mini milk.

Describe what true romance really is:

Its the most beautiful thing in the world. People fall in love and stay together every day. To some, and I’m not joking – it feels like valentines day DAILY, they will wake up next to each other and feel that homey feeling (but in a person) and they will think about the other person for most of the day – and despite having known each other for years and years they still get butterflies thinking about each other, and much, in fact nearly all of their behaviour is selfless…Sounds ridiculous I know, but it does happen. And physical attraction doesn’t fade, despite what people may tell you. It’ll fade if ALL you care about is physical attraction and are obsessed with surface aesthetics… but that would mean you are a shallow prick and if so, you deserve to have your relationships decline. If love is true, the physical attraction will grow, because whereas before they were just a person, now they’re a superperson, in all aspects.

I’m not a religious person, i dont believe in god – but i dont patronise or ridicule those that do… because even though i know its flim flam, its what gets them through life, and who am i to  try and ruin that? I feel the same about true love. believing in it and believing that I, and everyone will find it before they die is what gets me through, gives me hope from one day to the next. Romance is the best (and i suppose, parodoxically the worst) thing about humans. If you don’t find true love or romance, just drown your sorrows is my advice. I tried it, but the fuckers have learned to swim.

http://thevalentinesband.blogspot.com/http://thevalentinesband.blogspot.com/

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