Leeds Music Scene caught up with The Whip as they kick off their UK tour
Leeds Music Scene caught up with Bruce from The Whip just before their current UK tour kicked off. As they are coming to Leeds (Cockpit, 23rd May) discussions included various things, from quick shags to chips and gravy!
Hello Bruce from The Whip. How are you? Where are you currently?
Hey! Good, cheers! Just at home doing some washing as we got back from a European jaunt and tomorrow we start our UK tour in sunny York. Should be fun to do some gigs on home soil.
Very much so. What have the last few months been like for your guys?
Lots of non-stop action. We're having fun playing here and there. The year has gone so fast. I'm not joking but sometimes you can't remember what town or country you are in, your head gets messed up on the old open road.
Are you all pleased with the album?
Yeah I'm so happy it's out there too; we couldn't find time to finish it with how busy we were with gigs so it's a relief to finally get it done. We started recording stuff in dressing rooms or on the bus, anywhere will do.
What's your favourite song from the album and why?
I really like 'Blackout', it's one of the last ones we finished so it feels pretty fresh and the end of the song gets all psychedelic. It takes you on a nice musical journey. We had a laugh recording the end in the studio with Jim Abbiss, Danny, Nath and I playing loads of weird instruments in the live room together.
For people who haven't heard of you, who would you compare yourselves to? Who would like your music?
We just try and do our own thing really. We like listening to loads of different stuff and try and mix stuff together. People who like to dance to their music with their eyes open will probably understand.
Where did the band name come from?
We were called Teenage Whip but it sounded a bit dodgy, so we got rid of that after a few hours and our mates just stated calling us The Whip. In France the whip is the sheath that you pull a sword from and in Holland it means a quick shag.
Haha, those crazy Europeans! What made you all first get into music? And how was the band formed?
Music is the only thing that has ever made me tick really. Danny and I used to be in bands together and we set up together in a dirty pub basement in Salford for a few months every night. We worked in the same music shop as Nathan so we would spend all day showing him how to play the bass lines. He was dating Fee at the time and she was the perfect choice as she hit the drums really hard and didn't want to mess around with a splash cymbal. They split up but everything was cool. We've gigged loads non stop, a few times at The Fav but the last gig at the Cockpit was a good one so hopefully next week we can beef it up.
Bring on the Cockpit gig! What would you have all done if you hadn't gone down the music route?
Maybe a bit of dole action or some travelling. I studied film so I'd probably get in to making films.
I studied film; I'm now unemployed. Stick with music. What's the first CD you bought?
The 1st CD was Michael Jackson - Bad. It sounded crisp. The first single was Madonna - Get Into The Groove. Rozzana Arquetet was on the sleeve with Madonna, she looked much hotter.
What are you currently listening to, what's on your mp3 player?
Where we usually play it's boom boom boom, I used to walk in a club and get sweaty palms, now it just feels like home. So it's good on days off to give the old lungs a rest so I'm listening to Sebastian Tellier's new album 'Sexuality'. I did start the day with a breakfast of filthy electro though.
Who would you love to perform or record with, past or present?
Daft Punk I guess. They still have the mystique with the masks, we're just doing a collaboration with 'Crookers' which I'm really excited about.
Good stuff. Best venue/gig you've played?
Fujirock festival in Japan last year was special. A really fun time. It's crazy to go to the other side of the world and meet a bunch of people who know what your bands all about. The fans are really special there too, they make you gifts and give you copies of pictures that they just took of you with them. I get noodles in the post regularly. Better ones than Pot Noodle.
I love noodles. Where were you when you first heard one of your songs on the radio? How did you feel?
I was with my girlfriend in Leeds actually, she was happy and it got me in the good books.
What do you all miss when on the road?
Meat pie, chips and gravy. All around Europe you arrive in the dressing room to be confronted with a cheese and ham platter, guaranteed. You crave a good chippy; that Brett's in Headingley is a beaut. The main thing you miss is friends and loved ones. It's pretty tough, so we like to bring along them with us whenever we can.
Where do you find influences for your songs?
A lot of the songs for this album were written at a pretty dark time when we were working hard to get the band going and trying to forget about the last band. I like thinking about writing to forget about stuff that makes it hard. So when we go gigs I'm singing about the struggle to get to the point of going the gig. It's a release for everyone. We've been on a mission to get there and setup and stuff and everyone has had a long day before they come to the gig, so for us the songs and playing them live is about the communal release in a room from all the beef of the day. Getting into the gig and dancing to forget about the day.
If you could choose any song to cover, what would it be and how would you make it your own?
We've thought about a few. We spoke to Mark More about doing 'Theme From S Express' and he's well up for us doing it. It's just hard to find the time when we're doing remixes and so many gigs and trying to write the new album.
Are you looking forward to playing the Cockpit in Leeds toward the end of May?
Defo. I've spent loads of time in Leeds and love it there. My brother lives there too. It should be a good one. Friday night too? Come on!
What should we expect from your live shows?
Lots of energy, sweat, maybe a little blood, smiles. Lots of dancing, partying, forgetting about the shit day, saying hello, kissing goodbye.
I like the sound of that! And finally, what's next for The Whip after the UK and Australia tours?
We're looking forward to loads of festivals over the summer, including Leeds. Last time I was there, there were some fires being let off!? Should be a fun one. Then album 2 so we can do it all again next year!
Thanks Bruce. Good luck with the tour and album!