MUSIC: THE WHIP INTERVIEW (DON’T PANIC JULY 2011)
Together, Fiona “Lil Fee” Daniel, Nathan Sudders and Bruce Carter are three-piece electropop darlings The Whip, who first took the world by storm with their 2008 record X Marks Destination. Three years after their debut release, the band is preparing to drop their much-anticipated second album Wired Together on September 19th. We caught up with Bruce to find out more about big guys dancing in thongs, why dancing to drum’n’bass sucks and the beauty of gig strobe lights.
Wired Together has been three years in the making. How was the process of putting it together?
It took a lot longer than we thought. We toured pretty much non-stop for two years, so it wasn’t until last year that we got a chance actually start recording. I don’t know how people did it in the ‘60s! The Beatles were only together for something like six or seven years, and they had about ten albums, didn’t they?
Obviously, it’s the big second album… has there been any pressure to live up to X Marks Destination?
It’s been a natural process. We’ve avoided that pressure by just taking our time and making sure it sounds good enough, and we’re very happy with the results.
Would you say that your sound has evolved since your first release?
It’s definitely stepped on a bit. We’ve worked out what our strengths are, and we wanted to make a record that would work really well live, to make it as sweet as we could for the people who will be at our gigs. The first album was about the frustration of trying to get into doing what we’re doing now – Wired Together is about how nuts it’s been since.
Which track do you reckon will be the next ‘Trash’?
I think the first proper single is going to be ‘Secret Weapon’. ‘Trash’ opened a lot of doors for us, so hopefully ‘Secret Weapon’ (below) will keep the flag flying.
There has been speculation that the heyday of the electro sound you and acts like Digitalism and Simian Mobile Disco first championed in 2008/9 is over. Do you think that’s true?
Things like that come in waves. It did get pretty mad a couple of years ago, when every advert would be some electronic-sounding thing, but it’s an accepted genre now. There’s always going to be a hardcore group of people that just buzz off electronic music – it’s not a fad.
So you haven’t felt any pressure to experiment with newer genres like dubstep?
When we were doing demos, we’d try a little dubstep or R&B bit, but ended up going, “Nah, that sounds shit. Let’s just stick to what we like”. You’ve got to be true to your school. I can’t dance to dubstep anyway! I went to a mate’s birthday once, and had to spend the night trying to dance to drum n’ bass. I just didn’t have a clue; I ended up with my hand on this pole… I felt so uncomfortable.
Tell us about the UK shows you’re going to be doing this summer. You’re playing at festivals like Shoreditch and Secret Garden Party, and also supporting The Music in August, right?
We only wanted to do a few festivals, to try new stuff out and let people know we’re coming back with new material. We played with The Music in Japan for a bit, so it’ll be nuts doing a farewell tour with them. They’re all dead good at football – we always have a nice little kickabout in the venues. We’re also doing our first home gigs in September at the Lexington [London], and the Deaf Institute in Manchester.
What can we expect from your live sets?
More visuals, more strobes, smoke and mirrors.
No strippers? No dancing elephants?
It’s funny you should mention that – we played in Ibiza a couple of years ago, and there were all these dancers on podiums, including this massive black guy with just a thong and Doc Marten boots on. For the whole gig, there was this bum thrusting just to the right of me. It was a bit much.
What does the future hold for The Whip?
We’re going to America before Christmas, and there’ll definitely be a UK and European tour too. It’s these first couple of shows in London and Manchester we’re dead excited about though, to get our feet back on the ground with our fans. I’m just happy to get by doing what we’re doing. If we could reach a few more people with this album, I’ll be happy.
Interview: Charlotte McManus