White Lies Interview

on Saturday, April 26, 2008
If you were lucky enough to read my blog during the early days in 2006, you would have witnessed a fantastic interview with a little known band called Los Campesinos! - Gareth, Neil and Harriet are officially denoted the best members of the band, of course. That interview went so well [Read here] and the band have gone onto reasonably big things (like appearing on Soccer AM), I haven't felt the need to do another interview since. Until now.

Like LC!, London three-piece White Lies are building up hype and have big things ahead of them. Having dissolved their previous post-punky meets art-rock style outfit Fear Of Flying (who I saw many times, even in their first incarnation as The Flow back in 2004!), they've undergone an intriguing metamorphosis into bleakness, reliving some of the best melancholic bands of the Eighties. So I thought I'd better sneak an interview early before they tire of such frivolous ventures. Here's what Jack LB, White Lies drummer and London clubnight promoter had to say.

Who are White Lies?
White Lies is Harry McVeigh on vocals and guitar, Charles Cave on bass and myself Jack Brown on drums. Collectively we write and record everything as a 3 piece. Tommy [formerly of the now defunct Mumm-ra] is an essential live addition which allows us to push our live performance.

Why 'White Lies' as a band name? Presumably not after the Paul Van Dyk song?
White Lies was something that came to us without ever listening to Paul Van Dyk. There is no one reason for the name. It's something we all agreed on, and it has a dark tone to it, so it sits well with our music.

How did you get involved with James Sandom (Kaiser Chiefs manager) and Supervision Management?
James got in touch with us after hearing 'Unfinished Business'. He is vastly experienced and shared our vision of what White Lies should be about and where we want to go.

Considering the recent FOALS backlash, are you concerned about being a buzz band?
Although our name has been going around a fair bit, I think we are still a fairly unknown quantity. We're starting to pick up press and radio coverage but we have no internet following compared to some buzz bands. Most people have heard 2 or 3 of our tracks at most, so we still offer a lot more to come. We are developing completely naturally as a result. The buzz won't matter if we succeed in doing what we want to do as a band.

'Unfinished Business' is the debut single out on April 28th. Why was that chosen as the first offering?
'Unfinished Business' is song which includes all the important factors relating to our music. It's a track which covers what we want to do sonically as well as musically. We all feel its a strong first statement to make.

The single's being released on Chess Club Recordings [link], an extension of your clubnight, will we be seeing more singles out on that label?
Chess Club is my label and night that I run with people outside White Lies, so it's not really attached to White Lies in any other way. Chess Club has lots more exciting releases planned for summer, but I can't really tell you who yet as some of it is TBC. All exciting new music from many different genres though.

After a bit of an A&R battle, White Lies recently signed to Fiction Records. Why Fiction?
Jim Chancellor who runs Fiction is the most passionate man in the music industry - that's a fact - and to have him A & R our records is a huge compliment. The whole Fiction team has a very inventive and focused approach to each artist. It's a small team and they will help us build a career that's tailored to our needs. And as a band you can't ask for more than that.

Will you be working with Stephen Street (producer of the two Fear Of Flying singles) on any future releases, such as the album?
There are no plans at the moment for us to work with Stephen. We will be recording the album with Ed Bueller [Suede and Pulp producer] and Max Dingel [mixed the final Fear Of Flying single and has engineered on albums by Muse, Weezer etc] co-producing.

Which band/s are you most looking forward to meeting or simply seeing play on the NME New Noise tour that you'll be heading off on soon?
The NME tour line up is a strange billing for us to be on. We stick out a bit on that bill, but we like a challenge. I'm looking forward to watching Crystal Castles, I hear they're deranged live.

You're playing a few festivals, which one are you most excited about playing and are there any others you'd like to perform at?
VISA permitting we will be doing some great shows this summer. But as the line ups aren't announced I probably shouldn't say too much. We are opening the main stage of Lollapalooza in chicago which is awesome. We will also be playing on a Japanese mountain, but you didn't hear that from me [their appearance at Fuji Rock Festival has since been confirmed]. We aren't doing Glasto this year so that's an aim for sure.

And that's your lot. White Lies are clearly an ambitious, revitalised band that have their own vision of success. I wouldn't bet against them surpassing those goals but it's still early days yet. Many thanks to Jack for taking the time to answer my questions, he's obviously a busy man!

'Unfinished Business' is out very soon on limited 7", stockists are listed [here].

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