One of the bands I've been following really closely is Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. Although we've only had a teaser track from them so far with their brilliant "Dance The Way I Feel" – these guys got something that I really connect with. I hear shades of early Depeche Mode in their music and if you take a listen to what they have on offer on MySpace, you can definitely hear something special in the exuberant vibe of their synthesized sounds.
I caught up with Charles from Ou Est Le Swimming Pool not too long ago to discuss what they are up to, how their album is coming along, the next single and what it was like to tour with La Roux. Enjoy!
EQ: So what's the significance behind your band's name…I've always been curious as to how you came to choose this name.
Charles: The true story is about a year ago we were at our record label's studios and Jay-Z and Amanda Ghost came in and we were all just kinda messing around, recording a few songs and one was called "The Days of Mini Vans" which was a bit a joke really. We aren't even exactly sure how our band name came about really, we were just talking rubbish, but that's how it happened…
How did the three of you come together to form the band?
Joe and Carl went to school together for about eight years and then about two-and-a-half years ago, through a mutual friend, Joe and I ended up getting a house together – we never met before. We ended up kinda sending some synths off to a producer friend of ours and Carl came over and tried to rap over them. He was heavily involved in the grime scene when he was younger. Carl used to come over for parties and stuff and we were always making music and beats that he'd freestyle over. Then it wasn't too long after that, that we focused on the music we are doing now.
I really was obsessed with "Dance The Way I Feel" when it came out – can you give me some background info on the song?
It doesn't have a lot of meaning really – it's kinda a "just get up and dance" sorta song. It was written very quickly. There wasn't too much thought behind it really, It's sorta a "let's have fun" song. And I'm all for dancing so if we can get away with then – great! Lyrically, it works brilliantly for a dance song and people seem to get along with it.
Did you guys have fun filming the video for it?
YES WE DID! [LAUGHS] We had so much fun! Too much fun really! It's not the best video ever, but we definitely had the best time you possibly could while making a video. We got flown out to New York and stayed at some extremely swanky hotel. Let's just say we had a very, very very good time. [Wink. Wink.]
There is also a really cute video of you guys on Myspace performing "Dance The Way I Feel" with a guitar, tambourine and two kiddie pianos. I noticed that you guys could
barely keep a straight face while you were filming that, so I'm curious – what was so funny while you were filming that?
Ooooh, basically we got asked to do it. We really didn't research it massively and we brought a mini-piano, a Casio calculator that could also play some synth sounds and a
guitar, had one quick rehearsal in my bedroom on that morning with everyone. The band before us were just finishing up and they had an eight-piece orchestra and they were
taking it extremely seriously and it sounded so amazing and beautiful and then there was us with our complete shambles of a setup…I think it wasn't too bad – it could've gone worse – yeah!
Now you recently did some gigs with La Roux – how did those go?
Really really well! We played to 3000 people each night – very responsive crowds. It was generally full before we went on-stage. It was really nice to see that even though people were there to see La Roux, they were turning up early to see us. I think we are much better performers than La Roux, so we got a much better response out of the crowd. They were going wild. I think we converted a lot of people to our music which is fantastic. These are just little things – like there is a black & white video that we filmed ourselves last year and that had about 50,000 more views in the last week since we have been on tour with La Roux. Stuff like that is amazing – it's just good to have a good set that turns people onto our music.
Are you guys working on an EP or album? How's that coming along?
Well we've been working hard on it in the past year – during any spare time we have. At the moment, we are getting the next single ready, it's been sent out to America today – there's some mixing being done by Lady Gaga and Leona Lewis' staff so we should get the next single ready by the end of the week.
What's the new single called?
It's called "The Feeling".
You have some songs on your MySpace right now called "The Key" and "Jacksons Last Stand" are these representative of what we are going to hear on your album.
Yes – they will be on the album. They are different people working on them at the moment – what you hear are early versions. Trevor Horn is doing a lot of stuff to two of them. They are about 50% of what you might hear on the album. I reckon they won't be too far off what you'll hear on the album.
I also noticed in some of your photographs that you brought a small handful of children into the studio – did you get some kids to do vocals on your album?
No, no, we just like having kids in the studio! [laughs]. Yes, we have a couple of tracks that we wanted some kids singing on. The kids who came from the local school to do the vocals were definitely younger than we would've liked. The problem with the kids being so young was that they could only remember about one line at a time! So we had to do the whole thing in tiny bits and there were bits that we wanted to do but couldn't really. But we got there in the end.
I imagine you would've had to put in your powers of persuasion to get the kids in the studio to sing on an electronic record…
We'll it wasn't that hard – we ended up spending 20 pounds on Haribo! [Laughs]
People are already starting to make some obvious comparisons between you and Depeche Mode – how do you feel about that?
Well we love Depeche Mode! We get compared with them a lot and Pet Shop Boys too which is great – We also get compared to Passion Pit which is a bit strange…but yeah,
Depeche Mode are a very cool band.