The Whip are one hell of an electronic wonder band. I’ve been enjoying their latest album "X Marks Destination" for quite some time now and I got the chance to catch up with lead singer and guitarist Bruce from The Whip to talk about playing out live, his thoughts on Madonna and what’s hot in The Whip-dom at the moment. Check it out…
Go on, introduce yourselves to the readers!
Hey there, I’m Bruce from The Whip. We’ve been making noisy, sleazy electronic sweat music for a couple of years now. We don’t get home much but when we do – we eat, sleep and produce in my house in Manchester. We set things off in a dirty pub cellar in Salford but as soon as we had enough songs we got out playing live which is what we love most. Fee Fee plays kick and snare drums and Nath plays a rat and bass. Danny makes keyboard noises and I sing and stuff. It’s a hoot! We’re having a fun summer!
So you guys are pretty busy promoting your new album "X Marks Destination" now, how is that going?
Really good – we’ve got to visit lots of new places playing live and we just got back from our first mini tour of the USA which was great to visit and we’re playing lots of festivals over the summer. It’s good to finally get the album out there. We found it hard to finish as we we’re playing so many shows but now it’s out there we’re having fun.
What has been the best show you’ve played so far and which show are you most looking forward to?
We had a really good time when we went to Japan for the first time last summer at Fujirock Festival. It’s the first time we’d been so far away from home and it shocked us all that you can go so far away and people know your music. It’s an amazing place to visit as a band and the people there are so nice. Fans wait in hotels and things and buy you gifts! I get noodles through the post! Fujirock is a great festival set in the mountains, really beautiful.
How did you guys come up with the brilliant cover art to "X Marks Destination"?
We worked closely with a design company in London. The singles have a similar vibe too. We sent 100’s of images to each other and tried them out in the wonky shapes till we were all happy. Somehow there always seems to be someone looking sad or full of wrath on the images?! I don’t know what that says about us?
You’re new single "Blackout" is ace. What’s it all about? Where did the inspiration come from?
Cheers! We have a friend in Manchester who used to play at The Hacienda. I love listening to stories from that classic moment in our town’s history. I was too young to get stuck in to it back then but our friend used to play a tune called "Blackout" by Little Louie. They used to turn all the lights out in the club and the place would scream and go crazy. We we’re going to call the album "Blackout" but some girl who’s not that innocent went and beat us to it!
You guys do a fair amount of remixing for other artists too like The Editors, Rochelle and Hadouken! – which remix project has been your favourite to date?
I like doing remixes a lot – it’s good to mess around with other peoples songs and give them a new twist. I like the Hadouken one we did at the moment. We play some of them live in the set. We usually play the "Black Ghosts" one. It’s hard to sing though, but it goes down well live!
Who are you dying to remix?
We’re up for anything. We’re concentrating on our own stuff for a little while but with remixes you can find bits that make your ears pick up in any tunes and loop them up and totally ruin what they were originally. It’s a lot of fun and it’s good to put a fresh slant on things.
Is there any song from the 80’s or 90’s that you would like to re-make or do you think that remaking songs is kinda lame?
We’ve come up with loads of fantasy cover versions but never had time to get around to doing it. We had a hoot with Mark Moore and chatted about how much we love "There From S’Express" and he’s sent us the files as we’d love to do a cover version of it but we’ve just not had time to make fantasy reality! He’s a nice chap.
So it seems everyone has an opinion on Madonna’s latest effort "Hard Candy". What is your take on the album? Do you even like her?
I liked the stuff she did on the last album but i don’t really get her new stuff. I like Timberland’s production a lot usually, but the new album – I’m not so in to it. The first single I ever got was "Into The Groove". It’s got her and Rosanna Arquette on the sleeve – Rosanna looks cooler!
Living in Manchester – the birthplace of 80’s electronica in my opinion, do you feel the world is ready for another electronica explosion? Has it already came and gone or has it not even begun yet?
Electronic music is here to stay. I think these days people are much more open-minded about how they listen to music. You can have loads of different stuff thrown together at the same time and it sounds great. Today everyone seems to be happy eating from a musical buffet.
What sort of artists/bands do you guys dig – who’s "cutting edge" in The Whip-dom?
I really like a French band called The Shoes and there are some great electronic things coming from Italy. The Bloody Beetroots and The Crookers make really filthy stuff.
I am gonna have to check them out! That’s it Bruce – thanks so much, any parting words for EQ readers?
I hope you like our album? Lame but true. Maybe see you in a field somewhere this summer!