Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Good Books interview 15/10/06

Filed under: Features,Interviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 8:06 pm

Good Books are the latest young contenders in this wave of indie electronica, influenced by such 80s pioneers as Talking Heads and Orange Juice, that has seen the likes of Hot Chip rise to the upper echelons of the charts. EML caught up with the fresh faced foursome of Max Cooke, Christopher Porter, JP Duncan and Leo von Bulow-Quirk (his real name) to talk music, Magic Numbers and the various loud noises to be heard in Glasgow at night.

Experimental Music Lover – This is your biggest tour so far, how’s it going?

 

Max – It’s really cool. We’re having a wicked time. Because it’s quite a long time since our first tour, it’s quite surprising how different the reaction’s been. We’ve had some really good gigs so far.

EML – What’s been the best place you’ve played so far?

 

M – Exeter.

 

EML – A very definite answer there.

 

JP – It was. It was like a homecoming gig and the place just went a bit mad.

 

EML – You’ve released a couple of singles and an EP so far, and they’ve done quite well, but when will your next single be out?

 

M – Okay. (laughs) We don’t know anymore.

 

Christopher – Our next single is out in November. Just in time for the end of this tour. It’s called Leni.

 

EML – Is an album coming along the way?

 

M – Slowly. The thing is, an album is the thing you want to get right. If anything, this is the thing that will last. I’ll be honest, it’s taking a little while to get it right, but there are a couple of tracks that are absolutely as we want them to be and we’ve pretty much written the whole thing. It should be maybe April or May next year. Straight after this tour we’re going into the studio for three weeks to finish it off. Having done a couple of bits of it slightly wrong, we now know how we want the rest of it to sound.

 

JP – It’s definitely taking shape of how we want it to sound – the mood of it and the feel.

 

EML – Do you have high hopes for its success?

 

JP – Definitely. Double platinum (laughs). In the first week.

 

M – Anything lower – chop off my hand. No, definitely for it being a decent record. I’m sure everyone can tell we’re really serious about this and want it to be a great record. You can’t predict whether it will connect with people and take off on a sales basis. That would be cool though.

 

JP – We have so much faith in it and we’re so proud of what we’re doing. I think people will really get it.

 

M – It’s not trying to be some exclusive ‘indie kids’ only thing. It’s music I hope everyone can relate to. We’re just singing about what we see and if you’re writing honestly about what you see, it will talk to different people in different ways and I hope people pick up on that.

 

EML – What’s the best thing about being in a band?

 

M – I think it’s just that you get to do your hobby for a job. It’s a simple as that. We get to do what we’d do in our free time anyway.

 

JP – There are times like yesterday when we were all quite tired and it was hard work cos we had the video shoot the day before and we hadn’t had much sleep. But we can’t really take this for granted because there are so many people who would give anything to just drop what they’re doing and just do this. As Max said, it’s awesome really.

 

M – I like the challenge of saying you’re going to do something then having to sit down and do it. And you have to keep that level up. If you play one shit gig people are going to complain. Every day you have to make that decision, we’re going to do as best as we can today and keeping that up.

 

EML – You’re supporting Magic Numbers on tour next year. Why do you think they chose you?

 

C – We bullied them into it (laughs).

 

M – We just nagged them really.

 

JP – We made fun of them and phoned them up and abused them.

 

M – Michelle said, this was just before their album came out last year, and I was off my face, and she said “Can you always be like this when you come and see us?” which to me implies she didn’t like me when I was sober, which really hurt.

 

JP – She’s the only one who likes you when you’re drunk as well.

 

M – Exactly! No-one else likes me when I’m drunk, but Michelle does.

 

C – Basically, we’ve known them for a couple of years now and it was always something we joked about. And we just got the phone call about it asking us to do these dates in Spain and the UK. It’s going to be fun I think, dramatic but fun.

 

EML – You’ve got quite an up to date blog on you’re My Space. Is keeping in touch with fans important to you?

 

M – Yes. Very. If people are bothered to come along and look us up, the least you can do is hit reply.

 

C – We try and send a personal message to every person who adds us a friend, but it gets difficult when you’re on the road. There’s 150 now and there’s no time to message everyone. When that happens we just send a group one out saying send a message back if you want to talk to us. It’s really important. When I was into music, it’d have been great to get a message from your favourite band.

 

JP – And a personal message as well. Just to make them seem human. Just because you’re in a band doesn’t’ make them crazy human beings. It does annoy me when you get generic messages from bands.

 

M – We have so many people offering to manage our My Space for us, but I don’t want that. As much as possible I want it to be us.

 

EML – Last question, do you have a word of advice for any young bands out there? ‘A’ word.

 

M – Oh crikey.

 

JP – That’s not the word.

 

M – Honesty.

 

EML – I like that one.

 

M – There’s no point if you’re not being honest about it.

 

JP – People can see through stuff very easily.

 

M – I’m quite well qualified to say that as I’ve written some awful music and the reason it’s been awful has been because I was trying to be something I would never be. That’s why the whole Good Books thing works with, cos I suddenly feel likes it me singing and not trying to be someone else…

 

(loud bang outside)

 

Everyone- (startled noises)

 

M – Was that a firework or a bomb?

 

JP – Well we are in Glasgow.

 

EML – Is everyone okay?

 

M – I think I’ve been hit.

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