The Wave Pictures interview
How is your new tour going? How are the new songs being received?
The UK tour has been great fun. We have been rowing on a lake in Cardiff in Wales, played a great car quiz game while we are driving around, and had loads of fun playing music. People appear to really like the new songs.
You recorded the new album in Berlin. Why? Is it true it’s more acoustic? You recorded it quickly and inmediate, without producer, without overdubs? What else can you tell me?
The "If You Leave It Alone" album was recorded in the spare time we had in Berlin, after recording an album as the backing band for Stanley Brinks. Dave had some new songs which we recorded without thinking about making an album. Just Dave playing acoustic guitar, with bass and drums, all recorded live. After we went home we received a package from Stanley Brinks and Clemence Freschard who recorded the album. They had added horns, and a little guitar and backing vocals, sequenced and mastered the songs, and made a cover. We liked it so much and so did Moshi Moshi that we decided to release it.
How is your relation with Spain, and with the audience?
We love coming to Spain! The audiences are always really enthusiastic, and because of that the shows are great fun. We’ve played a lot of good shows in Spain.
Your songs I found them very British (I don’t know if you agree), do you feel surprised when they succeed in other countries and with people that don’t speak English as their first language?
Dave’s songs refer to a lot of different subjects, and not only ones that are British. Lots about love, heart ache, and lots of awkward situations, that I think lots of people can understand. Usually people come up with all sorts of ideas about what the lyrics mean to themselves, and it doesn’t seem to matter if English is their first language or not.
You’re good friends and you usually play with Darren Hayman. Do you like and agree with the comparisons with his music? What about Jonathan Richman?
Dave and myself listened to Hefner a lot when we were growing up. I think Dave heard them first on John Peel’s radio show. We were definitely influenced by Hefner, but I don’t think we sound greatly like them. You would never confuse us with Hefner if you heard both of our music. We have been compared with so many people that I don’t like or haven’t heard off, I suppose to be compared with Darren isn’t too bad, but maybe people could be disappointed if they saw us after being told we sound Darren. We have more guitar solos.
I feel the same way about Jonathan Richman, maybe people would get the wrong idea. He was a great influence on Dave writing songs, but if you now heard Jonathan Richman and The Wave Pictures you wouldn’t get confused which was which. We did learn to play music together by covering lots of his songs. We all love Jonathan Richman.
Do you still listen to the CD-R you recorded before “Sophie”? What do you think about them now?
I think some of our earlier recordings have a really good sound, especially "Catching Light" which is an album of us covering songs by Andre Herman Dune. I like the playing and the arrangements on a lot of those recordings, which mostly came about because of the restrictions of recording onto a four track or two track tape machine, or only being able to work with one microphone. Maybe the "If You Leave It Alone" album is more like some of our earlier recordings in this way. It’s all acoustic because we didn’t want to disturb the neighbours.
We still do a lot of recording at home using a two track tape deck in Dave’s bedroom. The last album we made this way was the Jonny “Huddersfield” Helm solo album. It has a great band featuring Dave Beauchamp from The Jeff lewis band on drums, Dan Mayfield on violin, Hugh J. Noble on guitar, Fletcher Boot on vocals, and well as Dave, Jonny and myself. Because the tape machine only allows you to record live using two microphones, we all crammed into the bedroom, each stepping nearer or further from the microphones until the levels were right. It was great fun to record, and one of my favourite sounding recordings we have made.
Can you make your living doing music, in this moment?
Not at the moment, but hopefully we will be able to soon.
What’s the more strange thing somebody told you about your music?
Nothing springs to mind at the moment. Sorry!
You’re very fond of cover versions? What are you searching for when you play a song from somebody else? Do you plan to play many covers in this tour? What can we expect?
I don’t really know why it’s so fun to play cover versions. But it is! We haven’t planned to play any this tour, but we never plan what we are going to play in advance anyway.
Resumen en cristiano, aquí.
Y, desmintiendo lo que dice Franic Rozycki en la última pregunta, hay un concierto de versiones preparado -el 20 de mayo en Madrid- como estrambote a su triunfal gira española. Lo de ayer en el Neu! fue espectacular.
Canción del día: "Strange Fruit For David" (The Wave Pictures)
Frase del día: "Grabar un disco es una cosa bastante bonita de hacer si eres malo en los deportes, te asustan las drogas duras y eres inútil con las mujeres" (David Tatterstall)