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interviews 2008


I Am Ghost

www.iamghostmusic.com

Steve Juliano - Vocals
Justin McCarthy - Drums


Where did the name I Am Ghost come from?
Steve: It came from an old poem I had while I was still with my last band called The Silence and it was actually a couple of words at the end saying ‘You’ll never forget me, you’ll never be the same. I am ghost’ and at first I thought it would be a cool name for a comic coz I’m also an artist and then when I started think of names for the new band I just remembered I Am Ghost so I though I’m going to call it I Am Ghost.

When starting up the new band you were searching through myspace for other artists, did you ever thing it would come together so quickly or did you think this is going to take me a few years?
Steve: No never I mean I was in my last band The Silence for almost 3 years and we did okay locally but on a nationwide level or a European level there was just nothing and when I Am Ghost started I thought it would be the same thing it could take 3 or 4 years to get big or get signed but it was totally like a fairly tale book, we found the members 3 weeks later we recorded an 8 song EP then four shows later we were signed to Epitaph which is unheard of like some bands get mad at us because it was so quick.

You guys come from California which has a reputation for being all sunshine, but your music is very dark is there a reason behind this?
Steve: We are the total opposite of the stereotype I mean in Orange County you get all the guys with their trucks wearing shorts going to the beach, I don’t go to the beach I don’t surf so just wanted to be the complete opposite to what the bands already in our area were doing which was pop punk or hardcore that was it I just wanted to do something completely different and I think that’s why we got so big so quickly because no one was doing what we are doing at the time.

Did you find it hard to break into a specific scene when you first started out?
Justin: I think it’s hard for any band really like in California there are just so many bands like I joined I Am Ghost after they had already had a good start and as an outsider looking in it’s something pretty amazing like it’s very hard in general to get as far as we have already come as a band so quickly and as Steve said there weren’t a lot of bands in our area doing the whole melodic -rock with Goth imagery thing so there wasn’t much competition on a local level but on a national level you have bands like AFI, Avenged Sevenfold or My Chemical Romance so we kind of get pigeon holed with them but we are trying to create our own thing as creative artists and hopefully we can show that through our live show and our records.

As you said you get pigeon holed with Avenged Sevenfold, is this something that annoys you?
Justin: I mean people who haven’t heard of us will probably think that straight away I mean you look at our myspace and people just automatically think it and its pretty close minded, it’s defiantly annoying I mean as a musician me and Steve both listen to different types of music and I’d never cut anyone off because of the way they looked without giving them a fair shot.
Steve: They just look at our default photo and already in their own head have pigeon hold us without even listening to one song and it’s really disheartening because you look at your imagery and people think its Goth but you listen to our music and it’s pretty catchy.

Where you surprised how well received the new album ‘Those we leave behind’ as done on?
Steve: We hoped that the new album would grasp some new people and a wider audience who wouldn’t necessarily be into I Am Ghost I think if people just give music a chance then they can decide from there rather than listen to other views.

Before the new record you were touring straight for nearly two years, was there any point when you thought that everything was a bit over whelming?
Steve: No there were times when it was hard especially with the whole drama around the former members but I think if we started with the members we have now it would have been a lot better and also to go from a well paid job with a steady income and you just get rid of your safety net to join a rock band and it’s like walking on a high wire and some people say it’s an exhilarating ride across that wire and you’ve just to make sure you don’t fall
Justin: Like right now we are over here internationally we don’t get to see or talk to our loved ones like our cell phones don’t work out here we have to write tones of e-mail’s we make enough money to survive on a day to day basis and you never know what’s going to happen or what city you’re going to be in and it can either be really lonely or really fun and like last year it was nearly 300 dates that’s a long time to be on the road
Steve: I was last at my house at like Christmas or Easter and it’s hard because you own a house and you are paying rent for a house you don’t even live in half the time

You’ve toured with bands like Aiden, Escape The Fate and now Blessed By A Broken Heart, is there any bands you would love to tour with?
Steve: Bands that got me into the genre like AFI would be really cool but bands that would be good for us would be like an I Am Ghost/ My Chemical Romance tour or I Am Ghost/ AFI tour or even another I Am Ghost/ Aiden tour coz we just did a US tour with them and it was really cool the crowds were big and the kids just went crazy for us.

What’s been the best part of the Blessed By A Broken Heart tour so far?
Justin: For me like I’ve never been out to Europe and experience all these different cultures and you come out to all these different countries and have kids singing your songs when they don’t even speak English it’s pretty amazing like they are trying to buy merch and you are trying to communicate with them and it’s really hard and it just gives you a sense of accomplishment and also we are all on the same tour bus so we’ve made a lot of new friends and got to know each other a lot better it’s been a lot of fun.

What do you find is the biggest difference between the US and the UK?
Steve: From my experience kids in the UK seem a bit more excited kids in the US are a bit more jaded and a bit more spoilt like you can see hundreds of huge acts everyday.
Justin: Like in the UK you have kinds come up to the merch table and are like oh my god take I take a picture with you and it’s just like yeah sure why not and I defiantly agree with Steve that UK kids seem to appreciate a big band coming on tour more.

What has been your best on tour experience?
Steve: The most fun I’ve had on tour was probably the Epitaph tour coz we were a young band we got our first tour bus and every show was sold out and knowing every show is sold out it’s just amazing

Would you say the tour has brought you closer together?
Justin: Absolutely I think we’ve all learnt a bit more about each other we see each other all day everyday there’s no getting away from each other

What advice would you give a young fan that wanted to start up a band?
Steve: Just promote your band record companies don’t sign bands off demos anymore you could have the best demo in the world but it doesn’t guarantee that you will get signed labels sign bands with a big following already under their belt so just promote yourselves get kids to your shows and just keep it DIY some people are becoming to dependant on myspace
Justin: You have to look at your band as a business you have a product to sell just try get demos in kids hands or get them to buy shirts like there are loads of good bands and you see them play but they have no merch to sell and they just get forgotten.

Tim Birkbeck



Lizzyspit

www.myspace.com/lizzyspit

Why the name, Lizzyspit?
Lizzyspit was a nickname that I was given when I was a toddler. I used to have a really bad lisp until the age of about five so my Dad found it amusing to call me that!! When it came to picking a 'stage name' I had to go for something a little bit cooler than my full name- Elizabeth Knights-Ward, which was just too long and doesn't sound that interesting! Lizzyspit attracts a lot of attention; it’s a bit of a talking point!

How would you describe your sound?
I'd describe my sound as very raw, stripped back and real.

Who are your main influences?
Well, it’s funny; I don't have any specific main influences, not ones that I'm aware of at least. I'm not really sure how to describe it. I mean, I don't sit there and listen to x, y and z and then go and write in the style of them. The truth is, I'm a classic rock obsessive and I love the Doors, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Guns and Roses, the Eagles etc... There are way too many to list. But my music sounds NOTHING like these bands, in fact, it’s as far away as from it as it could possibly be. The thing is, I’m just in love with the way they have always just been about the music. Obviously they are global mega stars, but I'm truly inspired by them. AC/DC were accused of releasing the same album every time with different artwork, but they never strayed from their musical goals and what they wanted to do. G&R went through goodness knows how many producers before finding the one that got their sound 'down' correctly on ‘Appetite for Destruction’... see now I’m on about it I won't shut up... right, moving on!

Who are your favourite up-and-coming artists at the moment?
Let’s see, I love the Enemy, even though they are actually kind of big now on the circuit. They are phenomenal song writers and put on an amazing gig. Even though they are becoming pretty established now, I think they are going to be around for a long time... At least I hope so. I love them! I’m also keeping a close eye on MGMT and Vampire Weekend because I think they’ve got a very different sound next to everything else out there at the moment.

When and what brought about that ‘light bulb moment’ when you decided to pick up a guitar and become an artist?
There are actually two light bulb moments for me. One when I was 17 when I realised I was sick and tired of singing classical songs, (I had classical training for a good few years) and I realised I had my own ideas about music so just decided to teach myself guitar. My dad gave me his old nylon string bashed up guitar and I spent hours slaving away forcing myself to learn!

The second real ‘light bulb moment’ came last year in October 2007. Up until then, my songs had lacked something, both structurally and emotionally. They just didn't mean anything and because I'd never really experienced anything HUGE that had had a massive effect on me. I went to New Zealand, fell in love with it, realised the world was a much bigger place and there was so much more to see, then on my return was absolutely gutted, and really felt this strange pain, I wrote a song, and everyone who I sang it to said 'whoa’, ‘what's changed?’ ‘Something is really different with that song’. And then that was it, I knew I wanted to sing forever and I started to write, in a better fashion than I had been doing before!

Why did you choose to avoid producers and a professional recording studio for ‘Eggbox’?
I’m still unsure as to where I want to go production-wise with my music, I am toying with the idea of getting a band together, but still at this moment I'm unsure. I didn't want to use producers because I didn't feel ready. I didn't want to release something that felt a bit contrived or fake to me. By doing it myself, I had complete control, and it came out sounding a bit rough around the edges, but this is me as an artist at the moment. I still have a long way to go. I always think I will be able to improve. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do an album by myself, be dedicated to my music enough to become a hermit and live in my room surrounded by weird equipment and produce something that sounded exactly how I sound.

What is your favourite track from ‘Eggbox’ and why?
I think ‘Little Dan’ is my favourite, just because it’s one of my favourite songs I've ever written. Every time I perform it I just feel like 'this is a good song'.

What are your plans for 2009?
Well this is the BIG question I've been asking myself. What does Lizzyspit do next?! Err... I have no idea. I want to do something totally different, a lot of people have questioned why I went against any type of production, so I’m thinking of experimenting with electro and do something mega produced! Just to do the opposite!

Any plans for a new album and if so, will you continue in the same vein, i.e. the bedroom recordings and stripped-down sound or will we see a complexly new sound and direction?
I'd like to think there will be a new album, and yes, it will be 100% different to this one. I need to step things up to the next level if I want to get anywhere. I am not sure what yet, but I'm looking forward to a new challenge and the opportunity to write in different styles etc.

What would you be doing if you weren’t being Lizzyspit?
Depressed! Well, I actually lead a double life, Lizzyspit by night/weekend, 9-5iver during the week. I have to have a day job to fund Lizzyspit, but one day I hope to be just Lizzyspit, and hopefully that won’t be too far in the distant future

What’s the ultimate dream for Lizzyspit as in what would you like to achieve?
I set myself small ultimate dreams! I have many dreams though. Right now, my dreams are to: go on a tour of the UK, get a good manager and play on the ‘Later with Jools Holland’. My ultimate dream is just to be able to do music as my full time job! One day, one day I say!

Sean Phillips

 

Guns on the Roof

Interview by Tim Birkbeck

How did you guys come together to form the band?
Hey, we have been playing together since we was in high school, But when we left we decided to get serious and give ourselves the name Guns On The Roof! We have been Touring for around 3 years now. 

In your opinion what is the best thing about being in a band?
Touring man. You get to see the world and meet some great people. Also we have some of the best memories what will last a life time. We have supported some of our idols and some of the greatest bands around. You can’t ask for more that that! 

If you weren’t playing and writing music what would you be doing right now?
Probably have to go get a real job, We don’t want that to happen though haha. 

With many of the younger generation listening to metal music did you find it hard to break onto the scene being a punk band?
The thing about Guns On The Roof is that our music can appeal to any kind of crowd. We have never had problems appealing to any genre as not only do you get great music but we put on a performance what doesn’t go unnoticed, we like to entertain. 

You have already had great critical acclaim throughout the music industry, how do you manage to keep yourselves so well grounded?
We are a hard working band, Any gigs we can get we do and we are always looking to play to as many crowds as possible as we want to promote our music as much as we can and spread it as far as possible, We at the start of our UK tour at the moment so get yourself on our website, Check out the dates and lets see you at a gig. www.gunsontheroof.com

You have a reputation for being one of the UK’s hardest working bands, what gives you the drive to carrying on touring where some bands would just stop and take time out?
We see it as if we took 6 months out, we will be 6 months behind. It’s a hard business to be in and you need to be in peoples faces and not go unnoticed, there are that many bands who want to make a career of it there’s plenty of competition so you have to stay up there. 

What is your best on tour experience?
It will have to be supporting Rancid as there our idols, and also touring the UK with the dead Kennedy’s. They are great guys and really took care of us. 

Who in the band has the worst on tour habit?
Bretty! He really needs to get a bath.  

You have shared the stage with many punk greats like Rancid, The Misfits and The Dead Kennedy’s what other bands would you love to play with?
A dream of ours as a band would be to tour with Rancid. We all have different influences, maybe westlife or boyzone? The spice girls would be wicked! HA HA. 

The new album ‘New Frustration’ has received rave reviews, what are you hoping to achieve with it?
Were really glad people like it, we have been reading the reviews and they are awesome. We hope to build our fan base and get to Europe and America. Japan is a place we all look forward to going. 

What does the rest of 2008 and then 2009 hold for Guns on the Roof?
Some heavy tour dates so keep your eyes pealed for Guns on the Roof. Our new album New Frustration is out 6th October, available from our website or all good record stores, also On the Brink from the album can be downloaded free from our website.
www.gunsontheroof.com
www.myspace.com/gunsontheroofuk


The Thirst

Catriona Boyle quizzes the Thirst during their recent tour.

Your music has the feel of Jamie T, Jack Penate, Maccabees etc to it, are people a little surprised when four black guys stride out on stage and pick up guitars instead of a scruffy white guy?
Yeah when we come out I think we’ve had a lot of people thinking we’re some Bob Marley covers band or an R&B band. But people judge books by their covers, that’s expected. But music is music - why should we be pigeon-holed just because of our skin colour.


Did Ronnie Woods really offer you our record deal in a pub or was there a little more to it than that?
Basically yeah. He saw us in the Half Moon pub and came up to us and offered to sign us, we nearly had heart attacks. One of his A&R guys had already seen us so we did know that he might be there. But still, when he came up to us and offered to sign us, we were like fuck it’s a Rolling Stone…

Who are your influences - past and present?
Jimmy Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Booker T, Average White Band, Kings of Leon, Futureheads. We saw the Noisettes at SXSW recently and they were really fucking cool – one of the best and most underrated bands around at the moment

What are your plans for the summer - are you playing any festivals?
We’ll we’ve got the album coming out and our new single My Everything but yeah it’s going to be a busy one. We’re playing the Leftfield stage at Glastonbury and the 1234 Festival in Shoreditch and the Pritchattsbury Festival in Birmingham alongside Plan B and the Holloways

Who are you currently listening to?
Scouting for Girls... no not really. The Noisettes… oh actually today we’ve been listening to the Labyrinth Soundtrack. It’s wicked.

What are you most looking forward to about touring?
Well we’re on tour right now. Today we’re in Leicester. It’s amazing, playing live every day in front of an audience. This is what it’s all about. This is our first proper tour and we’ve been surprised at how busy the gigs are, we were expecting to being playing small crowds but so far they’ve been good sizes and good atmospheres. We’re all really pleased. We just love playing live music and meeting new bands and people. It’s cool.

Aside from Ronnie Woods, any more famous fans?
Yeah the Queen! Think Prince Harry is too…

Your songs are very much influenced by what goes on around you, if you become famous and start leaving the high life will your songs change or will you stick to your roots?
No we’ll be singing about bling bling!! No seriously, we know you can’t sing the blues if you ain’t got the blues, but we’ll always sing about life and how we’re feeling at the time.

Do you find it difficult switching from playing in front of 40,000 people with the Rolling Stones to being back playing in dingy pubs?
No not at all. When you support the Stones or the Sex Pistols, you’re just a support band. Which was great and it’s a complete honour, but no one’s come to see you. This tour people are coming to see us. We’re just starting out really, so dingy pubs are fine. We’re at the bottom but we don’t care. We’ll play the same gig for 4 people that we would for 40, 000…


The Whip

Lou Butler's questions answered by Bruce from The Whip.
www.thewhip.net

Where did the name 'The Whip' come from?
We were called cameo whip for an hour, then teenage whip which were both terrible and our mates were just calling us the whip, so it stuck, we liked it cose it sounded like a snappy little word, we’re not in to bondage but Indiana jones is ok, especially the music.

How did you guys meet?
Danny and I we’re in another band together before and when that split up we just set up in this grotty pub cellar in Salford cos the guy let us use it for free. We wrote half the album in there. It was really dirty and stuff would fall from the walls when we were recording loud. We went there every night for a few months then got our mates nath and fee to play drums and bass. they were dating but told us they had split up at the 1st rehearsal. They were totally cool with it and we had a hoot everyday after.

Did you always see yourselves in a band, and what would you be doing if you weren't?
I can’t really do anything else, I always just focused on music. I was on the dole for a little bit but the band is what makes me tick really. I’d probably travel and eat cous cous.

How would you describe your sound?
Someone the otherday said “electronic sweat music” which I liked, it’s kind of hard to put it in one hole so I guess I try to write music you can dance to with your eyes open.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
I listen to loads of stuff, growing up tuff like kraftwerk and screamadelica. Daft punk, chem’s but stuff like the beach boys and Fleetwood mac roumors. John lennon. Loads of stuff.

You guys are busy with a UK tour at the moment but you've played at venues all over the world. What's your favourite venue been so far?
We have a great time every night but fujirock was pretty special last summer in japan. It’s the 1st time we had been to the other side of the word and there were these people there who knew our music?? It’s a great place to visit as a band, the people are great and I still get sent noodles through the post.

Your well known for your live shows but I've heard you've done the odd DJ set. Who DJ's and what type of music do you mix?
I do it with fee and danny, we all just get in the box and have a laugh. Hotdog usually comes along and gets the crowd at it, it’s fun but we’re playing live mostly at the moment so we don’t have much time to dj.

You've remixed tracks by The Editors, Black Ghost and Sons and Daughters to name a few. Is this something you enjoy doing and do you have any more remixes in the pipeline?
Yeah we love it. We just did one for hadouken and the music but we really need to concentrate on new stuff for a while now. It’s cool beefing up peoples songs and we play some of the remixes live too.

Your first album, 'X Marks Destination' was released in March this year. What are your favourite tracks from the album, and have you been pleased with the response you've received?
Yeah things are going good with the album, the audiences have been wicked since it came out as people know all the songs. Y favourite is probably blackout, it goes on a crazy journey at the end and gets all psychedelic.

Whilst you've been touring, have you come across any up and coming bands that have caught your attention?
I really like the French band ‘the shoes’ and ‘shadow dancer’, ‘the bloody beetroots’ we have a hoot with whenever we get to see them and ‘crookers’ are top producers too.

What do you like to do on your days off?
Clean washing and write new stuff, we never stop, seriously.

What are your plans for the rest of 2008 and 2009?
We’re looking forward to a fun tour starting tomorrow in the uk, we just got back from Europe so it will be good to play on home turf. Then loads of festivals all over the world till august and then finish off the album so we can do it all again next year and the next one…


Elbow

A legion of tasty scribes get to quiz Elbow. Questions by Justine Bartolo, Gareth Ludkin, Chris Moffatt and Catriona Boyle.
Watch the video to Elbow's 'One Day Like This'


What brought about the name 'The Seldom Seen Kid' and what are the album's main influences?
The name, 'The Seldom Seen Kid' came from the name given to one of Guys dads work colleagues who always seemed to be absent when work needed doing. It is, more importantly, a gentle reference to our good friend Bryan Glancy who passed away last year. The main influences of the album range from love to everything a man in his early thirties goes through.

What's the story behind The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver?
The story behind Tower Crane Driver came from Guys brother in law who was talking to a tower crane driver in the pub. He was telling him how great it was to drive these monsters. He said it was great being the highest paid member on site, having various home comforts up there but then after a few pints he began saying how lonely he was being first there and last to leave and the animosity from the other guys as he was paid more. Tough at the top, literally.

What was it like working with Richard Hawley on The Fix?
Working with Mr Richard Hawley was an honour, the guy is a legend and has become one of our great friends. As with any great musician he came over to our studio laid down his part and we went for a pint.

How do you think Elbow have progressed as a band from The Noisebox EP in 98? Would you rate The Seldom Seen Kid as you're best music to date?
Elbow has progressed as a band since Noisebox primarily in confidence. Having bitten the bullet and stopped trying to get a deal by attempting to write a single, we started writing and recording for ourselves. With the response from noisebox we realised that it was the way forward and from then on we were always waiting for the opportunity to self mix and produce a whole album. With 'Seldom' I think we have produced our best work to date, especially as we did it ourselves.

What song has gone down best of your new album? Are there any you are especially happy with?
The song that has gone done best from the new album has got to be One Day Like This, and the one I am especially happy with is Loneliness of the Towercrane Driver.

If you could pick any artist to work with, who would it be?
Josh from Queens of the Stone Age.

How are the US fans receiving you at the moment, are they much different from the UK audiences.
To be honest the US and UK audiences don't differ that much, the reaction from the crowds have been amazing, everyone is up for a great night and are loving the new tunes.

Which gigs do you prefer to play: small and intimate, or huge and spectacular?
It varies really, both can be incredible but for me huge and spectacular just wins!!!!

What was it like to tour Cuba?
Touring Cuba was one of the highlights of being in Elbow. Just the culture, history and essence of the place was so inspirational as a musician.

Guy - how are you enjoying doing the radio show? How does playing songs compare to writing songs?
Loving it, money for old rope, Bruno Brookes was taking the piss.

Have you had a fan from hell? and what is the strangest thing you've had thrown at the stage whilst playing?
No fans from hell. We've not had anything thrown at us from the audience but one chap did dream of coming on guys face.

Why do you think Manchester produces so many good bands?
I think the main reason Manchester produces so many good bands is because of the weather. Its mainly cold and rainy so people stay indoors and make music. Its the same as in Seattle which also produces many great bands and has the same amount of rainfall as Manchester.

How did it feel when Massive Attack asked you to perform for their Meltdown? What have you got planned for the show? Who would you have if you curated Meltdown?
It felt great to be asked by Massive Attack to perform for their Meltdown, especially as they have been a pivotal influence on us for many years. Sorry but I can't divulge any info on the show!!!.If we curated Meltdown then we would have Jessca Hoop, Two Gallants, Jolie Holland, Stephen Fretwell, Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Sigur Ros.

Do you want to see Jay-Z at Glasto?
Yes it will be boss....

What bands do you rate at the moment? What are you listening to at the moment?
Two Gallants, Jessica Hoop, Jolie Holland, School of Language, Stephen Fretwell, Band of Horses, The New Pornographers, Ting Tings.

Do you think MP3 downloading is killing music? Would you ever consider releasing an album purely on vinyl?
I am privileged to be able to support my family by doing something that I love but am fully aware that we are a band that won't make money off record sales alone, therefore we have to tour (luckily we love it). I don't think mp3 downloading is killing music, I think its making it more accessible and therefore easier to find more music, but to be honest people still want the physical release. We would love to release on vinyl only but I'm not sure the label would agree!!!

It is becoming increasingly difficult to survive off music. If Elbow were breaking into the music industry now do you think it would be much harder than in 1991? If so how?
To be honest I think it would be easier for band like us to get to more people via the internet. It might be harder to make money initially but we make our money through touring, which is also the best thing about being in a band.

You've been making music together for 18 years. Do you still get the same buzz when you get together in the studio?
Of course we do, especially now we have our own set up about 10 mins from home, and the fact that its just the 5 of us together in a room, people may find that unnerving but to us its normal. Also the other guys who work at Blueprint Studios are cool and are always up for a brew and a chat if things get heated.

How has fatherhood changed the band?
It's made us a lot more focused on safeguarding the future, and grounded us, even the guys without kids. Of course its hard to balance when you are on tour but we make sure we aren't away for too long at any one time.

What ambitions do you have for the band where do Elbow go next? Are there any new directions the band want to take?
At the moment we are just enjoying touring the new album, and enjoying the reaction to the record, its been a bit of a tumultuous couple of years, so its good to be stable again. I think the main ambition is to be able to do this for a good few years yet.....


Shitdisco

Benjamin Thomas chats to Joel about Shitdisco's upcoming DJ stint.
http://www.shitdisco.co.uk

Back in February 2007, I first came across Shitdisco touring alongside The Rapture. Later , I went along to hear the headliners play an afterparty DJ set which was disappointing in contrast to their brilliant live performance earlier on the same night.

In spite of this cautionary tale, the aforementioned Glaswegian art-punks are about to embark upon their own adventures on the wheels of steel. So I begin by asking their vocalist Joel Stone if he agrees with my theory that great bands are not necessarily great DJs. And he answers in the affirmative, offering a theory of his own in response. The hypothesis is as follows: In many bands, the singer and songwriter receives a greater share of royalties, and the guitarist, drummer and bass player supplement their incomes by making cameo appearances at nightclubs. Shitdisco, of course, are different. All four members have shared equal involvement in these after hours activities since they honed their beatmatching skills at their now notorious houseparties at 61 West Princess Street in their hometown. He and drummer Darren will be behind the decks at venues including London superclub The End (once home to Erol Alkan's clubnight Trash), whilst keyboard player Tom and co-vocalist Joe are exporting their sounds overseas to the discothčques of the USA.

At this point, Joel apologises, pausing for a moment as he explains that he is licking the Rizla of his spliff. Which. aptly enough, leads us onto the topic of chemical consumption in in dance culture. These days, drugs are so prevalent on the dancefloor that many nightclubs raise their bar prices to balance the supply and demand of substance abuse. Would Shitdisco rather DJ to a room packed with MDMA mentalists or pissed up punters? His instinct is that “generally, drug fuelled crowds are better”, but recently, Shitdisco have played a number of well received “jailbait underage shows”. He is however doubtful: Are the teenyboppers under the influence of nothing more narcotic than “youthful energy”, or are they in fact “twelve year olds on pills”?

And what are Joel's top three floorfillers? A sort of Desert Island Shitdisco, if you please? He chooses 'Banger' by AC Slater, the Crookers' dance rock wreckage of AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck', and The Presets' 'My People', as remixed by D.I.M. These tracks reveal that he likes his BPMs speedy and his basslines seedy. He himself has been busy remixing everything from The Futureheads' 'Beginning Of The Twist' (due to the fact that Shitdisco share a mutual manager with the Mackem pop-punks) to Michael Jackson's 'Beat It'. He also reveals that he is undertaking prduction duties on a new record by a Japanese pop band.

What with all of this extracurricular activity, fans of the band need not worry. Inhabitants of a geographic diaspora somewhere between Glasgow and London, inhabitants of the internet age, their new material is the product of a writing and recording process facilitated by filesharing. The result of their time spent in this virtual studio is a sound which Joel describes as “sequenced and programmed”. And it's set to be all over your airwaves later this year.