Take two Hot New Bands. Pop them together, ish, in an interview scenario. Roll tape, after a fashion. Leave and collect come home time. Pretty simple, really? So, Envelopes vs Late Of The Pier. A battle? Nah: more a meeting of like-minded souls. Mutual appreciation, we’re feeling it all around.
Henrik (H) and Audrey (A), they’re from Envelopes; Faley (F), he’s from Late Of The Pier; this, this is a subber’s nightmare… Thanks, MSN.
H: I thought you would have made a deal with some record company by now.
H: Are you squueeeeezing them?
A: They’ll wait until they get three million dollars.
F: We're talking to a few, though. Lots of squeezing, yes.
A: They’re not stupid.
F: We don’t want loads of money.
A: You want to stay pure?
F: Just enough to pay our parents back and get a house and build our own home studio.
H: I would like some money. To buy new shoes.
A: Me too, I need new shoes.
F: I have lots of Adidas shoes...
H: I would also like to buy a new distortion pedal.
F: …They gave us lots. It’s funny. We’re the least sporty people ever.
A: You get your shoes for free? Jeeez.
F: Only a few. I never actually buy clothes or shoes.
H: I want free stuff! I will stay pure anyway… I have my own integrity!
F: You should e-mail them and say you’re in the best pop band ever, and they’ll give them to you.
F: Does anyone know what we should be doing, or asking, or explaining?
H: I guess we could talk about…
A: I’m on the phone!
H: She’s on the phone.
F: I have an itchy tongue from some funny fruit I just ate.
H: Did you like it?
F: I also have a huge arm. I got bitten by a nasty insect yesterday and now my arm is twice its normal size.
H: Damn. Damndamndamn.
F: I think it was the peach that’s done it. Its seed counts as a nut, and I have mild allergic reactions to them.
H: I’m listening to ‘Sound and Vision’.
A: This ‘Fakey’ guy is amazing me with his fruit knowledge.
F: I am going to go put Demon on.
A: Hey, can I ask something? How was Berlin this summer? You played with Uffie and stuff…
F: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. We love Berlin. It’s the best city ever. But our show wasn’t so good.
H: I am moving to Berlin, in two weeks. I am going to love it there.
A: Henrik is moving to the coolest city in two weeks and I am going to Bombay and then to LA.
F: We tried playing a new song that wasn’t even written properly. It was okay-ish. I think it’s on YouTube somewhere. Then, I got really drunk and took lots of crazy German drugs and got in a horrible state. I gave up drink and drugs – save the occasional spliff – the day after. I’ve still not had a drink since!
F: But rent in Berlin is really cheap. It’s amazing. We’ll definitely come visit. My friends from Berlin are coming to visit us next week.
H: I will borrow your friends. I don’t have a lot of them over there.
F: They all got me into really minimal techno.
A: So you gave up drinking and got heavily into fruits?
F: Yep. I’m trying to get healthy and put on weight – I am so skinny. But I can’t! I’m eating loads but don’t put on anything. I think I have a really fast metabolism.
A: It happens.
H: You should combine the fruit with meat.
F: A steak and pineapple smoothie?
H: Mmm, meat from the mixer.
A: VOMIT HAS NEVER BEEN SO RELIGIOUS.
A: We should go to the States together. Or at least play in Berlin!
F: We’ll definitely do Berlin.
H: I would also like to live in the same city as my band, at least. I miss it. I miss working.
A: Yeah. It sucks that we never rehearse. I have to go to Stockholm to do so – it’s insane.
F: Stockholm is amazing, though. The USA would be great but I don’t think we’ll be able to get over there for some time.
A: Yeah, Stockholm is okay. But last time we didn’t rehearse for a month, and we then had to be on TV.
H: It’s STUPID. We waste so much money on travelling.
F: I am meeting a DJ friend from Sweden/New York on Friday, in London. A friend called Hampus. He’s lovely. All Swedes are.
F: I am into lots of stuff right now. I’m DJing quite a lot, so I’m listening to a lot of dance music… but I’m finding it all rather boring. Everyone plays the same things, so I’ve got really into ‘80s Italian disco, and there’s some great disco from Sweden, like Serge Santiago and Roller Boys. There’s lots of experimental stuff from the ‘80s, too, that I’m finding. Loads of weird European bands that made, like, two songs and vanished from the face of the earth.
A: Ha ha, I’m sure they made great record covers, too. With space ships.
F: I’ve been looking at the cover to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing today. It’s really, really ‘80s. Great, though. Nice and space-y, and I like space. I watch the stars on my own most nights.
A: I like space very much too. Check this out.
H: That’s so nice.
F: I suppose I should ask you some questions…
F: Your first album, Demon, was a self-recorded and self-produced album of wonky-pop classics recorded in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside, and a record that, for some reason and despite critical acclaim, never seemed to become as big as it deserved to be. You've just finished putting the finishing touches to your follow-up second album… How/why is it different in style/music?
A: No! We never recorded Demon in the farm house!
F: Really? I thought it was written previously and recorded in le farm house? How did it compare recording in a 'real' studio this time, and what're your hopes for the new album?
A: We never thought we could record in a real studio, with a limited amount of time. But finally we did the second album in a real studio. But we got the keys, and could go anytime for mixing.
H: The new album might not be ‘hi-fi’ compared to some other people maybe, but it is ‘hi-fi’ for us, since we used a studio. It took a long time to make because we had to learn how to control the studio, so that the studio wouldn’t control us. Actually, people will still call it ‘lo-fi’. But it’s not!
A: Demon was entirely recorded and written long before the farm house. It was during our holidays, at Henrik's summer house in Sweden, and in Paris too. In Yorkshire we tried to make our second album and it didn't work... so we went to a real studio later.
H: We had a producer who taught us everything about the studio and recorded a lot with us in the beginning, but the last six months we recorded on our own in the night time, after the normal studio people had gone home for the day. It was so cool of them to let us be there alone.
F: We’d rather not have the constraints of time against us. We’d like to work how we’re working already. Basically, the house will be a place for us all the move into and to carry on doing what we do... but better. It’s essentially just an extension of Sam’s bedroom.
H: I think it will work for you.
A: Just don’t get too isolated.
H: You won’t be as isolated as we were. Well, that wasn’t a choice, but it just turned out that way. We were not happy at first.
F: I plan to do big LOTP Presents gigs around the UK, to keep us going out. And I’ll run and DJ my own nights. We want to stay close to home so we can see our friends, girlfriends, families, whatever…
H: Some songs we rearranged like ten times in a year. We had to continue ‘til we were happy. The best one, ‘Party’, was so different at first. It had so much potential, we had to work and think more.
A: You should go to Portugal where you can surf. I’m always better at writing guitar parts when I can surf.
F: You don’t manage to surf in Sweden?
A: Yeah, in Sweden I surf in my mind a lot.
H: Will you like us less when we are not lo-fi home-recorded cute?
F: I think I’ll like you more.
H: This is something that worries me. I liked the cute sound on Demon a lot. Now it’s more defined.
F: But you’ll have done that so successfully, I’ll think you’ve just evolved. You’ve always had promise and talent, I knew that from when I started selling your merch. I think this album will be an extension of te first one, but cleaner… and better.
H: It is more diverse.
F: Maybe you’ll have experimented more and it’ll be more that than pop, but that’s a good thing in my eyes. I see you as a band like ourselves, one that just does it because you have a passion and love for it. A lack of money or anything won’t stop you, and you’ll keep getting better and better.
A: I think when you hear the new songs you’ll definitely recognise us, like, “This is Envelope’s style…” If not in the sound then the structure… It’s as messy as Demon but in a good way.
H: It is very poppy, but funny and experimental as well, at least when compared to other pop. Not when compared to German minimalist techno trace…
F: Ha ha. I think your fourth album will be your definitive album.
F: You do have a very European sound, yet you sound out of place compared to every other European pop band…
A: Well, I want to do instrumental stuff, fuck the singing.
F: But you have the best voice ever!
H: But she doesn’t like singing. I think it’s funny to try to make something really funny and weird in the very narrow field of pop. It’s an eternal struggle.
A: I like to sing! What are you talking about?
F: Maybe you should do instrumental stuff, using your voice as an instrument and not for words. It’s so unique and has such a charm to it.
F: Hmm, so what do you think we should talk about?
A: I think we’ve talked about a lot of stuff already.
H: How do you see your album sounding?
F: Very different to what people are expecting, I think. I think most tracks will sound different to each other.
A: Actually, today I decided I was going to work in a zoo.
H: Do you want to stay lo-fi or are you eager to get fat? Sound wise I mean…
F: I have a lovely image of it sounding like a compilation someone makes of all their favourite bands. Except we’re just one band. I’m sure some stuff will sound similar, or familiar, but then there will be something completely different next. I’d like to make an album that everyone will like bits of. Maybe you’ll love tracks four and nine and your dad will hate them, but he’ll love tracks two and twelve.
H: Have you noticed now, in the UK music press, there is an enormous amount of interest in bands who haven’t put out one album yet? And how often everything goes silent after their release?
F: I think people will like it. It’ll probably get hyped as some new rave album, or something, but if it is we’ll just stick some early ‘60s rock and roll tracks on it.
A: So you won’t be a dance machine band, then?
F: I want it just to be a great record. But only as much as The Beatles.
H: You are geniuses.
F: The only reason people have picked up on the dance thing is because of Klaxons.
A: What I like with you guys is that, from the beginning, you seem to have had this idea of what you want to do, and you don’t compromise. And you have some kind of goal.
H: Maybe we should get into dance?
A: And you’re so much better than Klaxons!
F: Well, they write about what people can currently relate to, or what can make them popular, which is currently the new rave thing. That’s fine, but if you look beyond that, into the music, there’s a lot, lot more to it, and a hell of a lot of influences.
H: You are very diverse songwriters. Is everyone writing?
A: It’s 90 per cent Sam who writes, but I am coming up with ideas all the time. It’ll get even more diverse. Potter makes the odd thing on FruityLoops – it sounds like Aphex Twin or something.
H: I love your diversityyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…
F: I think Sam’s the best with sounds, but I have lots of ideas now on how to structure songs and how build-ups / breakdowns / verses should work. I think a lot of that comes from DJing.
H: We DJed once, in Malmo. It was a huge success.
A: Transitions are the hardest.
F: So, I'm planning on doing some REALLY big gigs in London as Late Of The Pier Presents…
H: CAN WE PLAY?
F: I’d love you to play. You, Hot Chip and someone else… amazing.
H: Bob Hund.
F: That’d be amazing.
A: You know them? If you like us you’ll like them.
F: I have an MP3 from a friend that I keep playing. I’ll find out the name of it.
H: It was such a shame about Clor.
F: Tell me about it. I have copies of what they did for the second album, but it never got released.
A: I know! Invite Deerhoof to your gig.
F: Deerhoof are always amazing.
F: I’m going to make a sandwich.
A: We’re done, right?
H: We didn’t talk about anything yet! Did someone record this or what?
A: So we’re to meet soon and have a super mega gig?
F: Yep, an uber-mega-supa-dupa-woop of a gig.
A: Okay. I’m going to get a beer.
H: Me too.
F: Can I just put one more thing in, please? If anyone knows how to cure really nasty insect stings that make your arm swell up to twice their size, and it feels like its bruised really badly and really hurts, can you e-mail me and tell me? firstname.lastname@example.org My arm really hurts, and I want to practice bass.
H: What if your famous bass arm falls off?
A: I think DrownedinSound should publish everything included, and the insect part…
H: And the links.
F: I've got some amazing German sausage with my name on it.
Late Of The Pier’s ‘Bathroom Gurgle’ single is out now on Moshi Moshi; Envelopes’ ‘Life On The Beach’ is out now on Brille, and their Here Comes The Wind LP is out soon. For more information and tour dates, check their respective MySpace pages, here and here.