Friday, 20 June 2008

Indietracks interview #18: The Wedding Present they are at last, the glorious Weddoes in all their pre-Indietracks glory. Their recently released album El Rey, their first record to be produced with Steve Albini since the legendary Seamonsters LP, has been getting fantastic reviews all over the shop and music critics have seemingly been lining up to lay homage at their guitar pop altar. Dave Gedge may have been spending most of his time in America, but there's none of the tragic mid-Atlantic about the new record. Don't forget, he is the man for whom the words were "gritty" and "Northern" were invented and, if anything, America seems to have made him even more so, despite the scattered references to Seinfeld, Santa Monica and Hollywood throughout the album.

Ooh, and did I mention that we're still bowled over by the fact that they're playing Indietracks? Some days it just seems to be too good to be true! But it must be true, because The Boy Gedge (Copyright John Peel) has found a few moments to spare in his hectic schedule to talk to little old us......although unfortunately we're still clueless about whether there are any Cinerama covers in the offing - we're still keeping our fingers crossed on that one!

Hi Dave, thanks for taking some time out to speak to us. There's around 50 completely new bands playing Indietracks - how do you feel about music at the moment and the new crop of indiepop bands?

I like the Ting Tings... but I've been living in America for the last few years and so I've lost touch with the more underground indiepop bands. I'm fond of some of the ones we've played with recently such as St. Jude's Infirmary, The Victorian English Gentleman's Club, Sons And Daughters. One thing I have found since I've been back in the UK is that the quality of indie bands making it on to Radio 1 seems to have gone down quite sharply. The latest 'big things' just seem to be recycling tunes from a couple of years ago. Where are your White Stripes? Where are your Strokes?

But you mentioned the underground indiepop bands.. do you feel like you've inspired a new generation of bands in this area? And how does it feel to be a reformed band, in the context of all these new indiepop groups?

It's not for me to say, even if we have! Anyway... whenever I hear a band who sounds a bit like The Wedding Present it always turns out to be someone who's never actually heard of us. We haven't actually reformed. The Wedding Present is just a name that we're using at the moment because the type of music that we're releasing at this point sounds more like The Wedding Present than it does Cinerama. In answer to your question, though... it was an interesting coincidence that just after we decided to be the Wedding Present again, a lot of new exciting bands like Franz Ferdinand seem to appear, with links to the era when The Wedding Present first started.

Indietracks is on a steam railway - tell us about any unusual places the Wedding Present have played in the past.

We played on a pier in Lowestoft once... with another great band from Leeds called The Age of Chance. That was quite amusing. At one point they caught me staring out to sea and said: "There he is... getting inspiration for the next album... staring all melancholy, out over the waves!"

What are the Wedding Present's plans for the rest of the year?

We're doing a couple of other festivals... Bestival on the Isle of Wight and Lemon Pop in Spain, and then we're pretty much touring for the last three months of the year across Europe and North America. I also want to fulfill a long held ambition and release a bona fide Christmas single!

Ooh, sounds exciting! You mentioned that you're playing other festivals, what specifically attracted you to playing Indietracks? And is there anyone in particular that you're looking forward to seeing?

The location and the free rides on the trains. I'm always up for doing stuff which is a bit out of the ordinary... oh, and a lot of the bands look good, too! I'm looking forward to seeing Airport Girl and Comet Gain. I was hoping to see Darren Hayman but I think he's on a different stage to us at the same time. Town Bike sound interesting too!

You sound as excited as us! OK - one last question - what's going to be on your compilation tape as you travel over to Indietracks?

I'll be sticking my iPod on shuffle. Let me do that right now and see what it comes up with. OK... Chicory Tip, some American TV themes, The Magic Numbers, Doris Day, Dinosaur Jr., Johnny Nash, Wire, iLIKETRAINS...

Hee....we like trains too! Thanks Dave, I hope you manage to take advantage of some of those free train rides. In the meantime, why not pop over to the Wedding Present's Myspace and have a listen to Santa Ana Winds, from their new album El Ray...

Next up: Red Pony Clock chat about Hollywood aspirations and their love for unusual instruments, 60s pop sounds and - of course- choo choos!

No comments:

Post a Comment