from previous page
You seem to attach a lot of importance to the
graphics on your record covers. You’ve been working
with Intro pretty much from the start…
Trish: Yes, from the start, from the
James: Well, it’s not actually
Intro, it’s Julian (band acquiesce). Before he
was working with Intro, we were working with Julian.
He happens to be there now.
Do you see that side of a release as a further
expression of your work?
Tim: Definitely. When you buy a record,
you can’t help but look at the sleeve. We’re
all record fans. When you buy a record, you’re
exited about it, it’s like it creates a whole
world for you. It’s very important you know…
there’s nothing worse than having a record in
a blank sleeve.
Trish: It’s the greatest advert
for the music.
Tim: It’s an opportunity to
do something more really.
How does your relationship with Julian works?
Do you give him ideas, tell him what you want?
James: Julian is like another member
of the band really. We respect what he does, so we just
let him do it.
Tim: We’ve got similar musical
tastes, and we understand the same references.
James: He’s got everything we
would have ever wanted in a producer, except that he
does artwork. We’re on the same wave length.
Similarly, your B-sides seem to benefit from
the same attention as album tracks, which is rather
rare these days. How do approach an EP compared to an
Tim: We treat EPs differently really.
James: You know when you buy a 99p
single with a couple of remixes on it, I just feel like
it’s a piece of junk really. There’s no
point of manufacturing them to promote records. I like
the idea of singles or EPs being things in their own
right, things of merit.
Trish: When you walk into Woolworth
and you see all those 99p singles, you just imagine
them in some land field site; you’ve got millions
upon millions of them…
Tim: Yeah, that’s where they’re
going to go. It’s just rubbish really, where does
all that shit goes?... CDs that they manufacture, all
those 99p singles are going to go in the bin; they end
up being planted in the ground.
James: It’s like the whole process
is reversed for us. Whereas Kylie releases a single
to promote the album, with us, you’re better off
buying the EP for the B-sides because you can get the
A-side on the album. That already exists, and the EP
is another part of the puzzle which is as valid, it’s
just another branch of the bigger picture.
Tim: For us, because we recorded the
EP (refereeing to Pendulum) after doing the
album, you can feel a bit freer because you’ve
done the LP, so let’s have some mad bits on the
So it’s a more experimental approach
James: I don’t know if it’s
experimental, but it is certainly looser
Tim: It’s not as precious, although
it’s still high quality (laughing)
James: yeah it’s just…
(laughing) yeah high quality..
Tim: even if it’s to be put
straight in the bin (laughing)
Trish: What usually happens is that
you do a lot of sweat, and all of a sudden, when you’re
not trying, something really nice pops up, and that’s
what happens when you’ve done that album, you’ve
sweated over it, and then it’s like the pressure’s
off now, we do an EP, and all of a sudden all these
wonderful little tracks pop out really quickly. And
it’s because of all that sweat that you’ve
done before, that hard work and that working habit,
it pays off…
Was that what happened after The Noise...
as you released quite a few EPs afterwards?
James: The album took a long time and
we wanted to prove that it wasn’t because of whatever,
and EPs are a good opportunity to do something good.
You know, those My Bloody Valentine EPs were kind of
an influence on that. We always talked about You
Made Me Realise and Feed Me With Your Kiss
or whatever... They were great records to buy because
there hadn’t been an album, or the album was gone,
and it was a load more stuff just as good. It’s
a lot more interesting as a buyer.
Tim: I’ve always felt like if
you’re going to make a product, make it worth
wile. Let’s not just make it as a marketing tool,
it’s that simple really.
Tim, in a recent interview with the BBC, you
said that you didn’t think the public gave a shit
about how Broadcast were perceived…
Tim: I can’t remember the context
in which it was said really…
The question was “How do you think you
(Broadcast) are perceived by the public?”, and
you said that you didn’t think the public gave
Trish: Anyone of us could have said
that really… that’s the kind of things I’d
Tim: It’s something that just
came out… I think any of us could have said that.
I suppose that in the great scheme of things no one
really gives a shit, you know the general public doesn’t
give a shit. We were talking about commercialism earlier…
James: People make their own minds
up. We might have an overall view of how people see
us, but generally… I mean, when we do interviews
we get the impression that people see us as that kind
of moody sort of band you know… trying to be…
(looking for word)
Trish: Too serious perhaps…
James: Yeah, but when we speak to
fans, they don’t feel the same way. It’s
quite weird really…
Tim: It’s like people don’t
care about what went on during the making of the album
or however long it took or whatever, they only care
about the finished product, all they’re interested
in is facts or whatever they can buy, you know…
The way I interpreted your answer was that
you didn’t think people were necessarily interested
in an image…
Tim: Yeah, I think that’s right…
you know, you can see through a band that is trying
to create that sort of thing for themselves you know…
Trish: You can’t just create
an image really, it happens naturally because of what
you’re into and…
Tim: The reasons why you’re
Trish: Yeah… because band members
are usually friends first, you know like-minds attract…
it’s very much a sub-genre that you’re involved
or some sub-culture that you’ve always been into
and it’s for real as far as your taste goes. It’s
not something you can manufacture and go for a certain
look if it’s not there just because you’ve
Tim: People see through it…
Generally you can tell if something’s faked…
Trish: Darius wears an MC5 t-shirt
James: That’s because Levi bought
that logo, did you hear about that?… (Trish and
Tim look at James amazed)
Tim: What, Levi bought the MC5 logo?
James: Yeah that’s what it is…
Tim: Motorcity’s burning (band
You also declared in an interview with Jockey
Slut back in 2000 that you felt that in the early nineties,
music was opening up a lot, and people were not scared
of exploring old music like Krautrock and exotica. Do
you think it’s still the case now, ten years later?…
Tim: Yes, I think so…
James: Yeah… I think probably
more so now. There are so many different things, it’s
hard to say.
Tim: It’s not like the late
eighties or early nineties when there were very definite
genres going on, you know, like trip-hop and when the
whole Bristol thing happened, there were very definite
musical trends, whereas now it’s far more fragmented…
James: Which is good if you’re
willing to look for things instead of having them put
on your lap. It’s all there for you to find. It’s
quite easy to sit back and say there’s nothing
going on, because there is, you just have to do more
work to find it
You’ve been touring a lot lately. How
does that affect the relationship between you as a band?
Trish: There’s always something
to keep you focused...
James: Tim’s got Battleship
on his phone, so he plays that a lot… (laughs)
Trish: The drummer’s a new addition,
and Billy… we don’t really know Billy..
This time, going on tour, we didn’t have our projectionist
with us, we had a different soundman, so it felt like
a new group of people. Everyone’s still getting
to know each other… I think we pretty much ignore
each other on tour… I don’t mean that in
a bad way, but we’ve got such a focussed day,
you know, you wake up, you wait for the bus to come
and pick you up to take you to the venue, you’ve
got a few interviews to do perhaps, and then you set
up the gear, you do the sound check, you eat…
it’s so structured that you almost turn off a
Tim: Yeah, we all know we’ve
got a job to do; we just want the whole thing to work
as well as it can. You just live in such close proximity
that you’ve got to respect other people’s
space. You want the gigs to go well and that’s
what the main aim of the thing is, so you just focus
on that and get along.
What’s the mood before you start touring?
Trish: There’s a big panic at
the end that we’re all unrehearsed, and suddenly
it all goes out of your head, and you think “oh
no… I don’t know, I can’t remember
anything, I forgot the lyrics”…
Tim: It’s like going camping.
Have you got the tin opener to get your beans opened?...
(Trish laughs) You’ve got everything to think
Trish, do you feel more exposed being the singer
and the front woman?
Trish: Yeah… well I don’t
know really because I’m only me you know…
I can’t get into anyone else’s head, but
yes there is a moment of that. Not as a woman but just
as being a focus, because I’ll look down and I’ll
see a lot of the eyes are on me when I’m singing,
so I try not to look down too often… It’s
like vertigo and bum notes keep happening… but
that’s part of it, you just have to get on with
it, get into it.
How did you realised that you could sing?
Trish: I can’t… (James
Tim: Oh come on…
Trish: It’s “when do I
realise that I can’t”…
What was the thing that made you say that you
could do it?
Trish: I don’t know, it’s
something I’ve always done. I wouldn’t say
that I’m like a pro, a bloody five octave range
vocalist or anything but I’ve always been into
writing songs and that’s just been part of me,
expressing my songs really…
You’ve got a very identifiable voice
and style. Is it something you’ve worked on?
Trish: No actually, no… (looks
slightly embarrassed). I wouldn’t say I’ve…
Tim: It’s just your natural
voice isn’t it?
Trish: I’ve got a singing book
that has got all sorts of exercises so there’s
a little bit of myself training that goes on, but only
so I can save my voice because you do get a lot of tension
so it’s just finding the most comfortable way
of… you know… I like a spoken voice, I don’t
like a big old singy-songy bluesy ballsey kind of voice.
I like a quiet speaking and singing voice if you know
what I mean…
Do you have any kind of aspiration at becoming
as identifiable as people like Liz Fraser or…
Trish: God no… that’s very
technical singing that!
I’m not necessarily refering to the style,
but more to the fact that she has such a recognisable
Tim: I kind of think you are anyway.
Liz Fraser is quite an extreme example because who else
sounds like her? Because of what she did. (Trish agrees).
James: I don’t think you sit
down and think “woey I really want to be”…
I don’t know… “everybody sings like
this so I’ve got to find a new way of singing”.
It’s just what comes out naturally.
Trish: You can only go from what you
listen to. Again, it goes back to that filtering through
you know… The voices that I like are those kind
of smaller voices, and that’s why I like a lot
of the French sixties pop singers, because it’s
so easy, it’s just like it’s dropping out,
there’s no big push going on or over-elaborated
vocal lines. It’s very very direct spoken voice
almost, and that’s what I really like you know,
that’s what goes in and that’s what comes
You’ve been previewing some songs from
the new album recently. What has been the public’s
reception to these?
James: It’s difficult because
they don’t know them, but it’s been going
pretty well actually, especially in America really.
I think because when we play live we enhance the dynamic
aspect, we perform as dynamically as we can and try
to put as much in the performance and I think it comes
across. Obviously, they’re never going mad, you
know… it’s like if you go and see David
Bowie, if he sings his old songs, you’re going
to be screaming and shouting and singing along, and
then he does a new one and you’re going to be
like… (looks at his watch with a bored look –
rest of the band laughs)… Ours aren’t quite
that bad though…
Tim: They’ve been received really well actually.
For us, playing them, we don’t consider them as
new songs in the set. It’s not like “this
is where this happens in the set”; you just accept
it and I think the audiences seem to have accepted it
Trish: I think that for seven new
tracks that we’ve been doing live… I never
really considered that people would turn off or something.
That’s what happens when you’ve been away
for so long.
You’re music transcribes very well live.
Is it difficult to reproduce what you do on records?
James: You have to work on it. It’s
not something that just happens by accident. It takes
a fair bit of work and listening and going “this
is not quite right, we need to change it”. As
in any group you make preparations to make it work.
We’re still pretty much the same people, so it’s
always going to have an element of continuity to it.
There’s always Trisha’s voice, there’s
always my… amazing bass playing, and Tim’s
average guitar playing (band laughs)
Tim: My great sheet of noise I think
you’ll find (winking at James).
You usually play in the dark, with films projected
in the background. Where did the idea come from?
Trish: Yeah, Neil, the drummer was
asking that, because we’d been rehearsing in normal
daylight and when we got to do the first gig, in L.A.,
we were doing the sound check and we were checking that
the projections were alright. We hadn’t had a
chance to refresh our minds because we’d had a
long flight and it was a long set up, and then he said
“any chance we could have the lights turned back
Tim: “Can we have some lights
Trish: and it was like ‘no,
this is it” and he was like “you’re
fucking joking me, they’re playing in the dark”
James: He’d never played in
the dark before. It was quite funny.
Trish: And he just thought “I
thought you were just testing the projections, yeah
the projections are fine, now turn the house lights
up” and it was like “no Neil, this is it”.
We saw him panicking, didn’t we?...
James: It kind of comes from seeing
the Velvet Underground playing. It’s not literally
that, but I just think it works. A lot of bands these
days will have just a little screen above them showing
Trish: That’s rubbish.
James: We like to be part of the imagery.
I really like that.
Tim: I think that’s where it
comes from, because it was the first time anything like
that happened, Warhol did it first you know, before
all the West Coast or any of that, and it just looks
brilliant. And we’re quite a static band because
we’re quite busy concentrating on trying to get
Trish: We’re not a performing
kind of outfit.
James: And all the imagery is collected
from car-boot sales and stuff, it’s all kind of
old science imagery and stuff. I just like the way it
looks. We’re not sort of saying “oh isn’t
this funny kind of imagery kitsch” you know, we
genuinely like the mood of it when we’re playing.
So it’s like another layer, like the
graphics for the albums…
Tim: Yeah, you can disassociate you
know… or your environment changes because there’s
nothing worse than staring at some hairy bloke playing
the guitar… maybe you can transcend that with
images that can lift you out of some grotty venue round
the corner and instantly you’re somewhere, off…
James: It amazes me how people still
want you to be there with your foot on the monitor going
“come on” (does some rock-ish gesture).
It’s never appealed to me that. I like more of
an experience you know when I go and see a band. I don’t
like someone shoving their genitals in my face…
Tim: That’s not what you were
saying last night (laughs)
James: Yeah, under the right circumstances…
Interview done on 10 June 2003 in North
Thank you to Trish, James & Tim and Lauren.
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