The Whip Interview: "We're in line, but still not tall enough for some rides..."

The Whip's Bruce Carter talks exclusively to Kelly Murray for Skiddle as the Manchester electro pop act leave the studio and prepare to unveil that all-important second album. Once he's located his phone, that is.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 17th Feb 2011

Bruce Carter talks exclusively to Kelly Murray for Skiddle as the Manchester electro pop act leave the studio and prepare to unveil that all-important second album. Once he's located his phone, that is.  

Ring, ring...

Answer machine. 

Ring, ring...

No answer.

Ring, ring... 

Still no answer.

Skiddle's phone rings 

Hiya mate! Sorry about that, I couldn't find my phone, we're doing an interview aren't we?

Yes please, though, we usually ask the first question!  Dare we enquire where you found your phone?

Oh yeah, it was only down the sofa, I was sat on it. Bonkers. I suppose that says I'm lazy, eh? Sat here, watching telly... I've given the game away already!

The Whip have been gone quite a while, we thought you might have gotten lost down a sofa.

I know, we've been non-stop working, honestly.

Did you manage a break over the festive season? 

Yeah, it was great. We wanted the album finished by Christmas, so we could have a proper rest, but we didn't finish in time, so we had to go back into the studio in January. It's literally just been finished this week. We pretty much went in the studio last April and didn't come out. When you're recording, you'll do bonkers things like listen to the same loop for eight hours straight and it sends you a bit mad. Then, you still have to come back the next day and decide what it sounds like.

How happy are you with the result of all this labour? 

So chuffed with it, well happy. We started writing as soon as the last album was finished, so we wrote all the time; on tour, in hotel rooms... everyone has made it as good as it can be, so it sounds a lot better than the first album. 

Does it sound drastically different to 08's X Marks Destination?

 No, but it's hard to explain without sounding big-headed! We've spent more time on the production of the synths, it doesn't sound over-polished or anything, but it does sound really energetic. I spent more time working on my lyrics too. On the first album it was more of a dance approach, everything was looped. Lyrically, this record has a lot more depth to it. 

What is behind the motivation to write lyrics more thoroughly?

Basically in the first album, it was all about the frustrations of not getting anywhere with the music, trying to get to the party. This album is about how hectic everything can get when you arrive, you have to pinch yourself sometimes. First time around, we were trying to get to the fun fair. Now we're in line, but we're still not tall enough for some rides...

What's been your most-played album as you've been writing your own?

Swim by Caribou is one of the best albums of last year. We've been listening to a lot of remixes. And Alex Metric, we've been tweeting each other, because he's buzzing off our tunes. 

How are you being inspired for the album artwork? 

We're watching lot of horror imagery. 'Suspiria', directed by Dario Argento, has these scenes with eerie lighting, which would really fit well into artwork. We've spoken to a few people, but we're not sure who the artist is going to be yet. 

Any working titles you can let us in on?

Metal Law is the working title, but I want to leave it until it really has to be decided on. It's kind of dark and aggressive, but I don't want it to conjure up images of a heavy metal band! We might just go with one of the song lyrics like we did on the first album. It's been worthwhile waiting for everyone's inspirations to come together, because we're chuffed to bits with what we're left with. 

When will we get a taster?

We're going to put a song on our blog in the next couple of weeks, but we're not sure which one yet. 

You've been in the studio for some time, what was the last gig you played like? 

We played Mallorca last week, to about 300 people, and they were going nuts, we played them new stuff and the response was really, really good. That was the first gig we've done since November. We're going to play Fabric in London in March, so that should be fun.

You were one of the first acts announced to play Wireless Festival, that must feel pretty good?

Chemical Brothers asked us to play on the day they're headlining, so that's really cool of them. Actually, we played Wireless a couple of years ago and it's a great festival; it's all happening out front, but then backstage, it's quite posh you know. 

Find Wireless Festival tickets and information

Can you really use the term 'posh' to describe a festival?

Yeah, yeah, they had goodie bags with all these nice brands in, and a free Pimms tent. So, I had a few glasses of Pimms... made a change from whiskey and beer all the time.

As fans and not a band, what would The Whip insist on taking to a festival?

Wellies. You should never underestimate a pair of good wellies. Especially a good black boot; I do struggle looking at green wellies. Once, I was watching a band at a festival, turned around to walk away and the sole had come off my shoe! I had to go and buy some wellies straight away. Take sunglasses, it doesn't matter what time of day it is, you'll need them. And, it's pretty old skool, but alcohol in a hip flask.

Nice. What festival moment could you never forget?

The first time we went to Japan. We found out we had a following out there, then all of a sudden we were playing Fuji Rocks. Me and Fi, our drummer, were just stood at the side of the stage, looking at all these people who had come to see us and we started crying. We couldn't believe our luck. We'd just got a record deal and then got sent to Japan! We were in the mountains, totally jet lagged, and we looked at this big crowd; it was completely overwhelming. To go around the world like that and realise people know your music, it's bonkers.

We have enjoyed your use of the word 'bonkers' today, Bruce. Have you got any departing thoughts?

I just want to get it this album out there, I'm too excited! 

Catch the Whip at Wireless Festival on Saturday 2nd July 2011. Tickets are available through Skiddle now. 

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