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Date March 22
Type Interview
Source Focus Magazine
Title Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Editors are copycats!
Country UK
Journalist/Photographer
Text On their fourth (sic) album, Alison Goldfrapp and her musical partner Will Gregory sound less complex, more optimistic and more poppy than ever. Head First’s cover depicts Alison’s head literally floating in the clouds. Our did so too, after a 'smelling of scented candles' interview.

Said candles were absolutely mandatory at the hotel in Brussels where we spoke to the duo: Alison’s personal wishes.
The singer already changed suites earlier, and had a platter filled with pastry removed because they conflicted with the smell of the candles. Yeah. When everything finally lived up to her standards, we could get to the reason of our visit.

Nowadays even rockbands such as Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Editors blend in some electro-pop. Isn’t it difficult to keep inventing a different sound in the genre?

Alison: They’re all copycats! (laughs) No, it wasn’t really a laid out plan to make synthpop. I just think journalists were confused when they heard ‘Black Cherry’ and ‘Supernature’, so that they didn’t quite know how to describe our sound, and just called it things like electro or even dance. And it’s like you said: nowadays every band gets called that way! (laughs)

Will: Also, we’re completely not up-to-date when it comes to the contemporary music scene. So if we’re ignorant, it’s absolutely not difficult for us to sound completely different from anyone else. (laughs)

Alison: I don’t even think that our music is exceptionally cool or trendy. We just do our own thing. Some people think that’s ‘good fun’, others don’t.

Head First is, even more than your previous albums, drenched in eighties influences.

Alison: Yeah, at the beginning of the 80s there were a lot of very influential acts that I still find to be super today: Prince and Grace Jones in America, New Order in England.. But those were also the good days for italo-disco, haha, just as it was for the minimalistic electronica of Kraftwerk. (thinks) Er, where was I ?

Will: Also, the eighties were a pretty inspiring period, apart from the music: a flamboyant time where people started wearing shoulder pads and doing sneaky politics.

Opener Rocket does sound very similar to Van Halen’s Jump..

Alison: It really does have a similar synth line. But we just thought that sounded really good, even though we did realize it sounded like Van Halen.

Last year you created the score for the Jonh Lennon-biopic 'Nowhere Boy'.
Beatles-fans?

Will: Sure! I grew up with them.
Alison; And I wasn’t even born yet (laughs)

The soundtrack was recorded in the legendary Abbey Road Studios. A nice experience?

Will: Of course. The studio doesn’t really look that special – all is very low tech and basic – but the feel is amazing. It just breathes music.

How does writing a score differ from writing an ordinary Goldfrapp album?

Alison: Writing a score is completely different. You have to try to emphasize the emotions and states of mind of the characters, but at the same time you have to be careful that the music doesn’t take over. Finding that balance is pretty hard work.

How does one add a typical Goldfrapp touch to it?

Alison: Hmm, that’s not so easy, because it’s really determined beforehand what the score must sound like. The images are there, so are the dialogues, the story of course, and we have to synchronize our music to all of that. It’s really the opposite of shooting a videoclip. Our soundtrack to ‘Nowhere Boy’ is actually really traditional and orchestral.

Will: The film is about the legendary John Lennon; you have to make sure the music fits with his personality and surroundings. We couldn’t just add a steaming electrotrack such as ‘Strict Machine’ (laughs)

Alison: It wasn’t the first time we recorded a soundtrack. We did if for Pawel Pawlikowksi’s ‘My Summer of Love’ and a long time ago I sang on John Parish’ soundtrack for a Belgian film: Rosie by Patrice Toye.

Will; We even worked with a Belgian on 'Head First'; Pascal Gabriel. He already did prodiction and writing for Bomb The Bass, Kylie, Debbie Harry, Miss Kitten and Little Boots,amongst others. When we were finishing the album, he came along and added a few extra noises and sounds to it.

Do you have good memories about Belgian gigs?

Alison: Absolutely! Especially Pukkelpop, where we played in 2003 – on our Black Cherry tour – and in 2005 with Supernature. And if it’s up to me, we’ll be there again this summer!

Will: Wonderful festival! One of the best in Europe!

We think so too! Maybe we’ll see you then!

 
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