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Date March 24
Type Interview
Source 4 music
Title Goldfrapp return to the dancefloor
Country UK
Journalist/Photographer Colin Gentry
Text Goldfrapp are returning to the dance floor. After the summery sounds of The Seventh Tree, the Ooh La La duo are back with Rocket, the 80s-influenced lead single from new album Head First. We discuss disco-dancing, V Festival and hate mail with Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp.

Each of your albums has a very different and distinct sound. How did you approach Head First?

Alison: Usually what happens is we get in a room and start jamming and playing and talking about the sounds that we like to play. It's not pre-meditated. It's not until we start playing that we know what it is that we want to do and what we don't want to do. It's an evolving thing. You just go with what feels right. Once the album has got going and you've got a few songs going, then you start knowing what the identity is.

Looking back at your last album The Seventh Tree with hindsight, is there anything you're particularly proud of and anything you would change?

A: I think, musically, I'm very proud of it. I really, really like some of the stuff. With every album, with hindsight, you have songs that you like more than others. Whether we should have gone out and toured it or not, I don't know. I try not to dwell too much on things we've done in the past. Nothing is ever perfect and there are always things that you think you could have done better.

Will: We thought we were never going to work with guitars. We thought they were terribly baggage-laden and rather cliché-ridden instruments and then we thought, hang on a minute, they're quite good, aren't they? For us, it was an exploration of the acoustic guitar and the dramatic world therein, trying to make drama out of small gestures rather than big ones.

And now you've returned to a pop sound...

A: After Supernature, creatively and emotionally, after a long tour with music that was very hard and every available space was filled with synth fizzing away, we were really kind of enjoying the polar opposite of that. However, now! We said we wanted to do something a bit like Supernature but that had a warmer sound to it. Musically and lyrically, it's the most direct thing we've done.

We always go with what feels good really. I remember when we were doing The Seventh Tree we thought, oh my god, no-one's going to buy this, everyone's going to hate us, the record company is going to tell us to start again. We carried on with it though because we felt we had to see it through.

Do you think The Seventh Tree was, creatively, your biggest risk?

A: It probably was. Though after Felt Mountain, we did Black Cherry and had hate mail, telling us we were disgusting and 'we thought you were like this, how dare you change?'. Seriously kind of nasty! So we're kind of used to it! I think people expect you to stay at the same but then when you do that, people complain so ultimately you just have to do what you do.

You're playing at V Festival this summer. Are there any songs you're particularly looking forward to playing live?

A: Not at the moment. They all feel very fresh to me, so I love them all equally! It definitely changes when you play them live. It gives them a life. There's ones that feel really good to play live and maybe some are more difficult or maybe you just go off one.

What's the best bit about touring?

A: We love it when people dress up. I remember once we were playing in Brighton and there were some looky-likies. That was hysterical. I could see blonde curly wigs in the distance. They were all guys, as well It's fun and it unites people, I think. It feels good.

In the video for Rocket, and also in videos like Strict Machine and Ride a White Horse, you're a bit of a mover Alison. Can we expect to see you break into a full-on dance routine one of these days?

A: No, I can't do it. I wish I could. In my fantasy mind, I'm definitely busting some moves.

W: You did do disco-dancing though, didn't you?

A: I did win a competition when I was a child. I won a 12" record of Boogie Wonderlands but that's only because my boob tube fell down and the whole of the community centre saw my delightful budding breasts.

You two have worked together for the last ten years. Whats the secret to your working relationship?

A: We hate each other We don't go down the pub together.

W: You have to sort of ration yourselves. I think The Seventh Tree took the longest and it's eight hours days, five days a week, very often just the two of us and sometimes another musician will come in and dispel the iciness that has grown up.

A: It's not like that!

W: We have a laugh, actually. I think sometimes the writing process is just one person making the other person laugh.

A: I think it's important to have fun. We do work very hard but we also have fun. Once we leave the studios, we lead quite different lives. I think we're quite lucky in a lot of respects.

Have you started thinking about what the second single will be from Head First?

A: Oh boy, yes we have!

W: There has been hot debate. There is the Believer camp and then the Alive camp.

A: It's a worry. There are people really demanding Alive. There are a lot of people that are positions where they're blackmailing us really.

W: I think we like Believer.

A: A lot of radio stations won't play it because it's too electronic.

Finally, after five albums in ten years, a lot of acts would have released a Greatest Hits by now. Is that in the pipeline?

W: There was talk about it before this album. We just wanted to write this one so in the end we said no and we'll do one after this. Then there will be more to choose from and it will be a ten year celebration. There are also a lot of B-sides that show a different side to what we've been doing over the last ten years. I think some B-sides are great. I'd love to see a package of B-sides actually.

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