Interview The Long Blondes

‘I can’t wait to see what new bits of graffiti have been added to dressing room walls around the country.’

The Long Blondes

The Long Blondes are set to return with their second album, ‘Couples’, on 7th April. The record will be preceded by single ‘Century’ on 24th March, and both coincide with a full UK tour, which begins in London on 11th March. We spoke to the band to find out more about the record, their upcoming plans, and which albums they were looking forward to in 2008.

You’re due to release your second album shortly - what are you allowed to tell us about it?!
Screech: I’m awful at describing out own music so you’ll have to wait to hear it I’m afraid! I will say though that it certainly feels like a progression from the first one, and I’m really happy with that.
Reenie: It’s ten white-hot tracks from the bleeding edge of the zeitgeist.

Why the title ‘Couples’?
Screech: Well, if you know anything about the inner workings and relationships within the band it makes a bit if sense. Plus, we wanted a really short, snappy title.
Dorian: Also, it references one of the songs on the album. We’re the kind of band that think it’s clever to reference our own songs.
Reenie: And it’s a way of leading up to our future singles collection: ‘Singles’.

Did you suffer from the age-old cliché of ‘second album syndrome’?
Screech: We didn’t suffer from that at all! If anything it seemed easier and less stressful then the first record. The build-up to the first album was so long with the massive period being unsigned and I think we just felt that we needed to get something out as fast as possible ‘cause people were waiting for it. There was also that thing of people having known the songs for a while in a live setting that made us feel like we needed to deliver them in a certain way. With this record we just felt much less pressurised and it felt like we had time to experiment and bring out new ideas in the studio, so it was a much more relaxed process.
Reenie: There are a number of ways to fuck up your second album. I think we done good though.
Dorian: As the saying goes, you have your whole life to write your first album and that’s not necessarily a good thing! It’s good to have a bit of pressure as you have to rely on inspiration and spur-of-the-moment decisions and that makes music more exciting.

You recorded the album with Erol Alkan, who has been responsible for some of your more ‘disco’ oriented tracks. Will the new album follow on from these?
Screech: There’s certainly an element of that with the record, yes. Obviously ‘cause of his background as a DJ that is an element the Erol can bring out, but it’s also a much more diverse sounding record then last time. One thing that I think we’ve done is take some of the elements that we liked from the first record a push them to the extremes, so the ‘disco’ tracks are even more dancey, but at the other extreme there are a couple of great short, loud, noisey tracks as well, and some that push the rhythmic side of what we do a bit more. It was just a case of seeing how far we could push the sound whilst still sounding like us.

You temporarily decamped to London to work on the record - do you see yourselves ever making that sort of move permanently?
Dorian: I am making that sort of move at present. I’m moving into Joe Meek’s old flat, trivia fans.

Is the forthcoming tour going to be the first time you’ll get to play the majority of the tracks to a British audience?
Screech: We did a few of the songs over festivals in the summer, ‘Guilt’ has been in the set for a while, but the majority of songs will be new to people.

What are you looking forward to most during the tour?
Screech: Not counting festivals, it’s been over twelve months since we did a proper UK tour, so I’m just really excited about getting out and playing again.
Dorian: I can’t wait to see what new bits of graffiti have been added to dressing room walls around the country. Bands are a notoriously witty bunch and I never tire of seeing a drawing of a classic schoolboy penis.
Reenie: I personally can’t wait to live on a bus again.

Where are you most looking forward to playing?
Screech: Too many places to mention! It’s going to be good playing Sheffield ‘cause we missed that out last time, and I’ve just moved to Leeds so I’m looking forward to that one as well. My family are from Birmingham as well so I always like it when they are at shows.
Reenie: Anywhere we haven’t played before.

Your album is one many people will be looking forward to during 2008, which new albums are you personally looking forward to hearing?
Screech: The new Lil’ Wayne record, the return of The B-52’s, Atlas Sound which is the singer from Deerhunter’s solo project, The Millipedes and The Dead-Eyed Bitches.
Dorian: I heard some of the new Mystery Jets LP that Erol’s also produced; It’s amazing. Anything on the Italians Do It Better label and Late of the Pier’s album, which will be phenomenal.

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