Interview We Have Band, We Have Accomplished… We Have Made It?

DIY catch up with Thomas, Dede and Darren, otherwise known as the grammatically incorrect We Have Band, in between their appearances at The Great Escape and Stag & Dagger.

A string of positive accolades bestow We Have Band: a main stage slot at this year’s Glastonbury, appearing on the eclectic excellence that is a Kitsune Maison compilation and performances at this year’s SXSW – which randomly lead to Solange Knowles tweeting their praises! Electro and electric guitars are happy soulmates thanks to the ground work of numerous eighties bands they’re often cited after, however We Have Band’s unique sound affirms them as more than simply “just another eighties throwback.”

Fresh from last weekend’s Great Escape, DIY catch up with Thomas, Dede and Darren otherwise known as the grammatically incorrect We Have Band.

Afternoon We Have Band! You played The Great Escape last night, there’s always a great excitement surrounding festivals that champion new music, everyone’s on the lookout for the “next big thing” tell us did you guys get a chance to catch any of the acts?
Thomas: Yeah we saw a bit of Brakes, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Peter Bjorn and John were playing before us so we saw a bit of them and then Datarock were playing after us so we managed to catch them too. So, yeah it was pretty cool – Peter, Bjorn and John were great!

Did you know, We Have Band were pitted as the “buzz band” ones to watch and future headliners in the run up to the festival by music networking site Rivmixx? All pretty impressive for a band that’s been gigging for little over a year, what has been your highlight of the past twelve months?
Thomas: Really? Oh well… we’ve been touring like mad, we’ve been in Dublin twice, NY, Russia, Romania and SXSW was crazy! Russia was really surreal to be honest. It’s quite nice to gig where people wouldn’t expect you to go, they just appreciate that you’re there and go nuts really. Things have changed, you know bands use to go where they could only sell records and you know people don’t really buy records in Russia. It became a thing of ‘well why wouldn’t you go to Russia’?

True, it’s that issue of marketing a band really, that sell sell sell ethic that most labels have and it’s quite possible that with a label Russia wouldn’t have been an option. I take you’re just enjoying the moment right now?
Darren: I think when things first got a bit crazy when the first single came out people thought we might quickly sign a deal and rush everything, but I really don’t think that’s necessary. With a label you might be shot out of the canon a bit quicker. I mean at the same time were not really in a rush for things, we’ve just finished writing our album and we’ve got our next single coming out on June 15th.

Any proposed deals in the pipeline?
Darren: Right now we’re planning the record very intensely, maybe more so than the record contract itself. At the moment we’re just beginning to record some tracks properly, doing tests with producers and stuff.

It’s certainly paying off, you were praised as “strikingly original, energetic” when crowed the Winners of Glastonbury’s emerging talent competition. Performance wise what should punters expect when going to see a We Have Band gig?
Thomas: Well there’s a lot of dancing! Dede on stage goes crazy, she’s got a great thing going on, loads of moves, people love it. Promoters seem to put us on quite late at festivals and gigs so people can get quite into it and shake their stuff!
Dede: We always state you dance with us and we’ll dance with you too!
Thomas: Exactly. The performance aspect is very important to us.

You recently performed stateside at the SXSW festival, being your first time to perform at the festival and in America how was the overall experience for you guys as a band?
Dede: NON – STOP
Thomas: Yeah it was crazy! We went to New York first and we did three gigs and we DJ’d a bit.
Darren: SXSW was crazy, manic! Nine shows in four days, to play that much in a short bit of time was pretty cool!
Dede: I had acute laryngitis!

Oh no!
Dede: It was quite funny actually, it seemed to stop when I was on stage, the minute I got off I had a great big coughing attack!
Thomas: We were wheeling our suitcases and our guitars past all these bands and they were getting drunk while we were going from one gig to the next, it was hard work but probably the best hard work we’ve ever done!

Next year guys, it’ll be your turn to kick back!
Thomas: Yeah maybe we’ll have a margarita next time!

Interestingly We Have Band are all former EMI employees, did working for the industry itself encourage you guys to think that maybe we can do this? How did it all come about?
Dede: Me and Thomas had a conceptual band.
Darren: Cause you’re married!
Dede: Yeah! [laughs] So we were out one night and asked Darren to join we kind of gravitated towards it because we were enjoying it really, it wasn’t a case of ‘let’s do this now’, you know?
Dede: We didn’t have sexy jobs though, although that’s not to say we didn’t enjoy our time there.
Darren: We loved it, sometimes it would get a bit frustrating you’d see loads of money get thrown at stuff and not really understand it, other than that it was a great experience!

Random fact or fiction - I read recently that you refer to your sound to that of an elephant? Can you shed any light on this?
Thomas: Oh yeah! [laughs] Well it’s that idea of an elephant in a room really! It’s kind of like a metaphor for not having any barriers on what we can and can’t do writing or production wise. If there’s an elephant in the room we’ll discuss it no matter how big or ugly it is! There’s no restrictions, we won’t kick it out!

Animal rights groups can sleep easy now! It’s always a positive sign for any new band if their work has been remixed or sampled by other acts such as Bloc Party, Plugs etc. What has been your favourite remix to date?
Darren: I think the nice ones are the ones that happen more organically like Michachu and Plugs. Plugs were at a gig that we were playing and we kind of exchanged remixes, Bloc Party was more via their label. But to pick a favourite, I don’t think I can pick one to be honest.
Dede: Oh…. I can’t pick a favourite. I dunno that’s a hard one. They’re all equally important to us so no I can’t pick a favourite.

And finally, is their anyone you’d particularly like to work with in the future?
Dede: I’d quite like to work with James Murphy.
Darren: Yeah LCD do really great remixes.

We Have Band will be playing Stag & Dagger festival this week. For more information click here. Their new single ‘You Came Out’ will be released on 15th June through Kill Em All Records.

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