Interview We Start Fires

As their debut album is self-released, DIY spoke to Becky Stefani to talk DIY ethos, girls in bands, and kicking Keane to death.

We Start Fires

are officially ace. Their debut album ‘Caught Redhanded’ should be available in any decent record store from Monday. DIY caught up with Becky Stefani from the band.

Your debut album is released on 13th September on your own label. Why did you go DIY and not maybe keep plugging away hoping to maybe get signed?
We didn’t ‘go DIY’! I hate all that ‘we don’t wanna get signed’ bollocks, so it wasn’t a reflection of our DIY ethos! We’re still planning on getting signed. The main reason for us putting it out was that people kept asking to buy the songs in our set and we didn’t have any recorded, so instead of doing another demo, we whacked all the tracks on an album. Better looking, more publicity and EXACTLY the same amount of cash to splash out. Crafty, cunning, ingenius. There’s only a thousand of them so when someone signs us up we’ll get it all re-recorded and re-released and these ones will be collectors editions selling on ebay for hundreds and thousands of pounds! All I can say is get them while you can kids!

Does it annoy you that recent female fronted bands who’ve done good in the world of rock are absolute shite? (e.g Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Distillers)
No, what annoys me is when ugly bald socially inept music journalists convince themselves that they’re sexy and think that they have a RIGHT to talk about lovely Brody and lovely Karen in horrible lecherous ways - as if they’d have a hope in hell! And when they take photos up Karen O’s skirt. Not on. At all. And also what annoys me is that they only ever write about bands with ONE GIRL IN THEM. Why? Too many brilliant ladies getting ignored, many of whom we’ve played with on our jaunts up and down the country. But to be fair, it’s also annoying that recent male fronted bands who’ve done good in the world of rock are absolute shite. Shite bands doing well with blokes in = Jet, Keane, Snow Patrol, Goldie Lookin Chain (completely hideously mind bogglingly AWFUL), The Coral, The Streets, The Thrills… loads and loads.

No, you’re wrong! Karen O is not lovely! Yeah Yeah Yeahs are shite!
The thing is they’re good for dancing to on a Thursday night at Needle Damage, and beyond that nothing else matters.

The drummer in We Start Fires is your brother, does he threaten to break the legs of any male groupie types who leer after you?
Nah, me and Melissa are more lecherous than most of the boys anyway and we welcome any flirty leering coming our way! Go anywhere near his beloved Miss Nikki and he’ll have you though.

A few years ago the likes of Hepburn, Thunderbugs and 21st Century girls were riding high in the charts as girly guitar pop was all over Smash Hits. Do you feel you missed the boat?
Right at this minute Busted and McFly are riding high in the charts as boyish punky pop is ALL OVER Smash Hits, do you feel you’re missing the boat? No no no. Proper bands will win out in the end. You have to believe that or you’d go mad and just follow the Pop Idol auditions round the country for the rest of your life. In fact, seeing as there hasn’t been any proper ladies with guitars since about 1998, I feel the time is right for us to take the reins. We are primed and ready for action!

What would you rather do: Buy the Keane album or kick a small animal to death?
Can I just kick Keane to death instead? Or lock them in a small room with their songs on repeat? Small animals shouldn’t have to suffer just because they foolishly decided to put a record out! Not fair!

Why should people buy YOUR album? Will HMV be selling it?
If you have a tenner, a sharp brain and a functioning pair of ears, you should buy it. It’s a touch of arse-kicking sexy, clever, CLASS for 2004. It’s a stylish and eclectic mix of space rocket synths, punk rock power and shout-until-your-head-falls-off style singing. And there’s some sweet songs on there too. Something for all the family. If you like soppy Keane or scruffy fools like Jet you should probably steer clear. Of course, if you do suffer the affliction of being a fan of one of those bands, buying a copy of our album will make you see the light and lead you back into salvation. So yes, everyone should buy it. It’s distributed through Fopp records so it’ll be in all their stores as well as the usual haunts - Rough Trade, Probe, RPM… and on our lovely website too. Buy now before it costs millions on eBay!

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