Interview We Start Fires

They’re more indie than Kubichek! but don’t quite match up to Armand Van Helden’s street cred, apparently.


’s favourite Darlington rockers We Start Fires are due to release their next single - the download-only ‘Play You’ - on 20th August. Since it had been, like soooo long since we last spoke to them, we decided to find out more about the single, plans for the future, and just how indie ‘indie chart’ success makes you.

You are releasing a new single. Tell us something interesting about it.
Snooty indie types have said that it’s us selling out as it has a big fat chorus - ‘They used to be so fuzzy and punky and now they’ve gone tuneful! How awful!’ - Yet we actually wrote it aages before we wrote Magazine so HA! It’s a Ramones-style love song about finding the one person you want to run away and share drunken kisses with.

Your last release reached Number 14 in the indie charts. How indie does that make you?
More indie than Kubichek! but less indie than Armand Van Helden.

It’s digital only - you’re not abandoning the physical format entirely, are you?!
No! It’s all about thrift. The next single after this will be an all singing, all dancing vinyl / plastic / download affair! Our last single is the only thing I’ve downloaded in my life! Give me a shiny CD or a warm and fuzzy 7’ any day.

You’re due to play a couple of festivals this year - have you made sure you’ve got decent wellies yet?
Not yet but we’ll have to look into it. I’m tempted to wear plastic bags over my heels that I can whip off when I get onstage. We’ll have to see.

Apparently, Radio One wouldn’t playlist New Young Pony Club ‘cos they sounded ‘too much like’ CSS, and didn’t put Kate Nash on there ‘til after she charted. Does it shock you that there’s still some sexist attitudes within the ‘industry’?
It’s just ridiculous. First off ‘cos they always play blokes who sound exactly like each other so that’s no excuse and secondly because – minus a few exceptions – all the best new music that’s come out this year has been by girls anyway!

You have a club in Darlington. Is it now a hotbed of music?
There’s actually a pretty good scene there now compared to a few years ago and it’s really good to be a part of. We’ve always felt a bit isolated from the Teesside scene being from Darlington so it’s nice to have our own thing going on. Everyone should check out Them Amazing Babies and Belladonna - they’re both brilliant.

Who’s the best band you’ve had play for you?
Shut Your Eyes And You’ll Burst Into Flames or Kubichek! – they were both amazing. We only book fantastic bands though so it’s a tough choice!

Finally, what are We Start Fires’ plans for the rest of the year?
Play You comes out in August, then we’ll be releasing Let’s Get Our Hands Dirty in September, followed by our album and lots of touring in October.

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