Q & A – WE HAVE BAND
We first fell in love with this band in 2008 after hearing the tune ‘OH!’. It’s a wonderfully strong tune, with it’s layered vocals, stop-start beat and it’s true originality.
And this is the key with them; originally arranged songs. That’s such a tough task in this day and age. Yes there’s influences in there, thousands of them, but they arrange their songs in a fascinating way.
The following track that we came across was ‘Hear It In The Cans’. It sounds like an impossible song, with two sets of vocals overlapping it’s really two tunes in one. There is a gentle, atmospheric build up that sweeps in at 2 minutes and 43 seconds in, upon Darren’s echoing call of “we were thrown together” – with music this good, surely it was destiny?
This is a band truly experiencing lift-off and The Recommender excitedly managed to catch them live in Brighton last week and we had a chance to meet and speak with the band. It was at this point they agreed to do the following Q&A. We found them in a good spirits.
WE HAVE BAND
1.) Before we begin lets introduce the band members – Who is who and what instruments do you each play? Also, there’s a married couple in there somewhere right? Where do you all come from?
Hello. This is us. Thomas WP – Vocals/Guitar/Bass/. Programming. Dede WP – Vocals/Percussion/Sampler. Darren Bancroft – Vocals/Drums/Percussion/Sampler. Dede is from Manchester and Thomas and Darren are from London. I think you can guess who the married couple are. Although we’re all in a marriage of sorts with each other!
2.) OK, to the beginning, in fact before the beginning, as you guys have a back story don’t you? Tell us about working for EMI and when and how you came together?
Indeed we all used to work there. It was fun. We got to listen to loads of music and go to loads of gigs which was nice. Thomas and Dede started the idea of a band and then we were all out one night and talked about it together and then a few weeks later we met up and wrote and recorded a song in a night and loved it and just kept going.
It’s an odd one because the three of us weren’t that close at work and we honestly cant really understand how we got this far. Dede had never stepped onto a stage before our first gig and never wanted to and that first night we didn’t have a clue about what sound we’d make or what we wanted to do. We just listened to the ESG‘s ‘South Bronx Story‘ album, which we all adore, while having dinner and we knew we wanted to make something with that much energy and staying power. But then we just wrote songs for another 6 months before doing a gig. That was never in the plan, we were just having fun and then we did it and it snowballed to where we are now. We’re all very happy though.
Thank you. That was Dede’s doing. It just came out and it felt powerful and direct and there was never an option for another name. We all loved it immediately.
4.) There’s a lot of original arrangements in your songs, with layered vocals and samples, so we would like to know what and who influences your sound? Who inspires you? How would you describe your sound?
Our personalities have a lot do with what we sound like. We’re all pretty opinionated and we like lots of different things and when we write its like opening the top of your head and fishing around for whatever comes out. We all write the melodies and lyrics and so I guess if you gave an instrumental song to 3 songwriters you’d possibly get a mad mix. We happen to really like that mix so we just run with it. We always write in the same room with each other and we’ll just layer and layer and all throw ideas in with no limits or rules and then we edit the latter.
We describe our sound with great difficulty.
5.) What singles are currently available to people? You’ve recently had releases through the awesome French fashion/record label, Kitsune right? How did that come about?
We’ve only had one single released which was ‘Oh!’ on a label called 50 Bones at the end of last year and we had a track called ‘Hear It In The Cans‘ on the Kitsune Maison6 compilation that came out around that time too. Kitsune found us somewhere which was an amazing suprisebut they’re very good at that. We were really pleased to be involved with them. We’re not signed to them though as it’s sometimes said. We are very much unsigned.
6.) Is there a debut album ready to release yet? Will that also be through Kitsune?
This is the question that keeps us awake at night. Seriously. We’ve written it but now we’re just now deciding who, if anyone, we want to produce it and then we want to find the right label to release it. We’ve self-produced everything so far so its going to be hard to let go of things unless its really the right person. The door would definitely be open to the right person.
Label wise, we have no idea yet, we’re talking to various people. To be honest we’re really proud of what we’ve done on our own and how far we’ve gone so we want to share that with a label that will respect that and that genuinely wants to move forwards with us, not just latch on and take their percentage.
7.) Have you decided on a name for the debut?
Yes. But we cant tell you what it is.
8.) What’s been your favourite live performance to date?
Paris is always crazy, we love it there. We were in Russia last week playing in Moscow and St Petersburg and that was insane. It was surreal being so far from home with a room full of people singing ‘Oh!’ back at us, it was very special. It’s a bit standard to bang on about how useful the internet is ‘these days’ but for us it really is great. We haven’t got any money to promote ourselves but our music has traveled really far, really quickly. Blogs and indie radio are great for that too. We’re very, very grateful to the forward thinking people involved with these things. And brave live promoters.
9.) You were recently rather busy at this years SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, and the reviews were very positive across the board, so how was the experience for you?
It was very hot and totally mental. We did 9 shows, an acoustic gig and a radio session. We got off the plane at 1pm and had our first show at 4pm. A mad 4 days. It was awesome.
10.) Are you planning to do any festivals this summer? You recently won the Glastonbury ‘Emerging Talent‘ contest, so does this guarantee you exposure at the festival?
It does indeed. We actually may have a few gigs over the weekend. All the finalists play the Queens Head stage on Thursday night and then as we won we’ll be doing a main stage show too. And then we think may have another little show planned somewhere else.
Apart from Glasto we’re also doing Hinterland, Isle Of Wight, V, Stag & Dagger, Great Escape, Loop, Liverpool Sound City, Secret Garden, Standon Calling, Montreau Jazz Festival, Donau Festival in Austria, Calvi On The Rocks in Corsica and there’s more to be confirmed in the UK and elsewhere soon.
11.) We ask everyone we interview to become an honorary Recommender, by asking if you know of any new bands/acts/DJ’s that have recently caught your eye that you would like to recommend to us?
12.) Lastly, what is immediately next for We Have Band?
We’re off to tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland next week. Festivals all summer. Our next single which is a double a-side of ‘You Came Out‘ and a cover of ‘West End Girls‘ is out on June 8th on Kill Em All. We’re doing some fun remixes at the moment too. Don’t think we’re allowed to say who yet, but we’ll tell all soon!
So that’s it for another Q & A session, with yet another fabulous bunch of musicians. Hope you all enjoyed getting to know them a little better. As always, click on the links and if you can catch them live at some point too, then rest assured they come with our stamp of approval.
Remember there’s the comments box- we would like to know if any readers have seen them live before, or if you have any other interesting links to them?