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01. Ancient Tales (Spa) - Malignant Tides '93 (Demo)...CDR
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Interview with 'Vile Electrodes', 28 Sep 2010.
Deadicated to my sweet friend, 'Siobhan Clarke', Squidgy Goth.

I understand you first formed around 2008, please tell me a little about the first days and hours. What were your first intentions, and how long was it before, you came up with your particular sound and style ?

Martin: We first got together with the intention of creating music for an opera a friend of ours was writing, about a young Michael Faraday falling through a wormhole in time and meeting Anita Pallenberg and Jane Fonda on the set of Barbarella. That's kind of half true. And it WILL happen one day. But seriously, Anais and I first got together LONG before 2008 to play a one-off Burlesque party at the Theatre Museum before it closed (we performed under the name Strange Fruit). Then in 2008 we decided to have a crack at being a "proper" band. Anais had written a whole load of bluesy songs and we kind of adapted them. After a while we realised we were better off writing tracks from scratch rather than trying to shoehorn those songs into a musical space they weren't designed to fit into.

Anais: So watch this space for my blues side project!

Did you at first, have a set agenda, or are you a band that likes to evolve. Plus having members, Coming and going, do you think each individual addition made subtle differences, and added a little of themselves behind ?

Martin: We didn't (and don't) really have any agenda, apart from trying to write songs we like. We're just doing what we enjoy doing! Tess LaCoyle and Suki Maverick definitely each brought something unique to what we were doing, but we're all pretty creative people outside music and they both felt they couldn't commit enough time to the band. Since Loz Tronic joined us in May 2010 we've been much more focused and really begun to feel like a proper live band. We've come along leaps and bounds since then and we're still very much developing and evolving.

Your strong fetish image,is this a natural general interest, as well as being part of your live shows. Do have any particular influences, to partucular art, or artist's, be it Burlesque, or a Photographer etc ?

Martin: We all definitely have a whole variety of our own fetishes! Getting dressed up is really important, and the whole power dynamic thing is very interesting, particularly in a live context. We have lots of artistic influences, beyond the musical ones, but i don't think we set out to wear them on our sleeves. I suppose science - both fact and fiction - is as much an influence as art actually. Personally, i have a thing for Expressionism, Dadaism and Surrealism. Retro-futurism, or Atom Punk are probably the closest thing we have to a defining style I guess.

Anais: Hmmmm. I love Disney and horror movies. I like to think that's reflected in our music! I'd be really hard pushed to name any specific influences though - it's genuinely not something I think about! Must.... try.... harder.... next.... time.....

Do you find the whole visual side, just as important as the music itself. Plus would you say you use an element of theatre within your live performances ?

Martin: The visual side is VERY important - I think as much visually as i do aurally. Whenever we can, we run our own lights, lasers and strobes at our shows, as well as doing videos! Each song has a little abstract video that accompanies it live. Theatre - not as much as we could - i think we're still very much developing our stage shows. Come back and ask that question in a year's time!

Anais: At a show recently someone asked why we bothered dressing up and doing visuals as our "music should be able to stand up on its own". For me it's totally the other way round. You're presenting yourself to an audience so why WOULDN'T you dress up and make the biggest effort possible?! Also, I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl a lot of the time, so I LOVE the chance to don a snazzy outfit for stage. It also helps that I work for Lady Lucie Latex which means I have oodles of gorgeous rubberwear that I can borrow for shows. The theatre question is an interesting one. I'm still working on the way I present myself on stage and I'd like to be a lot more theatrical. You'll probably refuse to believe me, but I get TERRIBLE stage fright so sometimes just standing behind the mic and singing is pushing it! It's only recently that playing a gig hasn't led to me leaving stage and saying "never again". God, that makes me sound like such a diva...

Loz: Personally for me it's a bit of a Clark Kent / Superman thing. It's relief to throw away the glasses and day attire for a few hours!

What started your obsession with the 80's style of music, and old school synths ?

Martin: I've always loved and written music, ever since i was 9 when i started my first band, but being left handed found it really difficult to learn guitar. So i got a little Casio keyboard, and then i was hooked! I AM a bit obsessive though - I have a very addictive personality so my studio just carries on growing. The thing i like about old analogues is that because they have immediate control over the sound, the player can interact with the tone as well as the notes, just like a violinist or a guitarist would. I'm never going to be a great keyboard player, but the knobs and sliders on my allow me to be expressive in a way a lot of modern keyboards don't allow. They're just more rock and roll basically! Also, if you look at our list of band members you'll see that we list all our ancient analogue synthesizers in addition to the human players. They are so much a part of the band! As for the music - I grew up listening to the well-known synthpop stuff. Like a lot of people, hearing 'Are Friends Electric' for the first time was a seminal moment. As i got older discovered some of the more left-field bands and fell in love with it all over again. I've got a really wide taste in music though - everything from Kraftwerk to David Bowie... (laughs)

Who would you say are your strongest influences ?

Anais: I genuinely love pretty much all music. You'll find me dancing to pop, indie, 80's cheese, thrash metal, dubstep, electro, hard house - anything really! If it's got a beat then I tend to get caught in it. If you want specifics: more and more over time I realise I ADORE Annie Lennox. What a woman! And Steven Tyler is a God. But, to be honest, my strongest influences are my friends, family and fellow bandmates! They support and inspire me the most.

Martin: I'd say that there are a few people and bands who have managed to perfect what what i aspire to do, which is to write great pop songs with originality, intelligence and a bit of eccentricity. For me OMD, Kate Bush, The Knife and Portishead are people who do that.

Loz: I'm totally with Anais on the Annie Lennox call! I'm a big fan of any style of music, as long as it catches my attention long enough to hold it. I suppose we are victims of what we grew up listening to, in a way, so I have a bit of a penchant for poodle-permed cock-rock. In my teens I was heavily into rock 'n' roll from the 40's, 50's and 60's, and the mod scene. Led Zeppelin are a big influence.

Who writes you lyrics, and how would you best describle there creation. Be it observation, or life experiances. Or do you have a set pattern of themes ?

Anais: I currently write 99% of the lyrics, although Martin does inject amazing gems from time to time. Normally what happens is Martin will write a killer hook and it just instantly sparks an idea for a song in my brain. It does seem like a lot of our songs are about love, sex and domination - and from the stories in some of the tracks you can tell I've had my heart broken a few times. Pesky men. Sometimes the lyrics come from nowhere. I was sat at work once typing a mundane email and the opening line from Second Skin appeared in my head: "Would you like to slip inside me, can I be your second skin". When I told Martin that night he was, like, "What were you DOING at work today?!". Loz writes great songs too and we're working on building some of her tracks into the Vile canon!

Loz: Thanks!

Please tell me a little about the song 'Proximity', great vocals, and great alround upbeat sound. Please explain the meaning the lyrics, id love to learn more ?

Anais: Ah, possibly my favourite of our songs. It's got arpeggiated synths and is awesome!! Proximity is basically a song describing a desperate need to be close to someone! It centres around powerful emotional and sexual urges over which you have no control. It came to exist after Martin and I watched 'The Island' and 'THX1138' - both films explore worlds where for one reason or another human physical contact is not allowed and where we're controlled to the point that we don't even own our own bodies or minds. I was imagining how I would feel if it were me in that position. It's interesting that you say the song is upbeat - I suppose the jangly synths make it so - but we think it has an underlying brooding atmosphere which was very much inspired by the tone of those films.

Then come's of course 'Empire Of Wolves', a complete change of heart, even almost warlike. tell me more ?

Anais: The honest and simplest answer is that we decided we wanted to write a song that wasn't about sex or heartbreak! At the time of writing the song I was reading Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber' which is full of violent fairy tales. The stories about werewolves were my favourites of the bunch, so throatslashing, bloodlusting, shining fanged world conquering wolves it was! I love some of the imagery in the song - and the heavy breathing at the end as well! We REALLY want to make a video for this track.

Was realy great meeting you guys live, are there any more planned shows within this year ?

We've got a few more shows planned this year. 30th September and 9th October in London. 5th October in Brighton. 6th November in Sheffield. However, we've said we want to have a bit of a live amnesty until we get some more recording done. Finishing our CD keeps falling by the wayside, and we really need to prioritise that.

Lastly you meantioned, that you have a recorded full album, how do people purchase this, and tell us a little abouts it's creation, and what can be found on it ?

See above! We have an album and then some of material, but it's not properly recorded or mixed and mastered. We've got a couple of tracks that sound good by happy accident and we sometimes give these out as freebies at shows. But we really need to get the album cut. We're really excited about it! --

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