Does this work?
I M ready
THIS IS AN INTERVIEW.
thanks for the heads up
In many ways this is the perfect interview format. I can listen to music while it's happening, there's no transcribing… You can think through your answers and they will all be brilliant.
And when I get bored I can check my email and you won't know
Where are you and what can you see?
I'm at home I can see a tree and a lot of candy corn
What colour is the tree?
what colour do you think it is
Brown and green?
(From bottom to top)
Wait are you actually outside my house ??
I know a thing or two about trees
Well, specifically, two things.
The bottoms are usually brown and the tops are usually green.
What are you doing at home today?
that's the end of tree chat then
You weren't really engaging.
once I had to have it cut coz it got too big
Did you get a tree man round? I had a tree in my back garden CUT DOWN recently and while they were 'grinding the stump' loads of bees starting flying out of an underground nest and chasing the men around the garden.
And then we had to get a bee lady round it and turned into a shambles.
That sounds like a right fiasco
Nothing as dramatic as that I'd afraid
A neighbour told me I had to get planning permission to do it
Which I ignored
No bees :(
The bees may still be there, underground, waiting to pounce.
anyway now I'm at home and my diary says 'PJ AND LYRIC PREP'
I just got back. I've been at a photo shoot all day
so I suppose that's what I should be doing
What lyric prep have you been doing?
do bees live underground??
WELL APPARENTLY VICTORIA
I haven't done any yet. Lyric prep.
And for readers who aren't in 'the music biz', what does 'lyric prep' mean?
Writing down some stuff that rhymes?
I've got a session tomorrow that I want to have some good ideas for
You just have a think about life and nice words that make pictures in your head that "scan well" and don't make you sound mental when you sing them
So yes then
Isn't it cheating to do them all beforehand?
Probably, to be honest I'm terrible at doing lyrics in advance, it never really works for me
I've always thought of what I end up using that morning or in the studio
Do you think some writers cheat when they're working with people and go "oh I haven't done any prep let's just jam and let the vibes flow" or whatever it is people say in a creative scenario, when actually they've got a brilliant idea in their head that they're going to pretend just suddenly appears as if by magic
Hmm good question
But I think most writers have ideas hanging around in their heads, I know I do
Then if you're in the right place for the eggs to hatch or whatever…
Are there any good ones
I hope so
So do I Victoria
Some people come with ideas ready and then its a bit awks if you don't like them
Have you ever been to one of those odd 'writing camps'?
I've been asked to a few but annoyingly I'm always away
I did one but it was more with writer/producer friends than a set up thing
It was a lot of fun, it's kind of like pop speed dating or something
You write really fast with lots of different people
There is kind of a lot of vibing
I'm not a fan of vibing, as a rule
The word 'vibes' has been known to be banned from our tours
Whats worse vibes or hashtags
'End of' trumps the lot
What do you think that image says about pop music in 2013?
oh god what's this
What words come into your head.
well it won't actually open bigger than a stamp
but that's fine because all artwork is designed to be the size of a stamp anyway these days
and I've already seen it
I mean it's a bottom isn't it
It's literally a bottom.
is it supposed to be shocking ?
I don't know.
it hasn't seen the sun for a while
I think it's supposed to be a statement about something or other.
I'd be disappointed if it wasn't
there's a lot of nakedness and bums and things going on at the minute
being naked seems to be more in fashion than good songs
mind you most things are more fashionable than actual songs at the moment
richard x and I were lamenting this yesterday ;(
On one hand you'd think Lady Gaga would/should be above that sort of thing. Or certainly above feeling that she wanted or needed to do it for the wrong reasons. On the other hand, she seems to use nudity for non-titillating reasons.
ie she gets her kit off in the name of 'art' etc etc and 'fashion' and that sort of thing.
Which sometimes makes sense.
But this single sleeve is a bit "oh dear".
ESPECIALLY WHEN THE SONG IS SO AMAZING.
I don't have the energy time or patience to try and understand what she's up to but some of the songs I've heard were quite good
I was forwarded an essay the other week by someone saying they could PROVE that her whole act was a hoax and really a way for her to get back to her 'original norah jones style singer songwriting'
It was pretty amazing, a bit like one of those emails that says 'a distant relative has died I must transfer you 100000 pounds…'
oh dear i've now forgotten we are doing an interview and am just chatting crap
I think lady gaga is confusing enough for it not to feel blatantly sexual
Miley disturbs me more
although I am quite enjoying half of 'Bangerz'
It's definitely a half-enjoyable album
Frustrating in what way?
I mean they could have at least put the good half at one end so you wouldn't have to keep skipping the duds
Do you like '4X4'?
I don't think so
Have you ever gone so fast that you've pissed on yourself?
no but I did back into something yesterday and dented my car door
Did you piss yourself?
No. I've driven up the freeway ramp the wrong way in LA
And I think I drove around a roundabout the wrong way once when I got back from a few weeks in the states and was still confused which side to give way to
Not really pop song fodder
Do you have any points on your licence?
I had 3 but maybe they expired now
I try not to drive very much
I think that's probably for the best.
How is the general experience of running your own independent pop record label?
Quite a lot of work actually
But I like being a workaholic I get a weird high off it
Most of our meetings have to be in transit somewhere
But there's a couple of artists that I'm really genuinely very excited about and its nice to be able to work on something from a different perspective
And I just don't think there's any pop labels in the UK breaking great new pop artists, everyone's so worried about being cool and gets scared when there's a chorus
So our mission statement is kind of to only release things with choruses
In 2013 I would say so
Everything feels much more hook centric at the moment
Are you getting much "this is too pop"/"this isn't pop enough" 'feedback' or have you found a good niche?
Well we've only released one song except mine at the moment but all the feedback has been really good actually
I mean for my own stuff I constantly get that but I've learned to live with it
Do you know the next act you are going to put out?
And they are…
not ready to tell
but someone brand new also
Is it a man or a lady
its a young lady who is a great writer with a very interesting voice
Is she a ventriloquist?
she may be in her spare time for all I know but we are planning to release a song or two of her singing
That would be a pretty strong angle for press. Being a ventriloquist. Imagine the phone interviews!
Just a little helpful tip there
I think it would be something we would ask her not to mention in interviews
Now you've said that I'm wondering if your label's first signing, Tom Aspaul, might be a ventriloquist who you've already gagged
And bear in mind gagging a ventriloquist is pretty difficult, as you need two gags
I'm afraid you'll never know
Do you want to see my favourite page on the internet
Ever or today ?
That I've seen in the last month or so
The main portion is 'behind a paywall' but it almost works better without the detail
I just LOLd
I mean what a news story.
I'm tempted to sign up for the sun online just to keep reading
'Jud — who spent 10'.…
what a cliff hanger
And you imagine this was the result of his PR going, 'look, is there anything we can take to press' and him going, 'well, there was this time Michael Jackson called', and them going 'and what happened?' and the whole thing just spiralling out of control
I actually want to interview him just to find out what happened
Mind you setting up an interview with someone is a fairly laborious way of sidestepping a paywall
apparently you can join for just 1 pound — worth it
I feel sorry for newspapers
what's going to happen to them?
Did Michael Jackson ever phone you?
Before he tragically died.
No but once I was with red one and he said he'd just called him
Or maybe it was recently
I'm sure it was pretty recent at the time
I'd quite like to hear the RedOne / Jacko sessions.
I don't know if they actually happened
Could have been kind of amazing
Because this was at the point when he was shitting out hits wasn't it. And he would have given the best bits to Jacko.
Jacko doing starships…
Did you know that song was originally intended for Cobra Starship?
is that true ?
It is a Pop Fact.
I wonder why they turned it down
Who is the most famous person you've ever spoken to on the phone?
Hmm good question
I don't really talk to people on the phone I hate it
Who is the most famous person whose call you have rejected?
I try to avoid phone calls whenever possible
Which is why this interview is perfect
Probably someone not very famous
I think the think with phone calls is, basically, people are quite annoying.
Actually I just thought of someone but I'm not gonna say!
I would get in trouble
It's not really what you wanna read is it
Who rejected your phone call
For all they knew I was just away…
Did you know that it was a famous person calling? And was it really worth not tackling your dislike of phone conversations?
Yeah I knew who it was… it wasn't a good time!
In terms of longterm emotional despair, or 'having a wazz'?
I think I was recording or something
The former then
Have you heard Lease My Love off the new Saturdays album?
THAT'S a song with a chorus
No I will check it out
They are on my list to check out
It's a Darkchild production
I was a big fan of notorious
How The Saturdays ended up with a decent Darkchild song I have no idea but there it is
I wrote a song at the aforementioned pop camp I thought would be perfect for them
What was it called
But it got lost in the pop ocean between us
'We Are A Band Called The Saturdays'?
it was a right racket though
a good racket
Good Racket would have been a good name for your record label
WHAT WAS IT CALLED
I don't wanna say you'll probably track it down
If i find a good version I'll send it you. It's on an old laptop I will have to dig it out
oh yeah good chorus on this saturdays song.
but what does that mean, lease my love?
Is it a bit like that new co-ownership rent thing you can do with the government these days ?
Well I suppose it means 'you can't just have it for a set period of time with long-winded terms of conditions and a three-month get-out clause with penalties for damages beyond standard wear and tear'
Hard to know though really
Well I guess that's a good message
What else is on the old laptop?
oh god all sorts
about 200 songs
How many of those 200 songs are any good?
I mean there's not many truly terrible
but there's probably a lot of OK
How many are 8/10 or above
a few really good ones I'm sad are on the old laptop not getting listened to by anyone
I honestly can't remember
We're in Q4 now Victoria, it's 8/10s or nothing
but I have high standards
and probably at least 50 are just sketches so not even songs
Okay so why don't you get those ten 8/10-and-aboves, chuck in a couple of 7/10s, knock together a girlband and get them to whack an album out?
I've honestly thought about it
Wouldn't that be better than just having them sitting on an old laptop whose charger you've probably lost by now?
But its a lot of owrk
COME ON HESKO
No it's not
The girlband don't even have to sing the songs
that is the worst shortening of my surname ever
Get session singers to do the singing
The girlband stand around in photos
Yeah but that's a tonne of work
Find a bunch of girls
Who are interesting enough to be quirky but well behaved enough to be workable
You must know people who work in the fashion world
Get a load of singers a really good producer a studio
Get them to round up a load of people who want to be models or something
Book one of those 'school tours'
You know you could have this done in a fortnight
If I was doing nothing else
Don't worry about the schooltours thing
Don't worry about marketing it
Just knock it together and chuck it out
But unfortunately this is the first time I've had a whole week in one place for as long as I can rememeber
And I'm trying to write my own new stuff
It will sell 750 copies but you'll have the music out there.
You know I'm right about this
Ok if you do it with me
I'll do it with you
what is this amazing girl band going to be called
that's the most important thing really
wasn't there already a band called that ?
we don't want copyright issues
and have to do a really lame name change just when we're picking up momenntum
It looks like there's a punk band on iTunes
these guys ?
to be fair they've got the look down
Yes, that's annoying
our dreams are shattered
I'll come up with another name
I kind of prefer that
You could do good stage props
Nice and literal
This was the girlband I was going to do on Popjustice Hi-Fi, my own hilarious attempt at doing a pop record label
yeah I was gonna ask you what happened with that ?
'Not very much'
Its a scary world
It's difficult when you go 'TA-DAAA!!!' and you get 1800 YouTube views and then it's a bit 'what next'
KEEP DOING GOOD THINGS WELL
that's all you can do
And from a journalist's point of view, all I do is find stuff I like and go 'TA-DAAA!!!' and I don't need to worry about whether Zane Lowe's producer things it's any good or not
But releasing music you sort of have to second-guess who's going to like it
And that's when (in 2010 anyway) you panic and start getting dubstep mixes done
And you think HOLD ON THIS ISN'T RIGHT
Nobody seems to want anything ready made any more in pop either it all has to have come from somewhere cred
Its challenging but we are taking the label very seriously and I think it could be really exciting if we keep at it although will obviously take a little while to build as they say
I am so over remixes
Although I am sure you are still available for commissions
Yes but I don't do very many
It's shocking how many mixes are commissioned for just one reason
ie Let's spend £1500 on a mix that Annie Mac might play once
And actually, the majority of things that these tastemakers really get behind are things that they love in their original form
Like that Broods track from the other day
Oh yeah I liked that
Which sort of appeared out of nowhere and I think has been played by Annie and Zane already
Just because it seems to have its own space
But they must have got hold of it somewhere
Plugging tastemaker people is almost impossible anyway
Or certainly persuading them to feature something is almost impossible
We're meant to be starting a radio show soon
Only a little one
A RADIO SHOW!!
Will there be phone-ins?
Well its 'in the works'
Will it be like LBC?
I suppose we could have phone ins
You sound disappointed
Will there be a travel report
It depends if we can afford the helicopter
btw ARE YOU GOING TO BIG REUNION
please come! it was the best night of my life
Was it really good?
I got taken for my birthday
best birthday ever
Its worth it for their awks banter in between songs
Who is on the list for Series 2?
another level i think
called both of those
i reckon east 17 could happen
all saints is probably a bit ambitious
andi peters was at a party i was at the other night
i wanted to talk to him because he is andi peters but got scared
i wrote about it in my secret blog instead
Where is it?
it wouldn't be secret then would it
but I have a theory I have an amazing sitcom in me if I just keep writing things down
I don't even have to make it up
What else do we need to discuss today?
Well how about your new material.
What's happening there.
I'm writing at the moment
Have you recorded any new bits
yeah i've recorded about 8 or 10 bits so far
doing more tomorrow did some yesterday
Can I run a three second clip of one of the songs with this 'interview'?
That would be great content.
i'll make you one and send it over
gotta love content
that's basically a premiere
I'll put it in the chat somewhere when I publish it to make it look like you sent it over IM.
'who's doing the premiere' is one of my most hated questions
do people still care ?
Well as Editor of Popjustice I would say that yes people definitely do care when things are premiered with Popjustice because blah blah.
But sometimes you do think 'you'd probably be better off going for Pitchfork really, they have a million times more readers'.
But I suppose Pitchfork might already have said no.
But what would you have, 1000 hits of people who don't really care or 100 who REALLY CARE AND WILL PRESS REPEAT
'It's a no from Gigwise, get Popjustice on the phone'
we got pitchfork as well!
I have to stop saying lolz people think I'm serious
It stops becoming a joke after a while and just becomes What You Do
I wish someone would start a version of twitter that had a sense of irony embedded into it somehow
ANYWAY. We need to plug your live stuff and your new stuff, that's what you said right?
OH WE ARE PLAYING A GIG AT HEAVEN IN NOVEMBER PLEASE TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT AND PLEASE COME
we are doing lots of special live things
Do you mean this one?
Yes. i have a dress that lights up like a blackpool illumination etc.
Ok well you have ruined my lyric prep, congrats
What will I say to the pop supergroup we are assembling tomorrow ?
Sorry the dog ate my homework…
Say you were being chased by bees
From beelow ground!!
I think on that note I should go.
Before I go, tell me a lyric you've prepped
And then I will go
ok lets look on my phone
i've had to go digital these days annoyingly
oh my phones died
What an amateur
Hang on were those the lyrics?
I think "ok let's look on my phone" needs work
hmm i'm reading but these are all a bit black box recorder dodgy not sure if i want to share…
COME ON HESKO
oh you're putting me under pressure
ok the last song I wrote is called 'Who is she' ?
that was quite a long interview
won't people get bored ?
I'll just edit your bits down