GUTFIRE! readers know what they want and arenâ€™t afraid to ask for it. At the top of that list, right next to a great tasting, less filling whisky (Liquor-Ish is in laboratory testing right now) is more cool-as-heck British rock bands. Youâ€™ve spoken, weâ€™ve listened, and Slow Clubâ€™s done the rest. Hailing from Sheffield, the duo of Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor combine rollicking guitar with crisp percussion and harmonies to create their own brand of folk-rock, winning rave reviews for their 2009 debut album Yeah So, and setting the stage for a highly anticipated follow-up effort due in 2011. GUTFIRE! had a chance to grill the band, and it turns out thereâ€™s nothing slow about them â€“ theyâ€™re damn sharp, actually, and you can read it all here. As for us, it looks another long day back in the whisky lab.
1. We read that the band formed a few years ago after the break-up of another band called The Lonely Hearts â€“ could you provide a bit more color on how you joined together?
C: We were already writing songs and playing gigs together as Slow Club before The Lonely Hearts broke up.
R: It was just a natural progression into making the music we found easiest to make.
2. How did you come up with the name â€śSlow Club?â€ť
C: Beccy watched Blue Velvet and itâ€™s somewhere in there. I have only seen half of it.
R: Yeah, bit gutted about that, neither of us like the name that much
3. Was it always in your plans to be in a â€ścouple bandâ€ť someday? Any favorite couple bands from today or yesteryear?
C: Are we a couple band? Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra. Were they a couple band?
R: WE ARE NOT A COUPLE. No we didn’t want it this way but you make more money and thereâ€™re less people to disagree with you.
4. Among active such bands, which would be the most difficult opponents for you in a street fight?
R: No one would be difficult. We’re from Rotherham
5. Please pardon us for asking, but are the two of you romantically involved with each other?
6. Rebecca, would you like to be?
R: No thanks
8. What is your response, if any, to those who might label you as twee or too cute?
C: People like to label. It doesnâ€™t change the way I think about the music we make.
R: My response would be to kick them in the tits.
9. How does the creative process work for you â€“ do you share the songwriting?
C: We both write independently and together. It depends on the song really. Itâ€™s good not having a set way of writing. We donâ€™t have concrete roles.
R: Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, there’s only ever a very clear point when we can say ‘This is a Slow Club song’ and it goes on into our set or it gets lost in a sea of half written songs.
10. We understand that you are working on a new album to be released in early 2011 â€“ could you speak to that effort and what fans can expect?
C: Yes, we are writing and recording demos right now. I have no idea about release dates.
R: You can expect to wiggle your bums.
11. In addition to the upcoming album and your current shows, are you planning other tours, collaborations, etc.?
C: We wonâ€™t be touring for the rest of the year now. Just making the new album. I think collaborations could happen. I think Jay Z is coming down to Hackney in November so Iâ€™ll bbm him around the time.
R: We are both working on different things and hopefully that will culminate in an album that people think is good. We are playing one big show in Sheffield and one in London and thatâ€™s about it. I’m excited to have a life and see my friends and watch the telly again.
12. Could you tell us about being from Sheffield, which we understand is a fairly industrial city?Â What is the music scene there?Â Where do you live now, and how does it compare?
C: Sheffield is a great place to be. It is an industrial city but less so now than it used to be. I am not sure what the music scene is like there at the moment, as we havenâ€™t lived there for a while. Thereâ€™s always something exciting happening somewhere. So I guess I just havenâ€™t been invited!!! I live in East London at the moment, which isnâ€™t really that different apart from prices and all the rest. I guess there are more shows to go and see which is always cool.
13. One thing we also asked the Wave Machines (Liverpool): it seems that fairly industrial, provincial British cities produce some of the best music â€“ why?
C: I have absolutely no idea.
R: We’re poorer???
14. We read that you are fans of Rod Stewart (Rebecca) and Leonard Cohen (Charles) â€“ for each of you, what are your favorite songs from both artists?
C: Take this Waltz
R: Young Turks
15. Who are some of your other major influences?
R: We are both into a lot of different stuff separately, I like a lot of pop, R&B, and hip-hop so thatâ€™s hard to influence this band… but we both are just into old classic folk that we try and use to influence us, because itâ€™s just GOOD song writing â€“ thatâ€™s all we want to achieve.
16. How do you define a â€ślove song,â€ť and what are your favorites?
R: There is one love song that says it all. John Maus ‘Just Wait Til Next Year.’
C: I have a girlfriend.
R: I’m romantically involved with my dangerous depression.
18. We read â€śHave You Seen Coconut?â€ťÂ Charles, have you written other stories?Â What other creative interests do you pursue?
C: I have an extremely short attention span so I tend to start a lot of things without finishing them. â€śHave You Seen Coconutâ€ť was something that I finished once. I like to draw but mostly making music takes up most of my time.
19. Rebecca, we have not read any of your stories.Â What gives?
R: One day there was a girl who went to Pizza Hut. She felt so guilty the whole time she was there eating pizza. So guilty, in fact, she didn’t even have ice cream for dessert. Then she went to the cinema. Then she went home and watched telly and went to bed.
I call that ‘Wednesday 1st of September.’
20. One train of Slow Club fans runs from Sheffield to London at 110 kilometers per hour, the other runs from London to Sheffield at 85 kilometers per hour. How far apart were the two trains one hour prior to their crossing?
R: 195 kilometers