Dirtbag Journalism

Interview : We Have Band


Manchester trio We Have Band are a band that you’ll be hearing more about as their popularity rises. Whether you simply want to dance or work your stuff on the runway, the music of We Have Band is edgy, filled with a lot of 80s synth, attitude and aesthetic. Members consist of Darren Bancroft, Dede W-P and Thomas W-P (Dede and Thomas are married). With comparisons to Hot Chip, Talking Heads, The Rapture, ESG, New Order, the Presets and a little bit of LCD Soundsystem, We Have Band offers a fresh perspective on disco-revival and dancing despite statements explaining that they aren’t doing anything “new” within the music scene.

Produced by Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Interpol, Depeche Mode), it’s no wonder We Have Band is gaining success with their EP “WHB” released April 5th as well as their unexpected win at Glastonbury Festival’s 2009 Emerging Talent Contest. Recently, We Have Band launched their single “Honeytrap” from their forthcoming LP “WHB” due May 11. Dirtbag Journalism caught up with We Have Band to discuss some of the past, present and future ideals of the band.

Dirtbag Journalism
: How are you doing? Are you in Germany at the moment? Describe to our readers how the tour has been going so far.

We Have Band : We just arrived in Germany. Took the train from Paris to Leipzig where we’re playing tonight. It’s going to be a good one because we’re playing with JD from Le Tigre’s new band called MEN. We met on the road in Australia and it’s always nice to play with bands you know. The tour has been going great. We did the UK, then France and now it’s Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Italy before the festival season takes us back to all those places again and some new ones. We just heard we’re playing some South America shows at the end of May, so we can’t wait for that too. It’s quite different touring with the record out now in Europe. It’s cool that everyone knows the songs and they’re singing them back at us, feels more complete than it ever has done before.

DJ :What has the response to your music been from fans from different parts of England? How are Manchester or Liverpool and say, London’s crowds, different from each other?

WHB :London can be a tough crowd a lot of the time because they’re a bit spoiled for choice and you always get loads of industry people at the shows, but we’ve played in London so much that we kind of know what to expect. It’s a good challenge to get the room going. Things are bit wilder on the regional shows for sure. Dede is from Manchester, so it’s always special to play there. The crowds in Ireland and Scotland are crazy too. We just went up there and we were blown away by the response.

DJ : What can we expect from your “WHB” LP ?

The record is very varied in pace which is the thing that seems to be surprising people the most. The singles are inevitably going to be the most pop moments on the album because they work best for radio but there are a lot of different things going on throughout. We feel like that’s what an album should be, a chance to stretch your legs as a band. If everything sounded the same it would really bore us.

DJ : Why should people pay attention to WHB? What sets you apart from other similar “disco revival/dance rock” acts ?

WHB : We never set out to reinvent music and that’s not what we feel like we’re doing.  For us it’s not about setting apart from anyone else; it’s more about vision and integrity. Like any band or artist we’re unique in that its us creating an experience on record or live and we’re caring for it as three individuals who believe in what we’re doing. Then when you add each individual audience member or listener to that experience it’s even more unique.

DJ : How did you meet Gareth Jones?

WHB : We contacted Gareth directly about working with us and he listened to the tracks and liked them. We met and had coffee and talked a lot and we all felt really good about each other so we went ahead. He’s a great guy and he’s got such an amazing list of people he’s worked with before like Grizzly Bear and Interpol and Depeche Mode, so it was very cool to work with him.

DJ : I absolutely love your music videos. How would you describe the band’s aesthetic ? How did you come up with the concepts for the music videos “Oh”, “Divisive” and “You Came Out”? Are you channeling any particular artists through these videos?

: Thank you. The videos are supposed to be extensions of the songs so we’re just channeling different parts of ourselves really. They’ve all been true collaborations in that we’re very careful who we choose to do them and we think about the ideas offered very closely, but then we just totally let go and let the directors follow their vision. It’s always a bit of a surprise to us to see the final result. The aesthetic has been pretty DIY so far because that’s always made the most sense. We’re not opposed to something slicker, but it would have to feel right with the song.

DJ : Favourite tour moment and/or city? Least favourite tour moment and/or city?

WHB : Our little USA tour last year was really cool. SXSW festival in Texas was amazing and we always love being in New York and LA, so playing both those cities was cool. Moscow is a lot of fun too, total chaos in the best way. We really don’t have a least favourite city. Anywhere with bad sound is upsetting, so whenever we’ve had that it’s not a good moment.

Posted by : Erin Pehlivan