We Have Band
Electro-rock three-piece We Have Band first caught our attention a couple of years back when they lit up indie discos across the land with their impressive debut. The follow-up arrived at the end of January, and finds the Londoners adding a darker edge to their dancefloor-friendly sound.
The trio are currently busy touring the UK but we managed to persuade singer Dede Wegg-Prosser to take time out to answer a few of our questions. Hear what she had to say below!
Congratulations on Ternion! How was the writing and recording experience, and did you fall prey to dreaded second-album syndrome?!
Thank you very much! We didn't feel any pressure. We actually started working on the second album whilst touring the first album. Thomas would set up on his laptop on trains and the tour bus, and we'd often record vocals ideas in hotels rooms. We continued during any time we had off and then we started working with Luke. So it was a slow, relaxed process, which we enjoyed.
We actually don't think about musical peers to be honest. We respect the bands you mentioned but, as a group, we don't really think about where we sit. We’re three individuals with vast musical taste but I guess we bonded over people like ESG, Michael Jackson, TV On The Radio and The Rapture.
If you had to pick a standout track on the record, which would it be and why?
It’s difficult to choose a standout track… But the centre piece would be ‘Steel In The Groove’. It falls in the middle of the album, and it's a real wig-out, lose control moment, with a party vibe.
Can you sum-up your sound in one sentence?
I would say we’re dark disco.
He’s great. He allowed us to express ourselves and he pushed us. He had a lot of drum machines and analogue equipment, which added the darker underbelly of the album. He has the attitude that you can try anything and, even if you don't use something, it's a journey and all experiments ultimately help you to get where you want to go. It was a liberating emotional experience.
What was your artistic goal for this record? And do you feel you’ve achieved it?
I guess the goal was to do something different, something that represents where we were at that time. The first album we were more DIY bedroom and we sang about nonsense. This album had more depth and we made a conscious effort to sing about experiences and emotions we’ve been through over the past three years; all the highs and lows.
Being a married couple in a band must have its challenges; is that what you’re reflecting on in ‘What’s Mine, What’s Yours’? And how do you cope with the pressure and lack of privacy that comes with touring together?
‘What’s Mine, What’s Yours’ was actually written by Darren about a relationship he had that blossomed and died within the life of this band! But we feel very lucky to work together and we've always spent a lot of time together. Being married and in a band and touring together is certainly not conventional and it can be hard. But we have a strong partnership and we enjoy the variety.
It's important to find time alone though: the three of us spend a lot of time together and in the early days we even slept in the same room on rare occasions! We sometimes bicker like siblings, but there’ve been no real tantrums that I can think of. Usually we end up laughing.
You all used to work for EMI before deciding to form a band. Having experience in the music industry, did you think you could do better than the bands you were working with? And why did you choose to sign with an indie instead of a major label?
Working at a record label sounds more glamorous and influential than it actually was, we all had not-very-exciting desk jobs! We certainly weren’t instrumental in any band’s career; we were small cogs in a very big wheel. The main things we took from the experience were good friendships, and access to some great gigs and music. But that's as far as it goes. I guess, if you’re a painter, you might work in an art gallery; people gravitate to what interests them. Choosing to work with Naive wasn’t a reaction to working with a major label, it was a decision based on the good connection we have with them. They liked our sound and they respected us; they leave us to be creative, yet they’re supportive.
You've been touring heavily this past year. What do you most and least look forward to when you head out on the road?
Hmmm, touring is quite chaotic, so you need to hold on to as much routine as possible. We least look forward to messy tour buses, laundrettes and a lack of sleep.
What’s been your favourite record of the past twelve months?
Ohhh that's a tough question! Wild Beasts’ Smother, The Horrors’ Skying, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake, Body Talk by Robyn, Tune-Yards’ W H O K I L L, The Fool by Warpaint… Blimey, the list could go on and on!
And whose record are you most looking forward to hearing this year?
What are your plans for 2012 and your ultimate ambitions for the band?
I guess to tour and play to as many people as possible. Ultimately, we don't know what the future holds, but we just want to grow as a band and have fun.