Mayday Parade interview (with Jake Bundrick)

Mayday Parade
Mayday Parade release their full-length album, ‘Mayday Parade’ on October 4. Read the exclusive interview with drummer Jake Bundrick here on!

Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade release their full-length album, ‘Mayday Parade’ on October 4.

Co-produced by Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, Mayday Parade marks a return to their songwriting roots; the entire album was self-written in a collaborative effort by the five band mates. The 12-song collection transpired through careful introspection and it echoes the musicians’ maturation over the two years since their second album, Anywhere But Here. The band chose to pen each of the songs themselves, making the album perhaps their most personal to date, complete with relatable lyrics and their undeniable charm.

The band is also set to hit the road on a headlining tour. Kicking off on the East Coast on October 13, The Noise Tour powered by Journeys features support from We Are The In Crowd, You Me At Six, There For Tomorrow, and The Make.

Mayday Parade is vocalist/piano Derek Sanders, bassist Jeremy Lezno, guitarists Alex Garcia and Brooks Betts and drummer/vocalist Jake Bundrick.

Read the exclusive interview with Jake Bundrick here on!

Jenny May: How did the band name “Mayday Parade” come about?

Jake Bundrick: We honestly just stuck two words together that we enjoyed at the time. I enjoyed the word Mayday and we just happened to be up on the rooftops of a Tallahassee building watching a parade when we put the two words together.

Songkick recognized Mayday Parade as the hardest working band of 2010 with 194 logged tour dates – what are your thoughts about touring and being on the road as much as you are?

For me, I have my moments of loving every second of it but the older I get the more I start wishing I could be home more often. Yet, right now I don’t even have a home. I’m 28 years old still living with my parents. I’d love to purchase a house one day but we don’t make a ton of money doing this and we’re only home a few months out of every year. It says we did 194 shows but it doesn’t actually say how long we were on the road. That doesn’t include off days, rehearsal days or travel days. So we’re away on the road much longer than that. Don’t get me wrong, I still love performing every night. I haven’t found anything in life that beats that feeling.

How do you spend your time while you’re on the road (when you’re not onstage)?

I’m the guy in the band that likes to stay in shape. I spend a few hours a day exercising either running or lifting weights. I mostly do that because we all like to hang out after shows. We drink our fair share every night. That’s the fun part of being in a band. You get to hang out with your best friends every night. After 5 1/2 years of touring, we’ve met tons of friends on the road who come to the shows just to hang out. It’s a lot of fun. There’s always a ton of video game action going in the back lounge. We’ve been huge FIFA 11 fans lately.

You guys are from Florida; what is the Floridian music scene like? Do you get a chance to check out bands there? Who have you seen recently?

The Florida music scene is pretty crazy. A lot of amazing bands have come out of Florida from Underoath to Dashboard Confessional to New Found Glory. All bands we grew up listening to and loving. One band in Florida that stands out to me right now is a band called Select Start from Tampa. They’ve changed their sound entirely to something unique and great! At certain parts of their songs, every dude in the band sings a cappella. It’s fresh and worth listening to.

What are your hobbies?

Mine are writing music, playing video games, exercising, going to college football games (FSU) and every once in a blue moon I get to play golf.

If you had to settle down tomorrow, what city would you choose to live in permanently? What is it about the city that you like?

If it were my choice, I would easily move to Bradenton, Florida. Why? Because my friends down there are real, loving people that would stay by your side no matter what. Plus, it’s a beautiful place with amazing beaches and the girls you see in bikinis are worth the visit. 😛

How long did you take to record your new album, ‘Mayday Parade’? Where did you record – and how was recording this album different from your previous albums?

We recorded this record in Marietta, GA (a suburb north of Atlanta). We starting writing songs for it about 6 months before we rented a house in Panacea, FL to rehearse and conform the songs. It took us a couple of months after that to record it all. This album was different mainly because we wanted to go back to our roots and write a record we loved. We told the label (Atlantic at the time) that we wanted to write our own record. On ‘Anywhere But Here’, Atlantic made us co-write for every single song accept one (“I Swear This Time I Mean It”). Although we love the record and think it has great songs, co-writing wasn’t what we wanted to do. We decided to play ball because we saw what the label did for Paramore and we wanted that more than anything. On this record, we said no to co-writes and wrote everything ourselves like we did on ‘A Lesson In Romantics’. We don’t think there is anything wrong with co-writing whatsoever but we just knew it wasn’t for our band.

Gimme Summer Ya Love Tour Blog 2 – watch video:

You have quite a dedicated fanbase! At what lengths will some fans go, to get your attention?

Our fans are awesome! Every once in a while you get the crazy ones haha. But none of them are crazy enough to do something inappropriate to get your attention. Most of them just scream in excitement. Even the dudes. haha

What are some of your favorite movies that you’ve seen in the last couple of years?

Forrest Gump is still my favorite movie to date. Inception was a phenomenal movie to me. Ben Affleck surprised me with his directing/acting in The Town. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in Black Swan were flat out perfect! I’ve got a thing for Mila.

Have you had songs in movies? What movie genre do you think suits your music?

Hopefully one day we’ll have a song in a movie but as yet, no. I think it’s safe to say most of our songs would fit perfectly in a romantic/comedy or a sad movie. Kids listen to most of our music because it’s heartfelt or sad. We’d fit perfectly in any sad moment in a movie.

What is your idea of paradise?

Well, one T.V. commercial tells me paradise is drinking a Corona on a beach with a beautiful woman. I’d say paradise is drinking ten Coronas on a beach with ten beautiful women who are also drinking Coronas. If Johnny Depp were there that would be sick too. How else would I get 10 beautiful women around me? haha

Photo credit: Daniel Shippey

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Juju from Little Fish exclusive interview

Little Fish
Oxford band Little Fish is set to release their new single “Wonderful”. The band has experienced quite a lot in the last couple of years. After making a name for themselves here in Oxford, they signed to Linda Perry’s label Custard Records/Universal, spent some time in LA recording their debut album ‘Baffled and Beat’, received rave reviews, and toured with such acts as Supergrass, Juliette Lewis, Alice in Chains and Placebo.

Little Fish

Oxford band Little Fish is set to release their new single “Wonderful”. The band has experienced quite a lot in the last couple of years. After making a name for themselves here in Oxford, they signed to Linda Perry‘s label Custard Records/Universal, spent some time in LA recording their debut album ‘Baffled and Beat’, received rave reviews, and toured with such acts as Supergrass, Juliette Lewis, Alice in Chains and Placebo.

Lucky for Oxford fans, Little Fish is back in town, releasing their new single as an independent band, with help from local talent, doing as much as they can with the release locally.

Band members are: Juju (vocals/guitar), Nez (drums) and Ben (Hammond organ).

Jenny May: Has Oxford always been your home?

Juju: For most of my life, Oxford has been my home, although I have family in France who I am very close to, so I do consider France to be my home also.

Do you spend much time checking out Oxford bands? Who have you seen play in the last few months?

We have spent the last six months doing lots of small acoustic shows in and around Oxford because although we were recording new material, we didn’t want to be all boxed up in a room by ourselves all of the time. We like to meet people, go out and play. We met a lot of musicians and saw lots of bands on the scene. There is a strong music scene in Oxford. The Blessing Force is making waves, and my personal favourites BF bands are Pet Moon and Chad Valley. Another band who aren’t in the force but are certainly blessed with talent and will undoubtedly go far is Spring Offensive. They are captivating to watch and play beautiful music. I also have a big soft spot for the lovely Family Machine. Oxford is buzzing with great bands. It is a great city for music. I am sure all of these bands will make great records.

Where in Oxford is one of your favorite places to go if you want to just chill out?

We have a great local deli called Jacobs and Field that we love to go to. It just won Deli of The Year. It sources most of its foods locally, which I think is really important to retain a sense of community, keeping local independent farmers and stores alive. The people who run the place are always welcoming and friendly. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

What was it that made you pick up the guitar and write your first song?

I wanted to be part of the music class at school but I wasn’t allowed to join the class unless I learned to play an instrument. The week I was told this by the teacher, the class homework was to write a song and so after school, I went to the music shop, bought myself a chord book, borrowed a guitar from a friend and forced myself to learn some chords. It was then that I wrote my first song. The song was a great success and my music teacher asked me to perform it at a class recital. I never looked back. I have been writing songs ever since.

When Little Fish released the debut album, ‘Baffled and Beat’, you were signed to Linda Perry’s label Custard Records/Universal in LA. How did she hear about you, and what was the time period from meeting her to signing to the label?

Linda heard our demo of the song ‘Sweat ‘n Shiver’ that we had put up on Myspace (we no longer have a Myspace account btw) and within a week of hearing it, cancelled her holiday to Hawaii and flew over to England. She came to see us play in a small rock pub in Oxford called The Wheatsheaf. She then flew us to LA for a week, just to play around in her studio and record some more demos and within a month of meeting her we were offered a deal.

When you went to LA, what was your daily routine like?

When we went out to LA to make the record we were given no free time whatsoever. We were in the studio from morning to evening, most days of the week. We tried to get the album recorded as fast as we could. There was always a big sense of pressure as ‘time is money’.

In the morning, I would wake up early and go for a swim. First thing in the studio would be to decide on a song, then get a drum sound going, then a guitar sound, and then whoosh, record. Sometimes, if I didn’t have a song ready, I would have to write the song in the morning to be recorded that same day. Luck’s Run Out, Bang Bang, You, Me and the TV and Sorry State were all written and recorded on the same day. Recording this way was very high pressure and very intense, especially for a first record.

On the one day off that we had in LA whilst recording the record, we went to see Patti Smith and I got to meet her back stage. Meeting Patti Smith was quite a surreal experience.

Did you meet other bands or artists while you were in LA?

I had the great pleasure of meeting Sierra Swan, a solo artist who has made many records because she was recording in the studio next door to ours. We got on really well. We didn’t have much time to do anything else whilst we were out in LA, although we did get to meet a drunken Christina Aguilera. That was quite an experience.

How did it come to be that you’re no longer working with Linda Perry and Custard Records?

Custard lost their funding from Universal and so they simply couldn’t give us the money that we had signed for. We then had the option to leave the label, which we did. Our time with Custard had come to an end and it was all very amicable.

Do you stay in touch with Linda?

No I haven’t, because she is doing her new thing and I wanted us to get away from her world. We were in it for a while but now we want to do things our way and find our own independence and voice. I think being in a big industry wheel, for me, made me lose my way a little. I want to get back to earth and walk the path that I create rather than the one I am told I have to walk down. I do think that Linda is an exceptionally talented woman and I wish her nothing but more success as she continues to make great music. Since the label breakup, she herself formed a band and hit the road. Check out Deep Dark Robot. I love how times change. That’s life. We all move on.

Little Fish – Wonderful video:

I’m sure your fans are excited to know that you have a new single coming out. “Wonderful” sounds GREAT – along with the excellent animated video. How are you handling the release of “Wonderful” – what’s different from before?

This time, we are fully independent. We have been recording in cellars and garages and doing everything as locally and independently as we possibly can. Gaz Coombes recorded Wonderful for us in his cellar and Valeska Hykel, artist of Blessing Force has been doing all of our artwork. We have also been working with Miranda Ward, a local writer, as we are in the midst of writing a book called The New Original Little Fish Paper Club Handbook. Oh, and we make our own jam…

What was the writing process for the album? Did the band write together, or do you bring the songs to the band?

I write the songs and then bring them to the band. This has mostly been the process but now, having Ben on board we are starting to write a little more together.

Little Fish Wonderful

Gaz from Supergrass recorded “Wonderful” (whole album?). How did you meet him? What was it like working with him?

We have only recorded “Wonderful” with Gaz. We met Gaz a few years ago when we toured with Supergrass. They gave us our first big tour. Over the years we have got to know each other as we are pretty much neighbours. We often end up at the same parties. Working with Gaz is a lot of fun as he is pretty chilled.

Who are five bands/artists that you’re listening to now that you would recommend?

Islet. About Group. PJ Harvey. She keeps Bees. Pet Moon. All of these bands/artists will give you soul. I love them.

“Wonderful” is out on the 26th September only as LIMITED VINYL and Wonderful T-Shirts. There will be a digital download available of the track with a COMIC BOOK. You can find all the information on our website

Little Fish Official Website
Little Fish Facebook
Little Fish Twitter

Guillemots review – Under The Bridge, Chelsea Football Club

An Evening Under The Bridge at Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, London.

Under The Bridge is one of my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, but now I can add it as one of my favorite places to be, too. Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, recently opened the 500-capacity £20million nightclub quite literally under Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge football stadium.

An Evening Under The Bridge
Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, London
Friday 11 March 2011


Under The Bridge is one of my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, but now I can add it as one of my favorite places to be, too.

Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, recently opened the 500-capacity £20million nightclub quite literally under Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge football stadium.

I was looking forward to the night not only because of the new venue, but also our friends Guillemots were playing. This is another gig amongst the secret shows they have been playing in a run up to their album release. The secret shows are a good idea and they also get the band used to the songs before they start to tour later this year.

Guillemots to play 4 secret shows: Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, London

The industry show they’re playing tonight though, is for the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) – so not many superfans to be seen – and most people probably aren’t here specifically to see the band.

After being treated to mini fish and chips in a basket that the waitresses were handing out, native New Yorker, turned London resident Julian Velard starts the entertainment rolling by playing quirky cheeky jazz/pop music on an electric piano. Good fun and a nice way to warm the crowd.

Guillemots follow him and start their set with songs from the forthcoming album Walk The River. It’s good to hear that they have nailed their new single “The Basket”, as the last time we saw them they left it out of the set calling it a work in progress. Well it has progressed and sounds like it could be a summer hit for them.




The light show is all about blue to go with the vibe of the CD. The sound is well balanced and not too loud. Compliments to the sound engineers who also work for The Specials. Guillemots play a blinding set mixing in a few old favorites such as Made Up Love Song #43, and that masterpiece Trains To Brazil. By this time they have won the crowd over and from where we are standing people are waving their arms, clapping along and shaking their legs in a good old London knees up.

I have to say that Dancing In The Devil’s Shoes is the stand out song from their new album Walk The River, and they played a perfect version of it tonight.

Finishing the set with Sao Paulo, Guillemots leave the crowd wanting more and retire to the dressing room to the right of the stage. I would say that Guillemots have to be one of the most inspiring bands in Britain today. Frontman Fyfe Dangerfield has a certain something, you know the X-thing that all greats have and I am sure he and his band will rise above the ranks in the forthcoming years becoming an important part of music history.

What an experience and what a night. You should go to Under The Bridge for an event, a night out. It has to be one of the best live music venues I’ve been to. Even the band was happy with their sound. The doormen were friendly and welcoming and I would like to thank Alan Tenenbaum, the Creative Manager of the club for providing us with a wonderful and memorable evening, and Guillemots for putting the soundtrack to it.

I have a funny feeling that we will be returning to this place soon, and not because I left my gloves there! No, this is one of those venues that leaves you feeling like it’s apart of where you should be.

Photo credits: Dave Tommo

Watch Guillemots – The Basket video:

Buy CDs, MP3s, more:

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Guillemots on

Guillemots Official Website
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Under The Bridge Official Website

By: Dave Tommo

DynamoTV LIVE event @ Juju review + episode ft Ian Brown – videos

Onlinefire – Panasonic DynamoTV LIVE event + final episode featuring Ian Brown.

Onlinefire sure knows how to throw a great party! The award winning, London based communications agency hosted the Panasonic TA1 Dynamo TV LIVE event that took place at the trendy Juju Bar on Kings Road, Chelsea.

DynamoTV LIVE at Juju
Of course, the star of the night was the UK’s top street magician Dynamo AKA Steve Frayne.

Onlinefire – Panasonic DynamoTV LIVE event


Final episode featuring Ian Brown

Onlinefire sure knows how to throw a great party! The award winning, London based communications agency hosted the Panasonic TA1 Dynamo TV LIVE event that took place at the trendy Juju Bar on Kings Road, Chelsea.

Of course, the star of the night was the UK’s top street magician Dynamo AKA Steve Frayne.

DynamoTV LIVE at Juju

I was looking forward to the night because it would be my first experience – up close and personal – watching a *real* magician performing magic tricks. And that it was.

Juju is an intimate bar, and Dynamo made his way through the crowd, entertaining guests with various tricks, and soon enough he made his way through to us.

DynamoTV LIVE at Juju

DynamoTV LIVE at Juju

DynamoTV LIVE at Juju

DynamoTV LIVE at Juju

Dave Tommo and I were sitting in a room of about 15 people, which included special guest fashion designer Karen Millen. Dynamo had each of us pick a card, look at it, then give it back to him without him seeing which one we had. Then after mixing up the deck, he gave us all back our card, which was cool to see in person.

One of the best tricks though, was when he took Dave’s empty beer bottle and put a 50 pence piece in it – and then took it out without breaking the bottle. I have no idea how he did it! You can see some footage of that in this short video – I’m in there too for a couple seconds, talking about Dynamo’s magic.

Watch video – DynamoTV Live – Dynamo working his magic at the DynamoTV Live event held at JuJu bar in Chelsea:

Watch the final episode of DynamoTV on YouTube – features Ian Brown from The Stone Roses:

The episode was captured on the Panasonic TA1 camcorder with Ian Brown taking a break from recording in the studio.

The video is the final installment of DynamoTV, which has seen Dynamo amazing the likes of Tinie Tempah, the Sugababes, Keith Lemon and rapper Example with his unique brand of magic.

Buy Electronics, Music, more:

Panasonic on

Panasonic on

DynamoTV – YouTube
Dynamo’s World website

Panasonic Official Website

By: Jenny May

Party Dark EXCLUSIVE interview: J-Rock and Randy

Party Dark is J-Rock and Randy, former members of the R&B / Hip hop chart toppers Big Brovaz.

Party Dark
Recently signed to Champion Records, Party Dark hit the UK Dance charts with their debut single “Is That You”. Set to release their latest club hit “Let’s Go”, the video is already being played on MTV, Kiss, Smash Hits and The Box. Read the exclusive interview!

Party Dark is J-Rock and Randy, former members of the R&B / Hip hop chart toppers Big Brovaz.

Party Dark

Recently signed to Champion Records, Party Dark hit the UK Dance charts with their debut single “Is That You”. Set to release their latest club hit “Let’s Go”, the video is already being played on MTV, Kiss, Smash Hits and The Box.

Party Dark interview with Jenny May

Jenny May: Is J-Rock from the States? How did you end up living in England?

J-Rock: Yes, I was born in Washington DC to parents of Ghanian descent. I ended up in the UK because of my parents deciding to move to this country to be closer to my Dad’s family who are actually Liverpudlians (from Liverpool).

What would make for the perfect party?

J-Rock: For me the perfect party consists of a great DJ line up, alcoholic beverages and all my best friends being in attendance. I love to party hard all night till the sun comes up!!!

Randy: Vibes always makes the party, so a good DJ playing Party Dark music is a must. Then you have to have the ladies. About 3-1 women to men ratio is about right. Good friends around is always better. Then last but by no means least the ah ah ah ah alcohol.

Where do you go to unwind?

J-Rock: If I can’t get away I love going to Alto, which is a night club just off of Carnaby Street in the West End. The vibe is always good in the club, and there is always a good mix of people who all come for one thing…to have a GOOD TIME!!!!

Randy: My mom’s place is the place for that. Always good food and friends round so it is really nice there.

What is your songwriting process? (Do you write lyrics together?)

J-Rock: Our song writing process is different in the sense that we love to come up with lyrics on the spot, which I guess comes from having a strong hip-hop/freestyle background. Sometimes we write individually and bring the ideas to the table, but usually we write together and bounce ideas off one another. It helps for consistency and holds us all together on the same wave length.

How and when did you first start performing music?

J-Rock: I’ve always wanted to be a performer, so I’ve always taken it seriously!!! I started performing at the age of 8 doing school talent shows and local events, and soon developed a passion for writing rap music and rhymes in general. I got my first break in music rapping on re-mixes for Damage, MN8 and Beverly Knight in the early 90’s when I was a teenager.

Randy: I used to mc as my friend dj’d on his bedroom equipment. He thought I was really good and told me. Started writing my rhymes down. I started writing, then the rest is history.

Watch “Let’s Go” video:

Do you enjoy video shoots? Do you have any input in the filming of your videos – location/concept etc.?

J-Rock: I absolutely LOVE doing music videos!!! There’s a certain satisfaction you get from putting images and movement to a song, even when the two don’t necessarily coincide. I love the videos when we get to have sexy models walking around in next to nothing the best, they always keep our spirits up (as well as other things).

Randy: I love video shoots. Especially the ones that involve us wearing costumes and doing some acting. It’s just a chance to have a bit of fun and have pretty girls dancing around me all day. We do have input but I usually like to get the director to get his vision across coz if I did get too involved there would just be half naked women everywhere.

You’ve recently signed to Champion Records. How has that been going?

J-Rock: Signing with Champion Records has been all good so far and I have no complaints. I think right now we’re helping each other in the sense that we’re both building our profiles at the same time and everything we do together has been mutually beneficial. We both (the label and the group) come from successful backgrounds, and we’re both passionate about getting back to where we were in terms of success, and we’re both making positive steps towards that.

Randy: I love Champion records. They allow us to be us and back us 100%. We both understand that this is a building process so nobody expects it to be an overnight success which allows us to be passionate about our music without worrying about single sales. We work well as a team.

Watch “Is That You?” – Official uncut video:

Your debut single “Is That You” is a great dance track. What was it like the first time you heard it played in a club? Where were you?

J-Rock: The first time I heard “Is That You” in the club, I brought it with me to the venue and insisted the DJ play it!!! It was immediately after we had recorded it and I was really excited and I wanted to see the crowd’s reaction when it came on. The place went crazy and everyone was bubbling to the tune!! I knew from that moment we were on to something special and potentially BIG…

Randy: We was in a club in Colchester when we first heard our track played. It was good to just see people going crazy not even knowing that it was our record. That’s the best way to gage a record. We just hide in the back and watch how people react. It is really fulfilling when your hard work is felt on the dance floor.

Do you miss Big Brovaz? Do you stay in touch with the other members? Will you ever reform?

J-Rock: I miss Big Brovaz immensely and more and more each day. I still talk to the girls who went on to become “Booty Luv” quite regularly. I think the fans might be pleasantly surprised to see a collaboration on the “Party Dark” album, and yes, maybe in years to come we will reform. Big Brovaz was more than just a group, we were like family and we always will be!!!

Randy: I do miss big brother in some ways and not so much in other ways. I miss the fans and the love they showed but I don’t miss the restriction imposed on us by the label creative wise. We all still stay in touch and as for a reunion you know what they say. Never say never.

Are you going to be on a TV show on Channel 4 soon? Which program and when will it air?

J-Rock: At present we are working with Maroon Productions and Channel 4, on potentially 5 new programmes which will be starting to air in 2011. I can’t go into the premiss of these shows yet, as they would like to keep that information secret for now, but as soon as possible I’ll be the first to spill the beans… 😉

Randy: We have written our own programme for C4. This is still in negotiation stage so can’t say too much about that but I can say this: “it’s amazing”. 🙂

Party Dark have done a mixtape with Choice FM’s DJ Hotsteppa which also features Bradley from S Club 7 MC’ing (full tracklisting/details on

Party Dark Vs. Hotsteppa MixTape:

Here are J-Rock and Randy’s top ten artist lists:

J Rock

10. Snoop Dogg
9. 50 Cent
8. Kanye West
7. Drake
6. Pharrell
5. Diddy
4. Notorious BIG
3. Lil Wayne
2. Eminem
1. Jay-Z

Ok Randy top 10 fave artist. Hard. Mmm…

10. Otis Redding
9. Stevie Wonder
8. 50 Cent
7. Biggie Smalls
6. Lauryn Hill
5. 2Pac
4. Jay-Z
3. Jodeci/H-Town (tied at 3rd)
2. Eminem
1. Michael Jackson
I prob forgot some people who I really love but that’s the jist of it. I love so many tracks so fave tracks is a lot harder. Let’s just say any song from anyone in my top 10 artists. 🙂

Buy CDs, MP3s, more:

Party Dark on

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Run Toto Run EXCLUSIVE interview

As mentioned in the Run Toto Run review, we were treated to a magical night out when the Manchester based electro band played in Oxford on their recent tour.

Run Toto Run
After talking with the band that night, I wanted to know more about them! Read the exclusive interview.

As mentioned in the Run Toto Run review, we were treated to a magical night out when the Manchester based electro band played in Oxford on their recent tour.

Run Toto Run

After talking with the band that night, I wanted to know more about them.

Run Toto Run band members: Rachael (vocals, drum pads), Mike (synths, backing vocals) and Matt (electronics, occasional violin).

Read the exclusive Run Toto Run interview with Jenny May on

Jenny May: We enjoyed your show at The Port Mahon in Oxford last Friday night. I’m sure we’re not alone in wanting to know when your debut album will be released? Are the demos going to be on the album?

Rachael: We’re looking for an early July finish date for the album, the demos will be on there, they’ll be tidied up, refined and mastered and they’ll be another 6 or so tracks. It might be a little longer before it makes it out into the public domain though.

Can you give us an idea of what the album might sound like?

Matt: That’s a very good question! It’s pretty hard to take a step back from what you’re doing and give an objective idea as to what it will sound like… demos ‘squared’ I guess – more and better! No doubt a few surprises too, we’re constantly growing exponentially as a creative unit – it’s around this time, in the final straight leading up to the completion of the album, that I think we will pull some tracks, mixing and production ideas, out of the bag that will surprise even us…. Oooo, mystery.

Where are you recording the album and what equipment are you using to record? Is there a producer involved?

Matt: In this respect we are uber DIY, we are the embodiment of musical Homebase… a kind of sonic Wickes. In this day and age; with some good knowledge, a few favours, and a laissez-faire attitude to rent payments, it is very possible for a mainly electronic band to make very professional sounding recordings at home. We run Logic pro 8, Reason and some other random bits and bobs… On a production front, we have experimented with external inputs – but we end up doing it ourselves. It’s another situation that is peculiar to electronic music I think, you have potentially limitless possibilities when it comes to deciding what actual sound you want from a line, your production choices end up being made in the writing stage… and if it aint broke!

Run Toto Run

You’ve just self-released your latest single “Hater”. Is there someone in the band that organises your tour schedule, release dates etc.?

Rachael: That would be me at the moment, it’s been fun, I think it’s meant we’ve done some very interesting gigs. I’m quite happy to let the reins go though and an indie are taking care of our next single which will be a nice break for me!

Mike: Rachael does work very hard though her curiosity has led us to some strange venues we’d never previously thought about playing. Still, it’s always an adventure.

Rachael: Like Scunthorpe, that was interesting.

Are you looking to be signed by a label?

Rachael: Yes, because they have the mechanisms to ensure people actually hear what we’re doing. It would be nice to have a little support, a bigger team around us and it would mean we only have to worry about making music.

Matt: I’m just in it for the lulz… If someone wants to give me some cash though I won’t say no.

Who are your influences?

Rachael: People like Hotchip, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Metronomy, The Knife, Bombay Bicycle Club etc.

Matt: Burial, Radiohead, PJ and Duncan, the XX, Micachu, Bowie, a lot of our unsigned peers… I think it’s safe to say our influences result in a sound that is more than the sum of its parts (see: PJ and Duncan).

Mike: Modeselektor/Moderat, Thom Yorke.

Run Toto Run

How did you become Run Toto Run? How long have you been together?

Rachael: We’ve been Run Toto Run for a while, over a year and we’ve sounded like this for probably about 6 months. We were all playing in various groups around Manchester and recognised qualities in each other that we admired.

Matt: Like a love of 90s Dance!… Oh wait, that’s just me.

What is your songwriting process?

Matt: Just playing silly little ideas straight into a Logic session and seeing what sticks, often the line that sparks the flow of ideas ends up being completely masked in the mix or discarded altogether… so it’s actually an interestingly organic process – but very much a studio writing environment.

How did you go from playing folk music to electro?

Matt: Couple the aforementioned laissez-faire rent paying attitude, with a guilt over stacks of relatively unused electronic equipment and you have all the impetus an electro band needs!

Mike: It snuck in as we started doing live sampling on stage with the acoustic instruments, then added keyboard parts. The impact of that sort of instrumentation made for sets with more of a lively vibe which we decided to expand on.

Did you play folk covers?

Rachael: We never started playing covers, I’d hate people to think we’d been a covers band when writing music is so important to us.

Watch video – “Sleepy Head” (Passion Pit cover):

You do a great cover of Passion Pit’s “Sleepy Head”…where did you get the masks that are in the video and how did you decide who wears which?

Rachael: Now this is what prompted the previous question, this cover was done as a promise to Dave Haslam that we’d do something different for our set at Manchester International Festival last year. We made a silly video for it and it went crazy online. I found the masks online and I think the boys suited the animals to their personalities 😉

Watch Catch My Breath video:

How long did it take to shoot the video for your single “Catch My Breath”? Did you have much input in creating it? Did you have fun? Where was it filmed?

Rachael: 24 hours solid. It was supposed to take 10 hours but over ran. I spent about 14 hours being dragged on my back. We worked with a very talented director Nick Bentley, when we work with creatives, it’s important to hook up with someone whose work we admire and to let them have their input, we trusted him with it.

Matt: Mike and I spent 24 hours with, essentially, a shell suit painted on each of our faces. 5am was CLOSE-UP TIME!

Mike: I have never wanted to scratch my nose so bad. Driving back through London at stupid am in the morning was very surreal too.

What movie, released in the last year or so, would you recommend?

Rachael: I loved Kick Ass, Alice in Wonderland and The Fantastic Mr Fox. I love Tim Burton and Wes Anderson films in general. Our song Margot and Richie’s the story of his protagonists in The Royal Tennenbaums and other than that I love zombie films, so anything with zombies in and I’m happy, Zombieland was great and I’m really looking forward to the next [Rec] film, the first one was great and has made me think there’s a zombie bricked up in our basement.

Matt: The Human Centipede.

Rachael: I don’t think Matt’s even seen the Human Centipede, I’ve not seen it and just his description of it nearly made me sick.

If you could have anyone remix one of your tracks, who would it be?

Rachael: Noel Edmonds.

Matt: Anyone except Noel Edmonds.

What’s the conversation like amongst band members in the car after a show?

Rachael: More often than not it’s a buzz about the show and about hanging out with old friends and making new ones.

Matt: It’s like a post-mortem – but with more booze and partying and fun… and less dead people.

If you could go anywhere to hang out for the day, where would it be?

Rachael: I’d pop off to Thailand, my friend just got back from there and it sounds amazing.

Matt: I’d hang with my slightly less evolved name-sake, Farthing, in Chester Zoo… She is awesome.

Mike: Japan! Too much cool stuff to buy out there.

Watch “Little Wonder” video – a David Bowie cover by Run Toto Run (commissioned by David Bowie’s publishers):

Comments – “We were asked to do a Bowie Cover, we took it one step further and tried to out-do the Passion Pit costumes. Thanks to Anna Kiely for the filming!”

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Run Toto Run on

Photo credit – 1, 3: Ted Park

Photo credit – 2: Karen Mcbride

For the latest tour dates, music and more, go to:

Run Toto Run Official Website
Run Toto Run MySpace
Run Toto Run YouTube
Run Toto Run on Twitter

Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) EXCLUSIVE interview + She Needs Me video

Guillemots frontman Fyfe Dangerfield has released his debut solo album Fly Yellow Moon.

Fyfe Dangerfield
I had a few questions for him.

Guillemots frontman Fyfe Dangerfield has released his debut solo album Fly Yellow Moon.

Fyfe Dangerfield

I had a few questions for him.

Jenny May: Hi Fyfe, hope you’re well.

Fyfe Dangerfield: Hey Jenny! Helloo .. hope you’re good too!

Why did you decide to record a solo album?

I didn’t really decide as such, I just had some free time before Christmas 2008 and thought I’d book 5 days in a studio with my friend Adam to demo some of the songs I’d written that year. And in doing that we ended up with a big chunk of what became the finished record – I think because we weren’t trying hard to perfect or construct anything as such, it came out quite, to our ears at least, fresh and raw sounding. Obviously not raw compared to Shellac or something, but raw in a kind of unpolished, simple way.

Fly Yellow Moon features a refreshing mix of sounds, beautiful instrumentation and I’ve always been a fan of your passionate and honest voice. What was the process of deciding which songs would go on the album?

Well thank you loads! We just recorded a lot and then tried to get a tracklist that worked. A lot of the tracks on the bonus album (there’s another 10 track album included in the special edition, which will hopefully then be released digitally later in the year) are to my ears just as good as ones on the main album, in fact I prefer some of them! But there was a real sort of narrative, in my head, to the record, it was really important to me from the start that it started and ended with the tracks that it does. Which caused some debate in circles around me, but I’m glad I stuck to what I thought in this case. I think generally when you have a gut feeling like that it’s right.

Who are the musicians playing on the album?

I’m playing guitars, bass, keys and stuff, and there’s two different drummers – Jamie, from the Noisettes, and a guy called Matt Ingram. Both are very different sorts of drummer, and both are wonderful. . it was really lovely working with some new people – you realise how much influence it has, who you decide to work with. . both of them had a massive impact on the tracks they play on .. but at the same time, working with Jamie and Matt, lovely as it was, made me appreciate what a special relationship I have with Greig [from Guillemots] as a drummer. You get different things out of working with different people, and I’ll definitely work with both of them again in the future, but at the same time, Greig’s undoubtedly the most unique drummer I’ve ever encountered. It’s a lovely position to be in as a songwriter where you can play things with different people. It’s sort of like being able to suddenly change the interior of your house at a moment’s notice.

Anyway, beyond that, it’s then just some string and brass players here and there. Bernard Butler plays guitar on She Needs Me and Laurence the studio assistant at the studio where we were finishing off some of the stuff in 2009 whistles on “High on the Tide”, because I can’t whistle!

How did it work out that you would work with (some of) them?

Well Jamie I just knew from ‘the circuit’, if you like. . we’ve known the Noisettes for a while, and I did a Rock Against Racism thing with Jamie and Drew from Babyshambles a couple of years back. Matt, I’d done a demo session with Emmy the Great with him once, and also Urchin, where we recorded – which we got put onto by a friend of a friend – turned out to be his studio… and an amazing studio it is, one of my favourites ever. A little wee place, but the atmosphere there is great.

Fyfe Dangerfield - Fly Yellow Moon

Why did you name the album Fly Yellow Moon?

It’s the first line of “So Brand New”, which I think maybe sums up the record the most if I had to choose one track. It just seemed like a nice phrase to attach to the record as a whole, it somehow fits the way it sounds, to my ears anyway.

Will you be touring as a solo artist throughout 2010?

I’ve just done 4 shows in the UK last week, which were really really fun – by the last couple I felt I was really getting into my stride. I’m hopefully going to America in March for a couple of weeks, and then maybe some more shows in the UK later in the year. We’re not quite sure yet, we’re just going to sort of see what feels right. I definitely hope I’ll be doing some festivals in the summer, probably the smaller, nicer ones!

You’re involved with another music project, Gannets. How long has that been going and who is involved?

That’s been going a good few years now. It’s Chris and Alex who were the old Guillemots saxmen, my cousin Steve Noble on drums, and Dom Lash on double bass, and me on keyboards. My main thing with Gannets is I want us to get a record out this year, it’s just hard finding the time to mix down the various sessions we’ve recorded. Playing in Gannets is great fun though. It’s entirely improvised, so some gigs are much better than others, but it’s worth it for the gigs where we really hit it. And it’s just very fun, it’s far from being a chin-stroking “new music” group or anything. I always imagine a tiger running into a 1920s business meeting or something.. it’s that sort of gear for me.

Watch “She Needs Me” video:

It seems you have a fascination with birds. A Guillemot is a bird, Gannets are birds. Is it a fascination or something else? When did this begin?

I love birdwatching, but the name thing is just because I’m terrible with names, and I guess it just makes it easier – “okay, let’s name it after a bird”.

I’m sure fans will be wondering when the next Guillemots album is coming out…? Will you be recording another Guillemots album? How’s it going?

Hopefully we’ll be starting to record in the next couple of months. We’ve got a bit more writing and rehearsing coming up and at the same time we’re talking to producers and trying to find the right person to work with at the moment. We’ve been writing for nearly a year now so have loads of stuff we’ve amassed – I think we all feel we have it in us to make something really really special but we maybe need a bit of help from someone to tie all our ideas together. I’m currently trying to write some songs for the band too – which I haven’t done for a while as we enjoy writing together so much. But I feel sort of ready again to try bringing in some stuff to Guillemots, so that’s a new challenge for me too.

If you could spend the day anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Oh, I can think of many places but that’s my secret.

Who would you love to see cover one of your songs?

Neil Young. That would send me through the roof.

Buy Music:

Fyfe Dangerfield on

Fyfe Dangerfield on

For the latest music, tour dates and more, go to:

Fyfe Dangerfield Official Website

Guillemots Official Website