Wednesday, December 7, 2011


JAPAN! does this mean stuff to you?:::::

14th December, Osaka


大阪市中央区東心斎橋 1-12-20 心斎橋シキシマビル B1F, Osaka

15th December, Tokyo


166-0003 東京都

it says, awesome party time with Johnny Foreigner and Ringo Deathstarr yes?

We're not leaving tokyo till th 20th, so someone please feel free to come tourguide us. we are broke but easily led. also, christmas shopping.

Monday, November 21, 2011

You vs You vs Everything

hello everyones!

so, we're still pretty dazed from last week; those two shows were pretty amazing life highlights and an awesome launch for our record.

we have a plugger now, (hi oli!) so you may have heard our new single on The Radio like real bands, or on some tv football montage like The Enemy.

Lewes has recovered two faded sketches, of the views from the window and ship from our record cover. We've made a lush a3 double sided poster out of them, and that is this seasons format of choice. They're super limited cos frankly, posters are a bitch to post.

You'll also get a downloady of The Actual Music,
here is tracklist:

1) You Vs Everything (radio edit)
2) PS, Not Soon Enough
3) Johnny Foreigner Vs The Hipster Garden Party
4) If I'm the most famous (robot) boy you've fucked, then honey, yr in (robot) trouble

Cos we're clearly being criticised for not releasing enough songs, track 3 is an entire live set. Well, an 18 minute set. and we're drunk. and it really was a garden party. in france. but, y'know, it should silence the naysayers who think we espouse quality over quantity.

Anyway, you can only buy it from the Alcopop store from Friday onwards, and Banquet Records in Kingston. New Slang, it has been far too long since we played, so, as a little mini celebration, we're playing you on the 8th December. Think of it as a going away party, we can bore you with our tokyo sightseeing plans.

And, seeing as, according to MTV we're the planets no 5 most talked about band [EDIT - is now 3rd and im not looking anymore], we'd like to present some Music Videos like what mtv used to run. its probably best to click thru to youtube to watch them cos of our painfully thin text field.

You Vs Everything, by Moral Hangover, using footage from Johnny Foreigner Vs London

PS, Not Soon Enough, by Ben Rausch, using footage from our European Obliteration tour last summer.

OKcool, Off to france then. Here's our dates again, SI TU EST FRENCHAIS:
Lille, La Peniche, 24th November

Paris, L'International, 25th November (MAIS OUI , LA DRUM-CAGE!)

L'Orient, Cafe Culturel Mapl, 26th November

Brest, Caberet Vauban, 27th November

and lastly, i'd like to give the cape of Awesome Song Titles back to Andy Falkous. sorry, was just seeing how it looked..

Thursday, November 10, 2011

John Foreigner Mixtape Explosion is Number One!

our launch shows are going to be so rad. But! have you bought your significant other a ticket, knowing that he/she doesn't necessarily keep up with those funny little bands you like?

fear not, just download these songs and you can be like, babes, i made you a mixtape. the buy set option just goes to the alcopop store (this isn't really an alcopop release, we just can't let you all rinse our dropbox) so you have to dl each song seperately. don't you dare complain cos this is how i had to buy lifter pullers entire back cat, and this whole saving your relationship act of ours is FREE.

or, yknow, you can just dl it yrself and be alone forever, but with an awesome set of songs courtesy of the bands we're playing with this weekend and strong jack pop...

hey, also, before you hear the exclusive brand new unheard song of ours thats tacked on the end and accuse us of playing nice chords on acoustic guitars, you should know it was made entirely by robots.

the official JFvsE launch shows mixtape by alcopop

k if that wasn't enough mixtape options for you, go here for a free dlable compilation from all of us thanks to Gold Flake Paint, and here to see what i said after WHA?, when Q asked me for a playlist of "bands that were "probably big in japan"

i am so late for practice now you guys.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

i! refuse! to die in your arms!

yo! It's compliment christmas round here, so thanks for all the lovely words everyone. I STILL havnt got a copy of the record or the book or the shirt, but i hear noones drowned yet so everythings just great.

i wrote a bunch of stuff about our record and like, WHAT IT ALL MEANS, for DrownedInSound here.

the shirts are all sold out now, but you can still get the record with the book here. When it's all gone then we're going to put it online, but IT WON'T BE THE SAME.


there's been some changes to our party shows this coming weekend.

changes of the GOOD+ kind
London This Saturday 5 - 10pm: Instead of Echo Lake, we have My First Tooth, Pandas & People, and cakes made by internet celebrity Julia Christmas and her mum.
Birmingham This Sunday 5 -10.30pm: Richard Burke is bringing a band. Not just any band, tho, THEE birmingham indie rock band. They're called The Starries. i'm pretty sure this reunion won't mean as much to any of you as it does to me and kel, but they're one of our favourite bands ever. we wouldn't exist were it not for these guys.

obviously we're fated never to sell out in birmingham, even if we have Stagecoach, Screaming Maldini, Calories, Ace Bushy Striptease, and The Fucking Starries supporting us, so, TICKETSSS

- those are nice posters, you are thinking. - they should print them up big and sell them exclusively at the shows.

OH OK THEN. first come first served at shows. if we have any left then a) my hypothetical internal dialogue sensor is bust and b) we'll put them on the merch store. Or paper our studio, idk. look out for another launch show present later this week.

early doors cos there's so many bands, early curfews cos of trains and so on and THESE ARE GOING TO BE THE SICKEST SHOWS EVER so come roadtrip.

stay close xlex

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Aunty Piracy, epilogue

Defeated The Leak Monster, 500 coin get.

totally proud of you guys. for a short while, we collectively Controlled The Internet. go team...

Aunty Piracy Measures picked up a whole bunch of press and publicity, and i think it half worked because of that. a terrible analogy, but, a burglar in a street and our house has the biggest beware the dog stickers.

We moved the goalposts a little; artrocker offered us a chance to stream the record the week before, and we learnt Japan releases stuff a week ahead, so we figured the best case scenario was too keep quiet about those things till they happened and expect it to be out there by tuesday night. and it took till thursday. WHAT KEPT YOU PIRATES?

anyway. amazing. all our social nodes are literally THRUMMING and people are taking notice and being all like OH WOW and this is a good thing. Couldn't have done it without all of you, and pretty much everyone that wrote to us hit a whole bunch of different internets. Defeated The Leak Monster, 500 coin get.

I did a Little Piece for Clash about it, and now it's become a standard question for interviews and is getting dead boring to explain. So regard that as the truth and anything about hacking into the uternet or using internal dialog sensors as pure whimsy.

Thomas Landis, Euan Lynn, Rob Robano, send us your adresses please, you have Won Stuff.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

i thought he was the small one, etc..

can you see us?

winner of stingle prize by sheer diversity and size of ant (or dec, idk), Mr Chris Youd, mail us yr address and we'll send you Good Things.


there are so many more pictures on les internets. and it'd be unfair to consider them but im not sure whether they're meant as entries or not. you kids today. what does "o alexei you so dank" even mean?

so, the rest of you have another week to send stuff to our email, titled EXACTLY WHY HAVE YOU BEEN LOOKING AT MY PICTURES ANYWAY, and we'll check again in a week and maybe throw out some more THINGS. k? okkk.

Friday, October 14, 2011

vs fucking everything

im so tired. ive spent the day on tubes and trains and buses, sittting in the rain outside the wichita offices with shit hair and a deep space 9 tshirt, and we've just finished filming a session for the cool people at moral hangover. by session, i mean, a rehearsal, only with dan dressed up in a skeletor mask throwing giant balloons around and exploding confetti in our faces whilst we played. i think more bands should do this when being filmed. have a dan, i mean.
anyway yeh so im too tired for proper grammar and wittisicmsmsms. here are some things you've been waiting for. but first, i have you all seen this stop motion video made by jacob tomlinson for 200x? cos you should. cos he made it for us for free and its The Greatest.

so yayer, here's the sales pitch:

our awesome new record. this is it. the cover we leaked was a lie, the record comes in an inked up card case, and will look like this:

here is what i wrote earlier about it, now you can preorder it and hold it in yr hand and cherish it forever. and you should, cos the first run comes with this:

Vs Everything (the transcript):

20 page full colour transcript. comic book sized. i feel obliged to mention that creating this book has literally ruined lewes, i'm sure we'll find funnier jokes after he's had xrays done next week. um, yeh. vs everything. lyrics, the story of the ship explained, and the most gorgeous and lavish and comprehensive artwork project we've ever done. photos from patricia rentschler and jun and you guys. here's some shrunky pages::

it basically turned from a fancy lyric sheet to another huge time consuming project after we found an awesome comic printing company and noone told us to stop. obvs we can't afford to keep making these with the records, so the CD will come with a 1sheet, and as soon as this run is gone we'll do links to pdfs. Can everyone send good energy vibes to Lewes and his body parts plz.

alcopop exclusive tshirt! them bits that are pink right, they're not pink, they're GLOW IN THE DARK. If you don't think that makes this our best shirt yet, you obviously Hate Fun.

Launch Shows!

Us, Stagecoach, Screaming Maldini, Echo Lake

upstairs at the garage, Saturday 12th November. 14+.
+ more fun tbc! finding all ages venues in london that aren't tiny or massive is stupidly hard. so we went for tiny. this is going to sell out hella fast, so all you underages should steal yr parents cards and book tickets now. tis being filmed, so overages plz dress sexy.

Us, Stagecoach, Screaming Maldini, Calories, Ace Bushy Striptease, Richard Burke
the flapper, Sunday 13th November. 14+
back home, with the best birmingham bands ever.

there's more stuff we're working on for these shows. including dans dad rigging up a sheet filled with more balloons in the ceiling, some exclusive posters and cake. will write more later in the week, but tickets for both are on sale now. book early to avoid bitching later.

obviously the best place to get All This Swag is Alcopop, go there for bundle discounts cos really, you should buy everything. but if you just want to guarantee tickets before they're gone, hit the links for each night. Antipirates, have yr discount and will mail them off today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

packing it, macking, bamboozling and smacking suckers with this track in.

its not everyday i write a blog post purely to reply to a tweet about an old song, but it's not everyday an actual bonafide pop star asks us a question. favouritism sure. but that's cos you didn't write the first song i learnt to play on guitar and this lady did. well, not technically i guess, that was some band called crackhead, (thanks youtube) but anyway

dear spinderella..

i guess it starts with this

being played about 500 times a day when our house first got satellite tv and leading me to confuse everyone who asks what the first song i ever learnt to play on guitar was.
(my 14 year old self is hanging over my shoulder saying, tell her it had nothing to do with the Sexy Foam Shots, we both know he is lying)

the song earned its name thru a string of coincidences. we named it when we wrote it; just as a working reference title, with junior in the middle with his tech stuff and me and kelly stood either side him with microphones, we looked sort of like youse did. ( by sort of, i guess i mean more than normal, most of our songs = loud abrasive guitar pop)

its set inside / outside a late night chipshop (idk what that'd translate to. fast food. greasy post nightclub fried junk) that i realised was called salt and pepper, so the name kinda stuck for a bit longer.

we didn't even think it'd end up being on the record. we wanted to make the end all loud and guitary but we were already in preproduction with an albums worth of stuff, it wasn't priority. then we played it for our producer and he was like, hey, why don't you spend a bit of time making the end all loud and guitary...

it was the last song without an official title. we recorded in new jersey and we got to america a day early, so we were forced to spend the night on couches in the studio. We watched some cable documentary about saltnpepa, and you seemed, idk, a bit underappreciated. (blushes)

so the title stayed as a tribute to you (and because "spinderella" is fun to say) and confused a whole bunch of people. now including yrself, so i guess now the coincidence story has come full circle.

flattered you like it tho! idk when we're back next, our last american tour still exists as a black hole in our bank account. but im sure it'll happen and we'll invite you to a show


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

aunty piracy measures

yay you guys, it's interactive band time again.

im going to assume you've read this, which was kinda the impetus to try this little experiment yr all invited to.

tldr, this guy [captain leaky] had an advance review copy of our record, and has been sending it to his mates. and one of them wrote to us and i wrote him back explaining how it had nothing to do with the - O I WAS GOING TO BUY IT ANYWAY - and how reliant we are on everyone simultaneously buzzing about it come release week, because thats when the wider world is going to be looking at us.

honestly i feel a twinge of guilt here. we have become the empire. because its YOU, you who reads this blog and champion our cause and get all righteous with us, that wants to hear the record the most/is the most susceptible to leak temptage. and its also YOU that we're relying on to make a big internet hoohaa when it comes out.

i know two months is a massive wait. we've never had a release this ambitious, we've never released over 3 territories (uk, europe, japan) at the same time before, the deluxe album package we're putting together is FUCKING AMAZE and requires more time and effort. Basically, for once, we have our asses organised and have enough time to actually pull this off, and it could so easily be ruined by YOU if yr the kind of person always demands his/her christmas present early.

The nature of what we do means we have to compete with bands and labels with much bigger financial clout than us. and yknow, i'd like to think we do it because we have more committed (and better looking) fans. so, y'know, please dont let us down. this whole thing works as a community, so you can celebrate with all of us in november, or on yr own in a dank and morally grey corner of the internet.

anyway, i'm sure a few of you are as cynical as i am. it's going to happen anyway right? there's no way we can contain all the leaks. it's depressingly true. someone, somewhere, is going to be a bastard.

but! what if we were bastards first? what if we took the power and leaked the record ourselves?

bam. fuck you pirates.

hey, not really. but sort of. the link above is our album, + 4 distortion patches, 3 echo plug ins, 2 flangers, and a deep swell phaser. it's basically an hour of this: fssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssssSSHHHHHHHHH

i'm sure you've seen a few bands try this before. its a rad idea. but it doesn't really work, cos most aggregator sites, filestube, rapidsearch, etc search through blogs and forums, not the filehosting pages themselves.

can you see where this is going? you are a weapon. we can aim you.

we'd like you to download that link, then reupload it somewhere and post a link in a forum or on yr blog. feel free to add in some kind of "this is totally messed up and i'm doing it cos i believe in the power of punk rock" disclaimer text.

if we can flood the search engines with a bunch of fake copies then it'll make it way harder to get the real thing when it eventually leaks.

this is maybe a minute of clicking and 5 minutes waiting, then another minute of clickage on your part. here's a list of sites that host stuff for free, where you dont have to sign up or register. thanks, piracy, for being such a big part of the internet that we have these minimum security fast websites.

feel free to change the filename to make it more confusingly realistic;
-add words like "ADVANCE" and "review copy" and "FULL RELEASE" etcy.
-a lot of pirate groups have a dumb selfserving tag or team name they attach too. feel free to invent yr own.

then, when yr done, get the link and put it in whatever forums you use, or on yr blog, or yr god damn tumblr, or on 4chan..

anyway, prize element: everyone who takes part, and sends us proof will get a code from jack for 50p off the preorder when we annouce it. I know it's not a whole lot, but we hope you'll take part cos you realise how much this means to us, as opposed to the financial reward. consider it yet another token of appreciation from our responsible adults.

whoever deals the most damage will recieve, from us, the original recovered-from-the-sea-bed 1920s playbill that forms the basis of the book that accompanies the special edition album release.
i know you dont know what i'm talking about but i've already said too much too soon. if it gets to a heated competition then we'll throw in some other original bits of artworks too. send linky or screencappy proof to
and title the message Me Vs Pirates

i don't think any bands ever tried this before. im not sure most bands have the kind of fans that would even care, but we're not most bandsso y'know, consider yrselves punk pioneers, and go do us proud.

thank you


anti piracy measures. (prologue)


so later i'm going to give details of how We Need You in The Fight Against Pirates. but first; this guy sent us a mail. someone had sent him an illegal copy of our record and he'd realised how much it meant to us and deleted it. and it was genuinely touching. Like some morality tale of this kid who stole sweets then went to the sweet shop full of remorse to apologise and give the half chewed sweets back. I'll call him Speedball, cos i know my Marvel Universe History.

Thanks Speedball. I wrote you a reply. I'd rather post it here as part of our ongoing campaign to speak the truth in this business of lies. Everyone is tempted by leaks, and too often i see people succumb on the basis of - hey fuck off imma going to buy it anyway -

and whilst that might be true, it don't really make the difference they think it does.

so this is what i said:

Hi. thanks for writing. it means a lot.

i see yr point and i do exactly the same thing to my friends who work in press/play in bands cos im too impatient to wait. but [Captain Leaky] had no right to send you stuff whatever his motives, and we explicitly trusted him not to.

its kinda gutting. cos he obviously likes us and would probably write positive things. and y'know, i'd assume, cos he's a fan, he reads our blog, he knows how much we have riding on this, and how important the release impact - all our awesome fans being bedazzled and buzzing about it AT THE SAME TIME - is to our future prospects. i also understand the social kudos in being The Dude That Gets Stuff Early. at some point he had to weigh up what was more important to him; our future or his ego. and he chose his ego, and he used my work/art as a bartering tool. thats a seriously cunty thing to do, whatever the outcome.

that guy is (was) on a list of people who write music reviews and are trusted to have review copies of things prior to release. it's a weird position of power, you could very easily sink a whole campaign if you were evil/stupid enough. it's not about what his intentions or motives were, its more that he'd break the trust he has with people who send him promos. cos, we're relying on that trust to be able to afford being a band.

everyone thinks of release dates and leaks in terms of sales, and in the last few years especially it's become misdirection. a leak isn't the same as a lost sale, and noone seriously buys music any more anyway. it doesn't worry us too much. and y'know, it encourages lazy bands to give more of a shit about their end product, which is always A Good Thing.

what will seriously damage us tho, is, for want of a better term, dissipated hype.

Our absolute worst case scenario is the record leaking in the next few weeks, and then come november, promotors and agents and all the Industry Cunts we rely on checking our facebook and thinking, shit, there's not that many people excited about this record.

and it won't be because people aren't excited, but they'll have heard it a month ago, processed it, already discussed it in less public forums, and be waiting for the wider world to catch up.

specifically, thats you i'm talking about; not "people what like our band", but you (comparatively) tiny % of absolute babes who actually, genuinely care about us and what we do - all the fyjf kids spread over the world who say ridicolously nice things about us and fill our egos, the noise you'll hopefully make in that week when you all hear the legal stream of our record and are all simultaneously internetting about it is our best weapon in the war for more gigs and better gig fees, and more radio plays, tv syncs, more offers to go tour

so i hope you understand, we're not mad at you for wanting this record. fuck, i'd go as far as to say we're relying on it, in exactly the same way a major label shitty bland indie band relies on press adverts and fluff pieces, to make enough noise that the outside world listens to us and hopefully pays for kellys amp to be fixed, etc.

and i hope you also understand why we desperately need to control and channel the hype, and thus the content, as much as we can. We don't have the budget to run big adverts in the press, we're not about to tone our stance down for the mainstream, and we literally cannot afford to take the hit on this campaign. For us to have a decent shot at Making Money And Surviving, we need to focus everyone's first listen on the week of release, where it'll be streamed and annotated and presented in this right context.

i hope this doesn't jade yr perspective of us. as much as we're desperate for everyone to hear the record, we need everyone to get it at the same time so we can compete with all them major label bands who also play guitar pop songs and are arrogant enough to think they mean something.

take care

Monday, August 29, 2011

hands vs fangs


i dont know if hyperproud is a real word but thats what we are. we can now start telling you stuff about our new record. it was recorded and mixed over a luxurious 5 month period, by our old friend dominique james, and it sounds perfect. it sounds like a huge expansive sprawling ambitious and personal version of us. it sounds like we do in our heads. it's called, johnny foreigner vs everything, and will be available november 7th on alcopop.

here is a cover:
that's not thee cover btw. technically, the finished product will have 2 covers. you'll find out more, soon.

i hate these writeups. i can't sum up, in terms soundbytey or otherwise, how it feels to have made real something thats spent the last 2 and a half years hanging round our heads as rough ideas, plans, sketches and shadows. we've genuinely been obsessed with making this record. there's a hole in my life between 2 and 5 am, cos all the lyrics are finished, all the arrangements solidified and the mixes complete.

idk. it felt like we took a massive gamble leaving our old label. sure, we're free to be tru punx forever and we have so much moral high ground we can see right down yr top, but oh, all that other-peoples-money. we knew we'd have to come back with a better record on a worse budget to justify our stance, and when all yr armed with is confidence in a bunch of songs noone's actually heard yet, it makes for a pretty righteous victory to listen back after half a years stress and sweat and ruined sleeping patterns and realise we've fucking achieved it.

both our previous records were made in new york, by expensive and established producers, in purpose built studios full of boxes that did clever things to sound we can't pronounce. we made this in birmingham, in a warehouse under the arches and dom's parents spare room. we've never had this much control over recording, or been able to take so long, or had a producer that grew up with us buying the same records at the same time and whose mother constantly fed us square and balanced meals.

this record is us, made by us. it doesn't feel like a gamble anymore, is what i'm stumbling around to. there's this quote

also related, this is now a thing. a promotional youtube up onto which we shall upload various video larks pertaining to aforementioned AWESOME NEW RECORD. don't expect anything to make much cohesive sense. we'll be adding more and more up till release date

kkk. so would you like to hear some songs then? WOULD YOU EVER!

here is our next release: (don't) show us your fangs by johnny foreigner

because we're awesome, (and, y'know, have bandcamp) there's a limited number of free downloads of (don't) show us your fangs here.

but, because YOU are awesome, we'd much rather you did this.
see, all the things that are better than frisbees were too impractical/expensive to do. srsly, you have no idea the logistical problems involved in baking a cookie around a cd and posting it around the world.

so strong jack pop has come up with an alternative:
sticker + single = stingle. here's lewes's awesome skateboard sticker design:
you can't see here, but it's like, totally cut out around the ghost shape. this is what happens when we source stuff out to professionals instead of gluing our hands together in the back of splitter vans like special children. so, for £1.50 anywhere around the world, you'll get two of these stickers and a url to download both songs.

also, competitititition:
it would greatly enlarge our egos if these stickers got stuck in prominent public places, such as the hands of big ben or your mothers face. so we have some signed exclusive awesome art prints and a super deluxe album pack to give away (it's too early for details, but trust us, they're going to be amazing and sell out) to those who send photo evidence of stickers stuck in the best places. it's not mandatory, we just get a buzz out of making people perform possibly illegal tasks for swag.
send photos to -, and title the mail "mentioning my mother was a step too far". we'll send out prizes on album release day.

aannnnnndddddd if that wasn't sweet enough, if you'd like th songs before Mr The Postman delivers, include a URL to a picture of "any fantastic animal" when you order from alcopop, and jack'll send you the linkage as soon as he sees it.

This, ladies and gentlefolk, is why we're better than other bands you may like.

alsos, and running the limit of how much information about a band people can absorb in one sitting; the excellent kevin j das has made us A PROPER WEBSITE at last. we've still got some things to fix and add, but we'll get round to that later. go lookee. thanks kevin!

ok cools. stay close, the next few months are fucking ours.


Friday, August 12, 2011

now i don't know bjork right

i was always raised to believe that charity is somewhat devalued if you cloak yourself in it. example, i give £5000 to birmingham dogs home and keep my mouth shut, that's charity. i give them £5000 then mention in an interview that i've saved five grands worth of cute lil puppy, what i've effectively done is paid £5000 for good pr.

and whilst the dogs themselves probably wont care either way, some of that charity s integrity is now invested in my public image; which may work in the short term, but i'm clearly the kind of cunt who boasts about how charitable he is in an effort to appear cool to joe public so they'll keep buying his shit.

ah. hello there, music industry. .

i just want to say, i think at least half the fuss and clamour being made over the Sony/PIAS fire is bullshit. there. i don't want to play down the actual loss; some labels have had their entire stock wiped out and it's potentially catastrophic for anyone who lives on a shoestring and is involved with with physical music stuffs.

tough times all round - is an overused and unhelpful phrase, but when our industry is dying and our cities are on fire, tis probably justified.


this is the same industry that brought you "return to live aid". nothing drives sales better than a palatable tragedy, the only exception here is this tragedy is somewhat exaggerated for dramatic purpose. You know the warehouse was insured right? I didn't, i had to use the google, and 5 pages later i found someone who wasn't alec empire referring to it.

so eventually, all them records will be paid for. losses compensated. I'm not saying that there won't be huge logistical problems and dashed dreams occurring as a result of product loss and the time insurance companies will take to settle, but all the claims of "disaster! label x looses £x000 of stock" are pretty disingenuous. The industry has a chance here to convert thousands of unsold cds into digital sales, and they're gunning for it, they're just leaving the "insured against fire" part out.

here's alec empire from atr (and twitter):

"did you know that labels destroy physical product all the time to save storage costs? every month. all over the planet."

"simple: it's an unlimited supply of mp3s vs 1 burnt insured warehouse. If people want the music, they can buy it ANY time. no supply problem"

"sony said it already yesterday. Labels will make more money this way than with sales"

i'm never going to be as (d) hardcore as alec empire, but he makes a valid point; that insurance payout + charity sales drive = more cash than was sitting in that warehouse pre fire.

for the major players in this, it makes good business sense to play up the tragic angle as much as possible. I'm not saying there's no tragedy here, but if there is then it's of the smaller labels and artists who don't have a media profile and can't afford to repress right now, and the long term damage done to shops that can't restock, from lost customers who can't buy.

There's also a bunch of charity sites sprung up overnight, grand social media profiles and awesome pr with paypal tabs encouraging you to donate. fucking don't. if you feel like giving, give your money direct to your favourite affected bands and their labels. they have paypal too. these charities have no plan as to how there going to redistribute donations; and how could anyone? every band is in a different position, every record has different and changing sale value, every label has different budgets and can suffer different losses.

you can't quantitatively gauge the damage and impact of something like this. the insurance will take an age to sort out, and in an industry where timing of product on shelf can count for so much, most of the actual losses are completely incalculable. there's another side too - knowing my band as i do, i can say our cds, like 1000s of others, were there cos to be brutally honest, no one wanted them anywhere else. overstock. one article told a touching story of a lady whose album was sitting in there for two years cos EMI weren't ready to release it. AND NOW THEY CAN'T! um right. there were records in there waiting to ship sure, but also piles of unwanted stock/overstock/unsold and unsellable stock. maybe it's my uncles talking here, but insurance fire sounds pretty good. yeh, £5 a unit please. kerching!

seriously tho, it'd be horrendous business sense for our old, or any, label to repress records that were unshiftable (whatever EMI told the nice lady) at the time of burning. when those insurance cheques come in, it'll be like a massive version of that time pete from calories accidentally set his room on fire and brought a whole new different cd collection with the payout.

the spate of pias fire buy-lists and features also stink of industry dinosaur breath. we don't need excuses and sob stories to buy music, and it doesn't make it taste better. real life is not a simon cowell backstory. i'm all for any excuse to write music lists, and despite a few awesome, well written out collections that quietly urge you to buy direct or physical copies of stuff that may otherwise been lost to you, the vast majority lean to, surprise surprise, household name acts who're currently in the middle of a promo campaign. now, i don't know bjork but i'm pretty sure she'd rather any charity in you went to #riotcleanup, rather than rushing out and buying her cds cos there's currently less of them then in the country there was a few days ago.

worse, some of these, they link you to itunes. for bands, that's like a tab saying (ps - all proceeds go to satan). Itunes are on it themselves, rolling out there own little fire campaign, and, why not? hysteria over lack of physical product? potential charity demographic? They must be pissing themselves all the way to satanbank.

(actual nme quote - "even apple is helping out!")

d'you know how much a band/label gets from an itunes purchase? well neither do i. because it's an amount so small, only bono can physically see it.

it's not helping out, you shower of soulless cunts, it's called profiteering. the same with your dickfeed self important pointless charities and the dickfeed awful shoreditch wank bands and mainstream guffallos that will probably play their dickfeed pompous benefit gigs where all proceeds go to blindly to "the crisis"

WE DON'T NEED CHARITY. this isn't a real crisis, where we watch aghast and powerless and rely on organisations who convert our spare money to earthquake repair robots, or find homes for dogs, or convince cancer not to work, or otherwise use some skill or resource we don't possess. you probably already know which bands you like have been affected cos you follow them on teh social networks. so, surely the fairest, most even and morally correct response is, if you want to "help out", pick some bands and labels and go clickclick help out. whether you buy or donate, it'll all get absorbed into our bank balances, make some actual direct instant difference, and we'll all sleep a little better knowing humans can be a little kinder. you could do the same if you have local stores with smashed windows too. same principle.

imagine tho, the outcry if the whole riot aftermath had worked like that; big moneyed corporations with direct ties to mainstream media just steam in and say, hey, give us all your money and we'll do, um, something good with it. there'd be an outrage from independent businesses in the shadow and justifiable suspicion from the people who live there. no such outcry here, cos no one wants to piss off a dinosaur.

anyway, it sickens me a bit. not the fire, that's just shit that happens. and not even the charities and itunes, people will always find ways to eke more cash out of each other. i'm sickened by the mainstream music media, in such a tense period of social unrest blah blah blah, deeming insurance fraud and sympathy purchases to be acceptable weapons of marketing and commerce, and subsequently manufacturing a sense of charity to drive sales.

and i'm sickened to think that out there, there's people filling up those charity accounts, buying the horrors off of itunes and booking tickets to fund-raising shows to see the monkey legs and arsebiscuit orchestra at the fucking old blue last that are going to think they did their bit for the great pias disaster, and there's noone to tell them any different apart from crazy old alec empire. and me.

aaaand i'm sickened cos our name is being bandied round some of these pages as yet another band affected by this crisis. we have our own crisiseseses, thank you very much, and at the moment, making sure we have enough cash not to be evicted from our studio and master our record is waaay more of a priority for us than our old label raising money to reprint some old cds that may or may not have been sold in the next few months.

ok thanks for your time. and, just because i know someone's gonna be all like " imagine if you had your new record in there tho", this shit has happened to us twice before; once with the biploar friends single, and once with the you thought you saw ep. warehouse fuckup, third party disaster, whole boxes gone. and we just carried on, yknow? the songs and the demand still existed, and when it comes to points where we're financially affected by shit out of our control, we're open and honest about it. and i think everyone else should be the same.

Friday, July 22, 2011

weekend of fun and stuff!

well, i so should have posted this yesterday, but, we have a whole weekend worth of fun coming up, here are details lest you feel like, y'know, going out to awesome festivals

friday, off the cuff at the flapper, birmingham.
pandas and people, then shoes and socks off, then tubelord, then us. OMG is that ever the best thing ever. maybe if hot club replaced us. (l)over the weekend, pretty much everyones playing; saturday is dd/mm/yyyy and sunday is dana, with like, a million other awesome bands supporting. also, dominique james wots made our record is doing a solo set, go and niceheckle him. or on the saturday, you could go see algernon play in the afternoon somewhere, and calories and echo lake at the hare and hounds. i don't think our grey city has ever seen such an awesome selection of bands in such a short space of time. and its tonight! i need to change strings! and sleep!

saturday, westival, aldershot.
with support from freeze the atlantic and stagecoach and more and a floor made of astroturf. (l)over the weekend is also dana, the xcerts, our lost infantry, hold yr horse is. we kind of want to go to this too

sunday, tramlines, sheffield.
on the main stage under the futureheads and ash. ash's lighting guy is lighting us, THANKS TOM, and apparently the main stage is outside so yay. because sheffield is the second best city in the country, literally every band ever is playing at some point over the weekend, and its all totally free. jebus.

for one weekend only, let other countries be jealous of our scene. see you there!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

space camp

hey everyone

going to start breaking enigmatic silence soon. records pretty much done and ready for mastering and we have a superfun weekend planned too, i'll get to that later, but for now, unless you want to read a long nasa rant, sorry to have wasted your time, and can you go get me some cigarettes so i can spend all day in bed. thx.

right, i just wanted to say how disappointed and angry i am, at the human race in general, about this. in case everyone's unclear, thats a shitty phonephoto taken by a human being from his space ship window as he zooms home. i think i need to write that again with feeling. a shitty phonephoto taken by a HUMAN BEING from his SPACESHIP WINDOW. and it's going to be the last one for a long while, because NASA can't afford to fly people around in spaceships anymore.

god thats depressing.

My parents had the moon landings as their generation defining, where-were-you-when moment. I can't imagine how that must have felt, watching those shitty b+w live footage of the moonwalk, the feather test, the golf swing, seeing your fellow humans achieve something we'd been dreaming about since the day god or robot dinosaurs put us here. breaking free of the earth. and not just the sheer physical spectacle, but the imagination too - if we can do that, then... what next?

before the internet, before punk, any of those things that form cornerstones of our lives now, our parents all went round each others houses, got high and watched their species break into the heavens, lark about on the moon, and rollercoaster back. - what'll we do next?
what was our moment? probably watching a fucking mass grave being created in new york. thanks guys. thanks loads for that.

by the time my generation was popping out, we'd got pretty blasé about spacemen. the apollo capsule looked almost comical, the NASA equivalent of those early failed wood and canvas aeroplanes, 15 flimsy wings stacked around a bicycle. we had actual bonafide space-ships now. they flew up, did cool science stuff, flew back down and got cleaned and flown again. they looked good too, safe, streamlined and graceful. i mean, we even named one after star trek; all cool and cocky because that future that our parents had seen hinted at, those -what nexts, was actually happening.

i grew up in the shadow of the shuttle missions. the first thing i can remember, ever, is the video feed of the challenger disaster. bits of fiery metal and dead astronaut raining down over florida. if that brought home the sheer danger of what my fellow spacemen (because i knew, with the absolute certain conviction of a 5 year old boy, that that'd be my job someday, to sit strapped helpless to a rocket and pray nothing exploded this time) were attempting, then in my mind, it only added to the glamour. there was plenty of jaw dropping video and photography around to soak up exactly how fucking awesome being an astronaut would be. the last of the explorers, real life sci-fi pioneers.

As shown by computers and war, if there's money in the game then progress is exponential. and so our grandparents had spent horrible desperate years perfecting rockets and calculating trajectories, our parents had put it all together and made the first small steps, and here i was, a mere infant and we had already the ships down pat and had moved on to space stations. surely, by the time i graduated from rocket college, we should at least have some kind forward base on mars and be looking out of our own solar system.

because who wouldn't want to throw gregariously large sums of money at a genuine honest to god succesful and brilliant Space Program. especially cos now, the ones with the genuine power are the ones who all went round each others houses a few paragraphs ago, got high, and watched the moon landings and dreamt of what'd come after that. space colonies. alien searches. the future. outwards, further, more. and at some point in these meetings held by the ones ascended into power, someone absolutely must have said -some kind of forward base on mars..

then, y'know, stuff, commerce, miniwars, decline of civilisation, political spin. nasa have never been too good at pr: whilst each crash or falling space station made it to mainstream networks, repeated scheduled shuttle missions saw diminishing returns.

-nasa rep - here are some things from outer space, behold some space rock and some pictures of new stars and some proven science theory.

government rep - this is frankly quite boring. can we weaponise or sell this?

-.... no? i don't know. it's from space, don't you see? from as far out of the natural reach of mankinds hands as is possible to chart yet we managed to capture and return it for all to see...

-whilst i respectfully see your point, i would like to add, so what? i'm seeing $99millions worth of pretty stars and some maths i don't understand. i think you guys are cool, spacemen and all that, but your business acumen is appalling. hows the forward base on mars looking?

-we're not supposed to be a business! and if you're genuinely serious about mars this time we'll need another few $99million transfers please.

-really? look, since i've been around, all you've done is piss about in those shuttles launching visually identical satellites or finding out poncey facts about science. its so dull. the ratings peak whenever some of you explode but that doesn't exactly bring donations in. and, while you were out, we declared war on terror itself. have you any idea how many gunships it's going to cost to the army to kill terror? honestly, it's not going to happen unless you find some moon-insurgents to zap or something.

-the loss of life in any situation is awful if it was avoidable but all of our dead accepted the risks and judged them to be worth it for the sake of progress, not just to the science community, but for all of human kind. we do this for everyone, not like your wars. In the vast majority of cases, their families and loved ones respected their wishes and are intensely proud they died doing something so spectacular for the greater good. your army brings home corpses everyday, could their parents say the same? public opinion is a tool you manipulate and spin for your own ends, don't sully us with it. also, moon.....insurgents?

-whatever spaceman, you rode the wave and now it's gone. i've got like, 18 different warzones going on and each of them needs bomb money. honestly, i'm sorry. perhaps you guys could build us a giant war robot instead. mars is the god of war right? so call it mars, you guys love the injoke names!

-but.. but i..

-also, the shuttles you have left, could you paint them radar invisible and have them hover round warzones zapping insurgents?

- not unless you smelt them completely and use the raw materials. incidentally, the way you've suddenly started over using the term insurgent like it refers to a human avatar for Terror Itself ironically makes you appear more sinister evil side.

-right, i see. well, i'm going to have to ask you to take them to the smelting yard too then..

-what! you.. you're cancelling mankinds greatest technological achievement, a global poster icon of the wonders that can be achieved by mortal man, a thousand tiny miracles that turned scifi into the bleak realm of the actual, without any kind of viable replacement? what are impressionable pre-teens boys going to dream about?.

-build me a war robot that shits bombs and help us kill Terror, or go do some sketches for crazy ginger branson if you want to still play spacemen. as for young boys, well, those radar invisible gun planes won't fly themselves

-they will, actually.

-are you being insurgenty with me?

- (walking away broken and sobbing) - i literally brought him stardust....

ladies and gentlemen i've already hijacked too much of yr time. my point is, i want spacemen back. if i could write to Mr I-cancelled-the-shuttle, i'd tell him this:

I think that manned spaceflight is more important than territory, or oil, or politicking, or commerce, or any other reason you can use. Its important technological progress and it's important that young boys grow up wanting to be spacemen not soldiers, sure, and more importantly, it's answering some massive questions about our place in the universe, and, even more importanterer than than that, it's hope. it's the luxury of being able to say "that's amazing. if we can do that, then, what next?"

as a species, i'd say we need that now.

It's stark choice between exploring the other 99.99999999999999999999% of the environment we exist in OR accepting we're doomed to live on a shitty rock forever, butchering each other over depleting natural resources and ideological differences we could once have had the guts to prove. please reconsider your decision concerning spaceships, and the forward base on mars.

Monday, June 27, 2011

ask the audienzz

we've literally just come back from a little french tour, it was ace + more later, BUT, we had to work out a house party set, all stripped down and casio'd, and it was dead fun. more people offer us house/garden parties please.
right then. slightly breaking form of enigmatic silence, buttttttttttt

we want to do some special gigs for the autumn when our AMAZING new record is released. like, get some massive room and have bunting and stuff, and pick 5 other bands to play and have cake and special tshirts and stuff.

so. you could probably guess what bands we'd ask to play, annnnnnd we're not saying we won't listen to you and go um,no, but, you guys should get involved. we're thinking a LDN show, a birmingham show, and a somewhere else show.

suggest us some places. venues/cities. suggest us some bands. suggest fire eaters and bouncy castles and gardens and other such gimmicks and we'll see what we can arrange (get the adults to arrange for us)

UK only soz, we'll doubtless follow this up with a proper touring later on, but for now, something epic and grandiose seems to be the way forward. write to us at the bottom here, or on facebook or whatever. we're so super proud of how the album is turning out and we want to give birth to it proper.

oks, thank you in advance, o kind and benevolent fanbase of ours, excited...

Mercy Buckets

so last month we went and got a proper french record deal with these awesome guys. we've just spent a pretty idyllic week in their company, as part of a mini-promo tour with these awesome guys. here are some words and crappy camera phone pictures of of it:

the first show was a tenth birthday party for hip hip hip's parent company. Ankama is sort of like dreamworks (in french), it's awesome, but their universe is pretty impenetrable to our gcse french..seems to be centred round a bunch of kawai little cats and trolls and things who all hang out in a forest.(en francais). its an mmorpg and a cartoon and a comic and a toyline, and, judging by their beautiful converted ex mill of a headquarters (um, and the fact they have their own pet record label), they're doing pretty well. we get a tour and peer thru open plan layouts at everyone working, its got this awesome atmosphere of people having loads of fun being creative and getting paid for it. /sigh.

mr lea room, if yr reading, we found a french you, but this is the closest we could get to a snidey photo:
for their party they set up a stage and a free bar and bbq and a bouncy castle. We get presented with a massive bottle of french english gin within minutes of getting out of the van. between that, and the exhilaration of playing outdoors in the sun after no sleep and a 15 hour drive, we're pretty contentified. jun eats a raw sausage by mistake. kelly kicks everyones kids of the bouncy castle to take photos.

we have traditional tourbus luck early on when the back doors refuse to open. luckily, there's a man at ankama whom everyone calls mcguyver, and after a brief inspection, he reappears with a massive drill and proceeds to make a giant hole in the back of the van we dont own. pssssssh. nothing fazes us. tom maldini sticks the broken facia of the lock over the hole with chewing gum., and we finish our drinks and drive to the hostel where we'll be staying for the next few days.
i fucking love the feeling of staying in hostels for multiple nights, it's like getting a hotel room for free. we can smoke joints out the window and rehearse stuff and stick maps on walls. only this hostel isn't playing fair, and insists on closing in the day, so we spend the next morning wandering round lille, eating tiny baguettes in cafes and feeling continental. we learn the french for "get out of this museum, you havn't paid".
todays show promises to be a crowd peak, it's a free show for fnac (like hmv, in french) in a converted railway station. the stage manger explains french governments lean really heavily on companies to retain some sense of heritage and reuse buildings as much as possible. so out went the trains and the tracks, and in their place a cinema, an art gallery, a bar, a playground, and a giant venue. it's all super lovely, but we can't take the credit for the audience; we're supporting miles kane, who is as boring as his trousers are tight (these are the kind of metaphors you come up with when watching bands with three drunk girls).

we walk in as the kanesters stuff is being set up. there's families sitting around eating lunch, a coupe of curious girls in artic monkeys tshirts, and the fnac reps, who tell us where catering is, and explain our backstage area is a huge empty cinema behind the stage. The MKs tour manager come over to one of the reps; miles kane can't soundcheck in front of these kids, he surls. oh, ok, she says. she gestures to us; this is one of the support bands. he blanks us all. she goes round, embarrased, asking people to leave. Us and maldini soundcheck in front of about 100 people, we take the piss mercilessly.
there's a pair of knickers on stage during our soundcheck. "fuck alex, go team miles" scrawled in eyeliner on la derrière. both our bands slay, it's a totally sweet show. catering is coldcuts and cake and as much box wine as you can handle. i try and watch a bit of old miley k but it's horrendous, awful pubrock retro piss, recycled so many times that each chord change and pose seems like some dirge ballet of something that might have once meant something to someone. clones get weaker every time and this corpse is powered by corporate swag and swagger and i fucking hate it, its like anti-music.
we finish off the rider, gina maldini splits an apple in half with her bare hands, we're drunk and confident and the lady behind the hostel desk hisses at us to be quiet when we get in..
the next show is the polar opposite, a birthday party for our label bosses girlfriend. we spend an hour rehearsing an acoustic set at ankama hq in one of their video game rooms they have dotted about. srsly, just a room with some massive flatscreens and consoles and sofas, and us ignoring everything.

we made up for it with a massive lunch at the ankama restaurant next door to the ankama salad bar down the street. did more rehearsing in the hostel whilst maldinis went and did some promo, and then all went to fannys house. her cousin supplies a second gin bottle, we smoke lungs in the garden, get fed nibbles and end up so nervous that we're shaking the whole way thru the first song. to 20 people in a living room in robaix.

we elect to go on first for the house parties and it's just as well, maldini take to acoustic sets effortlessly, they sound layered and elegant and everyone's pretty much in awe and goosebumpy by the end of their set.

pack out of hostel and drive to rennes for "hipster garden party". eat predictably awful motorway sandwiches on a 6 hour drive, and once again get greeted at the door with gin and mounds of food. i think angelique is the queen of france, she puts bands on in her garden, puts a bar and some decks in her shed, and makes a bedroom for each band, and spends the night fetching us drinks and cigarettes.
it's like the philly scene all over again, only with a comedy language barrier. we're slightly more confident this time, and play correspondingly worse, but maldini are simply amazing. there's 50 people crammed into a tiny garden all dancing and losing their shit, whilst massive clouds of starlings float above in the sunset and cats watch from the bushes. one of the best shows i'm ever going to see. We get fairly slaughtered, kelly starts wrestling boys and we befriend pretty much everyone and pass out in a haze of forgotten names and french weed.

angelique sleeps in her boyfriends van and reappears in the morning with jeff and fanny and a massive breakfast that we eat outside whilst party stragglers rise and leave around us. we are SO up for playing in peoples gardens right now. today is special tho, we're going to l'orient, which is where jeff used to live; there's a beach and ice cream, he says, you'll like it.

and we more than like it. the beach is amazing, a little cove and then a massive expanse of sand and clear cool atlantic. the ice cream comes out of the machine with strawberry sauce already laced. there's two currents ebbing and flowing into the cove, with loads of little sandbanks and shallows, meaning me and kel can walk like, 10 minutes into the sea without getting our clothes (that) wet. everyone else dives straight in, chris maldini buys a beach ball, a dog comes and steals and bursts it in the cutest way ever, a stranger lends everyone his towl and we walk back along the shoreline to the van and the show. We're playing at an old fishermans pub called le galion. "pirates and prostitutes, now punk bands" says jeff, and it's pretty easy to imagine the debauchery thats taken place in these walls. the room is overlooked by a massive painting of a girl with a shotglass and a cigarette and the stage is loud and hot. we get cooked some amazing fish thing and some amazing pasta thing and drink our meal-wine like pros.

the show is awesome, JB, the owner, takes us aside and tells us we're the best band he's seen in 5 years while the barstaff agree and all queue up for merch. tis lovely. we're too tired from houseparty and beach hijinx to take full advantage of the free bar, we sit and bliss out in a corner while the staff close up the bar, and we drive to JB's flat to sleep ourselves out. He lives on the top floor in a beautiful apartment full off pre war antiques and punk rock posters. i pass out on the couch reading 100 bullets and listening to him and jeff and the soundman finish a bottle of vodka.

and wake up to the sight of jeff in his pants and an army helmet chasing a massive bee around the room. last show day, sad times.

paris is a complete slow heatwave bitch to drive around, but we manage to unload a block away from the venue and we're all on time for soundcheck. it's a bit of a comedown, there's limiters on the pa, we get some chicken bones and two drinks tokens each and its hotter than the sun. some of our friends have flown to see us, and vee comes down in her formal role as parisian ambassador to english indie rock. there's 11 people not counting our entourage. and 9 of them are on our guestlist, so it feels like a private party. the kind you have to go to the offlicence and sneak yr own drink in. maldini slay, and we play our trademark sloppy and overly emotional last gig. everyone comes onstage at the end and we drag it out to a teary eyed conclusion and pack away for the last time.

we have a ferry at 5.30am, calais to the real world, which gives us just enough time to scream crazy around the arc du triomphe and go for a wander underneath the eiffel tower. its 1am on monday morning and the cafes and bars are still humming. there's couples walking dogs, kids drinking and smoking on the grass, it's an amazing relaxed vibe unlike any other capital city monument we've ever seen before, totally tranquil and serene. france is totally rad.

"the next tour will be proper" says jeff, "this was just to introduce everyone and have some fun".. it was more than fun, it was a totally productive and awesome holiday, and the most consistently happy tour we've done for ages.

massive thanks to jeff and fanny and guilliames, we couldn't have lucked out with a better or more fun label. also, to everyone that fed us and put us up and came out to see us. we'll be back super soon with an actual record to promote..

also, screaming maldini yeh, fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. absolutely incredible jaw dropping goosebumping jazzed up shimmery pop songs and lovely lovely people. they lent us equipment and gave us snacks and drove us around. you can't ask for than that.

ok, back to being enigmatically quiet about the record now. we've just got an almost finished mix of the most epic song we've ever done and it's blown my ears off. i hope it does yrs too.