- Mon, 2006-04-24 16:06
The Faders are starting their career with the idea – call them crazy – that just because they’re teenage girls doesn’t mean they have to be a Teenage Girl Group. In a nutshell, here’s what Molly Lorenne, 17 (guitar/vocals, crimson hair) Toy, 19 (bass, gothic “mien”), and Cherisse Osei, 18 (drums, muscles) do: Sing. Play instruments. Write songs. Dig Nirvana, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Adam Ant. Claim to have been raised by wolves (that’s Toy). And fail to understand why more female groups don’t realise the thrilling noise created by slamming together pop, punk and uncommonly fine wit.
Here’s what they don’t do: Dance onstage (unless they’ve lost a bet). Sloganise (“That Spice Girls ‘Girl Power’ thing totally bypassed me” says Toy). Forget that a band are only as good as their songs. Date celebrities (though Cherisse wouldn’t say no to a tryst with Usher or D’Angelo). Expect to be taken any less seriously than a male band.
I Like Music caught up with gorgeous bassist Toy to chat about their new single, Sims 2, covers and being in a rock band...
"I Like Music because... I suck at everything else!" Toy, The Faders
ILM: So, your new single Look At Me Now is out on the 17th April. Can you give us your own personal description of the tracks whole vibe?
Toy: I think it's a lot more kinda chilled out than some of our other tracks. I think most of them are a bit more chaotic than this one. It's more thoughtful I think. We've done a few tracks like Jump and No Sleep that are a bit more upbeat and bouncey; this one is a little more slow and I think its more serious ... but not too serious!
ILM: Cool, well you've just finished a pretty full on tour of the UK supporting Kelly Clarkson, how did that all go?
Toy: It was amazing actually, Kelly was really cool. Ahh! We played some big places. Apparently the Manchester MEN is like the biggest indoor venue in Europe, that was pretty exciting ...
ILM: How many people were there do you know?
Toy: Well the capacity was like 21,000, but they took a few seats away, so it was around 19,000 or so, that was impressive, stood there looking out at all these glow sticks!
ILM: So was that the biggest crowd you played in front of?
Toy: Yeah, I think that's gotta be the biggest one yet, it was great fun.
ILM: Must have been a bit nerve racking coming up on stage?
Toy: It was, but that was the last venue we did and we did 13 all together. The first ones I was like "oh my god i'm gonna die," but by the time we got to Manchester we were like running all over the stage, it was great.
ILM: You guys are a great live band, what do you look forward to the most about playing live?
Toy: Everything really, to just get up there and go on stage and jump around for however long in front of however many people. I think we all quite like the more intimate gigs too. We played the 100Club a while ago, we had a residency there and that was like great fun because you get to see the people and everything. I dunno, I guess that's just the point of being a musician, getting to actually go and play your songs to people. Its really cool when people sing along to the songs, its cool if you forget your words!
ILM: Do you guys have a track that you like to play live the most?
Toy: I think it kinda changes because the songs develop more as we play them live, we will add little things, change things, think of new harmonies and stuff. When you play live in front of that many people sometimes you will think they are really cool but they dont quite work, so favourite tracks change. I think when you are doing a single that one ends up being your favourite for a while.
ILM: I've got to ask you about Veronica Mars. How was that?
Toy: Well first of all we were over there doing two things with them. The first day we went out and re-shot part of our No Sleep video. Instead of being in the American high school that we shot at, we did bits in the Veronica Mars high school, it was called Neptune High. So first of all we re-shot the video with parts of their cast, it was quite fun coz it was like the 3 of us and 3 guys, that was really cool and really good fun. They ended up using it as a trailer for the show.
Then the next day we were actually in part of the show! It was so different from doing TV or anything, it was more like doing a film. We had little ear phones so we were the only ones hearing the music, and we had to do it all in silence and the crowd all dancing out of time, it was still pretty amazing, it was like being in Hollywood or something! It was a bit surreal, you get there and the whole set is relataively perminent, very strange ...
ILM: So were you in it as The Faders?
Toy: Yeh we appeared as ourselves, we were the background band for their homecoming dance and they made this amazing set covered in hollagraphic wrapping paper, our band name everywhere and they gave us like cheerleader zip up tops, that was good.
ILM: You recorded some tracks for EA, for the Sims 2 game and you actually sung it in Simlish?
Toy: Yes, well the songs were already written, because they were our songs, and then we got asked to do the Sims things, so yeah they translated them into Simlish. When it came to singing it and recording it in the studio, they had actually left out some lines so Molly had to make some up, I think we got accustomed to Simlish pretty quickly ...
ILM: That must have been really weird?
Toy: It was very strange, Molly was recording her lead vocals and me and Cherrise were sitting there just trying to sing in this ridiculous like 'flibbly blibbly' ah it took us such a long time to do it without laughing...
ILM: I was gonna say, how did you do it without laughing?
Toy: Well by the time we both went in to record, we had the backing tracks done from when we recorded the single so we were just re-recording vocals. Molly went and did hers first, then by the time me and Cherrise went in there we all got kinda used to it, so it ended up much easier than I thought it was going to be. [Toy pauses] How cool to be in a computer game though!?
ILM: Yeah mega cool, it's actually in the game is it?
Toy: Yeah, it's the nightlife expansion pack its got Jump and Whatever It Takes in there as well...
ILM: Have you played it?
Toy: I've been playing it trying to find it but my computer is like dead at the moment and I don't get quite as much time to play games anymore.
ILM: A friend of mine is actually addicted to that game ...
Toy: I know, its terrible.
ILM: I'm going to have to get him to try and find these tracks now ...
Toy: You have to go to the club and it will be played. Strange but very very very cool. Maybe we could actually be characters one day!
ILM: Ok, can you describe to me The Faders process of writing and recording such good music?
Toy: We don't really have a kinda real process, every song is different. Generally when we are recording stuff it's like drums first, then main guitars, then bass etc.. so we've got the backing track and then add the vocals and harmonys. Most of the time we've worked stuff out before hand, sometimes we'll make up harmonies whilst we are there, but with writing its kinda different everytime you know.
We all write together and individually with our own people and of course the producers Mark and Jeff Taylor do a lot of writing for us and with us as well. Its great because you get all this different input into it, and with them being experts on production and stuff they think of different things that would sound cool. We use mad sound samples like gun shots and smashing glass and other just interesting things. There is a sound at the end of Look At Me Now which is actually the sound of my bass amp turning off, thats something that is very important to us, doing things ourselves.
We've just recently re-recorded our video for Look At Me Now, we weren't too keen on the last one, so we filmed it again on mobile phones and hopefully that will be able to be seen very soon. I think it's a good attitude to take, create things that are little bit different.
ILM: So what was up with the original video?
Toy: Well sometimes things just don't turn out how you want them to. When we saw it I think we just thought we looked a bit too prim and proper, so we re-shot it on mobile phones. Its really exciting, I don't think its ever been done before. It's really hard when you're a band signed to a record label, and its somebody else's money. This didn't really cost us that much and it was like a chance to have some fun, I mean how cool! What a cool thing to do on a Sunday afternoon!
ILM: Loads of people, bands, musicians are using the internet these days to get their music out there even before getting a signed record deal. How has the internet affected you guys?
Toy: Well, we wake up to several pages of messages every morning on myspace. We've become myspace addicts recently, our page has gone like out of control. We've gone from having a few hundred to a couple of thousand over the course of the last month, its insane!! I'm so glad that the internet is finally being recognised, it seems the record industry has been quite slow in recognising the potential of the internet. I'm a bit of an internet geek, I used to be online all the time, I had more friends in other countries than I did in real life. Its great, really enjoing it. Its cool answering the messages, but we have to do it everyday or they build up loads!
ILM: You guys are still fairly early in your career but you must have learnt a hell of a lot so far, do you have any advice for people looking to break into the music industry?
Toy: I was just talking to someone about this the other day. About the Kelly Clarkson tour and everything. I felt it took me a couple of dates to settle in to playing live and being in front of that many people, and even though the band has been going for a year and half, nothing really prepares you doing that. I had really bad stage fright when I was younger so its taken me quite a long time to get up there and not like run off again like 'oh my god all these people'.
But the best advice I can give someone is you've just got to get up there at some point for the first time and just do it. Sometimes you will mess up ... I've messed up so many times on stage its not even funny! We played a show in Asia for an Aids awareness concert and when we were playing the DI box, which is what my bass amp plugs into the PA with, just completely died, so my bass is there, then its not, then its there, then its not. You've got to enjoy what you do and not take it too seriously I guess ...
ILM: In that example you gave me, you could have put the bass down and called it a day there and then ...
Toy: Sure, but what would I have learned from that? If something goes wrong on stage I'm just like "ahh you know, things happen" it doesn't matter. You always think things matter more than they actually do.
ILM: I think that's great advice in itself. You can probably remember before you were in this band that are becoming quite well known, being in computer games and on American TV shows, you would hold it so high up on a pedastall, and now for you guys it must have been brought back down to earth quite a bit. Your'e still you, normal guys enjoying life, but you're in this wicked band!
Toy: It's kinda surreal, its not really until you talk to people about it. I don't get up in the morning and think, shit! Ive gotta play to 19,000 people today, You just don't think about it and just do it and then its done. Its all a bit of a blur you know. I'm still learning!
ILM: So later in the year we can look forward to your new album Plug In + Play. What can fans expect from the album?
Toy: Well definitely a couple of extra tracks that haven't been heard before. Look At Me Now will be on there and a B-Side 'Killer Heels' that we all wrote together quite recently. Its really exciting to have that on there, we had quite a lot to do with the production and stuff on that track, thats a very exciting song for us. Just the usual belter, chaos and madness really!
ILM: Will there be a promo tour for that?
Toy: Hopefully yeah, everything we do will be up on both our website and our myspace page. we do things kinda last minute, thats just the way we do it.
ILM: Is there anything like a main goal you guys wanna do? Cover an Adam Ant track or something?
Toy: Yeah! that would be really cool! Would love to do Prince Charming. I always thought we should cover a Transvision Vamp song, I Want Your Love is a cool track, I think a cover of that would be fantastic.
ILM: Can you tell me your favourite place on earth?
Toy: ohhh, errhm ... My favourite place on earth would be somewhere quiet. The top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere far way from everything, complete silence ...
ILM: Completely the opposite to your onstage stuff ...
Toy: well yeah, you gotta have contrast.
ILM: What's in your CD player right now? What are you listening to for pleasure?
Toy: Arcade Fire, I'm in love with them. I think they are amazing. Antony And the Johnsons and Nine Inch Nails. Bit random!