Bruce Carter, Fiona Daniel
added: 2 Apr 2012
interviewed by: Charlotte Brophy
Best described as indie meets electro house, The Whip’s unique sound has been heard on some of the world’s biggest stages from Wireless to Glastonbury since the band formed six years ago. With Bruce Carter on lead guitar, keyboard and vocals, Fiona Daniel on drums and Nathan Studders on bass guitar, this northern trio have recently launched their new single, Movement.
Following the London gig of their latest UK album tour ‘Wired Together’, Bruce and Fi talk about disco wonderment, nursing vomit-filled carrier bags in-between gigs, montage music, backstage bondage and how they love a burger with all the trimmings. What are your biggest music influences?
Bruce: When we approach music is to be as open minded as possible. We’re not just into one thing. I guess when we think about making music we like making mixes with analogue synths with drums. But in terms of influences, hmm – Fi, your favourite’s Stevie Wonder innit?
Fi: I really like Stevie Wonder, but I think in terms of The Whip and as a drummer, it has to be Soul Wax. When I saw Soul Wax and what they did with their live drummer, I thought ‘that is exactly what I wanna be doing’. Doing dance music but with live drums. You don’t get a lot of those types of bands around. Most of people making dance music just have a couple of guys on a stage with a really good light show and whatever, but you really can’t really see what’s going on. We wanted to be part of that, but add live band music to it – you know! So when I saw Soul Wax were doing it, that was just like ‘wow’ for me.
Bruce: We just like to try and take influence from dance, electro, house and disco, but try and add the energy of live music and being in people’s faces. That’s what means most to us – playing live like that!
Fi: Oh yeah. Absolutely love it! It’s funny because I said to Bruce before we went on that I don’t know what it is about London gigs, but I always get a little bit more nervous. Hate being nervous! At other gigs I’ll be like ‘yeah, we’re going to nail it’, but at London gigs I’m always a little bit like ‘ahhhh!’. Tonight was really good ‘cos I feel like we did nail it....and it’s only a Tuesday!
In terms of other influences, I’d have to say Prince. Prince’s drummer is incredible. When I just started drumming and started paying attention to drummers in general, I remember my dad having the Purple Rain tour on video and she does a solo on it then says “pretty good, for a girl” – I remember just hoping that one day that would be me!
Daft punk was the major dance band that I got into. I used to be an indie kid, then when I was about 14 or 15 I started getting into dance music. There was one tune that I consider to be my gateway from Indie to dance music and it was Intro by Alan Braxe. The bassline on that tune – I just f**king loved it! That’s when I started playing the drums along to tracks; stuff that didn’t have drum parts, but I just wanted to play along anyway.
Bruce: For me it has to be Craftwork and stuff like that. I used to buy loads of 80s electron vinyl like early Human League and punk-funk stuff like ESG, but I didn’t have one defining moment like Fi. What’s on your iPod?
Fi: My top three most played at the moment are David by Gus Gus. I’ve not actually listened to it for ages but I can’t get rid of it! Tensnake – Holding Back My Love and a Revenge ‘Rework’ of this Crazy P tune – it’s like disco wonderment! I’ve been tanning the life out of this because I absolutely love it.
Bruce: I really like the soundtrack to the film Drive at the moment. I love David Lynch films and Drive is a good one. It’s really dark and ‘mongy’, but there’s a bit of love in there too. Also listening to the Subtract album, Friendly Fire, er, Django django – that’s good. Like Fi I listen to a lot of just tunes, because we DJ as well, so I like a lot of random electro and disco stuff, like Boys Noize and stuff like that, you know? A bit of everything really. Sambuca or tequila?
Fi: One night after a gig everyone had f**ked off so I thought I’d just head back to the hotel. Then Nathan just went “no you’re not! I’ll buy you a drink if you stay!”, so he bought me a double Vodka and whatever. Then literally 15 minutes later we were doing rounds of Sambuca. I don’t remember getting home after that! I had started the night with the best intention not to do any shots.
Bruce: When we’re on tour I try to take it easy. I need sleep, no booze, no crisps or chocolate. In fact, the only treats I’ve had in the last five days have been two Malteasers and one tiny bite of a Crunchy bar!
Fi: Because he’s on vocals, he is forced into being healthy and will therefore live a nice ripe, fruitful life. Whereas me on the other hand, I’m probably going to wake-up one morning and want to kill myself, ha! I vomited in a carrier bag on the way home on the way to a gig once. I was like “I’m going to be sick!” and I just had to sit there with a bag full of vomit until we got to the next service station. I should of just chucked it out the window – I didn’t even think to do that! Beef burgers or hot dogs?
Bruce: Ooh, beef burgers. With all the trimmings! I love all that s**t on burgers. All the condiments. Some of my mates call me the ‘Condiment King’. I love mixing it up!
Fi: Oh he is yeah, he collects mustards! I’m the type of person who likes vanilla ice cream and chocolate ice cream separately, but not mixed! I don’t want any bits in my ice cream. Like, I just like lemonade, but I’m not into cocktails. A Vodka & Coke is alright, but nothing too fancy. I also hate it when my peas get mixed in with the mash. I have to separate it. We never eat ‘ot dogs. Nathan bought me a sausage the other day on the way to rehearsal and he said “Fi, do you want ‘owt from the chippy?”. I said “no, you’re alright” but when he came back he said “I didn’t want me to have any of my food, so I’ve bought you a sausage” . He just handed me a solitary sausage. You know what, I enjoyed it though!
What’s your ultimate running track?
Bruce: I used to really like running to Daft Punk, Homework – the whole album. It’s f**ing great for exercise.
Fi: There was a song I heard recently where I thought ‘this would be brilliant to just run to’ and I can’t f**king remember what it was! I was talking to my friend who said that she runs to classic 80s and I thought to myself that’s really good because it’s just ‘happy’ and it’ll keep you going. Because I don’t go running or to the gym – ever – the only time I ever do any exercise is to The Whip when I’m drumming. If it wasn’t for The Whip I’d be a right fat bitch .
Bruce: We like listening to montage music like that off Rocky IV. We played it for a support band once before they went on to pump ‘em up before they went on stage.
Why are you called The Whip?
Bruce: I liked the word ‘whip’ because it had energy. It seemed like a positive thing. No bondage connotations or anything!
Fi: We did a gig once and we had some bondage people get on stage with us and a woman dressed in all leather with a whip led a man on stage, on all fours on a lead. That was at a gig in France. She was just whipping him. Honestly, it was so weird!
Bruce: He was just in these tiny leather shorts. Weird! We turned up in the backstage area at this French Festival and I just heard this lashing sound, then we just saw a load of people walking around in bondage gear. We were like, f**k – can’t believe they were just casually getting whipped backstage!
Fi: Yeah, it’s like most people backstage would just have a massage or go to the make-up area, but backstage bondage?! It was fucking weird!
Are you doing any festivals this year?
Fi: So far we’ve confirmed Snowbombing as they are just starting to come in. We’re doing one in Spain and a new festival in Manchester too. We’re off to Brazil this summer too, so we’re all very excited about that. We’re going back to Japan as well. For all three of us, Japan has been our favourite place to go. We’re going to be there on the night of my birthday too, so whilst Bruce & Nathan DJ I’ll just kick-back and drink all the booze .
Check out the video to their new single, Movement on YouTube. The new album, Wired Together, is available from iTunes for £4.99.
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