Philips CitiScape Launch, Shoreditch
added: 12 Jul 2012
// gig date: 12 Jul 2012
reviewer: Alasdair Byers
Emerging onto the scene in 2006, Electroclash group The Whip caused a storm when their track ‘Trash’ was picked up across the board, featuring as a backing in everything from an FA advert, to beer ads, to a memorable striptease scene on American sitcom ‘Secret Girlfriend’. With releases on Kitsune, Southern Fried Records and remix work with names including Hadouken!, the group, consisting of Fiona "Lil Fee" Daniel, Nathan Sudders and Bruce Carter continue to go from strength to strength. Music-News went down to see a live DJ-Set at Philips CitiScape Headphones Launch in Shoreditch, where we caught up with band member Bruce Carter.
> You've been compared to Alex Metric, the 2 Bears, the Black Ghosts - How would you
define yourselves genre-wise?
We just try and make music that makes our tails wag. We love the energy of live instruments
and the sound of analogue synths and what’s fun to us is to find formulas of making these
two elements work together. It's funny to see what category people put us in to and whatever
that category might be is fine by us. I think that the boundaries of different music genres
have been knocked down in recent years, which is really healthy and it's cool to like different
kinds of things.
> You're a band, but you DJ - being DJs, do you approach the crowd differently? Is playing
live and DJing a different experience?
We love to do both for loads of different reasons, the live show is much more physical and
you can really let off steam which is cathartic! We love playing live and that will always be
the reason why we do what we do with the band. We do check out the vibe of where we are playing and change the set to suit the time of day or the venue or whatever party it is that we are playing; people need different moods at different times. Djing is great fun and much more relaxed, we just get to play some remixes that people have done of our songs and play people some of our favourite records. It's so easy to DJ in some
ways compared to a live show, you don't have to do a sound check or worry about all of your
own equipment being with you. You just turn up at show time with your pendrive or CDs and
> How does the songwriting process work with you guys?
It's changed a lot, the first album was all me, the second album I recorded a load of demo's
and we went into the studio for about 18 months and all worked together to get the songs
and production strong. With new stuff we have been working together on everything from
the birth of an idea, which is nice as we're all on the same page and can put things to a vote,
there are three of us so things get decided quickly and we move on with no time for beef. It’s
sounding good so far!
> You've had lots of commercial exposure – esp. with Trash being used in various
campaigns. Some bands shun this, others aspire to it - where do you feel is a happy medium
with regards to use of material for commercial work?
I remember when I was a kid and if a band had been on a commercial ad it made them
seem uncool or not worthy, but things seem so different now. There really isn't a way of
making a living for a band of our size without commercial help. Record sales are small for so
many artists these days that being on ads and stuff has just become a way of being heard
and having a voice. I never feel bad about it as we wouldn't exist without things being the
way they have been for us.
> Your site and online presence has a lot of interactions with Fan - does that change the
way you perform or write?
We are always really appreciative of our fans and try to talk to them as much as possible
online and at gigs. It’s good to hear what songs they like or aren't so keen on and work to
> You're playing abroad, Brazil, Benidorm, Ibiza - how does playing abroad differ to playing
in the UK?
It's a lot of fun to be able to travel with the band, I’m just packing my bag for Brazil, a couple
t-shirts and duds is all you need really. It’s nice to travel light! It's exciting for us to play in
some strange and different parts of the world; I try not to ever forget how lucky we are to
get out and about. Everywhere has their own customs that come with a show, Spain is
always a really late stage time as they like to party all night, in Germany the crew are always
amazingly efficient. It's nice to get out and see a bit of the area when you travel too, I try to
go for a jog as you get to see the local vibes in a nice way.
> What's been your career high as a group so far?
Probably to play some of the crazy places we have done, outside in the snow at the top of a
mountain in Austria at Snowbombing was fun, next to the Great Wall of China was bonkers,
in front of a naked man in Barnsley was a learning experience for us all too. I'd also like to
play on the moon.
> What are your future plans?
To get new music out there quickly! We're working with all the time we have on it at the
> What artists do you yourselves rate at the moment?
I like the new Simian Mobile Disco stuff, the last Miike Snow album was interesting and
they are good live too. Brodinski's stuff is always good, lots of different bits and bobs really.
Daniel Avery, SBTRKT, hey today! Attaque makes nice fresh techno.
> What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Work hard and stay positive, and as Robocop said "stay out of trouble".
-- The Whip performed at the launch of the new Philips CitiScape headphones collection. The range comprises four styles: Uptown, Downtown, Shibuya and St. Germain, all of which debut MusicSeal so you can immerse yourself in music wherever you are. Each style is designed to effortlessly fit your look whilst preventing sound leakage. Prices range from £45 to £90 and the full collection is available at John Lewis, Amazon and Currys. For more information, visit www.philips.co.uk.
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