When they released Someone To Drive You Home in 2006, Sheffield’s the Long Blondes famously declared, “We do not listen to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors or Bob Dylan. We chose an instrument each and learnt to play it.” Having practised a bit more since that much-hyped debut, the boy-girl five-piece return with Couples (Rough Trade), a more mature collection of ominous electro, which they bring to Lee’s Palace tonight (Thursday, May 22). Drummer Screech Louder explains...
Now that you’re back on the road with a new album, do crowds respond differently?
I think a lot of people are coming along out of curiosity this time around. When the last album came out, everybody knew the songs and was jumping around; now people seem more attentive.
The track Here Comes the Serious Bit sort of sums up the more brooding, grown-up tone of the whole album.
The first album was all about being in your mid-20s and trying to make sense of that. Now we’re older and starting to take things more seriously.
It’s ironic that producer Erol Alkan’s reputation is as a dance music guy, yet this album is less danceable than your debut.
That’s a complete myth about Erol. He’s just an indie kid who loves the Manics and Suede. Everyone imagines he sits around listening to techno and thought he was going to put a pounding dance beat behind all the tracks on the album. The truth is, he likes it all – his favourite band is the Carpenters!
When your first record came out, the British press went crazy over your fashion sense. Are the mannequins on the new record cover a response to that?
Ironically, it was mainly because it just looked good. But it’s also a little tongue-in-cheek reference to those style articles. Before, I think it was easy for people to dismiss us as this fashion band.
So when we see you in Toronto, you’ll be wearing sensible blue jeans and a nice shirt then?
Well, I’m not saying I don’t want to look good, but I’d like us to be remembered for more than just being a bunch of people who dress nice.