THE WHIP with FOXFIRE at Wrongbar (1279 Queen West), tonight (Thursday, July 10). $12.50 advance. wanttickets.com. Rating: NNNNN
These days, tons of bands worldwide are playing a similar sound to the Whip’s electro-infused rock. But the first time Bruce Carter and Danny Saville tried their hand at pairing dance beats and guitars, it wasn’t such an easy sell.
Back in 2003, the pair were enjoying a lot of buzz for their now defunct Nylon Pylon project, a band that proved to be a little too ahead of its time.
“When we were doing this a few years back with Nylon Pylon, I don’t think people really understood it,” Carter recalls from his Manchester home on a break between gigs. “People just seem much more open-minded these days about different genres of music getting thrown together.”
But Warner signed the band and put them in a big, posh studio for a year, which, Carter says, was the worst thing that could have happened to them.
“By the time we came out, we had this record that didn’t sound anything like what we were trying to do. We worked with three different producers at the same time and ended up with an overproduced mess.”
Instead of giving up completely, they broke up the band and hunkered down in a dilapidated basement to start over. And instead of going straight back to the labels and the studio, they threw together another band and took their new material on the road, which is pretty much where they’ve been for the past couple of years
. They recorded most of their debut album, X Marks Destination (Southern Fried), on the road.
“We’ve literally been touring non-stop for two years. These days that seems like the best thing to do – just play lots of gigs. That’s what we enjoy the most.
“With the laptop, you can record wherever you want. We did bits on the train and the bus, in dressing rooms and even in a church.”
Doing away with the major label gloss and glitter, they embrace a gritty and raw aesthetic on X Marks Destination while still keeping their pop impulses front and centre. This is a style that now has disciples all over the world, but for some reason the press still often compares them to dance-rock godfathers Joy Division, with whom they have little in common other than an appreciation for disco-informed rhythms.
“It’s funny – I think people do that because we’re from the same town, and people love to romantically imagine that there’s some kind of fascinating link.”
Bruce Carter discusses the remix process and the live show.