This indie pop/experimental band comes from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They’re the newest band you probably know and have already released an album, that is available at the following websites for purchase: www.bol.com, www.platomania.nl, www.velvetmusic.nl and www.plato.nl.
Because we wanted to get to know them a little better, we had a talk with one of the members of the band, Dean. Read the interview with Dean Tippet and find out exactly what the Dutch have to say. While reading, make sure you listen to the following WMIR track:
ZME: „We’ll Make It Right” are Benny Sings, Dean Tippet, Bo Koek, Roos Jonker, Bart Suèr and Extraa. Could you each please describe yourselves in just a couple of words… exactly those words that best characterize each of you:
WMIR: As I (Dean Tippet) am the only one answering these questions I think it’s best to describe us as a group. We are six songwriters/musicians from Holland. We were brought together by Benny Sings. He was asked by ‘In A Cabin With’ (www.inacabinwith.com) to make an album in one week at a strange location and he thought it would be fun to do it with some of his best friends.
ZME: I’m having a bit of trouble identifying the vocals from all of the songs with the names. Who stands for the female vocals? Do the male vocals belong to everybody else, or is there just one person who does them?
WMIR: Well, we all sing. Actually, that was one of the first things we decided on when we started the album. We had this idea of making ‘modern-day-singalongs’. All the female vocals were obviously sung by Roos, since she is the only female in the group, and the other lead male vocals are done by Benny and me. All other vocals were sung together.
ZME: In the same order of ideas, while trying to see who has what „job” in the band, please mention who writes all of the lyrics for your tracks and also, who plays what instrument.
WMIR: I don’t think anyone has a specific job in the band. We all brought in sketches of songs and we finished those together. With each track we decided who should play what instrument so that varies from song to song. But most songs it was : Bo-Drums,Percussion, Roos-Harp, Benny-Bass, Bart-Flute, Extraa-MPC and me on piano or guitar. But as I said, it varied on each song.
ZME: The band is very young, as you only came together, as far as I understood, at the beginning of this year, in January. Did you write and record the album only starting with this date, or did you already have some tracks ready before coming together? Also, mention if any of you guys have previously joined other bands, and if so, which ones and mention why those projects did not work out.
WMIR: We’re probably more a collective than a band. Besides being in We’ll Make It Right we all have our different projects. Bo has been in Kopna Kopna, Kitty Contana and at the moment he is in Touki Delphine. Benny Sings has his own band, in which Extraa has played. Bart used to be in SFEQ, a dutch jazz group and Roos and me both have our solo projects. Some of us are also part of the Dox’ Family, a songwriters/producers collective.We did the WMIR-album in a week. Most songs were half-finished and were completed during that week.
ZME: I’m wondering about the influences of the band. When I first listened to your music, I immediately thought of Stars and Belle&Sebastian (when considering the lyrics and the use of instruments) and I immediately identified the female vocals from „Just Like A Man” or „My Best Friend” with Fiona Apple’s voice. Would you agree? Also, please name a couple of other important influences that have somehow shaped you as people and as musicians, up to this point.
WMIR: No, none of those bands were influences although I really like Belle&Sebastian. I don’t know if we were influenced by any specific music although we were trying to get the same intimacy bands like Mocky and Little Joy have on their albums. But we’re all real music-geeks. We listen to Busta Rhymes, The Carpenters and everything in between. Subconsciously we are probably influenced by a lot of artists.
ZME: Your debut album – tell us a little bit about how you recorded the album, about how that went through. How long did it take and how satisfied are you with the results? Is the outcome exactly as planned, or did something completely different come out?
We recorded it in this really weird room at The Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam. The room is soundproof, made almost entirely out wood and has a giant 8 person-bed. We recorded, ate and slept in that room so we didn’t see much of the outside world for a week.
We set a few rules for ourselves. We wanted to keep overdubs to a minimum so most of the songs were played live. Most of us are bedroom-producers who are used to making music with computers in a copy/cut/paste-way so playing as live as possible was really a task. But it was a nice change from what we usually do.
Another rule was to try to record the ‘vibe’. We all sat close to each other and played really softly. No monitors, headphones or drum booths. When you listen to the album you can really hear six people making music in a small room. It certainly didn’t come out exactly as planned but I think we got pretty close.
ZME: My favourite tracks from your album are „Some Day” and „Just Like A Man”. They’re a little bit more energic and optimistic, more up-beat. How did these songs come together? Tell us a little bit about the concept behind them, the lyrics, the use of specific instruments etc.
‘Some Day’ is written by Benny Sings. That was actually one of the more ‘finished’ sketches we worked on. The demo Benny made on his own was already great so we more or less played the parts he came up with. The backing vocals and handclaps were the most fun to do.
‘Just Like A Man’ is written by Roos. She comes from a jazz background but at the same time she listens to things like Feist and A Tribe Called Quest. You can really hear that in her songwriting. I played piano on that one and I remember that was a bit of a challenge since it contains about a million chords I never heard of.
I don’t think there’s any real meaning to the lyrics of both songs. Sometimes you just want pretty words fitting the music.
ZME: Please mention 10 other indie pop/rock bands you like listening to when you’re at home, relaxing, or working, or doing chores, etc.
WMIR: Of course I can’t speak for the other guys (and girl) but here’s what I listen to at the moment :
Emitt Rhodes – Recordings 1969-1973
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Arthur Russell – Love Is Overtaking Me
Passion Pit – Manners
Mark Eric – A Midsummer’s Day Dream
Dr. Dog – We All Belong
Data – Skywriter
Mocky – Saskamodie
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
ZME: Let’s imagine the perfect party. Mention 10 tracks you always want to hear, out of the hundreds you probably enjoy hearing, in order for the party to be a successful one.
Todd Rundgren – We Gotta Get You A Woman
Q-Tip – Vivrant Thing
Ween – Gabrielle
Yo Majesty – Don’t Let Go
Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better
Paul McCartney – Coming Up
The Jackson 5 – I Wanna Be Where You Are
LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Gonzales – Working Together
Prince – Housequake
…yeah, that sounds like a good party…
ZME: I looked on your MySpace page for live performances and was a little surprised to see that there are no set dates. Have you performed live until now? Where exactly? Also, mention a couple of places you are expected to perform in the near future and also, mention the places you are looking most forward to see.
WMIR: Well, we performed only once. That was at our release-party at the Lloyd Hotel. I’m not sure if we’re going to do more shows. We like to keep things a little exclusive…
ZME: If you could choose the list of performances for a festival, whom would you love to see performing, next to your name? You can ignore time frames and choose bands that aren’t performing anymore. Give us just a couple of names…
WMIR: When you say i can choose bands that aren’t performing anymore does that mean I can also choose artist that aren’t among us anymore? I don’t know, maybe Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra performing ‘Watertown’, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, The Beatles ofcourse, Captain Beefheart, Paul Williams…uhhh…this list can go on and on.
You can listen to a couple of their tracks on their MySpace page!