The Go! Team


Interviews, Music | by — September 15, 2005

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by Joanna Orland

For our last interview of the weekend at Bestival, we got to speak to Jamie Bell from The Go! Team (sorry to mislead and then disappoint all you Billy Elliot fans out there…)

Both Jamie and myself had spent the weekend chilling at Bestival, so conversation was quite blasé and completely open and honest. My words cannot do this article justice, so can I get a REwind back to the Loose Lips interview with Jamie Bell? (I’ve taken the liberty of correcting some of his grammar. But only some. I apologise for any incoherence and discomfort this may cause you.)

Loose Lips: What time did you guys get here?
JB: Various times. I got here on Friday night.

Loose Lips: So what do you think of the festival so far?
JB: I think it’s smart.

Loose Lips: Is it your favourite one out of all the ones you’ve played?
JB: Nope.

Loose Lips: Do you have a favourite one?
JB: Eh, Glastonbury’s me favourite, but this is pretty good. It’s got a lot of the good things about Glastonbury here, which is smart. It’s got some of the bad things about other festivals, which are also here.

Loose Lips: Out of the bands playing here, is there anyone you’re really looking forward to seeing?
JB: Yeah, personally it’s Super Furry Animals. Apart from that, I’ve not really been bothered about seeing anyone else.

Loose Lips: What do you have in store for your set tonight? Any surprises or chaos in store?
JB: Well there’ll be some chaos, yeah definitely. There’s bound to be a little bit of that. There’ll be… did you see the Mercury thing or anything like that? We’ve got some girls with us on stage dancing and chanting. A bit more the sound of the record on there with the multiple voices. They were meant to be coming down, but I haven’t seen them yet…

Loose Lips:How would you describe your music?
JB: I tend not to. Cuz it’s much easier not to bother. Yeah, it’s just… (unintelligible noise along the lines of “phsttttk”)…. It’s just a big mixture of stuff … I can’t. No… I’ve had it. I’ve tried loads of times and I can’t think of a way of summing up. I don’t like to do that anyway.

Loose Lips: Well, who are your musical influences then? Maybe we can deduce something from there.
JB: Erm. In terms of The Go! Team there’s all sorts. It wasn’t put together because this band are good, we should be like them or anything. Em it’s more….. I like this kind of sound… I like this kind of sound… and then you’ve got The Go! Team sound kind of thing picking up on whatever. I mean, Sonic Youth are a big influence cuz Ian writes all the music and they have a big influence but it’s only A side of the whole sound. Cuz there’s all the hip hop in there, and dunno, all sorts of stuff you know.

Loose Lips:  What do you personally listen to?
JB: Well, everything influences you. I mean I’ve not… I don’t … I‘ve not got a favourite bass player or anything like that. I play the bass by the way. (I think he caught on to the fact that I hadn’t a clue which band member he was… Oops) I’ve never thought in that kind of way. I like loads of different stuff so I’ve not fixed on anything like oh that’s great or anything. I’m personally exposed to Beta Band, or Stereolab, Super Furry Animals are some of me favourite bands. And it’s like … I dunno. It’s really difficult to say I am influenced by blah blah blah blah blah. (he actually said “blah blah blah blah blah”. I’m not being rude here and paraphrasing or anything like that)

Loose Lips: You said that Ian writes all the songs. Do you contribute to that as well? Do you write your own riffs or melodies or anything like that and offer them? Or do you not offer anything and just put up with his ideas? (ooh… sardonic)
JB: It’s pretty much the latter. But, there’s bits and pieces cuz we all play differently. So the sound on stage isn’t the sound on the album because we got different styles of playing and stuff like that. So there is bits n pieces that have been put in by the rest of us. I mean Ninja is singing her own lyrics and stuff like that. Erm, but in terms of recording it is just Ian. And the idea which sounds like this, he sort of puts it together.

Loose Lips: Did you play at all on the album, or just live?
JB: No no, just live. He used different bits by musicians who’ve come in and helped out, and stuff like that . Friends and stuff like that.

Loose Lips: How does that work for you? Do you feel less like it’s a band, do you feel more like a session musician? How does it affect you? (walking on egg shells here with the words “session musican”… Oh, here comes the look of death….)
JB: Erm… no not particularly. I mean I don’t feel like a session musician …AT ALL. Which is really nice. It was a bit strange when we first got together and met each other for the first time none of us knew each other basically so it was funny on the way there thinking ugh I wonder what everyone’s going to be like. Yeah, I feel part of the band and the fact that Ian’s writing the music, somebody’s got to write it. I don’t know if a lot bands work that way. Someone’s got all the things you play this, you play the other. Yeah I mean cuz we’re so new a band as well we’ve not had much time messing about together, we’ve been learning songs, trying to get them better rather than messing about in a studio together so that’s going to be happening more… we’ll see what happens.

Loose Lips: What about the Mercury Prize nomination. How did that surprise you, change you, move you, bring you to tears… what was your reaction to that?
JB: I was quite surprised. I hadn’t known we’d entered into it. It’s not an unpleasant surprise, it’s quite funny. But I just think it’s quite funny and it’s probably good in a commercial sense, you know, but I wasn’t dead excited or anything like that.

Loose Lips: Why not? (giggle)
JB: Because you know, it doesn’t excite me (giggle back. Ah… we’ve bonded). You might win a competition kind of thing… it was an interesting day, I was getting paparazzied and stuff like that sort of.

Loose Lips: What are your future plans for the band?
JB: Well, in the near future, well we’re doing more touring basically. We’re going over to the States cuz the record’s getting released over there. Playing a couple of shows in England and Europe and then we’ve got a bit of time off and we got a studio in Brighton fairly recently. Just a little place so we’re going to be moving some stuff into that and start messing around and stuff.

Loose Lips:  Would you ever think of moving into a more professional / commercial studio than what you use now?
JB: Professional studios were used, but at a different stage. It is going to be kept pretty low key just cuz like certainly Ian likes working that way, and I’d rather do that so we’re probably going to be using this room a bit that we got, but it is still going to be pretty much DIY music-making. I can’t see it changing to posh studios and things like that.

Loose Lips: If there were one word to some you guys up, what would that one word be?
JB: (pause) Aw… see they always get thrown in at the end… (long pause)… eeehhh eerrr (pronounced in a way that’s reminiscent of that scene in Pinocchio when he turned into a donkey)…. (pause) see I can’t do it without it sounding SHIT.

Loose Lips:  Give it a try.
JB: The problem… it’s eh… dunno, exciting?

Loose Lips:  Yeah, it’s pretty shit.
JB: Yeah, exactly. It makes it like (Mrs. Doubtfire suddenly takes over Jamie’s voice) OOH it’s exciting (end Mrs. Doubtfire). It makes it sound bad.

Loose Lips:  But if that’s what it is… (I meant, exciting, not bad)
JB: yeah, that’s the sort of aim basically though. To grab you.

Loose Lips:  To liven up the whole music scene. To add something fresh and exciting.
JB: Yeah fine. Basically!

Loose Lips:   Thank you very much.
JB: (laughing, likely out of relief that he doesn’t have to speak to me anymore, despite obviously enjoying himself while doing so.) That’s alright!

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