Tag Archives: british rock

The Hundred Days Recall 80s Dance Rock. Exclusive Interview

San Francisco band The Hundred Days has just released their debut album, Really? August 16th, 2011.  Really? recalls The Killers Hot Fuss-era, Franz Ferdinand, as well as British post-punk bands Echo and The Bunnymen, and The Cure and Joy Division.

 Really? was produced by Michael Patterson (Beck, Ladytron, She Wants Revenge) and Nic Jodoin (Great Northern).  Lead single “Sex U” has generated some a lot of buzz, with NME recently calling it “one of the 10 Best Free MP3s”. 

 Here’s an exclusive interview with the band. 

 You guys locked yourself in a house until you found “the perfect formula”. What’s the story behind this? How did you meet and decide on this dance-rock hybrid?

 We met each other at a party and just got talking about music and found that we had a lot in common.  Not too much, where we would just pat each other on the back all night, but enough where we wanted to play together.  When we got together, there were immediate sparks.  A lot of what makes a good band or a girlfriend or whatever is luck – the right person at the right time.

Jimmy Chen, you’ve described the band as a clash of ideas and that the tension drives the band. Do you guys all collaborate on songs, or does one person bring one idea to the table and go from there?

Yes, a lot of what we write comes from just jamming early in the rehearsal, when our ears are fresh. We record everything and just glean for gems afterwards. When we don’t know what we are playing yet, we really listen to each other very hard. If someone makes a small rhythm change in their part, we all immediately react. The smallest rhythm change in the phrasing can make the difference between cool and corny.

You guys are from San Francisco. Yet there definitely seems to be a huge British post-punk influence throughout, Really? What British bands inspire you?  There seems to be a moody influence like Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen.

We definitely have a love of English bands in common – old and new.  Its part of what drew us together. We have a moody side to us and we also love to just have a good time – like everyone else.

Dance-rock seems to have exploded in the past few years. Do you see it is as a reaction to the negative events in the world, or a musical reaction to the angst of grunge?

It’s definitely a reaction to both, but you can never predict how people will react – whether it’s to reflect what is going on or to drive you the opposite way.

Really? Seems to work really well as album – rather than a mere collection

of songs. It seems like a complete thought. All of the songs could be singles. What was your mindset going into making Really?

Thanks!  Yes, we wanted every song to be able to stand on its own.  We grew up with albums but now with singles downloads, we definitely kept that in mind as well.

What was your reaction to having NME name “Sex U” as one of the 10 Best Free MP3s”? They have a long legacy.

We are obviously very flattered.  Thank you NME!

You guys are touring The West Coast now and are planning an East Coast Tour. What are your plans after that? What do you hope to achieve with Really? Any thoughts for the next album, or are you taking it one step at a time?

I hear them talking about going back to the UK afterwards but haven’t heard any firm details yet. Our goals are just to keep making music that we love and bring it to as many people as possible.  Anything above that is just the cherry on top.  We have just been trying to get this album out but we have already started kicking around some ideas.

http://www.thehundreddays.com/

Beady Eye – Stealing From The Beatles Even More Than Oasis

I have to admit that I have a bit of curiosity for Beady Eye, the group that Liam Gallagher formed since his brother Noel Gallagher split from Oasis.  Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have even known that he had formed another band if it weren’t for my occasional reading of British Rock magazines such as Mojo, Uncut, and Q.  Unlike US rock magazines, the British rock world hasn’t seem to have gotten tired of the Gallagher’s antics.

Oasis’ place in rock history isn’t quite as cemented as the British press would have you believe.  Their first two albums (Definitely Maybe and (What’s the Story )Morning Glory?) are great, but not life-changing.  But post-Glory, the most interesting thing about the band was the flares between the two brothers.  But despite the name-calling their drama can easily  be summed up by Noel’s hubris over his songwriting, and Liam’s insistence of being a “real” rock star.

Different Gear, Still Speeding sounds like Paul McCartney discovered some long lost Beatles demos and gave them to Liam Gallagher.   But at least Noel had the instinct to slightly cover up his Beatles’ obsession with loud guitars, and the occasional slight detour into the Manchester sound as if to prove he listened to new music post-1975.  But on Beady Eye’s debut, Liam not only takes cues from The Beatles, he’s even retained some of the Fab Four’s sonic textures.  George Harrison’s ghost plays some pretty great riffs, and busts out some pretty fantastic solos. “Millionaire” is  probably the song George Harrison wrote after his tax problems.  “The Roller” takes cues from Lennon’s White Album-era songwriting.  And “Bright Light” is a Paul McCartney rave-up on the likes of “I’m Down” and “The Night Before”.   Even the names of the songs themselves don’t disguise the younger Gallagher’s love for The Beatles. “Three Ring Circus” – “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite”, anybody?  And there’s no way “Wigwam” isn’t taken from the lyrics of “Hey Bulldog”: “Wigwam, frightening of the dark”

Of course, it’s kind of redundant to pick apart Gallagher’s obsession with The Beatles. When Oasis came out, it might have seemed that some people forgot about The Beatles, or didn’t view them as cool – I’m looking at you, Seattle.  Circa 1994-1995, Oasis filled a void of classicist pop that was missing, at least from American shores.  Since then, sales of Beatles albums and collections have soared, so it remains to be seen whether people will still be interested in a Beatles retread band without the drama.