Wednesday, November 05, 2008

White Lies

BTA sat down recently with White Lies frontman Harry McVeigh to discuss the band's origins, Ben Sherman, and Guitar Hero. Journalistic genius ensued.

White Lies is made up of McVeigh, Jack Brown and Charles Cave; a trio who started playing music together as 15 year olds under the moniker Fear of Flying. When asked about the name swap, Harry told BTA that the original trio was "very naive in our song writing and in the way we approached everything." After they matured as a group and got some Talking Heads covers out of their system change was in the air. McVeigh explained that White Lies came about once "the band progressed so much that we thought we deserved to be called something new."

White Lies enjoyed their first trip to the economic danger zone that is Iceland last month, where they played the Airwaves festival. McVeigh told BTA that the festival experience was great and that "Iceland is an amazing place, completely barren, there’s nothing there." Sounds like a new marketing campaign for the tourist board.

A recent tour with Canadian twosome Crystal Castles led to collaborative efforts on an amazing subterranean-sounding electro remix of White Lies’ track 'Death'. In true patriotic style, BTA asked Harry if Crystal Castles had pimped Canada to them, and were disappointed to hear that this was not in fact the case. In a possible reaction to our dejected faces Harry quickly assured us that they had actually been visiting Canadian landmarks and having a great time. "We went to Niagara Falls yesterday, and we’ve heard good things about [Queen West]. We also ate a few meals here," he said, gesturing loosely in the direction of McDonalds. God, I hope not.

Fresh off the festival circuit, the boys were playing a show at the Horseshoe Tavern and then flying to NY for an in-store show at Ben Sherman. While they'd done in-stores before at record stores, this clothing shop will be a new experience for them.

When asked about the band's favourite type of show, Harry mentioned that while every type of venue has its merits, festivals guarantee new fans, a definite plus for up-and-coming bands. "People tend to wander around, and so we get fresh ears," explains Harry.

The topic of new bands led to talk about Guitar Hero, North America's pop culture craze. We were curious to know if it was also big in the UK (it is) and if they themselves had played (they have). Harry even endorsed the videogame, explaining that plastic instrument mania is encouraging for the music industry as it motivates new talent. And they wouldn’t mind being a part of this phenomenon either: "I think it would be a huge compliment to have one of our songs in there."

Still young and modest, these talented lads did not seem to take their burgeoning success for granted and even went so far as to mention a couple of acts they thought we should check out, fellow Brit bands The Joy Formidable and Post War Years.

For your enjoyment, here is a live version of White Lies' 'Death'.



"Death" is the best - kinda melancholy but pretty good! I have to admit that I wasn't impressed when I saw them on the TV but then after seeing their videos (i.e. their recorded versions) I was impressed.

So do you actually think that they are more of a record band than a live band? That's the impression I'm getting but it could've just been a bad night (bit like when I saw Yeasayer for the first time but now I love 'em!!)

Scarlet xx

P.S. G.R.O. - yes I have heard "Autonomy Boy" by Long Blondes and it was also the first thing that attracted me to them. I think they've got a new album of singles that never made it on to the albums coming out but I'm not sure if it's on there. Thanks for visiting anyway!

A.W. said...

this is one of my favourite tracks this fall. i actually havent listened to anything else by them because i feel it might have trouble living up.

G.R.O. said...

a.m.p.m. and I saw them at Field Day this year and they were awesome, one of the bands of the weekend. I think it's hard to assess how good a band is live from TV. Fleet Foxes were on Later last night and you didn't get anywhere near the impact of their harmonies that you do in person...

A.W. You gotta at least check out Unfinished Business, that's what I heard first and I think it's up there with Death...