Alex Worsnip 07/03/2005
It's an exciting time for Cherubs - following their explosive debut single 'Hey Bunny' the London-based, mostly Norweigan-born band are one to look out for in 2005, with their punk-funk tinged, 80s-influenced sound, as they release debut album Uncovered By Heartbeat. GodIsInTheTV caught up with guitarist Espen
GodIsInTheTV: Norway - not the best for music scenes? Or are we much mistaken - is there a thriving scene which just hasn't reached the UK yet?
Espen: "There is actually a thriving music scene in Norway, especially in Bergen where we're from. Most of it revolves around a little fellow called Mikal Telle who started his own clothing store many years ago. This store evolved into a clothing/music store, and finally a label. Some of the artists involved with this label have already reached the UK (Royksopp, Kings of Convenience, Annie), and more will follow. Electronic music has dominated the scene for some time, and I think this might have something to do with the lack of venues in Norway. It's not as easy in Norway as it is in London for a small, unsigned, unknown band to get gigs...so people tend to end up sitting in their bedrooms with a guitar or a laptop making weird Nordic music. For bands like us there isn't much of a music scene in Norway. I can't say I know of a single Norwegian band doing what we do. But to be honest I don't really see us as being a Norwegian band at all. We started the band in London, and evolved in London, found our sound in London, have got English band members and so on".
GodIsInTheTV: Do you feel part of a 'scene' over here in London, or are 'scenes' just a contemptuous fabrication of the NME?
Espen: "Scenes do exist, of course they do. But usually not the ones the NME make up. Somebody said recently - I can't remember who - that you can easily spot a fake scene by seeing if all the performers in the 'scene' know each other or not. Seeing as we know most of the up and coming bands in London at the moment one way or another, I guess you can say there's a scene, and I guess you can say we're
part of it. At least by those criteria. But then again, most of these bands sound completely different and have different agendas. One of the scenes the NME made up was the whole 'London Burning' thing, which is rubbish. Not all the music in London revolves around The Libertines. A lot of bands have been involved with them in one way or another, but most of these bands - not all of them - have got a lot more to
offer than just being friends of The Libertines. But to answer your question, yes, I guess we do feel part of a scene. But only our own little scene where we're friends with other bands, hang out with them, share beds with them, do gigs with them, go clothes shopping with them".
GodIsInTheTV: Hey Bunny was the definition of an ear-catching debut single. Do you feel it encompasses your sound, or do you think there's more to it? What can we expect from the album stylistically?
Espen: "It's difficult saying what our sound is, because we're still finding it. I would definately say there's a lot of it in 'Hey Bunny', but there's a lot more to our sound than that. The album is a little slice of us as we are now, or rather as we were at the time of recording. We've been writing a lot of new songs, and also learnt a lot in the time passed since recording the album, and I think it's fair to say that the next one won't sound much like the first one. But it'll still sound like us. What you can expect from this first album stylistically? I guess it's all in the same vein as the first single, but it's also got some mellower songs on there. A lot of the songs were written as much as a year apart. It's hard for me to say because I've been living with it for so long now.
GodIsInTheTV: Playing live seems to be important to you. What's been the most special gig so far?
Espen: "That's a difficult one. There's been many. Our first ever gig; our first gig with Matthew [guitar] or Glenn [drums]; our first gig supporting a bigger band; our first gig in a really big venue. I don't know. i guess I'd have to say the first gig with Matthew on board. That was our first step in the right direction, and the beginning of us truly feeling like a band. And shortly after that Glenn joined. When we were all together, that's the first time I've ever felt like I was in a proper band, and not just a little hobby band. We are all really good friends, and we've all got the same ideas...at least in general".
GodIsInTheTV: Live you struck me as having a touch of a young Fall about you. Are they an influence, or am I off the mark?
Espen: "They're an influence along with many, many other bands. But thanks, I take that as a compliment".
GodIsInTheTV: If you could support any band in the world today, who would it be?
Espen: "That's another tough one, but just to make Jorgen [bass] happy I'll say The Cure".
GodIsInTheTV: You've had some good support from John Kennedy on XFM. Has that been good? Who else has given you good support?
Espen: "It's been very good. John was the first one to play our demo on the radio, and has really been with us ever since. On top of that he's a really sweet guy. Zane Lowe has also been very supportive".
GodIsInTheTV: Which bands that you've seen do you think are destined for big things in 2005?
Espen: "The standard answer here would be Bloc Party, wouldn't it? They deserve all the attention they get. We played with them a little over a year ago and were handed their demo. It's the first and only demo to this day to have made such an impression on me. It was just really different from everything else that was going on back then, and they had found their own sound. On top of that, Russel's an amazing guitar player. Other than that, I've grown to like The Futureheads a lot. It'll be interesting to see what'll happen to The Departure too, and Maximo Park. I also reckon our lovely friends Special Needs will do well for themselves. I don't know, there are a lot of good bands out there at the moment. Fingers crossed all the good guys do well".