Late Of The Pier
Sel Bulut 09/03/2008
Late of the Pier - Sheffield Plug - 26/02/08
With only a few dates left on their tour, Castle Donington indie-electro-dance-glam-post-punk four piece Late Of The Pier have been a bit busy. Their new single, The Bears Are Coming, is released via their own label Zarcorp on March 3rd. After much confusion (they didn't know I was coming until two minutes beforehand), I caught up with frontman Sam Eastgate and keyboardist Sam Potter before their headline show at Sheffield Plug.
Who are you and what do you do?
Sam: Who am I? I'm Sam Eastgate, and I do many things - one of which is play guitar, keyboards and sing in Late Of The Pier. One could say that I was a frontman, but I like to call myself an equal among the band. We all have the same stature and we all have the same pose on stage.
Potter: We are the same statues.
S: Yeah, we are the same statues in our local park.
How are you? Had a good day?
S: Good day, bad week, brilliant month, terrible year. At this minute - undecided.
How's the tour been going?
S: The tour…as part of this month it's being going very well. Even though the month itself has been going very badly. But the tour itself, which has filled up most of the month, I feel has been a success, due to good crowds, great sound by us and our support bands, and really interesting faces pulled by our bassist on stage.
Yeah, where is Faley [the bassist]?
S: Pulling faces.
P: If we shout him loudly he might come through.
S: His mum and dad are here so he's gone to calm his frail nerves, or something like that…
P: I'm just taking my Quasar results from last night. In my comment it says “I don't think they will like you”. So I don't know if that's a lesson for life and whether I should care for it or not…
Is that a good thing?
P: I don't know. The comment's really ambiguous…
S: They said that about you?
P: “I don't think they will like you”…
S: Maybe that's your buff fox that you have on your chest saying something about you.
P: Maybe that's like a phrase to sum up what happened in the last twenty minutes.
S: There's a really weird smell in those places as well. I just remembered the smell of those laser quest machines.
P: Do you know we went out and we thought “oh shit we should take some CDs” and we took Enyo Moriconi and we had all this spaghetti western music.
S: Oh wow!
P: It was fucking amazing. Then we had some really dark drum and bass for the second one, because we were so drained from the first one.
S: I didn't go, by the way. But we should probably get on, you have lots of questions.
No, it's alright, my questions aren't particularly interesting.
S: Have you ever been to laser quest?
I have been to the laser quest in, er, Cleethorpes.
P: What do they call it there? Because it's got so many different names - like we went to one place and they were like “what, ya talkin' 'bout Zap Attack??”
I think everyone just calls it laser quest here. But it says light quest on the outside…
S: Light quest? That's good.
P: That's an album name, that is.
S: The Light Fantastic.
On that note, what are you going to call the album? That was actually one of my questions…
S: Quasar Quest.
S: The Light Quest (laughs) I actually like that, but it's not going to be.
P: I really like it.
S: It's like a 'light' quest, like not too difficult or anything.
Surely I can claim royalties if you call it that?
S: No, I can claim royalties because I said it out of my mouth. Unless I run out of here now and patent it.
P: I think we should. We've been building up this reputation of being the most evil bastards in the world.
S: We've got an on-board patenter on our tour bus. It just patents things that we say all the time. So watch out, Sheffield.
Okay, more to the point of your music (apparently). On the 3rd March you're releasing The Bears Are Coming on Zarcorp, which is your own label…
P: What a mysterious label.
S: We don't know much about it.
I was going to ask if you have plans to release anything else through it?
P: We already released an SMK [Slagsmålsklubben, one of their support acts] single. It's really fucking good as well.
S: Watch SMK tonight…you may have seen them before. You may actually know exactly who they are so you don't need me to tell you. But their single is now out on our label, Zarcorp.
P: OUT NOW!
S: And it's fucking brilliant. And we're really scared that nothing good is ever going to come out on Zarcorp ever again. Because compared to that it's just gonna seem weak.
P: We could keep re-releasing it as a Zarcorp single.
S: Why don't we just release it and call it different things. Speed it up for some of them? Put it at different speeds, play it backwards…that's Zarcorp, anyway.
Talking of Zarcorp - the Zarcorp Demo [bedroom recordings of songs the band released online a while ago]. What has made it onto the album from that and what's been cut?
S: Oh, that old thing.
P: Some of it, not too much of it. A little bit.
S: Probably none of it. None of it as an actual recording has got any relevance to anything. We've been jigging up all of it.
P: We took the dust off and shined it up a little bit.
S: And then with some of the shiny stuff, we put more dust on it.
P: Put it through different machines.
S: We've got a dust machine. And we've also got a shiny machine. I'd say three of the songs off the original Zarcorp Demo will feature on the album. Four songs, maybe.
Are they possibly singles Space & the Woods, Bathroom Gurgle and The Bears Are Coming?
S: Bathroom Gurgle was on one of our demos?
On the one I downloaded, yeah.
P: It shouldn't be.
S: That's not right there.
P: Somebody has done an illegal action.
S: Maybe when we were gonna put a virus on it, Faley uploaded Bathroom Gurgle instead of the virus. He thought it was a type of virus.
P: He planned to plant a virus there.
S: It is a virus, that song, actually. Nobody knows yet. But it's going to kill them.
Alright then, next question…(fumbles about sheet of paper looking for next question…discovers questions are written on the other side and unfolds the paper.)
P: Woah…it's like a pop-up interview.
It has a drawing by my brother on the back.
P: Let me see…oh that's nice.
S: It's very…straight.
P: How old is he?
S: It's quite straight for a seven year old.
P: It's really straight. He's gonna be a civil planner when he's older.
S: I think he's gonna be an architect…
So, La Priest [Sam Eastgate's solo electronic side project]…
S: Nah…yeah. Yeah? No.
Are you ever going to do it live, or is it just stuff to do in your own time?
S: Nah…I can't be arsed (laughs) No, I shouldn't say that really…or maybe I should, I don't know. It's kind of the truth. The thing is that I don't want to do it and for it to be just one person, i.e. me, stood there with a load of equipment obviously not doing that much, just playing one part of it, and loads of stuff on backing track. It's just a bit lame really. Unless I had a pantomime going on to it. Maybe I'll just organise a theatre group and the live-ness about it can just be that it's like a pantomime to the backing track of La Priest music. That's the only way I'd do it really. I think if it was a play, it'd be about gardening…and it would involve midgets.
Erol Alkan did a remix of La Priest. What's it like working with him on the album?
S: It is like tickling a murderer.
P: You should've just said what's it like because you're gonna get extremely useless metaphors, because the feeling you get you can't sum up with real words.
S: Because we're not very good at that!
P: What it's like with Erol…it's so unusual and different. It's not like the usual setting of the producer and the band and you can't really sum it up in words.
S: He's like a furry snake.
P: He's like an electric snake. And he's whipping you with his tail. Not in a bad way, in a nice way.
S: And he always whips something good out of you. He's really good at whipping actually.
P: He's like a really enthusiastic child. Yet he's the boss man and he's pulling it out of you. It's just really weird.
S: It's like one of those giggling children out of a Japanese cartoon. It's like they've got this secret spirit power and they can summon out the powers of music from you. But they're just a child and they're giggling. Then they run away. And their mum tells them off. That's what Erol's like.
You played the Skins party, what was that like?
P: The what?
P: Oh, party.
S: I thought you said apartheid.
P: It was really shit actually. It was really fucking shit.
S: Yeah, come on Skins!
P: People are like “what did you expect?” but we expected just loads of over-exuberant kids.
S: We just got boring middle aged guys.
P: Boring, scary Bristolians. I don't understand how they could be on so many drugs but not feel happy. It was weird. So dark there as well. There were two hookers on the dance floor. I saw some bad things, 'til I looked away.
S: Did we play Bristol before?
P: Yeah we played the boat!
S: That was amazing. That boat was a fucking godsend.
P: We played with Van She and there was five people there.
S: But we played there twice.
P: We played the Dot-To-Dot one as well.
S: That was really good actually. So we've played Bristol three times. Doesn't feel like it does it?
When the album's out - US tour. Yes or no?
S: Nah…can't be arsed (laughs)
P: It's just too much money.
S: They'll send us out on so many little dates that they'll spend just as much money on us that they would if they'd sent us on a tour. But it'd just be five different shows. So really, they're just stupid.
P: It'd be nice to tour a particular scene.
S: Do New York or something like that.
P: Do like ten dates in New York.
S: I don't even know if there are ten venues in New York anymore. It's really fucking dire at the moment. There's hardly any venues, a few main ones but most double up as bars. I might be wrong.
Last question, probably, because this is running on…this is really tedious, but I write for God Is In The TV, so what was your favourite TV show as a child?
S: We were watching Ghostbusters the other day and it's full of such actually adult humour and even though everyone liked Ghostbusters as a child, I still think that's really amazing. It's full of loads of awkward adult moments, things that kids aren't supposed to understand. Nowadays when people make films they should believe in children a bit more, because they just understand stuff. Even if they don't, they kind of just do. People need to put more content into children's TV. Like, adult content…
S: Not like that!
I think that'll do…seems I'm out of questions…
P: Now we can ask you questions.
S: If you think of any, you can always run up and ask us whilst we're on stage.
P: We could answer it through the song…
S: (sings) I'm not too keen on carrots. But I quite like broccoli. There you go.
Video for the new single "The Bears Are Coming" out now:
Bears Are Coming
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