Paul Cook 17/02/2010
Paul Cook catches up briefly with one of GIITTV's top tips for 2010, Julie Campbell, better known as Warp Records' latest indie signing Lonelady…
Having signed for Warp Records, was the label's rich indie/pop history a factor in your decision?
I was of course aware of several of the artists on Warp's roster. But my listening habits are a bit more random; when I was younger I never paid much attention to what label a band or artist was on. Since signing with Warp I am learning about its considerable history and legacy. But I don't particularly feel the need to 'fit in'.
Some critics have focused on a heavy 80's influence? What would you describe is your style/genre and influences and do you feel Warp is the label best suited to that?
My listening habits are not confined to the 80's. It is a bit of a broad term 'the 80's'. You could be referring to anything from The Normal to George Michael. Some of the songs on the Nerve Up are a few years old, others much more recent; it documents a span of time. Growing up I just caught the end of the 80's, arguably when things were waning with Stock, Aitken & Waterman acts and so on. Later I became a big REM fan, particularly their earlier stuff; this has left its mark on some of the older songs on the album. I am interested in, but not exclusively, a lot of late 70's/early 80's music, for its ideas, energy, sharpness and spirit. I'm not inclined to write lists of bands. Dig around in that period and there's a lot of treasure, bands we all know but also odd singles by bands who put out a 7inch and were never heard of again...The album has echoes of this time, but equally it is also my 'story'. And Warp want to support it.
With the likes of La Roux and Florence and the Machine making waves in the charts do you feel now is a particularly good time for female-fronted bands? Are you a fan of the others?
I think its revealing about culture that we refer to these artists as female. I read a recent article on Brian Eno in the Guardian. There was a photo of him, and he's called 'Brian'. At no point did the article refer to him as a 'male' musician/composer. Partly because that would be stating the blinding obvious. Articles featuring musicians are often accompanied by an image; from photographs I can clearly see that La Roux, or Little Boots, or whoever, is female, yet there is this tacking-on of the word 'female'. This is reductive and ghettoizes female artists as though they were all somehow, sonically, the same. It's a verbal pat on the head. Of course the rock pantheon if full of men; their female counterparts in the 50's, 60's and 70's had moral and social mores imposed on them that would have made it almost impossible for them to grab a guitar and start a rock band. We're still experiencing these effects. Personally I don't appraise artists by their gender; what makes a good or great artist what they are is much more complicated and interesting.
Do you hope to play a number of festivals this summer also? Which ones?
Possibly; nothing is confirmed yet.