FOR LOVERS OF: Hot Chip, Chromeo, Hurts, Friendly Fires, Fenech-Soler, Human League
LEAD TRACKS: Disco Tears, My Love is Nothing More Than This, Lemon is Lemon, Skytoucher, Don’t Stay, Pure Attention Seeker
Real Experts is a London-based synthpop electronic project, headed by Andrew Maley. Their second LP ‘The Trade Off’, to be released on October 16, is loaded with catchy lyrics and infectious choruses. In following with a tradition this project has become known for, a beautiful rotating door of guest vocalists feature on this album. The first single is ‘Disco Tears’ featuring Daniel Angelus, the lead singer of Surrender Hearts, who has recently shared the stage with T’Pau, Katrina and The Waves, and Musical Youth. Angelus also features on three other tracks.
Hi our name is Real Experts.
Our sound is an infectious mixture of electro indie pop.
We are Andrew, John, Will and Paul and we are from London, but we have loads of guest vocalists from several places, including around the UK, Germany, USA and Australia.
Who are some artists that have influenced you?
From the 80s it would have to be Pet Shop Boys, New Order and Depeche Mode, and then The
Beloved in the early 90s. After that Royskopp were a big influence and then from current bands it would have to be Hurts, Hot Chip, Friendly Fires and Chromeo.
How old were all of you when you started to play music and who plays what in the band?
I think I was 10 when I started playing the piano, I was at a friend’s house and discovered that I could sit and work out how to play stuff really easily. For most of us it was between then and 13 etc where we all took to playing an instrument.
Andrew (aka Tame Genius) – Keyboards, Vocals
John – Lead guitar
Will – Bass guitar
Paul – Percussion
Vicki – Vocals
And then we have our amazing guest vocalists: Daniel, Eden, Mimi, Vivian, Mike and Paddy.
Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs through to releasing them?
The songs always start life swirling around in my head before I can get a demo version recorded. So before everyone records their own parts I know exactly how it will sound and who needs to do what. If any of them don’t sound as strong as they should be we re-work them slightly, but usually every single song and album that’s mapped out ends up being finished. Nothing gets dropped. The main change as we go along is I encourage the vocalists to make the songs their own in how they perform them.
What are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how do you deal with such challenges?
The main thing for us is everyone is being scattered geographically, so we’re not all in the same place at the same time often! There aren’t too many challenges in the musical sense, we’re all pretty good at making something sound good very easily and quickly! It’s a very commercial sound that we have, so we don’t spend time having long pretentious conversations about our art or anything like that!
Can you tell us about the support you receive from your label, PR agent or promoter? What radio
stations have been the most supportive to date?
We’ve been used to doing everything ourselves historically, but now things are taking off more it
made sense to step up PR and, so far, Shameless Promotion PR has been brilliant. It can be weird losing control of something but also sometimes you need a subjective outside approach. But it’s also healthy to see how more and more people perceive what you do. The shows that have played us the most and been supportive are Synthesize Me (in Israel), The Johnny Normal Radio Show, Electronic Transmissions, and WEATNU. We have more that have started playing our music and the fun aspect is we have a large selection of material and everyone seems to play different songs.
1st rock concert you went to and age....
Level 42, for my 15th birthday! I still have the ticket stub, which I have for every concert I’ve ever been to.
Coolest artist t-shirt you ever bought...
I was most proud of my Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia t-shirt, but maybe the coolest was a Royskopp t-shirt, as it looked quite minimal and arty and wasn’t obviously a band item of clothing. Could have been a brand of some description. Also my Depeche Mode – Violator top was a triumph.
The most insane concert you ever went to or were a part of….
Would have to be Electronic in one of the Wembley Halls. It seemed like the whole of Manchester had descended to London for it. After the support band Stereo MCs had been heckled off stage there was the longest wait for a headline act I’ve ever known, and it was getting hotter and hotter, and it was so mobbed. Eventually they came on and within about 30 seconds I’ve never know such crowd surging backwards and forwards, girls were fainting instantly, people were getting crushed, it was pandemonium. But to see Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr on stage was great, and also joined by Pet Shop Boys, so it was like the greatest collection of pop heroes in one place at the same time.
If you could open for any Band right now, who would that be and why?
Well we’re lucky enough to have played with Hot Chip , so that’s a bit of a dream in itself. But I would also say Hurts, as not only are they great but many of our fans are fans of theirs too, so it would be a perfect combination.
My youngest son is 14 and in a band. What advice would you offer him?…
Well, as 13 is the age I was when the band started I would say always concentrate on the quality of the songs themselves, rather than the quality of the recording or the technical aspect. The strength of the song is vital. Genres of music come and go and change and evolve but a great song transcends every genre. I always ask myself, if I heard it on the radio would I like it? The digital age means listeners have become used to soundbites and short attention span media, so it’s harder in that sense to get someone’s attention. So you have represent yourself as best you can in what you play people. Never offer excuses, if you tell someone it’s good, they will believe it.
Your thoughts on the state of rock ‘n’ roll in 2015…..
Depends if you mean literally just rock and roll or all of music!Rock itself has never changed, most bands after all this time still want to be The Beatles or Rolling Stones, it’s not a genre that offers anything new or original especially. So it becomes just about how good the songs are and the other factors around the image of a band. But people will still always like the same things, and there is always a new generation of young fans every few years where it’s new to them, so it all starts again. People will always like music with attitude they can connect with, and they have to have heroes and idols. You don’t get too many ugly bands. That’s not a coincidence. It’s more than just the music that makes a successful band (of any genre). But to answer the question,
music has always had eras of new trends, pop, rock, disco, electro, dance, indie, hip hop, RnB, but we’ve sort of run out of something new now. What we have is a lot of folk elements in mainstream music almost as a backlash to heavy noise. But it’s hard for there to be a new unique music genre, so it will just go round in cycles, the best current bands will fuse some of them together.And the internet has now offered so much choice there is massive saturation, so you can look at it two ways; it’s either great that you can find anything you want, or no one has any time to listen to a song the whole way through anymore!
What are your plans for the next half-year or so?…..
Well, on the off-chance I don’t collapse from exhaustion, we have our new album The Trade Off out now, but we have already begun work on the next album, so in January we’ll be releasing the next new single, called Apart Is Still Enough featuring CountessM. And then we’re hoping to release a Remix album.Following the Hot Chip live show we have a November date we’re really excited about in London, Night Club are flying over from LA to perform with us, alongside Vile Electrodes who also have a big following. Also happens to be my birthday that day! November 25th, Dublin Castle, Camden, put it in the diary