“A musical fist-fight between Johnny Rotten, Rockabilly” ,Meet – White Ape

white-ape

I start all these ‘Meet the Bands’ by listening to the last album a few times,before I begin to write. Here’s my problem , this first song is so right on perfect as a lead in to the rest of the tunes that I am actually going to put the lyrics here for you to read before you get into their ‘Meet the Band’. These guys are the real deal, so give a listen and be prepared to sing along, catchy stuff….

In the early versions of the song, it was Beach Boy Mike Love, rather than Courtney who was ‘killing teenagers with a razor glove’ but Courtney was deemed a more iconic figure and the lyrics were changed at the last moment before the song’s first live performance.

Courtney Love Will Tear Us Apart
If I was a woman I’d be Courtney Love, killing teenagers with a razor glove.
I tried to be nice to get to heaven above but it wasn’t in me when push comes to shove

Chorus: You think you’re shit hot and you’re half right x3
You think you’re shit hot

He thinks that he’s clever cos he spends his time thinking, thinking about how clever he is.
I know you’re rich and you know you’re handsome, you write a good tune but so could Charles Manson.

Chorus

In twenty years where do you see your daughter? With a rifle up a tower, guarding the last of the water. I taught her to slaughter, to get ahead in the pecking order.

Chorus

Spoken word bit:
It’s like The Beatles on acid x2
It’s like The Beatles on more acid
It’s like the Beatles on Better Acid
It’s like Sun Ra, Lee Perry, Captain Beefheart and Syd Barrett jamming. In a big brass bell. On The Moon.
It’s like if Motown was in Madchester and Madchester was on the Missisipi delta but also in Memphis.
It’s like Giorgio Moroder and Sonic Youth team up to rewrite the Dr Who theme tune.
It’s like if Madonna was born in Sheffield in the post-punk era.
It’s like if the Fall went to San Francisco, it’s like if Jimi Hendrix went disco, it’s like if Beyoncé joined the Pistols.
It’s like The Beatles on acid etc

Chorus to fade.

Meet – White Ape

for those unfamiliar with your history, can you tell us you decided to give this whole music thing a shot?

I [Tommy] met Mike in Tsing Tao China, where the beer comes from. You can buy a plastic bag full of about a litre of beer for 50p at the side of the road. We got wasted, swam a mile out to sea, found loads of holes in the shark nets, swam back and formed a band.

Jim and Olly joined later but they’ve been friends with Mike since they were all about five or six. They used to be in a punk band called The STDs which I think we can all agree is a great name!

I’ve been playing since I was about 12. I’ve had loads of bands with my brother and other people. One of our bands, General Khaki supported Babyshambles on tour, that was our shot at the big time!


who would you list as your musical influence?.

That’s always an awkward question cos your influences aren’t always who you sound like. My favourite band’s The Beach Boys but that makes it sound like we’re all singing in harmonies about surfing! (we’re not, sadly!)

We’ve been described as ‘a garage rock band but not at all retro’. There’s a lot of post-punk in there too. We get compared to Wire a lot which is weird cos I’ve never listened to them much at all. There’s a fair bit of Johnny Rotten in me: the theatre of provocation and the notion of mixing vulgar humour with more visionary stuff. I listen to lots of hip hop too, old school stuff like Wu Tang and NWA mainly: the physical feel of lyrics and the flow and phrasing is as important to me as the meaning.

I love Beefheart, The Slits, Adam & The Ants, Black Lips, The Sonics, The Modern Lovers Iggy Pop, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Adam & The Ants but also a load of stuff that’s nothing like our sound: loads of 60s & 70s soul, loads of reggae and ska and pop people like Prince and Madonna. Actually recently, I’ve been trying to check out more modern music, new underground bands for sure but also chart pop which, oddly, is the one seam of music I’ve never really mined.


whats the coolest thing that’s happened to you as a band since you started up?

I tell you the worst thing: turning down a support slot with Fat White Family! Not our smartest career move!

In terms of the coolest thing, there are loads of obvious milestones: putting out the first record, hearing our music on the radio, seeing the audience grow but a lot of the coolest moments are private ones: like having a breakthrough working on a new song and everyone looks at each other like ‘Yeah!’


what are your hopes and dreams as a band for the next few years.

Make up that missed support slot with Fat Whites! Mainly just the obvious stuff, keep progressing the music, keep building the fan base, get on some festival bills.


what are some of your favorite albums from the past few years?

Meatraffle’s HiFi Classics, Black Lips’ Underneath The Rainbow, Tijuana Panthers’ Wayne Interest and Poster, Evil Blizzard Everyone Come to Church, The Membranes’ Dark Matter/Dark Energy, Faerground Accidents’ Back In Town (7”), Parquet Courts’ Light Up Gold (a few years old, that one, need to catch up with their new stuff), Emily C Smith Marina’s Laughing (her forthcoming EP’s killer too!) and just to change the mood completely, I actually liked most of Madonna’s Rebel Heart although it seemed to piss a lot of people off.


Do you see any real use for social media, or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?

We’ve definitely found plenty of fans through social media but it’s a double edged sword: the more time you spend promoting your music, the less time you have for making music. I always say, the best way to get fans is to meet people: go out to gigs and support your local scene and it will support you! I’ve got an 18-month old daughter so I don’t get out to as many as I used to but I try to turn out for bands that we like. Sorry to all my mates reading this and going ‘what doesn’t he like us any more?!’ – have patience, I will turn up eventually when I’m done changing nappies!


Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off.

I’m always very flattered by our reviews, people have been very nice about us and I always appreciate people taking the time and effort to listen to our music and write about it but I wouldn’t say it affects us in terms of what we’re doing musically, we just tend to plough our own furrow. Like if someone goes ‘this is a great song, sounds like The Pistols’, we don’t go ‘let’s write ten songs that sound like The Pistols!’.

If you could tour anywhere in the world , where would you want to go.

Why stop at the world? We want to be the first band in space! We’ll fly our fans out to Mars. It’s about as cost-effective as any promo these days!

Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life.

I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive! Music can lift you out of some pretty bad shit. Music’s always been there for me at my darkest moments so yeah, to paraphrase Don MacLean, it can save your mortal soul!

Any last thoughts for your fans?

Stop letting greedy bastards take what’s rightfully yours and tell you it’s for your own good!

White Ape:

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Scott

From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife , 4 great kids and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

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