Interview with We Should Be Dead

Posted: March 11, 2008 in Uncategorized
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We Should Be Dead are a Limerick four piece (consisting of Tara – vocals/synth, Anna – guitar/vocals, Stephen – drums, Gary – bass) whose poppy, eminently danceable and unpretentious debut album has been critically acclaimed in a modern music world awash with asymmetrical haircuts and contrived apathy from ‘The Next Big Thing’. Having witnessed the TV abomination that was the NME awards not too long ago, I chatted with Tara, the co-vocalist of this breath of fresh air band..

So how does the interview process work in a four piece like this – have you done many interviews so far?
Weeell, we’re a little bit reluctant to do interviews coz it’s just a bit weird or whatever, y’know? So we just kinda take turns doing it.
Do you find it weird talking about the band and the music?
Well, (laughing), you kind of feel like a bit of an eejit y’know saying ‘Aw yeah, it’s all about the music, maaaan’
Well, you could always take the Bob Dylan approach and just say ‘fuck you journalists’ I suppose?
Oh God, yeah right! It’s just odd, you know yourself..
So how did We Should Be Dead happen?
Ok so, we started off as me and Steve (drums). Steve had three songs and it was supposed to be just a studio project for just, like, recording and just having a bit of fun. Then we recorded three songs with Mark O’Connor from Balls of Iron studios and then one of the songs made it onto a compilation CD of loads of Limerick bands and we were thinking: ‘Well who are We Should Be Dead and what are we doing?’ When it was really positively received Steve rang me and said: ‘Listen people are being really responsive to this and, if you’re up for it, would you be on for maybe recruiting people and actually getting a band together?’ At the time we were in other bands but we were looking to do something a bit different and we thought, well this is the perfect opportunity and we should go for it.
I was in a previous band with Anna (vocals too) and we know each other since we were 12, singing together and writing songs together and stuff and she was an obvious choice. Gary (bass player) had heard the CD and he was really interested and by chance Steve said ‘ Do ya wanna join our posse?’ and that’s how it started.
What kind of sound were you going for when you started out or did the sound just come naturally once you were all together recording the tracks?
We were much heavier when we started and much more of a punk outfit and then it kinda happened naturally when we went to record the album. We didn’t know how they were going to sound when we went to record the album coz we’d never played them live. I mean we knew the structure of them and how they were gonna go down but when all of it came together it was like ‘Oh my god. We’re a pop band. Cool!’ We don’t want to be taken too seriously, y’know? We want people to dance and have fun, it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s definitely not for the chin-strokers. We were talking about the second album and we want to be sure it’s light-hearted, fun music. Chin-strokers not welcome.
How does the band approach writing the songs?
All our songs are made for dancing. One of the most important elements of WSBD’s music is a singalong melody. The second most important element is a good, strong, dancy drumbeat, like, the melody – so you can sing along to that – and a real stompy, dancy drumbeat and then once you’ve got those two things good and strong, then y’know throw in a couple of funky bass lines and a bit of sparkly guitar y’know and sure you’re sorted. Flyin’ it, know what I mean?
What are the influences for the band beyond the punk sound you may have flirted with originally? Blondie has been suggested as a reference point, along with, maybe, the Shangri-Las. What do you make of that?
We all listen to so many things. I mean, I know the lads like Spector and the 60s girl groups. I mean who doesn’t like all that music you know? But we listen to so much different stuff, I don’t know where we get our sound from. All our influences are so broad, I like to think that if I don’t necessarily like a band but I like a song then that’s good and it doesn’t matter who it is…it could be fucking Britney Spears or whatever! A good song is a good song, you know that kind of way?
Well, her last album had some decent tunes on it, didn’t it?
Her last album is brilliant. Anna got it for Christmas and I borrowed from her and it is stomping and I’m not ashamed to say that. I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘Oh, it’s uncool to like that’ thing. People should take it for what it is.
Dublin had a reputation for having a few cliques going on, not too long ago – the singer-songwriters of a few years back for example – but there seems to be a notable amount of comradery between new bands up here recently. How does the music scene in Limerick compare at the moment?
I think the scene in Limerick is great for bands coming up and there are a lot of great acts around here. I mean one of Ireland’s best bands at the moment is still giveamanakick and their third album I know is gonna be just brilliant. I think the Irish people are gonna get a dose of cop-on one of these days and realise how good the two lads from giveamanakick are and will appreciate how talented those lads really are. Another band coming up that I love is Walter Mitty and the Realists; they are such a strong band with a fourth member just joined up and they’re gonna shine this year.
The inevitable Myspace question. What do WSBD make of it?
Myspace has been unbelievable. Sweden and Scotland are the capitals of the world in pop music, they really are. All the good pop comes from there and we’ve made so many friends in these countries that we would never have made before y’know? It’s like we can share our pop roots together and Myspace has made it a really small world in that way.
How have the four of you taken the acclaim your debut album received critically?
I’m very positive about the album reviews but to be honest I’m ready to move onto the second album now. I love the album and I’m still having fun gigging it but as a band we are always trying to move forward and at the moment, because we are in a bit of a lull, we’re not doing so many gigs. We’ve just finished the album tour so we’re trying not to do so many gigs and we’re actually writing for the second album and hoping to record as soon as possible. We want to follow things up fairly quickly; we don’t want to sit on this for the next whatever length of time.
Have you written much for the new album?
Emmmm, we’re nearly there yeah…
Really? So can we expect it within the year?
Emmmm I can’t say yes and I can’t say no.
Evasive eh? I like it.
Well, keep your ears open, that’s all I can say…

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