Photos and Interview: White Lies and Alex Cameron visit the O2 Academy in Sheffield

Last month, we reviewed and interviewed White Lies as they visited New York City. This week, they continued their tour in Sheffield, with a stop at O2 Academy with Alex Cameron.

Natalie Black: What does the maze imagery on Friends mean?
Harry: One thing I really like about that image, and I have always liked this, it reminds me a lot like classic prog rock of the 70s and early 80s. Not just the image but also the way it’s printed and that’s something I have always liked about it.

Natalie: Who specifically?
Harry: Well it’s not quite like the Yes covers.
Charles: It’s like some of the Yes covers, the later ones.
Harry: It reminds me of Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Natalie: Did you draw it?
Harry: No I wish! Some more talented people than us helped us make it look like it looked in the end
Charles: We liked the idea of something vaguely sci fi. We found an artist who does this really wonderful range of Mezcal and when I looked into his website with the most amazing artwork, we reached out and asked if we could use something of his. But in the last few months they had several artists reach out and ask to do theirs. And then we found this idea for the maze and it’s not a million miles away and we still ended up with something along the lines of it.

Natalie: Do you like sci fi?
Harry: I do watch a lot of films but I enjoy reading sci fi more. I feel like when you see a sci fi film it’s almost too real and the joy of sci fi for me is when it’s vague enough that it’s really believable
Charles: I like sci fi films that are quite suggestive and you don’t necessarily looking at aliens

Natalie: What do you think helped you stay together for 10 years?
Charles: That we were friends before we were in a band. That’s pretty much it.
Harry: We don’t hate each other too much
Charles: Being on tour especially, well actually every aspect of being in a band. Writing music, recording music, going to meetings, being on tour, it’s all extremely close quarters whatever you’re doing you’re right on top of each other. I can’t imagine being a session musician on the road with a band with people I didn’t actually love. More than just like. You kind of have to love the people you’re on tour with because um yeah otherwise it would be extremely lonely or very uncomfortable.

Natalie: What led to the sound changing from gloomy in your debut album to more pop in Friends.
Charles: I don’t know I don’t think it’s something we really think about that much.
Harry: I think that we’ve always been into writing songs with great melody, or as good a melody as we think we can write. And I think often if you’re trying to write interesting melody it will sometimes sound more upbeat and less gloomy. I think the way we approached writing this record was always with less in the way of kind of some of the progressive sounds that we have used in the past like I think its softened a little bit and I think that comes from the writing process and what we were listening to when we were writing and I think that carries through quite a lot in the final record. There is less kind of in your face guitar and a lot less distortion. I don’t know I think it was probably born out of what we were listening to at the time. Like we were obsessed with Interpol and I think that carried over a lot into our first record, I think you can hear a lot of that influencer. And we’re just not in that place anymore. We certainly get gloomy as people quite often!
Charles: not really, we’re always play acting a little bit

Natalie: Do you see any connection between the ‘take it out on me’ video and politics today or is that video a standalone statement.
Jack: Nice
Harry: That’s a good question. I think the video is more about religion than politics, all those things are quite intertwined. For me it’s really Mexican and very specific type of mexican catholic guilt. And in some ways its sort of… the director always described it to us as a dark comedic video. And it some ways it is because it’s such an exaggeration of that catholic guilt that it’s comedic. But it’s not really that I’ve laughed at it.
Charles: I did actually laugh at the end.
Harry: It’s definitely got a very heavy religious element to it. I think it’s about that city, TJ. It’s a little about discord. It’s about that city. And a big part of the reason he wanted to shoot it there is because that city has really changed for the better over the last few years and it’s a really cool place and I think he wanted to make a video in his home town and show people perhaps another side to it because there are some really beautiful parts of that video, some beautiful shots. And I loved being there and making it. It was really good fun. That video was made a long time ago, perhaps it would be totally different if it had been made after the election.

Alex Cameron

Photos and Interview: White Lies and Alex Cameron visit the O2 Academy in Sheffield

Last month, we reviewed and interviewed White Lies as they visited New York City. This week, they continued their tour in Sheffield, with a stop at O2 Academy with Alex Cameron.

Natalie Black: What does the maze imagery on Friends mean?
Harry: One thing I really like about that image, and I have always liked this, it reminds me a lot like classic prog rock of the 70s and early 80s. Not just the image but also the way it’s printed and that’s something I have always liked about it.

Natalie: Who specifically?
Harry: Well it’s not quite like the Yes covers.
Charles: It’s like some of the Yes covers, the later ones.
Harry: It reminds me of Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Natalie: Did you draw it?
Harry: No I wish! Some more talented people than us helped us make it look like it looked in the end
Charles: We liked the idea of something vaguely sci fi. We found an artist who does this really wonderful range of Mezcal and when I looked into his website with the most amazing artwork, we reached out and asked if we could use something of his. But in the last few months they had several artists reach out and ask to do theirs. And then we found this idea for the maze and it’s not a million miles away and we still ended up with something along the lines of it.

Natalie: Do you like sci fi?
Harry: I do watch a lot of films but I enjoy reading sci fi more. I feel like when you see a sci fi film it’s almost too real and the joy of sci fi for me is when it’s vague enough that it’s really believable
Charles: I like sci fi films that are quite suggestive and you don’t necessarily looking at aliens

Natalie: What do you think helped you stay together for 10 years?
Charles: That we were friends before we were in a band. That’s pretty much it.
Harry: We don’t hate each other too much
Charles: Being on tour especially, well actually every aspect of being in a band. Writing music, recording music, going to meetings, being on tour, it’s all extremely close quarters whatever you’re doing you’re right on top of each other. I can’t imagine being a session musician on the road with a band with people I didn’t actually love. More than just like. You kind of have to love the people you’re on tour with because um yeah otherwise it would be extremely lonely or very uncomfortable.

Natalie: What led to the sound changing from gloomy in your debut album to more pop in Friends.
Charles: I don’t know I don’t think it’s something we really think about that much.
Harry: I think that we’ve always been into writing songs with great melody, or as good a melody as we think we can write. And I think often if you’re trying to write interesting melody it will sometimes sound more upbeat and less gloomy. I think the way we approached writing this record was always with less in the way of kind of some of the progressive sounds that we have used in the past like I think its softened a little bit and I think that comes from the writing process and what we were listening to when we were writing and I think that carries through quite a lot in the final record. There is less kind of in your face guitar and a lot less distortion. I don’t know I think it was probably born out of what we were listening to at the time. Like we were obsessed with Interpol and I think that carried over a lot into our first record, I think you can hear a lot of that influencer. And we’re just not in that place anymore. We certainly get gloomy as people quite often!
Charles: not really, we’re always play acting a little bit

Natalie: Do you see any connection between the ‘take it out on me’ video and politics today or is that video a standalone statement.
Jack: Nice
Harry: That’s a good question. I think the video is more about religion than politics, all those things are quite intertwined. For me it’s really Mexican and very specific type of mexican catholic guilt. And in some ways its sort of… the director always described it to us as a dark comedic video. And it some ways it is because it’s such an exaggeration of that catholic guilt that it’s comedic. But it’s not really that I’ve laughed at it.
Charles: I did actually laugh at the end.
Harry: It’s definitely got a very heavy religious element to it. I think it’s about that city, TJ. It’s a little about discord. It’s about that city. And a big part of the reason he wanted to shoot it there is because that city has really changed for the better over the last few years and it’s a really cool place and I think he wanted to make a video in his home town and show people perhaps another side to it because there are some really beautiful parts of that video, some beautiful shots. And I loved being there and making it. It was really good fun. That video was made a long time ago, perhaps it would be totally different if it had been made after the election.

Alex Cameron

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