Saturday, August 15, 2009

White Lies success lies with the ladies dominance



Rising indie stars White Lies think they have the ladies to thank for their success this year.

That's according to Charles Cave, bassist and songwriter for the West London indie band, speaking from his hotel room the morning before their Auckland show.

White Lies, comprising Cave, Harry McVeigh, who does lead vocals and guitar, and Jack Lawrence-Brown, who plays drums, are in the middle of their first headlining world tour.

The band was born in 2007, but its members have been playing together since primary school. Previously they played under the name Fear of Flying.

Earlier this year, they released their debut album To Lose My Life after their label, Fiction Records, saw a good thing early on.

With only six songs up their sleeves the band was shipped off to Belgium to record these, and while there, wrote the remaining five songs for their debut.

"Our label and management decided it would be a worthwhile risk to make an album, they felt we were at a point in our lives where we were really excited about making music and we should capitalise on that," Cave said.

The album was released in January this year, and the band was quickly named "ones to watch" in the music press, however, Cave believes their success is in part due to their difference to everything else that has come out recently, particularly the lack of other male bands.

He believes the music industry has been dominated by solo female artists this year.

"(We are) pretty much the only rock band that's come out this year, so I think we've almost had a slightly easier ride than we might have had if it was a year of alternative rock bands, where everyone would be fighting for the crown."

Cave writes all White Lies' songs, starting with the lyrics, which are often described as poetic and dark covering all things from murder, madness, revenge, love from beyond the grave, electro shock therapy and ransoms.

However, he says his words should not be taken as literal.

"People often take everything to be completely word of God. . .They don't know where the person was or what they were doing when they wrote them, what they were feeling, and whether or not it has anything to do with the person that wrote them."

His lyrics do come from personal experience, but it can be in the most trivial way, such as from a sentence someone says to him, or a thought he has had.

For example, one of the band's more epic tracks, Price of Love?, was inspired by a small argument with his girlfriend over money.

The song is about a ransom, and is "like a Cohen brothers movie in the way it's all completely hopeless and everyone ends up so much worse than they started. It's ironic, it's not meant to be super serious," Cave said.

Cave said while the band did not aim to cause offence with its dark themes, they have come to accept they are not a " band that is not going to be on the back of a cornflakes packet, not a family band or PG," and they don't write three minute pop songs.

He recalled having to write a letter to the BBC to convince them their most-known song To Lose My Life was not a" suicide pact song."

While he said the band had sold a "healthy amount" of its debut with three singles, he wants to next album to be twice as good, but with a different sound to the first –he does not want White Lies to be a formulaic band.

"We are still young and have got a lot of things we want to try," he said.

While he can't make any promises to his fans when they will get this next album, he expects it to be out sometime next year.