16 Jan Interview – Talk Show excited by their new musical era
We’ve met with Talk Show a few hours before their show in Paris on November 9th, 2022.
Sound of Brit: How are you doing?
Harrison (vocals and guitar): Really really excited, however our van broke down, just outside. [pointing outside] This is our van and it’s currently broken down.
Didn’t you also have problems during your last tour?
George: Probably, yeah.
Chloe: Every tour there’s something that goes wrong. This is our thing that goes wrong, and after this it’s gonna be right.
Harrison: During the UK tour, Manchester got cancelled because there was a gas leak on the street of the venue. So yeah, we went soundchecking and then we tried to figure out how to make that work. It’s gonna be a tough one.
Tomorrow you’re playing in Germany right?
Chloe: In Amsterdam
Harrison: And we leave early, so there’s no time to mess around. But it should be fun, we’re really excited.
You’re beginning your tour today, then you’re going to Amsterdam, and Germany, right?
Harrison: Yeah. We do Berlin and we do a festival right outside of Hamburg [Rolling Stones Beach]. It’s one of those lineups where we get pitched, we get the offer from and we’re like “cool”, and then we see the lineup and I’m like “Oh shit! Okay that’s gonna be a good festival”. We got a really late night slot, so we’re playing at 10:30 in night, so that should be nice. It’s weird when we come over to Europe, the slots are a lot later, and we always end up getting the late night, and it’s always great.
How do you feel about playing at 10:00 tonight?
Harrison: I love it. It gets us more time during the day to sit around and get lunch and have a beer, or have a coffee, whatever, or if the van breaks down, stuff like that.
Did you manage to visit Paris a bit today?
Harrison: We haven’t today, but we managed on different occasions.
Chloe: We’ll hopefully walk up to the Sacré Coeur actually.
Chloe: Yeah hopefully we can get there and get back for 10:00, we’ll be fine, we’ve got plenty of time.
Harrison: We are kind of driving to a city to play the show and drive straight out again.
This summer you toured quite a lot, playing bigger and bigger festivals, how do you feel about playing on bigger and bigger stages?
Harrison: It is amazing. It’s always what we wanted to do, we always wanted to play bigger and bigger festivals. Especially when we’re coming to new countries, to new cities, it’s cool to then be on a big stage and everyone’s ready for you.
Chloe: It’s alway amazing when it happens to us. We’re obviously not super familiar with all the venues all over Europe. So sometimes we don’t really know what the venue’s gonna be like. A lot of the time we don’t know and we’re like “whoa, oh my god I can’t believe it”.
Do you have one in particular that blew your mind?
George: The Tempelhof one. We were actually on really early that day, and we didn’t expect anyone to be there, and there were actually two thousand people. I think this year the festivals have been bigger, particularly over Europe.
Harrison: You guys seem to love us more. We will keep coming back, and back, and back. That whole week-end I think we all loved. Before playing Templehof sound we were in Holland playing a festival called Best Kept Secret, and that was, kinda like the opposite end of the spectrum. It was that weird metal kinda silo.
Chloe: It was so beautiful, it had this beautiful forest outside of the lake.
Harrison: It was cool because, the first note that we hit, the room was swaying and going crazy. I was like “okay, cool, we’re definitely gonna come back to this festival”.
A few weeks ago you released your second EP, and you worked with Joe Goddard and Al Doyle. How was it to work with them? Did they influence you or was it more of a collaboration?
Georges: We kinda went in there like we wanna try… We’ve got our sound and we want to push it. We want to sound like this, we want to sound like this, we want to sound like this. And they were like: “right, let’s do it”. They would set everything up, and leave it for us and say “try this”, explain everything.
Harrison: We already had the intention when we had written it, we wanted to smash everything to smithereens. We wanted to essentially destroy what we’ve written and rebuild it. It’s kind of both things at the same time, they were really impactful but it was also really collaborative. It was an incredible experience. It felt easy to bounce ideas back and forth with them.
For your next record, would you like to try new sounds as well or do you want to stay in that direction?Harrison: I think we definitely want to keep pushing it. I think the whole point of the EP was like : this is new territory, new discoveries. Let’s just keep going with it, we’re not done with it yet. Let’s just keep pushing, see where it lands. Because then it’s always gonna stay interesting, it’s always gonna stay fresh, we’re always gonna want to play it, like “oh there’s this new sound I can make”. Like, when we’re playing in rehearsal and you make a sound on your bass and we’re like: “that’s cool, make it again” and then it’s like “cool, we’re gonna use that”.
Chloe: And sometimes also I’m like “I don’t know what I did, I don’t know how to make that sound”
How did your collaboration with Eli Brown happen? [featured on Trouble]
Harrison: I was originally skeptical about going on that. It’s a different world, I’m not gonna get it, and he’ll probably won’t get me. And then, I decided: “fuck it, I’m just gonna give it a go” and we hitted off in the studio straight away. He was really sound, it was really easy working with him, in the same way it was with Joe and Al. When we were writing, we didn’t know what we were creating and it didn’t matter, so we just kind of rolled with it, and it’s how we created Trouble. Then when we went to record Trouble, that’s when we met with Joe and Al, it was a nice little run of events. It was an eye opener working with Eli, because it was like “ah, okay, cool, we can still do dance music but it’ll still be really us”.
This new influence of dance and techno sounds, did it come from this collaboration or was the intention there from the beginning?
Harrison: I think we were already talking about it. It was already there, influences we didn’t realise we were already listening to.
Georges: We were kinda stuck writing stuff to be like the sound we were doing before. And we wanted to do other stuff as well, we just didn’t know we could do it. When we did that, we were like “shit, it’s dance music but it is still us”. And then I think it was like a turning point, it changed the way we thought we could do that.
Chloe: Yeah, like, we don’t need to put ourselves in a box, let’s just do something different.
Harrison: It was more like those subliminal references we hadn’t realise we wanted to try out or explore, or realise it was possible to go and do it. When Eli Brown made us realised it was way more approachable that we had thought, let’s just scrap all that.
Weren’t you afraid?
Harrison: Not one bit, literally not one bit. I think that’s also why I’m enjoying it a lot more, it’s because I stopped caring. Yeah, we don’t need to put ourselves in these boxes. I don’t think any of us care, if it sounds good, it sounds good. I know people will come to the shows and want to hear certain stuff, or certain songs, but I believe it’s better if I’m going to play it only if I want to play it.
Chloe: We’re going to play a better show if we’re enjoying the stuff we’re playing. If we can keep it fresh, we’re always excited about it.
Harrison: And COVID happened, we’re not the same band, we’re not the same people.
Georges: Cause we were doing that for years. We checked ourselves, where are we? Are we doing this? We can keep pushing forward. We just threw a lot of stuff.
How do you approach the remixes of your songs? Do you give full creative freedom to the other artists? And how does it feel to see a new version of your song?
Harrison: We just give it all away, exactly for the same reasons that what we were talking about. What’s the point of asking someone for a remix and going “well, can you make it sound like that?”.
Are the bands coming to you or do you ask some of them “oh I’d love you to remix this track”?
Chloe: A bit of both
Harrison: Georges has been doing a lot of remixes and it’d been the same thing, you just go with it, it’s more fun.
Georges: Yeah, and you give your music away to someone and they practice on it.
Harrison: We’ve got another remix getting released on Friday [Dirt In The Keyboard by Baby Rollén], even that, I was listening to, it was so different from the original song and also from the other remixes we got people to do. We did a remix together [with Georges] and you did most of it, I kinda sat there and went “oh it’s kinda great what you did, great job. It was for an artist in America called Cy Dune, it was the same thing, let’s just mess with it and see what happens. And when you gave it back to him he was like “this is fucking wicked”.
Your last EP isn’t that old, but what are your plans for 2023?
Harrison: We literally come off this tour and record the album and it comes out sometime next year, around the earlier part of that year.
Georges: We’re dying to do it.
Harrison: Yeah, we’re dying to do it, it’s what we’ve all dreamt to do since we were fourteen, be able to write, produce, release an album. It’s the best job in the world – it doesn’t pay me anything. It’s a real privilege to be able to do it. I love the songs we’ve got on it, I’m proud of it, and that’s why the set tonight is gonna be full of it, because it’s just fun to play, in my eyes it’s better. It was a long time coming. And then hopefully lots more tours, and lots more gigs, and…
Georges: A better van.
Are you listening to any French artist at the moment?
Harrison: Not really. I think that’s one thing that is really bad about the UK, there’s very little osmosis of music from other countries around europe. I think there’s a lot of people that listen to South American jazz, or bossa nova, and that’s a huge scene. But for French, or German, or Dutch, or Italian speaking indie or rock, the demand for it is so minimal, which is kind of a bad thing, because we’re probably missing out loads and loads of great music. But I think that’s why it’s great when so many UK bands come over, and are more welcoming to it, it’s fine.
Chloe: It’s weird the movement of music around the world. One of my friends is actually studying it, he can track the movement of where music comes from. Some cities are like gateways, open to music in a lot of different ways, and other places are more isolated.
Harrison: Yeah, it’s like the music playing right now. Bob Marley is playing right now, he’s a Jamaican artist, singing in English and we’re in the middle of Paris. It constantly has this movement of dialect and language, and it’s better, it’s a good thing. But no, I’m not listening to any french artist.
Chloe: Isn’t La Femme French?
Georges: We listen to it.
Chloe: Love La Femme.
Harrison: Also, Yelle.
Do you have any new artists you’d like to recommend?
Harrison: Saloon Dion.
Chloe: I’ve just realised the link with Celine Dion.
Harrison: Are you joking? Yeah Saloon Dion they’re great, they’re originally from Bristol but they all live in South London now.
Georges: Robbi & Mona. Moerish Idle’s good. KEG.
Harrison: The best new thing I feel I’m listening to is Gabriels but they’re not small, they’re enormous, but I cannot stop listening to it. But they’re not British and not small.
Interview by Arsène Siméon and Claire D. Modified for clarity