BRIDGET: Oh that must have been our first gig. We just played three songs at Tower Records in London. When our first single was coming out. That was "Hypersonic".
So what was before that. What's the band's history?
AMANDA: We all kind of lived together and one day we met in this gay bar in Soho and we thought how much we wanted to have a band and we started to do that. We got Bridget to play guitar and met Helen through friends. It took off from there. We got interest from record labels. We hit off and played our first show in New York in CBGBs. We've been together for two and a half years now. The first year we were rehearsing in our living room. We signed to the Enclave, which is an American record label. We wanted to sign in America, because we're into the scene in America. We're not really interested in that B**tpop scene.
Yeah, one noticed that. Everything which comes from Britain these days is tagged B**tpop first, however.
AMANDA: Yeah we really get slagged by the British press, because they can't pigeonhole us. We don't fit in neatly with their kind of B**tpop thing. The NME can't understand the genuine idea of guitars and rock bands. We all live in London now, though.
So where do they see their origins? After all, their record got this overall Sex Pistols feeling. (The Sex Pistols were not B**tpop exactly, right?)
AMANDA: We all started learning when we started the band. So the really raw punk rock sound came out of that. It's just simple and heavy and loud.
The record has a rough live sound approach. Was it recorded live in the studio?
AMANDA: Yeah. We did use Bill Price who did "Never Mind The Bollocks" (!) and "London Calling" and we wanted to capture how we sound live. He didn't rearrange anything, just recorded us live while we were playing. We did things like putting different guitar tracks on top and stuff like that. I did vocals at different times. But we really wanted to get a live sound.
One thing that stands out is the drum sound. It sounds a little bit distorted (-> live). How did they get that?
ANGELA: There wasn't really a lot of fiddling about with. The drums were modelled after a Ringo Star reissue model. And the wood that they are made of and the way that they are are really basic drums. And the sound they make comes out a bit distorted anyway. They sound a bit way off. It was just that and the room. It was a stone room. It was real natural. It's not the drum set I play now, which is smaller, because the other one was too big for me.
Angela is the smallest of the band. But on stage she is an inexorable, inexhaustable rhythm machine. Another thing one notices is, that the vocals are clearly audible and easy to understand - which isn't all that usual with loud rock bands.
AMANDA: Yeah, we got feedback from Bill. There was input from him. I really like my lyrics to be very clear. But also Bill would hassle me. I mean he worked with Johnny Rotten, so he knows what it's like. He would go: "I can't hear what you're singing. What your words are." And I really want to be proud about my lyrics. So people should be able to hear them.
That's interesting, because the topics of Amanda's lyrics are a little bit controversial.
AMANDA: What do you mean - controversial?