Terry Richardson It has been a steady climb for Rihanna as she has finally…
- Posted on Jul 30th 2009 6:57AM by Stephen Dowling
The trio -- singer/guitarist James Petralli, bassist Steve Trebecki and drummer Josh Block -- formed after their previous bands Parque Touch and Peach Train imploded in 2005. Recording their material in a 1940s trailer in Austin, Texas, they've won a loyal live following, and some critics are already hailing them as the next Kings of Leon.
Petralli spoke to Spinner about their heads-down work ethic, white trousers and the joys of not fitting in.
It's less than a year since 'Workout Holiday' and you're on album number two.
I think all of us look at doing music and having an audience as a pretty fragile thing, so we really pushed ourselves to get back in the studio and write a bunch, record and get another record out.
So you don't hang about with new material ...
We've already started tracking to the third record, as well. We kind of piece things together, we apply a concept after we already have a couple of ideas. On this tour, we're trying to play most of the 'Workout Holiday' record and 'Fits,' but when we come back late summer we'll probably have to inject some new stuff just to keep us interested.
There often seem to be several musical ideas fighting it out in every song.
I'll write a bunch of material and only 20 or 30 percent of it ends up in the White Denim folder. It was pretty easy to see what was furthest along so we were able to stop introducing new material and shape what we had. That's my least favourite thing about touring is thinking about all the unfinished recordings back home.
I listen to songs on this record and I think how I'd love to rewrite them or rework them. It's one of those weird things when you're working on music: There's always something else to do. I really look forward to the time when I listen to something I've been involved in and I'm satisfied with it completely. It hasn't happened yet.
Austin's got a reputation as a major music town because of South By Southwest. What's it like to live there?
It's never really been that welcoming to us. There are so many people that are really active and really confident that it's hard to make friends and start a scene. There's a good garage scene, but we don't really fit into that. It's probably more personality based than it has to do with sonics, y'know? We have a tendency to mess around with quite a few genres, and that might kind of exclude this from any niche in Austin.
There's some really surprising moments on Fits – like 'Regina Holding Hands,' which sounds like a slice of proper old-school blue-eyed soul.
I'm probably more like the R&B/soul/jazz guy in the group. I can think of maybe two bands Steve likes that I don't really care for, and the same with Josh. We all overlap in taste a lot. I think Steve's probably the punkiest one of us and Josh can do what he wants on his instrument -- he's a chameleon.
You've admitted the name White Denim was chosen as a joke. Do you regret it now?
I still think it's really funny, in a "funny ha-ha" way. We did do a photo shoot where one of us was wearing white pants, but they weren't denim. The white denim thing is pretty ridiculous.
Maybe you can bring out a line of White Denim white denim merchandise.
If we get to the point where we can afford to have a crew and have everybody in white denim, that would be hilarious.