- Posted on Feb 25th 2011 2:00PM by Melody Lau
How did the band form?
Basically when we first started, it was me and my brother playing drums and Tom Hobden playing violin. I met Tom in school and we were playing in bands around London.
Do you remember the first time you picked up an played an instrument?
My mom used to play guitar, so there were lots of guitars lying around, and that was the first thing I picked up to make noise -- I wouldn't really say "play," though. The first instrument I played was the piano. I can't really remember the first time, but I remember plunking away at it.
What was the first song you learned to play?
It was on the guitar. I'm pretty sure it was 'Hey Jude.'
When did you know that music was more than just a hobby?
I quit studying to do music full-time but I couldn't afford to live anywhere, and I couldn't afford rent, and my friend basically let me sleep in her lounge for a few months. That's when I did a tour with Laura Marling, and she asked me to produce her EP, and that was the first time I ever went into a professional recording studio. From then on, I was able to pay for things, so I'd say that was the point.
How did you come up with your band name?
It's taken from 'The Squid and the Whale,' a Noah Baumbach film, so we just rearranged the title of the film with the director's name.
You used to be very reluctant to explain the story behind the band name. Why?
I guess it's just the kind of question you get asked a lot of. For our entertainment, we just created other stories. We can get really silly with the answers.
What was the silliest story?
I honestly can't remember -- there have been so many of them! Usually involving fortune cookies or things like that. All sorts of stuff.
Do people buy it?
A lot of people do. Sometimes, when you're being interviewed -- especially if you're doing a TV thing or a film thing -- they don't even care. They just want to get onto the next question. "Oh yeah, sounds good ... anyway!"
What were your influences on the new record?
For writing, Lou Reed's 'Berlin' and Tom Waits' 'Bone Machine.' I really love Tom Waits, and I love all his albums, but that's probably my favourite -- that and 'Mule Variations.' And production-wise, Brian Eno's 'Before and After Science' and 'Another Green World.'
You worked with Jason Lader on 'Last Night on Earth,' and he's worked with a lot of rappers. Are you a fan of rap music?
I'm a big fan of rap music!
Who are some of your favourites?
It's an obvious one, but one of my recent favourites was the Kanye record. I think he's phenomenal. 'Monster' is probably my favourite. It's a cliché but I think he really is pushing the boundaries, and '808s & Heartbreak' was a phenomenal record. And I also like Lil Wayne.
So what would you do on your last day on earth?
Well I'm a huge David Lynch fan, but I've never seen 'Eraserhead.' And you know those things where you build something up for ages, and you've been waiting so long that it just gets bigger and bigger? I feel like I have to wait for the perfect moment to watch 'Eraserhead,' so I'd probably watch that. And I'd probably have pizza because I love pizza. Pepperoni pizza!
What's your favourite David Lynch film?
I love 'Mullholland Drve,' but my favourite thing in the world is 'Twin Peaks.'
What are some of your favourite soundtracks?
I think one I really loved was 'There Will Be Blood.' Jonny Greenwood scored that film. I also really liked the 'Grizzly Man' soundtrack. And 'Star Wars'!
Catch Noah and the Whale's SXSW Sets on Thursday, March 17 at Stubb's (801 Red River St.) 9:30PM, and Friday, March 18 at Lustre Pearl (97 Rainey St.) 9PM.
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