Cassette Electrik – Interview Pt 2

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Cassette Electrik - Oli and Lucy - keyboard and fanWith less than a week before the 1st November album launch gig for Cassette Electrik, presented exclusively by MusicRiot, we complete our interview with Oli and Lucy. If you missed part 1, probably best go back to it first.

So in part 2 we find out how Cassette became a little bit Electrik, talk about their live experience and give praise to the God of Moogs!

MusicRiot: So after deliberating over names, what attracted you to “Cassette”?

Oli: Cassette we liked because lots of people remember taping the radio during the Top 40, trying to edit out the DJ before they talk over the song. So it’s got a nostalgia to it as well as being something technical. And “ette” at the end is nice, sort of female I think.

Lucy: Unfortunately lots of people had the same idea! Not at the time though, when we set-up our MySpace page there was only the one band.

O: That was an American band who we discounted because they didn’t matter, being in the US. But it’s impossible to find any noun in the English language that hasn’t been co-opted into a band name. So basically you have to have two nouns to be unique. So that is why we had to change it.

MR: Why did you decide on that spelling of electric?

L: It just felt and looked right, for one thing.

O: It looks like two random nouns, but it looks more deliberate with the K at the end.

MR: Obviously the two of you are the main driving force behind the band. But you have a few people who join you for the live gigs. Why is that?

O: We wanted to add people because playing live when you are just a bloke with a laptop, and a singer, is a bit boring and we felt we wanted to present a bit more of a show. We wanted extra musicians because it gives you more to look at and more improvisation, a bit more live input. If you are playing music live it shouldn’t always be backing track. So the more you can play live the better. So we started off with bass guitar and backing vocals. But we decided that the guitar was too much of a rock instrument to work for our setup.

L: I found I was fighting a lot with it vocally and our guitarist claimed from the moment he joined that we didn’t need a guitarist! So we obliged eventually and let him go. But he is actually the support at the November 1st gig – Looptron.

O: I think moving forwards we will be wanting to put more emphasis on the vocals. Lucy has a great range and a great ear for melody so I think we’ll exploit that a bit more, experiment a bit more. And by stripping down the production that will give space back for that.

MR: The visuals you have at the gigs are quite impressive.

O: Again we want to provide a good live experience which is why we’ve got the visuals. Friends of mine have provided some stunning visuals – Bracebracebrace.com.

ElectromagneticMR: How many gigs have you done so far together?

L: This must be our eighth or ninth possibly.

MR: Any particular good or bad stories from those gigs?

O: The Moog failure at 93 Feet East was a nightmare. The driving force in my sound is my beloved Moog Prodigy and it failed at the soundcheck at what was up to then our biggest gig…. The sound guys there were magnificent, they wanted to open it up and have a look inside but they couldn’t as they didn’t have the right screwdriver. It was panic-stations. But somehow, the God of Moogs blessed me and it came back to life just before the gig.

L: It’s as rock and roll as it can get isn’t it!

MR: How about a particularly good gig?

O: Being Boiled was cool, that was probably one of our most enjoyable gigs. We had been trying to find where the electro scene in London is, it’s actually quite amorphous. There is a lot of it which is goth-electro which just isn’t us.

L: I actually find goth-electro crowds too difficult for my liking. Nobody smiles in the audience which I find very difficult. It’s usually just a crowd of blokes in black t-shirts with their arms crossed. I like to have fun on stage so I need to have some feedback from people.

O: We are planning a little German tour next year and I think they are going to be a lot more up-for-it. I think they are less cynical and open to what we do. We seem to have a good number of fans over there.

MR: It’s the age-old question, and now we’ve gotten this far together I feel safe enough to ask! What or who are your influences?

L: Haha! None of my influences are really related to what we are doing now. They are Janis Joplin, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and people like that – which is nothing to do with our music! More recently people like Roisin Murphy, PJ Harvey, just good female performance-type artists.

O: I’ve always liked Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Depeche Mode, but I also like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, as well as Classical music. Really just anything that is good music. But I just funnel all of those influences into Electro-pop!

MR: Your album launch gig is at the Marquee club, how do you feel to be playing at such a legendary place?

L: That’s pretty cool actually – we checked it out the other day, and it’s nice, a nice big stage that’ll allow me to move around a bit. We’re pretty excited about it – it’s gonna be a really good night.

Our thanks go to Oli and Lucy, and EB33 Management for everything. Now all we have left to do is get to the Marquee Club on 1st November – see you there!