Alter The Press!


Interview: Little Fish

This month London duo Little Fish release their new album, 'Baffled And Beat', as well as a new single 'Whiplash'. Compared to the likes of Blondie and Juliette Lewis and having played shows with Placebo, Them Crooked Vultures and Hole, it looks like Little Fish are set to continue a linage of ballsy rock front women in the form of Juju Sophie.

In addition over the past few months, the pair have been playing several festivals, something which isn't alien to them as they played Glastonbury before they were signed.

Juju talked to Alter The Press how herself and Nez Greenaway got together, working with producer Linda Perry and more.

Alter The Press: How did the two of you meet?
Juju Sophie: We were lucky. Nez and I met on a random crazy night out in a chip shop, slightly inebriated but still sober enough to hold on to our conversation and passion for music. I was speaking loudly, and more than likely ferociously, about drummers and how I thought there was no place for drum solos in song. Nez decided to butt into the conversation to defend his ‘drummer race’. When I found out that he was a drummer, I challenged him to get a drum solo into one of my songs. The following day, we found ourselves battling out tunes in my garage. That was the start of ‘Little Fish’.

ATP: How was it playing Glastonbury festival as a relatively new band, before you were even signed?
JS: It was fun. Unfortunately, we got attacked on the way and so Nez didn’t make it through the fields as we had to split in order to lose our attackers. I made it to the stage with my acoustic guitar and there was almost nobody there. I sang my songs full of heart to a child and its parents, a couple of loved up teenagers and to a man, lying on the floor – he looked half dead and like he’d drunk a barrel of engine oil. Hopefully one day we will get on to a bigger Glastonbury stage! All these memories are good and part of our musical journey. Things like this don’t get me down, they only make me stronger.

ATP: Back in March you played the annual Teenage Cancer Trust show alongside Them Crooked Vultures. What was that night like?
JS: It was an immense privilege and honour to support Teenage Cancer Trust, to play in the Royal Albert Hall (as a rock band and still not having had an album release!) and on top of that, to play alongside heroes of ours John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. It was only after we played that reality really checked in; the size of the venue, the audience’s response. We had a great night. It was very humbling to be part of such a prestigious and great and important charity event. Meeting Them Crooked Vultures was pretty epic too.

ATP: You toured with many notable bands last year, including Eagles of Death Metal. Was it hard to play for EoDM's audience every night?
JS: Why would it be hard? No. It was fun. We are used to fighting; It’s what we’ve done from the start. Once we get to any stage, we put our heads down and work it; play our songs the best we can, give it all the energy the songs deserve and entertain. Touring with the EODM was fun! Jesse rocks.

ATP: You're set to play several festivals over the summer, including Sonsisphere and Newquay Boardmasters. What can fans expect from a regular Little Fish show?
JS: Lots of energy – it is the only way to play the songs. We are there to entertain and make sure the people who have come to see us have a good time (“have a good time, all the time” Nez).

ATP: How did Linda Perry come across your demos?
JS: I suppose it was the old classic ‘A&R’ route. Her A&R man told her about us and then she went and checked our music out on Myspace. She really liked one of the songs she heard and within a week of hearing us, booked herself on a flight to the UK to come and watch us play live.

ATP: What was it like working with her in the studio?
JS: Working with Linda Perry was at times challenging, but mostly, it was good fun. She is a work machine and believes in tough love. Thanks to her working us hard and giving us the freedom to express our music how we wanted to, we have come out with a really great debut album. I personally learned a lot about the world we were entering (music industry) and about song writing. This has really helped me become a much stronger person in many areas of my life.

ATP: What can fans expect from your debut record?
JS: All the songs are written and played from the heart. They talk of true stories, adventures and emotions of the life we lead and live. The songs on the album are all played live and so there is a real raw, honest feel about the songs which gives the album a very human quality and breathe. It is filled with energy. Baffled and Beat.

ATP: You're also releasing a new single, 'Whiplash' soon. What is the story behind that track?
JS: The song speaks of the tussles, the too-ing and fro-ing of relationships with oneself and with others. The loneliness we can all be driven to and feel; whether alone or with others.

ATP: Much of your record was recorded live, did you find this method challenging?
JS: Of course. There was me thinking I was in for an easy ride because everything could be cut and edited to sound perfect by using computers – but no, that was not the case. When you record tracks live, the performance has to be 100% all the way through, from start to end. This was challenging but it also made everything very exciting – it was a little like living on the edge. There are not many bands who would be able to make a record like this and so we are proud that we have stayed true to ourselves, our nature and the spirit of Little Fish by doing so.

ATP: Great things have happened for your band every year since forming. Any specific goals for 2011?
JS: Wow! This year has already been great, touring with Courtney Love and Blondie, having a song placed in film next year with Hillary Swank and Christopher Lee (The Resident), getting some tracks on Rock Band and now the new Tony Hawks game. I think that our overall goal is to make great records, evolve as a band and be able to do this as a living. For us to be able to do this, I suppose we need to have the support from people who like our music…. So I’ll let the people decide our future for now

'Baffled And Beat' by Little Fish is released on August 16th via Custard/Island Records.
New single 'Whiplash' is released on August 9th.

Download a free song, 'Baffled and Beat' here.

Little Fish on MySpace

Janay Kinney

Alter The Press!