Interview With The Talula - 28th January 2007
Photo Of the Talula © Copyright ThomAfter meeting the band at Unit 22 in Southampton and discovering that it was going to be too loud for an interview, given the other groups sound-checking, we piled into the band's van, and headed off in search of food, ending up huddled around a table in an Indian restaurant, with our orders just taken.

So what have you been doing today, before you came here?
(Jake) Spent the whole day driving. From Exeter.
Do you go back to Exeter after each gig?
(Jake) No, if we've got four or five in a row then we go, you know, stay, wherever, if we know someone in that town then we'll stay there, if not it's a Travel-lodge or something like that and then, well tomorrow we're playing in London so we've got a flat we're staying in in Chelsea, so we can do that.
You drive after the gig?
(Jake) Yeah after the gig, straight there.
Bit of a hassle.
(Jake) Yeah, well, it's fine. At least we've got a place to stay.

Are you looking forward to the tour, you're at the start right?
(Jake) Yeah we are.
You've got quite a lot of gigs coming up.
(Jake) At the moment it's a bit backwards and forwards, they're coming up in sections, so January's been like, a section of four then come back, then a couple, and go back to Exeter. But as soon as we hit February we're away for a good couple of weeks at a time, and then we'll feel like we're properly on tour, but yeah, definitely looking forward to it.
You're kind of flying around all over the place.
(Jake) Yeah we're up North, up as far as Sunderland and places like that, then over in Ireland, quick few shows. We're getting four dates in three days.
Four dates in three days?
(Jake) Yeah we're doing Dublin, Derry, and Cork. And in Derry we're doing an all-ages show in the afternoon, and then like a normal show in the evening.
Oh yeah, I saw on your MySpace it said Dublin twice, wondered what that was about.
(Jake) Yeah yeah. Oh is it Dublin is it?
(Manager) Yeah.

You've been to Southampton before...
(Jake) Yeah we played the Joiners.
Do you prefer the Joiners to Unit 22?
(Jake) Well we haven't played Unit 22 yet. I think...
(Jay) It's a better vibe.
(Jake) Yeah it's a weird little venue though.
(Jay) We did enjoy Joiners though.
Joiners is awesome.
(Jake) Yeah. Who was that other band we played with? Scissori or something? They were pretty good. But yeah, it's good.

Are you used to headlining?
(Jake) No, well, yeah, well, we kind of headline one out of every two really. If it's in places where we're completely unheard of and all the rest of it, then we kind of prefer to support that's going to bring more people and all the rest of it, but yeah.
Obviously you supported Muse in November.
(Jake) Yeah.
Was that awesome? As awesome as I imagine? They're my favourite band ever.
(Jake) Oh are they your favourite band? Yeah they're mega.
Were you the only support band?
(Jake) The Noisettes.
Oh, were they still there? I saw them twice that tour and there was only the one support band; them.
(Jake) Yeah we played and then they played.
Was that the only date they had two support?
(Jake) Yeah as far as I know.
How did you manage that one?
(Jake) Well we played with them a while ago, at Westpoint in Exeter, because that's home turf for them, and obviously we're from Exeter. And we'd been in touch with them, they're friends of ours, so Birmingham was the one they asked us to play for on this tour. So we kind of grabbed it with both hands.
Is that the biggest gig you've played? How many was it, nine thousand or something?
(Jake) Yeah I think the venue's about fifteen thousand. Johnny you know don't you?
(Manager) Yeah, but I think you played to about ten or twelve thousand.
(Roadie) Something like that.
That's pretty huge, were you bricking it?
(Jay) You're round the side of the stage, and the stage manager's like “house lights down,” and all the lights go down and the crowd start cheering. We were fine once we'd got on, weren't we.
(Jake) Yeah it's alright once you kick into it. Once you get a response after the first song and you know it's good, then you're off.
I don't know how the crowd reacted to the Noisettes when you played, but when I saw them nobody really cared.
(Jake) I thought they were pretty good, but I was in my own little world after our slot, so...
Photo Of the Talula © Copyright ThomWere they jumping around to you?
(Jake) They weren't moshing, but we got a really good response to every song, so yeah, it's one of the best responses we've ever had.
And Dom Howard said you're a fucking great live band, you plaster that quote everywhere you can.
(Jake) Yeah well you would do wouldn't you though. You've gotta do it.

Now, if you could support anyone, who would it be?
(Jay) I know what Jake's going to say.
(Jake) I would wanna support the reformed Pumpkins.
(Jay) I thought you were going to say Brand New.
Ah Brand New are awesome. I'm seeing them next Monday, they're playing here in Southampton.
(Jake) At the Guildhall isn't it? I think we might be going to that as well... Who would you support? (To Alex)
(Alex) Biffy Clyro.
They played here in Southampton last... Thursday? They're touring with the Bronx I think, but I might have made that up.
(Jake) They're playing somewhere tomorrow night aren't they? Aren't we trying to get on that one?
(Manager) They played the Astoria last night.
(Jake) Aaah.
(Jay) I don't know, I'd have to think about that one.

Who influences you?
(Jake) Well, I don't know who influences the music, but stuff that I've grown up listening to and all the rest of it, was bands like the Pumpkins, Nirvana, Cable, and stuff I'm into now, is sort of like Brand New, Million Dead, and bands like Biffy Clyro, so it's all pretty across the board. I don't know how much they directly influence, but they're bands that...
(Jay) But I mean I grew up listening to completely different stuff, like punk. And that doesn't influence me a lot but...
(Jake) Apart from your hair.
(Jay) Yeah. But I don't think we've got any major influences that stand out.
(Jake) A lot of people have said, what have we had, erm, The Police.
(Jay) Comparisons to the Police, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, one person said Green Day, don't know where they got that from. Biffy Clyro.
I could understand Jimmy Eat World, slightly, but not Green Day. Take that as an insult.
(Jay) Haha yeah.
(Manager) You've been compared to Ian Dury. (To Jake.)
(Jake) That's fucking weird isn't it. That guy must have been fucked when he said that. Anyway...

Anyway. Have you been writing over Christmas at all?
(Jake) Well.
Well your website said you were.
(Jake) We say a lot of shit on our website don't we. Well plans always change don't they. Well we're always writing, there's always two tracks on the burner that we're working on. It's mainly been that we're trying to get a set tied down that.
(Jay) There's some stuff which we wrote at the end of 2006...
(Manager) The sets being mixed up now, a good half of the songs are new ones.
(Jake) Yeah I kinda lose track of time. There's four or five that have changed around since the last time we were gigging and stuff.
I only know the three songs on your EP. Presumably you've got more than that or it's going to be a really short set.
(Jake) We've got lots more than that, yeah. Well we've only got half an hour tonight.
You should have more...
(Manager) Forty minutes.
(Jake) Oh, is it forty minutes. Well still, we're having to cut down our set quite a lot. We've been playing sets like an hour, well we played an hour fifteen at the Cavern, so we've got a huge range of new stuff to choose from at the moment; that's been new since we last kind of toured and stuff.
If you've got so much stuff, why have you only released a 3-track as opposed to a full album?
(Jake) Because, that was all the studio time we were offered. We didn't want to cram in, like, we've always had an ethos of, giving each track the time it deserves, especially in the Studio. We put them down pretty quickly, but we didn't want to put any more in because we wouldn't have done them justice. At the end of the day, were desperate to get in the studio right now, looks like we'll be in there middle of this year, and hopefully then we'll go for a full album.

At your gigs, do you tend to get many of your own fans coming?
(Jay) If we've played there before. But if it's a place we've never played, or an area we've never played before, then you're playing to new people, but the next time, you've picked up some fans.
(Jake) We play to a crowd in the South West. And that's always good, you know. And there are times when our crowd will travel.
(Manager) London's good as well.
(Jake) Yeah London's good. We get a good crowd in London. But I don't know what it's going to be like tonight. As for people knowing us, well, we've been going five years, we just haven't released anything. We're a new band, as it were, this is out first release, and it's our only kind of...
(Roadie) Saying that, seventy five percent of people that are at any of the gigs always pay attention and always make some sort of comment; any gig we walk away from there's always a sheet of mailing list people wanting to get on there.
(Jay) I think this year as well, we've got various features coming up in magazines and playing the Muse thing has helped, and sort of a lot more people are aware of what we're doing and where we're going.
(Roadie) People do take notice though. Wherever we are they notice. It's not the sort of show you'll ever see where you're thinking “we've been let down, we paid three quid to get in.” You'd think “Jesus that's the best three quid I've had for a while.”
(Jake) Cheers.

Photo Of the Talula © Copyright ThomYou're from Exeter...
(Jake) Yeah.
Is the music scene any good there?
(Jake) Yeah.
(Jay) Ska!
(Jake) Yeah it's good.
(Jay) Ska! It's the ska capital of the UK. It's true isn't it.
(Jake) Well...
(Jay) It was two or three years ago.
(Jake) It's good isn't it, it's very clicky. Well, I don't actually know what it's like..
(Manager) I wouldn't say we're really part of the scene, so we don't really know what it's like. Unlike a lot of bands, as opposed to playing our home town every single month, we try and keep it to probably twice a year.

How did you guys meet?
(Jake) Well me and Spud went to college together.
(Jay) And I slept with Spud's sister.
(everyone laughs)
(Jay) No, not yet!
(Jake) Yeah we had a bit of a line-up change a couple of years ago, and got Jay in, at auditions for bassist and stuff. And Jay was the one...
(Jay) Basically they put an advert for an audition, and nobody else turned up...
(Jake) Yeah that's it.
(Roadie) How many people did you get for that by the way? About four or five?

(Jake) I've gotta drink this (referring to his glass,) my throat's fucked at the moment. And singing tonight and then tomorrow, it's just a tea. It's for fucked throats.
Does it help or is it just supposed to?
(Jake) Yeah it does help yeah. I've used it before. It's like Amazonian tree bark.
Well that's what it's supposed to be.
(Jay) It's probably some tyres melted down or something.

How did you come up with the band name?
(Jake) Such a long story. Basically it was a name that we all kind of liked, it sounded nice.
(Jay) Silver stream...
(Jake) Yeah we did actually find out that it means silver stream in American Indian. But that's not how we came up with it, we were just told that the other day, by a builder.
Well they are the most knowledgeable people...
(Jake) He went “what does Talula mean?” Oh not this again. And he was like “I can tell you what it means; silver stream in American Indian.” And we were like, wicked, we'll say that from now on. So yeah, that's it.

The imagery on your CD is quite violent, as opposed to your songs which aren't that violent, it's quite misleading...
(Jake) Yeah. Well, I mean imagery, it kind of just goes with the song. Yeah you're right, it isn't violent, but some lyrics could be construed as being quite violent and all the rest of it. But yeah I think it was mainly just the song title.
(Alex) It's just quite hard-hitting, and the music's quite in your face and makes you sit up and listen, so the imagery goes well with that.
(Jay) But it's kind of ironic because we're not violent.
(Jake) I think it's also, just that, we wanted a good looking image, that's the main thing. You know, and you look at that image and it is actually quite a beautiful image in itself. It's amazingly shot.
(Manager) I think people can read what they want to read.
(Jake) And it's like the song you know, kind of leaves it open to anyone's interpretation. You can look at it and say it's fucked up, or say it's strangely beautiful, you know what I mean?
(Manager) It ties in with the title, but it's like, who's ripped up? Did this person do this to himself? Was it done to him?Who did it to him?
(Jay) We have been asked if we did that to that guy, who he was, it he was one of us.

Do you enjoy playing live, is that why you...
(Jake) Yeah, that's the only thing, that's why... It can be the most amazing experience, or the most god-awful experience, it can be really harrowing or whatever, but you know that was originally why I wanted to be in a band. Just to see people going fucking nuts to the music. And that's what it's always been about, but then I suppose it does become a lot more about recording as you go down the line, but at the end of the day we are a live band, and that's what we do best.
Do you have a favourite live song?
(Jake) I like one called Guapa. Yeah, I like the one we open with called Guapa, it kind of goes spastic at the end.
(Jay) Ripped up and Violent.
Yeah that's my favourite one off of the three-track.
(Jay) Or Martyr...
(Jake) Yeah are you going to be at the gig tonight?
Yeah definitely.
(Jake) Well let us know what you think afterwards.

On the CD there's a mix of, well there's the heavier stuff and then there's The Battle And The Beauty, which is obviously a lot softer. Would you prefer writing the...
Jake: Yeah. Uh. No. Uh. Some songs are like, quick. You know, you can just knock them out in minutes, some fucking take ages. Especially when we're putting them down as a band. Some songs you can just put them on the table, and we'll be done within, you know, we'll just whip through it. And some are just, The Battle And The Beauty took fucking ages. Most people say Ripped Up is their favourite, and someone recently said the Battle And The Beauty was the weakest song on the CD. It's actually my favourite one of that CD, and we only just got it; we tried to do that for a good year or so, and we only got it together in the studio, like, oh actually we should do THIS with it, and arrange it like THIS. There's no like “oh I prefer writing this kind of song” or whatever, it's just some songs are a bastard to write and some come very easily. You get more pleasure out of ones you finally broke the back of.

When the tour ends in March, have you got big plans for the rest of the year?
(Jake) I think we're just gonna aim to like, get in the studio, get some stuff down, and get it out, that's it really.
(Jay) Hopefully festivals. Possibly. Don't know about the biggest ones but there's always loads of smaller festivals.
(Manager) As Jake said earlier on, plans do change. But the initial goal is to get in the studio. Get nine or ten tracks down, get an album out. Probably another tour towards the end of the year.

The support bands tonight, do you know them?
(Jake) I don't know them no.
(Jay) I've heard of, Kody, is it?
(Jake) Oh no wait, there's another one I looked at and I swear we've played with them before. Oh no maybe that was tomorrow night.
(Manager) Well they've played the Cavern and they're from the Isle of Wight.

What's your stage-show like?
(Jake) You'll have to just check it out, you know what I mean? We just give it all we've got.

I think that's about it actually, is there anything else you'd like to say?
(Alex) Five favourite animals?
Why do you keep saying that?
(Roadie) Well you should have your top five favourite anything so if someone stops you on the spot, you can just fire them off. So we're trying to get ourselves ready.
(Jake) We were hoping for questions like, top five animals.
(Manager) Actually I think they're the best questions we've ever been asked, because it generally usually is, “what's your favourite colour?”
(Jay) Do you want to put in the favourite animals?
That would be a quite nice ending actually, what are your top five animals?
(Jake) Lion, horse, bull, armadillo and a koala.
You practiced, blatantly.
(Jake) No it's not, I just know mine. They're my favourites.
I just think if anyone's gonna read this they're not so much going to care about favourite animals. Or that might just be me, maybe I'm only one who gives a toss about music.
(Alex) Oh his favourite colour's blue! That's the same as mine! He must love me!

Interview by Thom

 Band Members

Jake Hitchcock (Vocals/Guitars)
Jamie Kearns (Bass/Vocal)
Alex Maynard (Drums)
 Latest Releases
Talula - Ripped Up And Violent
Release Date - January 2007
Coming Soon
 Band Related Links
Talula Myspace
Talula Official Site