ZOOT WOMAN

craste1

BRITISH ELECTRO-BEAT MAKERS, ZOOT WOMAN (BROTHERS JOHNNY & ADAM BLAKE, STUART PRICE & JASMINE O’MEARA), DISH WITH DIRTY ON THEIR LATEST ALBUM, A VINTAGE KORG OBSESSION, AND PRODUCING FOR THE MUSIC INDUSTRY’S BIGGEST NAMES (EVER HEAR OF MADONNA?).
TEXT Paul Bruno / PHOTOGRAPHY Alexander Mirsch

 

 

DIRTY: THIS MAY SOUND LIKE A SILLY QUESTION, BUT FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HEARD ZOOT WOMAN BEFORE, WHAT WOULD YOU CALL YOUR STYLE / GENRE OF MUSIC?

JOHNNY BLAKE: I see what we do as Electronic Pop Music. Recently, someone described it as Emotional Club Music, which I liked the sound of. It’s difficult to categorize your own music.

 

D: ZOOT WOMAN’S FIRST ALBUM LIVING IN A MAGAZINE CAME OUT IN 2001. WHEN DID THE BAND FORM? HOW DID YOU ALL MEET?

JB: Adam and myself are brothers, and we went to school with Stuart. Adam and Stuart formed Zoot Woman in the mid-nineties, and I joined a few years later.
ADAM BLAKE: When Johnny joined, we had the vehicle to carry the ideas we had been working on and develop them further.

 

D: WHERE IS EACH OF YOU FROM?

AB: Johnny, Stuart and myself are from Reading, England. Jasmin hails from Montreal, Canada.

 

D: WHAT ROLE DOES EACH BAND MEMBER PLAY IN THE SONGWRITING PROCESS?

JB: My role is vocalist and writer.
AB: As soon as any one member comes up with an idea that sounds like it could be of interest to someone else we take it from there. Roles change depending on who’s where, holding what instrument. Zoot Woman songs often start from a drum pattern/groove/beat.

 

 

D: YOUR CURRENT ALBUM THINGS ARE WHAT THEY USED TO BE WAS RELEASED IN 2009 – HOW WAS THE NEW ALBUM RECEIVED?

JB: It received very positive, but also mixed reactions, because it is very much a departure from previous Zoot Woman records. I like the fact we made a very song-based record, but we may try something new next time around.
AB: People still say things about Zoot Woman albums that I would never have expected, and I didn’t think magazines like NME and UNCUT would even review this record. I always find reviews of artist’s albums interesting to read but they don’t seem to influence how I ultimately feel about the music.

 

D: MY FAVORITE TRACKS ON THE ALBUM ARE LONELY BY YOUR SIDE & THE TITLE TRACK, THINGS ARE WHAT THEY USED TO BE – HATS OFF! IS THERE A THEME OR MESSAGE WITHIN THIS LATEST COLLECTION OF SONGS?

JB: ‘Things Are What They Used To Be’ began as a song by itself, but we felt the message of it really did sum up the feeling of returning to something exciting from the past, but with a view to moving forward. For this reason, it became the title track.

 

D: THE PRODUCTION OF THESE SONGS BLOWS ME AWAY. I AM A HUGE FAN OF ELECTRONIC ROCK / POP AND ZOOT WOMAN’S PRODUCTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN STELLAR TO ME, BUT THE CHORDS AND RIFFS AND BASS LINES IN THE LATEST RECORD ARE JUST INCREDIBLE! WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU GUYS: THE DESIGNING OF THE MUSIC (RHYTHMS / BEATS / MELODIES) OR THE WRITING OF LYRICS – OR ARE THEY OF EQUAL IMPORTANCE?

JB: I think they are of equal importance, but with us, it’s the music first, the vocals second, and anything can happen after that.

 

D: IF ONLY YOU AND ME COULD CROSS THE BLUE SEA… THE BLUE SEA BEING?

JB: The “Blue Sea” is the difficulty that you are trying to cross over, and the comparison to a trip to help make things better. Like taking a holiday, and then coming back with a clearer view of things. The song is based around two people trying to work something out.

 

D: DID ZOOT WOMAN TOUR WITH THE CURRENT ALBUM?

AB: Since it’s release there have been two European tours, some one-off gigs, and select festival spots. Performing live seems to help everyone identify with the music, hardcore fans, new fans and band included.

 

D: DO YOU THINK YOUR SOUND HAS EVOLVED AT ALL FROM THE FIRST ALBUM?

JB: I think it has, both naturally and deliberately. Part of you intends for it to evolve, and in part it evolves by itself.

 

D: DO YOU GUYS HAVE A FAVORITE SONG TO PERFORM FROM THE NEW ALBUM? OF ALL YOUR SONGS?

JB: It’s always exciting to give a song the live treatment, and to take it somewhere new. My favorite songs to perform at the moment are Saturation and Memory.

 

D: (AT JOHNNY) WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR VOCAL INSPIRATIONS?

JB: When I started singing, Sting was an influence, and I was going for that high sound. I find myself constantly inspired by different singers, and that will vary according to the style of song we’re working on. David Bowie has always inspired me as a vocalist, because of the variety of sounds he creates with his voice.

 

D: WHAT INSPIRES YOU GUYS CREATIVELY?

JB: For me, it’s a combination of what I’ve learnt musically, who I’m listening to right now and who I’ve always listened to, and any experience I want to bring into it.

 

D: WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO AS ARTISTS?

JB: Roxy Music, Depeche Mode and New Order have been strong influences from a style and musical point of view.

 

D: (AT STUART & ADAM) THE TWO OF YOU ALSO PRODUCE AND REMIX UNDER THE ALIAS PAPER FACES. WHO HAVE YOU GUYS WORKED FOR? WHO WOULD YOU GUYS LOVE TO WORK WITH?

AB: We’ve done mixes for Scissor Sisters, Madonna, Chromeo, Felix Da Housecat and Zoot Woman. For me it’s about the song rather than the artist, I guess because it’s the song your actually working with.

 

D: WHAT IS EACH BAND MEMBER’S FAVORITE INSTRUMENT / PIECE OF MUSICAL EQUIPMENT?

JB: The Gibson SG.
AB: Anything Korg from 1979 to 1983
JASMINE OMEARA: Fender Precision Bass

 

D: WHAT ARE YOU GUYS LISTENING TO?

JB: The new Muse album, and I like what Delphic are doing.
AB: Today… New stuff, Kelis. Old stuff, Frankie Valli.

 

D: WHO IS THE TROUBLEMAKER OF THE GROUP?

AB: All of them

 

D: WHAT’S NEXT FOR ZOOT WOMAN?

AB: We’re in the process of writing a new album, and there’s more live shows to come this summer.

 

 

HTTP://ZOOTWOMAN.COM

 

 

 

 






Desarrollo Web / Web Development Shop Bicycles, Accessories, Bike parts