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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Chrome Hoof at The Brighton Corn Exchange

A review of galactic adventurers Chrome Hoof at The Brighton Corn Exchange on 31st October.

Written by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

little fish by octavi navarro
Little-Fish-by-Octavi-Navarro
Little Fish by Octavi Navarro

I saw you guys at the Royal Albert Hall, erectile supporting Them Crooked Vultures, pharmacy and was completely blown away when I saw you play and by your sound, but what was it like for you to play a venue of that size?
I don’t think I realised how big it was until we got on stage-I knew it was big, but I don’t really think about it until I’m on stage and then I go, ‘shit there’s loads of people and lights, and there’s a huge screen behind me, a huge screen!’ It felt a huge privilege to support Them Crooked Vultures as they’re such a great band, it was nerve wracking, and it’s a big prestigious venue to play.

Are you fans of the Vultures?
Definitely. We met them briefly, and Dave Grohl was really lovely. He’s got the reputation of being one of the nicest men in rock and roll and he really was. It was for the Teenage Cancer Trust, [a trust founded by The Who’s Roger Daltrey to raise funds and awareness for teenage cancer] and there were loads of kids backstage and he was really nice to them.

I’ve unashamedly had a crush on Dave Grohl for years, have you ever had any rock crushes like that?
Ha! I have had a couple of rock crushes, I even wrote a fan letter to someone once, and that was probably the hardest letter I’ve ever written! Trying to write a letter to someone you don’t know is pretty hard. It was to someone who had written a song with ‘devil’ in it, and it was the first time I’d ever heard a dark song and I was so inspired by it, it kind of changed my whole way of writing. I used to write really happy songs and I realised you can be dark and angry. So I wrote a letter, and said thank you for inspiring me. I wrote an answer to them in one of our songs called ‘Devils Eyes’, which is a response to their song ‘The Devil’s Song’.

Little Fish

Your debut album, Baffled and Beat, was produced by Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes fame, I hear it was at times a gruelling experience and recording process, was it quite intense? Or was it a good way to progress further as a band?
It was a big learning curve because we’d gone from just doing a demo in a garage to recording in a big LA studio with a big producer, and it was really shocking. It made me question what I was doing and why I was doing it. Was I doing music because I wanted to be a rock star? No was the answer. I was doing music because I loved it and I found that hard because when you’re thrown into that situation, automatically you’re in a position where you’re supposed to be a rock star and I felt like that wasn’t why I was doing music. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in that situation, but then I realised actually I love writing and I love doing music and it’s what comes with it so I carried on. But it was hard to realise.

How long did it take to record?
We recorded the album really quickly, over three weeks, pretty much live, and what took a bit of time was choosing the songs. We didn’t do any pre-production really, I think that was the hard thing, it would have been nice to have a bit more time, but it was the first proper experience and we learnt so much, and Linda Perry makes you work very hard, so we really learnt how to work hard, and that was great because now I think we’ve stepped up a big gear and we’d like to record our next album.

When I listened to your EP and your album, I heard a definite change, but it still sounds like you kept the rawness there, but it’s slicked up. Is that your take on it?
Yeah, I think we’ve also developed as a band, as we got signed as a two piece and now we have our Hammond player [Ben Walker] as a three piece, so now we’ve evolved as a band. We were in LA as a two piece, and now we’re three, and creating different sounds and writing different songs so we’re evolving and that’s magical.

Have you had pressure to add more instruments or do you want to keep the sound as stripped as possible?
We’re quite purist in that way, and we like to stay true to the challenge of staying pure. A lot of bands have got their five or six pieces, a wall of sound, but I like the human side of things, I like the calamity, and I don’t like things to be perfect. I like that struggle, and I think you’ve got to keep things with a little bit of a challenge and stay small.

With the garage sound, it doesn’t stay that way for many bands, and it’s good to see as a band gets bigger, you’ve still kept that sound.
I don’t know if that works against us in this industry- I think a lot of people like the instant, big, quick and simple sound, but it’s a bit more challenging with us. We’re definitely going to stay true to [our sound] for a while.

Back to the album, many artists see their work as their babies; do you have a favourite baby on the album? Or is the whole album one big baby for you?
I think I’d like to give birth all over again. The baby is good, but I think that because we were so inexperienced in a way, I’d like to have that opportunity to really record an album that is exactly what I’d like. We were learning with the recording process, so I think that album is a discovery album, I think there are some bits we will take and some we will leave for the next one. I’m really happy with it, to have had the opportunity to record an album is amazing, and to have someone like Linda Perry support you is amazing, I just want the opportunity to keep going.

Little Fish by Little Fish

You guys picked up music at different ages (Nez started drumming at five, whereas Juju began playing the guitar much later), do you think that’s helped create the distinctive sound of Little Fish?
Probably! Nez and Ben are really proficient, well taught, trained and naturally amazing musicians, I’m a bit of an eclectic, self taught manic person, who jumbles songs together. I think that mix helps it because Nez really helps ground the songs, and I think if we were both too calamity we would be a real, calamity sound! To have the privilege to play with such great musicians is really grounding and they’re so good they allow me to explore things, which is great. It makes us who we are.

What’s the writing process like? Is it difficult, or do you have to be in the right mood?
I used to think I had to be in the right mood, but when we did the album with Linda she would just send me off in the morning to write a song, and that was a lot of pressure, obviously everybody’s waiting for a song! You realise that you can write, you’ve just got to apply yourself. It’s more about applying yourself then being in the mood! I tend to brew, and maybe not write for a month, because I’m brewing, and then I get really depressed, and just write!

Have you written a lot of songs waiting to come out?
Yeah we’ve recorded a few new demos, and we’ll be recording a few more in a few weeks. So that’s really exciting. We’ve no idea when a second album will come out, but not too long. It’s going to be called ‘Re-baffled and beaten’!

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I don’t think I’d ever go down a different path until I’d have to, but whatever I do I just apply myself 100%, this is more like a compulsion. I love writing and singing and I think it would break me if I had to do something else. I’ve always written, I love writing little stories, poems, I’ll always write songs whether I’m in a band or not, whether I’m a mother with lots of kids running around-I have to do it, if I don’t I just don’t feel well, it’s kind of like therapy. The best advice for anybody in a band is to not have a plan B.

There’s a bit of buzz recently about the position of women in rock today (see the recent Elle article on Elle honouring women in the music industry). Do you see yourself as one of the woman in rock?
I never thought about it before, it’s only now that I’ve started to realise it since I felt, dare I say it, a bit of sexism for being a woman in a band. You realise how much you actually have to step up a little, and it’s only recently, I never thought about it before and didn’t care, and you realise the women [in rock] today are already big icons, but how did they get there? It’s not impossible for a woman to be the forefront of a band, but it’s hard. That’s why I want to make people aware of it, to dip into people’s consciousness.

Little Fish’s video, Whiplash

Little-Fish-by-Octavi-Navarro
Little Fish by Octavi Navarro

I saw you guys at the Royal Albert Hall, dosage supporting Them Crooked Vultures, and was completely blown away when I saw you play and by your sound, but what was it like for you to play a venue of that size?
I don’t think I realised how big it was until we got on stage-I knew it was big, but I don’t really think about it until I’m on stage and then I go, ‘shit there’s loads of people and lights, and there’s a huge screen behind me, a huge screen!’ It felt a huge privilege to support Them Crooked Vultures as they’re such a great band, it was nerve wracking, and it’s a big prestigious venue to play.

Are you fans of the Vultures?
Definitely. We met them briefly, and Dave Grohl was really lovely. He’s got the reputation of being one of the nicest men in rock and roll and he really was. It was for the Teenage Cancer Trust, [a trust founded by The Who’s Roger Daltrey to raise funds and awareness for teenage cancer] and there were loads of kids backstage and he was really nice to them.

I’ve unashamedly had a crush on Dave Grohl for years, have you ever had any rock crushes like that?
Ha! I have had a couple of rock crushes, I even wrote a fan letter to someone once, and that was probably the hardest letter I’ve ever written! Trying to write a letter to someone you don’t know is pretty hard. It was to someone who had written a song with ‘devil’ in it, and it was the first time I’d ever heard a dark song and I was so inspired by it, it kind of changed my whole way of writing. I used to write really happy songs and I realised you can be dark and angry. So I wrote a letter, and said thank you for inspiring me. I wrote an answer to them in one of our songs called ‘Devils Eyes’, which is a response to their song ‘The Devil’s Song’.

Little Fish

Your debut album, Baffled and Beat, was produced by Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes fame, I hear it was at times a gruelling experience and recording process, was it quite intense? Or was it a good way to progress further as a band?
It was a big learning curve because we’d gone from just doing a demo in a garage to recording in a big LA studio with a big producer, and it was really shocking. It made me question what I was doing and why I was doing it. Was I doing music because I wanted to be a rock star? No was the answer. I was doing music because I loved it and I found that hard because when you’re thrown into that situation, automatically you’re in a position where you’re supposed to be a rock star and I felt like that wasn’t why I was doing music. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in that situation, but then I realised actually I love writing and I love doing music and it’s what comes with it so I carried on. But it was hard to realise.

How long did it take to record?
We recorded the album really quickly, over three weeks, pretty much live, and what took a bit of time was choosing the songs. We didn’t do any pre-production really, I think that was the hard thing, it would have been nice to have a bit more time, but it was the first proper experience and we learnt so much, and Linda Perry makes you work very hard, so we really learnt how to work hard, and that was great because now I think we’ve stepped up a big gear and we’d like to record our next album.

When I listened to your EP and your album, I heard a definite change, but it still sounds like you kept the rawness there, but it’s slicked up. Is that your take on it?
Yeah, I think we’ve also developed as a band, as we got signed as a two piece and now we have our Hammond player [Ben Walker] as a three piece, so now we’ve evolved as a band. We were in LA as a two piece, and now we’re three, and creating different sounds and writing different songs so we’re evolving and that’s magical.

Have you had pressure to add more instruments or do you want to keep the sound as stripped as possible?
We’re quite purist in that way, and we like to stay true to the challenge of staying pure. A lot of bands have got their five or six pieces, a wall of sound, but I like the human side of things, I like the calamity, and I don’t like things to be perfect. I like that struggle, and I think you’ve got to keep things with a little bit of a challenge and stay small.

With the garage sound, it doesn’t stay that way for many bands, and it’s good to see as a band gets bigger, you’ve still kept that sound.
I don’t know if that works against us in this industry- I think a lot of people like the instant, big, quick and simple sound, but it’s a bit more challenging with us. We’re definitely going to stay true to [our sound] for a while.

Back to the album, many artists see their work as their babies; do you have a favourite baby on the album? Or is the whole album one big baby for you?
I think I’d like to give birth all over again. The baby is good, but I think that because we were so inexperienced in a way, I’d like to have that opportunity to really record an album that is exactly what I’d like. We were learning with the recording process, so I think that album is a discovery album, I think there are some bits we will take and some we will leave for the next one. I’m really happy with it, to have had the opportunity to record an album is amazing, and to have someone like Linda Perry support you is amazing, I just want the opportunity to keep going.

Little Fish by Little Fish

You guys picked up music at different ages (Nez started drumming at five, whereas Juju began playing the guitar much later), do you think that’s helped create the distinctive sound of Little Fish?
Probably! Nez and Ben are really proficient, well taught, trained and naturally amazing musicians, I’m a bit of an eclectic, self taught manic person, who jumbles songs together. I think that mix helps it because Nez really helps ground the songs, and I think if we were both too calamity we would be a real, calamity sound! To have the privilege to play with such great musicians is really grounding and they’re so good they allow me to explore things, which is great. It makes us who we are.

What’s the writing process like? Is it difficult, or do you have to be in the right mood?
I used to think I had to be in the right mood, but when we did the album with Linda she would just send me off in the morning to write a song, and that was a lot of pressure, obviously everybody’s waiting for a song! You realise that you can write, you’ve just got to apply yourself. It’s more about applying yourself then being in the mood! I tend to brew, and maybe not write for a month, because I’m brewing, and then I get really depressed, and just write!

Have you written a lot of songs waiting to come out?
Yeah we’ve recorded a few new demos, and we’ll be recording a few more in a few weeks. So that’s really exciting. We’ve no idea when a second album will come out, but not too long. It’s going to be called ‘Re-baffled and beaten’!

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I don’t think I’d ever go down a different path until I’d have to, but whatever I do I just apply myself 100%, this is more like a compulsion. I love writing and singing and I think it would break me if I had to do something else. I’ve always written, I love writing little stories, poems, I’ll always write songs whether I’m in a band or not, whether I’m a mother with lots of kids running around-I have to do it, if I don’t I just don’t feel well, it’s kind of like therapy. The best advice for anybody in a band is to not have a plan B.

There’s a bit of buzz recently about the position of women in rock today (see the recent Elle article on Elle honouring women in the music industry). Do you see yourself as one of the woman in rock?
I never thought about it before, it’s only now that I’ve started to realise it since I felt, dare I say it, a bit of sexism for being a woman in a band. You realise how much you actually have to step up a little, and it’s only recently, I never thought about it before and didn’t care, and you realise the women [in rock] today are already big icons, but how did they get there? It’s not impossible for a woman to be the forefront of a band, but it’s hard. That’s why I want to make people aware of it, to dip into people’s consciousness.

Little Fish’s video, Whiplash

Flyer designed by Russell Palmer

Two years since their first show in the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall, shop Circuit Wisely presented 17 Artists in an East London live-work space. This second exhibition asked artists to respond to the location and ‘architecture’ of a residential building, seek investigating its scope for possible comment on the contested geography of East London.

Emily Whitebread Stills from a Film (2010)

The artists work (of which I was one) had to be temporal and capable of negotiating the duplicitous communal spaces of the building, such as the car park, balconies, stairwells, lifts and terraces. Circuit Wisely made it explicit that the artwork was not to impinge on the everyday movement occurring within the building, pushing the artists to consider how their work would be installed without marking the building and it’s context within the geographical location.

The exhibition began on the ground level of the first stairwell, Mihaela Brebenel’s installation 1 to 7; G to 6A – Loose Ends invited the viewer to follow the woolen thread wrapped around the handrails and architectural piping. Mihaela’s work explored the notion of navigating a particular space – through externalising the internal sources of what one does and does not see upon entering a residential building.

Mihaela Brebenel 1 to 7; G to 6A – Loose Ends

Continuing upwards, I passed Richard King’s decorative installation and a burning red screen-print by Daniel Wilkins. However my attention was held by Ben Fox’sculptural shanty-town: Sublet City. The contrasting nature of the contemporary East London building and Fox’s fragile houses echo the rapid development of East London, where an organic mixture of old and new is being skewed by the rapid destruction of original property in favour of the new. Beautifully made from found materials, it is accompanied by ‘the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’

Richard King Untitled

Dan Wilkins Untitled (2008)

Ben Fox Sublet City

The next level was occupied by Will Jennings’ Portfolio. A critical reflection on the building’s owner and his vast property ‘portfolio’. The publication’s investigative text combined with photographic documentation of the property portfolio aimed to create a dialogue between shared landscape and the increasing capitalisation of the concept of home. It is rare that such an opportunity for a piece of work criticising the building is installed in the location that it is criticising. It was interesting to see the interaction and discussion this piece caused with the residence of the building presenting them with the opportunity to re-think their living space. A favourable comparison to make is Hans Haacke’s ‘Shapolsky et al., Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System as of May 1,1971′.

Will Jennings Portfolio

After reading the Portfolio, I continue to walk up the stairs and see Richard King’s second ornamental piece. Hanging in the window, on the level above, the back drop being the East London Skyline, are three beautiful photographs by Alex Ressel.

Richard King Untitled

Alex Ressel A Three Frame Film

‘DIAL 2-2-4-9 AND POINT TO THE SKY’ a vinyl text piece standing opposite a comical 3D image Lost in Space. The image of a famous Robot appears to vibrate from the paper and into a form of hologram – this I am seeing without the help of 3D glasses.

After the completing the stairwell, I made my way to Charlotte Gibson’s Sitting Room Installation made my eyes pop! The collection of brightly coloured collages, furniture, lamps, china, jelly, plastic and string are arranged in such a way that the space inbetween them becomes more important through the string that attaches them, the water and jelly that resides in the objects and the shadows casted.

Charlotte Gibson Sitting Room Installation

Natascha Nanji’s A Tail of Two Cities occupied the lift in the second stairwell. The ceiling was covered with punctured black pvc, the work physically inserted itself into the lift, the gaping weight of the shells contained within the black fabric imposing itself upon the lift experience, transforming a banal everyday occurrence into something uncanny. On one journey a chattering couple walked in unaware of what was above their heads, until a shell grazed the top of the man’s head, alarming him and drawing his attention to the ceiling. A scene from a horror film perhaps?

Natascha Nanji A Tail of Two Cities

After coming down in the lift, I returned to the 5th Floor to find the walkway occupied by Zoe Paul’s Buoy and the terrace contained Susanna JP Byrne’s Cy Cartographer No. Sculpture. Standing tall, the sculpture looks out towards the city – reminiscent of a century guard, looking out over the London landscape. The copper wire felt referential of a school science project and the tripod’s brightly coloured poles appeared similar to the yard sticks used to measure playing fields during practical geography lessons.


Susanna JP Byrne Cy Cartographer No. Sculpture

Zoe Paul Buoy Photograph by Selvi May

Marnie Hollande’s performance piece Gas wowed the audience on the exhibition’s opening night. A figure emerged onto the walkway, her face covered by a shimmering midnight blue mask, the body cloaked in chiffon with attached balloons. Moving onto the terrace to continue the performance, the body and balloons struggled against both the wind and crowd. The exceptionally strong wind increased the movements of the performer moving within the constraints of her costume. At one point, balloons detached themselves from the costume and were carried into the darkness.

Marnie Hollande Gas

On reflection Jennings, Dray, Fox and Bryne’s pieces directly tackled the building’s geographical location. The other pieces included by Circuit Wisely responded more directly towards the architecture, whereas others echoed the idea of ornamentation. Personally, the importance of the exhibition, lay in tracing perspectives and making connections between the work within the building’s parameters. Circuit Wisely shift away from the stress and importance of individual works when umbrellaed into a singular meaning all too common with groups shows.

The exciting thing about Circuit Wisely is not just the diversity of work on display but the transition they have gone through as a collective of curators. The success of CWII were that the visitor appeared to be completely free to move about the building, but were fact deliberately manoeuvred to encounter the work in relationship to the various movements one can make within the space. The curation and choice of art works allows visitors to experience different environments and transports them from a block of flats to an interesting space for creative people to come together and display work. This show is successful as it is not constrained by the gallery space. It is a platform for the viewer to encounter works in different environments heightening their experience of viewing a group show – and this is the success of the Circuit Wisely curatorial team.

All Photographs by Circuit Wisely

Little-Fish-by-Octavi-Navarro
Little Fish by Octavi Navarro

I saw you guys at the Royal Albert Hall, stuff supporting Them Crooked Vultures, and was completely blown away when I saw you play and by your sound, but what was it like for you to play a venue of that size?
I don’t think I realised how big it was until we got on stage-I knew it was big, but I don’t really think about it until I’m on stage and then I go, ‘shit there’s loads of people and lights, and there’s a huge screen behind me, a huge screen!’ It felt a huge privilege to support Them Crooked Vultures as they’re such a great band, it was nerve wracking, and it’s a big prestigious venue to play.

Are you fans of the Vultures?
Definitely. We met them briefly, and Dave Grohl was really lovely. He’s got the reputation of being one of the nicest men in rock and roll and he really was. It was for the Teenage Cancer Trust, [a trust founded by The Who’s Roger Daltrey to raise funds and awareness for teenage cancer] and there were loads of kids backstage and he was really nice to them.

I’ve unashamedly had a crush on Dave Grohl for years, have you ever had any rock crushes like that?
Ha! I have had a couple of rock crushes, I even wrote a fan letter to someone once, and that was probably the hardest letter I’ve ever written! Trying to write a letter to someone you don’t know is pretty hard. It was to someone who had written a song with ‘devil’ in it, and it was the first time I’d ever heard a dark song and I was so inspired by it, it kind of changed my whole way of writing. I used to write really happy songs and I realised you can be dark and angry. So I wrote a letter, and said thank you for inspiring me. I wrote an answer to them in one of our songs called ‘Devils Eyes’, which is a response to their song ‘The Devil’s Song’.

Little Fish

Your debut album, Baffled and Beat, was produced by Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes fame, I hear it was at times a gruelling experience and recording process, was it quite intense? Or was it a good way to progress further as a band?
It was a big learning curve because we’d gone from just doing a demo in a garage to recording in a big LA studio with a big producer, and it was really shocking. It made me question what I was doing and why I was doing it. Was I doing music because I wanted to be a rock star? No was the answer. I was doing music because I loved it and I found that hard because when you’re thrown into that situation, automatically you’re in a position where you’re supposed to be a rock star and I felt like that wasn’t why I was doing music. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in that situation, but then I realised actually I love writing and I love doing music and it’s what comes with it so I carried on. But it was hard to realise.

How long did it take to record?
We recorded the album really quickly, over three weeks, pretty much live, and what took a bit of time was choosing the songs. We didn’t do any pre-production really, I think that was the hard thing, it would have been nice to have a bit more time, but it was the first proper experience and we learnt so much, and Linda Perry makes you work very hard, so we really learnt how to work hard, and that was great because now I think we’ve stepped up a big gear and we’d like to record our next album.

When I listened to your EP and your album, I heard a definite change, but it still sounds like you kept the rawness there, but it’s slicked up. Is that your take on it?
Yeah, I think we’ve also developed as a band, as we got signed as a two piece and now we have our Hammond player [Ben Walker] as a three piece, so now we’ve evolved as a band. We were in LA as a two piece, and now we’re three, and creating different sounds and writing different songs so we’re evolving and that’s magical.

Have you had pressure to add more instruments or do you want to keep the sound as stripped as possible?
We’re quite purist in that way, and we like to stay true to the challenge of staying pure. A lot of bands have got their five or six pieces, a wall of sound, but I like the human side of things, I like the calamity, and I don’t like things to be perfect. I like that struggle, and I think you’ve got to keep things with a little bit of a challenge and stay small.

With the garage sound, it doesn’t stay that way for many bands, and it’s good to see as a band gets bigger, you’ve still kept that sound.
I don’t know if that works against us in this industry- I think a lot of people like the instant, big, quick and simple sound, but it’s a bit more challenging with us. We’re definitely going to stay true to [our sound] for a while.

Back to the album, many artists see their work as their babies; do you have a favourite baby on the album? Or is the whole album one big baby for you?
I think I’d like to give birth all over again. The baby is good, but I think that because we were so inexperienced in a way, I’d like to have that opportunity to really record an album that is exactly what I’d like. We were learning with the recording process, so I think that album is a discovery album, I think there are some bits we will take and some we will leave for the next one. I’m really happy with it, to have had the opportunity to record an album is amazing, and to have someone like Linda Perry support you is amazing, I just want the opportunity to keep going.

Little Fish by Little Fish

You guys picked up music at different ages (Nez started drumming at five, whereas Juju began playing the guitar much later), do you think that’s helped create the distinctive sound of Little Fish?
Probably! Nez and Ben are really proficient, well taught, trained and naturally amazing musicians, I’m a bit of an eclectic, self taught manic person, who jumbles songs together. I think that mix helps it because Nez really helps ground the songs, and I think if we were both too calamity we would be a real, calamity sound! To have the privilege to play with such great musicians is really grounding and they’re so good they allow me to explore things, which is great. It makes us who we are.

What’s the writing process like? Is it difficult, or do you have to be in the right mood?
I used to think I had to be in the right mood, but when we did the album with Linda she would just send me off in the morning to write a song, and that was a lot of pressure, obviously everybody’s waiting for a song! You realise that you can write, you’ve just got to apply yourself. It’s more about applying yourself then being in the mood! I tend to brew, and maybe not write for a month, because I’m brewing, and then I get really depressed, and just write!

Have you written a lot of songs waiting to come out?
Yeah we’ve recorded a few new demos, and we’ll be recording a few more in a few weeks. So that’s really exciting. We’ve no idea when a second album will come out, but not too long. It’s going to be called ‘Re-baffled and beaten’!

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I don’t think I’d ever go down a different path until I’d have to, but whatever I do I just apply myself 100%, this is more like a compulsion. I love writing and singing and I think it would break me if I had to do something else. I’ve always written, I love writing little stories, poems, I’ll always write songs whether I’m in a band or not, whether I’m a mother with lots of kids running around-I have to do it, if I don’t I just don’t feel well, it’s kind of like therapy. The best advice for anybody in a band is to not have a plan B.

There’s a bit of buzz recently about the position of women in rock today (see the recent Elle article on Elle honouring women in the music industry). Do you see yourself as one of the woman in rock?
I never thought about it before, it’s only now that I’ve started to realise it since I felt, dare I say it, a bit of sexism for being a woman in a band. You realise how much you actually have to step up a little, and it’s only recently, I never thought about it before and didn’t care, and you realise the women [in rock] today are already big icons, but how did they get there? It’s not impossible for a woman to be the forefront of a band, but it’s hard. That’s why I want to make people aware of it, to dip into people’s consciousness.

Little Fish’s video, Whiplash

Little-Fish-by-Octavi-Navarro
Little Fish by Octavi Navarro

I saw you guys at the Royal Albert Hall, information pills supporting Them Crooked Vultures, stuff and was completely blown away when I saw you play and by your sound, but what was it like for you to play a venue of that size?
I don’t think I realised how big it was until we got on stage-I knew it was big, but I don’t really think about it until I’m on stage and then I go, ‘shit there’s loads of people and lights, and there’s a huge screen behind me, a huge screen!’ It felt a huge privilege to support Them Crooked Vultures as they’re such a great band, it was nerve wracking, and it’s a big prestigious venue to play.

Are you fans of the Vultures?
Definitely. We met them briefly, and Dave Grohl was really lovely. He’s got the reputation of being one of the nicest men in rock and roll and he really was. It was for the Teenage Cancer Trust, [a trust founded by The Who’s Roger Daltrey to raise funds and awareness for teenage cancer] and there were loads of kids backstage and he was really nice to them.

I’ve unashamedly had a crush on Dave Grohl for years, have you ever had any rock crushes like that?
Ha! I have had a couple of rock crushes, I even wrote a fan letter to someone once, and that was probably the hardest letter I’ve ever written! Trying to write a letter to someone you don’t know is pretty hard. It was to someone who had written a song with ‘devil’ in it, and it was the first time I’d ever heard a dark song and I was so inspired by it, it kind of changed my whole way of writing. I used to write really happy songs and I realised you can be dark and angry. So I wrote a letter, and said thank you for inspiring me. I wrote an answer to them in one of our songs called ‘Devils Eyes’, which is a response to their song ‘The Devil’s Song’.

Little Fish

Your debut album, Baffled and Beat, was produced by Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes fame, I hear it was at times a gruelling experience and recording process, was it quite intense? Or was it a good way to progress further as a band?
It was a big learning curve because we’d gone from just doing a demo in a garage to recording in a big LA studio with a big producer, and it was really shocking. It made me question what I was doing and why I was doing it. Was I doing music because I wanted to be a rock star? No was the answer. I was doing music because I loved it and I found that hard because when you’re thrown into that situation, automatically you’re in a position where you’re supposed to be a rock star and I felt like that wasn’t why I was doing music. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in that situation, but then I realised actually I love writing and I love doing music and it’s what comes with it so I carried on. But it was hard to realise.

How long did it take to record?
We recorded the album really quickly, over three weeks, pretty much live, and what took a bit of time was choosing the songs. We didn’t do any pre-production really, I think that was the hard thing, it would have been nice to have a bit more time, but it was the first proper experience and we learnt so much, and Linda Perry makes you work very hard, so we really learnt how to work hard, and that was great because now I think we’ve stepped up a big gear and we’d like to record our next album.

When I listened to your EP and your album, I heard a definite change, but it still sounds like you kept the rawness there, but it’s slicked up. Is that your take on it?
Yeah, I think we’ve also developed as a band, as we got signed as a two piece and now we have our Hammond player [Ben Walker] as a three piece, so now we’ve evolved as a band. We were in LA as a two piece, and now we’re three, and creating different sounds and writing different songs so we’re evolving and that’s magical.

Have you had pressure to add more instruments or do you want to keep the sound as stripped as possible?
We’re quite purist in that way, and we like to stay true to the challenge of staying pure. A lot of bands have got their five or six pieces, a wall of sound, but I like the human side of things, I like the calamity, and I don’t like things to be perfect. I like that struggle, and I think you’ve got to keep things with a little bit of a challenge and stay small.

With the garage sound, it doesn’t stay that way for many bands, and it’s good to see as a band gets bigger, you’ve still kept that sound.
I don’t know if that works against us in this industry- I think a lot of people like the instant, big, quick and simple sound, but it’s a bit more challenging with us. We’re definitely going to stay true to [our sound] for a while.

Back to the album, many artists see their work as their babies; do you have a favourite baby on the album? Or is the whole album one big baby for you?
I think I’d like to give birth all over again. The baby is good, but I think that because we were so inexperienced in a way, I’d like to have that opportunity to really record an album that is exactly what I’d like. We were learning with the recording process, so I think that album is a discovery album, I think there are some bits we will take and some we will leave for the next one. I’m really happy with it, to have had the opportunity to record an album is amazing, and to have someone like Linda Perry support you is amazing, I just want the opportunity to keep going.

Little Fish by Little Fish

You guys picked up music at different ages (Nez started drumming at five, whereas Juju began playing the guitar much later), do you think that’s helped create the distinctive sound of Little Fish?
Probably! Nez and Ben are really proficient, well taught, trained and naturally amazing musicians, I’m a bit of an eclectic, self taught manic person, who jumbles songs together. I think that mix helps it because Nez really helps ground the songs, and I think if we were both too calamity we would be a real, calamity sound! To have the privilege to play with such great musicians is really grounding and they’re so good they allow me to explore things, which is great. It makes us who we are.

What’s the writing process like? Is it difficult, or do you have to be in the right mood?
I used to think I had to be in the right mood, but when we did the album with Linda she would just send me off in the morning to write a song, and that was a lot of pressure, obviously everybody’s waiting for a song! You realise that you can write, you’ve just got to apply yourself. It’s more about applying yourself then being in the mood! I tend to brew, and maybe not write for a month, because I’m brewing, and then I get really depressed, and just write!

Have you written a lot of songs waiting to come out?
Yeah we’ve recorded a few new demos, and we’ll be recording a few more in a few weeks. So that’s really exciting. We’ve no idea when a second album will come out, but not too long. It’s going to be called ‘Re-baffled and beaten’!

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I don’t think I’d ever go down a different path until I’d have to, but whatever I do I just apply myself 100%, this is more like a compulsion. I love writing and singing and I think it would break me if I had to do something else. I’ve always written, I love writing little stories, poems, I’ll always write songs whether I’m in a band or not, whether I’m a mother with lots of kids running around-I have to do it, if I don’t I just don’t feel well, it’s kind of like therapy. The best advice for anybody in a band is to not have a plan B.

There’s a bit of buzz recently about the position of women in rock today (see the recent Elle article on Elle honouring women in the music industry). Do you see yourself as one of the woman in rock?
I never thought about it before, it’s only now that I’ve started to realise it since I felt, dare I say it, a bit of sexism for being a woman in a band. You realise how much you actually have to step up a little, and it’s only recently, I never thought about it before and didn’t care, and you realise the women [in rock] today are already big icons, but how did they get there? It’s not impossible for a woman to be the forefront of a band, but it’s hard. That’s why I want to make people aware of it, to dip into people’s consciousness.

Little Fish’s video, Whiplash

On Hallowe’en night, website like this the Brighton Corn Exchange played host to the final tour date of extra terrestrial ambassadors to earth, the formidable force that is Chrome Hoof.

Lola of Chrome Hoof by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Lola of Chrome Hoof by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

As the DJ’s were silenced and the lighting dimmed, hooded figures in silver cloaks slowly made their way onto the stage accompanied by the opening track from their latest album “Crush Depth”. After a pause, Chrome Hoof’s larger-than-life frontwoman, Lola Olafisoye, burst onto stage. There’s something about her expression, and a hypnotizing glimmer in her eyes that assures you, you are in for a very special night.

The audience were up and dancing by the first track. With it being Hallowe’en, many people came dressed in various guises which only added to the otherworldly performance beginning on stage. What struck me immediately was a jolt of excitement that you don’t get with your average band set-up, there’s something about seeing nearly a dozen musicians appear on stage armed with enough instruments to make up a small orchestra that gets your blood pumping. Chrome Hoof’s sound itself is at times genre defying, but what else would you expect from a band that combines electric guitar with bassoon and violin? The constantly changing rhythm and haunting vocals kept the audience bewitched without ever becoming repetitive.

Chrome Hoof by Daniel Sims

Chrome Hoof by Daniel Sims

Chrome Hoof’s performance on stage is worth the ticket price alone. You would think musicians playing several instruments at a time wouldn’t have the energy to consider stage presence but that certainly wasn’t the case. To top it off Lola Olafisoye’s eccentric dancing and intimidating glares provided the icing on the cake.

Although the crowd was small (Brighton & Hove White Night having happened only the night before) that didn’t deter the band from putting on an awesome performance as well as providing an encore of “Circus 9000″ from their previous album “Pre-emptive False Rapture”.

The Corn Exchange provided a great setting for Chrome Hoof’s last tour date, however when confronted with the wealth of talent the band delivered on the night you couldn’t help wonder: why The Corn Exchange, why not Brighton Dome?

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