„Die Rückkehr der Disco-Dandys“ prangerte groß auf dem Cover der August-Ausgabe des Intro Magazins und wahrlich kamen Zoot Woman mit ihrem dritten Album ganz stark zurück. „Things Are What They Used To Be“ heißt das Album mit dem die Band nach sechs Jahren Schaffenspause wieder den Weg in unsere Clubs und in unsere Herzen fand. Gleichzeitig markierte die Veröffentlichung auch den ersten Release des Berliner Snowhite Labels. Wie es dazu kam, wie die Aufnahmen zum Album verliefen und vieles mehr gibt es in unserem Interview mit Sänger Johnny Blake!
1.) Band facts
– Name: Zoot Woman
– Band members: Adam Blake, Stuart Price, Johnny Blake, Jasmin O’Meara
– Founding year: 2001
– Residence: UK
– Current album: Things Are What They Used To Be
-How did you become a band at first?
“Adam and Stuart formed Zoot Woman, and I then joined as vocalist. We all had musical backgrounds, we all went to the same school, and we’d all played in bands before Zoot Woman existed.”
-How did you come up with your band name?
“Again, Adam and Stuart came up with the name, because it had something very distinctive and individual about it.”
-You are seen as one of the pioneers of the electro clash scene, which is now very popular – how do you see the development in this scene?
“We’ve always had that association, but I see what we do as developing within the band, and serving our fans. The scene is more of a public perception, and more of a label than something created by the artist.”
-Which musical influences do you have?
“My all time influences are Depeche Mode, David Bowie, also a lot of Rock music in general, and I like a lot of the new artists like Frankmusik and White Lies, amongst others.”
-What are you as a band doing at the moment?
“Writing new material, making plans and continuing to promote our new record with concerts this year.”
-With which person would you like to work together and why?
“Good question, it would depend on the project. Often, the most unlikely collaborations are the most interesting. I’ll have to think about that one.”
-It took six years after your second album until „Things Are What They Used To Be“ came out – what did you do in this time and was it always clear that you will release another Zoot Woman-record at some point?
“Adam and I spent a lot of time touring Zoot Woman, whilst Stuart had other musical projects going on, and really the songs took longer to write, I think mainly because we were going somewhere new with the creative direction.”
-How was it after such a long time to get back together and start working?
“It was really good, and our working relationship hasn’t changed much. When it’s going really well, it’s a great feeling and you forget the points where you’ve struggled.”
– Could you tell a bit how the production took place (where, how long, what were the difficulties)?
“ The album was written and recorded in many different locations in both London and Reading, over the last three years. The final stages were completed in Stuart’s new studio. The actual writing of musical ideas came quite quickly, but the more lengthy part was creating fresh, new, complete songs, and giving them their individual identities.”
– How do your songs normally come into existence?
“Adam usually brings the first musical idea to the table, and then I will apply vocal ideas, and then Stuart will take it from there, and then we all get together to bring it to the final stage.”
– Which influence has Stuart Price to the songs and the band, as he is normally not part of the live-line-up?
“Stuart, as a producer, has a great vision of how to give a song the individual identity that it needs.”
– In an interview for your last record you said that you would want to play live as the three people who did the songs – how come that Stuart is now not part of your live-line-up?
“Much has changed since then, particularly the live show. Stuart is a writer and producer in Zoot Woman, and he has a lot of other projects going on, so touring with the band is not one of his commitments.”
– Our favourite song of the album besides „We Won’t Break“ is „Saturation“ – could you tell what the song is about and how it came into existence (and maybe if there is a story behind it)?
“It was one of the first songs written for the album, and one of the last to finish. It’s about wanting to be with someone to the point of doing absolutely anything for them, until you “saturate every part” of their life, but, at the same time, not really knowing if that’s the right thing to do. Of course, relationships come and go, but the song still has meaning.”
– Your album is your first release at Snowhite – how did it come to that, what is the best aspect of the label for you?
“Snowhite showed a great love for the music of Zoot Woman, so we knew that was a great aspect. The band and the label have a shared enthusiasm, so that is very motivating for everyone involved.”
– Your 3 top albums 2009? Why?
– “Frankmusik – Complete Me’ because it’s great song writing, and he has something fresh and new, but it’s also great pop.
– ‘White Lies’ because it’s dark and brilliantly produced. They’re a very young band, but they have all this great material at an early stage. I can see them doing more great records.
– ‘Depeche Mode – Sounds Of The Universe’ because I’m a fan. They always come back with something compelling and mysterious, and they are easily one of the best live bands around.”
– What did you learn 2009?
“To try more new things, and not become set in my ways.”
– Your best personal experience in 2009?
“Releasing and touring this new record, particularly after years without an album release, was creatively very rewarding.”
– Your plans for 2010?
“To keep on writing as we are doing, to gig in new places and, again, to try more new things out.”
– What’s on your rider?
“Vodka, Red Wine…it varies.”
– How would „your Bedroomdisco“ look like?
“Like my bedroom already, only with the guitars thrown out and the DJ thrown in.”
– Which song makes you dance – independent of the situation?
“David Bowie – Let’s Dance.”
– Which song would fit to your feeling/situation in this moment?
“Genesis – I Can’t Dance.”
– Who did fill out this questionnaire?
“That would be me, Johnny.”
Thanks a lot Johnny, for the interview! Looking forward to new songs!