char your brain: ¡Forward, Russia!
brain charring is good. isn't it? (yes it is).
¡Forward, Russia! is a guitar-synth-punk band with theatrical, very over the top vocals, ridiculous energy, and a one-named guitarist with a manic, angular style. (we like). hot press magazine (ireland) gave the band's debut album a 9/10, and described it as "a record of brain charring brilliance."
the band is from leeds, england, and the guitarist is nicknamed whiskas (at left in above photo). whiskas runs his own record label. (smart guy). his label is called dance to the radio, a name taken from a lyric in the joy division song transmission. (bonus points).
whiskas was cool enough to answer some silly queries from me. his band is playing the bowery ballroom next tuesday, november 28. you should go.
5 QUESTIONS WITH WHISKAS
How did you capture that over-the-edge, manic-type of sound in the studio? Were you hopped up on something?
WHISKAS: We weren't hopped up on something! I think our live shows were so frantic it was trying to capture something like that on record. We did try and make a bit of an effort in doing things different. We were under pressure to do the best album possible and didn't have loads of time, so I guess maybe that came through.
What are some of the biggest differences between the audiences you are playing in front of in the states versus in Europe?
WHISKAS: Well, Europe's a bit bigger! But I do think, no matter what the size of audience in America they're really really enthusiastic. Which isn't always the case in Europe, though obviously people in Europe tend to know the songs a bit better. I have great hope in American audiences being really good.
What do you think are the best words to use to describe your music?
WHISKAS: Ooh, I don't know. I think we all prefer other people to describe the music themselves and make their own opinions! I like when people appreciate the differences in our music - I can handle it when people compare us to many different bands of different styles, but it frustrates me when we get compared to one band, that usually is just a facet of our sound.
When you were a kid, who was the first band you really loved?
WHISKAS: Hmm, Blur I think. I was that age in the UK - Country House hit number one and my dad was a fan so he had all the old albums, Parklife, Leisure, Modern Life Is Rubbish, so I got to love them. Then I went to see them at an arena with I think the first little band I discovered and loved from their first single which was Super Furry Animals.
Can you tell us a secret?
WHISKAS: No cos then it wouldn't be a secret anymore!!
nine - ¡Forward, Russia!
twelve - ¡Forward, Russia!
psyclone! - super furry animals
side notes: whiskas got his name from beatrix potter's tale of samuel whiskers, and yes, he does actually have whiskers. the band named the songs on its debut album after numbers and they use spanish punctuation symbols in the spelling of their band name. finally, whiskas made me feel damn old by mentioning his DAD (!) was a blur fan.
¡Forward, Russia!: website / itunes / tour dates
article: spin feature on ¡Forward, Russia!