We catch-up with Jay and Elle Dead of You Love Her Coz She’s Dead to talk about the new self-titled album, being on TV, Brighton, touring the world and electronic beatdowns.
“The process of releasing music is a bitter pill I’m still learning to swallow” – Jay Dead
S] This is your first album after three years’ worth of singles, EPs and mix albums – why has it taken so long to put your own LP together?
Jay] “Ah, you’ve been paying attention a bit, cheers. It took us three years for a death mixture of reasons. First there are the honest reasons which for the sake of this interview we can call ‘the poisoning’. Secondly, there’s probably about three or four albums worth of material we weren’t entirely happy with, probably as a result of ‘the poisoning’. Although, I think we are probably too brutal with what we don’t put out, because when we listen back to stuff we shelved we think, ‘Sh**.. that was probably okay actually’, but then we listen sober and agree we did the right thing. We need help!”
S] Was there any demand from your record label to bring forth an album?
Jay] “No real label pressure. We’ve never had a proper record deal or tried to get one in the regular sense. It was support from fans of the EP, baying for blood and for us to release something that encouraged us to hurry up eventually (usually we don’t pay much attention to outside influences, but we agreed that three years was just taking the piss). But, on the other hand, because YLHCSD is self-produced and because we are perfectionists, by default we put out something reluctantly, which to us is far from perfect. As a composer/producer, the process of releasing music is a bitter pill I’m still learning to swallow.”
S] Which tracks, if any, on the album mean the most to you?
Jay] “For me it’s ‘Legacy’ because the lyrics are descriptive of the past couple of years. It’s a zeitgeist song for us.”
Elle] “‘This Is A Raid’ means a lot to me because it also perfectly describes YLHCSD’s journey from the past few years; it’s complicated and some parts are epic. It doesn’t quite make sense but it roars at you like a lion and you can’t ignore it. The madness makes it rare and that’s what I like about music. Listen to them here.”
S] The video to ‘Leap Of Desire’ features scenes of parkour. Where did the idea for the video come from?
Elle] “Parkour makes the world a playground and I think we connect with the whole Peter Pan school of ageing.”
Jay] “Myself and Elle decided we didn’t want to appear in videos ourselves, not just because it makes us queezy, but also why would anyone be interested in looking at us apparently pretending to love ourselves? So, conceptual stuff just interests us more, like the first video we did with video producer Elliot Dear for ‘Dead End’ from our debut EP ‘Inner City Angst’ we did on Kitsune. For ‘Leap Of Desire’ we were on the look out for something exciting, and the Parkour element came to light after tripping over a Visive Productions short film about Brighton Parkour, which made my palms go sweaty. For something to make me feel this way without taking something, it just felt right to marry YLHCSD with it, because even if you’re not a fan of the music, it’s still fun to watch. YLHCSD are also currently based in Brighton mostly when we’re not playing in Europe, and Elle has lived here most of her life.”
S] Are you the type of band who set out to focus a spotlight on the place you came from?
Jay] “Not as a rule, but it’s where we are right now, so it’s reflective of what surroundings we’re currently reacting to and being a part of, so yeah I guess for those reasons we did focus in on Brighton. We are fans of the film, ‘The Warriors’, and there are similar landmarks in Brighton. For something like the concept of the video, the seafront made even more sense. It’s just a shame that the big wheel went up the weekend after it was filmed.”
S] Your music has been featured in a variety of films and TV shows. What’s it like for your sound to be exposed in this way?
Jay] “Yeah, ‘Teen Wolf’, ‘Skins‘, and extreme sports stuff too. I forget some of the stuff we’ve done! There was a cool French youth culture film about underground electronic music in Paris we’re in, but I can’t remember the name. We have some stuff going into a big HBO series soon too, but I don’t know if I can divulge. This stuff just happens, we don’t even have a publisher working for us, it’s weird. There’s no real way of calculating to what degree any exposure has helped and to be honest I haven’t actually seen half of the films or shows we’re on. If someone sends me a copy, I might watch it. But as far as exposure, I suppose it can only be a good thing, in a sort of law by numbers kind of way, but on the other hand we could never agree to exposure via anything that didn’t sit well with us just for exposure’s sake. For YLHCSD having music on films or TV shows is more for contribution to something artistic, rather than for exposure, otherwise you’d have seen our faces on the X-factor a long time ago.”
S] 2011 has seen you perform on the festival circuit around Europe. How was your experience on the road this year?
Jay] “Sporadic. We played some huge dates, like just before Flux Pavilion at Rock Herk in Belgium and there have been many like this. But they are scattered dates. We have never really toured full-on, only a couple of weeks at a time in a van in 2010. Now we just fly out to select shows. But that’s not to say we wouldn’t tour solidly. We’d do it tomorrow but someone else would have to sort it out!”
S] Do you have any highlights (or lowlights) of your shows this year?
Jay] Highlights have got to be just some of the amazing people we met and got to hang out with, like Jacopo and his awesome girlfriend Desiree from House Of Wronga in Italy. They are great people, and it makes long trips worth it when you meet people that are really positive and make an effort for you. Things only really hit a low through tiredness or technical problems. No sleep for 48 plus hours does something weird to my brain. My metabolism goes to sh** when we’re travelling, and with little or nothing offered to help me out, when stuff goes wrong on-stage I can just feel a bit disheartened. But then, you get a crowd kicking-off and it carries it forward.”
S] Can you tell us about what the future plans are for YLHCSD?
Jay] “We’d like to tour the world. We don’t mind the struggle, we sort of crave it. There are no guarantees as we have never had any major backing, so we’re just going to keep developing what we’re doing, stick to our DIY ways, do what we can and see what happens. We might release another 7” vinyl, as we really enjoyed doing them in the past (a few copies still available from here). We’re open to collaborations, remixes, and production projects as side-lines to YLHCSD. I’m already collaborating with my sister on Sucker Twin who actually features on track 3 ‘Mud’ on our new album. It’s a lot of fun and I have a lot of energy for the right projects, so maybe we’ll expand more into those areas too, and possibly absorb some of that extra stuff in some way into another release.”
S] What about your interest in amalgamating electronic and rock sounds – where does that come from?
Jay] “It’s not deliberate but comes from years thrashing around also playing hardcore.”
Elle] “Two words; electronic beatdowns.”
S] Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Jay] “No. Buy me a sandwich? Okay then, no. Big-up to Greg at Glasstone Records.”
Elle] “Until you’ve tried everything you’re not entitled to hate anything.”
For more information visit the official You Love Her Coz She’s Dead website.