Lets Talk Tactics

author PP date 24/06/08

I figured that before I move out of the UK for good, I should probably sit down with local Surrey electro-rockers Lets Talk Tactics before they explode onto the scene with their great debut EP \"Advanced Preview\". These guys are still a tiny band waiting to be noticed more or less, as I could also tell from their nervousness in their first ever interview as a band. When they weren\'t talking, they were fiddling with whatever close to their hands while thinking about what to say next, which is always difficult for any band in the beginning. The interview was probably extra funny considering that I\'m friends with all three of the guys, meaning that the whole experience was kind of awkward and weird. Although as an interviewer, I\'ve grown accustomed into transforming myself into the emotionless interviewer persona, the dudes were still kind of laughing and joking around with inside jokes and all. Nonetheless, the interview became more interesting to read in the end, so go on and read what Paul, Jon and Stu had to say about their upcoming debut EP.

RF.net: Hello guys! First of all, can you introduce yourself to our readers, because none of them actually know who you are yet!
Jon: I\'ll go first. I\'m Jon, I play guitar.

Stu: I\'m Stu, I play bass.

Paul: We\'re Lets Talk Tactics, probably the first thing to say. I\'m Paul and I play synth.

RF.net: Can you give me a brief history to the band\'s story so far?
Jon: The band started ages ago, actually, a few years ago. Aron, our singer, and our old guitarist Jimmy were friends, and they played together and they were kind of writing songs. Then they met Stu...

Stu: In the union...student\'s union at the University of Surrey..

Jon: They saw Stu and thought that guy looks like he plays an instrument, so they went up to him and apparently he played bass. And then I contacted Stu because I wanted to start a band like Thrice and Coheed & Cambria style stuff cause I didn\'t have a band at the time, but then Stu said: \"You should come check out my other band, we\'re looking for another guitarist\", and then that kind of worked out. Then we used to have band practises in my bedroom in our old house, and Paul used to live next door to me just as a regular house mate. So he just kind of started playing along to our music while we were practicing in my bedroom. Like just putting beats to our stuff as a joke. And then it just kind of went from there and kinda worked. And that\'s how we became us now, I guess.

RF.net: Where did the band name originate from?
Paul: It was in a dream, it came down on a flaming pie in one of my dreams. That\'s how it happened.

RF.net: You are making this up! [laughter on the background]

Jon: What actually happened was that I had a job where my boss would always like.. before we did anything as a team, she would be like \"right, guys, come on [claps hands together] get together, lets talk tactics!\" so I thought that was a cool band name.

Stu: The name actually came from when I used to play Rugby for my college and our coach, before every game, we\'d do that thing where you all hug each other, and be like \"right, lets talk tactics\" [everyone laughs]

Paul: That\'s it! That\'s the same as Jon\'s! It actually came from an old song called \"Real Hits, Real Tactics\"

Stu: Yeah, but that actually came from a poster we used to have on the wall from like FIFA \'98 or something.

Paul: Don\'t say that, we don\'t wanna look like we\'re a football band. [laughter] The answer is, no-one\'s ever gonna know.

RF.net: Okay, well can you describe the sound of your band to the readers?
Paul: How many words do we have?

RF.net: Unlimited

Paul: It sounds like Pendulum...

Jon: NO!! It sounds like..

Paul: It sounds like the Klaxons, smashing Pendulum in the face, using nothing but an Enter Shikari CD.

RF.net: So what kind of people do you think will like your band, fans of other bands, other than those you just mentioned?

Paul: Daft Punk.

Jon: What? You think Daft Punk will like us? [laughs]

Paul: I think they would actually. Do you mean like names of bands?

RF.net: No, just what kind of people will like your band?

Paul: Cool people.

Jon: Really cool people. I think the music kind of stretches across.. the choruses are quite catchy, but we have the heavier, chugging guitars so that people who like Enter Shikari and that sort of heavy stuff will like us, people who like Drum N Bass and Electro, we have all those kind of things in there as well.

Paul: We tried to cross the right boundaries. We love Enter Shikari but we could see why some people don\'t like it. So we\'ve tried to take out a bit of their heaviness. We love Pendulum and Drum N Bass, but we can see why some people don\'t get that. So we\'ve tried to put elements of that..

Jon: There\'s bits of everything, really. We like lots of really poppy music, which most of your readers, being Rockfreaks, would probably spit at. We kind of like them so we kind of trying to put a bit of everything in there.

RF.net: Alright, so you\'re going to release your debut EP called \"Advanced Preview\" soon, so how do you feel about that?
Paul: Sick.

Jon: Scared

Stu: Sick.

Jon: Definitely nauseous. [laughs] It\'s been so long in the making. I\'m just excited to get it done. It\'s so close to being done, I\'m just excited to seeing what people say, and what reviewers say.

Stu: We\'re only printing two hundred of them, and I think pretty much all have been accounted for because of this competition we ran ages ago, so I think they will go pretty quick.

RF.net: So I understand that the songs on the EP are related to a concept. So maybe you can talk a little bit about the concept of your band?
Paul: It\'s not the band. It\'s the concept of the first album.

Jon: The concept is chaos theory. I was fairly obsessed a while ago, thinking about chaos theory and what it meant, and how every action you have has an infinite number of reactions to the world. So this interview right now could probably be creating Mr Hands number two or something, you never know.

Stu: There is actually a famous quote that goes: \"chaos was a law of nature, order was a dream of man, and Jon was just a c***\"

Jon: You can\'t say that!! So the concept is that each track tells a story, and it\'s a fictious story. For example, \"The Getaway\" is based on a bank robbery and that tells that story. And then there\'s a small event within that story, which affects someone else\'s life, and because of that small part of one story, his life is forever changed, he\'s been thrown down another path. So the album is kind of about each story affecting the next person in some way, and changing their life.

Paul: Hopefully it will make sense when we get the album, and we\'ll be able to tie them all together. But also, every song is like that, but it\'s supposed to be quite accessible with the lyrics. So it means a lot in today\'s society, as well, kind of like \"The Getaway\" where it\'s like \"let us pretend as we steal from the rich that we give to the poor\". It\'s like, what\'s going on, people are claiming they are doing good things for everyone, but who knows what people\'s morals are, and what people are actually trying to get from something. It\'s deeper than what people might think first of all, and if they want to read the lyrics, they should, and read into what they think it means.

RF.net: Do you think people eventually, when they get the album or EP or whatever, do you think they will actually figure it out, that each song has got a bit which influences the next song.

Stu: I think the good thing is that you can take it on several levels, depending on how far you look into it. Everything else, other media associated with the bands like videos that we\'ll get a chance to do will probably help out.

Jon: It\'s like Coheed & Cambria, you can either get really into the story and really love the epic tale they are telling, or you can just like their music and leave it at that.

RF.net: Will all of your material then always follow a concept, or is it just the first album or the EP?
Stu: Just the first album.

Paul: It doesn\'t mean we won\'t do another concept album, but..

Stu: We don\'t know. I guess we\'ll see when we get there.

Paul: Why not make your first album a concept album, just to make it a bit harder!

RF.net: To a completely different thing, what are some of your influences?
Jon: We\'ve covered that haven\'t we?

RF.net: Other than the three obvious ones you\'ve just mentioned before, other ones than those people can see on your Myspace profile?

Stu: At the moment I reckon a strong influence is Tesco\'s wake up shower gel. [all laugh] The lemon one.

Paul: 80p or something!

Stu: Makes everything so much more inspirational.

Jon: Tesco\'s are doing the buy one get one free on batteries and coke, so that\'s really helping out!

Paul: Umm.. Subway, £1.99 meatball marinara\'s

Jon: Crispy Cream!

RF.net: What about musical influences?

Jon: [laughs] You have to be specific, do you!?

Paul: Twisted Individual. Bad Company.

Jon: I guess it\'s a lot of different things.

Paul: Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers.. you can add your own, I\'m just naming mine

Jon: I\'m more influenced with the oldschool punk. NOFX, Bad Religion, Pennywise and that kind of stuff, originally, and a lot of Pop Punk like New Found Glory, Hit The Lights and that sort of thing.

RF.net: Contrary to many other bands, you guys put a lot of focus on your myspace page. You look into it every day and answer people\'s comments. Is that something you really go up to as a band?
Jon: It\'s absolutely key. It\'s ridiculous that you can have 10,000 friends and get like 2 comments a day, or get 10,000 friends and get 50 plays a day. That obviously means that they\'re not your fans, they\'re not your friends.

Paul: They\'re just numbers.

Jon: Exactly, people really respond to it, we\'re not after 100,000 friends, we\'re after people who want to listen to us, people who actually want to turn up to a show, people who care about the music.

Stu: And at this stage in a band\'s career, when you\'re not touring the world or whatever, it\'s a way to actually touch base on a really personal level with people all over the world.

Paul: [whispers] touch base? [laughter]

Stu: Yeah I don\'t mean like touch them in inappropriate ways. Most of them are quite young.

Jon: [laughs] don\'t say the young bit!

RF.net: Well like you said, most other bands start out touring relentlessly and get their name out that way. You guys do it the other way, just through Myspace, so do you think you\'ll ever be a part of that \'scene\' of fans then?
Paul: We\'ve all been in a band before, though!

Jon: The thing is though, the way that we started out as a band was that me and Stu had been in bands before which had toured, and it was always the same thing. You get your friends together, and you make five kind of average songs, then you tour and gig. And you generally drag your name through crap to the point where you\'ve gigged enough that you\'re a good band. And by that time, people remember you as that crap band. So we\'ve always said that we\'re not gonna release a single song, play a single show until all of the other stuff is ready, because whilst gigging relentlessly is important, having the music to perform when gigging, is just as important. If not more important. So we\'re paying our dues musically, and now we\'re gonna pay our dues gigging.

Paul: Yeah, we are gonna do it.

Stu: It is gonna happen, but I think we\'re going in a bit higher up than we\'ve done before.

Paul: I don\'t think you can say that, that might look arrogant.

Stu: I don\'t think it\'s arrogance, I just think we\'ve kind of like done that approach, and it\'s all well and good, but we\'re just trying something different. It might work or might not.

Paul: We saw Enter Shikari at Hammersmith Palais and they were sick. We knew we had to put on a live show that was.. as much energy and as much passion as that, every show. Don\'t put that bit in there, that was shit!

RF.net: Well, everything goes in that goes to the recorder, so!

Paul: He is typing it out in there now, from the memory stick! [laughs]

RF.net: So I guess the last question really is: what\'s next?
Paul: Barfly!

Jon: We\'re playing as many gigs as we can, where we are trying to work out.. sorting out a booking agent so we can get on a tour. We\'re trying to get some support from other music industry related people so that we can take things to the next step.

Stu: We\'re recording a single in a couple of weeks\' time, before gigging.

Jon: We\'ll have a pretty big producer.

Paul: We\'re trying to get paid so we can buy food as well. Even crisps will do.

Stu: There\'s one thing we just gots to get and thats the dollar!

Paul: We wanna get sausage sandwiches.

Jon: Paul and Stu came home today with a bag full of bread, I was like \"what\'s that for?\" and they were like \"oh, we gotta eat\" and that\'s all they got. Bread!

RF.net: Alright, well, that\'s it for the interview. Do you wanna say something to your fans or the readers?

Jon: We wanna say thank you for Rockfreaks for helping us along the way

Paul: I wanna say thanks to Ashley for being the only one who sent us a video yet, and Jenny. Ashley and Jenny are these two friends.. and anyone who\'s been to our shows or told their friends about our music. It means a lot!

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