Q&A med Charles Cave fra White Lies
The Danish crowd are always electric, and we react to that
I år kan det britiske rockband, White Lies, fejre 10 års jubilæum for deres succesrige debutalbum To Lose My Life. Det bringer dem blandt andet til Danmark, hvor de spiller to koncerter dette efterår. Vi har taget en snak med bandets bassist Charles Cave om albummet og deres kommende koncerter i København.
1. You are celebrating the ten-year anniversary of “To Lose My Life” – How is it revisiting all the old songs?
Well, to be honest none of the songs on the album feel very far from us at all. Songs like ‘Death’, ‘Farewell to the Fairground’, ‘To Lose My Life’, and ‘Unfinished Business’ have been played in 99% of White Lies shows since the day that record came out. But what I suppose is interesting, is the revisiting of the album as a complete work. The album opens with ‘Death’, but actually ‘Death’ for us is a closing song (we finish most shows with it). The album has a fantastic flow to it, and I always think the running order of a record can make or break it. So it will be interesting to see how that translates into the live show. But there are songs like “Fifty on Our Foreheads’, and ‘Nothing to Give’ that we haven't played live in many years. I’m really excited to be playing them again.
2. The album was and is such a massive success – what was the inspiration behind the album?
There’s a good quote that floats around which goes something like; “if you’ve survived childhood then you have enough material to write about for the rest of your life.’ I think our debut album is very much a compressed, and intensified culmination of a childhood, and early adolescence; all the fear, and hope, and love, and drama that comes with those first attempts to find yourself in the world, to make sense of your own existence…or at least to begin to come to terms with the lack of sense in all existence.
3. Do you have a favorite track on the album and why is it your favorite?
It probably, gathering unimaginatively, would have to be ‘Death’. It’s the song that really carried us in those early days, and it’s a song that people still talk about. People still come up to me and say “you know that ‘Death’ song of yours really is fantastic. 10 out of 10.” I’m just glad we have something like that in our arsenal! I’m not sure we’d be here otherwise.
4. How was it being The White Lies 10 years ago in the aftermath of the success of “To Lose My Life”?
We were just busy, you know? Busy all the time. But at age 18 you just assume that’s the norm. And you get on with it. I think that’s more or less been our work-ethic since: Get on with it. Get the damn work done. Having said that, we often remark now on those first few years, the schedule we kept, and joke that we could never manage it now. We had the dregs of schoolboy adrenaline. That stuff will push you through all kinds. We used to fly to Australia via three Asian cities, then fly right over to LA, then to Germany, then to Sweden, then back to New York. All that nonsense. We couldn’t do it like that now. We still work hard as hell - but it’s all relative, isn't it? We’ve had a taste for freestanding baths, and ramen with tea-stained eggs: we need a little comfort in proceedings now. This isn’t Sparta.
5. Would “To Lose My Life” sound different if you released it for the first time today?
You mean if we recorded it afresh today? Oh, yes. Some of it would be very different. But then again I think ‘Death’ we’d do the same. ‘The Price of Love’ we’d do the same. I reckon E.S.T we’d put through the sieve a bit. It’s like looking back at past relationships; we’d all do things differently. But then we wouldn't be where we are now if we hadn't done it like that…back then.
6. You are playing two shows in Copenhagen soon. What can your Danish fans expect from your show?
We’re playing on our old haunt, The Vega - a fantastic hall. One of the best in Europe. We’ve not had a bad show there. You know I just actually found a video recording from our first show there in 2009. We had it filmed professionally. It’s brilliant. We’re talking about releasing it. The Danish crowd are always electric, and we react to that. But our first show in Copenhagen is a whole new level. Your beautiful concert hall - presumably reserved for music of the highest calibre! That’s going to be a spectacular affair. Our light show is the best we’ve ever had; it will give you a tan. I’m so pleased we get to do both shows in Copenhagen. Vega will be the sweaty one, though. That’s where the beers will get bought.
7. You have played shows in Copenhagen before. Do you have a favorite place or a tradition when you visit Copenhagen?
If I can I like to visit the Louisiana gallery; such an inspiring space, and so peaceful. But in the city we are big fans of the Mikeller bars, and War Pigs for dinner! It’s a city I love to walk. I’m a big walker and so really I judge a city on how it seduces a walker. Copenhagen will keep your feet plodding for a good few hours, and I appreciate that. Plenty of nice coffee stops around too. Not to mention the shops of fine clothing.
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