Grave Concerns: Hey Lucy and Oli, how are you?
Oli: I am very well thanks, despite the rain trying to remind me winter is coming.
Lucy: Ah but winter has its attractions, no?
Grave Concerns: Where did you guys meet? And did you sense how wonderful it was going to be creating music together?
Oli: We met through a friend as I was looking for a singer to guest on a dance record I was making at the time. I don’t remember us consciously deciding to turn it immediately into a long-term project, it all happened very organically, but is indeed been quite wonderful so far!
Lucy: Yup we have a lot to thank said mutual friend for. Thanks, Kate!
Grave Concerns: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about following your musical dreams?
Oli: Reach for the stars and you might just bump your head on the ceiling. Or something - can’t quite remember! Seriously though, just make the music you yourself would like to hear, otherwise you’re not being sincere.
Lucy: Yeh, I suppose it’s just to have confidence in what you are creating, even if sometimes not everyone shares your vision.
Grave Concerns: Tell us about your debut album “Electromagnetic” slated for release on November 1st? It’ll be available on iTunes, as well as other digital mediums, which is very exciting.
Oli: Yes, it’s the culmination of our first 18 months of work, and represents the songs we’ve done as we’ve got to know each other’s musical tastes and inspirations. We’re very proud of it and we’ve already got some great responses. We’re looking forward to unleashing it on a vaguely unsuspecting world!
Grave Concerns: Whereabouts in Germany and Europe will your tour next year take you to? Any plans for a North American tour? How about a nice stop in Boston, MA? (:
Lucy: Well we’d love to come to the US – if anyone would like offer us some dates & pay our plane over…!
Oli:...Though at the moment plans for next year are to conquer mainland Europe first - i.e. the main electro centres of Germany – Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich. There’s a great openness to electronic music there that’s very refreshing. The UK tends to mistrust music that hasn’t been hyped by the media or is part of whatever scene is ‘now’, which can make it difficult for new music to break through.
Grave Concerns: Being a member of MySpace, how has it helped, or hindered your musical endeavors? And which countries do you feel have embraced your music the most?
Lucy: Well we’ve definitely had a brilliant response from Germany, France, and Brazil to name a few….
Oli: MySpace is this incredible resource; I think everyone knows now how it enables you to find fans across the whole world, and get a feel for how your music is thought of. I’m particularly pleased with the strength of response from Germany - I was brought up on Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Faust, etc, so perhaps it’s not that big a surprise!
Grave Concerns: How is your search going to find a backup singer?
Oli: [Over to you Lucy!]
Lucy: Well, if anyone knows of any experienced backing vocalists who are London based, get them to get in touch!
For the time being, I’m actually happy going out there by myself, but it would be nice to have some harmonic company!
Grave Concerns: You’ve been asked to create a new word defining your style of music. What is that word?
Lucy: Gawd, that sounds like something rainbow-coloured on roller-blades, Ol! That said, I find it difficult to come up with just one word, so Oli’s word will have to do for now…
Grave Concerns: What can you tell us about living in the United Kingdom? Where are some of your favorite hangouts? Favorite foods and drinks? I am simply in love with things British.
Lucy: Well I’ve just moved to Shoreditch and am loving living in the east end (of London) – so many great, grungy bars with good music but also so much history everywhere. Like pretty much anywhere in London, you just have to look up above street level and see amazing architecture –gargoyles on buttresses everywhere! Here in particular you get a real sense of the ‘old’ London – walking around some streets in the city or by the Thames makes you feel you’re living in a Dickens novel – I love that.
Oli: I love London; I was born and bred here, and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Not if you want to be at the centre of music, art, culture, etc. it’s not always an easy city to live in, but it’s worth the effort. Apart from the pigeons. They’re horrible.
Grave Concerns: How did you come up with the name Cassette Electrik?
Oli: We were originally called Cassette, which itself took us months to choose. And then a year down the line, thanks to MySpace we realised there are now a thousand Cassettes out there, so we thought we better become unique again. ‘Electrik’ seemed good, as none of this would be possible without the stuff!
Lucy: Plus the word ‘Cassette’ juxtaposed with the word ‘Electrik’ also gives an idea of what our music is about – analogue vibes mixed with the energy of something electric.
Grave Concerns: You did a cover of Erasure’s song “A Little Respect”…well done, I say! Great musical stylizations, emotion, and vocals. And you’re releasing a limited edition cover of Depeche Mode’s song “New Life” now that’s brilliant! Have you had an opportunity to meet Depeche Mode? Other bands and artists you’d like to cover in the future?
Lucy: Thanks for the compliments – glad you liked. Doing your version of someone else’s song is always great as it gives listeners who are unfamiliar with your stuff an automatic ‘in’ and hopefully they’re interested enough to come back and listen to more of your stuff…
Oli: It’s always tempting to cover songs and artists that meant a lot to you in the past, so for me that’d be a load of early electropop, with a dash of Led Zeppelin! But I’ve also always wanted to finish off Syd Barrett’s half completed songs from ‘The Madcap Laughs’, and Lucy & I even tried a cover of a Neutral Milk Hotel song a while back. Now there’s another underrated mad genius!
Lucy: Yeh was never sure about that last one!
Oli: I’ll persuade you yet, mwah-ha-ha, etc.
Grave Concerns: As a band, you know how difficult it is to get ones music out and heard. If you were to put together your own line-up of bands or artists you’d like to open for you, who would they be? And if you were able to open for one band, whom would you choose?
Oli: A multi-part question! Part 1: it’s always difficult for new bands to get heard, but I believe that if you do believe in what you’re doing, and have the persistence to see it through, eventually you’ll find your success level. Part 2: At the moment it wouldn’t make any sense for Depeche Mode to open for us (that would be weird gig!!!), so I’m really happy with the line up of our launch night party of Looptron & Yimino. It should be a good night, it’s a pity you’re the other side of the Atlantic!
Grave Concerns: If you were able to put on a concert for charity, which one/s would you be supporting, and which artists would you like to headline?
Lucy: I’d probably choose a cancer charity or a kids’ charity, I guess. Headline artists... Hmm, Radiohead as they are an amazing band and brilliant live and Led Zeppelin – as I think that’s the only way I’m going to get to see them!
Grave Concerns: OK; now for a fun question! You’ve just been given exclusive free range to invite family, and a few friends during the approaching holiday, Halloween, for six days, staying in a hotel suite where each of the six nights, a horror movie “theme room” of your choosing had been authenticated. Also with you, are three musical artists (of your choice) who’ll be performing two-sets each night; or, inviting them to 11 days at a haunted castle (accommodations of your choice) in Scotland, Ireland, or England, with Stephen King and Tim Burton as your tour guides. Which do you choose, and why?
Lucy: Oh my god, this question is just too complicated. Brain can’t compute…Oli, you’ll have to answer…!
Oli: The second one, the second one! I think the location and supporting artistes would make for a splendid occasion! Though I’m boring and don’t believe in ghosts or haunted ness. Mind you, Steve & Tim would probably be able to convince me otherwise at 4am on a dark, wet, windy night in a remote Scottish castle!!
Grave Concerns: Other than musical influences, what other mediums do you find creative energy from?
Lucy: I need to exercise to give me energy to do anything – creative or not. Apart from that, I really like spoken word– those people are so clever weaving stories you just get drawn into…Scroobius Pip and Polar Bear were two we saw recently…
Oli: I’m open to everything. I love art especially. I love the fact there’s a transformational effect of putting something – anything – into an art gallery, and then whatever that thing is, it takes on the mantle of being ‘Art’. Sometimes you don’t even have to put it into an art gallery, but just explain to people that it’s Art, and then it becomes Art too. Maybe the word Art just means something which makes you think a little bit about life and what it means. After all, even a still life by Valesquez is about the fact of existence.
Cycling is good too. Very meditative (when you’re not avoiding massive trucks…)
Grave Concerns: What is something about yourselves, that your fans would be surprised to know.
Lucy: I make a mean potato salad – recipe handed down from Polish side of my family…
Oli: I’m not as pretentious as the previous answer suggests?! (Oh hang on, I might be, actually…)
Grave Concerns: What would be a relaxing time to you?
Oli: Driving quite fast in a straight line with something like Soulwax on the stereo.
Lucy: Oli you are mental - they said ‘relaxing’!! To me it would be reading a good book under a sunshade somewhere by a pool…
Grave Concerns: What would make you guys happy to hear, in regard to how people are responding to your music? Would it simple be “yeah, I like them”, “they sound cool”, or would it be something else…something deeper that you hope your audience will pick up on?
Oli: My main emotion is relief if people like my stuff (including Lucy when I play her initial ideas!)
Lucy: We both like it when people want to dance to our music and also when it connects with some emotion, I think….
Grave Concerns: Besides the obvious necessities of life, what are six things that you can’t be without?
Lucy: Music, friends, physical contact, fun, good books.
Oli: music, of course, my wife Meg (and rest of my family), beer is quite important (wine would suffice), my bicycle, the complete works of Kraftwerk, grass and trees and rivers. Exclamation marks – I need to go on a hypnosis course or something to stop using the little buggers.
Grave Concerns: Proudest moment yet?
Oli: with Cassette Electrik, having someone we’d never met use our cover of A Little Respect’ for the first dance at their wedding!
Lucy: yes, Gawd bless them!
Grave Concerns: What would you like to say to your fans right now?
Oli: Hello you two!
Lucy: Not that one again, Ol...! I’d like to say ‘keep listening’…
Grave Concerns: Lucy and Oli it’s been delightful having this opportunity to interview you. We here at Grave Concerns wish you a career of fantastic, and well-received music ahead. Keep in touch. Cheers!
Oli: Thanx for the thought provoking questions!
Lucy: Yes, thank you for being interested in our opinions, GC!
For more information on Cassette Electrik check them out at http://www.myspace.com/cassetteelectrik
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