THE FANZINE THAT FEATURES SMALL AND UNSIGNED BANDS
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
INTERVIEW WITH BATTANT
Bands don't like pigeonholing, that's nothing new but as a reviewer you have the task to lead the audience to new bands which isn't always that easy simply as the public chooses the easiest way. When I had a chat with the very friendly Chloe Battant, it looked like she's not being that pleased when you categorize the music of Battant. Even if I'm quite convinced that I will never meet Chloe (although you never know) I might say she's right... Battant have made a sound you won't hear in other bands, at least not in bands these days,..., still I think Battant sounds like early Banshees or The Slits. Why do I say that? Cos I think I'm right but mainly because I want you to hear Battant. Our friends from London recently have an album out called "No head" and yes, it's a good one!!!! Here's an interview I had with Chloe (thank you!!!)
HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELVES AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC THEN?
Hi I’m Chloe Battant. I don’t really like describing our music as it is already putting it in a box but if I had to, I’d say something like aw analogue pop backed with unhinged electronics.
IT’S A BIT STRANGE I THINK THAT YOU’RE PART OF THE DANCESCENE…TO BE HONEST I CAN’T SEE IT THAT MUCH?
Or hear it? This probably comes from the fact that we’re on Kill the DJ and produced by It’s a Fine Line (Tim Paris and Ivan Smagghe). But even that is already being short sighted as KTDJ is far from being a strict dance label. And if that concrete wall between pop/rock and dance still exists, we’ve stuck it where we want and are happy to swing our legs both sides… In any case, I don’t think distinctions matter so much anymore. Tindersticks are a million light years away from The Bloody Beetroots but not because of ‘genre’, because of soul and sincerity.
THE FIRST TIME I HEARD YOUR MUSIC IT REMINDED ME OF 80’S POST-PUNK LIKE THE SLITS OR EARLY SIOUXSIE, I GUESS YOU AGREE…..
It has been said before, mainly about my voice. But it isn’t intentional. Don’t think it’s important either.
HOW STRANGE THIS QUESTION MUST BE, DO YOU THINK THE AVERAGE BATTANT-FAN CARES ABOUT THAT STUFF?
Strange question indeed… Cares about Post Punk? I’m not sure I could tell you who the ‘average Battant fan’ is, let alone what’s going on in their head. Still waiting on our market research. But I guess some of them are into it. I’d hate to think we’re viewed as some tribute or retro act though.
IT MIGHT BE STRANGE TO NOTICE BUT I8T SEEMS THIS SORT OF MUSIC IS ALWAYS IN IF ECONOMICALLY IT’S NOT SO GOOD….I MEAN THE POSTPUNK IS LINKED TO THE THATCHER-REGIM AND NOW IT’S NOT ALL SUN AND ROSES AS WELL…..
Hmmmm… I’m not sure the relation’s so straightforward. Thatcherism also gave us Stock Aitken and Waterman. And I can’t see anything in today’s music scene that has the political impact punk may have had. Or if you mean tough times = cold sparse sound, it’s as true as the opposite. 1977 was The Sex Pistols and Abba, 2010 is Battant and Pop Idol.
YOU’RE PART OF THE LONDON-SCENE AND EVEN IF I THINK IT STAYS THE CENTRE OF MUSIC, I THINK IT’S NOT LIKE IT USED TO BE…AND BELIEVE ME, I WAS HUNDRED TIMES IN LONDON… FIFTEEN YEARS AGO YOU COULD LICK THE MUSIC OF THE LONDON-PAVEMENT BUT NOW IT SEEMS TO HAVE BECOMEC AN UNDERGROUNDTHING…EVEN IN LONDON!!!
I think there are still loads of bands, nights, labels etc. It’s just the second there’s something new, it gets pounced on, commercialised and suffocated. Nothing has time to develop and make a real impact anymore. London’s always been driven by trends and as the cycles get faster and faster, the content’s drying up… Also, this city’s independent musical scene (which was so important culturally) has been phagocyted by the majors, creating a kind of grey zone where indie bands top the charts but also have to comply to commercial music rules (promotion fascism, sale or die, endless tour etc…).
IN FACT, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE MUSICINDUSTRY AS IT IS TODAY?
(continued from previous question) What makes me sad is how focussed small bands seem to be on commercial success. It’s a lot harder to sell records these days and the dream of landing a jackpot deal’s skipping away, but I think people are still hanging on to the old career model and playing it safe. We’re in a transition period. I hope we’ll see power shifting from the crumbling majors and the rebirth of a real indie spirit soon.
I READ YOUR BAND IS VERY MUCH LIKED BY ANDREW WEATHERALL. HOW DOES THAT MAKES YOU FEEL?
THE MUSIC FROM BATTANT ALSO SOUNDS QUITE RAW, A RIGHT IN YER FACE-FEELING I THINK… IS THIS SOMETHING YOU THOUGHT ABOUT OR IS IT JUST THE WAY YOU SOUND?
It’s the same thing. We just want to sound raw and work with our producers to do so, leaving space for the songs. We are also conscious of being a three piece and although it’s easy to make slick music with a laptop, we try to limit ourselves to what 12 hands can actually produce.
IN SOME WAY I THINK YOU’RE PUNK…SO, WHAT DOES PUNK MEAN TO YOU?
I try and avoid using big words like this one… integrity, sincerity, and the absolute loathing of conservatism and greed… something like that…
CONFESS US SOMETHING….WHAT’S THE MOST ROCK ‘N ROLL-THING YOU DID IN YOUR LIFE?
It wouldn’t be very rock’n’roll to tell you…
LAST QUESTIONS ARE QUESTIONS I ALWAYS ASK, I CALL IT THE TRADITIONAL ORIGINAL SIN-QUESTIONS… WHAT’S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME AND WHY?
It changes on a daily basis. There are too many good records to have to make that selection but if it’s any help, I’ve been singing Bandiera Blanca all weekend
WITH WHO WOULDN’T YOU MIND BEING STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR FOR 8 HOURS AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO THEN?
Emma Goldman and Dolly Parton.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM BATTANT IN THE FUTURE?
We’ve changed guitarist and we’re working on our second album. Our sound’s evolving and I’m really excited about things.
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