"You Got The Style" is the sort of single that makes you want dance naked around the barbecue like Kenneth Williams in Carry on making suggestive remarks about "watching you sausages". Its the sort of record that sums up that Summer Spirit and is just about the perfect introduction to Britain's Best new left of centre pop band you can get. Tired of all the negativity in music right, with the exception of touring with the Crescent the band have no complaints, and Athlete are about spreading love and positive vibes to the kids. We caught up with Carey and Tim from the band to find out more.
Q: I guess summing up the Athlete sound its fair to call it left of centre pop music. Would you agree?
Carey: We just find it really difficult to describe how we sound because we don't particularly feel we sound like anyone else. I mean our influences are so varied from like Pavement and Granddaddy to even some weird electronica stuff like Wauvenfold...to Stevie Wonder, hip-hop and Earth Wind & Fire. Its a really massive range, but we just love our melodies and we love the fact that anything we do is quite melodic and groove based.
I think its safe to say that we all prefer keyboards to our own instruments, which really annoys Tim so we all end up saying i'll give it a go.
Tim: The other 3 guys had another band before we started Athlete and the whole idea behind the band is that we wouldn't sound like anyone else. The old band had been pretty much Britpop mixed with punk and they were good tunes but it was very much like what was around at the time. And the whole idea now is to do what we enjoy without worrying whether it sounds like anyone else.
Q: And going from a band like yourselves that tries to change the Status Quo and be a bit different...to the Crescent. A band so steeped in the blandness of the Britpop period and so unbelievable dull it amazes you that they can actually existed. What was it like touring with Britain's worst new band?
Carey: I don't feel I can answer that question and be nice. At the risk of really slagging off loads of people, I've seen a lot of bands like that I can't just figure out what's happened. It just feels like early 90s when Oasis made their first single and suddenly everyone else want to be in a guitar band.
Tim: I suppose that's always been the case. There is that whole statistic that even when you get signed only about 1 in 7 of you recoup your initial advance. You can count about 40 bands that have emerged the pages of NME in the last 12 months and you know that in 2 years time the fact of that matter is that only 5 of them will still be going.
Q: There does seem to be this real optimism about British music right now. The fact that even though we know the music industry's virtually on its knees financially, there seems to be a whole host of British bands and acts that you know in 12 months time we could see the biggest boom since Britpop. Would you agree?
Carey: Over the last couple of years if you ever went out and bought music it was a really big deal, because its about 12/14 pounds for an album. So if you're earning £50 you had to save up for a month and choose really carefully. But like you say there are a few bands and there a more bands being signed than there have been in a while. Its nice to see a little change away from the pop depression and those nu-metal bands just seem as manufactured as Hear'say.
Tim: A lot of the bands that have been signed in the past 12 months, although they're not nu-metal most of them are somewhat that way inclined or a British interpretation of it.
Q: I read a really strange thing about you guys on one of the Mansun websites. Someone described you as sounding a bit like Coldplay which is just about the most bizarre description of the Athlete sound I can imagine. Coldplay VS Athlete - what's your take on it?
Tim: We are looking to win over that Coldplay and Starsailor market in terms on fans, but in terms of how we sound that ideas off the planet.
Carey: We've had everything from Coldplay and Starsailor to Sting, Steely Dan, a bit Beta Band. Its kind of the thing that I like that people have always compared us to bands they actually like. It's kind of a compliment even though I don't understand it all. I still don't understand how anyone can say we sound like Sting....
Tim:...I sure its because one of lyrics goes ROCK CITY and I'm sure people are getting it mixed up with ROXANNE. Its a pretty tenuous connection but that's about all I can imagine.
Q: Finally, I guess we can't let you leave without discussing the best summer radio record since "Wake Up Boo" and your first single for Parlophone "You Got The Style". Go on guys, sell it to us?
Carey: Our outlook on life is really positive. So many bands come out an moan about life and everything's so hard and everything's so awful. For some people life is genuinely really hard, but I don't particularly think the answer to life being hard is to depress yourself even more. I think to have a positive outlook on life and to have an optimistic outlook on life improves your life...it can't do anything else but make you feel better!!!
"You Got The Style" is out 17th June on Parlophone
For more info check the official Parlophone site
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