The Whip to tour Japan – Interview

The Whip to tour Japan – Interview Main Image

The Whip are a band born in Manchester in the mid-noughties; a time where guitars crunched together with syncopated rhythms and squelchy synths – later to become labeled as the neon-glowing genre ‘nu-rave’. Their breakout single ‘Trash’ was featured on the era-defining Kitsune Maison compilation series and helped concrete the band’s raw power and energy. After their debut album founding member Danny Saville left the band to leave the Whip as a three-piece; Bruce Carter on vocals and guitar, Nathan Sudders on bass and Fiona “Fee” Daniel on drums. Returning to Japan for a nationwide tour later this month, Bruce and Nathan kindly brought us up to speed on what they have been up to.

You guys are regular visitors to Japan. Why do you think Japanese audiences identify with your sound?

Nathan: Some of the best gigs we have ever had have been in Japan because the audiences are amazing! Our music and our gigs are all about giving as much energy as possible and making people want to dance, I think this is why the Japanese audiences identify with us and they go crazy at our gigs!

Bruce: For a UK band it is such a special place to come to and we can’t wait for the trip. I don’t know why Japanese people like our music but I am glad that they do because it’s our favourite place.

As you were identified with the ‘nu-rave’ scene early in your career, does it make it difficult to move on and change your sound?

Bruce: It’s funny when you become part of a scene that you are unaware of existing until it happens. Whatever anyone wanted to label us was a good thing as it helped expose us and introduced people to the band.

Nathan: At the time we never thought we were part of the nu-rave thing, we thought we were more electro or punk funk. I  think as bands get further into their career their sound always will slightly change as your influences change and you get interested in new sounds and techniques in music making, so it’s not really difficult to move on its just a natural progression.

Bruce: I guess a scene can hurt you and sometimes help you once time passes on but we always try to do what we love, that is to use the energy of live instruments and vintage synths with dance and disco rhythm, that is what we love, dance and raw power! 

Do you have any amusing stories from your time in Japan?

Nathan: Wow, we have too many!! 

Bruce: We don’t really sleep very much when we visit, partly from jet lag and partly through excitement and not wanting to miss anything. I remember on our first trip we played Fuji Rock and Fee our drummer and I were the last people awake at the festival and ended up sat in a London black cab which was parked at the top of a field, it was pretty surreal. 

Nathan: Fee took Tom from The Chemicals Brothers hat of him at Fuji Rock festival and he spent all night chasing her around the backstage area trying to get it back. We always have a lot of fun in Japan, some of our stories have to remain a secret though! 

Last year you played at the Brixton Academy with New Order that must have been amazing?!

Nathan: It was an amazing experience for us to support them as we have been massive fans of theirs since we were teenagers and they’ve had a big influence on our music. New Order were one of the 1st bands I remember to create dance music with live instruments and play live shows with a traditional band set up which is exactly what we always wanted to do. Human and machine together!

Bruce: We actually played with New Order in Ibiza at Ibiza Rocks too. Ibiza rocks is a crazy show in the pool area of a hotel full of people who like to party on the Spanish party island of Ibiza, it’s a lot of fun. We ended up partying at the villa where Freddie Mercury and a lot of big 80’s rock stars used to hang out and had a memorable night. We’re looking forward to play with New Order again in July at the foot of Joderell Bank which is a huge satellite dish and astronomy research center near Manchester.

 What are you working on at the moment?

Bruce: We’re working on our third album at the moment and will be playing a couple of the songs live when we play in Japan later this month.

Nathan: Its good to try new songs out on a live audience because you get a very honest reaction straight away.
Please give us a little known fact about The Whip.

Nathan: None of us are vegetarian, FACT!

Bruce: Fee has a nice little pet dog! Oh and we all like different drinks which can be tricky. Fee likes vodka, Nathan gin and I like whiskey! 

We look forward to seeing The Whip play across Japan later this month. For information on the tour and upcoming album release please visit the official website.

Gig schedule:

17-May  O-Nest (Tokyo)
18-May  Party’z (Nagoya)
19-May  Club Vijon (Osaka)
21-May  Voodoo Lounge (Fukuoka/Hakata)
22-May  Metro (Kyoto)
25-May  Shimokitazawa Sound Cruising (Tokyo)

Words: Mark Birtles

Translation: Iona Nagata

May 13, 2013