With the likes of their breakthrough hit ‘That’s not my name’ they proved that they could write tunes that lived long in the memory, now The Ting Tings return with a new album, Super Critical, thats full of them. Although brief – its only just over 30 minutes long from beginning to end, there’s still plenty there, the tunes nowadays still memorable but with a healthy dose of Ibiza (the album was recorded there) as standout single from the summer Wrong Club proved, and a nod towards the likes of Prince, Nile Rogers, even Madonna, throughout.
Ahead of the bands UK tour, we spoke to Katie and Jules about everything Ting Tings
I think everyone who heard it fell for Wrong Club (certainly we did) – is that a reflection of the album? Were you looking for a particular vibe for the album?
Every record we make has to be a departure or different to the last. We’re not sure if we love music so much that we feel the need to explore each time or if it’s just our desire to become something new each time. We always said we would rename the band on each album and in many ways having a different sounding album each time gives us the opportunity to feel like a new band. Super critical is born out of the revival of dance and our love of clubs with dance music to dance to and not nod or gurn to.
You made the record in Ibiza, right? That must have had an influence?
Ibiza should have driven us to edm or 128 bpm euphoric moments but on the contrary we felt the need to slow down to 113-118 bpm and groove aka studio 54. A record to sing-a-long and pull some shape. We wanted to enjoy getting ready to go out and we wanted to funk. Early madonna was on rotation as was fleetwood mac, fatback band and m jackson so instead of becoming reident djs, we took to mike and claires (manumission) new night called fantasmagoria opening and closing with drums and guitars in the dj booth. Part dj-ing and jumping on instruments was off the grid in the ibizenco clubs and instinctivly we felt reborn.
Was it a distraction…the beach, clubs, bars or the studio……. Tough decisions?
Drop by and hang outside the stone room or by the pool and recording was amazing. We met Andy Taylor (Duran) and locked ourselves in the studio for 8 months. He became a total bud with all the same views and needs about being independent and driven. So beaches and bars we’re homegrown at sonic vista studios up on a hill in es Cubels. People would have a smoke with us then we’d be back in there sweating and punching the air with another hook. Only when it came to rehearsing for our tours did we have to leave the island. Once the record was made we started to party again and deadlines loomed. We jumped off the island to mainland Spain and France countrysides (after some late summer celebrations) to knuckle down. There’s a danger that you’ll wake up 20 years late in Ibiza with the party long gone thai dying old t-shirts and waiting for fresh weed to arrive. It’s an amazing place with amazing people hiding out.
So, you’re going on tour – it’s been a while – looking forward to it?
We just played our first London show. We were bricking it. As always we take our record and find a way to perform it without being conventional or typical. We took a new DJ producer friend from Ibiza (Boix) on midi controllers and decks and with our live loops and instruments we played a 50 min set. Our manager said it reminded him of our first break out shows. Can not wait to play the tour. Japan, Europe, UK, Dubai and USA all locked in and selling out. Half way through the London show we looked at each other and felt right back at home.
Big show in London, and a hometown show at the Deaf Institute, are they the highlights?
As mentioned London was a bounce. Deaf institute sold out within days – we hope it has a late license! Pleasure to be back in Salford again.
Plenty of rehearsal for the tour, or are you more a leaving it to chance and see what happens sort of band?
We tell our manager we are rehearsing everyday.
How do you get ready for the tour? Gradually ween yourself off vegetables and onto pot noodles?
We so bad at prep. It’s always the same routine, screaming at each other, looking for passports and clothes we once owned, running for the transport and before we can evaluate what we need to remember we’re walking onto stage and praying for gold. Pot noodles have not been a regular tour bus thing but now you mention it…
All packed? What’s the things that you absolutely can’t do without when heading off?
Erm – iPhone and laptop. sad isn’t it. the entire world will agree with us that wherever you go now you live somewhere between a mobile phone and a computer. ’78 USA Strat, ditto loop pedal, cobra kik pedal, warm jacket and some sleeping tabs for long hauls. the rest we accumulate along the journey.
And whats rocking the tourbus playlist right now – has it been made?
We’re just not that organised. As soon as we all board the bus there’ll be some initiation with the crew, tunes will creep onto a playlist and there’ll be a signature tune throughout. Talking heads is part of the tour bus operating manual but Jackson’s off the wall is an early favourite for sure.
Plans for the rest of the year? USA maybe?
Usa jan. East and west coast classics like troubador and bowery… some great holland dates have crept in, another single on our finca record label, another video, self designed pom poms and jackets will be a highlight for sure.
JULES AND KATIE
See The Ting Tings Live
30 October London, XOYO ** NEW DATE
23 November Brighton, The Haunt
24 November Bristol, Thekla
25 November Newcastle, The Cluny
26 November Glasgow, King Tuts
28 November Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
29 November Manchester, Deaf Institute
30 November Portsmouth, Wedgwood Rooms
Tickets priced at £15 except London £17
Ticketing info at www.thetingtings