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Reader's Wives Interview

Sometimes when you hear a song for the first time you just know that John Peel would love it. One of those songs is Sexually Attracted To Myself by Reader's Wives. Following the glorious tradition of the likes such as The Wedding Present, Cinerama, Ballboy and Decoration, the entire Secrecy & Sex EP by Reader's Wives is filled by brilliant lyrics and catchy melodies. Just before the Secrecy & Sex was about to be released, we had a nice little chat about pornography and other tidbits. What can we say? It was a day like that.

Good day, how are you doing?

Good day to you, sir. I'm great, thanks

Well, first of all, I must admit that through these last few days I've been increasingly haunted by your bands name. Lots of strange things happened! First of all, I was just reading Alex James' (bass player from Blur) biography the other day and there is a band called Reader's Wives in it! Did you know that? Is that the background of your name or is there a better story behind it?

Friend of mine's been reccommeding that book to me for years, Hey Diana! Yeah, I've heard there was a band based in Brighton called Readers' Wives, I think. Apostrophe at the end of the word Readers' like the dirty mag. There's also an Aussie band with that same name but we've got the mySpace & the copywrite, so we'll be alright. We're the best of all the band bearing the name. That's all you really need to know (laughs).

The story behind the name? A few years back, I shared a house in Boston with an Irish band, who at that time were called 'Clouded Mouse' and understandably, they were looking for a new name. The singer in the band kind of had his own lingo & the phrase 'Readers' Wives' he used to refer to people who show up uninvited to a party. So, he'd say something like "Yeah, it was a great party but there was a few too many Readers' Wives" <> I told him that he should use Readers' Wives for a band name but he didn't fancy it. I did, and so became Reader's Wives. They became a band called 'The Kill City Defectors'
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Second thing happened when I've nearly got sanctioned by my boss for viewing pornography at work! I'm completely innocent before you get any ideas. What happened is that I've googled your name, and apparently you share a name with quite a saucy website which I "accidentally" clicked. Goes along fine with some of your lyrics I suppose. Maybe you should ask them to sponsor you, what do you say?

I think they should let people view pornography at work! It would eliminate alot of the horrible sexual tension around the office. People might actually get shit done! (laughs) The sponsorship thing? Yeah. That'd be cool, although the women who are likely to appear as Readers' Wives are more often than not quite ugly bored housewives who I wouldn't touch with yours! That said, they might come in useful if the band got in a fight or something! They're usually tough gals. Northern. I do quite like the idea of people finding porn sites when they're looking for our music. Great music & a bit of porn for dessert. Perfect! It's a bit of a double edged sword though because people looking for porn & finding us might get a little pissed off (laughs). I
hope you didn't get into too much trouble though

Maybe they should release your tunes as soundtracks to porn movies? I think it would be the most innovative ep/album release scheme ever! It would definitely make the headlines.

That ...might be one road too low (smiles)

What also happened is that I was humming "Sexually attracted to myself" at the meeting the other day! You can imagine how weird that must've sounded! Not that other lyrics are more work friendly. So what is the story behind the lyrics? Are the reflections of true stories or something else?

Well, the song was inspired, for want of a better word by a metrosexual guy I used to know. Loved himself. Couldn't pass a reflective surface without gawking at himself in it. He was quite a lonely guy as a result, and it was that mix of how ridiculous he was, but also how sorry I felt from him that was the seed of the song. It's also become, for me, a song that asked the question, who's more egotistical? A person who things they're brilliant at what they do & pronounces it? Or a person who thinks they're great, but pretends to be self conscious & shy ..
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Well, we really like your new EP! To be honest, it's fantastic and we can't get enough of it these days. What can you tell us about it? What are the influences behind the sound?

It's a hard question for musicians to answer, the influences one. More often that not, we'll just list bands we like that you won't be able to hear in the sound of our music & I love so many bands, it's hard to tell what bleeds down into the music we make. Nothing's directly lifted or referenced, I hope. We're trying to do something new with the Wives. In fact, you might be better placed to tell me what you hear there. People hear different things themselves anyway. Different have different touchstones. I do know that I wanted to make something fresh, lyrically & sonically so that when people hear it, they know that something worth listening to has finally arrived.

What I'd like people to hear is a unique twist on Rock N' Roll, in all it's guises & to get a sense of a real life, my life being lived behind the songs.

How do your songs get created these days now that you are a 4 piece? From what I understood first album was mainly Niall doing singer/songwriter thing.

It's different every time. I've brought stuff we've worked on, but what's most exciting for me now is for us to just get into a room & play together with the guys. We're all fans of songs, so even though it's what wankers would call 'jamming' we're not all just having a wank over our instruments, showing off what we can do. It's much more focused & serious than that. Someone will come up with an idea. We'll all find our feet with it, take it for walk & as we're four very strong personalities in this band now, what happens happens because we're all trying to stamp our personality on the band at the same time while pulling each other towards a song. That's the best way I can describe it. It hard to explain because ..I don't use words like 'magical' easily, but that's really what it is. Intuitively reaching for something together. Pushing & pulling each other till we're all comfortable we've got a serious SONG but we've also done something to fuck with the form, in order to make it uniquely us. It's so much fun man. It can make a shit day the best day you've ever had. Serious fun. You should pop in next time you're in Dublin. All are welcome
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I've just read that you are planning to record the second album with Steve Albini. Well, obviously that is great news because the man's a genius! So how did you come to colaborate with him?

No. That's not true. We had scheduled to record with Steve Albini & he kind of advised us to do it ourselves, it we had the space. So, we're doing it ourselves now, on Steve's advice. He's like the patron saint of it, but he's not working on the album at all

So what can we expect from the new songs? Hopefully it will not be a difficult second album!

No, it's certainly not that. Most of the songs have been written for over 6 months & we've been playing them all live alot to see what works, what doesn't. Re-tooling them, as Disko likes to say. Doug's already got the drums down for 24 track, I think it is. We should be moving on to bass this month & myself & Chris will sort out our guitar worlds & vocals in November/December. In my opinion (smiles) it won't be anything less than something people will really need to hear. We're an independent band, who've really come into their own over the past two years & with things taking off at the business end now too, we know that we've got to make a truly great record, as opposed to just a good one. We've got the songs to make that kind of album, for sure.

Thanks a lot for having us and hurry up with that second album! We want more songs:)

Thank you man. If you're hungry for more tunes soon, we'll have another EP out in February so I'd love to hear what you think of that. I'll let you know as soon as the album's done too.

If you can't wait until February, you can join the gang of beautiful mad-heads that follow us at http://readerswives.360degreemusic.com/signup.php

You can download a FREE 6 track recording we did in our apartment last month. It's called 'Summer Mugging'

Get fantastic Secrecy and Sex EP from Record Store

kris // 09/11/2009


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