My Passion is a cross between The Cure and electro pop. Originating from London, this five piece artistic band took the time out to answer some questions that I had prepared for them one chilly evening down at The Student Union in Luton.
Amongst conversations about dodgy tour vans, chicken boxes and eight scattered I-Pods, I could tell this was only the beginning of a very interesting interview.
Here’s what lead singer Lawrence Rene and bass guitar player Simon Rowlands had to say…
Who are your musical influences?
LR: We are all really into different music. At the moment I’m into a lot of dancy sounds, something you can get your groove on to. We like music such as Muse, My Victory who are making a comeback, they’re really cool. John the drummer likes heavier stuff, he listens to AFI and Thrice; those are his two main bands, which we all love anyway. A bit of everything really including older stuff, like Bowie oh and punk, including 80’s cheesy synth pop. A massive range is good fun. We’re all up for it! It definitely shows in our music. When we bring all of the influences together it makes it weird and exciting. A lot of electro stuff shines through.
SR: I love electro! We’re all down for it on the dance floor…something to get your groove on to as well…
If I was to ransack the My Passion tour van, what would I find?
LR: Oh no…you wouldn’t even want to come 10 meters near it! It’s not glamorous, you’d find like coke cans and food wrappers, old chicken boxes. It’s really quite cozy. At the moment we have our mini bus and there are eight of us squashed in there including our sound techs and we’re all covered up keeping warm in it.
SR: We also have a pimpin’ sound system in there as well…
LR: You can’t play any Slipknot on it though, the cd player decided to shoot back a CD in the direction of the rear van, like you’d see in some film nearly taking John’s head off in the process. So basically, lots of junk, maps of places we’ve tried to get to and I-Pods, there’s about eight of them scattered about somewhere in the mini bus.
SR: You’d be very rich if you ransacked our mini bus. You could probably nick the items rather than the bus itself, except for the chicken boxes. (laughs).
What are you most looking forward to on the rest of your tour?
LR: The tour…what have we got left? We’ve gone to loads of cities now; the next stop is over to Andover in Croydon, the gig location is like the ghetto of south London. It’s more of a rock pub where all the kids come out and go crazy. St. Albans again is also on the list. The one we’re most looking forward to is the Star Suicide club night at our local down in Hitchin; we’re having a Nightmare Before Christmas party on the 21st December, so we’re looking forward to that. It’s going to be cool local bands playing with us and loads of great music creating a big party atmosphere. The thought of having an all nighter and not having to travel the next day is quite nice.
Do you think having an internet fan base is important and which fans are the most devoted?
LR: For us especially, the image and the music is quite striking and you can notice it straight away which has a major impact. With the internet and in particular myspace, it has allowed us to meet people we’d never meet unless we were on tour with My Chemical Romance. It’s just a great way to start, we started in January this year and we launched My Passion and we have like coming up to 45,000 friends on there now.
SR: Most of our songs come up to about 1000 plays a day, like advertising more than you could do before.
LR: With this first tour as well we found a lot of the promoters through myspace. It’s like a great benefit in a way, you can’t just do it through myspace you have to get out there and play the shows, do the tours as well, and it’s just a great way to get the band going and see fans have great taste in what they listen to in our music and videos, everything is there for the fans and they’re like wow!
SR: We have like blogs every time we do a show; we also have videos of us messing around on tour. People don’t get to see special bits that you wouldn’t really see at a show so they get that little bit extra so that’s good.
LR: We have fans in Venezuela, we got to play in Barcelona and France as well, which allows you to bring the music to others which you wouldn’t really get in Hitchin, its amazing.
What year did My Passion form together as a group?
LR: My Passion was launched earlier this year and quite a lot has happened since then. We’ve done some demo tracks, which are up on myspace, and then you’ve got the promo singles…
SR: We’re recording our new single at the moment and also in the studio recording as well…
LR: We’re making a new album called Hot in the Dolls House which is going to be out in March 2007. We are also planning to launch our own record label, which we’re setting up, because we want to go it alone and have full control of everything.
SR: We just want to dominate the world! And set ourselves up for life really, we don’t want to do it half-heartedly and blow the world away.
LR: We’ve been playing together, when Simon joined My Passion at the end of last year we started rehearsing and launched it this year, the rest of us played in different bands before that. We all get on really well together its great.
Downloading songs is still illegal, although people do it anyway, if you were to find out that kids were able to download your album, how would you react to that?
LR: I’m still not sure about this one, the whole downloading thing. I think people should all go out and buy and download tracks and pay for them if they have the money. However we have to have a mixed tape in the mini bus.
SR: We can’t go without those…
LR: I definitely want kids to download our stuff and pay for it, so that we can keep going, otherwise if they don’t go out and pay for it we won’t be able to go and play live and all the other stuff that we do.
SR: We played a gig in St. Albans the other day; the kids went wild because they had never seen us play live before then they spent all their pocket money on us.
LR: I think its nice to have CDs as well like you have something in your hand, I know that downloading is taking over everything. Vinyl is making a comeback, I don’t know if people still play them or keep them as a souvenir like a memory.
You can visit the My Passion’s myspace at: www.myspace.com/mypassionmusic