Think of the girl bands charting nowadays and you’d be hard pressed to think past Girls Aloud, The Pussy Cat Dolls and the Sugababes.
Whilst in recent years they’ve been some strong front-women/solo artists- Brody Dalle, Juliette Lewis and Peaches to name a few, we’ve been lacking an all girl group who are the real deal.
Well, move aside the grungey memories of Hole and L7 – there’s a new band in town. Hailing from Switzerland THE DELILAHS are the perfect mix of raw talent, solid song writing and a huge dose of foxiness thrown in to boot. A whirlwind tour of the London left us hungry for more – and on their return to Switzerland they took a little time out to chat about being in a band, dealing with chauvinism in the music industry and the three types of men! that inspire their songs.
Right – down to business! How did you guys meet? Did you always want to be in a band? And who came up with the name?
We met at school in 2003. It was always a dream of ours to be in a band and make music. A good friend came up with the idea of The Delilahs and we really liked the sound of it, the story behind it, and the way it looks. Then we heard Tom Jones: “My, my my….” There’s 3 of us – perfect!
Were your parents supportive in your decision to be in a band rather than study?
Very supportive. We don’t think people are defined by their jobs, or what they study, and I don’t think our parents do either. It’s about the experiences that you have in life that make you a person, and we all think making music is a chance that few people get. They see how happy it makes us, and I suppose that’s what all parents want – to see their kids happy.
What bands did you listen to growing up? Who were your heroes?
The Jam, The Clash, The Ramones, B52’s, X-Ray Spex, The Pogues…. we don’t really have heroes, but there are a lot of people who have really impressed us or influenced u! s like The Pretenders, Blondie, The Cure. When we were on Radio 1s ‘Fresh Meat’ a few weeks ago, there was a really funny call from someone asking what Elastica were doing in that section. Soon after, we listened to Elastica’s first album for the first time. We can hear some comparisons with Justine Frischman on This Is It, but not on any of our other songs.
The world of rock music is dominated with guys – how do you get treated by them, do you think guys looks down on girl groups? Do you think you get a fair deal?
So far, so good. The Stereophonics were very respectful and treated us like a band, and certainly didn’t look down on us. They dedicated their first UK number 1 (Dakota) to us at the gig, and they were the first band to say publicly that we were good. It meant a lot to us. It was our fourth gig and since then we’ve just wanted to get better.
We’ve had a small number of comments in our guestbook like “you have no musical talent..put down those damn instruments…you’d probably make nice wives!”
Without the last part, this guy has an opinion. With the last part, it’s the opinion of a sexist twat. We don’t know if guys in general look down on girl groups – maybe those who do feel threatened in some way. Don’t know why – it’s about the music at the end of the day.
In recent years the only ‘girl groups’ have been in RnB and bad pop – before then the last great girls groups were L7 etc – why do you think rock’s lacking great all girl bands?
We think it’s got a lot to do with fashion. There’s been a lot of RnB in recent years and manufactured bad pop has been around for far too long. These are people’s role models and whether it’s the industry shutting other styles out, or people not seeing there’s something else they can do, it’s still part of a trend. Look at the past and there are lots of examples of other trends. We’re sure there are a lot of other girl bands out there, and it wouldn’t surprise us if there was a new wave of them coming through. We’re not trying to fill a hole. We’re just doing our thing.
You’ve been described as one of the sexiest bands out there – and there are certainly some guys back at Crossfire HQ who’ll be drooling after you! – how do you handle all the male attention?
Up to now we haven’t made any guys faint, but we’re working on it! Sexy’s a weird one. Personally, I [Muriel] find Paul Weller hugely sexy, but I don’t know how many other people my age do. It’s always aura and charisma for me, more than just physical beauty (sorry Paul!). We’ve had a lot of people comment on our looks, but there’s not much we can do about it. Sometimes it can be a disadvantage ‘cos people forget to focus on the music, but real music fans do know where to focus. We don’t think we belong to the ‘look good, sound shit!’ brigade.
Life on the road must be tough – how’ve you found touring? What are the best and worst parts of it? What do you do to pass the time?
It’s not tough at all ‘cos we’ve only done 17 gigs. Our last London ‘tour’ was “Hello Water Rats” on Jan 23, and “Goodbye Dublin Castle” 2 days later. With a lot more Swiss gigs and a planned 3 week UK tour in May, that will all change. We did get to ask Sons & Daughters the same question though – got lots of useful tips from Adele about how to keep your knickers clean on the road!
What do you prefer – touring or being in the studio? What inspires your lyrics?
We really like being in the studio, but we’re sure touring is going to be a lot of fun as well.
The lyrics thing is really interesting for me. Up to now, I’ve written mainly about 3 types of men: boring ex-lover, selfish womanizer and the one I haven’t met yet. Just about situations, not only from my own experiences, and about getting rid of things in your stomach. But I’ve also done a song which is just a bit of fun, and reminds me of how much I miss playing football!!!
Looking at great songs like The Coast is Always Changing (Maximo Park), Precious (The Pretenders), Fairytale of New York (The Pogues) also gives me inspiration. I’m not saying I can write like that but I’m trying. A couple of weeks ago I heard Army Dreamers (Kate Bush) for the first time and it really hit me. There’s a lot of things in this world that I don’t like, so I’ve started ‘I’m A Wrecker’, which is something political. I’d love to get the energy of Precious in there and make a point in the way that Army Dreamers does. Not sure if it will make the first album, but! I’m just going to see where we get with it.
How much input do you have in the mixing/production of your tracks?
The first album is going to be quite an honest representation of our sound. That’s our input. We have very little experience of recording so far but we’re really enjoying working with our producers. We’re learning a lot and we trust that they know what we’re about.
If you could tour with any 2 bands who would you tour with?
Maximo Park..[and] The Cure
So why should your average music fan come see you guys live? What do you have that no one else does? What should people leave your shows feeling?
It’s not often you’ve got the chance to see such an amount of oestrogen live on stage, playing loud and from the heart, instead of just shaking their asses. You also get to see my (Muriel) favourite red boots! People say we look like we enjoy it – can’t say we’ve ever had the chance to see it, but it feels good. People should leave in love, in tears or ready to throw up.
What does 2006 hold for you? Will you be returning to the UK? What are you hopes and dreams for the next year?
We’re right at the start of something that we’d love to be huge, but it’s only the start. We’re next in the UK on April 20 for the Camden Crawl. One step at a time – be great to see you guys from Crossfire at a gig – we’ll bring napkins for the drool!