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Little Fish Interview

Lisa Ward

Triangle

Mid way through a spot of UK shows. More Than The Music caught up with Little Fish to find out more about recording their debut album, life in a band, the art of bullshitting each other until you get a record deal and the disappointing lack of radio play.

More Than The Music: In your early days you spent countless nights treking up and down the M40 to gigs in Oxford and London…

Juju: Do you have a favourite point on the motorway…do you have a favourite bend?

MTTM: Yes! No… how did you keep motivation going?

Juju: Well, I don’t know, I was always motivated, I think we both were. I think we were slightly insane. Nez how did we do it? I’d always say to you ‘come on Nez, don’t worry, well make it, we’ll be alright, we’ll get that deal’. I think it was all about getting a record deal, we thought the record deal would be the crux, then we would just have to do the shows but it didn’t happen like that. You still have to work very, very hard, even when you get a record deal. Nez how did we keep motivated?

Nez: Caffeine wasn’t it? I don’t know…

Juju: We nearly fell asleep once.

Nez: Yeah I did, in fact the day we signed the deal, I almost crashed the van. I didn’t drink, it was daylight, I left London at 5.30 in the morning and I was absolutely flipping mullered driving the van home. I dropped Juju off and then got home…

Juju: I don’t know how we kept motivated, we just used our determination.

Nez: We bullshitted each other.

Juju: Yeah we bullshitted each other.

Nez: No one would give in and say we’d had enough!

MTTM: Linda Perry produced your first album, how did you find that experience?

Juju: Recording your first album is always a difficult thing because you’re doing something new and we were very new because the only thing we’d done before that was a demo. So I think the combination of being in a new environment, going from the demo world into the big Hollywood studio with a big Hollywood famous, successful producer was a bit of a shock to the system. It was pretty hard in terms of dealing with all the things we were asked to do. Not only the recording but trying to understand you’re actually recording your album and it’s going to go out into the world and you’re going to become musicians that are…you know is this what you want to do? So there was a lot of things that we had to…you wish you want to get somewhere and then when you get there you don’t know if it’s what you want. I think we questioned a lot but we made it through and we’re happy with what we did and we’re looking forward to the next…

Nez: Chapter.

Juju: Did you find it hard Nez?

Nez: Um, I don’t think I found it hard, I just found it…I don’t know how to explain it. I think it all happened very quickly, we just recorded it in just over two weeks so I don’t think we had chance to really sit back and take a breath.

Juju: We didn’t plan anything, we didn’t record any song before to hear it out and talk properly about what we were doing, we were really green so we had no idea. So it’s a bit like a big…you know…we weren’t as prepared as maybe…but then again now we’ve done the process, now we know what it’s like, we can be prepared for the next one.

MTTM: Nez, your daughter was born earlier this year, how do you manage to balance fatherhood with life in a band?

Nez: Well I actually hire another husband, so I’m there three days a week and he’s there four! I don’t know…

Juju: He’s the f*cking superman!

Nez: I think it’s just like Juju says, that motivation, it keeps you going.

Juju: We’re both slightly insane.

Nez: You’ve just got to juggle everything haven’t you really. You have to keep going or you don’t. It’s bloody tiring, I’ve gotta say that but you’ve just got to crack on with it.

Juju: He’s pretty superhuman Nez!

MTTM: Little Fish are still yet to really break into the mainstream, does this frustrate you, or do you revel in the fact it’s still a challenge?

Juju: Good question. Um, it would be really nice to break into the mainstream with a song, that would give us a break. But at the same time we understand that this is our journey and we’re really enjoying the journey and meeting people along the way and we really believe that if that if and ever that song does break into the mainstream it will have a really good solid base groundwork to make it real, rather than to make it a flash dash, you know? We’ve got a story now and we’re still gonna be making that story for a while. Unless Sweat ‘N Shiver breaks, but you know, I’m not sure how much Radio 1 wants to hear Sweat ‘N Shiver, but we’ll see.

Nez: I’m not quite sure what Radio 1 wants to hear full stop!

MTTM: Nez, how did your desire to be a drummer come about?

Nez: I think honest answer to that, I think Keith Moon was the first person I saw on the drums, kicking the shit out of his kit and I’d never seen anyone do that before…

Juju: What, do you feel like you’re a violent kind of guy then?

Nez: No but it was just enthralling to this nine-ten year old kid, just to see someone just beating the living daylights and kicking the shit out of his kit, and of all people it was Moony. I think Keith Moon and Buddy Rich were the first people I ever saw and I just thought it was great. It was something that was extremely impressive and I thought I want a bit of that. So I think I’ve got some of that…

Juju: You do kick the shit out of your drums.

MTTM: Juju, you always maintain a personal touch with your fans, do you think this is important?

Juju: Funny, someone else asked me that today. I think that it’s not so much that we think it’s important, I think it’s just evolved. When we started out nobody was at the venues. We started out from the ground up, so when we started playing gigs there was nobody there and then one person turned up so you’d say hello to that one person. And then next week maybe that person would turn up with his Auntie, so you’d say hello to him and his Auntie and then, well you know. So little by little it’s just become something we do because we really appreciate anybody being there and we don’t take it for granted. And also it’s just a way of keeping it real. We’re human, we’re not untouchable and we like…you know…it’s really nice to meet new people.

MTTM: Do think you’ll remain as a two piece officially?

Juju: We’re not a two piece official are we? Are we Nez? I think that Little Fish by it’s very nature is singular, plural, it is what it’s ever gonna be. So there might be some shows that we’ll do as a two piece because for whatever reason we just feel like it, but you know the Hammond has become very much part of our sound and we look forward to evolving and trying new things.What do you reckon Nez?

Nez: Um, I don’t know. It’s always just been me and Juju, but the sound of the Hammond, it allows us to play songs that we could never play before so we want to try and keep hold of that.

Juju: I think we’ll always make sure that we never lose the essence of Little Fish. Whether that has got to be as a duo I don’t know. But the energy that we have and the communication between me and Nez won’t ever be overlooked in our sound.

MTTM: Finally, what does 2011 hold for Little Fish?

Juju: Well, that’s a good question. There’s a few things in the pipeline. Possibly doing a tour around the States and also recording some new stuff. So that’s what we’ve got to look forward to. And hopefully more shows in the UK. You know, what we really need is some, yeah, a break, from the radio.

Nez: Yeah some radio. What we perceived when we did the album, we had two or three good tracks on there, whereby I could see them being played on some big radio stations, but I don’t think they’ve grasped that. I’d like to know why they haven’t grasped it…

Juju: They don’t want a female voice right now and rock and roll is not so…no one’s listening to rock and roll on the radio, it’s mostly pop and electro and we’re not that right now, so, maybe times will change a little bit, but we’ll just keep going. You know, we’re enjoying the journey. Everything will work out just the way it’s meant to be.

Nez: It is what it is at the end of the day.

Juju: It is.