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Noisettes interview: 'We're not expecting success of last album'

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Noisettes


Noisettes broke through into mainstream music's consciousness back in 2009 with their chart hit 'Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go)'.

Since then, singer Shingai Shoniwa and guitarist Dan Smith have trekked the globe performing at festivals and writing new material for their third studio record Contact.

Digital Spy caught up with the duo to chat about their new music, mainstream remixes and whether Nicki Minaj should be allowed to wear what she wants.

How have you found the initial reaction to 'That Girl'?
Shingai: "The reaction to the new music on a whole has been amazing. I don't want to pick and choose or favour a particular song anymore, I just want to be able to play the whole album!"

Why did you choose it to release as a single?
Shingai: "We didn't choose it! You never know which songs are going to be embraced by radio during a campaign, so when they want something, you've just got to give it to them!"
Dan: "It wasn't planned at all. We found out about it when we were doing a soundcheck for a radio awards show and we hadn't included it in our set. We got a text saying, 'The single's changed, can you play it tonight?'"

Are 'That Girl' and 'Winner' a good indication of what we can expect from the new album?
Shingai: "Those songs sound very different from each other, so they're a good indication of the variety on the album. The fact that we've had those two songs with different tempos to kickstart the album campaign, shows how diverse it will be."

Noisettes Contact album cover
Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa at the launch of Peace Mix


How would you describe the album?
Dan: "It's kind of like a film. If you were asked to pick scenes out of a film, would you be able to judge the movie as a whole? If you picked a love scene and a fight scene, would that make it that kind of film? It could be a comedy! Our album has so many elements in it - it has moments of gravity and moments of lightness."

Does that mean there's a storyline that runs through it?
Shingai: "I wouldn't say there's a narrative, but there are common themes in the lyrics that relate to the album title. That was accidental as well - that a lot of our songs seem to involve making contact. Whether that's making contact with people, making contact with the night or going travelling. You only realise that after when you try to work out the tracklisting."

You travelled far and wide to make this album. Has there been a particular place that has inspired your music?
Dan: "You kind of immediately switch off a bit when you hear a band singing songs about travelling and being on the road, so it's not about that. It's more to do with our friendship and has the backdrop of us making places our homes. We could make a bench in a park our home easily by thinking positively about it and I think that's because the place is here [places hand on heart]."

How important do you think it is for an artist to write their own material?
Shingai: "I think it's really great for your development. But there are also a lot of amazing singers who have had a career of interpreting a lyric - like Whitney Houston or blues and gospel singers. Their originality is putting their own character into that song. I think that's a beautiful art in itself. I wouldn't mind if half the songs on our album were written by somebody because we just really loved those songs."

The Noisettes perform at the Rimmel London party

© Rex Features

Noisettes














Considering your previous success, are you nervous about the release of your new album?
Shingai: "I don't think the success of our last album was a fluke, but I definitely wasn't expecting it. I was expecting to just enjoy the ride and get some recognition of our contribution to the bandscape. It was nice to get that, so it would be a bit ungrateful to say, 'I won't accept anything less than that'."

If a big DJ like Calvin Harris approached you to remix one of your tracks for a single, would you be up for it?
Shingai: "We love remixes - bring it on! You can't really close any doors. Music evolves and there are lots of different hybrid ways it does that. We're not ones to turn our noses up at collaborating or doing things in a different way. If it's just to get the number one single and you don't really like the remix, then that's a shame because it's then about an end goal and not about the musical process. But I suppose that's some people's goal, isn't it? To be famous."

Image is a big part of your act, but other artists like Lady GaGa and Nicki Minaj get criticised over their style for seeking publicity. What are your views on popstar costumes?
Shingai: "I think it's only fair Nicki Minaj gets to express herself! There are two camps: the music and fashion critics and the actual fans. If the fans get the image and concept first and the music second, it must feel hard for them to get close to that artist.

"I'm sure if we had more money we'd have bigger concepts and I think if people can do that, then it's great. If you look at Kate Bush and Bowie, they looked like they were genuinely having a lot of fun. But I do think there are some artists who are doing that too hard now and are not having fun."

Noisettes' new single 'That Girl' is available to download now, while new album Contact follows on August 27.

Listen to Noisettes' latest single 'That Girl' below:

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