Black Wire - Tightrope To Success
trakMARX - Tell us about the conception & birth of Black Wire.
Dan - Me and Si had a handful of songs we recorded in his bed room - and he decided that they needed to be played live. At the same time we met Tom - and everything fell into place. Personally, my only plan was for us to do what came naturally and force people to either love or hate us... being average is boring.
Si - The first song we all sat down and wrote together was "Attack Attack Attack" - then came "Very Gun" and a bunch of others - and we thought; "were on to something here". Since then we've been developing our sound further, writing and playing.
Tom - Just before I met the other two, I was drifting along - like a knackered raft. I'd just left full time education & was panicking at the thought of some fraction of responsibility. Si and Dan looked after me.
trakMARX - Who do you carry around in your influence folders?
Dan - Nirvana, 80's Matchbox, Specials , Cramps, The Jam, iGGY pOP.
Si - The Clash, The Gun Club - all that he said.
Tom - Sex Pistols - and ditto to the rest above.
trakMARX - How did you hook up with Wrong Crowd & who do you share your label with?
Dan - The owner of Wrong Crowd saw us play in Leeds and bought us all drinks. They tasted a bit funny - and I think I blacked out. Then we all woke up in this studio tied to a mic stand and he said; "do what you did last night". We did, then he put out the record - for which I am eternally grateful.
Tom - No-one else is on Wrong Crowd - that was one of our stipulations of the contract.
trakMARX - Have you been pleased with the response to yr debut 45?
Dan - I wasn't really expecting any kind of response, it was all just pure hope that anyone would hear it. It's amazing how people have taken to it - and it's incredible when people join in the sing song.
Si- We only printed 500, initially, and that was just to try and get a few reviews and push our name about. When the NME made it single of the week it had already been out about a month and the pressing was nearly all gone. We rushed out another 500 - which went immediately - and we decided to leave it at that. It's a good platform for the next one.
Tom - None of us expected anything from anyone, and to be plainly honest, it still hasn't sunk in. Everything that's happened, it still seems like some foggy dream about someone else!
trakMARX - Are there any plans for a follow up 45 with Wrong Crowd?
Si - We've recorded the single with Choque the Wrong Crowd guy and he's putting it out for us - but he's had some trouble with the name - so it maybe put out under a different one. It's the same 'award winning' team, though.
Dan - We've just finished mastering the second release and the record is getting cut on Tuesday. The next single is called "Hard To Love, Easy To Lay" - and will be out at the end of July.
trakMARX - The Leeds scene is obviously a very fertile environment - other pockets of resistance to mainstream dominance are springing up all over the country - do you feel any affinity with this disaffected new underground?
Dan - Yes, it's a cool time to be in a band because you can travel all over the country and see how other people are doing it for themselves. There is
definitely a current crop shaking things up - and people are getting excited about music again - which is always a good thing.
Tom - At times, when we speak to other bands, you get the impression that the exact time Black Wire sat down and became Black Wire, fifty other bands did the same thing (not becoming Black Wire - obviously - but starting their own bands).
trakMARX - Is it presumptuous to label it a movement?
Dan - Not at all, there are a lot of interesting things going on, and it's all without the help of major labels and 'Super' clubs. The question is: where will this movement take us?
Si - The longer we can support ourselves without the help of a major - the better.
Tom - I wouldn't say it's presumptuous, but if you hark back, then you'll see that everything that has been called a movement before has buckled and died - leaving a rather sparse crop of real talent. The tag 'movement' is just as dangerous as it is exciting.
trakMARX - Is there any place for movements in music in the 21st century?
Dan - There is no place for bullshit movements - like "Shroomadelica" - and the like - in the 21st century - or any other, for that matter. Nothing exciting can be a creation of the press, and nothing should be a revival. With the current music scene rehashing bad ideas left right and centre - it's no wonder scenes pop before they can make an impact. I want us to be an important band who create our own movement instead of latching onto one.
trakMARX - Who do Black Wire consider cohorts?
Dan - Anyone who likes our music and dances at our gigs. Everyone in a band who doesn't want to sound like anyone else. Liars, pigs, noisey queens - drunk kids.
Si - Independent club promoters like Liars Club, Cold Rice & Purr. These are the best friends of underground bands - like ourselves.
Tom - Strange folks who scuttle around in the inky shadows - that you assume are there to destroy you - but turn out to be helping hands. Like in the old films. It's the people with grins that are the ones to watch out for. Liars Club, Cold Rice and The Horse Shoes live in the dark places.
trakMARX - Who do Black Wire consider enemies?
Dan - Derivative bands with no ideas of their own, school rock bands who get record deals, anyone who doesn't dance and get pissed when they go out.
Si - I don't really have enemies in the music business. Just people who punch and kick me in the head - and people who sleep with your girlfriend. Stuff like that.
Tom - Morons. I cannot abide stupidity. Or bad time keeping. So, if you are thick - & without a watch - we probably won't get on. Oh, and humourless people. 99% of the people in the music business that I've met are perfectly nice.
trakMARX - What do Black Wire celebrate?
Dan - Beautiful people with ideas above their station.
Si - A good gig, a good night, a good record....
Tom - Being 'good' whilst still being blind drunk. Everyone who has ever done something to prove someone else wrong.
trakMARX - What do Black Wire condemn?
Dan - People who say;'why haven't you got a drummer?'
Si - People who call us "a fashion band".
Tom - I agree - wholeheartedly!
trakMARX - How does the live incarnation of Black Wire compare to the studio model?
Dan - Being in the studio is about capturing the live energy and emotion behind each performance, and is approached in a similar way... the people you see on stage are Black Wire - we are like that all the time.
Si - Obviously, things get a touch more exciting live.
Tom - We tend not to throw glasses and climb on and then jump off of things in the studio. The energy is harnessed into all the machines that our producer has. Such lovely lights on them.
trakMARX - Are live shows the life blood of Black Wire?
Dan - They have always been a driving force behind the band and continue to be, there is nothing in the world like playing in front of people who are excited by what you are doing.
Si - I get quite depressed when were not playing for a while. Itchy fingers.
Tom - It's just another way of opening up to people, it's the greatest feeling on earth.
trakMARX - Who would Black Wire be most honoured to play out with?
Dan - Interpol, 80's Matchbox, Liars, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, Morrisey, The Cramps, The Strokes, Iggy Pop - and Mr Coxon.
Si - Fuck Morrisey! He'd love our new video - it's a very sexual song - and we chuck a pig's head about. Meat is murder!
Tom - I couldn't be fucked playing with Morrissey either, he'd do your bleedin' head in - wouldn't he?
trakMARX - What do Black Wire read?
Dan - I'm reading 'The Wasp Factory', at the moment.
Si - Peoples message boards - the morning after! Finding some stupid thing you wrote when you were pissed can really turn your stomach.
Tom - For the first time in my life I'm reading two books at once; 'Oliver Twist' and 'The Reprieve', by Jean Paul Satre. I really don't recommend dual books - it's a very silly idea.
trakMARX - What do Black Wire watch?
Dan - Exciting bands, hot girls - time flies by when I'm having fun.
Si - The O.C. - have you seen it? I can't live without it.
Tom - Nothing - in our fucking house. If someone out there knows how to get a decent reception in our flat - then I beg you to help us.
trakMARX - What do Black Wire believe in?
Dan - Ghosts, Werewolves - and Vampires.
Si - Snakes that live in your belly and spit acid at your heart when you've done something that your not too proud of.
Tom - I do actually believe just about everything (& anything) - but those guilt snakes are most definitely for real.
trakMARX - What next for Black Wire?
Dan - A massive tour round England, playing with Bloc Party, our second single, our first video - and more good times and glad rags.
Si - I can't wait for the world to hear this next record. We're all extremely proud of it. It should be out at the end of July.
Tom - The next record is like having red-hot iron rods of love yanked out of your rib cage - some would say; life affirming stuff.
Jean Encoule - tMx 15 - 05/04