in conversation// hella better dancer
in conversation// Hella Better Dancer
New kids on the block Hella Better Dancer are a mercurial bunch, getting rave ratings all over the place for their dreamy female-fronted rock. So much so you’d be surprised (and possibly a little intimidated) by their teenage years. Their melodious, atmospheric recordings are insanely pleasing to the ear, sure to be a winner at their future Cambridge date (more info here) We catch up with Tilly, Josh, Soph and Chris to chat about stealing food from the Cambridge College Ball, some rather unexpected inspirations, and
Hi there! How are you guys today?
Soph: We’re all good! Just finished a 3 hour practice for a gig we’ve got on Friday. We’re all tired today but powering through.
Tilly: Playing that show was the first time we’ve gone out of London as a band, apart from for festivals, so that was real fun. Staying in the Travel Lodge was maybe the highlight.
Do you get to play often? How is it managing other life/work commitments?
Chris: We try and play as much as we can, normally like 4 shows a month. But yeah, it can be hard, balancing work and band.
Tilly: As much as its awesome that we’ve been compared to someone so cool, it isn’t something intentional. I really like PJ, but have never thought of her as a direct influence on the music we make. But it’s still really flattering and I can’t complain!
What kind of music inspired you all to pick up and play?
Josh: I think its been very different for all of us, and has obviously changed a lot because we’ve been together for a long time. Our tastes have developed because of each other too. The first CD I ever owned was the Ghost Busters theme tune. I won it at a fun fair.
So you’ve been bringing out demos online… hoping to record something soon?
Soph: Whenever we’ve recorded EPs, by the time they’ve come out we’d already made a set of new songs. So we just wanted to get out demos of our most recent songs to give people a more accurate representation of what they might hear if they come to a show.
The newer material feels much more direct to me than previous recordings. Is this something you’d agree with? Any influence by bands like Sleater-Kinney or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs?
Chris: All of us like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Tell us a little about your Living Room EP. There’s something quite intimate about it to me.
Soph: The songs started as a very quiet thing because Tilly originally played them without us. We were happy with how stripped down they were and wanted to emphasise that by recording them ourselves.
Josh: It was both. We wanted to retain the intimacy of the songs, and we thought that would come across most in lo-fi recordings. Also, although we loved recording in a proper studio for our first 2 EPs, we wanted to be in control of everything and work to our own schedule without the limitations of using up other peoples’ time. And as a challenge, we also wanted to see if we could do it.
Tilly: Thanks! A friend of the band, Jackson Caines, directed it. We were all super happy with how he put it together. We’re lucky to be friends with very creative people that we really trust.
What’s next for the band – where do you see things progressing?
Josh: Half of the band will be in Brighton next year, and half will be in London still, so we’re just gonna trying and split time between the two and keep things moving. We’re hoping to record a bunch of new songs we’ve written with Chris sometime soon as well.
Chris: As a drummer I’m pretty excited to see what drums sound like in a church. I LUV ME SOME BIG BOOMY REVERB BLUD.
Thanks very much guys, looking forward to it!
Hella Better Dancer play St Paul’s church July 14th. More info here