Sunday, 27 May 2012
Indietracks interview #13: The 10p Mixes
The 10p Mixes is Danielle and Will. Danielle sings, and plays the keyboard sometimes. Will plays the guitar, and sings sometimes. They have been making music together since 2005, and put the name The 10p Mixes to their endeavours in 2007, when they started doing gigs and recordings.
They have released one mini-album, called Bedroomsound (available on self-released CD and Best Kept Secret cassette), and two EPs: The Dogs In France EP and A Christmas Gift from…. In addition, they have been on the last three Cherryade Music Christmas records (two as a band, once with Will on his own).
The band played gigs pretty regularly from July 2007 to August 2010, most frequently in Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester (as well as their respective home towns of Rotherham and St Helens), then took a break for a while. Their first gig after that was in Sheffield in February 2012, and more are planned, including an appearance at Indietracks this summer.
Hiya, you took a short break from 2010 to 2012 - are you now fully recharged and raring to go?
Danielle: Yes, definitely. One of the reasons we took a break was because I went back to uni and tried to forge a sort-of career, and that didn’t leave me much time for being a popstar. I did manage to find the time to acquire a taste for Cheeky Vimtos though! After a year-and-a-bit, I was aching to start performing and making music again; I felt like I’d been ignoring a massive part of my life. We’re dead chuffed that we get to sing our songs at people again, and we’re absolutely thrilled that we get to do it at Indietracks!
Will you be bringing a bunch of new songs to Indietracks or playing old favourites?
Danielle: Before we took a break from the band, we’d already written a whole load of new songs that had a few live airings, and we’ve been writing some more new material together since our reunion too. We’ll definitely be bringing these new songs (and the old favourites) to Indietracks with us and we hope that you’ll like them. If you like monsters, cups of tea, Marquee Moon, and – as usual – horses, then we might be onto a winner.
Will: We're exploring a more urban sound. Lots of rapping, turntables, planet-sized beats and violent imagery. Oh wait, no, none of that is true... apart from the violent imagery – the monster eats people!
How would you describe the 10p Mixes to a first time listener?
Danielle: The 10p Mixes, much like our sweetie namesake, are lots of different things jumbled together. Sometimes we’re silly, sometimes we’re serious. Sometimes we try to sound like the Human League and others it’s Kirsty MacColl. We might make you dance, or we might make you cry – here, have a tissue and a cuddle. We have simple melodies, sweet harmonies, clunky keys, rockin’ guitar and big vocals. In essence, it’s pop music, and that’s the way we like it.
Will: MJ Hibbett did a tweet I liked which said “Am currently imagining what The Smiths would have been like with Kirsty MacColl instead of Morrissey. MIND. BLOWN.” That's basically what we've been trying to be since day one, in between doing songs about horses and random acoustic disco songs. It's basically a girl with an awesome voice and a boy getting slightly carried away on acoustic guitar who've evidently listened to a lot of records and nicked bits from all of them.
You'll be playing on a real life moving 1950s steam train. Have you played any gigs in bizarre locations before?
Danielle: We’ve certainly played a few dives in our time. The basement bar in Wigan that smelt of urinals was certainly memorable, as was the Cabin Club in Liverpool where we made friends with a three-legged horse. For me, the most strangely magical gig we’ve ever played was at St Bride’s Church, also in Liverpool, alongside our friends Dirtblonde and the legendary Calvin Johnson (as far as I’m concerned, that should be his official title). It’s a gorgeous location: so incongruous and yet so perfect as a music venue.
Which bands are you enjoying most at the moment?
Danielle: Standard Fare, The School… I’ve also been listening to a lot of Chiffons and Shangri-Las and sunshiney-girly-pop-awesomeness recently. I think it’s the effect of the weather getting warmer!
Will: I've listened to a lot of The Carter Family and The Brilliant Green lately. Someone pointed out that the latter are in many ways a Japanese version of the Mixes, so that might be a bit egotistical. They're wonderful though, and hint at what we might sound like with fuller arrangements and more hi-fi production. The Carter Family, on the other hand, were recorded with no technology at all in the 1920s and still manage to sound magical. I've rediscovered Allo Darlin’ and Emily & The Faves recently too. They were down the back of my sofa the whole time!
You tweeted recently to say that you are hatching secret plans. Is there anything you can tell us? What will you be up to for the rest of the year?
Will: We recorded a version of a song by someone else for a thing, which hasn't officially been announced yet. We also recorded demos of a couple of other songs at the same time, which we're going to polish a bit and probably put on the internet for you soon. It's getting my backing vocals right that take the time up, as always. I'd like for us to do another EP or two with shiny production and drums and stuff, maybe revisit some of the songs off Bedroomsound, but we've not really got any firm ideas yet.
Danielle: Some of those secret plans will have to stay secret for the time being, but we do hope to get record number two finished at some point in the near future. So we’ll be spending the rest of this year writing songs and playing gigs, as well as launching our signature fragrance, ‘Bonbon’, to worldwide acclaim and commercial success. OK, that last one might be a lie.
Thanks guys - see you on the train in July!