I spent some words with Jason, Mind and Heart of The
Secret Hairdresser, one of most original and cool Bands from UK, making
perfect pop songs meeting the purest shoegaze/noise/wave sound (read more reviews
November 'o4 issue).
Hints: dreams of the Monkees with Morrisey, Music like Breathing, John Peel funeral and Music, of course.
1. of course, please introduce the Band.
Jason: We're the Secret Hairdresser: Jason - vocals, guitar, (and on some recordings bass, drums and synths), Lucy - moog, sampler & vocals, Lotty - bass & vocals, Rob - drums & vocals, Richard - guitar & vocals.
komakino: what do You live on? I mean, are You all students, rich people (inside), workers, etc
Jason: I promote gigs and do live sound engineering, Lucy and Lotty are both at college studying music technology, Richard is at school, and Rob is a Bus driver.
komakino: How did You meet all?
Jason: I needed a moog player. I was online, on MSN one day, and someone popped up and said "hallo jason". I said "who is that?", and it was Lucy. She didn't actually know me, and I didn't know who she was. She doesn't know how she got my MSN address. I asked her if she happened to be able to play keyboards and sing, and she said yes. Rob was originally our guitarist. I first met him when I was doing sound for a friends Emo band called The Light Outside. Rob was their bassist. He joined TSH as guitarist, and then one day at practice, our drummer didn't turn up, or couldn't make it, and rob started playing the drums, BETTER than our drummer! He knew all the songs, and was absolutely fantastic, sooooo, we forced him to be our new drummer, hehe. Lotty played bass in a local band called Modern Hope. One day, they were soundchecking for a gig for me, and I heard Lotty playing TSH songs on her bass. This stuck in my mind, and when we weren't happy with our bassist a while back I suddenly remembered Lotty. I asked a friend of hers to ask her if she wanted to be in TSH, and within 1 minute she was in the band. It turns out that Lotty had been a huge TSH fan for ages, and knew most of the songs already. I'd seen Richard in a variety of rubbish bands, and it always seemed like his bands were holding him back. He rocks out, and fits in with TSH well, cos we're all quite quiet and shy, and keep ourselves to ourselves. He fits into our little gang.
komakino: since how many years TSH are around?
Jason: Erm, I originally started TSH when living in Cambridge in 2000. Then, in 2001 I moved to Philadelphia USA for 3 months, and got an american TSH together, and recorded and did some gigs. Then when i got back to the UK, I was never really happy with the UK versions of TSH, cos the american lineup was SOOOO good. I then moved to Bury St Edmunds in 2003, and tried a few lineups here, one of which was pretty good, and Lotty used to come and see most of our gigs. This lineup is the first that I'm trully happy with, and Lotty's the best bassist we've had.
komakino: Describe Your Music.
Jason: A mixture of most stuff we've ever listened to, and some bits that are completely our own. To a first time listener it probably sounds like moog-driven indie-rock with boy/girl harmonies.
komakino: What's You own personal idea for Music?
Jason: Erm, music is one of the things I don't have a choice about, like breathing. It just happens without my say so. I've built my life up around my music, so that music can be my main focus. This often means being poor, and only leaving the house to do music related stuff, and that's just fine with me.
komakino: Did You send Your recordings to some record label?
What about Lap rec?
Jason: We've had tons of labels ask for demos over the last 18 months, mainly cos of hearing us on John Peel's Radio 1 show, cos John played about 15 of our songs. We've just been to his funeral, which is round the corner from my house. We came back early, cos it felt very wierd, and there was the worlds press photographers there. Anyway, I started Lap Records out of neccesity, cos absolutely noone has offered to help us or release anything, so I sold my 8 track recorder and my best guitar, and started Lap Records. We've just secured proper distribution, so next year you'll be able to get our new releases pretty much anywhere.
komakino: In Your Music i found lots of perfect sounds, even really different between songs, like You find out the best pop-attitude of Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Rosa Mota, and made it Yours. - How do You create these melodies?
Jason: There's a variety of ways that songs happen. Sometimes I have a dream, and there is a song happening in that dream. One time in a dream I was watching MTV and the Monkees had reformed, but with Morrissey as their new lead singer! They were driving around in a sparkly gold coloured Mini car, all leaning out of the windows smiling at everyone, driving around this shopping mall carpark, with morrissey standing on top of the car, doing his swaying dancing, and singing to the bemused americans. I remembered the song when I woke up, and wrote it all down. This kind of thing has happened a bunch of times, and we always try the songs out. Sometimes, when we have an incomplete song, I get everyone to be completely silent for a while, and I imagine hearing the song on the radio, and when it gets to the end of what we have sofar, I let my brain imagine what would happen next... Another way is to play the music so loud that your brain can hear other melodies that aren't really there. difficult to describe unless you try it. It helps if you're slightly drunk for that one..
komakino: Where do You record Music?
Jason: In our tiny practice room, which really is tiny. We usually play all together, and record everything live onto a 4 track cassette recorder. then I take that machine home, and dump the music onto my computer, which is the cheapest of the cheap PC's that I got a few years ago. We then add any extra stuff onto that. All our stuff sounds pretty lo-fi, mainly cos of the boxy sound of the room that the drums have to be recorded in.
komakino: Do You think the S.H. are part of a music scene?
Jason: Erm, only in that me and richard are literally the ONLY regular gig promoters in our area, so the scene sort of revolves around whatever bands we book. Richard, and his 13 year old brother, and their dad (also called Richard) put on gigs at the Palomino in Newmarket. We don't feel like a part of anything, cos we don't have around with other bands as such, or go to local pubs or anything like that. We feel like a little gang of people that would otherwise NEVER be in a gang, and that's quite cosy and nice I spose..
komakino: do You like what You see outside the window?
komakino: Last question:
please, give some hints to our beloved readers about how purchasing now (before forthcoming new distribution) Lap rec's releases: i saw that on the website prices are in British Pounds..
Jason: At the moment, everything has to be purchased from the Lap Records website www.laprecords.co.uk. Even when our distribution kicks in, only our "proper" manufactured releases will be distributed. All our CDr releases will just be available from the website, and of course at our gigs. Prices are in Pounds, but as long as you have a Paypal account, you can pay in any currency, from anywhere in the world. We have different postage rates for UK, Europe, and the Rest of the World.
not yet, probably nobody cares, or nobody cared enough to tell something. Also: nobody reads komakino.
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