With their fifth album now in the shops and an Aussie tour looming, we grabbed a word with Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory…
What was the thinking behind the lyrics of your latest single “Rocket”? Alison: Well the idea came from a sort of imaginary, well not so imaginary, relationship.
How would you describe the song? Alison: A revenge song but with a sort of anthemic, euphoric, light-hearted way of dealing with it. I guess it’s that kind of thing after you have had a relationship and you kind of got over it and you have thoughts of “what the hell”, and you can look back on it with humour.
How would you describe your sound? Will: I just don’t think that we have a sound that you can say is more or less us. I think we just enjoy inhabiting different styles and sounds. It’s like dressing up, it’s like bringing on different outfits. I mean the particular with us is that you’ve got a huge range of vocal, sort of identity sounds and possibilities. Things start happening when we are jamming and we just like to go with it.
And what about your latest album? Alison: The lyrics are more broad and very optimistic. Again I think they are sort of, as in the title of the album Head First, about taking on any scenario and not thinking about it too much really.
How about the music? Will: A lot of the tracks have got a pulse at the heart of them, sort of insistent, repetitive kind of nature. I think that comes from a number of different directions. Also the drums are quite sort of rocky, a mixture somewhere between disco and rock. I think that we were quite mean and lean about the material that we used. We stripped stuff away. So I think the melodies and harmonies are hopefully being honed down to be something quite direct and immediate.
What inspired the album cover? Alison: It was something that just evolved over a period of time. But playing around with clouds, I suppose it has got kind of dreamy, euphoric feeling to it. It seemed to fit very well with the title Head First.
Have you got any special influences? Alison: Our influences are so diverse. There are a lot of things that have inspired us, like sort of early 80s, late 70s euro disco and rock music, you know Supernature inspiration, there was Glamrock music. We spent quite a lot of time listening to drum sounds to get an idea of how we want to get a particular sound. I think there was quite lot of American Rock that we have listened to as inspiration, things like Pat Benatar for those sort of big crashy drums, late ABBA and Fleetwood Mac.
How would you summarize Head First? Will: Well, I suppose it’s a kind of take off with the intension to continue. Alison: I think we wanted to make a sound that was similar to [Goldfrapp’s third album] Supernature but a lot simpler and more direct. We were feeling good and positive.
Goldfrapp play Sydney 29 July, Queensland festival Splendour in the Grass 30 July-1 August and Melbourne 3 August
Their latest album, Head First, is out now.