Pyjama-clad Alan “Whitey” White talks about the new album, horrible jobs and “little bastards”
Hey Whitey how you doing?
Good thanks. How are you?
Not bad. What are you up to today?
To be honest, it’s the morning in the UK, so I’m still in my pyjamas. So I’m just dossing around, scratching my arse.
What do your pyjamas look like?
Actually, I’ve had them since I was 15, so they look slightly ridiculous. You know the American flag? Well, the trousers are the stars and the top is the stripes. Don’t ask me why. Proper pyjamas – know what I mean?
They sound proper fancy. With the new album Off With Their Heads, singer Ricky Wilson said, “we’ve got our weirdness back”. Do you know what he means?
Yeah definitely. There was no pressure on this album. We went into the studio with it unplanned, with a totally open mind. We had maybe two thirds of the songs written and maybe six or seven unwritten and we specifically wanted to experiment and have a laugh with them. Yeah, we’ve definitely found our weirdness. We got a bit serious on the second album. I think it was a bit too mature for us at that time, do you know what I mean? I think we’re good at weird pop songs. So hopefully we’ve come back to form. And hopefully everyone else agrees with us.
Mark Ronson, who worked on the album, said that in any other band you would each be the funniest member of the band…
I think we’re a unique band because we are actually funny to look at as well as funny people. Yeah, we try and keep the humour… Of course you get the niggles, but we never really argue, which is pretty unique, especially for a band that’s been together for nearly 10 years – humour is part of that. Obviously we take what we do seriously, as artists. But we never really take the job that seriously. Because we know what it’s like to have a job and we know this job isn’t a proper job. So we try and be nice to everyone… sorry, it’s a bit of a rant this… In the music industry people do have proper jobs – not everyone’s a rock star – you got the office girls who sends out the faxes and managers and stuff. So we try not to walk round like arsey rock stars, thinking we’re special, even though we think we’ve got special jobs.
What’s the worst job you’ve had to do?
I signed on a lot and I worked for a temping agency. My brother was a manager at the temping agency so he used to get me the best jobs. He sent me to a leather factory – this was a mistake. Literally, the dead cow comes in one end and a handbag comes out the other end. The whole process, skinning the cow… it was awful. My job was to sweep up all the blood. Funnily enough, pretty much since then I’ve been a vegetarian. And my brother has since emigrated to http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2437918549.html[Australia]. He’s in http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2441552696.html[Cairns].
What’s on a Kaiser Chiefs’ rider?
We used to have really extravagant riders, loads of really expensive beers and wines, you know, top quality stuff. Then someone told us that we pay for it out of our fee!
Have you met any of your heroes through being in a band?
There have a been a lot of people I’ve wanted to meet, but once you meet them and think, “he’s alright, just a normal bloke”, it kind of ruins it. The guitarist from The Verve, Nick McCabe, he is literally Mr Hero
to me. I’ve had the chance to meet him and I’ve not wanted to.
Which are you more scared of: crocs, spiders, sharks or snakes?
Spiders. Little bastards! Australian spiders, not English spiders – I’m not scared of them. They’re little bastards, hiding in the corner. You can see a crocodile or a shark, know what I mean? Spiders? In yer shoes and shit like that. No thank you!
The new Kaiser Chiefs album, Off With Their Heads, is out on October 18, on Liberator. more info at http://www.kaiserchiefs.co.uk/[www.kaiserchiefs.co.uk]