Times are hard in the music business. With the high street stripped of music stores, distributors holding CDs to ransom, and majors issuing pay-offs and lay-offs faster than you can flip a vinyl, the only thing you won’t find a shortage of is the sob stories of the suddenly jobless. But while most of the recently redundant are spending their time crying into the shrunken Guardian Media section, three names new to the EMI alumni are taking matters into their own hands…
Thomas and Dede WP are no ordinary husband and wife, as bandmate Darren Bancroft will testify. “They’re the most unique and special couple I’ve ever met. Sometimes we’ll have been together for five days and I’ll get home alone for the first time in ages, and then Dede will text me going ‘I’ve got some lyrics for a song,’ or something, just when I think I’ve got nothing left, I realise there’s always more.”
Together, the self-dubbed ‘disco-rock trio’ make We Have Band, the name that has been hovering on the lips of taste-makers and the electro-savvy for the last few months, ever since 50 Bones released 300 limited edition vinyl copies of their debut single ‘Oh!’ in November. Their sound is as equally DIY as their origins – they mix mucky, dark bass lines reminiscent of the raw post-punk of ESG with the brighter feral funk of Can and the more modernist, electro-pop hues of New Pony Club or Hot Chip. A sound which, let’s be honest, there’s quite a lot of around at the moment in various electro-pop-band guises.
“I’m not going to claim we’re doing something totally different,” Darren says of ‘the scene’. “I think that’s unnecessary. We don’t really care much about all of that stuff. People are always attaching themselves to any given scene, but I think it’s just what people have decided to focus upon at any given time, you know?”
For the moment, it’s what these three ex-EMI colleagues have decided to focus on, at least. We Have Band was conceived at the leaving do for another EMI associate, just as all three members took their redundancy from the label. “Sometimes when you’ve got nothing to lose, it’s like, let’s just do this,” Darren explains of the decision. “Tom and Dede already had the name of the band and everything, and we all knew we wanted to do something. The first time we got together we just all sat down, had some dinner so we were all really relaxed, and then we wrote a song, and that’s why it’s so easy for us – we just all really get on.”
There’s a definite magnetism between them off and on stage that has seen them attract attention from all the right angles. “All the people that have discovered us and started working with us tend to be the bravest magazines and radio stations. Even our manager hasn’t done loads of stuff before but he just really liked the band and went for it,” Darren says.
As far as record deals are concerned, they’re keeping their cards close to their chest and staying unsigned. “There genuinely isn’t the space to think about these things,” Darren says of the paperwork. “All our energies are in writing lyrics and recording. I think everyone is super scared at the moment, understandably so. Big labels will sniff at anything, and then the smaller labels sometimes take a bit longer. But we’re still recording the album, and the single we put out, it wasn’t rushed, but it was one of the first things we ever did, so also we don’t want to do everything so quickly. We just want to give things time to breathe I guess.”
It seems We Have Band are a three-way electro love affair that everyone wants a piece of, so taking that time out to hone their sound could be essential. “I’ve no idea what I’d do if it went wrong!” Darren exclaims of the future. For now, there’s a lot of buzz about We Have Band, emanating from inside the intimate adrenaline-fuelled threesome, and surrounding their dirty, tight electro-punk. They have band, and now they have a lot to prove. We have high hopes.