Q&A - The Noisettes

Most Popular

When Esquire interviewed the Noisettes for their debut album in 2007, they kindly recreated the hedonism of a gig in the traditionally more sedate venue of the Good House Keeping Institute kitchen. Last week, we caught up with them performing their recent hit single, “Don’t Upset The Rhythm”, in a London mobile phone shop as part of the promotion for the Nokia 5800 “Comes With Music” package (available exclusively on Orange, just so you know). Clearly an intrepid bunch, the London band will take on festivals including Glastonbury, V Festival, Wireless and Oxegen this summer. Here lead guitarist Dan Smith (left) talks about their rock’n’roll ramblings.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

This is quite an unusual location for a gig. What has been the weirdest?

We once sang on the roof of someone’s art gallery. The audience was in the street below, we were playing down to them and there was a spit-roast with a pig on it behind us. We did another gig immediately afterwards, and when we came back they’d locked all our gear in. So we had to break in and get all of our amps and drum kits over this really high nine-foot wall.

Most Popular

We heard that a party you attended recently was raided by the police. Is this a typical occurrence in the life of the Noisettes?

That was France I think. In Dijon. Yeah it happens. Touch wood none of us have been arrested yet. It’s got wilder the closer we’ve got to each other. A couple of years ago we cut through all the passive-aggression and started actually confronting things. It now actually feels like a family rather than three separate individuals.

What have you been focusing on in the interim between the two albums?

We finished the first album, put it out and went on tour non-stop for the whole year. Got a big suitcase out and didn’t go home for more than a few days, but it was a great experience. A lot of firsts. I’m 29 now, but was 25 at the time and close to jacking music in. I was still in London, still doing the same old stuff. Then we got signed and started travelling and really enjoying the whole thing; it was quite vindicating.

So how does your latest album, Wild Young Hearts, compare to your first, What’s The Time Mr Wolf?

The new album is a lot more focused; it was lot more precise in its execution and the way in which we recorded it. We knew what we wanted to do when we came to the studio. There was a clear beginning, middle and an end. We also spent a good part of nine months writing the songs, and we refused to go into the studios and record properly until we had it all written and there was a definite green light.

Have your influences changed?

Not really, no. You listen to more things as templates to write to. We like listening to Prince and AC/DC and things that have a dance beat. We’ve always had a lot of the same influences running through our music; stuff like Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holliday, Van Morrison and Stevie Wonder.

What’s the most rock ‘n’ roll thing that has happened to you so far?

Hands down, it was only a few days ago and we had a showcase out in New York that we were headlining. We had to be back early the next morning for a radio thing and we missed every available commercial flight. So they paid for us to get a private jet. We got driven out to an airstrip in New Jersey and got on a Gulfstream; it was a real Led Zeppelin moment. When we landed on the tarmac there were a load of cabs waiting. Someone asked me what food I would like on the plane, and I said “What are the options?” They said, “Whatever you like, it’ll be brought in.” I ordered burritos and sushi.

The Noisettes’ single "Never Forget You" will be released on 22 June.