Interview: Velcro Teddy Bears
Exposed meets Velcro Teddy Bears. After four years of hitting the Sheffield circuit hard, rock & roll revivalists Velcro Teddy Bears have inked a deal with DMF Digital and are on the verge of releasing their second EP ‘What Makes You Right’. The release is the band’s first electronic full band effort and sees Jon Burton (The Prodigy) on production duty. We caught up with the band to discuss their change in sound, the recording process of the EP and future plans.
You’ve recently played a few shows in support of your new EP. What has it been like playing some of the new songs live?
Griff: Yeah, it’s been good. It’s been like a breath of fresh air. Every gig’s something new; it’s never the same. We played the Frog and Parrot, which is a nice, intimate gig and then we played Polish Club in Barnsley. It’s good being able to fill two different types of venue. I think we’re really good at doing that.
Do you think the new songs have been received well?
Griff: Yeah, really well. New recordings are out in August and I can’t wait to show people what our new sound is like.
Chaddy: Yeah, it’s definitely a show of how we’ve developed and we’re still moving on. I think it’s a step up from the stuff that we’ve done before, so there’s bigger songs, slightly different uses of guitar noises and things like that, but it’s constantly developing.
What influenced your change in sound?
Chaddy: Well, we went electric about two and a half years ago.
Griff: Yeah, it was hard to get gigs because we were like a rock & roll band that couldn’t afford the instruments so we had to do it all acoustic (Laughs), but to get the venues we wanted to play and to get the sound man to get us to sound how we wanted, we all had to get jobs and money to afford the rock & roll instruments.
Chaddy: It wasn’t long after changing our sound that better gig offers started coming up, as opposed to being first on as an acoustic act. It was just the natural thing, to be honest, to move from an acoustic skiffly-based stuff to be a bigger sound.
How has the process been compared to recording your previous EPs?
Chaddy: It was different within the technical process, as before we did a lot of of live recordings.
Griff: We did like 10 songs in 4 sessions, I think, on the acoustic one and with this, we’ve done like 6 sessions, playing the same solo 73 times (Laughs). Whereas before, it was just one take with all of us in one room. This is the first time we’ve had it layered, professionally done and professionally mastered.
What was it like working with Jon Burton?
Chaddy: He is the most patient man. I would have throttled me (Laughs). He was an absolute star and he took it upon himself to work with us towards getting the best result.
Griff: He really helped us develop it and rethink the songs. He was just like “step back, and have you thought about doing this instead?”
Chaddy: For some reason I think he got a soft spot for us – or maybe it was pity – but I don’t know.
Your launch show is on the 8th of August. Do you have anything special planned?
Griff: Oh yes! We have a few special guests. We’re doing a rooftop gig in the afternoon.
Chaddy: We’re doing it in association with Thornbridge Brewery. They’ve said they’re going to help us out and we’re going to a do an acoustic gig on the floor probably naked (Laughs) and then were going to get some friends to come in and play with us. There may be a very famous face coming but we can’t disclose that.
What can we expect after the release of the EP?
Chaddy: As soon as we’ve finished this, we’ve got another EP that we have recorded and we will be playing a lot more shows.
The Velcro Teddy Bears EP launch will be taking place on the 8th August at Greystones.