If you read Music Review Database on a regular basis, you would have noticed that I like Novella. This year they have released their debut EP, performed many festival slots and achieved a miniature success with their record label Italian Beach Babes. Hollie and Suki are kindly answering our questions.
Hello Novella! Are you in fact a three piece or is Mr Iain Laws an official member?
Hollie: The band has always been the three of us – we’ve been writing together for a couple of years now, and we write all the songs. Iain is our drummer and has been playing with us for nearly a year now.
You recorded your debut EP with Rory Attwell on a boat, what was that like? Would you pick the same studio again?
Hollie – The boat is a really cool space to record in, very tranquil. And Rory’s a pretty tranquil guy…we really loved recording there and hopefully we’ll record there again some day. Sophy and Suki did get a bit seasick the first time we went there but you just have to tell yourself that the boat isn’t actually going anywhere…
Literature seems to be a big theme in the world of Novella. Are you inspired by what you read? What inspires you the most?
Hollie – It’s so hard to pinpoint things that inspire us….in terms of lyrics I wouldn’t necessarily say that books have been a big inspiration so far. At the moment I mostly write about situations that are happening to me or people around me, but then we’ve also had songs that were initially inspired by Suki’s shampoo bottle…
A track entitled 'Dont Believe Ayn Rand' was always going to raise a few questions. I'm guessing you've read her novels and/or her philosophical works. What's your take on her literature, and Ayn Rand as a 50's/60's figure?
Hollie – I wrote that song because someone I know said they thought she was great and that Atlas Shrugged was a great book…I think that her ideas and philosophy are wrong, although I do have respect for her as an incredibly influential woman in the 60s… I also think that it’s sad that she’s become the poster girl for the Tea Party, yet they’re picking the parts of her philosophy they agree with and ignoring all she says about organized religion and abortion, and she’s not around to be able to speak out about it.
Do you all have similar music tastes? Could you list some of your all time favourite's and some recent discoveries?
Hollie - We do have similar music taste but there are differences too, definitely one of the great things about being in a band is that we’re constantly sharing new music with each other and that in turn influences the songs we are writing. At the moment I’m listening to Vision Fortune, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Pond, Tame Impala, Wooden Shjips, Ty Segall. I also really like the new Beach House album. And I’m really excited to hear the new Mazes album. All time favourites for me would include Led Zepplin, Velvet Underground, Modern Lovers, Shangri-Las, Sonic Youth.
Suki - At the moment I'm listening to these 60s Garage and Psych bands - The 14th Wray, Orange Alabaster Mushroom, Zen, Art Guy, Kings Ransom, United States of America, The Looking Glass, Dennis & The Times…etc. They all have amazing addictive bass/Synth line! Have also been listening to the Mort Garson's Plantasia album non stop. Can not wait for the new Tame Impala Album!
Is it fair to say your music sounds like the psych bands of the 60's and the dream pop/shoegaze bands of the late 80's and 90's? Do you think they'll be a revived interest in this umbrella of music?
Hollie – I think it’s fair to say that. The new songs we’re writing are a bit different and will be interesting to see what people think… I think that there already has been a revived interest in this type of music, people are already looking to move onto the next thing…
Whats the plan for the future? Another EP? an album?
Hollie - We’re releasing another single in a couple of months, and we’re just concentrating on writing new material, definitely with an album in mind.
Do you have tracks already recorded?
Hollie – yes, the new single is all recorded and ready to go…
You play most of your gigs in London, what's your favourite London venue to play?
Hollie – well we’ve played there so much so I kinda like the Shacklewell Arms cos it feels like a second home…
Suki - I like White Heat at Madam JoJo's and the Lexington, it has a good sound system.
Do you have any goals? or are you taking things as they come? ('where do you want to be in 5 years time')
Hollie – I really just want to keep making music and for us to continue to become better musicians. I think if we just kept doing the same thing it’d get boring.
Suki - Experiment and have the most fun with everything. You never know what's gonna happen dude.
Check out their Soundcloud, Twitter, Last.fm, website and Facebook. Don't forget to buy their self titled debut EP from the Italian Beach Babes Bandcamp. Enjoy the music, I know you will.