The Pipettes Interview: Earth vs The Pipettes, line-up changes, moustaches and more…

the pipettes

This was also originally published on, which has since fallen down a giant snarky-pop-writing consuming Internet manhole (RIP). So I wanted to post this here as I think it’s a pretty good interview if I do say so myself… and because Earth vs The Pipettes is holding up pretty well actually, as I listen to it whilst typing this very sentence!

They may not have the costumes of Gaga, the “Samson-esque lesbian haircut” of Bieber or the peen-grabbing devotees of Teentoday fave Fugative. Hell, they aren’t even part of our indie music exploration remit and were definitely not involved in the controversial Race for Life charity single. But they did talk to us. So behold, our interview with The Pipettes (or at least one of them…we’re thinking Gwenno) and here’s hoping it goes better than our Stop The Music shit or hit which you loved so much, it rapidly became a depository for Bananarama spam:

So are all the polka dot dresses burning on an incinerator somewhere?
Ha! No, quite the opposite really… I’d say they were on ice for a little while.

How is it working with your sister? Do you squabble over who gets the lead or are you over all that sibling rivalry?
It’s really great working with my sister; we’re quite hard on each other sometimes but it’s great knowing you can really rely on someone. The trust is there naturally and we both want what’s best for the other and for the band. There is more chance we squabble over who has to carry the dresses than anything else… I usually end up carrying them! Pah!

A couple of people are comparing you to Bananarama (partly their early sound, partly the line-up changes!). Is this a comparison you like/understand/are actively basing your sound on?
We don’t mind that comparison at all. We’ve frequently referenced Stock, Aitken & Waterman when discussing our love of British pop music and so Bananarama sit nicely in there. The new sound and image for our second album was something that was discussed a good while before the band finished touring the first album. It’s an evolution that would have inevitably happened regardless of line-up changes.

The Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen viral video was ermmm… interesting. What did you think of you with a moustache? Fanciable?
Better interesting than boring, eh? We just wanted to give something that was fun and a bit light-hearted to the fans that had hung in there while we got ourselves together over the past couple of years. It was our Valentine’s Day gift to them; we actually didn’t realise so many people would see it! A cheeky moustache now and again never hurt anyone… why not!

How would you describe the sound of Earth vs The Pipettes? Can you tell us about your favourite tracks?
The sound on our new album is a lot more dance-oriented, a lot of disco beats in there. It’s fuller, it’s bigger and it’s a lot louder; a bit of an obnoxious cousin to the first record, it’s demanding to be heard. My favourite tracks change daily. There are certain ones I like to listen to and others I love to sing so it really depends. I do love From Today today and everyday.

Who would win in a fight to the end in Earth vs The Pipettes then? Surely two girls taking on the whole planet is a bit much? What are your special moves?
The Pipettes will win hands down! We just plan to brainwash everyone with our songs, simples.

Since your single’s called Stop The Music, what music would you like to see stopped for good? Specifics please.
I love pop music; I don’t love most of what’s on the radio BUT what I would say is that any bad music out there makes the good music oh-so-much better. There are so many talented people out there but most of the pop music we hear on the radio is written and produced by the same people. That’s why we’re so proud of our album – RedOne didn’t get anywhere near it!

We’re pleased that even if you’ve dropped most of the influences from your first album, the Stop The Music vid sees you keep your propensity for the dance routine. Can we expect more classic Pipettes dances from the rest of the album? Will we get Youtube tutorials?
Of course! We will never stop dancing, that would be criminal! We wouldn’t know what to do! You can, of course, expect more classic Pipettes dances, some spacey shakes and some other-worldy twists… all in the name of POP!

earth vs the pipettes

The electro bandwagon – will The Pipettes be boarding or do you think the end for that sound is nigh?
The only thing we’ll be boarding is our spaceship. Since the band was formed six years ago, we’ve done exactly what we’ve wanted musically and we’ll keep doing just that. We’re still in search of the perfect pop song and we’ll keep writing songs until we make it, synth or no synth.

OK… we have to talk about the line-up changes (sorry!). Is Gwenno the scariest girl in pop since Keisha Buchanan or is she just misunderstood? Did you ever feel like jacking it all in? What made you decide to carry on?
Things are never as they seem; I can’t talk for Keisha but it’s really not easy being in a band. You can work really really really hard for a long time and it can seem that there is no reward – it’s at this point that a lot of people decide to give up. We thought again and again about throwing in the towel but the only thing that kept us going was the belief we had in the songs we had made together.

It’s obvious from some other interviews that you’re very clued up on the music scene. Can we have a few Pipettes views on:

– Will The Saturdays ever be good? I thought their first album was very very good.

– Will Girls Aloud get back together and if they don’t, will pop music that great ever be made again? I can’t really imagine them doing another album but it would be pretty incredible if they did, you never know. Xenomania are still churning out amazing British pop music and keeping the standard very high so there is a pretty good chance that we’ll have great pop music for a while to come.

– Should the Sugababes carry on? I don’t see why not? About You Now was an amazing song and they could still have more amazing songs.

– Would La Roux have been all-conquering if she hadn’t had “The Quiff”? Why of course. It’s a great and solid pop album but me oh my, that is one mighty quiff!

– Any other music recommendations? Music Go Music, Fun., Lucky Soul and always go back and listen to the early Madonna records, sooo good!

– Would you ever have auditioned for The X Factor? Could either of you have been Dorothy on Over The Rainbow? No no no to X Factor but I want to be Glinda or Toto please!

And finally… Pull Shapes is an amazing song. That’s all really. I just wanted to thank you for bringing it into existence.
Why thank you!

Earth vs The Pipettes (what a ‘disco in space’ where ‘all the genres and styles that have set the dance floor going for the last fifty years were loaded onto a rocket and fired into the stars’ would sound like – a soundbite too good to be confined to a press release, methinks) is out now.

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