The Death Notes
The Death Notes are a female fronted Notts band that had their first release in 2009. Sound-wise they have been likened to Joy Division, The Pixies and Sonic Youth. Their vocal sound is strong whilst being backed by powerful guitar riffs and an intense background layer of noise...
How would you describe your sound and image?
Jamie: We normally get labelled as alternative rock, dark indie or post punk.
Many reviews liken your vocals to Siouxsie Sioux, would you say this is a fair assessment?
Jamie: Yes it does seem to be a recurring comparison. I think there are definitely some songs on our album where that comes through and there are some tracks with very Banshee-esque guitars as well. I wouldn't say the vocals on all our songs sound like Siouxsie though. Interestingly when we released our first EP we got quite a few reviews that likened Elaine's vocal to Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries. As far as I'm concerned if it encourages people to check out our music then it can only be a good thing.
Martin: As probably the only person in the band who is a genuine Siouxsie fan, it is a great compliment to be compared to a band which you love. However, none of us have set out to sound like any particular band. We all have a wide range of influences in our musical tastes and this does come across when you listen to the album as a whole.
Although you are a Nottingham based band, you have been a little quiet on the Nottingham live scene of late, what did we do?
Jamie: It's nothing personal. We have been taking some time off from playing gigs in general. The main reason being that I took a couple of months off from the band to get used to being a parent for the first time (my daughter Aurelia was born in January) . We've also been spending time working on new material. Expect to see us around more after Dark Waters. I should also mention in our defence that we played a lot of Gigs in Notts in 2011 including the Bodega twice, Oxjam Beeston and Kerblammo at The Maze.
Martin: We definitely want to play more in Nottingham and would like to play in some of the larger venues in town. Hopefully, playing at festivals like Dark Waters will help raise our profile. We love playing live and are always open to offers.
Clearly Nottingham does have a very active alternative (that’s anything from goth to retro) scene. As a band, what aspects of this do you value?
Jamie: I don't know about specific scenes but I think Nottingham’s great strength is its inclusive nature. Whatever type of music you’re into you can always go out and hear it. As a kid it was really inspiring to be able to go out every week and see something different. Its only when you spend time living elsewhere that you realise how good we have it.
Martin: One of the reasons why I chose to live in Nottingham was the amount of bands that play here. I have been to see more bands since I have lived here than any other point in my life.
Can you give us a story behind one of your songs?
Elaine: The ideas for the songs I write are often closely linked to things going on in my life at a certain time. So for example, Ghost is about the experience of individuals being incarcerated and how that robs individuals of their potential. That to me seems the biggest crime of incarceration or at least the aspect of the crime with the greatest duration. The song was written after reading Primo Levi’s If This Is A Man where he writes in an incredibly humanitarian way about his experiences in Auschwitz, without blaming his captors. One of the sad things about his experiences is that we don’t seem to learn how to become better humans from these disclosures and so there are still people all over the world in long incarcerations going through similar things to those he went through.
Any exciting plans for the future with gigs and releases?
Jamie: We're pretty excited about playing Dark Waters. Everyone has been telling us how great last year’s event was. The Boat Club is such a great venue as well, it’s got so much history and I've seen so many great gigs their over the years. Release-wise there are a couple of compilations coming out soon that we have contributed tracks to. The first is a CD called The Peter Out Wave it is being put out by the Swedish record label Peter Out Records on 28 May. The second is a compilation tape that is being put out by Handmade Records in Germany called Don't Drop it in the Dustbin Volume 3. We are planning on heading into the studio later in the year to record some of the new songs we've been working on. So I would expect to see a release on our own label later this year as well.
Martin: Hopefully we will be able to get a new single out later this year with another video to go with it. We had such great feedback for the Obsession video and it would be great to do more.
Finally, tell us something fabulous that we can gossip about for years to come, yes, we need you to enlighten our lives
Jamie: It’s a little known fact (in Nottingham at least) that The Death Notes have a big following in Peru. A couple of our singles made it into the radio play charts there. According to Facebook stats after Nottingham, Lima Peru is the city with the second highest concentration of Death Notes fans. Despite all this we have never to my knowledge actually sold anything in Peru. Apparently 97% of all music sold in Peru is pirated so I guess it’s no surprise. I do like the idea though that right now our music might be being played in the heart of the rainforest or something. I've got my fingers crossed that they book us for a tour over there one day as well.
The Death Notes play the Dark Waters festival at the Brittainia Boat Club on Sunday 13 May.
The Death Notes on Facebook