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Little Fish – Baffled and Beat

post brought to you by: dyson

little_fishIf what you crave is straight forward, from the heart, pure, rock and roll, Little Fish is your answer. They fill that musical space better than any band I have come across in a long while. (And doing so without all the bullshit you might typically find clouded about in the music industry.)

I was lucky enough to talk with them on one of the rare days off their label gives them. Juju and Nez shocked me with their honesty and humbleness towards their recent success. They have no reason to be humble. A sold out tour with Hole, their album “Baffled & Beat” produced by Linda Perry (audio on click) that’s about to be released this September, their songs available as Rock Band downloads. They have all the right to be the cocky rock stars one might expect. But they aren’t. They are two rockers who love what they do and are grateful for every moment.

Being a duo, Juju and Nez have strong similarities helping them make their music. But I think those similarities are actually less important than their dissimilarities. Nez is musically trained, Juju is not. Nez is a Beatles man, Juju is a Stones gal. This last fact shocked me considering the music they make. I would have pegged them both as Stones fans. But after a quick bit of consideration, their combination seems to make for a perfect duo.

Take “Darling Dear” as an example. It’s a two chord song. Can two chords be entertaining? Hell yes! It’s because of the dynamics, emotion, and different musical backgrounds that they both bring to the song which makes it what it is. Why not have a listen to see what I’m blabbering on about.  Also, download a free copy of the single ‘Baffled and Beat’ and hold out for June 7th to get the next single “Am I Crazy”.

We spent quite a bit of time on the phone chatting like old friends (oddly enough they happen to be friends with one of my oldest mates Tom who had just spent a week staying with Juju in her flat). Piecing this together into a cohesive interview proved to be quite a challenge. But without further ado…

Here is what Little Fish had to say:

dyson: How did you become Little Fish?

juju: We met on a rowdy night out in the deep depths of that Oxford jungle night life on a saturday night after a few beers in a fish and chips shop. I was being really loud and probably
nez: …abusive
juju: against drummers. I was talking to my friend about how there was never any role for drum solos in any songs and I thought it was ridiculous. At which point Nez, in true stoic fashion took a big bite of his burger and spat it at me and said “Fuck you, there’s always time for drum solos.”
nez: (laughs)
juju: and I was like, ok. Then we met a couple of days later and had a jam in my garage. We made a lot of noise and then formed a band I suppose.

little-fish-phonedyson: You worked with Linda Perry on the album. How was that?

nez: Yeah, we first signed to Linda’s label and then she produced the album as well. We then recorded it at her studio in LA.

dyson: From the sounds of it, Linda is phenomenal but can be a challenge on a day to day basis.

juju: That’s a very good way of putting it.
nez: She gets what she wants a lot of the times. But there’s a reason why she’s good and so successful.
juju: She gave us our opportunity to do our record, and for that we are infinitely grateful.

dyson: How about your songs being available for download on RockBand? Have you gotten to play with that?

juju: We’re just getting that sorted. We’re trying to figure out whether we’ve got to get the Playstation 3 or the, the…Why
nez: …Wii
juju: yeah, the Wii version, and we don’t really know what to get. So we’re procrastinating on that one but we haven’t got to play it, but we really want to.

dyson: I’m not sure if you’d be amazing or terrible at playing your own songs…

nez: I really wanna have a go at the guitar and see what it’s all about. Problem is there’s no flute on RockBand.
(reference to earlier discussion about how Nez is a brilliant Piccolo and Flute player. Then somehow the conversation digresses into shirts coming off and Nez hanging candles from his man boobs…)

dyson: Not sure if you guys are aware that you’re going to probably follow a post about why I think Britney Spears “Toxic” is a perfect pop song. What do you think about that?

juju: Well, you love it.
dyson: I sure do.
juju: If people can relate to something and it makes people happy, for that, we can’t judge anybody’s personal taste.
nez: However our personal taste is that we’re into English rock.
juju: But when it comes to Britney Spears you can’t fault her dancing and her breakdowns. And her songs are great to dance to. When you’re drunk…

dyson: I have to ask everybody and I think I know the answer, but are you Beatles or Stones fans?

juju: Fucking hell.
nez: It’s Beatles for me.
juju: Stones for me.

dyson: Surprised, but that actually works for a duo.

juju: I think that’s actually what’s interesting about us is that we’re dissimilar in some ways. If we were totally similar we would probably be more streamlined with what else is going on out there. I think that antagonism creates a bit of energy that makes the listener a bit comfortable and uncomfortable. Nez is very solid, well rehearsed, and trained.
nez: I caught a lot of scalding when I was younger. I think the best musical tip for anyone is the record player as well. For me I think it determines what sort of player you are really, if that sort of makes sense. I still love my 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s Big Band sort of swing jazz stuff. And then I was really into a lot the Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, The Who, and a lot of Pearl Jam. For me I think Pearl Jam is the most consistent rock band over the last 15-20 years or so. And that music is how I associate my sort of drumming with. That is your best musical tutor of any instrument, the record player. It doesn’t label you into one sort of particular type of play. It’s a varied collection of listenabilty as to how you play your instrument.

dyson: None of these dissimilarities have been calculated, but it sounds like that was the best little-fish-streetrandom argument you could have ever had at the pub.

nez: I think you’ve heard it all and that’s why people get it and the chemistry is really good between me and Juju.
juju: And to honest I don’t think we knew what we sounded like and this album was all about discovery. We jumped from little Oxford to big LA not really knowing what we were doing. We came out with an album, learned a lot from it, and we’re really happy with it. It’s all still very exciting. For us it’s kind of what you see is what you get really. We didn’t really plan it all out but we’re really happy to go with the ride. We appreciate where we’re at, we know we still have a way to go, and we never know when we’re gonna lose it. We’re sure enjoying and savoring the journey. We have been really fortunate. We’ve got some fantastic management and when we start doing the bigger shows and supporting the bigger artists it really makes it all worthwhile. You start enjoying it and it gives you a really good goal. Something to aim for.

dyson: I’ll attest to it that you really have some great PR, management folks around you.

nez: Yes they are. And it’s good to have people around you to represent you and we’ve been really blessed with some really great names.  We did seven shows with Alice and Chains in the UK. Even for me, I was a bit wondering how it was going to go down. If the audience is only here for Alice and Chains you might as well just play. But we played to about 27,000 people over those two nights. And every single night was an absolute cracker. There must be something in the music that appeals and it’s fresh for people to listen to.

dyson: Ok, so if I’m at a bar, who do I have to worry about getting into a fight with more? You seem like a tough gal, Juju.

juju: I can start it and Nez can finish it. That’s the great thing.

2 Responses to “Little Fish – Baffled and Beat”

  1. […] Our new best friend, blogger Matt Dyson, recently spoke with Juju and Nez about their brand of “straight forward, from the heart, pure rock and roll.” Read the interview here! […]

  2. Sergio says:

    JuJu didn’t study music!?
    Woah! She’s so coordinated and her voice is so strong!
    ..I wonder if they will ever come to Mexico

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