Candy Says - Photo - 2013CANDY SAYS make “Lo-fi chic pop””, as they say. And they don’t record their music in a studio like normal bands do but in a garage. Only one reason why NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION thinks that these Brits got a certain potential and something quite special. The newcomers from Oxford have the right material to grab the world’s attention quite soon. And before this happens we had a nice little talk with CANDY SAYSmainsinger Juju about their plans, why she had to get rid off the previous band LITTLE FISH and why there is room for hope and passion today.


Your music is described as “lo-fi chic pop”. Did you choose this description? And do you like it?
We did choose it. It’s important to be able to describe what kind of music you’re making, but it’s also really difficult. “Lo-fi chic pop” was the phrase we used when we were recording the music – it just seemed to fit. It’s pop music. It’s more French disco-pop (chic) than X-Factor pop. And it doesn’t sound like most pop music because we recorded it in the garage (lo-fi) using real old instruments instead of in a studio with synthesisers and computers.


Obviously you named your band after a VELVET UNDERGROUND song. Why did you do that? Are they some sort of role models for you?
Yes, but we’re not trying to sound like them particularly. We just like their approach – taking the elements of pop music and making something more interesting with them.


Which other artists have taken an impact/influence on your development as musicians?
While we were writing and recording I listened loads of Radio 1 (which I never did before) and experimented in the garage by making a version of all the sounds that I heard and liked using the instruments we had. Ben was listening to lots of lo-fi tape labels on Bandcamp, and we sort of combined the two ideas.

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So, you record your music in a garage. How is that?
I’ve recorded in big studios before and this time I wanted us to have the freedom to work in our own way and not to be indebted to anyone. The only way we could do this was to keep the whole process self-contained. We had a garage, a couple of microphones and a laptop so that’s what we used.


What inspires you most when you write your lyrics and is there a message you want to tell the listener?

Books are my complete inspiration to write. I seek out books that seem interesting on the internet, and as I read them I write down the thoughts that they inspire. I don’t write with a particular message in mind, but if you tried to find a theme to my lyrics (and to the books I read) it would probably be “outsiders” or “misfits”.

CANDY SAYS: “We’ll release an album at some point.”

During your gig in London there has been a dummy on the stage. What was the reason for that?
That’s Candy. She’s a mannequin. I’m slightly obsessed with mannequins.


Can you tell something about the fact that you are using vintage organs and guitars?
We just like the sound of them. The whole sound of the recordings comes from our garage, the actual room with all the bad pingy reverberations and the boxiness. Those instruments (Ben plays a 1966 Farfisa organ and my guitar is a Kay from 1959) just seem to sound great in the room. You can’t really strum a guitar in the garage – it doesn’t sound good – so I just play one-note guitar parts. The Kay is great for that.


Are you currently working on an album? If yes, can you tell something about it?
We have almost finished recording a first set of songs that could be an album, but we’re going to see what sort of release fits each song or set of songs. The first song just went up on Bandcamp with a video. The second will be released as a single on cassette in May through Cool For Cats Records and we might end up putting out an EP later in the year. Ben’s also been working on an app so we can release the garage demos with liner notes as we go along. We’ll release an album at some point.


Before you formed CANDY SAYS you played in a band called  LITTLE FISH. Can you tell me something about that? Why did you start a new band?
LITTLE FISH ran its course. CANDY SAYS is the opposite. I like extremes.


You wrote a book about LITTLE FISH called “F**K THE RADIO, WE’VE GOT APPLE JUICE”. Can you say some words about it?
We got tired of seeing so many books about famous bands that had nothing to say so we got our writer friend who knew nothing about the music world to write a really interesting book about a band no one has heard of. It’s a set of essays about being a musician, being a fan, DIY, the rock’n’roll myth and that sort of thing. It’s based around the rise and fall of LITTLE FISH, but it’s not really about us.


What do hope and passion mean to you?
In the age of collapse, hope and passion are concepts we shouldn’t be afraid of.