Nothing quite fills an arena like the sweet sounds of three-piece band White Lies. This British trio of 22-year-olds has the United Kingdom abuzz, and it’s not hard to see why; White Lies offers bright, danceable beats paired with insightful lyrics and a sound bigger than the sum of its parts. Perhaps it’s the youthful exuberance of White Lies that produces the engaging, arena-ready pop-rock fusion. Or maybe it’s the fact that White Lies loves music as much as the band’s fans. Bassist Charles Cave explains that the members of White Lies are “open to being inspired by any music and anything at all for that matter…experiences, people, films.”
In fact, White Lies’ sound is distinctly cinematic, with a tendency toward the epic, without the brashness or pretentiousness that usually accompanies bands in control of their own destinies. Because White Lies is open to harnessing any influence, the band isn’t afraid to produce any sound or defy any genre classifications. White Lies has a rare blend of pop sensibility and an accessible indie vibe, with a European sound that isn’t overly foreign, but refreshingly familiar, as if you were waiting for this band all along.
Daniel: Since we are in the Holiday season, let’s make this interview a little more exciting and themed. But first, let’s talk about the band, and of course about the new album. But first, would you kindly tell us who are White Lies?
Charles: We are three 22 year-olds from London. I am Charles Cave, and I am joined by my good friends Harry Mcveigh and Jack Lawrence Brown.
Daniel: What is the meaning behind the bands name?
Charles: There is no meaning at all behind the name. It just sounded good at the time and stuck.
Daniel: Could you briefly tell us how the three of you met?
Charles: I met Jack in primary school and Jack met Harry in High School.
Daniel: From where do you draw your musical influences?
Charles: Everywhere. We are open to being inspired by any music and anything at all for that matter. Recently I personally have been very inspired by Alva Noto, Sun Kil Moon, At The Gates and Oni Ayhun. It is important to let anything have an affect on our music though. Experiences, people, films…
Daniel: What is one thing about White Lies your fans might not know?
Charles: Harry is a very good Irish violin player.
Daniel: There’s so much buzz going for White Lies these days. Tell us about some of the cool relationships that you have forged over the past couple of months.
Charles: In the past couple of months we have worked with the video directors Jonas and Francois. They are very interesting guys and have got lots of exciting ideas in the field of music video which is a hard thing to have these days. We have also just had a remix done by Stereolab which is great as I am a big fan of some of their albums. I would love to build on that relationship in the future.
Daniel: The video for “Bigger Than Us” is unique and quite effective. How did this concept develop?
Charles: It was all Jonas and Francois…their vision, and probably something they had wanted to do for a while and were just waiting for the right song. We filmed it out in Romania in a film studio in October. We have been very happy with the reaction to it so far. It has had over a million plays on YouTube in two weeks which is phenomenal for us.
Daniel: What is the one main idea you try to communicate through your music?
Charles: I wouldn’t say there is such a thing. All the songs have different subject matter and you can interpret them as you wish. I would say on our new album ‘Ritual’, there is an emphasis placed on the futility of distractions like love, religion, work. It groups them all into the same bag.
Daniel: Has your main influences changed since the first album?
Charles: We have listened to a lot more music since our first album when we were nineteen. I discover new music all the time. We all bring different influences to the table when we start working together.
Daniel: I understand there is a mini-tour happening in January, arriving to some big cities. Which city are you most excited for and why?
Charles: America is still ‘the promised land’ for us. Every city has it’s own charm and appeal. I am probably most looking forward to NYC but mainly because I have some dear friends there that I haven’t seen in a long time.
Daniel: How have audiences reacted to new songs that you’ve played live thus far?
Charles: Very very well. Everyone seems to already know the words to Bigger Than Us and songs like ‘Peace and Quiet’, ‘The Power and the Glory’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ are really going down very well.
Daniel: It’s holiday question time! What is your favorite holiday song?
Charles: O’ Come All Ye Faithful.
Daniel: What’s the best scene from a holiday movie?
Charles: The opening scene from Home Alone when Kevin doesn’t get his cheese pizza.
Daniel: Do you have any holiday traditions?
Charles: Long walks in the cold through suburban London. Eating roast parsnips.
Daniel: What was your favorite Christmas present ever?
Charles: My favorite Christmas present I have bought someone is an old Russian army fur hat for my Dad which he wore when we were traveling in Tibet in January.
Daniel: What are your hopes for White Lies in 2011?
Charles: My hopes are that our new album connects with people as much as I feel connected to it and that we can travel the world again playing to all our fans.