Interview: Vote Wave Pictures, "I wish we taxed the rich more heavily and had more distribution of income in England"

We all know just how delightful Moshi Moshi is as an independent yet inexplicably, the geek-chic charms of The Wave Pictures has oft been kicked into the corner, their sneering, endearing barbershop jeers largely brushing past attentions like a phantom commuter captured by a Holga Pinhole camera. David Tattersall, perhaps not the most charismatic frontman you'll ever stumble upon, you'd probably have to spend a couple of hours trawling Youtube to find a more witty and astute gangly cynic quivering behind a microphone. And yes, he's more amusing than Steel Panther. In light of tonight's general election, David can tell you exactly which box certainly won't be receiving his penciled cross. If you're reading this any time after this evening and the inevitable's just occurred, well, at least David Cameron didn't cut off Britain's internet supply... Top Of The Pops, a guide to Friday nights out on the razz in Loughborough and getting in a tizz about British quintessence. Or maybe just that Billy Bragg comparison...

Dots: The Wave Pictures aren't exactly your average meat and two veg indie band. Do you occasionally, for instance at last year's Benicàssim, find yourselves asking quite what you're up to?

David Tattersall: Not really. I sometimes find it quite amusing to be in a band at all. But usually I'm happy just playing music and don’t get struck with that kind of self-conscious feeling. Sometimes I do, and it's funny, but nice in a way. Lets face it, it is a silly business.

Dashes: Your onstage inter-song witterings are rather amusing; I think most fortunate enough to have seen a ramshackle Wave Pics show would agree. They'd be sure to concur that you could deliver a punch line weighty enough to floor both Jimmy and Alan Carr in one fell swoop. If all falls through at Moshi Moshi you could perform in one of those sleazy Leicester Square comedy haunts...

DT: Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I sometimes don’t speak at all. It depends whether or not I'm in the mood. I think it must be hard to be a comedian and to always have to talk. They say the same exact things over and over again every night and I wouldn't really want to do that.

Dots: Lyrically, you speak with the social rage of someone that's just swallowed a hive of infuriated wasps. Is Britain truly so ubiquitously dubious?

DT: No. I like Britain. There are a lot of things to get upset or irritated about wherever there are people.

Dashes: Speaking as one of few bands not currently obliterating their sperm count through the touting of bone-clinging jeans, has style replaced substance at the Top Of The Pops? Would you still die for beauty?

DT: Yes, I think without question style has replaced substance in modern music. The truth is that appearance is more important than anything else to most people most of the time.

Dots: Were you roped in for one of those smug-as-Justin Bieber Jo Wiley Live Lounge sessions, what on Earth would you rework?

DT: A Lou Reed song maybe, like Pale Blue Eyes. Or we can play a couple of Bob Dylan songs, The Man In Me and You Ain't Goin Nowhere. And we can do Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck berry. A few options.

Dashes: How wild's a Friday night in Loughborough? Or is it far too hideous to even contemplate?

DT: Oh, it’s really sad and horrible. Friday night England in those kinds of towns; the way people drink and act, the aggression to it all. It’s a shame, it’s not something to be proud off. It ought to be possible for all different kinds of people to go out and socialise. In Madrid or Barcelona or Berlin, there are some quiet civilised places where people can sit quietly and drink in the evening, without allowing the whole town centre to be taken over by drunkards. But you wouldn’t go out in Loughborough on a Friday night except to get pissed up. It’s not even a particularly bad place. Sunderland on a Friday night. Now that is scary. Still, there's too much violence and too much pent up aggression in the English. I really wonder why they're all so cross that they want to obliterate themselves like that?

Dots: You're about as quintessentially British as Billy Bragg. What do we do if we wind up in political purgatory under whichever fool gets into Number 10 imminently?

DT: I don’t agree with us sounding particularly "British". Most of my influences are American. The songs are mainly influenced by writers like Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Lou Reed, Tom Verlaine, David Berman. In terms of playing like a band, we always think about Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The English bands that we do admire, like The Rolling Stones or Dr. Feelgood, are also very clearly influenced by American music. Obviously, I am going to sing in my voice and about what I know, but I certainly wouldn’t describe what we do as quintessentially English. That’s not how I feel about it at all. And don’t forget that Billy Bragg made an album of Woody Guthrie songs. There are references to American music all the time in Bragg's songs. He references Simon and Garfunkel in New England! You have to sing within your limitations though. I am English. I was born here and have lived here my whole life. Same with the other guys in the band. That doesn’t make it quintessentially anything. All these kind of songs, ours and Billy Bragg’s, are in the style of Hank Williams, Robert Johnson, Dylan etc.... that’s where it comes from. But it’s not an act, so you have to sound like yourself.

As for the second part of your question, my main concerns are that so many new laws have been passed in the last few years, and so many new 'security' measures implemented, which are merely ways of reducing personal freedoms (I don’t believe the movements of big businesses have been restricted quite the way the individuals movements have). I don’t see any of the parties turning back the tide on those kinds of things. However, I sincerely hope that the Conservative party does not win, since they will cut welfare, which is so vital to so many. I’m sure they will make many things worse if they get in. I wish we taxed the rich more heavily and had more distribution of income in England.

Dashes: Fair few festivals lined up, including Lounge On The Farm. Firstly, I suppose you're planning on packing some equipment in the van this time... And secondly, to quote V Festival types, are you a festival band?

DT: I personally don’t enjoy festivals much. I don’t mind playing them. I don’t like going to them. That’s just me though.

Dots: Finally, on average how many broken hearts are required to compose a Wave Pictures LP?

DT: None really.

The Wave Pictures release the Sweetheart EP on the 7th June through Moshi Moshi. Not one single broken heart went into its production, apparently... Tattersall & co. currently tour Germany before swinging by Primavera Sound, Lounge On The Farm, Summer Sundae, Green Man Festival and Bestival.