[26 August 2014]
PopMatters Interviews Editor
Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor get bored with their own music pretty easily.
That’s not to say they don’t love it or love crafting it or refuse to play older songs at shows, no. However, in their short lifespan, this Sheffield duo have made notable changes to their sound from album to album, as the clap-and-stomp folk-rock of 2010’s Yeah So is notably different from the irreverent, more fleshed-out full-band workouts that made 2011’s great Paradise what it was. Perhaps even more impressive than their discography has been their incredibly notable videography as well, which has featured everything from impressive Daniel Radcliffe cameos to their viral “Two Cousins” concept, stunning in its simplicity but effective nonetheless.
Yet for Complete Surrender, Slow Club’s most serene effort to date, Watson and Taylor have run a whole gamut of notable clips, ranging from the Kiss-loving video for “The Pieces” to the black-and-white fantasia they crafted for the album’s title track to the boxing flim cilche-puncher for “Suffering You, Suffering Me”. Even with these visually dynamic videos peppering their YouTube page, the truth is that without ever going to extravagant, Complete Surrender sounds like the most concise album Watson and Taylor has yet made—but we can only wait in anticipation to see what left turn they throw at us after this.
To celebrate the album’s release, Taylor is now tackling PopMatters’ 20 Questions (“I feel like you and I are sat in a hot tub and you really want to get to know me”, she tells us), and here reveals that everyone seems to think Frances Ha is about her, what it will take for her to be attractive to Henry the Eighth, and that the soundtrack to Sister Act 2 just may be the greatest album ever made ...
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1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
I don’t really cry at books or films. I really wish I did. Things don’t “move” me unless they directly seem like something related to my life or my fears. I suppose films with old people dying is the main thing likely to squeeze a tear out of my pickled husk of a head. I have recently been slowly getting into Fernando Pessoa and that has been making me go “ohhhh” with my eyes wide open a lot.
2. The fictional character most like you?
When the film Frances Ha came out I got about three texts a week from people asking me if I had seen it and that she was “so you”.
3. The greatest album, ever?
The Sister Act 2 soundtrack.
4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Wars, probs. But there were some hotties in Trek. I’m not really fussed about sci-fi but I do like a good human/alien relations story so whichever one had most of that.
5. Your ideal brain food?
Stomach churning, impossible love affairs.
6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
I got a B in my maths GCSE and I was really shite at maths. Like fully had no idea and would cry every maths lesson. A B was the highest grade I could get in the paper I was entered at and for some reason that I will never understand I got a wave of total and utter devotion to the cause and worked incredibly hard. I have no idea where that passion came from and I don’t know where it went.
7. You want to be remembered for …?
God, this interview is really going for it. I feel like you and I are sat in a hot tub and you really want to get to know me. So I have no idea at this current point. I really dream of being a respected songwriter. I want to have a class and quality to my work that makes me recognizable and memorable. So that perhaps? But I dream of doing lots of thing. All of my plans and ideas are with the end goal of a really great hammock that I live my final days out on surrounded by wildflowers and great Wi-Fi connection. Oh fuck it, I want to be remembered for my really great hair.
8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
I don’t know. People who work hard. They are inspiring. Oh, and people who genuinely act out of kindness and genuine care for other humans.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
“The Winner Takes it All” by ABBA.
10. Your hidden talents ...?
I’m excited for them to reveal themselves to me, too.
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
My friend Richard once told me, “The world is full of people you’ll want to fuck, but you can’t fuck all of them.”
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
I have stolen many guitar leads and they are eternally useful because I never know where we keep them, but if we have loads I am bound to find one stuffed somewhere and not have to ask Charles where they are, which makes me look like a competent band member.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or ...?
Not even a sexy answer but I genuinely feel best in the nuddy, we all should be perpetually naked surely.
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
I would want to feel free to eat many courses and not have to appear attractive to Henry the Eighth.
15. Time travel: where, when, and why?
If time travel was possible then there is no when? Every when would be now.
16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation, or Prozac?
I maintain stress by reminding myself that everything is ultimately pointless and today is all there is.
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or ...?
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
Country. Cottage with high ceilings, wildflowers, fig smelling candles, hot tub, books, and books and books and Wi-Fi.
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
“WTF is going on m8?”
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?