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Ting Tings' Fall Treat Is Not for Idle Hands PDF Print E-mail
Written by DJ Space   
Thursday, 09 September 2010 12:26

Ting Tings' Fall Treat Not for Idle HandsThe Ting Tings have revealed why they decided to escape to Berlin to record their sophomore album, leaving the celebrity culture of Manchester behind.

In a video interview with NME, Katie White and Jules De Martino said that the decision was not a difficult one to make.

Referring to their debut album, Jules said, "We didn't want to go back to Salford and do the same thing again".

Katie added, "One of the reasons why we didn't go back to Manchester (was) because I think you can go back to Manchester, be a minor celebrity, get a few free drinks if you go to the Night & Day and pat yourself on the back. I'd rather just make music."

The band's new single, "Hands", which is an "anthem for the overworked," includes the lyrics, "Clap your hands if you're working too hard" and is scheduled for release on October 11. The single can be listened to on their official website and viewed on YouTube. A remix called "Hands (Low Sunday Indie Fix)" can be listened to here.

In 2008, a series of hit singles preceded their acclaimed debut album, We Started Nothing, which rapidly became a summer sensation.

The Ting Tings recorded their first album at Islington Mill in Manchester. On their website, Katie says, "We didn't think anybody would be interested in what we did, so we wrote songs for ourselves to play to our friends at the Mill."

Talking about meeting Katie, Jules says, "She reminded me of Janis Joplin, Ricky Lee Jones, people like that; she had this slightly folky jazzy lazy vocal and she had this thing. We both got into Portishead and thought it would be great if we could make that kind of music together." Hooking up with a third member, a DJ, Katie and Jules formed their first band, Dear Eskiimo, which lasted "about a year".

Katie White and Jules De Martino needed a name for the "unintentional band" they'd created in 2007. For the sheer fun of it, Katie (vocals, guitar and bass drum) and Jules (vocals, drums, electronics) had begun writing songs together and doing impromptu shows as a two piece. Suddenly, they were generating massive excitement at a series of house parties at Manchester's Islington Mill.

At the time, Katie was working in a boutique with a Chinese girl called "Ting Ting," which is also Mandarin term for a "band stand". "I thought it was lovely," Katie remembers. "It can also refer to the sound of innovation or an open mind. Like the 'ting' you hear when you get an idea."

Jules also loved the idea of becoming The Ting Tings. The name had two Tings "and there were two of us."

"I couldn't play an instrument," Katie freely admits, "so I picked his guitar up and played a D chord for about four hours just learning rhythm and I put my finger on the wrong string and made this weird chord which eventually turned into "Great DJ," our first pop song.

Katie and Jules launched The Ting Tings' discography with a limited edition vinyl single of a song called "That's Not My Name" with "Great DJ" appearing on Jules' favorite part of a single, the B-side. After pressing 500 copies of the record, "because that's all we could afford," the initial run of Great DJ sold out completely.

In April 2008, Apple began running an iPod iTunes commercial featuring silhouetted dancers grooving to The Ting Tings' track "Shut Up and Let Me Go." The British duo were instantly recognisable, scoring several Top Ten singles. "It happened really quickly and really unexpectedly," says Katie.

Jules has a unique synthesis of percussion and electronic, and there is an intuitive chemistry between the pair. "It's not like a backing track," says Katie. "It gives you total live control. It's really quite free how we can perform."

Jules agrees with Katie's assessment of the Ting Tings' intuitive process. "We can create loads of different layers of music," he says. "It's a wonderful way to work."

"We didn't expect this to happen," says Katie. "I think that's why it worked. Because we were so carefree we just made the music for us, not for anybody else. We just wrote songs that we loved."

"What's wonderful about the Ting Tings," adds Jules, "is every step of ladder that we climb is a new experience."

The Ting Tings decided to leave Britain behind to record their follow up album. The pair left their life in Manchester and moved to Berlin in order to focus on their songwriting.

Katie and Jules wrote, recorded and produced their latest album in the disused basement of a Berlin jazz club that they turned into a studio. Jules said, “Our time in Berlin was a fresh start, with no rules again. When you’ve had an album that’s been successful, the danger is you go back in the studio, look back and try and emulate it.”

Katie added, “It’d be so lazy and easy to make the same album twice.”

This summer, The Ting Tings have kept shows to a minimum and previews of new material have been rare.

Tricks and rumours persist about The Ting Tings' new album, including reports earlier this year that the album was to be named Kunst. “Just round the corner to our studio there’s a massage parlour, it’s called 'Massage Kunst',” Jules explained to NME. “It’s Massage Art, basically ("kunst" is German for "art"). We took a picture of that and sent it to our label, saying this is the title of the album. They went berserk.”

The Stratford duo have teamed up with Calvin Harris to mix their comeback single "Hands". Calvin famously remixed other singles of theirs, including "Great DJ".

"Help" joins "Hands" amongst the tracks set for the final tracklisting of their second album, which is also reported to be scheduled for release this October.

This fall will be time for us all to take a break from work and take a listen to the treat The Ting Tings have waiting for us.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 September 2010 18:34
 

Newsflash Archive

BBC News reports that singer Pete Doherty has been charged with one count of possession of cocaine following an inquiry into the death of a documentary filmmaker.

Robin Whitehead, 27, a member of the Goldsmith family who was working on a documentary on the singer, was found dead in a flat in Hackney in January after a suspected overdose, and Doherty was arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs. He has now been charged with possession and remains on bail.

"The charges relate to an offence alleged to have taken place between 21 and 25 January," a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

The 31-year-old Babyshambles frontman was one of four people questioned following Ms Whitehead's death from a suspected overdose.

Robin Whitehead, the granddaughter of the late Teddy Goldsmith, elder brother of the financier Sir James Goldsmith and founding editor and publisher of The Ecologist, was making a documentary, "The Road to Albion" on Mr Doherty's former band The Libertines. Miss Whitehead was found dead in January in Hackney, London.

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