Noah and The Whale are Charlie, Doug, Urby, Tom Fiddle and sometimes Laura Marling. We featured them on Platforms about a year ago and they even played a Platforms:live gig at The Luminaire. Now, they have a few great singles out on Young and Lost, a growing fan base and have sold out a nationwide tour (with the exception of Wolverhampton).
We spoke to the band just before their gig at The ICA in London. At a really unglamorous and sometimes-noisy backstage area.
Roy: So what’s next for Noah and The Whale? An Album?
Charlie: Yeah, with Young and Lost.
Roy: Is it all done?
Charlie: Yeah, all the recording is done.
Roy: Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Charlie: It’s going to be on a CD. In a case. There might be a cover. It’s about love, death and all that.
Roy: Is it funny?
Charlie: It’s hilarious.
Roy: Does it have a title?
Charlie: Doesn’t have a title yet. We’re working on one.
Roy: Can you try and summarise the tour in a rhyming couplet?
Charlie: Erm…. I don’t know… can we come back to that question later?
Charlie: Urby stained his trousers… erm…
Urby: If music be the food of love… stars up above… I don’t know. I was going for a classical reference.
Charlie: What’s the story, morning glory. There you go.
Roy: What’s the Noah and The Whale song you are most proud of? Your greatest accomplishment?
Charlie: I guess it’s probably a track of ours called Peaceful The World Lays Me Down. That’s probably my favourite.
Roy: Does everyone agree?
Urby: It’s a landmark.
Tom: I agree but I’m not sure it’s our best. Maybe Give A Little Love?
Roy: What Noah and The Whale song are you most ashamed of?
Charlie: Oh. What’s The Story, Morning Glory probably.
Roy: What new music are you excited about?
Charlie:: Laura Marling, she’s really good.
Roy: Yeah, but something really new.
Urby: How can you get newer than Laura? her album’s only been out 3 days.
Charlei: Johnny Flynn, King Charles is one to watch, Planet Earth is very fresh, he’s a talented Mancunian.
Roy: How about poetry? Do you have a favourite poet?
Charlie: I do like John Donne, a lot. Probably Shakespeare and stuff.
Roy: Do you steal lines from poetry?
Doug: No, but we can definitely be inspired by it. Some of the music we listen to is poetical anyway. Obviously, Bob Dylan is a major influence.
Roy: What’s your favourite Dylan record?
Doug: Record or track?
Doug: Highway 61 is pretty fab or Blonde On Blonde.
Urby: Blood on The Tracks, but now we’re just listing albums.
Roy: We remember the 60’s for the Hippy movement. 70’s is Disco. How do you think we’ll remember the naughties?
Urby: Not by calling them the naughties.
Charlie: Well behaved rock stars, probably. World war 3. Playstation 4.
Doug: The Wii.
Roy: Does any of you have a Wii?
Laura: I want one soo bad.
Roy: It’s really good. Golf is a lot of fun.
Charlie: I want to play boxing.
Roy: Boxing is a little weird.
Urby: How does boxing work? Do you have any physical advantage, if you are fitter than your neighbour?
Roy: You just punch the air as fast as you can. Will all your music videos be shot on Super 8?
Charlie: The next one is going to be very different. We are potentially entering the world of stop frame animation.
Roy: Are you influenced by visual arts at all?
Charlie: Movies. I love movies. I prefer movies to music.
Roy: What are your three favourite films of the past year?
Charlie: I thought about this long and hard. Darjeling Limited, La Vie en Rose and this is my wild card - Into The Wild. It’s directed by Sean Penn.
Doug: Sean Penn!?!!?
Urby: He’s one of the greatest actors of his generation.
Charlie: Oh yeah and The Counterfeiters maybe.
Roy: What film would you like to have written the soundtrack to?
[We played our version of Balderdash where we give the band fake words they need to make up definitions for. Unfortunately, someone decided to sing very loudly in the corridor and the band’s definitions are incomprehensible.]
Charlie: I’ve got a game you should play in interviews. You give the interviewee an animal and they need to tell you what two animals that animal is made of. So for example a guinea pig would be a mouse and a panda.
Roy: Let’s play it. What’s a whale made of?
Charlie: This gets difficult because you get to the very boundaries of what animals are.
Doug: Elephant and penguin?
Charlie: There has to be a fish. Elephant and Trout. We’ll go with Elephant and trout.
Roy: Cool. How about an owl?
Charlie: Koala and Eagle.
Charlie: I’ve got one for you… guess what a giraffe is made of?
Roy: A deer and a tiger?
Charlie: The right answer is a horse and a snake.
Urby: What are your favourite bands of 2007?
Roy: Noah and The Whale, Peggy Sue and The Pirates, Alessi.
Charlie: Have you heard of Joanna Newsom out of interest?
Charlie: You should check out Laura Groves.
Roy: Yeah, she’s awesome. Bat For Lashes, though she’s more 2006.
Charlie: I’ve never heard her music, she looks really cool though.
Roy: She’s great. Feist… who would win in a fight between Noah and The Whale boys?
Charlie: We are very peaceful. We would all lose, everyone loses in a fight.
Roy: How about between Laura and Emmy The Great?
Roy: Could you please draw us some self portraits?
Roy: If you could grow any type of facial hair what would it be?
Charlie: Probably a 30’s style mustache, like a really thin one. Laura, if you could grow any type of facial hair what would it be?
Laura: I don’t want any facial hair.
Roy is the editor and founder of Platforms Magazine.
Laura is Platforms Magazine’s fashion editor..