Indie rock/post punk band London trio White Lies, straight outta Ealing, have been playing together since they were 15 years old. Tey’re just released their fourth album and are busy touring the world to great acclaim. We spoke to Charles Cave, bass player and songwriter, about the cover design for new album Friends, playing gigs in Mexico and how much they love Te Killers.


INFORMATION White Lies play UEA on 12th March. Tickets available from ueatickets. Read the full interview online at


riends is your fourth album, which ,came out last year. Could you summarise what it’s about?

It’s a record about this quite poignant time in our lives which feels a bit like the sunset of youth finally happening. In the last year the marriages, pregnancies, divorces, moving to new countries have all ramped up amongst friends. I think this album is about coming to terms with a change in the way our relationships are going to work from now on. It’s by no means a critical view, just a consideration of that change. I wonder as a band who’ve had chart success in the past, have you found there’s been any pressure to produce a certain type of music on later albums – i.e. ‘hits’? One does always consider the idea of ‘hits’. But I’m not sure where we fit into all that. 99% of Top 40 music is fairly unlistenable, and I feel that even if White Lies wrote a Losing My Religion or an Everybody Wants To Rule Te World it wouldn’t get us any closer to a chart entry than any of our singles to date. Perhaps I’m wrong. Te chart is largely dominated by pop dance music and we don’t really have an interest


in that genre at the moment. I will say though that there is always potential for a massive ballad to clean-up. Te wonderful Adele is testimony to that. So perhaps we ought to be having a go at something along those lines. But to be honest, we just try to write ‘great songs’. And for us, most great songs that we listen to were written before the year 2000. So that is always going to slightly restrict our recordings from being super modern-sounding. What was the inspiration behind the maze design on the Friends LP cover? To be honest it just looks great. Te idea of our artwork is always “something that looks awesome”. I wanted something colourful and slightly sci-fi so found this artist who designed labels for Del Maguey Mescal bottles. Unfortunately his works that I liked weren’t available for use, so we continued down a similar avenue and the mazes came about thanks to the brilliant team at Big Active in London. Tis album campaign has taken to you to places as far afield as Russia and Mexico. How does it feel to have fans spread such a long way from home? It feels amazing. As a band, we got

ourselves out of the UK as soon as we could in the early days. We spent years solidifying a fan base worldwide, and you really can’t cut corners with that. Even bands who sell a million records in England can’t just turn up and do 2,000 tickets in Guadalajara. You need to come and do a club show to 400 first, like we’ve done. We put serious hard work in over the last eight years, and it has taken us to a brilliant vantage point. You’ve got a huge date supporting Te Killers at Hyde Park coming up over summer. What does that band mean to you? Sam’s Town came out just before we started White Lies and we all definitely played that record to death. Even now at weddings, songs from their debut like Mr Brightside are a guaranteed staple, and never fail to whip everyone up in a nostalgic warmth. Te Killers are a brilliant band of great musicians. It’s an honour to play with them. I will add, that it’s equally an honour to be sharing the stage that day with Tears For Fears!!! I’m going to wet myself.


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