Interview: Poppy and the Jezebels

FFS: First off the name, Poppy and the Jezebels, Poppy is understandable, but where does ‘the Jezebels’ come from?
Poppy and the Jezebels: It comes from a punk rock / biblical place… and therefore speaks of all things elemental…

You’ve already achieved a lot at such a young age what more can we expect from you in the next couple of months?
We’re continuing to record, rehearse and refine our traveling show… there are lots of interesting offers on the breeze at the moment, but we wouldn’t wish to break the spell by speaking too soon…

Festival season is among us, are you set to play any? And will you be attending any?
Tim Burgess of The Charlatans has said some lovely things about our records in the past, and has been given the chance to put a whole day’s bill together at this years Isle of Wight festival… so – Sunday is not to be missed – there’s us, The Horrors, and a cool band from Italy called Dance with Burgess… PLUS! We’re all excited to be on the same bill as The Fall!

Most teenagers would give their right arm to do what you’re doing, what advice would you pass onto young aspiring artists?
They’d give their right arm, but would they get out of bed in time…?!  Advice?… don’t just try to sound like whoever was in the NME this week!

Like yourselves I’m a midlander, who is your favourite artist to come out of the midlands over the past couple of years?
Past couple of years is hard… our manager is fond of declaring us the best Birmingham band since the Move…! You should check out The Silver Hares – they came from Birmingham and… gulp!… Wolverhampton, but only met up in London… they are all french pop and glam rock samples, very wired guitar and… well,  check out their Myspace! ALSO Dom recommends a singer-songwriter called Emily Churchill…

You’ve been described before as ‘classic indie pop’ how would you describe your style of music?
Indie has never been a musical term to us… some classic Pop is available on independent labels, some classic pop is available on multinational conglomerates! We’re classic Pop, and will remain so whatever the logo…

All of you have a really quirky dress sense; if the music scene hadn’t taken off would any of you gone down the fashion route?

Our interest in art and fashion stays with us and if anything our appetite for style and design only gets greater the further we go with the Jezebels.
You’ve modelled for several magazines in the past; do you think the fashion world and music world go hand in hand?
They should ALWAYS go together. Bands that have no interest in art or fashion or literature are baffling to us- from where else do you get inspiration?
Folk singer/song writer Laura Marling once got turned away from playing her own show for being under aged, have you ever had a similar experience?
Oh yes! We haven’t just been turned away from playing- we’ve been barricaded inside attics, we’ve been underestimated by promoters and soundmen alike, we’ve been banned from coming within four miles of a barcardi breezer…

It says on your MySpace you have been members since 2005, when you were 12/13 that’s pretty impressive; most teenagers that age are hanging around parks with their mates.  How did you get together?
We all met at our local comprehensive called Swanshurst… biggest girls’ school in Europe! Education and ambling round parks bored us senseless so we gravitated naturally toward music instead.
What do each of you bring to the band, you all must have different inspirations?
Mollie is the pure pop element of the band with an eye for delicious vocal melodies and thumping basslines. Dom is a brilliant pianist and gets her inspiration from Neil Young, Nick Cave and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Poppy is a slave to the Glitter beat and the synth hooks of Softcell booming out of her Dansette… Amber has a unique way of playing the guitar that keeps us forever away from the Libertines-lite, indieboy standard. Her all-time favourite song is ‘All the Young Dudes’ by Mott the Hoople…!

You’ve supported the horrors before, your music is quite different to theirs, how did their crowd react to you?
That was some time ago… Back in 2006! The Horrors may seem quite different to us in terms of mood but actually we share a lot in common- a love for Joe Meek, 60’s girl groups, psychedelia and more besides- this has become a lot more obvious with The Horrors new album ‘Primary Colours’. Anyway, it was an Underage club crowd and they’re always brilliant- fun, excited and really into the music.

Your latest single, Rhubarb and Custard, released 4th of May, has indie dance floor hit written all over it, what is the song about?
‘Rhubarb and Custard’ is a metaphor for what life on teen earth often feels like- a bittersweet swirl. You’re mixed-up and confused, with so much potential but the world dictates  that number-one priority is proving to some examiner that you’re worth something… ‘Project a film of how you’d live my life, onto me and bedsheets as I sleep…Cast the part to someone who will jump…’

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