La Folie
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La Folie

Barnsley, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Barnsley, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock

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"La Folie Album Release"


City record company goes DIY to beat the recession

Published Date: 27 February 2009
By Rachael Clegg

SWITCH on the news at the moment and the chances are there'll be a story about a business closing down.
But as shops are shutting left, right and centre, there is new life spawning: the DIY record label.

Sheffield's own Tufty Records, which started last year, aims to boycott the conventional method of signing a band, putting out a single and plugging it to national daytime radio.

Sitting in Lynne's Pantry on Surrey Street, label boss Paul Tuffs describes the label as "straight up and real". Tufty's sticking to home-grown production, promotion and distribution.

Tuff says: "The traditional model of a manager making a demo with a band and sending it to major labels is falling down. There are a lot of bands who are dropped after the first album or have had the album recorded but the label haven't released it."

His philosophy is put more succinctly on Tufty Records' MySpace page: "We are not interested in the mainstream derivative shite that is shovelled down our throats mercilessly these days. We do not envisage our artists being play listed on commercial radio or appearing on kids' TV."

Indeed, Tufty has been loyal to its ethos, signing the bizarre, edgy La Folie, whose music is more likely to feature in a child's nightmare than a kiddies' TV programme. The band – all from South Yorkshire – release their debut, Risus Sardonicus, on Tufty in April.

Frontman Nick Booth joins us and explains the thinking behind the album.

"The title takes its name from the bizarre condition symptomatic of tetanus, where sufferers have spasms in facial muscles that produce an evil-like grin."

"The title's a bit like us as a band – dark but quite humorous as well," says Booth.

Songs such as Count Duckula evoke the band's risus sardonicus-like musical condition. With menacing swirling organ and desperate-sounding vocals, there's a dark, fairground quality to the track.

Plastic Parade – equally as dark – was inspired by a trip to Euro Disney: "I was in Euro Disney thinking how it is a microcosm of marketing," says Booth, who writes the band's lyrics.

"The title also relates to the music industry," says Tuffs, "You get hyped-up celebrities who are packaged to sell papers."

Once finished, Risus Sardonicus will have eleven or twelve tracks: "We are umming and arring over whether to include the twelfth track."

In recordings La Folie's instrumentation includes tuba, trombone and glockenspiel – thanks to contributions from a band member's dad. But live the band play bass, guitar and drums: "We don't have enough hands for the other instruments when we perform live," says Booth.

The session musicians come cheap, laughs Tuffs: "They're happy with a can of Stella, a free CD and a guarantee that if the band make it they can play live on Jools Holland."

"A lot of the stuff we do depends on favours from people, and if we can do something to help somebody else they will do something back. Sheffield's good for that, bands like to help each other out.

"It's a bit like karma – if you're sound with someone they'll be sound back."

Tuffs first met Booth "on the floor of a club," he laughs.

"Musically La Folie weren't very good at the time but they had a hard-working attitude.

"A lot of bands are technically great but they don't have that all-or-nothing attitude. Some have a back-up plan or already have careers as doctors."

"We don't even have a plan B," laughs Booth.

La Folie have been together about three-and-a-half years. The band played under the name of White Lies for the bulk of their musical career but had to change the name once the now-successful pop outfit White Lies came along.

Booth took the name from the abundance of Burlesque clubs in Paris called La Folie. "It means the lunacy in French – and it's also a Stranglers song," says Booth.

As for the album title, Booth gives a warning: "Don't type Risus Sardonicus into Google Images, it's really disturbing."

I'm definitely having another tetanus jab.

La Folie play at The Harley on Monday March 9. - Telegraph


"N.M.S. Interview"

La Folie interview with New Music Scene UK

La Folie
interview by Shane M Spencer

Q) The literal translation of "La Folie" is The Madness, is there any signifance to the name?

Theres a burlesque house in the pigalle area in paris that goes by the name of "La Folie". Me (Nick) and jacko found out our mum used to work there as a go-go dancer for a few years back in the day under the monicker of Tup Tup La-fonze. Once we stopped being violently sick at the prospect we thought it was actually kinda cool. So it was either "Tup Tup La-Fonze" or "La Folie"...


Q) What does it mean to be part of La Folie, what are you trying to do as a band?

It means chronic liver pains the morning after any band practise or gig. It means depression. It means elation. It means we can all have an excuse to justify the space we take up. Musically, all we really try to do is create something unique, and that in one way or another makes us smile. Theres a lot of subtle (or perhaps not so...) humour in what we do but its about finding a happy medium between that and the more dark music (the doors, muse) that we were essentially influenced by in the first place.


Q) To precede the album launched you've released the single

"Interlopers", what is the meaning behind it's vivid lyrics?

Take it one line at a time and fill in the crossword puzzle for yourself, if you like.


Q) You're debut album "Risus Sardonicus" is due out in June what can you tell us about it?

When a person dies of tetanus (or strychnine poisoning), in their death throes their facial muscles contort into a sardonic smile. That is known as Risus Sardonicus, and we like to think it sums up what we try to do. The album is the sum of the past four years for us, the result of our experiments with different timings and instruments. Theres a few tracks on there that we've had in our artillery since early on, some that had only been written the month before recording so it shows our stages of progression. And it has trumpets on it.

Q) Where did you record the album and what was the experience like?

We recorded the album at Axis studios in Sheffield with Mike Timm, a man who despite our efforts would never return our affections or give us the hug we so desperately craved. We showered him with gifts and everything. Dont get me wrong, we got on well, but sometimes its nice to feel the warmth of a mans breast against your own. The experience was great and we got to watch the album pulsate and evolve in front our eyes. And it has trumpets on it. And a tuba.


Q) Nick's artwork appears as the covers for both the album and single and a number of flyers. Do you see it as an integral part of La Folie?

Id like to think so. I suppose the artwork becomes the recognisable brand which is a neccessity when trying to seperate yourself from the rest of the herd. Originally id just do the flyers myself for lack of budget or the ability to trust anybody else to do it for us,. Actually thats still why i do it. Except Phlegm, who, sorry to ruin your line of enquiry, has designed our most excellent album cover for us. That man is a genius. With trumpets.


Q) What have been the highlights for you as a band?

Not so sure about highlights, there have been a few, but the most memorable point was when we played at the agricultural university in shropshire. Kind of a highlight and a low point. They told us to play covers in return for a riduculously large fee so we thought hey why not... we'll suck satans dick just this once. We got there, found the setlist from the previous week's band with such classics as "Cotton eye Joe" and "i would walk 500 miles" (a set comprised entirely of covers of this kind) and proceeded to play our usual set with the addition of "Holiday Song" by the pixies and our own take of screaming jay hawkins' version of "I put a spell on you". Needless to say we did not get paid and had to be escorted from the premises for our own safety. Kind of a kick in the teeth and a great compliment given the crowd... and it served us right for putting money above music!



Q) Any plans/aspirations for the future?

We have the album launch on June 8th at the forum, followed (and preceded) by as much plugging and playing as possible. We've already started writing songs for our second album so i guess we're just going to keep letting the music evolve and see where it takes us. We dont want to get stuck in a formula-driven rut just because we've found something that seems to work. And we WILL get that hug from Mike Timm. With trumpets.

Risus Sardonicus

- e.map & Online


"Tramlines Festival Review"



(La Folie)played the Tramlines festival, not once, but twice and caused quite a stir...

Saturday open air gig outside The Grapes, recorded for BBC Radio -

La Folie performed a unique acoustic set to a packed out rear terrace and yard (200 plus people). Originally planned as a short set with guitars only, bassist Mannie wasn't to be left out. He managed to get his hands on an upright double bass (he'd never played one before) and learnt the set on it in only 3 days! Drummer Danny also joined the party with a stripped down kit and beaters rather than his usual sticks.

"Something that was unexpected and very special..." Iain Hodgson -BBC

"One of the highlights of the weekend had to be the La Folie acoustic gig at The Grapes..." Sean Bruce -Journalist/Promoter

Listen to highlights of it on BBC i-player http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p003v8c8/Raw_Talent_30_07_2009/ (Its about 12 mins. from the end of the show)


Sunday festival closing party at the Frog and Parrot, also recorded for BBC Radio -

After Reverend and the Makers finished the main stage, the finale of the festival took place inside the intimate Frog and Parrot. The La Folie crew was out in force and word had spread to the main arena that yesterdays acoustic heroes were gonna end the festival plugged in, amps set to 11 style! The pub was literally rammed, with most forced to peer in from the street outside.

The atmosphere was electric and the band rocked it big style. Crowd surfing was rife (it was the only way people at the back could see!) It was an excellent end to a great weekend for the city of Sheffield. Tramlines was awesome, top festival!

"I've heard a lot about those guys this weekend" Steve Lamacq -BBC

"Best f**kin' gig I've seen all year!" Chris McClure (aka. king of the crowd surfers) -The Violet May

- BBC Online


"BBC Radio 5 Interview/Discussion"

Radio 5 Live Interview

Last week La Folie were asked to voice their opinions on the current state of the music industry and the art of making great albums. Bassist Mannie took part in a Radio 5 Live debate with NME/uncut writer Mark Beaumont.

The podcast is available on bbc radio 5 (it starts at about 1 hour 41 mins in)
- BBC Online


Discography

We have released our debut LP 'Risus Sardonicus' in June of this year. This was preceded by a release of our debut single 'Interlopers'. We will be releasing our next single 'Apples' in the next few months with an accompanying video, That can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPx8UxIziMA
Obviously listen to our stuff on myspace.com/lafolieband or listen to NME radio and Kerrang radio as we are played pretty regularly on their unsigned shows.

Photos

Bio

Well, we're a bunch of guys that have known each other since we were at school. We've grown up together, lived together, stolen pirates together and now we make music together. Thats one of the reasons why we work so well, we know how each of us works. We all love music from early blues of John Lee Hooker to The Doors, The Sonics to Pink Floyd and Muse. We then dive headlong into a good smothering of Pixies and Sonic Youth all topped off with a dusting Psychobilly.
One thing thats always stayed true throughout is we like making the kind of music that we like. We don't try to emulate a certain genre or band, we just mix up our favourite bits and sounds of stuff we like (sometimes having to saw off a few edges here and there) and see what we end up with.
So far so good, headline slots at all the major venues in Sheffield (The Leadmill, O2 Academy 2, The Plug) and interest from all over the country now after a brilliant headline slot at Night and Day in Manchester earlier this year.