White Rose Movement - 'Girls In The Back' Video
The Rakes endorsed, White Rose Movement, have their debut album 'Kick' released on April 17 through Independiente. The album is produced by Paul Epstein (he of Maximo Park and countless others album producing fame) and contains the previous singles 'Love Is A Number' and 'Alsatian' as well as the new single 'Girls In The Back' (released April 3).
The video for 'Girls In The Back' can be viewed by clicking the links below:
Windows Media Player - Broadband / Dial-up
Real Player - Broadband / Dial-up
The band talk about how they formed:
“We used to have white paint on our hands all the time,” says White Rose Movement vocalist Finn Vine. “And people thought it was this clique-y band thing where we’d dip out fingers in white paint.” People couldn’t have been more wrong: the reason Finn and the other members of the band used to have paint-splattered hands wasn’t a fashion statement, it was because they were painting walls all day. “Yeah,” continues guitarist Jasper Milton. “We were a painting and decorating team for a while. That’s how we kept the band going. We grafted all the time in between rehearsals. We finally managed to give it up last year when we got signed to Independiente.”
The decorating world’s loss is music’s gain: White Rose Movement – Jasper Milton (guitar), Finn Vine (vocals/guitar), Taxxi (keyboards), Owen Dyke (bass) and Ed Harper (drums) – are a panacea for the umpteenth wave of angular guitar bands. Their debut album, produced by Paul Epworth, fuses electronics and guitars with consummate skill. First single, 'Love Is A Number', is a feral blast of percussive synths, twangy bass, mechanised guitars and Finn’s distinctive, soaring vocals. A measure of its hard-to-categorise appeal is the fact that it’s been played both at taste making London club Trash and on Kerrang! radio. The rest of the album is just as difficult to pin down. One minute White Rose Movement are showing New York a thing or two about disco punk with the jaunty bassline and nimble pop chorus of 'Girls In The Back', the next they’re out rocking all comers with the dark, aggressive thrash of 'Alsation'. It’s a unique sound that has thus far earned them support slots with The Rakes, The Kills and Soulwax.
White Rose Movement’s free spirit approach to making music is probably a result of two factors: they used to run a club, Dazzle! in an old S&M venue in London’s East end – M.I.A. and Chris Cunningham have played there; and four members of the band – Jasper, Finn, Owen and Ed – spent their childhood on a hippy commune.
“It was quite a strange set-up,” explains Finn. “We all grew up in a commune in a little village in Norfolk. It was teaming with adolescents, punks, waifs and strays and people in bands. Beth Orton lived there for a bit when she was 15. Owen and I both lived there and have been best mates since we were two; Jasper was one of my brother’s mates; and Ed used to come to parties there when we were all kids. When I was 8 or 9 I was always hanging round young people in bands, listening to what they were listening to and watching them getting blitzed. There were other characters there as well, like this old bohemian woman who lived in this gypsy wagon at the bottom of the garden. She used to hang out with Dylan Thomas, Henry Miller and Giacometti. She was my babysitter when everyone else went out to parties.
The locals thought we were The Adams Family. Once, for two months, we were under surveillance – the milkman was an undercover policeman – because we had this armed robber living with us. They raided the house. They caught him and he got 17 years. All the locals thought we had IRA connections and stuff, which, of course, was rubbish.”
When the commune eventually dissolved, Finn and Jasper moved to London and started a band, called Arturo, with another friend from Norfolk. “We got signed after two gigs and bought loads of equipment,” says Jasper. “We then spent a year working out how to use it. I don’t think we were really ready. It sounded like not-fully-formed version of what we’re doing now.” Arturo might not have been the finished article, but they were drawing on similar influences as White Rose Movement – ’80s bands like DAF, Depeche Mode and The Sound. Now those influences are de rigueur, and Jasper feels vindicated that the world has come round to his way of thinking.
Finn and Jasper went on to form White Rose Movement – the band is named after student seditionaries in Nazi era Germany – with old friends Ed and Owen, but the band was only complete with the addition of Erica, aka Taxxi. They met her at Trash. “Owen was going round the club asking all the pretty girls if they could play keyboards,” she remembers. “He came up to me and I said I did. I’d played the piano when I was a kid, but I guess I lied. I told them I had a Moog.
I borrowed one off this guy I know, but eventually he wanted it back. I had to phone Finn up and confess I didn’t have a Moog at all.” Erica quit St Martin’s to concentrate on the band. “I thought all the students there were quite self-indulgent. And I had a dreadful tutor. He used to say: ‘You think you’re really cool because you’re in band. You’re doing the wrong thing. You should dedicate yourself to art college.’ Then I found out he was DJing once a month on Xfm! What a hypocrite.”
That was two years ago, and the band have spent the last 12 months making the album. It’s been hard work – harder than the decorating business, in fact – but the results are definitely worth it. “There’s never been an alternative for us,” says Jasper. “It was always going to be music.”