Davina Earl

13:21 8th August 2006

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The Rapture

Luke Jenner, of shrieky Rapture fame, answers Gigwise in a very small voice. A voice which sounds like it comes from a tiny head or Moby talking into a milk bottle. It’s quite unlike the bark which summoned so many a Converse-encased foot to pound the dance floor to ‘House of Jealous Lovers’ and wholly disparate from the coiled frontman we see on stage. Phone interviews are hard to negotiate at the best of times, and wrong-footed by this sheepish bleat, Gigwise attempts to fill in the blanks.

Asking what he’s been doing in the three years since the release of debut album, ‘Echoes,’ Teller accordingly fills us in on the ‘bigger picture.’ The bigger picture being that he’s spent the last five years reclining into domestic married bliss, and producing his first offspring.  As is customary in these situations, Gigwise gamely asks the name of Teller’s new piglet-fleshed cherub, to which he replies ‘Vincent.’ Now, correct us if we’re wrong, but Vincent is not a coo-inducing name. And at this moment in time, the only other we can conjure up is Villain. Not wishing to sully the fruit of Luke’s loins – we can do nothing but ask accusingly, “why?” Luke explains: “Oh I let my wife decide, she had really strong feelings about the name, like from the age of ten.”

Baby talk complete, we ask what brings the New York quartet to a sweaty, heat-stricken Britain. Luke explains they’ve been to Belfast to play C4’s Transmission show. On enquiry he quietly states, “yeah it was fun…but we were really nervous. It was okay though, because we got to play the song twice, and the second time it was alright.” “Why were you nervous?” we ask, visions abound of Laverne pressing a gun against his tiny temples and threatening him to sing better second-time round. “Well have you ever been on TV?” he asks, “Er, no” I confirm. “Well then.”

Gigwise feels the pungent pang of patriotism coming on. “What do you like - or dislike - about Britain?” we ask smugly, chuckling at the superfluity of the ‘dislike’ clause. Rather too quickly Teller points out what a very expensive nation we are: “I don’t like how everything here costs the same in pounds as it would in dollars in New York.” In case we haven’t got that, he reiterates, “that’s one and a half times more expensive than America.” “And what do you like?” we counter, expecting to hear the familiar blather of great crowds and brilliant reception. “Well, I’ve made peace with the food,” he muses thoughtfully, “I’ve been eating a lot of curries. And English breakfasts; I like them.” Sweet-talking bastard.

Looking to the future, we ask if impending album number 2, ‘Pieces of the People We Love,’ is actually going to be “pretty much the album of the century,” as claimed by band-mate Gabriel S Andruzzi. Teller chuckles gently, “oh he said that to entertain himself. Our sense of humour gets lost on a lot of people…[not us, we’re British goddamnit] We like the album, so we can’t complain there, and that’s all that matters really.” With a clutch of weighty producers behind it; Paul Epworth, Ewan Pearson, Danger Mouse – the band’s confidence is understandable. We ask why three such production stalwarts offered to apply their knob-twiddling alchemy: “Well we knew Paul well before he did anything you would have heard of” Luke recounts matter-of-factly. “He was our sound engineer years ago and was waiting at the plane when we first ever came to England… We finished all the songs then sent them out to the producers. Danger Mouse produced two out of the ten tracks. When he heard them he just had a really interesting, exciting take that we hadn’t heard in them before.”

We next probe Jenner on his own taste in music. We doubt we’ll get a rise from this gentle character, but give it a crack anyway, asking which of his contemporaries he thinks are shit. “I’m a very laid-back San Diego type” he confides somewhat unnecessarily, “I’m not very vengeful. I only hated other bands when I was younger and felt threatened by everyone…At the moment I like the Klaxons and the Horrors.” “The Whores?” we ask, mishearing his gooey pronunciation. “Hor-rors” he explains, “but I like the thought of ‘the Whores' - very confrontational.”

The Rapture have kept a low touring profile of late: “I’ve been very domestic for the last few years” Jenner agrees, “when I’m at home, I like to stay at home. I don’t like to go out much – unless it’s for something special like a birthday. I don’t miss the actual touring much, touring pretty much means travelling and airports. The travelling bit I can take or leave: but I miss the playing in front of people bit.” Good thing, then, that the Rapture are returning to our shores on October 8 for an 8 date stint.

With that, Luke disappears as softly as he arrived. We don’t think he’ll be bandying us about in his new best-friend list just yet, but what the hell. We’ve learnt that the bloke who punkishly caterwauls like Sting (if that’s possible), on forthcoming single, “Get Myself Into It’ is a tranquil family man who likes nothing better than a good fry-up and time at home with Vincent and the missus (good band name that). We’ll have to wait for “Pieces of the People That We Love” to do the talking.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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