Ahead of the band’s slot at this month’s Good Vibes Festival 2014, we speak to vocalist Nic Offer In a sea of misbegotten band names (we’re looking at you, the now-defunct Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head), !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) takes the cake as the most peculiar moniker around. Since forming in the late ’90s in Sacramento, the sextet has become synonymous with sprawling, offbeat dance-funk in such irreverently named epics as ‘Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard’. Ahead of the band’s slot at this month’s Good Vibes Festival 2014, we speak to vocalist Nic Offer about absurd track titles and his lack of interest in making a country album. How did you settle on your band name? When we were starting out, we really felt like we were creating a new kind of music and we wanted a name that separated us from other bands, to say that this is a different kind of band. We were just sitting on the porch throwing out ideas when we came across the Bushmen language used in the movie ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ [the clicking sounds were represented in the subtitles as ‘!’]. It seemed original and like nobody else. So we thought, ‘How about that?’ Do movies also inspire your whacky track titles, like ‘Jamie, My Intentions are Bass’ and ‘Even Judas Gave Jesus a Kiss’? Track titles can come from anywhere. I always like to think about song titles. Even simple titles like The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ are cool, you know. I always like the song to have a cool title even if it’s simple. Your earl
We speak to Nick Littlemore, one half of the duo behind dance floor hits like ‘Alive’ and ‘We are the People’ Sydney electro-pop pair Empire of the Sun is synonymous with a highly visual, flamboyant approach (makeup, costumes, you name it) and their 2008 debut LP, ‘Walking on a Dream’, that proved to be a runaway success. We spoke to Nick Littlemore, one half of the duo behind dance floor hits like ‘Alive’ and ‘We are the People’. Since Empire of the Sun went on hiatus, you’ve been living in London. How did that happen? Well, let’s see. On May 6 2008, I had lunch with James, my brother, at about 6pm. We were walking down the street from Woollahra to Paddington [in Sydney] when he turned to me and asked, ‘What are you going to do tomorrow?’ I said, ‘Well, James, I am going to London.’ Sure enough, when the next day came, I got on a plane and went to London. I resumed my life as it was but in London instead. I don’t remember everything that has happened in the past five years, but I tend to work every day. Let’s talk about your new album. It has a very positive, almost uplifting vibe to it. Do you feel the same way? We wanted to do something that’s cleaner and more deliberate. I think people aren’t interested in a wicked man scenario where you’re inciting some kind of wickedness or witchery. I don’t want to call ourselves good witches, but there’s certainly an alchemic quality to the record. It is part of what we do; it is the way we search and define things.