Likening your music to a beast with two heads may not be the best way to sell it to the public but that’s how the Red Snapper boys Rich Thair and Jakeone came up with the name for their second Toob album.
Three years on from their debut, ‘How To Spell Toob’, the new album ‘Push Me, Pull Me’ takes its name from a mythical creature in Doctor Doolittle with two heads – one at each end of its body – chosen because of the contradictions in their music: “organic, electronic”. So what can you can expect? “The usual live drums, deep bass, synthesizer and tomfoolery. The main differences from the last album are that (a) the production has come on leaps and bounds, and (b) that Jake has been writing the songs and singing himself with some top psychedelic soul backing vocals from Alpha’s Wendy Stubbs.”
While writing and creating the album Toob were listening to Suicide, TV On The Radio, and Compost Black Label as well as watching The Wire and Deadwood constantly. They were also working pretty separately, as Jake explains: “We spent more time apart trying out different things and I could really fine tune mixes more than if we were together. Also I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to try out vocal ideas with Rich sitting there laughing at me!” The results, far from laughable, are eclectic and electric but they don’t have one favourite child in their family of new tracks, instead preferences ebb and flow from “‘Skinbox’ for the lyrics, ‘Open The Gates’ for its afro feel, space and build, ‘Unsound Skin’ because it doesn’t sound quite like anything else we’ve heard, ‘Mr
Brown’ because it’s the first proper dub track we’ve done…” and the list goes on; we get the picture.
Collaboration has been the name of the game this time around, with Wendy Stubbs being the main addition, adding psychedelic gospel harmonies to proceedings and a track – ‘Pirate Teeth’ – written by Tim Simenon (Bomb The Bass): “Working with Wendy is great - she’s really professional, adaptable and easy to be with in the studio. She can do the really breathy, sexy thing as well as a huge, belting Janis Joplin type thing. We don’t know many vocalists who have that much range.”
“With Tim it was really easy as well. He’s a like-minded person. He got in touch over MySpace to say he liked our stuff and it went from there. We share a lot of common ground musically and the parts he sent over for ‘Pirate Teeth’ we loved because of the depth and soundtrack-like space. It went really well and so we also collaborated on a track for his album.”
Deep Bass, Synthesizers and Tomfoolery
Red Snapper hasn’t bitten the dust because of all this Toob action, quite the opposite in fact – it rose from the ashes in 2007 and the nine-track mini-album ‘A Pale Blue Dot’ is out on Lo in October, with some gigging booked in for the autumn and winter and more releases planned. Toob have also got some live shows coming up, for which they tell us to “keep an eye on MySpace for details.” While they’d also just like to say: “Thanks to all who have been supporting us. We feel loved.” Which is a damn nice way to feel, let it continue.