are a female-fronted indiepop band from Cardiff, composed of Liz (main
singer and keyboard player), Rosie (acoustic guitar and backing
vocals), Steph (violin), Josh (drums), Ryan (bass), Ceri (electric
guitar and backing vocals) and Filmryan (glockenspiel and percussion).
Interview with Liz Hunt singer
of The School :
Combining such influences as indie-pop and the brightest shimmering
60's productions, THE SCHOOL's style is a Brit version of sunshine pop
with moments of light and shadow, the kind of infectious, hyper-melodic
pop you can simultaneously cry and dance to. Sophisticated, happy
songs, with a little melancholy thrown in them, inspired by THE BEACH
BOYS & THE BEATLES.
Compared to current bands like BELLE &
SEBASTIAN, SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME, CAMERA OBSCURA, and THE
BRUNETTES, they signed with legendary Spanish label Elefant Records in
the summer of 2007. Since then, their live concert experience has
grown: in october they toured all over the UK along with THE LOVES. But
before this extensive UK tour, in september the band entered the
recording studio with engineer/producer Ian Catt (SAINT ETIENNE, STARS,
THE FIELD MICE, SHAMPOO, NOSOTRÄSH) in order to record their debut
album which will be released in Jan/Feb 2010.
S: When and how was The School
The School were formed in 2007 by me as a side project to my
previous band The Loves, but The School quickly became the focus of my
efforts. Previously I was playing keyboard and singing backing vocals,
but now I'm writing all the songs, playing keyboards and singing lead,
allowing my girlgroup tendencies to come out more.
S: Where is the name of the
band coming from?
It's just from us being a collective of so many people, we're usually
about 8-9 when playing as the full band, with lots of great influences
coming from different places. Also I thought the name would look good
on an album or a t-shirt.
S: How and when did all begin
I've been musical from as long as I can remember, brought up in a
household that always listened to music, especially 60's and the 80's
pop of the time, which seems to have given me an ear for classic pop
songs. Then I studied classical piano up to university level, and
taught piano to children for about 8 years.
S: What are the positive and
negative sides of being a musician in UK?
The UK is really strange about our type of music, they don't seem to
catch on to indiepop as much as other countries, we're not very well
known at all over here, the press seem to always be looking for the
next teen icons like The Libertines or an experimental breakthrough
like Animal Collective. A lot of bands from the US do quite well, on
labels like Slumberland, but it's frustrating seeing other bands not
being championed in their home country, or taking 10 years to get the
recognition they deserve. Positives? Hmm, the very small indiepop scene
that there is here is really welcoming and devoted, festivals like
IndieTracks make it all worth it.
S: Do you feel anxious before a
Yes very much so. Most of it is excitement to just be playing live, I
still get a thrill out of every single show we play and don't see that
ending any time soon. But there's also a side of me thinking 'why are
you coming to see us?' and 'why have you put in all this effort to put
us on?' but that all goes away when people react to the songs, it's so
S: What musicians or artists had
an influence in your life and in your work?
Ellie Greenwich, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Phil Spector, The Beatles,
an endless list of 60's girl groups, and many of today's sounds like
She and Him, Vivian Girls, The Carrots and Lucky Soul.
S: Do you remember what was the
first CD you bought?
No I can't actually! Haven't got a clue. My first few records were Jive
Bunny, Kylie Minogue and Blondie, I bought lots of records from car
boot sales when I was 8-10 years old.
S: Do you think the emotion is
different between a song in English and in another language?
Yes very much so, I listen to a lot of French music and don't think I'd
ever be able to recreate some of the feelings I get from it. I also
like a lot of Spanish pop which is always so happy! There's nothing I
know in English that sounds like Spanish pop.
S: How could you define the
music of The School?
I always say it's music to make you dance and cry at the same time. Our
songs are very simple, they're mostly about love and sunshine,
boyfriends and girlfriends, make-ups and break-ups.
S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo
who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?
Yes I do, I seem to thrive on being melancholic, I write much better
songs. Our music often sounds very happy, but if you listen to the
lyrics they're usually quite sad.
S: When you write a song you
follow your heart, your brain or your hand?
A little bit of everything really, it starts off with the heart setting
the emotion and general themes of the song, then the brain puts it into
some kind of order!
S: What is your favourite song
of The School and why?
At the moment it's 'Is He Really Coming Home?' which is a very simple
dreamy song from our album, I always favourite our newer songs. I like
the arrangements, lyrics and sense of longing.
S: As musician, what is your
feeling about Internet?
We love the internet, we're all addicted! It has certainly been very
useful for getting the band known, especially in other countries,
faster than we could have ever expected. We're a little scared about
the future of the internet, a lot of unknown territory, especially with
the current download debate. Whatever happens, we will need to adapt to
S: You toured this year with
brilliant The Boy Least Likely To, how was this experience?
When I started the band I was watching The Boy Least Likely To from the
front row when they released their first album, and 2 years later we
were on stage supporting them. It's unbelievable, and more than I could
have ever dreamt of. They are lovely people, so supportive, and I hope
we won some of their fans over too. It was over too quickly, so I hope
we can play together again very soon.
S: "You don't believe in love"
or "you're ready to be heartbroken"?
Ahaha, I'm ready to believe in love then have my heartbroken.
S: Can you describe what is a
typical The School's day?
Work, internet, maybe try out some new songs or singing practice! We'll
be a lot busier leading up to the album, from January onwards..
S: What are your hobbies aside
Going to gigs, listening to lots of new music, watching films. We also
put on bands in Cardiff for a night called Loose, we've brought some
amazing people to Wales including Daniel Johnston, Of Montreal, Apples
in Stereo, then lots of lesser known indiepop from overseas like
Speedmarket Avenue, Pelle Carlberg, The Motifs and Still Flyin'.
you venturesome person?
Yes! Probably too much so.
S: Where would you like to play
in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?
I want to play everywhere. I'm not sure what Ryan our bassist would say
about that, he's afraid of flying. If he could, he'd get a bus
everywhere. I'd love to play Japan, the US and all over Europe -
there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?
Getting stopped in the middle of it, like being hit by a bus before
we're ever able to go on tour or something, and not being able to take
the rest of by band members across the world to play. Losing my
S: What is the best moment and
best place to listen to your music?
: On a
dancefloor or in a bedroom. Maybe if you're a little down?
our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say
some words about them?
The Manics were my favourite band when I was about 16-17 in college, I
knew every word and every tune! I think my favourite album is The Holy
Bible. It's an honour that they're from Wales. The DJ Huw Stephens once
played us on his show and James Dean Bradfield was also in the studio
with him, he said our single 'All I Wanna Do' sounded like Tracy Ullman
and seemed to like it. So I think for one brief moment he knew who we
know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep
just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?
Spector's Christmas Album. That would cheer me up any time if I had to
lose the rest of my collection.
S: What was the last song you
listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be
Rollins Don't Dance" by Allo, Darlin'. We're hopefully going to
be playing some shows with them for our tour next year. Next one will
probably be a band asking to play for us in Cardiff, so hopefully
they'll be someone we like!
S: Can you tell us the name of
one French song, or singer, or band?
& Clyde by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot
S: And say something in French?
S: What are your plans for the
We're playing some UK show in November to warm up for when the album
comes out in February. Then we'll be touring from mid-March, playing
the UK, Spain, maybe a couple of dates in France, Germany and Italy.
S: And finally, what’s
the most important thing in life for you?
: To live
and to love
MANY thanks to Liz and The School for the interview!
More informations about The School:
- on their site:
- on their Myspace: