Exposure: White Denim
- Malcolm Jack
- 21 November 2008
White Denim - Mess Your Hair Up
Austin, Texas’s bluesy, psychedelic garage trio White Denim released one of the true noisy gems of 2008 in their riotous, twisted, brilliant and totally beguiling debut album Workout Holiday. Singer and guitarist James Petralli talks turkey ahead of the band’s second show in Scotland.
You thrilled a packed, sweaty Captains Rest last time you were in Glasgow. How was it for you?
Yeah, that was awesome. I love playing shows like that – it’s good to play really small venues. I really prefer that to playing big festival stages and stuff. I think our music is much more suited to that type of environment.
The songs from Workout Holiday sound very different live, with two or three sometimes being threaded together into one. Why so?
Some of the sequeways are intentional, but some of the tunes just naturally go into one another. We started doing it basically to squeeze as much as we can into a small set. Now we’re playing slightly larger venues, we get a slightly longer set time, and since we’ve got so comfortable squeezing, like, 18 tunes into 50 minutes, we’ve got to try and pace ourselves now to fill the hour.
Jimi Hendrix is clearly a big influence on your playing and singing, which is fairly rare to hear these days. Why do you think that is?
I guess it’s just because most people discover Hendrix when they’re a lot younger, and they just feel like they graduate from Hendrix, you know? By the time I was discovering John Coltrane I felt I was on a more advanced level than those kind of classic rock guys. But I’ve found that it’s just all music – it’s that simple. If it’s good, it stands up.
Your second album is due in the spring. What can you tell us about it?
Some of it’s really smooth, like Steely Dan (laughs). The label’s going to hear it for the first time in a couple of weeks, so we’re really excited to find out what they think about it. We might have to hit the drawing board again, but hopefully not. It’s definitely different, but we’re really excited about it.
Stereo, Glasgow, Mon Nov 24
Workout Holiday (Full Time Hobby) is out now.