Brighton quartet British Sea Power has been compared to a lot of bands, from Joy Division to the Pixies. If its new EP, Krankenhaus?, is any indication, the band is ready to stake a claim to a looser, louder sound that defies easy comparisons. British Sea Power played a few East Coast dates recently before heading back to England to get ready for the release of its third full-length, Do You Like Rock Music. The album will be available stateside in February and supported by an extensive American tour running through March. Vocalist Yan (the band members keep their last names to themselves) weighs in on the band’s celebrity drummer, egg bombs, and the sorry state of American beer.
How should the music of British Sea Power best be enjoyed?
On a bicycle with headphones, most definitely.
The first two songs from Do You Like Rock Music sound great. Did you make a conscious effort to be noisier?
We’ve always been a pretty noisy band, but we made a conscious decision to leave more of it on this record. We decided to just play and let mistakes get on there instead of trying to make everything perfect.
What’s the rest of the album sound like?
I think that the songs on Krankenhaus? are a good indication of how the rest of the album is going to sound. But there are lots more strange things happening on the album. We have choirs. Not professional choirs or anything, but groups of our friends that sound great. There are also some quieter songs that only use harmonium and acoustic guitar. They’re still not overly polished, but they sound a lot different than the noisier songs on the album.
How is England doing now that Beckham is stateside?
We miss him personality-wise, but he never wrote any songs for the band, so we’ve been able to cope. He’s been to see us live a few times and we’ll let him come on stage and bang around on the drums. He’s not a full-time member of the band or anything. We don’t expect to see him on tour.
Do you enjoy coming to the United States to tour?
Oh, definitely. It’s always good for a laugh to come over here and play some shows.
Been doing any bird watching?
We’ve been mostly been in New York, so it’s been pigeons. But I’m a huge fan of pigeons, so that’s just grand with me.
What do you guys eat when you’re here?
We eat a lot of pizza. I’m a vegetarian, so there are a lot of things that the other guys are eating that I’m not. Why come to the United States if you’re not going to have a steak, you know? Now that I think about it, I’ve been on kind of a run since Sunday. I’ve had fifteen eggs and the guys are getting angry about the smells polluting the van. They keep accusing me of dropping egg bombs.
Can I quote you on that?
Oh, sure. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to quote me on that one.
Do you guys drink beer?
We drink quite a lot of beer, actually.
Have you heard of Hot Hot Heat?
I wouldn’t say that I’ve heard them, but I’ve heard of them. I’m aware of their existence.
I interviewed a guy from Hot Hot Heat, and he said that American beer tasted like piss. What’s your opinion?
I don’t think it’s fair to say that American beer tastes like piss. I’d say that it tastes like shit. That’s not entirely fair. I had an IPA the other night that was quite good. I think that in general, though, English beer is of a much higher quality than American beer. For example, Harvey’s Ale is a fine product. Try it sometime.
Thanks for the recommendation. Any other advice?
[Mumbled discussion among the band] I think my drummer would actually like to take this one. He says, “Don’t shit on your own carpet.”