Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness inexplicably thrust upon them by the NME . But rest assured SCREAMING BALLERINAS would not wilt under the pressure of being touted as “the next big thing”……Their Disco punk pop is just the ticket and exactly what the stale corporate indie rock scene needs right now. Screaming Ballerina look as good as they sound , and in the fabulously named Laura Trouble (or a ” Lorra Lorra Trouble” as Cilla would say) they have a singer whose crystal clear vocals manage to convey sweetness and menace in equal measure which should appeal to Indie kids and pop fans alike. A recent line up shake up has seen the addition of Anastasia Barker ( keyboards) and Ross Hammond (bass) joining Laura, Ollie Pound ( guitar) and David Flower(drums) . Their incendiary live performances are currently creating a huge industry buzz and it seems only a matter of time before they’re snapped up by a big label.
Some bands contrive to be cool, but few bands are as effortlessly cool as Screaming Ballerinas. We dispatched the effortlessly uncool Mr Von Pip to meet up with these young scamps and to ask one or “tutu”questions!
VP: How did you all meet?
OLLIE- I lose track… Laura and I met through the “Dolly Rockers Club” she ran with Eloise Define. We wanted to make a pop racket that we could dance to. The band that would be the Dolly Rockers ideal house band basically. David moved from Derby to be in the band, after Laura found him on myspace.
LAURA – David drove all the way down from Derby just to audition! My space was the middle man to how we met both him and Ross! Ross started out on keyboards then sold his keyboard to Stars(Ansastacia) when she took over! Ross is now bass player extrodinaire! I met Ollie through going out and stuff, I think it was before Dollys even started! Nambucca on Holloway Road was the culprit I reckon…which is where I met Stars too…..drinking and hugging and falling over alot!
ANASTASIA- Met Laura when she was dressed as a bunny/fluffy creature of some kind- on the dance floor of a mutual friend’s fancy dress birthday party at Nambucca a couple of years ago.. Well at least I think it was then…
DAVID- I met the band simply through asking for an audition via a bulletin I was sent on myspace! They liked what I could do and so asked me to join.
VP: Screaming Ballerinas is a great name , where did it come from ?
OLLIE- That was our mate Tara Starlet! We were talking about dance I think, not really sure – but the conversation got onto ballerinas somehow. We thought it at the same time I think – the image just popped into both our heads.
LAURA – When Ollie suggested it I was like “Don’t be fucking mad” but it is pretty genius and just suits us..
ANASTASIA- Tara Starlet came up with the name?? – didn’t know that. Love that girl.. Thanks Tara!
VP: When will you in a position to start releasing your songs for public consumption
LAURA- When we are ready for world domination you will Know! We are just exited about the new line up and getting the live thing and the songs nailed at the moment.
OLLIE- We’re already doing that I think – at the moment we just want people out there to know and love the songs. So, slowly but surely we’re getting them up on myspace for people to hear. we’re taking our time on each one, so that it doesn’t go up until we’re all happy with it. we’ done another 3 which are nearly ready – and should be up really soon.
VP : Is Indie music dead ! Has the current scene lost its ethics and become too corporate and mainstream ?
ROSS- In some ways maybe, Indie music is changing all the time anyway. What was indie in the 90’s is not the same as Indie now. We’re just trying to do something new.
LAURA- I don’t think there is a scene is there? Just loads of boring bands that sound exactly the same. Copying the Libertines or jumping on the new rave band wagon. But I don’t really care, all the more room for us….
OLLIE- What gets me is that we really don’t have stars anymore. Bowie looked like he was from another planet, and behaved like a star – you’ve got to be a bit arrogant and tread that fine line, but few people really do anymore. The Internet has made bands / people too accessible – and that weird desire that everyone has to be ‘really normal, actually’ is bollocks. What’s interesting about being normal?
ANASTACIA -I agree with Laura- the ‘Indie’ sound is ready to become a bit more adventurous. ‘Indie’ means independent- and I think some bands should take more notice of this.
DAVID- I ‘m not interested in any of it. Besides XX Teens and few other bands, I only really pay attention to metal and that’s going down the toilet too!
VP: You’ve got great tunes and you all look the part . Was your image carefully crafted or is this pretty much the way you all are ?
LAURA- I love dressing up so I would do that no matter what but luckily the rest of them are hotties anyway. Its not contrived at all…we didn’t have a meeting and discuss a ‘look’ or bring in a stylist or anything!
ROSS- It’s the way we are, we don’t dress up to rehearse or anything like that.
OLLIE – It is important that you look coordinated as a band, no matter how contrived some people might see that statement. (it should just be about the music innit?) – but thats rubbish – its about the whole package. Think about all the great bands, and whether its pronounced or not, the band has a dress code. Doesn’t have to be a uniform as such – but we tend to dress fairly similarly anyway –
ANASTACIA-Not carefully crafted at all- but Laura is definitely to thank for my new found skills of back combing my hair.
DAVID-I dress how I like, how I do everyday.
VP : What would you all say , individually , was the one song or moment in Pop that made you sit up and think “Yeah thats it thats what I want to do” and inspired you all to get into music?
LAURA- I remember watching my dads “Old Grey Whistle Test” video when I was 15 and jumping around with a TV remote control as a microphone to “Kid” by the Pretenders. Brit pop was also just this big shiny exciting world that i wanted to be a part of. Seeing Pulps video for ‘Common People’ for the first time also made me want to start a band.
ROSS- Brit pop, I saw a documentary about the Stone Roses, thought they were ridiculously cool.
OLLIE- For me it was probably Nirvana. I’d been into music hugely before – but seeing the way Kurt played guitar made me feel like I could do it as well.
ANASTACIA- For me- it’s Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins- there music is the sound track of my childhood, and I can confidently say that Thom Yorke and Billy Corgan are two of my heroes.
DAVID-Drumming was what got me into playing with bands. It was listening to “Nevermind” from the early age of ten that made me take up drums, that and being inspired by my best mate during my first year at secondary school. The funny thing is that nowadays I find Dave Grohl extremely overrated as a drummer. My heroes today would be Dave Lombardo, Vinnie Paul and the legendary Buddy Rich.
VP : Has the Internet been helpful in establishing a fan base , or is the power of the net exaggerated?
OLLIE- The nets pretty helpful with almost everything. I wonder how on earth bands promoted themselves before it at times!
ROSS-Myspace is unbelievable for plugging your band. Especially gigs, its the main form of networking for any band I would imagine. I wouldn’t be in the band if it weren’t for myspace.
DAVID- I’d say the net has certainly helped us to reach out to people. Myspace is a brilliant tool to use for checking out bands, everything you need is all on one page. It makes the need for the traditional website seem pointless now.
ANASTACIA- The Internet is so helpful to bands- it’s a way of distributing your music not only amongst your friends but around the world.
VP: Whats been your most memorable live performance so far ?
OLLIE- Bristol Academy supporting the Rakes was pretty special – the crowd was going nuts. Was amazing –
DAVID-For me it had to be our gig at the Birmingham Academy when we supported The Rakes on a few of their dates. We were confident and the crowd seemed to like it all!
LAURA- Im just excited about the next chapter. with the new line up. Its a new band really…woo-hooo
ANASTACIA-I haven’t yet played a live show with the band since joining- but I can’t wait!
VP: Whats were the first singles you all bought as youngsters ( tell the tuth ! )
ROSS- Probably something by Will Smith, “Summer Time” maybe?
OLLIE- I’m honestly not that sure… I didn’t really buy singles when I was young, more often bought albums. I know the first album I bought was Queen’s innuendo on 12 inch. The first CD I bought was Supergrass “I Should Coco.” The first cassette was probably “Nevermind.” Single though – I’m gonna say the Longpigs “Lost Myself.” I bought it from Woolworths in Stourport.
LAURA- Probably “The Bart Man “or something. Ha ha. Or the “My Little Pony” soundtrack….
ANASTACIA- Honestly.. Either a Take That single, or a SpiceGirls single. They were every little girl’s favourite band at the time :)
DAVID-The first single I ever had was Oasis’s “Do You Know What I mean?”. I had it on tape format. I couldn’t afford to buy music before that time, otherwise my answer would have been Prodigy’s “Outta Space”!!!
VP: Whats planned for the rest of 2007 ?
OLLIE- A series of breath taking gigs with our new shiny fantastic line up!
DAVID- I guess we have to write more and more and gig in and out of london. It’s still early days for us and we’ve had a big lineup change recently, so we’ve got a lot of working to pressing on with.
VP : Sum up Screaming Ballerinas sound in five words …
ROSS –Dancey (if that’s even a word), fast, pop, punk juicy goodness. xx
OLLIE – Music you can dance to
ANASTACIA- As good as it gets
DAVID- We don’t sound like Blondie
LAURA – A disco pop punk explosion
“Crucify” by Screaming Ballerinas
( made by err..me!)