15 Aug 2008 // An interview by Shade
Little Pictures are an electronic pop duo from Wellington. The boyfriend/girlfriend duo of Mark Turner and Johanna Freeman write warm, happy, bedroom pop music.
They have recently released their debut album 'Owl + Owl' through Lil Chief Records (The Brunettes, The Ruby Suns etc) to rave reviews from the blog world, with Bigstereo proclaiming it "Perfect DIY pop, all the tracks are real gems", and Panda Toes calling it "The cutest, most fun-loving music of 2008".
They have just got back from an Australian tour, and are currently touring their album throughout New Zealand.
What is the best gig/event you have ever performed at, and why?
Lately we've been playing some really amazing shows where lots of people have been singing along with our songs and dancing along, it's been awesome! But there's been two really standout shows.
The first was at Camp A Low Hum this year. One of the sets we played there was on this stage in the middle of a little grassy glen. People were all dancing and singing along, it was really the first amazing experience we've had playing a show. The whole festival is amazing!
Another best performance was in Melbourne during the Australian tour we did earlier in the year. It was at this bar called Pony. Pony have this system where they get bands in to play at staggered times throughout the night, and we played the 2am slot. So we show up and it's this scummy sort of bar, kind of like Valve in Wellington only two stories and way bigger. Turns out we were meant to organise our own sound guy, so we get a friend to do it at the last minute, a friend who's of questionable sobriety. We start setting up, and they're playing Rage Against The Machine over the PA and a bunch of people at the bar are singing along. There's a guy skateboarding in the far corner of the bar. This is a pretty strange enviroment for us, I mean we play happy pop music! We start worrying that people are gonna start throwing bottles at us and stuff. We start up our set, and the room we're playing in starts getting really full. And people start dancing and singing along, and getting really into it. And then it starts getting even more full. There must have been about 200 people crammed into this room, it was nuts! After we'd finished playing everyone was chanting for an encore, but we didn't have any more songs. So we had to somehow get off the stage. But the crowd was so massively packed in that we had to really push our way through them all to get off the stage and over to our friend at the mixing desk. It was really crazy, we thought it was going to be a really awful concert, but it turned out to be a real highlight of the tour!
What is your favourite NZ venue?
Without a doubt The Wunderbar, just out of Christchurch. If you haven't been there it's a must! They have all this strange sci fi artwork all over the roof, I've never seen anything like it. We've actually never played there before, but we'd really love to.
What can we expect to see from Little Pictures over the next year?
We're in the middle of booking a US and European tour. We'll be heading off on that earlyish next year, it's shaping up to be fantastic! Before that we'll be releasing the second video from our album, for a song called 'I Wish I Could Keep You'. Our friend Dan from Eep Productions is helping us again, he made the last one for us too which we were so happy with. We'll also be releasing a 7" single in the UK through a record label there, we'll be included in both a French compilation and a US compilation. We're also hoping to release our album in Australia and in the US, plans for that are in motion already which is great. So it should be really busy!
What other NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?
Bachelorette! She's our favourite NZ band. Her album 'Isolation Loops' is so so amazing! We've never seen her live though. We almost did! We went to one show in Wellington where she was playing support for HDU, but the cover charge was too much for us so we had to sit outside and listen to what we could. It sounded good though! She's doing a tour soon supporting Beach House which looks really really cool.
If you could, what rumour would you start about Little Pictures?
Haha, start a rumour? I don't know about starting rumours, sounds like a whole lot of trouble...
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?
I don't think there's a whole lot I can say here without sounding lame.. oh wait no I can talk about gear! Have really cool equipment. It's been such a huge help for us being able to record and mix our own album. Own space echos and moog synthesisers and sweet laptops. First you get the equipment, then you get the power, and then you get the women. Well.. maybe not the women. But you do have sweet equipment.