Break It Down: The Ting Tings
Fri, 06 Jun 2008 14:45:34
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Before they had a number 1 single on the UK charts, Ting Tings partners Katie White and Jules De Martino both cut their musical teeth in bands as teenagers. While Martino started out rocking with the band Babakto before becoming the lead singer of indie outfit Mojo Pin, White pulled early mic duty as part of girl group TKO (Technical Knock Out). The two originally came together as members of the short-lived trio Dear Eskimo, until it crumbled under the pressure of creative differences between the group and their label. The experience left both gun-shy of the music industry and they decided to sidestep the traditional label track when starting the indie-dance duo the Ting Tings. Instead, they stuck to playing private parties across Manchester and building up buzz that eventually attracted the attention of music heavyweights like Rick Rubin.
Turns on taste-maker outlets like Later with Jools Holland and a coveted iPod commercial soon pushed them into the spotlight, as critics lined up to label them as a band to watch in '08. Riding the wave of number one single, "That's Not My Name," they recently released their debut album, We Started Nothing. Stuffed with up-tempo party starters, the album showcases the band's undeniable pop sensibility fronted by White's schoolyard yelps. Now with the band gearing up to bring the good times stateside, we were lucky enough to catch up with the singer as she took on our Break It Down feature. Read on as she shares her love of Bjork, burgers and Egon Spengler.
What have you been listening to lately?
Soko, Tom Tom Club, Yeasayer.
Where's your favorite place to chill?
In bed! I hardly get any sleep and if so its normally in the back of a van or on a plane, so beds are Heaven at the moment.
What's the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?
Sell musical equipment. Any musician will understand the horror of selling your fave Mini Martin Acoustic!
Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics?
We live on a mountain
Right at the top
A beautiful view
From the top of the mountain
Every morning I walk to towards the edge
And throw little things off
Like car parts, bottles and cutlery
Whatever I find lying around
Its become a habit I make
To start the day with
I go through all this
Before you wake up so I can feel happier
To be safe again with you....
What is your most cherished musical instrument or accessory?
If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?
It would be less cutthroat and cynical.
What never goes out of style?
What's the theme song to your life?
What movies, artists, authors or athletes inspire you the most?
David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Bjork
What's your favorite way to stay in shape?
I don't have a favorite way to stay in shape. Exercise hurts! But yoga is good. If you persist for three months, it stops hurting.
What non-musician would you most like to meet?
Recently we met Michael Palin. That was cool.
What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
If I get pleasure from something I don't feel guilty!! Hmm microwave burgers?
Are you on MySpace?
Yes. Not personally, but I keep in touch with friends through the band MySpace page.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff