Interview: Never Shout Never — "I want to make happy songs that have shock value"
Mon, 01 Mar 2010 11:12:22
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You don't need a band to make a real racket.
Never Shout Never's Christofer Ingle wonderfully proves that on What is Love? Manning everything on his own, Christopher masterfully mixes up shaky synths and soaring vocal harmonies for a sound that's as explosive as it is entrancing. Plus, it's catchy beyond belief—just spin "Jane Doe" or "The Past" for proof. Christofer is truly taking pop to a different place, and he's doing it all on his own, having written and recorded these songs solo in Santa Monica. In addition, the lyrics also manage to dissect everyone's favorite subject—love—with a refreshing and sly sense of humor. Never Shout Never must be played loud…
Never Shout Never's Christofer Ingle spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about conjuring a confused "California" feel for What is Love?, Hitchcock's The Birds and the unnamed waitress who stole his heart in LA…
Did you go into the studio with one idea for What is Love?, or did it come together piece by piece?
I really pieced it together; I didn't know what I was going to do on the record initially. I actually wrote most of the songs in California, and I wanted the album to have a really confused, weird California vibe.
California is definitely a confused place…
Yeah, it really is. It's so confusing [Laughs].
Was there anything that encouraged that feeling?
I was chilling in Santa Monica because we had a little beach house there. I went down to the beach every day, and I got super inspired by going to little cafes and enjoying the warm weather. The beach just blew me away—I was literally sucked into it.
So you were at the Santa Monica beaches, not the Malibu beaches, right?
Yeah, Santa Monica and Venice…I even got some tattoos in Venice while I was there.
If this record were a movie, what would you compare it to?
I want to compare it to The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. I can't really compare it to anything except for that. I don’t know why [Laughs].
It's funny that flick comes to mind. Are you a big Hitchcock fan?
It's crazy shit! Those movies were on a different level of scariness! I think he had to be crazy to make movies like that [Laughs].
What's the story behind "Jane Doe"?
I was actually sitting in a Santa Monica restaurant, eating with one of my buddies. There was this beautiful waitress, and I didn't know her name but she served me an awesome veggie burger. I was like, "I'm going to write her a song, I'm going to go back and play it for her and I'm going to win her heart." So I went back to my beach house and then started writing this crazy song about a girl named "Jane Doe" because I didn’t know the waitress's name yet. I never ended up playing it for her though. It was really sad that I chickened out [Laughs].
What's up with "The Past"?
I wanted a difficult feel for that track, with the strings at the end. Basically, I want to tell people about my past. A lot of people don't understand that things have been hard before. I'm always constantly battling things with myself, and I wanted to get a little darker feel on that song. It's an open door experience for the future. I like writing dark songs. It’s been really fun, sad and cool. I like making dark lyrics because I can get really poetic with them. I just want to be able to open doors with that song for like later stuff.
So you feel like that's almost a segue to the next record?
Yeah, a little bit…I'm looking to put out a solo album too. It's going to be me with an acoustic guitar. I'll be trying a lot more poetic songs on that, with darker chords—branching out. I want to show that side in addition to the smiley, happy side.
Your sense of humor comes through on a lot of these songs with the tongue-in-cheek moments.
I want to make happy songs that have shock value to them as well. I like making pop songs because I feel like there's a formula to them. I love doing that but, at the same time, I'm not that kind of person. I'm not just happy all the time, but there is something about writing pop songs. It's my fancy. I like having the little things here and there that make people go, "What?" I'll drop in a "Fucking" once in a while [Laughs]. It's fun.
Why did you name the album What is Love?
My parents just got a divorce and I just broke up with my girlfriend, and I was questioning love a lot. I've written all these songs about love in the past and all these things and I kind of was just wondering here, so I wrote a song called what is love and after the album was done I still didn’t have a name for it. It felt right, and it flowed out nicely…
Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here…