This the transcript of the conversation with Paul Rafferty from Hot Club De Paris, certain parts will be included in my Double Page Spread article.
How did the band form?
Well, like the way every other band forms really. Meeting people that you have loads in common with and playing music together. I met Matthew when we were working behind the bar at a racecourse, and then just got dead drunk and played some music together.
Where did the name “Hot Club De Paris” come from?
If you want to buy a jazz recording the UK it’s the cheapest record you can actually buy. Basically it’s a compilation of the work of Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt who were in a band called “Quintette de Hot Club de France”. So when their compilation of work came out in the UK, it came out as, Hot Club De Paris, which we thought was quite funny and so we turned our band into a joke.
I read that you have played Camden Crawl...
Yeah, we’ve two I think; I can’t remember that much about it. Yeah I think we ended up doing two shows over two nights. Its like, all those kind of street festivals are cool as long as you can get a good venue and stuff, sometimes, the venues are really packed but others aren’t. We were really lucky, it was a really busy show, and everyone sort of went off their heads. So it was cool …
What was your favourite gig?
I don’t know, it’s always difficult to decide that sort of stuff, because we’ve done like really fucking huge stuff like, we played to like 35,000 people with 'The Who'. That was ridiculous, the gig came through. We thought someone was having us one. Stuff like that is amazing like even you know, it is just another gig but at the same time it doesn’t seem like different levels. Like playing on the floor at a pub or like, playing in a cricket ground, it’s just dead interesting seeing how many people are involved in the process and how it all comes together, so that was pretty amazing, Other shows have been awesome, like we got to play in India, which was absolutely out of this mind and then juts touring Europe amazing because you get fed well.
Have you played America?
Yeah we’ve played America few times, we have been there twice. We went to play a South by South West and then we went to Chicago to record a record, so we did some shows while we were there
Who are your influences?
Like were really into the who now, we weren’t so obsessed at the time when we actually played with them, which a real wasted opportunity because I wish we could of spent some time with them, even thought it was so difficult, because there were bodyguards everywhere. But, yeah I do really like the 'The Who', really into them. I like kind of quite new, cool British stuff like that, especially stuff that used to be seen as odd and is now somehow considered cool. It’s like Led Zeppelin records and The Who records, all that sort of stuff, like those bands are completely out of their minds, they keep writing like such crazy music, you know write like throughout their whole careers, and some people just think that’s just what stopped like rock music, like we are really into that stuff. Then you hear of some many other bands like Jet, or someone who gets into that sort of stuff, and it’s just sounds like fucking dickheads. All that sort of stuff and then a lot of experimental American stuff like indie rock stuff like Owls and Don Caballero and stuff …
I was wondering whether you have a certain Ryder at venues?
Well, in a vegan so I don’t eat any dairy products or any meat products, and being in France is difficult because all you can really eat is bread and fruit.
Tell me about your worst gig...
The thing is like; you have to be quite thick skinned about worst gigs and that kind of scenario. If you can come off stage, and say to each other that “that was terrible”, then you haven’t really got anything to continue for. Like us, if a gig is going that bad then you just take the piss until it’s funny, like, but if a show is going really well then we won’t say a word, and if it’s going really badly then you just collar the guy at the back of the room with a pool cue and just sort of rip piss out of him, until it’s fun to be there.
Your latest EP was called “The Rise and Inevitable Fall of the High School Suicide Cluster Band”, tells us about your long song name and EP names...
I was just reading up about suicide clusters and then, like that whole EP like the writing and stuff on I is kind of based like the second coming of age like the suppose a man has, like that whole kind of cool thing. We you are 18 19 and you decide you are going to do a bands and behave in that sort of way. But there seems to be like a second coming of age, when you hit about thirty and all your friends start getting married or having kids, you know they put their records in the loft, I was just writing around that. That and the idea of like a suicide pacts and suicide clusters. It’s like a metaphor for a group of guys who are just sort of giving up, and they are realising they had this like pact when they were kids and that kind of stuff
Tell us how important the internet has proved to be your musical career
Yeah, it’s ridiculous like, I spose we have been in the situation were we have done bands before the internet and stuff. I think that people of our age, the last generation to really understand before and after of what the internet is responsible before. First thing I do when I get home these days is like you can check your emails and correspond with people in that way, like it never used to be like that. Yeah so when I speak to new touring bands like 9a band) they remember a time when you’d like book a tour on like, before mobile phones, I can’t imagine how the fuck that’d work, you turn up at a venue and find a payphone that you would call someone’s house with, it’s just crazy. The internet has made making music so much easier in the way that it’s so much easier to keep in contact with venues
Facebook and MySpace?
Yeah I think they can have their downsides like, because there is so much media, everything’s like intensely saturated that you have to sort of have to like prove to someone that you are doing something all the time , like they want a blog post every three days, you know a photo of you being whacky or something. It never used to be like that, it used to be about making a record then fucking off for two years while you write the next one. So yeah, it has its good sides and its bad sides, and the good side being that, yeah it’s easier to operate for a touring band, the downside is that for some reason your band has to be this transparent sort of all-encompassing organism.
Any bands that you tip to be successful in the near future?
I don’t know about new people being successful, I’ve never been able to spot that stuff, but erm, I like loads of Liverpool punk bands like Cold Ones and I still love SSS, well, I suppose they’re on their third album now. Yeah that sort of stuff, new band in Sunderland called Cold train who are really good, they’re sort of hanging out with The Futureheads and recording with the guys from Field Music and that, they’re really good. They used to play in a band called This Ain’t Vegas. But yeah there is a mixture of things going on.
Have ‘Hot Club’ got coming up I the next year?
Yeah, we’re in the middle of recording our third album at the minute so, yeah that’s err, yeah just that. There’s nothing massive. The two EP’s we out last year, they are getting bundled together as a CD in Europe and America, there coming out in January, we’re touring Europe and America.
In the UK, or just Europe?
No no, just Europe, we’re going to have something we are going to sell, but it’s going to be quite limited in the UK, we don’t really want to like put it out here because we’ve already put out an EP and we don’t want to rip people off. We don’t want to sell the same records twice because that makes us like Kings of Leon or something, I don’t even know if they do that, but it’s the sort of thing they would do