The ABC Club returned to York last night to play at Stereo, along with Torches and Horn the Hunt during their up and coming UK tour. We catch up with Zandra Klievens, the lead singer from the ‘indie’ band and find out what she’s been up to since graduating from York St John University and since the band have had stardom, after being the critically acclaimed ‘NME breakthrough band of 2011’.
Q. Hi Zandra, What’s it like to be back in the city, has it changed much since you were here last?
A. I miss York. It hasn’t changed much… I don’t think York will ever change much. It has a desperate charm at keeping itself like a jar of jam – conserved.
Q. During you time in York, you must have played at a number of venues, have you ever played at Stereo before?
A. No, this will be the first time.
Q. We’ve recently celebrated ’29 days of Local Music’ a feature One&Other pursued to help recognise local talented musicians, what was the music scene like when you were living here?
A. When I was in York I thought that the music scene was supported by the same few; which was sad. I hope this has changed.
Q. You were crowned ‘NME Breakthrough Band of 2011’, how did you react to that and what affects has it had on the band since?
A. Ermm. Well James entered us into the competition without telling the rest of the band and then when we got through to votes we were a little confused and then James remembered that he entered us and then we won. I’d say we were very surprised that we won. I don’t think that we would have gone on tour in Germany if not, maybe we would have. Winning NME has made us realise that we’re really quite awkward at times.
Q. For those that aren’t aware of your music, what best describes your style and what does your band bring to your live shows?
A. Oh dear, I don’t actually know! I think we get told we’re Indie Pop/Shoegaze. I like reading reviews, it amuses me how many bands we are likened to. In regards to live shows, I’m very still…
Q. 2010 saw the release of your debut single ‘Thieving Magpie’ what success did you have from that and where you pleased with the outcome?
A. We got a nice reception from people. I think that getting a good review from Rough Trade made us all feel pretty chipper.
Q. The new ‘White Lies’ EP is out on the 16th April 2012, what should we expect and how does it differ to the single ‘Thieving Magpie’?
A. Well there are 4 songs instead of 2. White Lies was one of the first songs we ever wrote and Grandfather is one of our newest – I guess it gives a nice spectrum of time. I think the songs vary more in style.
Q. You and the band are currently dotted around the country, how does it affect the time you get for rehearsals and what’s it like touring with the boys, when you get chance?
A. It’s alright, we manage to practise whenever we can, more often would be better, but the train fare is rather expensive. Touring was top. I think we would all like to go on tour again, especially in Europe, you get treated very well.
Q. Do you try to use your gigs, especially the ones in York as a reunion to see old faces and reminisce the old times?
A. Of course, I get annoyed with reminiscing though. I don’t think you should do it at all, as then the next time you see people you’ll have to reminisce even further away and then your time with that person just becomes the past. I don’t like to loiter in the past – try not to anyway. I am aware that all that may not make sense.
Q. What are the bands plans for the future and where do you see The ABC Club heading in the near future?
A. We really want to play SXSW next year. We’re already recording more stuff at present for the album. I think we’ll be bringing out a single this year too.
Thanks Zandra for taking the time out to speak to us.