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Jack Brown of White Lies

Coming to America

In less than a year and with only two songs available to the public, London's White Lies have caught enough attention to get gigs at several high-profile music festivals and make their U.S. debut. The Band's synth-sprinkled tunes and heady lyrics have earned references to Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen. White Lies performs at Popscene -- its second U.S. gig -- on July 31st before heading to Chicago for Lollapalooza. Drummer Jack Brown spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from the UK.

SF Station (SFS): How are you preparing for your U.S. shows?

Jack Brown (JB): We're doing most of the UK festivals before we go to the United States, which will be good preparation because we have been recording our album over the last few months and haven't played live much.

SFS: Is it strange to be performing when you have only released a couple of songs?

JB: Yeah, it is pretty weird. Most people have only heard two of our songs, and nothing has been released in America yet. It's kind of exciting to go over there and not know how it's going to go down. We don't know if anyone is going to know about us or if we are going to be
well received. It's definitely not something we expected to do this early on, but now that we have the opportunity, we will definitely take it.

SFS: You have already some pretty famous musicians attend your shows -- Morrissey, Nike Cave and Mark Ronson. There's no pressure, right?

JB: Yeah, that was only our second show. I guess it's kind of hard to judge because those people probably didn't know that much about our music and were just probably interested to see what it's about. Hopefully, we left a good impression. It was definitely an honor to have that happen at one of our first shows.

SFS: Are you worried the buzz might peak too early?

JB: I think we had a lot of attention very early on and we haven't done many shows. I think people will start to see, as we do more shows and festivals, they will start realizing some of the potential that other people are seeing. Our album is finished now and is getting mixed
and we are pretty ecstatic about how it turned out. We are really confident that it's a strong album and hopefully that will be the proof that shows we deserved some of the attention that we received early on.

SFS: What should the U.S. audience know about your band?

JB: We started in September of last year and we took a bit of time when we were writing our songs and made sure that we had a really strong set before we did any live performances. We worked really hard at getting the live show together. We worked with the lighting and made sure we had a very strong image before we played and we made sure we were really tight. Hopefully, you can expect a well-worn performance by the time we get there.

SFS: The band was known as Fear of Flying before you introduced you introduced a darker sound with White Lies. What led to the change?

JB: We just thought that we should perform these songs as a different band. We had songs that we felt weren't suitable for the band that we were in and we thought White Lies would be the perfect vehicle for the songs. It's where we want to be musically.

SFS: Apparently there is a U.S. band called White Lies. Have you heard of them?

JB: I don't know. When we started the band, we did the unscientific Myspace search for White Lies. There were a few things, but their profiles looked pretty dead and there was nothing new. That is the kind of thing we'll have to leave our management to look after. We liked
the name, and we wanted to go with it. If we encounter any problems down the line we'll have to deal with it. But we haven't had any trouble yet.

White Lies performs at Popscene on July 31st. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.