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The XX

Kiss Them GoodbyeÖ For Now

The accolades donít stop for the XXís debut self-titled album, but after nearly two years of promotion, the band is ready for a break. Less than two weeks after the band received the prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize, the best album of the year award in the UK, it returns to the United States for a victory lap before heading back to the UK to recharge. Oliver Sim (bass/vocalist) spoke with SF Station during a phone interview a few days after the ceremony during a phone interview from London. The XX performs at the Fox Theater on September 23rd. Tickets are sold out.

SF Station (SFS): Are you enjoying your break in England?

Oliver Sim: It really hasnít been much of a break, really. Weíve been back a week, and there was the Mercury, which consumed up a lot of time.

SFS: Thatís a pretty big deal.

OS:Yeah, itís huge. We havenít really come down from it. Iím in shock, I guess.

SFS: And you have a nice cash prize to go with it.

OS: Yeah, weíre going to put it toward building a studio of our own to record our next record.

SFS: Are you getting ready to record again?

OS: Yeah, we are about to do our last tour, and then we are done. After two years of touring, we are going to come home and start writing again. Thereís no huge plan. We still live at home, so we are going to go back and get our own places, and start getting creative again.

SFS: With your first record, you had a lot of time to develop your songs before you went into the studio. Is time more of an issue now?

OS: We took our time with the first album because there was no expectations of us. I would like to have that same approach, although there is that expectation now. It just worked really well for us to not rush ourselves.

I can imagine it just being a nightmare to release something you are not 100 percent satisfied with. I want to look back at whatever we make in the years to come and be proud of it. We are definitely going to make sure we are 100 percent satisfied, and weíre going to take our time.

SFS: Some of the songs off the first record were years old. Do you have more that you havenít used, or are you starting from scratch?

OS: We have some songs that didnít go on the album, but I think we will start fresh. Weíve learned a lot as musicians, playing everyday for two years while touring. We also have experienced so many different cultures, countries and people, and we have been introduced to many different kinds of music. I donít know where the album is going to go, but I know it is going to be different from the first. We are such different people now, I feel.

SFS: You spent a lot of that time touring the U.SÖ

OS: Yeah, weíve stayed in America more than anywhere else in the world in the past year. I think Iíve spent more time in the states than Iíve spent in London.

SFS: What have you learned from your travels here?

OS: Iíve just learned how huge America is. The states differ so dramatically. New York feels very European and the audiences are a lot like the audiences you get in London. Then we went to places like Austin, Texas, which was the complete opposite. The audiences were quite riotous ó in a nice way ó and very receptive. It was a completely different way of going about things.

SFS: Which type of audience do you prefer?

OS: I donít know. The New York crowd, like London, is what we are used to; itís what we are familiar with and what we expect. Iím really unfamiliar with the Austin-type crowd. Iím just not used to anything like that.

SFS: With the lyrics, and duet format, do you and Romy ever get confused as a romantic couple?

OS: Yeah, I think people go to that assumption because itís a male and female voice and they are kind of love songs, but it really couldnít be further from that. Iíve known Romy since she was three years old. She might as well be my sister; we have kind of a sibling relationship. Our songwriting is very removed, and the songs are different perspectives on different relationships.

SFS: When you created the band name it was more for aesthetic purposes than an actual reason. What was your motivation for that?

OS: We knew from the start that we wanted something that had a visual impact with a lot of possibilities for artwork. We really liked the letter X and ďthe XXĒ kind of made it something. Itís very ambiguous, and there are so many ways to interpret it. It could be the number 20, kiss kiss, pornography, the X-chromosome. There are so many different ways to see it.

We did all of the artwork ourselves, and itís worked its way into our live show, videos and everything. It has a strong aesthetical presence.

SFS: Finally, after two years of touring and promoting the album. What are you looking forward to most after this tour?

OS: Iím looking forward to just being in one place for more than a week. Weíve been traveling constantly. I feel like Iíve probably missed out on growing up. I still live at home because over the last two years Iíve been in London for about two days a month. Iím going to get my own place, which is really exciting, and Iím just going to be creative.

SFS: It must be strange to go back to your old room after touring the world.

OS: Yeah, but itís nice. Itís quite a luxury, to be honest. I miss my own bed.

The XX perform at the Fox Theater on September 23rd. Tickets are sold out. The show starts at 8pm.