Northern Transmissions Charles Brownstein interviews Tom Dougall and Maxim (Panda) Barron of ‘Toy’.
NT: Your first single ‘Left Myself Behind’ sold out in one day, that must have give you a big lift?
T: We were really excited, it was really a nice feeling. Many people were so supportive of the band, it seemed like everyone behind the band from the onset. It was actually quite touching.
P: We are really good friends with ‘The Horrors’, they really helped us out quite a bit, especially when we first moved from Brighton. We are quite grateful to them.
NT: Things sometimes happen quite quickly for young bands in the UK, especially when the media catches on. NME said you were “One of the best bands to hear”, and The Guardian wrote “This band makes excellent music”. With all the high praise, do you find the expectations of the fans and media are higher? Does it push you a bit more?
T: It’s nice to know that people are paying attention. It does really drive us a band. I think that most people and music fans can make their own minds up. You know the most important thing is that we can make music together, we really enjoy playing together.
P: We really want to make music for a long time. Our goal is to put out a record a year, for as many years as we can. We are really excited, we recently played with Colin Newman from ‘Wire’ at a gig, we actually got up on stage with them. We actually have plans to head into the studio with him, that is going to be pretty special.
NT: Your music has been described as a mixture from everything like ‘Stereolab’ and ‘Pulp’ to ‘Jesus And Mary Chain’ and ‘My Bloody Valentine. Quite a list of incredible bands. How would you describe your sound to people?
P: I mean we really listen to everything. We are big fans of early electronic music. Nothing about our music is really ever calculated. It’ a bit of a shame that every new band that comes out, has to be compared to old bands. But having said that, those aren’t the worst groups in the world to be compared to.
T: I think that every band out there was influenced by something or somebody, but it’s really important to use your own influences, just make sure that you are doing your own thing.
P: I think people are starting to know us for our own sound, when the album came out. People were starting to see that we were doing our own thing.
T: Yes, I’m quite happy that people are starting to appreciate for our own identity. It’s really kind of nice.
NT: The track ‘Make It Mine’ stands out a bit more than other tracks you guys have released. It’s a bit more catchy and accessible. Can you tell a bit more about that song.
T: We really are huge pop fans as well. When we play that song live, we definitely play it much heavier than the recorded version. We like to have quite a bit of variation with most of our songs.
NT: You guys use a number of effects in your music. For the average music fan out there, can you tell us the process in which you implement different sounds into your songs. Do you have a good idea which pedals you wanna use when composing a song, or is their a lot of experimentation?
T: Effects always come later, after we have written the song in the studio. It can go either way, sometimes you stumble on a sound that works perfectly in a song. You put the effect in, and it just really works sometimes.
P: Dom, our lead guitar player is an effects wizard. He really comes up with some interesting ideas. We really do love using effects, it’s loads of fun.
NT: We’ve talked a bit about comparisons, tell us some records that have really been an inspiration to the band.
P & T: Velvet Underground And Nico
The Stooges – Funhouse
Broadcast – Ha Ha Sound
Vinyls – Space Ritual
Kevin Ayers – She