Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bitches With Wolves Interview



'Are you a bitch or a wolf?' sings James O'Neill,otherwise known as Dublin's own 'Bitches With Wolves' on his track 'Good As Gold'.The track,like his others,are full of smart lyrics,dark electro beats and a moody slightly new romantic mood. Just home from entertaining the troupes at Oxygen this year,I spoke to the man behind it all and to find out if he is indeed . . a bitch or a wolf.


GC : ''With a name like 'Bitches With Wolves' your naturally going to stand out from the pack of new acts on the scene - was this the intention or is there another reason behind the cool name?''


James : ''Well it was originally all a joke and it just popped into my head in the early morning of a party I was at, after this guy said that myself and my mates should be in a band, as we had a ‘really cool look, like Bananarama’. I made him give us a gig at his club and after my mates bailed out, I raced home, hooked up with two chaps called Robert Delaney and Darren Flynn and started making my first songs. So, no it ain’t a conceited thing, but rather a wonderful fluke.'' 




GC : What was your first live gig like and looking back what do you think of it now?


James : Oh JEYSUS. Looking back on it, it was so ropey. I had two backing dancers who didn’t bother to learn their routines and so laughed and rolled awkwardly about the stage. Needless to say, they didn’t last that long. That kind of made the whole thing a bit tough. I remember my language was appalling, which is saying something considering how bad it usually is. But, I do think that it was somewhat promising. If anything, the costumes were great – think Victorian disco goth, with black nails and lips. Looking back, I think a lot of it was very shambolic, but thank Christ it showed some promise. I don’t think that I still perform any of those songs anymore either. At least not in the form they were in back then.


GC : Has there been any gig or event since that,that you have loved?


James : There have been loads. Every time I get to step on stage, I have a riot. Initially, I was really nervous going on stage, but I think I’ve settled into it now and get to let loose. My string of shows in the Academy 2 were really great fun. We got to play with the set each week and I had till the cows came home, so I could tell stories and get people on stage etc. Other than that, some of the support slots I’ve got to do have been amazing. Especially when I got to play in the Olympia. It’s like a wall of people and they were all bopping along. Deadly. Oh and then there’s Oxegen….


GC : Yes, you’ve done Oxegen twice, what’s that been like?


James : Really amazing and I’ve been very lucky. The first year they just kind of plopped me onto the dance arena to see if I would sink or swim. At the start there were a few mouldy sessioners still going from the night before and then just my family and friends, but by the fourth track, there were loads of people and they were dancing around and everything. It was only my third or fourth show and I’d not really any idea what I was doing, or much stamina either, for that matter. Haha! This year was totally different. We had the place rammed when I arrived on stage and they weren’t only dancing along, but singing along too – which was totally mental, in a great way.




GC : Explain where your style comes from and how you put a stage outfit together . . is there a big difference from how you dress on and off stage?


James : I dress similarly off stage. When out, I often wear cycling shorts and I'm certainly partial to a sequin jacket. I find my style changes all the time though. Like, when I first started BWW, it was all about costumes. So, I would be a pierrot and then I was a galactic dancer and whatever. I guess that was because I wasn't as comfortable as I am now, so I just dressed up to mask myself, perhaps. Not for others to notice me, but for myself.


Now, I'm not saying that my clothes aren't still big and loud, but I think they're more relaxed. It's like I've found my own personal thing for what I wear: shorts to keep the heat to a minimum and jackets to keep the eyes occupied - and also because I love my jackets like a muthafucker. I just can't stop buying them.... Hup.


But in proper answer to your question, my style comes from anything and everything that catches my eye. I love borrowing from fashion, but am in no means regulated by it. I just really LOVE clothes and playing with them, which makes getting ready in the morning fun every day. God that sounds saccharine. But whatever.


GC : What was the first record you go and which bands did you listen to growing up?


James : The first CD I ever bought was Gangsta’s Paradise and the last tape I bought was the J.LO album. Both brilliant moments in pop music, if you ask me. I’ve always LOVED my pop music and growing up I quickly got a sense of what was good and what wasn’t. For example, N’Sync’s POP album was amazing and Backstreet Boys Millenium wasn’t. Baha! I also actually loved that J.Lo album. Some dirge on it, but some great pop songs too. Other than that, the Spice Girls. I. Was. Obsessed. Totally. Them at the Point is still the best concert I’ve ever been to. Melody is something that I always think is paramount when crafting songs and that’s something that I really took from them. I actually still listen to the Spice World album. It’s got some awesome pure pop moments on it.




GC : What acts are listening to now on and off the charts?


James : I have a huge iPod and am always getting bored with what’s on it, but right now I’m loving the Scissor Sisters new album. Holy fuck, Invisible Light reminds me of the first time I stepped onto a proper dancefloor. Goldfrapp’s Head First is a total winner too. I think she is absolutely amazing. Also, I know this may be controversial, but I think everyone’s been way too harsh on Christina Aguilera’s new album. Sure, it’s no Blackout, but I think she’s done a good job. It’s a pity that her A&R got so over involved, as you can really tell where she wanted to take it and where she was made take it (such as that awful lead single and her new one, which is boring). There are two duo’s that I love at the moment too, Monarchy and Hurts. Emotional pop at it’s Black and Gold best. One song I’d recommend you to certainly check out is Shanell’s song ‘It’s the Beat, which samples Simian Mobile Disco and is nothing short of WHOPPER. I could talk forever about music, but fear I may bore you.


GC : You host WAR which is currently in ALT,Dublin . . what other nights/clubs do you enjoy heading to?


James : Well I don’t get to go out nearly as often as I’d like to, but I love heading to Mother on a Saturday, Partie Monster, when it doesn’t clash and for a bit of midweek action, Cunt and the Panti and Bunny show. I thought that WERK in the Abbey was really special also.


GC :  What are your plans for the next year?


James : Well I really wanna finally release an EP! I’m going to be bopping over to the UK soon for some more recording and have loads of songs already that I don’t want to lose, so I think it might be time to release a little EP on itunes. Nice and small. A dip if you will. Baha! I’m thinking of names for it and think that MEGA would be gas, but am afraid people might think I was a total wanker if I released something called MEGA. Perhaps TURBO? What do you think?


GC :Finally, your song 'Good as Gold' asks are you a bitch or a wolf? which are you? 


James : How about I show you?


Well,its clear to me that James is clearly a wolf and leading the pack in the new UK electro/dance scene. With his EP coming out next year,a successful gig background with more dates to follow and an already adoring fan base, James / Bitches With Wolves has the drive,ambition and talent to go on to bigger and better things after an already hugely successful year and we cant wait to see whats in store for the young star.


To listen to more tracks and follow details : 


http://www.myspace.com/bitcheswithwolves
http://twitter.com/BWWMUSIC
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bitches-With-Wolves/278809028574?ref=ts

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