Pipettes interview, conducted by Roy Marmelstein and Rob Miles for Platforms Magazine

The Pipettes are a fast rising seven piece band from Brighton, UK. Polka-dot clad Becki, Gwen and Rose produce sweet dancey melodies, harking back to 1960s girl bands.

We interviewed The Pipettes at this year's Bestival in the Isle of Wight, sitting in a circle in the press lounge, ignoring the loud beats eminating from the main stage.

ROY: Have you just arrived at The Bestival?

PIPETTES: We got here about few hours ago. We are staying the night but we're going tomorrow.

ROB: Is there anything you particularly want to see?

PIPETTES: Lo-Fi Fnk we really want to see, also the Pet Shop Boys. Lo Fi Fnk is amazing kind of swedish dance outfit. Really really good, strongly recommended. Tonight's really the only chance we have to watch bands and then we think dancing, whatever is the dance music, we'll be there.

ROY: Your album "We Are The Pipettes" is out and doing quite well, what's next?

ROSE: Touring really. We've just started a two week tour of the UK headlining, it's the biggest tour we've done this far. It's from the 25th of September. After that we're going out to Europe for a few weeks to do a tour as well, which is quite exciting.

ROY: And then The States?

ROSE: Yeah, Hopefully. That's the next thing we're trying to get to.

ROY: We were talking to Jeremy Warmsley earlier and we were discussing what's next for The Pipettes and we suggested moving on to stripes from polka dots?

PIPETTES: We think moving away from the polka dots may occur in the future but stripes? don't think so. They are not quite bold enough. They are a dangerous thing/issue with women. You shouldn't wear them really, should you? not unless they're vertical and then you are going into the pinstripe thing which. Polka Dots are..
whether they become more subtle or not. that's something that we'll look into. Polka dots is our thing and as a material and as a pattern I think it represents us the best. There's something about it, you put it on and there's this sense of fun, it's like "you're obviously up for a good fun, you've got polka dots on".

ROB: Do you prefer English mustard or French mustard?

PIPETTES: That's the hotter one isn't it? English.

ROY:In a lot of interviews you said you don't like The Beatles for what they've done to music....?

PIPETTES: No. No. It's been misquoted. Basically, we just believe in rewriting history from a different viewpoint and we're not really interested in where The Beatles started out . For us personally, especially being women, the girl bands that we reference are far more exciting and kind of effective than anything The Beatles have ever done... and The Beatles did ruin a lot of very good girl band songs for which we will never forgive them. But I mean, we are not dismissing them completely, we are just looking for something else. We don't need to feel this ridiculous reverence to that same old line of history, theres other things. It's like "What if they never have existed?", we are trying to answer that question but it's exceptionally hard and also, whatever formula that would have happened whether it be The Beatles or something else that would have come along instead in pop music, we would still be looking for the alternative because that was the point of us being in a band together. It's not a personal attack against any band that's been but it's just the standardization of the way that music should be presented and what it means and trying to find an alternative within popular culture and I think it is there and we just need to readdress it.

ROB: Would you say your music is based around getting people to dance?

PIPETTES: Definitely. So often we stood in gigs not actually knowing what to do and you don't know how to engage with certain things and I think that has been missing, as much as it is beautiful to watch something and not being able to react instinctively and have a think about it, there's also that thing of wanting to be really involved in it. I think that creates revolutions in any sort of form, I'm not talking in the political sense but the whole idea of an audience and getting involved within a scene or a gig or a moment and not feeling detached from it, that's something we certainly encourage as a band. Just let yourself go and get involved in it, not necessarily in the agressive way but in a freeing way.

ROY: Is there a deeper feminist message to your music?

PIPETTES: We think no, the thing is that we are not really for this whole post-feminist debate about the idea that women have succeeded this far and now we are as good as men and that's great and we can do whatever men do, we think that's really simplifying the arguement. That's not really where we're coming from, we're just - we exist and we exist the way that we do and therefore that's what's important and unfortunatley, that's kind of is inherenetly feminist in some ways but that's not why we are doing it. It's a little bit depressing really... it would have been nice to be able to do without having to have all of these connotations that bands with blokes in don't have to justify the whole time. We are not scared of it, but it wasn't the reason why we got formed. And we are three girls and four boys, we're a seven piece band, it's not just us three doing everything. It was very important for us not to go down the same route as other girl band by being about DNA, y'know? it's not about sexuality consciously. We exist in a very subconscious world, unless you want to make it conscious.

ROY: As we're an online arts magazine, we care for all the arts. Do you think visual arts and written stuff have influence on your music?

PIPETTES: Completely. If you are a creative person and you are interested in any of the arts then any of the arts influence immediately what you do - if its literature, film - any of that stuff . Especially if you look at the visuals, we think we encompass a lot of the elements of the arts. I think also understanding the processes that other people go through to actually making something, really illuminates so much stuff . It would be impossible to just make music and only care about music when it is all so interlinked. It is very much all about the way we present stuff and the context of it all as much as the songs.

ROY: What are your reading at the moment?

ROSE: I'm actually reading Proust's "Swan's Way", which is the first one. My mom actually bought me the sixth one accidentally and I kind of read half of that and I was "hang on, there's something not quite right here". It's beautifully written.

BECKI: I'm reading Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment". Everyone goes "Waaho, heavy man" and it's like "No! what are you talking about?" it is as easy to read as some throwaway trash but the difference is is that it fuckin' has a message and a point and stuff.

GWENNO: I'm just reading a book about anthropology at the moment, it's a thing I'm quite interested in and I think it relates to the context that I always see bands with regards to the society they're created in and they're relation to everything and certainly with what we're doing, it doesn't seem like what everybody else is doing but I think it represents a certain something in the way that we live.

ROY: Do you have any advice for young musicians starting out?

ROSE: Keep at it really.

GWENNO: I personally feel, find people you can engage with, be very excited about sharing an idea because an idea is nothing if you're on your own. An idea is about how you can engage it with other people around you.

ROSE: It's such a naff thing to say but just believe in what you're doing. If you can't be convinced by what you're making or doing, you can't expect anyone else to be convinced by it either.

ROB: Complete the following sentence "If you're happy and you know it...

BECKI: I was gonna say the obvious... "clap your hands"

ROSE: What else could it possibly be?

ROB: ...you're unusual.

GWENNO: If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.

PIPETTES: It sounds so boring but we are The Pipettes and we encourage people to clap their hands if they're happy. Most of our songs are about that.

ROSE: Maybe, if you're happy and you know it, come and see The Pipettes.