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Doves ‘feel for’ new bands

Up-and-coming acts can’t afford to tour, the Mancunian group say

  • 06/04/2010

Doves have said new bands are finding it increasingly tough to break through because it has become more difficult to get money to go on tour and make music.

Guitarist Jez Williams told 6 Music that money from record labels for touring and recording has dried up – which he put down to the effects of file-sharing.

“It’s really difficult for bands to go out on the road and tour,” he said. “It costs a lot of money to take a band on the road to do 10 UK dates.”

Referring to the pot of cash traditionally provided by labels for their artists to go on the road, he said: “It’s really tricky for new bands to get tour support because there’s no such thing as tour support any more.

“So people haven’t got that back-up any more. And that’s a direct link to people downloading albums without paying for it. It’s suffered because of that.”

Asked whether he would like to be starting out today, he replied: “It’s a lot tougher for new bands.

“It’s going to be quite hard for you to pay the rent because there’s no money, there’s no tour support, very little in the way of advances, so it’s very hard to make any kind of living out of it if you’re just starting out.

"You have to be a little bit more determined now."

Jez Williams

“I really feel for up and coming bands. But I guess the only thing that hasn’t changed is that if you’ve got the hunger and the determination then you’ll do it.

“You just have to. You have to be a little bit more determined now.”

Williams said he could “see both sides” of the piracy debate and the UK government’s proposed Digital Economy Bill, which could see infringers’ internet connections suspended.

“Some people say their liberties are being taken away,” he said. “But I wouldn’t go into a baker’s and just take a piece of bread. We need to get paid, really.”

The Manchester trio have just released their greatest hits album, called The Places Between, which is heading for the top 10 this weekend.

The process of choosing the tracks caused some friction within the band, he revealed.

“Everyone’s got their own favourites so it was a bit of a long painful process of trying to pick [songs] and compromise where we all were happy,” he said.

Asked whether there were arguments, he replied: “Yeah, of course. Because all three of us are very passionate. It’s kind of a democracy, Doves, so everyone’s got a valid opinion. But we got there in the end.”

In fact, it was the first time the band had listened to their own albums since they were made – and revisiting them was “strange”, he said.

“Your memory can play tricks sometimes and it sounded very different to how I remembered it. So it was actually really good listening to it, I was quite pleased that we got most of it right.”

Going back to third album Some Cities gave him a particularly pleasant surprise.

“That sounds a lot better than I remembered it,” he explained. “There are some great songs on there and I was really proud of most of that CD.

“I felt like I was quite removed, I was listening to it as a punter, from outside the band. I wasn’t quite sure how it would sound, I was a little bit nervous listening to it.”

The band are now travelling to Austria to play at the Snowbombing festival before starting their own UK tour at the end of April.

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