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Nine questions for… We Have Band

INTERVIEW: Pop threesome We Have Band speak to Exberliner about their latest album Ternion, the art of sharing and their love for Grizzly Bear. Catch them live on Sat, Mar 17 at Gretchen.

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Photo by Olga Baczynska

Darren Bancroft (vocals, drums, sampler) met the couple Dede WP (vocals, percussion, sampler) and Thomas WP (vocals, guitar, programming) whilst working for a dying EMI Records, shouted “We have a band!”, won Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition, and released WHB (Naïve).

Two years later, they’re back with That Very Personal Second Record: Ternion (Naïve). The band’s on the run, Saturday, March 17 at Gretchen.

The BBC was not kind to the lyrics on the first album; the word they used was “asinine”.

DARREN BANCROFT: As an artist you do what you do, and not everyone is going to be in your space: criticism is an outside perspective. We believe in what we do, and that album is a picture of where we were at that time. Ternion is a picture of where we are now. It is a journey.

Why ‘Ternion’?

THOMAS WP: Because ‘Ternion’ is the sum of one-one-one in Latin. There are three of us, and this record is about the three of us and all we’ve been through in the last couple of years. We are very close – Dede and I are a married couple! And Darren is a part of the family.

Darren, you’re the third wheel!

DB: Well, we don’t know anything different! It has always been like this. It is like asking twins what it is to have a twin brother.

Do you think of Thomas and Dede as two or as one?

DB: Two, definitely. They are very strong personalities.

It’s like Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

DEDE WP: Oh, no. I don’t need him, but I like having him around.

The song “What’s Mine, What’s Yours” suggests an advanced level of sharing.

TW: Oh, Darren wrote it about a relationship that was and died during his time in the band. But I always share everything with Dede; there is nothing that I would keep from her at this point.

DB: I just wanted to say that the memories you cannot divide – they belong to all of us. Memories are not just a personal satisfaction.

Sounds Buddhist.

DB: Well, my roommate is a Buddhist and I respect it. But I dunno.

One thing the three of you do do together is sing a lot of harmonies. It reminded me of Grizzly Bear.

DB: We love Grizzly Bear! Gareth Jones, who did some production on our first record, mixed [GB’s 2009 album] Veckatimest, and we listen to the record a lot – that’s how we came to Gareth. We did not consider so much harmony, but [producer] Luke Smith loved it and he pushed it on this album.

On Ternion you sound more like Depeche Mode than on your first album, although Jones has worked with Depeche Mode, not Smith.

TW: That DM sound is more connected with our mindset than with the change of producer. WHB was the album of the moment – we were just having fun. Ternion is introverted and contemplative – it’s more about us.

We Have Band, Sat, Mar 17, 21:00 | Gretchen, Obentrautstr. 19-21, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Hallesches Tor