Baxendale are the reason why I was late to school for most of last year. Y’see some have deigned to suggest that I’m a little psychopathic in the mornings (I know, I know, you can’t believe it of me either…) but I found that bouncing around my bedroom at half seven in the morning to 'I Love the Sound of Dance Music' (which contains the fantastic lyric “maybe too much custard in my youth has filled my head with useless gloop”) to act as some kind of regenerative force. Lordy, I was even capable of conversation by the time I passed through that hallowed school gate. This, my friends, is just one of the many reasons as to why I love them so.

For the uninitiated they comprise three pop loving poppets who live under such names as Tim Benton “singing, programming, sweatbands”, Senay Sargut “singing, synth, magnetic attraction” and Alex Mayor “monosynths guitar, b. vox, untidy mind”. They make sleek bouncy synth pop, are often misguidedly compared to the Pet Shop Boys, and like S Club 7. I think you should understand them now.

Things, on the outside at least, have been a little quiet in the funky world of Baxendale, but they’ve been busy recording their first album proper (following on from last year's mix of rare singles and extras – 'You Will Have Your Revenge') and teasing us with promises of releases in the meantime…oh yes…and I teased an interview out of the ever lovely Tim Benton. So while we wait patiently for more joyous releases glimpse into the mind of Baxendale, a band who’ve made it acceptable to like Belle and Sebastian *and* Destiny’s Child. Huzzah!

LB : Okely dokely, could you please tell me how Baxendale came into existence and what your wicked purpose is?

TB : We started because we felt pop music needed some new heroes. Our purpose has always been to be the kind of pop group that you can believe in and truly love and buy into, I have no time for bands who can't see how important this is. To be quite liked or merely put up with has never been our intention, if you don't love us we'd rather you hated us! and believe me we get lots of hatred, especially from Stereophonics fans!

LB : What do you aim to achieve with Bax. World domination, life long cult status, or something altogether far more interesting?

TB : I think with a little more exposure which will hopefully happen with the next album, we can secure a place in the hearts of the pop loving nation. The most frustrating thing for us so far is that we haven't been able to reach the wider public who I'm sure will buy into what we're doing much more than Indie people, who always seem to think we're being ironic.

LB : Why do you think people like Baxendale?

TB : I hope people like us because we make them feel things. It's intense music, but at the same time incredibly fun. I think all of the songs on our last album were really sad, (apart from 'Hanging Out With Her') I'm sure the real fans pick up on all of that tension. I think there are some people who think it's all funny songs and that we are some kind of 80's revivalists, and if you enjoy it for these reasons that's fair enough, but that was never our intention to be that kind of band.

LB : Would you agree that Baxendale are a bit like marmite, with regards to the love/hate response? And why do you think this is?

TB : To be honest there are a hell of a lot of people who start off hating us violently, who end up being our biggest fans! To be honest, I think if you're not really paying attention we can come across as a bunch of wankers larking around with the Pet Shop Boys' keyboards, and I can understand hating that, but if you've got half a brain or you actually listen you can see that we're not about that at all.

LB : How important is being fashionable to Baxendale? And share those fashion tips!

TB : I think fashion is incredibly important, but not the kind of glossy mag, designer label fashion, more a kind of cultural awareness with an original twist, I do for example enjoy wearing a pinstripe suit with a mohican, or indeed big hip hop trousers, a hooded top and a sword.

LB : If the band collectively could be a figure from history, who would you be and why?

TB : Elvis Presley, there'd be something about being the first huge pop star ever. and the burgers would be nice later on!

LB: What would your band motto be?

TB : We have so many! From "We're not afraid to use our dancing shoes" to "This is music for girls" to "You will have your revenge" at the moment it's "The Revenge Has Just Begun"

LB : What influences/inspires you and what do you think is your most unlikely/unexpected influence?

TB : Er... I wrote a lot of songs inspired by episodes of Dawson's Creek. Musically I'm really into really crunchy UK Garage and R&B, The sounds on R&B records in the last couple of years have really inspired me. It's getting a bit samey now, but I remember the first time I heard Whitney Houston's 'It's not Right... But it's OK' and 'Bills, Bills, Bills' by Destiny's Child the sounds they were using and the rhythms were revolutionary and have influenced everything we've done since. Maybe that's the most unexpected influence, Whitney Houston!

LB : If you could do absolutely anything other than be in Baxendale, what would you do and why?

TB : I'd like to be a long distance lorry driver, I love travelling and listening to the radio

LB : Do you think you have a typical fan? Has a Baxendale sub-culture emerged as such?

TB : I don't think we have a typical fan, but there do seem to be lots of cool kids with good haircuts who are into us

LB : .Can you tell me lots about your new album thingummybob. Please?

TB : Well we were hoping to have it out by now, but as with most things it takes 10 times longer than hoped, because we're releasing it all over Europe at the same time and recording in London and Hamburg, but we're getting there. It's just a case of making sure this one doesn't disappear into indie nothingness! Anyway it'll be called 'Baxendale Junior High' and sounds much poppier than the first one, but also a bit punchier. Because it may be a while until it comes out, we're going to release a bunch of singles in the Autumn that won't be on the album. The first one will either be a tune called 'I Love To Watch My Baby When She's Dancing' or one called 'Live With Me' which is based around a sample from 'My Perogative' by Bobby Brown. So they'll all be out soon!

LB : What tip top choons are spinning on the Baxendale stereo at the mo?

TB : M.O.P. -'Cold As Ice'
Luke Haines - 'The Oliver Twist Manifesto' (Album)
Basement Jaxx -'Rooty' (Album)
MC Paul Barman -' MTV Get off The Air'
Geri Halliwell -'Scream If You Wanna Go Faster' (Album)
A*Teens -'Halfway Round The World'
Daft Punk - 'Discovery' (Album)
'Renaissance Ibiza 2001 Compilation Album'

And the best song of the year has to be without a shadow of a doubt 3LW - ' No More'

LB : Which, if any, new baby bands are making you jump up and down like an over excitable toddler?

TB : You should check out MC Paul Barman, I can't seem to get his records over here but you can usually download them off of the internet. He released a Mini-Album last year called 'It's Very Stimulating' which is incredible. He's an overeducated white rapper from the states with girly curly hair and a unique rapping style. The music is done by Prince Paul of De La Soul fame and anyone who's into lyrics should really check it out, purely because there are so many of them, and it's really good fun.

LB : A tough one but, Steps or S Club 7?

TB : I'm with the S Club all the way I'm afraid, Steps lost it after 'One For Sorrow'

LB : .Cats or Dogs?

TB : Cats

LB : .Favourite childhood cartoon / shop / drink / sweet

TB : Dangermouse / Newsagents (Loads of Comics) / Lilt (not diet) / make mine a Wham Bar!

LB : .Last band you saw / cd you bought / book you read

TB : Gonzales at Syndrome/ Atomic Kitten -'Right Now' /' Last Night A DJ Saved My Life' by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton

LB : Tell me a secret. Oh go on.

TB : Actually yesterday I put on my arm a temporary tattoo of the (un)popular vocal group 'Honeyz', which I had found free in a magazine. I was just bored and it was lying around. Anyway I began to regret this as I discovered that it wasn't gonna come off without a great deal of scrubbing away at my skin and lots of pain, so I've been wearing a long sleeved shirt since then to cover it up, even though it's been too hot to. So there you go, my secret tattoo revealed!

LB : Thank you













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