I recently had the pleasure of conducting a little Q&A session with Denton/Dallas dream-pop duo Fight Bite. Their gorgeous, drifting tunes can be found on their debut LP Emerald Eyes and a soon-to-be released 7″ – both available on their MySpace page. Check out what they had to say during their time on the Porch after the jump.
Porch of the Mystics: What inspires a Fight Bite song?
Leanne: For me, they are short bursts of spontaneous sadness or hope or whatever I’m feeling. For instance, “Widow’s Peak” and “Swissex Lover” were written instantly. The lyrics come from life experiences and the embellishment of them. Jeff is a much more thoughtful and meticulous writer. He tends to have an idea to start with, which is why we work well together. I kind of reign in his obsessive endless creativity and he helps me make sense of my brief moments of musical possession.
Porch of the Mystics: What sort of process do you go through when you write a song?
Leanne: We usually set out with either a full song that just needs to be hammered out and embellished or we have a skeleton that is gradually filled in with melodies and vocals.
Porch of the Mystics: Do you play everything on the new album yourself?
Leanne: We play everything from casio beats and harmonium, to cello.
Porch of the Mystics: Were you influenced by any particular artists or styles of music when you recorded it?
Leanne: We are mutually influenced by bands like the Carpenters, Sylvie Vartan, OMD and millions of others. Generally, we both really love singles from the 60’s and 80’s.
Porch of the Mystics: If you could collaborate with any person or band, who would you choose?
Leanne: If I could, I would collaborate with Jeff from Teenage Symphony (which I do). Next, I would track down Ellie Greenwhich to write us a girl group hit.
Jeff: Well, Leanne, of course, but if she dies or kicks me out, I’d try to persuade Margo Guryan to record with me.
Porch of the Mystics: What is it like coming up in Denton/Dallas? Do you think that particular scene has had an impact on you in any way?
Leanne: I live in Denton, so I’m used to walking to house shows with such an inviting and accepting atmosphere that it’s almost impossible to embarass myself. I play in alot of messy bands that are alot of fun. Playing in Fight Bite is much more stress. We play for less forgiving audiences in Dallas, but we hope they’re warming up to us.
Jeff: There are so many great bands in Denton, it’s hard not to be influenced by them in some way.
Porch of the Mystics: Who are your favorite local bands?
Leanne: Angry Businessmen, Nouns Group, Rocket for Ethiopia, Fake Blood (Austin), and Daniel Francis Doyle (Austin).
Jeff: Besides all of those Leanne mentioned, I’d say Eat Avery’s Bones, Koji Kondo, Rival Gang, Glass Gown, and The Great Tyrant.
Porch of the Mystics: Your music is really gorgeous and dreamy – how does it go over in a live situation?
Leanne: We have some trouble duplicating 35 layer songs live between two people. I think it’s good a bit raw, though. You can hear the core pieces we started with.
Jeff: I think people are smart enough to expect that the songs will sound different from the recordings. However, we do try to create a similar atmosphere and mood when we play live.
Porch of the Mystics: What do you have coming up? A tour? New recordings?
Leanne: Our new 7″ is coming out soon. We have a follow up album in the works and we are planning a tour of the Northeast and certainly one all over Texas.
Porch of the Mystics: What’s the best day you can imagine?
Leanne: Waking up late midday in a bed next to Steve Albini who is reading Tiger Beat magazine and eating shrimp flavored Cup-a-Soup.
Jeff: Leanne stole my answer. Steve is dreamy.
Bonus Question: Where did the name Fight Bite come from?
Leanne: A Fight Bite is an infection that occurs when one strikes another in the mouth and doesn’t seek proper medical attention (in avoidance of an assault charge, for instance). We wanted a harsh name to go with our sweet soft sound.