Music interview: The Ting Tings

The Ting Tings.
The Ting Tings.
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The Ting Tings, Katie White and Jules De Martino, released their debut album We Started Nothing, in 2008.

Their third album Super Critical is out now. We spoke to Katie and Jules about mountains in Ibiza, loving disco, and getting back to where they want to be...

White said: “We had an amazing time making our third album, the best time we’ve ever had in the studio. We went to Ibiza about 18 months ago, when it was like a ghost town out of season.

“We had a lot of time to gather our thoughts, and we made this album. I don’t know how we did it really.

“It was [inspired by Ibiza] a bit, it was inspired more by what we didn’t have in Ibiza, and what our dream club would be like.

“We met Andy Taylor from Duran Duran, who became our friend. We did one song with him to start with, and it was great.

“We didn’t know we’d do the album with him, but we took all our equipment there and that one song turned into nine months living in his studio, up a mountain.”

So, what was the first song you worked on?

“Wrong Club, which was the first single. We were fixated on that old Studio 54 vibe, real disco stuff, and the way real tape sounds. That was what Andy wanted to do too, and he likes using analogue tape. We embraced that way of working and got really excited about it.

De Martino said: “Normally Katie and I work in a bubble and no one gets into it, but as we were in Ibiza in the middle of winter with no friends, trying to focus, we made that one connection with Andy. So he’d come in and kept saying the right things, offering to take some pressure off us with recording and producing.

“Then Andy came along with his guitar-playing, Andy having worked with Nile [Rodgers] in the past and gave us exactly what we needed. It’s not a pastiche, but there’s a nod there.”

He added: “It was great [in the studio], you could hear him getting into it, and I don’t think Andy has played guitar like that and jammed in years, so I think he felt the years rolling away, reliving his youth.

“Fifty per cent of the guitar riffs on the album were just improvised on the spot by Andy, and we’d edit them a little after and keep them. It was without a doubt the most fun we’ve had in the studio.

“We’re not with Sony any more, and we feel happier for 
it. We feel comfortable in our own skins, and very creative again. After the success of the first album we had to really fight to find where we felt comfortable again. We love 
pop music and write pop music.”