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Shy Child - Interview

  by Jonjo McNeill

published: 21 / 10 / 2007

Shy Child - Interview


After an exuberant show in Newcastle, Jonjo McNeill chats to drummer Nate Smith from rising New York synth duo Shy Child about touring and their new album, 'Noise Won't Stop'

New York’s Shy Child have been beavering away beneath the radar for quite a while. Renowned for their remixing work (which takes in Editors and The Futureheads amongst others) they have struck out in their own right this year, touring alongside Klaxons and releasing their first UK album ‘Noise Won’t Stop’. It’s been a busy year which now finds them on the road headlining their own tour. Tonight I swung by the Other Rooms in Newcastle to witness a band unlike anyone else, yet who seem to fit the zeitgeist perfectly. Raucous, unflinching and as punky as they are dancey, Shy Child mix storming dance beats with vicious techno keytar and outrageous spiky vocals. A smoke filled bar-cum-club (alas it’s dry ice, not a gang of rebel smokers taking back what is rightfully theirs) seems the perfect setting for their twisted disco. Drummer Nate Smith tells me later that this, their second full tour of the UK this year, has seen a lot of converts from their recent stint supporting Klaxons turning up. “The glowsticks and that kind of thing is a bit silly, but kind of funny. The crowd on that tour were pretty young, and really excited. Every show was like that - we were the support band but they were getting into it which doesn’t always happen so it was a good match of bands I think.” And the kids who’ve turned up tonight seem fully converted to the Shy Child manifesto – that is volume, energy and dancing. Smith and keytarist/singer Pete Cafarella take us through the highlights of ‘Noise…’ as well as dipping into their back catalogue (whilst this is their first UK release, the duo released two albums previously in the US and Canada). ‘Cause And Effect’ brings the room to life, its Death From Above 1979 stylings forcing some members of the small but perfectly formed crowd onto the terrace for vital air. It’s one of the highlights of the album, and one of those pieces of music which takes on a life of its own when played live - a craft they’ve been honing with a gig schedule that would make even the hardest veterans of the road wince. “We’ve done a lot of shows over here this year” Smith continues. “The album isn’t out in the States yet so we came over here in the summer and played a load of festivals. Glastonbury was nuts. It was like this crazy muddy experience. But Bestival was the best one, the Isle of White is so pretty and the vibe there is amazing”. Have they picked up any live tips from the bands they’ve seen at the festivals ? “Simian Mobile Disco are amazing. I love the way they set things up on stage. They set everything up and stand in a circle running round this crazy table full of gear”. They’re an act not a million miles away from Shy Child in style, but you can’t help feel the latter’s rock n’ roll aspects help make them an even more formidable live force. They’ve sold themselves to me at least: in a post-DFA1970 world it’s good to see artists taking the good work they done and moving it forward, and Shy Child are doing a damn fine job of it. Clearly not afraid to put themselves out there, they seem to have it all – the tunes, the attitude and a frenetic, no-holds-barred live show which left Newcastle gasping for air. This city, much like the rest of the country, awaits their return with baited breath.

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Shy Child - Interview

Shy Child - Interview

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