Laura Bettinson – Dimbleby & Capper Interview

Dimbleby & Capper is the alias of 22 year-old singer, producer and remixer Laura Bettinson. Hailing from the same South London / New Cross scene that produced Mercury nominees The Invisible and the highly touted Micachu, Bettinson quickly built a reputation as a fearsome one-woman live act.
WHO ARE THE BAND MEMBERS AND WHAT DO EACH OF YOU DO IN THE BAND?
Officially Dimbleby & Capper is the solo project of myself, Laura Bettinson, but live I am joined by four other lads who help me recreate the racket that I record.
Josh Stadlen- Drums
Simon Wheeler- Bass
Sam Beste- Guitar/Synth
Alex Reeve- Guitar
Laura Bettinson- Vocals/Electronics/Live sampling
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU MAKE / PLAY ?
It’s a bass and beat heavy pop-beast with tribal and electronic limbs.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM ?
Originally from the Midlands but moved to London to study my degree at Goldsmiths, New Cross, where I met most of the band.

HOW DID YOU GUYS GET TOGETHER AND WHEN?

I initially put together a band after I finished my final degree show and we immediately got invited to play the Great Escape in Brighton, May 2009. After that we went on to play Glastonbury and Latitude for the BBC and we’ve been playing the live shows as a band ever since.

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ?

All those people who are actively offering up something different. Matthew Herbert/Micachu/The Invisible/La Shark the South East London scene is an exciting place to be right now…

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART OF BEING IN THE BAND FOR YOU ?

Trying to keep our energy onstage UP! Sometimes at the level we’re at, us support bands get pushed and rushed around a bit and it just puts everyone in a bad mood. So we try to stand our ground, make sure we get proper sound checks and the equipment which enables us to make every show our best. I’m quickly learning that there are no ‘unimportant’ shows anymore, keeping it consistent is key for us…

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR EARLY DAYS AND HOW THEY DIFFER FROM NOW ?

When I first started out it was just me and the machine, it would puff out beats and I would be sampling my vocals live over the top. Layering dense but linear songs. It’s still built on the same foundations, my machine and vocal is propelling the whole sound but the band are adding bundles of jagged texture around it.

WHAT WAS THE LAST GIG YOU PLAYED, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT ?

Our last gig was at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, our sound is really suited to that venue, we had lots of people down to see the show and we were really, really happy with it so hopefully some good words will spreading across the webwaves soon…

WHAT’S THE MOST SUCCESSFUL THING YOU GUYS HAVE DONE TO DATE ?

Recording a Maida Vale session for Huw Stephens at Radio One last summer felt really good. Closely followed by our slot at Glastonbury which got played on the BBC TV highlights and then our Latitude show was great because we got such an amazing reception of an audience of complete strangers. That always reminds me that we’re on the right track, when people are immediately hooked and listening…

WHO HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY ?
Thankfully I met some wonderful people at Goldsmiths who are the most supportive of friends. We would really suffer without our live sound engineer Mikko Gordon who is the best a band can get, my manager Joel who is ALWAYS in a good mood and the BBC radio DJs, Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson who really championed my demos on their shows which literally opened my world up to a whole host of other people and fans.

WHAT’S COMING NEXT FOR THE BAND ?
We want to play more shows. We like experimenting with our sets and the more shows we are playing the more confident we are to take those risks with an audience. I am currently in the process of recording again and have a couple of tracks earmarked for release in the autumn, currently on the look out for an indie label that can make this happen…

IS IT HARD BEING A NEW BAND IN TODAY’S INDUSTRY ?
Yes in many ways because you’re permanently skint. But in many ways because things are changing and companies are being a little bit more careful with their money, it means there is no pressure or anyone breathing down your neck. You have complete control and can do things just the way you want, which is important to me.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE INTERNET AND SOCIAL NETWORK SITES TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BAND ?

It has been fundamental in the making and maintenance of Dimbleby & Capper. My demo of Beautiful But Boring was played all last summer on Radio One because a blogger suggested the song to Huw Stephens on twitter and he played it, and preceeded to play it in every show. Crazy.

I sometimes find the freedom of content/comment thing a bit much, everyone has an opinion which of course they are entitled to but for those users that just seem to slam artists so bitterly, I find it a little deconstructive. I think that if someone doesn’t like something they should at least offer up a reason or a solution for what they think the artist should’ve done otherwise no-one gets anything out of it. Get me?

QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS:
WHO’S THE MESSIEST IN THE BAND?
Laura, Simon following closely behind…

WHO IS HARDEST TO LIVE WITH ON TOUR?
We have yet to discover this…

WHO IS THE JOKER AND WHY ?

Sam, he rocks tweed and calls his bag the ‘Fondini”…need I say more…

WHO MOANS THE MOST ?
I think we all do our fair share of moanage

WHO IS THE MOST ROCK ‘N’ ROLL & WHY ?
Alex, come on! Have you seen that swagger…

WHO IS THE LOUDEST ?
Josh and Sam when they get going are unstoppable…

WHO IS THE MOST ANNOYING ?

Our van, Bazza. He’s not very…how do you put it…reliable?

WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING THING SOMEONE IN THE BAND HAS DONE ?
Laura’s gaffer tape once became unstuck at a gig and gave the punters in the front row a little peep show. NICE.

WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH IN THE INDUSTRY ?
Film director, Michel Gondry. We could whip up something killer together.

WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH IN IRELAND OR NORTHERN IRELAND AND WHY ?

The Cranberries. Come. ON! What a match.
www.myspace.com/dimblebyandcapper