"We are spit from the earth's mouth and find something that can truly take us out of our skins.
If we're reaching that stage, then it must be special, no matter how much doubt may come.
Extremes excite me.
I discovered that when you're at the point of being moved you can lose the feeling of being in awe
and feel the affiinity and that there are no rules."

"I wanna make people feel something.
The music that I listen to most is the kind that reflects something that I feel.
After all, isn't that why we all listen to music? To be excited and to be thrown into upheavel?"
... Carina Round

Carina was born an Anglo-Italian in the stark surroundings of Wolverhampton's Low Hill area in 1979 (where she and her mother were later burgled five times in one month and had their car burnt out) and brought up in Heath Town. With little interest in her outside surroundings, she found nourishment in her mother's record collection.

"My first memories are of when I would put on 'Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall' [Bob Dylan] and hide inside the curtains to be alone. I was too young for the lyrics to really register, so I used to just make up my own: 'we have the bees flying through wide suns...' and so on."

"I always had a knowing that I wanted to sing. Even as a child I could always sense a kind of musical meaning. I wanted to express it, and did: although I didn't pick up a guitar until I was fourteen, then it really took over. I would hide in the wardrobe on school days until my mother went to work and then spend all day listening to records alone. I'd just crank it and scream and wreck the house. We'd get letters of complaint from the school and neighbours. It was like a real sense of purpose, because school never gave me that. I felt like [Led Zepplin's]
Physical Graffiti was teaching me more of what I needed to know. I haven't been back there for a while now, since I recorded The Disconnection as the studio is there and I was surprisingly nostalgic. The place has cleaned up a lot as far as I saw."

"When I lived there, there were consistently grubby children playing on mattresses in the middle of the
road... abandoned burnt out cars. It had the highest rate of street crime and child prostitution in the country, but I'd hang out with anyone in the area as a kid. I just wanted to meet people, especially old, weird-looking people, which absolutely freaked my mother out. She wouldn't even let me cross the road on my own until I was 11."

"We used to get a lot of traveler women adorned in cheap jewelry trying to sell gold plated 'lucky charms'
for a tenner and cursing us to hell when we kindly declined. It was the most rife area for child prostitution and street crime in Wolverhampton and it was highly publicised, which I think finally forced the local council to do something about it."


"I went to Saint Mary's Catholic Primary and Junior School. No nun's luckily, but it was enough to give me my fair share of guilt for the rest of my life!"

"As a teenager I went to Heath Park Senior School, where the girls where sexually harassed every day (and not just by the pupils) in Heath Town, an area not too different from Low Hill but with a speciality for pimps and drug dealers. I tried not to hang out at all. It was also around this time that I REALLY discovered music and became obsessed which alienated me from most of my school friends as I was ever dismissive of the kind music that was widely targeted at kids of our age."

"I used to hang out with a mysterious girl called Eve in the park near my house until a flasher asked us to get him off for a pound one night when we where about nine. I also used to go to the local pub with my mom every Saturday to watch a live blues band and drink pineapple and lemonade."

"There were a few closed down youth clubs and adventure playgrounds, which is a shame because I think these kind of areas are the most creatively pregnant when you scratch the surface because the kids have so much to express, whether through anger or whatever form and it's important that they are given the medium to express this. Music being the most obvious choice for me. Luckily my mother turned my attention to music very early and this is how I kept myself busy... and Barbie dolls..."


"From an early age, my mother used to play a lot of Led Zeppelin and Neil Young around the house. Also
Nina Simone, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Lou Reed and Velvet Underground. Things like that. Obviously, before I was five [my influence] was Madonna. She was the one that kind of made me want to be a singer before I got into a lot of great, great music. [My mother's] support has been invaluable. I practically gave up education to be a musician and she was there for me all the way."


"I decided I wanted to sing at the age of six. I had this little ghetto blaster when I was 8 or 9 years old. It had a little mic on it, and I used to sing a little bit into it and then press pause and see what I sounded like. And my Nan used to have this little organ and we used to play things on it and sing along. I'm sure it must have sounded terrible because at that age I obviously had no concept of chords or anything. I remember posing with a celery stick in front of the mirror to Madonna but I can't remember the specific time that I became a songwriter. I started writing poetry at the age of 10 or 11 and by the time I picked up a guitar at the age of 15 it was quite a natural progression."

"My grandfather would sing ALL the time. I'd follow him round just to hear him. He would inspire these
daydreams in me about music and poetry, which I would be in trouble for nearly every day at school."

"When I listen to people that move me vocally, not all of them can necessarily sing very well technically. It just comes from the gut you know? It's totally about presence. It's not about technicality it's about the presence of what youre singing. I've had some gigs when I've just not been there and you can tell your voice is just not as good when you're not mentally in the right place to sing. It's the same with playing an instrument I think. Everyone probably thinks differently but it's just got to be from the gut, it's good to be emotional. You've really got to mean what you're saying. Some of my favorite singers; Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Lou Reed or Nina Simone, all these people are fantastic. They can't all sing great technically but they move you when you hear them. The guy from the Flaming Lips, I mean what a voice he's got. I used to absolutely hate it the first time I heard it, I just couldn't stand it but its one of those that gets in your soul. It gets in the cracks and won't leave."

"I got a turntable when I was five. I think mainly because I was brought up in such a terrible area my mother tried everything she could to stop me going out of the house. Buying a turntable was, I think, one of the more inspired ideas. It was great; she'd have all these records like Harvest by Neil Young, early Nina Simone and Bob Dylan. There was some terrible stuff as well I think; Peter Frampton was one of the wrong ones. It was Peter Frampton live where he talks through this tube while he's playing the guitar. It was really hideous."

"Well, I think the first record I ever bought was a 7" and I totally bought it for the cartoon on the cover. I was 5 or 6 years old so its not my fault but it ended up being Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python but it just wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be some cartoon theme tune or something. I was very disappointed."

"For the most part I wanted to be Robert Plant and Patti Smith but on maturing it widened the possibilities to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Billie Holliday, Nina Simone, Nick Cave, Pixies, Tindersticks amongst other changing favourites, these are some of the people that I always go back to."

"The first concert I went to was a Metallica concert at the NEC in Birmingham on the
One tour. They had all the pyrotechnics, and it was really impressive. I thought every gig was going to be like that for the rest of my life."


"I'm playing to a lot of Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the bus. Stripes obviously, Flaming Lips. I got one of the Loretta Lynne albums that's really cool. I recently heard a band called Turn Pale who are really good. Obviously I'm really inspired by all the oldies."

I've never had any formal music education. I started singing as soon as I could, to the dismay of my mother. Until I was probably about 15 when... I don't know, I woke up one morning and I went from sounding like a kettle boiling to actually being able to sing properly.

"I used to be a care assistant - I used to have to wipe old people's asses. Amongst other things, I had to feed them - and they would spit at me and scratch me and swear at me. You can't believe the things I saw; I can't even tell you. It was kind of funny as well, because a lot of them were quite mad. They used to tell me that they had met the queen and she had come around for dinner. They'd tell me the entire conversation they had with the queen. It was quite entertaining."

1999 with Miles Hunt
(Photo: Jenny Prosser)
"I love taking photos. I collect old antique cameras, and I also collect antique suitcases. I like to travel with those. I like to watch movies and listen to music, all that kind of boring stuff. I think my big one at the moment is taking photographs. You can get so much out of seeing mundane stuff and taking a picture of it in a certain way and it looks like something that has been extracted from the world and put on this pedestal. I have a few friends who are photographers as well. We have this little unspoken group of photographers, which is quite cool."

"I don't know that I've had enough main stream exposure for those people to hear me. They are the people who would hear it through Radio 1 or on the cover of a magazine. I feel quite guilty that since I got the opportunity I got out of there and stayed out of there. It would be really nice at some point if ever this happened for me to get back into those places, 'cos they really are disaffected."

"My Mum's always really supported what I've wanted to do. I knew from the age of five that I wanted to be singer. I dropped out of school during my A levels cos I wanted to join a band. My Mum had to tip me off my mattress to get me to go to school in the morning! I just think these people need to have it made known to them that there's something else out there for them. I dont mean that to sound patronising or snobbish, because I am one of those people. I basically used to lock myself away in the Music Room at lunchtime so that I could play music. I felt that I wanted to nurture a gift, or something I enjoyed."


"There's barely any music or art facilities in any schools around there because they see it as something people do if they're not clever enough to do Maths. Its a real shame with the curriculum change at the moment, not even the teachers can put passion into what they do because they have such a set regime. We need to have Youth Clubs for people to give them the freedom to do what they want. There are so many creative people who have been crushed since they were born."

"I was a singer in a band when I was about 16, but I didn't write any of the songs, just got told what to sing. I got bored of not being able to sing what I wanted so I left."

"I started out solo cause the manager I had at the time didn't really want to get me into the music industry before I decided where my roots were. I did a lot of gigs around the UK as a solo artist, from the age of about 17 to 21. In pubs and touring with people, it really was useful to get that experience under my belt. It was fantastic and it was hard work, and I played in front of some fucking horrible audiences as well, which really made me used to being on stage in front of many different people. It was really useful because when I eventually got together with the band and we did some gigs, I was pretty confident on stage."

"So it was a very valuable experience for me to do so many gigs back then. I'd toured the country by the time I was 18 and to some terrible audiences too, which helped with my confidence on stage I think."

2001? (photo: Fleecyman?)

"The first time I joined a band was without a bass player because the guitar player really just wanted an excuse to get on stage and play as many guitar solos as possible, which is fine because he's a great guitar player. We just did covers of songs that have lots of guitar solos... That only lasted for probably six months and then I decided to flee the nest."

"I've always had a band. I've always found it really important from the beginning to collect a group of musicians around me that are really interesting. I was always quite precious about what the music sounded like, so I searched a long time for a band. At first it was just a three piece - me, my bass player Smudge, and a drummer called Marcus Galley, who I eventually had to let go 'cause he got a girlfriend and was never available.

3 October 2001

"Then I recruited another drummer called John [Large] and a guitarist called Tom Livemore who are both absolutely brilliant. Someone came to the gig in New York, this really old looking guy in a tweed suit and I thought 'Oh my god who is this coming to talk to me?' and he just started talking music at me and it was really fascinating. He just said I really love the way you've got a hip hop drummer, a jazz bass player and a punk guitarist and he just totally hit the nail on the head. It was really amazing and I said 'Okay youre on it'."

I think I just heard the way these people played and really loved it and wanted them in my band. All of them are totally original in the way they play their instruments and thats what I wanted. It wasn't particularly about different styles of music although it probably contributed to it subliminally. They're all just amazing in really different ways."

13 December 2002

"I think from when I started gigging, it came really natural to me, because there was a lot I was trying to say. Even if I was not saying it in the words, there was a lot I was trying to get out. Just standing by the mic and singing my words was not enough for me and I had to put my body into it as well. I think also a lot of years spent performing on stage has given me a lot of confidence, and made my performance a lot more fluid. Perhaps that is why it looks so natural & because I have been doing it for so long. I have been performing for nine years now. I know that is not a long time in the scheme of things, but in that time I've done a lot of gigs, and I've just gotten used to being on stage. I still get nervous, but there is just a different part of me that comes out on the stage that doesn't get seen any other time. It's that emotional monster, I think."

"The pressure is that when you do a support slot you just think I'm going to go in there and do my best and the fact that people come up at the end and say that they really enjoyed you is a bonus. But when you're doing headlining shows people are coming expecting to be impressed by you. It seems that there are a few people at these gigs that have come purely off the back of reviews, haven't heard anything at all, or from word of mouth which has been amazing. So many people have come up to me and said my friend told me if I didn't come she'd really kill me! That kind of thing has really built my confidence. "

"I was never really one for knocking on anyone's door. You know from the start that the general consensus is that you get signed to a major label then they try and manipulate you into being something else that you're not. I wasn't really interested in that from the start so I wasn't interested in signing to a major so I just got on with it and did my thing. My first record was put out on an independent label that was owned by a friend of mine. We'd had many drunken conversations about how a record should be put out and finally we did it together. That was a really limited edition of 8000 copies and sold them all."

“And don’t even talk to me about NME. You get a certain amount of success in Britain, and the NME’s
already itching to move on to the next thing. The music industry is so small and incestuous over there, no record company is willing to work any further than one album at the moment, because they’re afraid to spend money on anyone. And that’s what happened to me in the UK—they couldn’t hear the radio singles, so they weren’t interested. I mean, not everyone wants to listen to a fucking radio single. Some people wanna listen to Patti Smith or the Velvet Underground, and those were the artists who changed my life, made me want to make music.”

"Same old bullshit about the current industry climate being totally soul destroying and I'd rather eat glass than be taken apart by such a sight-less bunch of tossers. Not meaning to sound negative here; there are some really fantastic, energetic people trying to some do something visionary out there; but it's such a struggle. Even if they have plenty of money to throw around they still have to get people to listen. It's like, 'Hey, I know you just signed three pop bands that are gonna do anything to get famous, but you should fund me instead. I'm in this for the long haul. I may not meet your unrealistic and intimidating quota of record sales over the next year, but I'm really passionate and I just want to make real music for the rest of my life that might even make someone FEEL something...what do you think???' At the moment it seems to be mostly down to the people to get out there and SEARCH for the music they want to hear. It rarely comes to us anymore... hallelujah for the internet, the saviour of the underground music scene...and good, hard work of course. On the other hand it is about 100 times more deeply satisfying when you find something you love these days... it's like you discovered it. I'm rambling, sorry."

19 May 2003
(photo: John W. Stuart)
"I think that particularly when female singer-songwriters, which are even more meaningless, started coming on to the scene, the kinds that the record companies signed were sweet little girls who would whine a lot. I don't really know why this evolved the way it did. I've met a lot of fucking women throughout my life and they're not all the same. You probably know that already. It's just a small ratio that writes music and gets heard. It's just a shame that you will still get a review in the magazines and have to get comparisons. And I think the reason you don't get it as much with males, there's just more of them in history to compare to. You just don't get that type. I've never ever seen a guy being compared to a woman singer, but I've seen loads of women being compared to lead singers. There just isn't as many of them."

"Especially in this day and age, it’s not a singer/songwriter climate, particularly female singer/songwriters. It’s all Strokes and Libertines, which I think is fantastic, but it’s really hard for someone like me, who’s come on the scene a bit late, I suppose, to try to make a living out of it. You’re not part of any scene at the moment. It’s quite a headache. But I think we’re doing it the right way, if we build our roots this way, we’ll build a great gathering of fans."

"I’m not a total religious. You could be mislead by my crucifix, but it’s because I never met my father in my life. I just met him two months ago and he gave me this, so I wear it all the time. My whole band is really… they’re all Christian. I spend a lot of time with them and have a lot of conversations with them. I’m totally not religious. I’m questioning all the time. I do believe there is something out there whether it’s just something that makes the world happen, I don’t know what the word is. But I don’t believe in God in the biblical sense. I don’t believe in the Bible. But I do believe that there is a priest around. Yes, I would say I am a spiritual person."

"For eight years in the U.K., I've worked my ass off. I had to put my first record out by myself because the industry over there has got its head in the sand - they won't even look at anything that isn't New York garage. I started doing gigs when I was 17, and I've been working nonstop ever since. Now there's such a word-of-mouth thing going on about me, it's just amazing. Especially in America, people like my music, and they're telling other people about it."

"When I wrote the first record between the ages of 17 and 20, so it was a bit of a foot-stomping record if you like. I threw a few little tantrums. I had so much to say. I'm still really proud of it, but there's a lot on there. I have a lot to say, and I wasn't very articulate with it. It was almost like having a bit of a tantrum. And we did it so quickly. [It] was done in 10 days. And it was made with 3,000 pounds, which is 5,000 dollars, which is a very a cheap record. And we didn't have a lot of time to experiment with sounds, etc. etc. So we ended putting a lot of layers on it. I consciously talked things out musically while we were mixing it. It was really more about taking parts out. I tried to say a lot more with a lot less both musically and lyrically. I simplified the music. I think basically what happened was I just matured a lot. And I became more articulate and learned how to say what I would have said in verse. Just leave space for other people to get into the song."

"I didn't want anyone to fuck with my music, because I'd already worked hard for five years, gigging all the time, writing songs, recording them at my house and then re-doing them in a little studio in Wolverhampton".

On the first record I was spewing my guts over everyone. It's like, seven tracks but it's like listening to fifteen. Lyrics are all over it, they build and build with the music and it ends up sounding really intense and I think for this (new) record, instead of adding a lot of stuff we decided that the best way to make this intense like we wanted it was to really strip it down, take things off instead of ramming a lot of stuff in. I think I went, structurally and lyrically, for simplifying things and saying a lot more with a lot less."

It was my first experience of that kind of thing and it was exciting and invigorating and I'm still proud of the record itself but it's like looking at yourself in a photograph when you're five years old or fourteen saying, did I really wear that?"

"If I didn't have songwriting I would get through life somehow. Maybe I wouldn't, who knows. I guess in life I am a really emotional person, but I tend to keep my cards close to my chest. I don't show a lot of people how I am feeling, so a lot of it tends to get held in. Especially if I am angry with somebody, my heart goes really deeply into emotions but my body won't allow it to show. It's a way of letting people close to me know who I am, which I guess is why my lyrics are so personal. Which is something that could get me in a lot of trouble someday, but it seems that is the only way I find I can write."

"I think it's really important to record a song not long after it has been written so that you can capture it on record the way it's really meant to be. I think performing it live is something totally different. Gigs are hit and miss and there are times when you get in the zone and you really hit the moment, and there are times when you just totally fucking fall flat on your face. That's the excitement of the gig, and that is why people still go to gigs."

"When you write a song, it's really important to try to get into the vibe again when you perform it. That's why, for me in particular, performing can be very tiring and can take a lot of my energy. People hear your songs and come to see them, and I think it's important to try and give them what they expect, performance-wise."

17 October 2003 (photo: David Renfrey)

"I don't write every day, which I should do. I tend to go through phases of writing. I find that it's at the times when I am at my most vulnerable that I allow myself to write. I know people that write all the time, and I am really quite envious of them."

"I really go for what is coming out of me emotionally, which is to my detriment, because a lot of people want to make this work commercially. It really fucking winds them up when I just come in with a ten minute song with perhaps two choruses that you can't even define as a chorus. I am still going to keep writing these things, because this is how I feel them. I don't really believe in any kind of format.

"I think if you are going to make it successfully and be heard on the radio and particularly in America and you've got to give them the bait. Obviously, I could spend hours, weeks or years writing a song but I always try and veer away from the obvious verse-chorus-verse-chorus-chorus-end... it does not inspire me at all. I tried it and I can't sing that sort of stuff and mean it. It is not where I am coming from."

"I still wanted everything to sound quite raw [on
The Disconnection]. I think that we did that even if it was just towards the coverage. But the first record, it was so extreme. But basically, my managers phoned me and said the last song sounded like I was being raped because it was so extreme. A lot of the album is like that. Even if it's not vocally, musically it's really quite like open-heart surgery if you like. I was more about making my way toward a conclusion with this record and coming together as a person more for me. And I can say I was trying to make those emotions and experiences come to something, instead of just lying on my back and screaming, which was what the first record was totally about... confusion. You're going through confusion all your life, but I wanted to make something of it. I wanted it to become something. I wanted every song to be a part of something."

20 October 2003 (photo: John Wakeman)
"I do get inspiration from films and books. I was reading one of Jeanette Winterson's books called Gut Symmetry a lot when I was writing The Disconnection. A lot of her poetry inspired me."

"I tend not to bear in the direction of politics, because I don't know a lot about it. It is something that affects so many peoples' lives in such intense ways. I really feel like I would have to know a lot about that kind of stuff to be voicing my opinion. It does interest me, and it does affect me, but it is not something I would want to write about just yet."

"I feel that I have an obligation, as someone who wishes to push my creations into the world, to do it with as much honesty as possible, and draw from experience and be searching if not finding in some way. At this point in my life I don't feel my opinion on [political] subjects are educated enough. I mean, shit, I help in whatever way I can, but to stand and shout inarticulately about something so big. But when it comes down to it, talking about yourself is one thing but addressing the subject of war and mass destruction... you've got to fucking really know what you're talking about and WANT to talk about it. It's not a magnet to me artistically and I know I'd sound like a complete cock if I tried. Besides, it's all about me, me, me!"

I'm obsessed with words so I think the first thing that inspires me to move on with the song is writing lyrics. I sit for hours writing lyrics but don't use most of them but yeah; I'm obsessed with lyrics. I can hear a really great sounding album and if the lyrics dont move me after a while I just can't listen to it any more. I'm always coming up with ideas for lyrics and stuff but musically it really baffles me as to what's going to come next. Every time I write a song I feel like I'm never going to write a song again. I've always had that feeling. I always just don't know where it's going to come from. That feeling is very daunting but it's also quite exciting. To push yourself and really make yourself write something better or a different feel. I think I want the next album to be a different sound."

"We recorded [
The Disconnection] really quickly and we only had five days of rehearsals before we recorded the album and a lot of the stuff, the band didn't even know so it was really quickly sorted out. I think there was scope for more experimentation on the record but the players themselves are quite experimental naturally. I think the sounds that Tom uses on the guitar are just; I don't know where they come from. He buys these all these crappy looking effects pedals and you'd just think that nobody in their right minds would buy that for a good effect but he just manages to get these fantastic sounds out of them. The bass player plays double bass but he uses a lot of effects on it and like I say, the drummer is really into hip hop and jazz and the kind of skewed things that come to him naturally I think really worked on the record."

"When I wrote it I was going through a very dark period of my life, a kind of hiatus if you like. And it was a real time for me when I had to make decisions. I was experiencing the whole spectrum of emotions, you know. It was a massive change in my life. I was experiencing fear, anger, joy, pain, elation, freedom all of these things, and every emotion. Instead of kind of just pushing that away, the fear of experiencing emotions, I just faced them and got through them. I think the only way to really disconnect yourself from stuff from the past or the person that you were, to really move on, is to really experience them and face them and get through them because if you shift things away, they'll just come bite you in the ass another time.

Basically that's what the whole thing is about to me. Experiencing every emotion and taking something positive from the part in your life that maybe wasn't so good. It's not about disconnecting your own shit and stuff out. It's more about making a conscious decision to move on, to something newer, exciting, or more challenging. And that's what it was about for me. I just think even in your darkest moment, you must have some kind of hope that it's going to come good, that the world isn't just going to cave. And that's the feeling I got from this. It was real hard. It was real dark, but something was driving me to carry on. And that it was what I wanted to put into the songs. That alone felt really scared. But I also got a sense of rebirth, as a human being. I was going through the next stage in my life and that was really something."

13 January 2004

"The songs are about reassessing your self worth after leaving something behind that you thought impossible to disconnect from. Finding the emptiness and light when what you filled yourself with has gone, and the flickers and booms when you're coming unstuck from it. And flinging yourself into what's new and even more real, and realising what you thought you couldn't find has been there all the time, but you were not ready to see or just asleep. The excitement when you realise you're going to be ok. That they are not always right. That there's so much more to know about yourself (and you're much more interesting without them anyway). That you're born again, un-numbing. That you will overcome. That you shouldn't be too careful with your heart. That there's more than one way to love someone. That there's more than one way for you to be loved. That you need no blanket for hiding and the highest form of freedom is in trust and abandonment, not always cocooning. That the freefall is ok and is also indiscriminate. That you do have something to share and also the capacity to do so. That when you know you don't belong here you have the strength to move on without regret. Knowing you don't need to waste time on people who suck your blood."

"I wrote the album after I had made some really drastic changes in my life. I had moved out of home for the first time, I had ended quite an intrusive relationship in my life, I was around quite a few depressive people and I kind of made the conscious decision to move away from all that. It is about the hiatus that comes in your life, you feel there is nothing happening and nothing is ever going to happen."

19 January 2004 (photo: Jessica Fishenden)

"Oh, and one song is about being in Paris in September, hanging from a balcony feeling new and upside down, and bustling and confused and disconnected from the past and other evils, and not knowing if I should kill myself because I felt so good and different... and CNN came on and the whole world was different. It's meant to be positive."

"I think ["Paris" and "Monument"] go together well because I wrote Paris before I'd ever been to Paris or New York. It was a really innocent song. It was actually a gift to someone who was going to Paris and he said I want you to write me a song for when I land. It really wasn't meant to go on the album. It was just meant to be a personal thing, but it ended up going on the album anyway. It's kind of about the things you want to do in your life and you kind of know you are going to do them. And you know you're going to do them, but at the same time you don't really want to do them. And I wanted a change to happen and to know that you've got to reach these goals. Monument I wrote actually standing, as it says, on a balcony in Paris across from Garden (Tuilleres?) and that's all about being there, being in that moment, totally letting it encompass you and like the look I'm not looking for answers. It's basically about, this is fucking cool. Something is happening. My life is changing in a big way. All those things that I was being held back from doing somewhere was able to balance out. And whether it was by someone else or my doing, it was quick. And I'm not afraid of sounding pathetic by expressing my joy for it."

28 August 2004 (photo: JCE)
"I think we tried to journey through spectrums. I always think that even in your most broken moment there's a glimmer of hope, otherwise you'd just break completely. I tried to put that glimmer of hope into everything I put on this album, except maybe the last track, because that's not been rectified yet. I think it's easier to write sad songs than it is happy songs. It's a lot more interesting. People like Nick Cave do it so well."

The picture on the front is kind of straight and cute and inoffensive and the picture on the back is very arresting and almost quite grotesque really. That was the effect that I was going for and I think that illustrates the music really well because there are a few rock songs on there but, you know, we were saying about the comparisons I get to PJ Harvey. Its almost like, well there's a female who sings quite full on music and the only person to do that in the last ten years to avail and critical acclaim is PJ Harvey."

"I understand the fact is that the reason they have to compare me to someone whos modern is that the magazine readers don't know about people older than that, you know so they have to put a comparison in. Listen past the first two tracks of the record and theres quite a few acoustic tracks on there and theres one with loads and loads of strings. I think its good if people can make their own mind up on it."

"I get compared a lot to PJ Harvey, just because she's one of the very few people in the last five, 10 years that did the groundwork first so she can stick around a long time," Round said. "It's nearly impossible in this day and age to create a career like that. It's important to pick up the fans by doing the groundwork first, to have a long career. It's common sense, really."

"I think there is merit in the sense of how many female artists are there, particularly British, around at the moment, who aren’t doing just pop music and who are doing kind of skewed, edging on difficult rock music that isn’t kind of girly and soft-spoken and stories of torment and loss. I really wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m a tormented soul. And I think at times my music is really rocky, and it comes over really quite strong and dark, which is a big part of what PJ Harvey does. And I think there is just nobody around to compare it to that kind of music. So in one sense it could be lazy journalism, but at the same time they’re not doing the same kind of music as me and they’re not the same sex as me, and they’re not around at the same time, and she is. And I think if you just listen to songs like "Overcome", or "Lacuna", or "Paris", or "Elegy", it’s like where are you coming from?"

"As much as the PJ Harvey references make me want to stab myself in the face, she's great. Rather her than Dido."

"I thought it was very revealing of what I am really. It's meant to portray a certain vulnerability behind the angst that people tend to hear in my music. I don't think I'm a very angry person, unless someone steps on my toe if you know what I mean. I think the eyes in the picture are really open and vulnerable. I also think as a photograph as a piece of art I think it's amazing. I think the woman who did it is so amazingly talented and I think it's such an arresting picture. I certainly didn't want to put the message across that I was a whining troubled singer/songwriter."

"Unfortunately it's got immediate connections with someone like PJ Harvey, because it's gutsy, because its not a nice picture of me sitting in a caravan park. I think you can put all those comparisons aside and say the reason I did it is to put a certain image across. There's no make-up on the pictures, there's no hairspray. It was really important for me to have that kind of rawness. That's what I feel about the music. It is raw and there's a great kind of tenderness behind it for me. The lyrics are really sensitive, they're not just like, 'fuck you'! The single cover is the same. I just wanted to put that across that it wasn't really fucking about putting a lot of glitter on my face and making people think, 'oh she's pretty', I wonder what she sounds like."

With Dave Stewart - 6 September 2006
(Photo: Romy Suskin/Greenpeace)
"After I put my first record out on that independent label, one of the guys took it to Dave Stewart [of The Eurythmics] and he wanted to meet me. He was setting up his own record label in the UK called Artists Network. It was meant to be a very artist-friendly label, what they call a 'transparent' label. This means you can see where all your money is going and you don't do anything that you don't want to do. So I signed to that label off the back of the explanation that they gave me. And because it was such a friendly label, nobody wanted to give them the funding. So, unfortunately that went into liquidation but I used the advance that I got from that signing to record and put out The Disconnection on my own."

"Dave then went to Jimmy Irving at Interscope records and set up a joint venture called Weapons Of Mass Entertainment. Jimmy loved it and now its out in the States and its just a dream really. The good thing about that is that there wasn't a major label in it from the start so basically because I was paying for it myself, it ended up being all about the way myself and the band wanted it to sound. It was done really quickly, recorded really cheaply in twenty days. Recorded and mixed in twenty days. It was kind of a rush job but I quite like that kind of thing."

"My first experience of the US was a tour with the Snow Patrol a few years ago and the first place we landed was Atlanta, Georgia. And then we traveled around the US for about a month. It was like starting all over again but with a tour bus instead of squashing into a car. Then I came back to record this record, Slow Motion Addict with Glen Ballard in Encino and then in Hollywood, which took a few weeks - probably a couple of months."

"Then I decided to test the water from moving there, so I stayed there for a month without doing anything - because my record company is based out here. I thought it would be a good idea to try and expand the fan base particularly for instance in California where it's as big as France. So instead of moving from England to France, it seemed a good idea to come over to the US - and LA seems like a good place to start as the record company is based here."


We came out here also to make the movie, which is made to coincide with the record. We spent 10 days doing that. I just decided it was time to move on from the UK. I thought there is a lot more opportunities available to me out here. I think if you come to LA and are really willing to put the work in, it can really pay off for you."

"At home I've tried really hard to get people to listen to my music, but apart from a small group of fans, no one pays me much attention. I come here and Lou Reed is telling me what a great voice I have and not to let anyone change me."

15 December 2005 (photo: Kel)
"I've been told that all their female singers look and sound the same these days. When I went to LA to sign my deal I played a few songs in Jimmy Iovine's office. He said he hadn't seen anyone play with such passion since the early days of hip hop. We ended up talking for two hours about my lyrics, which I was really pleased about, because I spend so long writing them. It was pretty scary, though. There were bodyguards in the room and, apparently, Jimmy nods to them when he decides he wants someone to leave. I found out later, he usually gives artists about ten minutes."

"There's wide variety on
[Slow Motion Addict]. It starts out a bit quirky and light, then moves into something darker, more arty, which are the two sides of my personality. It was important to grow up, stand up."

"There was a lot of positivity around me on this record, giving me confidence, just making me feel free. I love doing weird things with my voice. It's like you're a cartoon and can turn yourself into anything."

"Doing this album has taught me how to make a record that is accessible but still... you know... good."

"I wrote with people from vastly different backgrounds, all different ages, so there was a massive scope of music to draw on. It's important to expand in these areas, not just as a songwriter but as a person."

5 April 2006 (photo: Sylvia)

"It was difficult for me because it's the first time I've really worked with a name producer. We come from polar opposite planets, and although there were a few face-offs, which are to be expected, we met in a really good place. He made me feel very comfortable about the way I use my voice and certainly encouraged me to use it in as many strange ways as possible, which is great for me because I can become different cartoon characters with each new song."

30 March 2007 (photo: Losanjealous)
"I'm nervous about working with anyone else, and it was difficult for me because it's the first time I've really worked with a name producer. He's a sonic genius and very good at drawing a performance out.

"At the moment the way I express myself as a songwriter suits itself more to a band setting as I'm trying to play less and less as I'm a rotten guitar player. But I often fantasize about letting these songs loose acoustically and being able to play songs like 'Overcome' live."

"The impression I got when I played for the record company and to the agency, what they were saying is that it's not very often these days that you can get someone to stand up with an acoustic guitar and give that much passion. And, to be honest, I think my band fuckin' rocks. When people see us live, they'll really make the connection between live and the album and really get it."

"I want to smell the audience and feel the energy coming off them. I've done big gigs, too, but they feel impersonal. When you're doing small shows with your shoes sticking to the floor, I kind of prefer that."

I certainly want to feel like I'm sharing an experience, or you might as well be on a TV set, you're so far away. My band is so much about feeling a vibe on stage and you know some times we miss it and some times we're really fucking good and it's harder to gauge that the further away from the audience. And I think the sense you get when you walk into a little dive venue, you really feel like you're going to a gig, not like you're walking into an airport."

"At the risk of sounding either greatly pretentious or lazy and inarticulate, I don't know. It's not something I've ever really analyzed, and on trying, not something that is easily explained. It's just fucking wicked! It fizzes me with energy then wears me out. I suppose I want the audience to feel as I do; excited by the chemistry between the band, then between the audience and the band, or the audience and solo performer. I want people to emote and be challenged. I trust that an audience doesn't come to a gig to be put to sleep. I can't stand the idea of indifference; a gig is an experience that, every second, you feel could go either way. It could be completely mind-blowing or terrible (or both), and that's what is so great about it. That's why people talk about gigs 20 years or more after they've happened; a parceled moment in time, completely non re-livable - not even on live records.

I just, like, feel it, man!"

12 August 2007 (photo: Clap Your Mirror Say Yeah)

"I would just want to keep making records, make good records, and make challenging records for myself and for the people. I want to really push myself as a person, so I never get bored. Hopefully, when I play over time, I'll get better. I just want to keep playing. I think that's where we're at our best, live. And I just want to keep making good records."

"At the moment, I'm feeling quite a lot of joy. I always try for myself to have some joy, because however down you are or however dark it is, there's always some hope. This life is fucking good."

"I'm standing on a rooftop naked, particles of me flying off into the air,
I'm on fire, and about to explode.
I'm the 60-Foot Woman; I can walk through anything.
I'm about to light up the world."
11 October 2007 (Photo: Kristin Burns)

All words (except non-italisized) by Carina Round.
Excerpted from various interviews. All(?) of which are found from the Links page.
All photos not credited are by unknown photographers. Most of which are courtesy CarinaLive.com