The Ethical Debating Society (TEDS, to you) are noisy, relevant, seitanic punx. Led by Tegan Christmas, with Kris on guitar, Eli on drums … we’ve not seen nearly enough of these lovelies in 2017, so we’re delighted to be kicking off our 2018 gigarama with them next weekend, 20 January, at The Amersham Arms. In the meantime, they kindly offered answers to our 10 questions …
1. Who would you most like to cover one of your songs?
Kris: St Vincent or Comet Gain; Vince because she did such a good job with the Pop Group, and the Gain because there’s a song we’ve never used which’d only work if they did it.
2. If you could add one member to your band – any person, living or dead, musical or otherwise – who would it be, and what would they play?
Tegan: Virginia Woolf. I had a dream where I met her and said ‘Oh Ginny, how’re you doing?” and she told me “I’m good, I’m done with literature now, I’m running a women’s basketball team, they’re doing really well”. I think that if she had another lifetime she’d probably be up for a bit of rock n roll. We’d waive our ‘no bass’ rule.
3. If your music could have a superpower, what would it be?
Tegan: The power of persuasion.
4. What’s best: playing a big venue full of strangers, or a small pub full of friends?
Kris: Tricky. We’ve enjoyed playing big rooms full of strangers, but it’s more fun when you feel like you’re making new friends out of them in the process.. and.. sometimes that happens!
5. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of.
Tegan: Book – ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles. An us–versus–them novel that everyone should read at the age of 16. Album – ‘Radio Hits, Vol 1’ by Helen Love, which is perfect. Pure sunshine pop. I had it on yellow glittery vinyl.
Kris: Book – ‘Woman of the Dunes’ by Kobo Abe. Japanese socialist writes existentialist masterpiece. Album – ‘Bodies’ by Sidi Bou Said. Charley Stone from all-the-bands recently clued me into this brilliant album which I’d never heard before. Lifelong learning, isn’t it?
6. One for the guitarists … bore us with the details of your set-up please.
Tegan plays a blue guitar with orange pedals that go fuzz, and Kris plays a black guitar with an ‘OCD’ pedal that we don’t know what it does. He was drawn to it, moth-like – but you have to keep it exactly perpendicular to the edge of the stage or it doesn’t work.
7. What’s the best thing about being in your band?
Consensus decision making and an atmosphere of total criticism yet total support for each of us to try new things we haven’t done before.
8. What are your band goals?
Finish the difficult second album. Stay ethical.
9. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?
We’re working on a very special cover for a fundraising compilation and part of the song is in 7/8 time!
10. Give your top 5 contemporary bands.
Dream Nails: brilliantly charismatic communicators.
Guttfull: constantly-surprising collective of new talents.
ILL: art-punk, politics and everything unholy.
Petrol Girls: hardcore redemption.
Witching Waves: post-everything supergroup!