FORMERLY REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES.COM
BANANARAMA (KEREN WOODWARD & SARA DALLIN) INTERVIEW [2009]

WELCOME BACK! IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOU RELEASED AN ALBUM, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO DURING THAT TIME AWAY?

SARA DALLIN - Thanks! Our last album release was 'Drama' in 2005. But it's great to be back with Viva Bananarama. We recorded it with Ian Masterson and handed the finished project to Fascination so it is exactly as we wanted it to sound. We have been touring abroad, played some festivals in Germany and Denmark and also headlined the pop tent at the Isle of Wight festival... that sort of thing.

'VIVA' IS FANTASTIC, IT'S A 'PROPER' BANANARAMA ALBUM ISN'T IT? THE SINGLE IS ALREADY ON THE RADIO AND YOU'RE POPPING UP ALL OVER THE PLACE DOING PUBLICITY, WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE PROJECT?

KEREN WOODWARD - The exposure has been amazing and everyone we have met have seemed genuinely pleased for us. We would love the album to do well as we want to tour next year. We are playing a gig at the Garage in London put on by HMV. It's for fans who buy the album there...

WHEN YOU WERE WORKING ON THE ALBUM THERE WAS A STORY GOING ROUND THAT 'VIVA' WAS GOING TO BE AN ALBUM MOSTLY OF COVERS OF DISCO CLASSICS... AS IT TURNS OUT THE ALBUM ONLY HAS THREE COVERS ON IT SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT IDEA?

KW - Yes, we were originally approached to record our favourite songs but the more original tracks we wrote the less that idea appealed.

WAS IT DIFFICULT TO DECIDE WHICH COVER SONGS TO INCLUDE? DID YOU RECORD MORE?

SD - The covers have been used on the various single formats. I think 'The Sound of Silence' is really popular with people...

YOU'RE BOTH CREDITED AS CO-WRITERS ON ALL THE NEW SONGS, HOW DOES THE WRITING AND RECORDING PROCESS WORK FOR YOU... DO THE IDEAS START OFF FROM YOU OR DO YOU HAVE A LOAD OF PEOPLE FIRING IDEAS AT YOU?

SD - We discuss with our producer and good friend Ian Masterson the kind of music we want to make, listen to lots of dance stuff, pop stuff. Sit at the computer and mess around with different sounds. He then gives us rough backing tracks to write to. I write the lyrics so I come up with the idea for the song which is usually suggested by the music and then get a rough melody in my head. Then Keren and I work on the melodies together. She's pretty good at arranging stuff.

ON THAT SUBJECT I HEARD A RUMOUR THAT YOU DID SOMETHING WITH PET SHOP BOYS, DID THAT HAPPEN? IT SOUNDS VERY INTRIGUING!

SD - No we have always wanted to work with the Pets from way back but it hasn't happened so far. We adore them!

LOADS OF PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT YOUR PLANS ARE REGARDING TOURING THE ALBUM... ANY PLANS YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?

KW - We really hope the album works because we would love to tour next year. Our manager is in talks at the moment!

THERE'S A NEW VERSION OF 'CRUEL SUMMER' INCLUDED ON ONE OF THE 'LOVE COMES' SINGLE FORMATS, IS RETURNING TO THOSE SONGS AND REWORKING THEM FOR TODAY'S MARKET SOMETHING THAT APPEALS TO YOU?

SD - To be honest as we were doing a lot of live shows we wanted to update the older tracks. It just seems that Cruel Summer is so popular around the world that it was put on one of the formats. It's not something I would necessarily choose to do!

TALKING OF WHICH, I REMEMBER HEARING THAT YOU'RE BACK IN TOUCH WITH SIOBHAN AND EVEN PLAYED A FEW SHOWS WITH HER... IS THAT LIKELY TO HAPPEN AGAIN?

SD - We see Siobhan from time to time but she is in LA a lot, as her sons live there. We have no plans to tour with her though...

BANANARAMA HAS ENJOYED MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF SUCCESS, HAS SOLD MILLIONS OF RECORDS, AND IS ADORED BY YOUR FANS BUT IT FEELS LIKE YOU'VE NEVER QUITE HAD THE PROPER RESPECT FROM THE INDUSTRY AND THE MEDIA, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT BOTHERS YOU?

KW - It's difficult to know how you are perceived but a few journalists have said we are one of the most underrated bands. I think the statistics and success speak for themselves and we've had hits worldwide including four US top ten singles and a number one single over there!

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BEST MOMENTS FOR BANANARAMA SO FAR, AND WHAT AMBITIONS DO YOU STILL HAVE FOR THE BAND?

SD - The tour would be an immediate ambition. I could record forever, but failing that I want to write for other artists so that's probably the path we'll take eventually.

SEPTEMBER 2009

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