Before their debut EP is released, we caught up with Ziggi Jadovski to talk about the band, the EP and her favourite music
WFM: Hello guys, before we start would just like to say that we’re big fans your unconventional style, it’s very brave!
Ziggi: Thanks! Really appreciated!
WFM: Before we start the interview, what are your top 3 albums and why?
Ziggi: Well, since Spotify came along I have to admit I don’t really listen to albums anymore (controversial, I know!) so I’ll have to backtrack to the 90s when I had a longer attention span… My first ever tape was the Fugees – The Score. I remember my brother playing No Woman No Cry to me on my walkman after I’d had a tantrum. I was seduced by Lauryn Hill’s voice in Killing Me Softly. She has some really nice vocal whoops and calls in some of the songs (actually, this might’ve been my first musical inspiration). Despite the effects of the iPod shuffle, I can still pretty much listen to The Score from beginning to end because there’s a story and it’s got a grungy atmosphere and funny interludes which draw you in. I know some of my band members will cringe at this but Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette is another concept album which comes to mind as an all time favourite. It’s about her being a broke young artist and a woman on her own trying not to conform to what’s expected of her – which resonates. I know it’s massively compressed and produced but her lyrics are interesting and a bit edgy (this was before her India days) and I can listen to this one from beginning to end too cos i’m interested in the story. Number three? (queue drum roll) Patti Smith – Horses.
WFM: And one final question before we officially start, your musical icons and why?
Ziggi: David Bowie – cos he wore awesome clothes and he had such a diverse following. He also bridges a gap between theatrical performance and music and he was constantly developing his interests in his music.
Miriam Makeba – I think she was really a musician-activist and did so much for her country at great personal expense. Her voice and her song don’t hold back any of her story.
Jorge Ben Jor – this is a Brazillian singer-songwriter who I LOVE (his most famous song, Pais Tropical, has been sampled worldwide). His lyrics are about liberation, indigenous communities, passionate love and mythical and historical Brazilian figures. He has a knack of reworking all his songs together into a surprising medley when he plays live which has you bouncing off the walls.
WFM: Right now we can start! So how did Peoticat become?
Ziggi: This is contestable, but it was something like the big bang (er, there was a lot of gas involved?)
WFM: Your debut EP really stands apart from most music, due to it being spoken word, was there any point you considered changing style to suit the rest?
Ziggi: This kind of question comes up in band meetings a lot, especially when funds are tight. One of the difficulties about being ‘genre-defying’ is that it doesn’t necessarily make you very sellable. But if we wanted to make lots of money then we’d be working in finance or other day jobs or we’d split up and develop our individual genres more but we want to stay together and we like the energy that comes from this friction. If we changed our style to suit the rest then I don’t think we would be Poeticat anymore. We came together because of spoken word and a desire to put words at the forefront of current music. There are some great pop songs out there but a lot of them also sound like they’ve been re-hashed so there’s not much of a message there anymore and I think we’re an antidote to that. Words matter to us. And putting them together with music can urge people to think and feel and hopefully be inspired.
WFM: As this is your debut EP, how did you find the recording process? Did you feel like it was long process or did you find it quite easy?
Ziggi: It was an epically long process because we tried to do everything on the cheap, which means that our sound has changed since we recorded a year ago but we’re always developing and trying to be better so I think this would happen even if we recorded the EP in 3 months. We’ve learnt a lot though, especially that money = things getting done a LOT faster! We’re still learning how to record and we like to craft things a lot in the recording and editing process which makes things doubly long but I don’t think we can stop being creative and we want to get the energy we have live on stage onto the recorded track.
WFM: On the topic of recording, who would you guys love to record with?
Ziggi:Hmm…this is a tough one! We’re like 5 different elements and I think individually we’d all want to be produced by someone who respects our particular instrument. But really we need someone who can have a bigger vision than that and I have no idea what it would sound like. They also have to know how to record words with music so that they can be heard without the music sounding like backing track because we’re a collaboration. People often want to record us live but it’s never quite had the same energy and we think that a recording is a whole other craft in itself. To get what we have on stage you may actually have to have quite a lot of fresh ideas in the editing process so that it’s a different listening experience on CD. Anyway, if you’re out there and you think you’re our dream producer then please get in touch!
WFM: Spoken word has never really made it into more mainstream music, why do you think this is? And do you think it will?
Ziggi: I’d like to think spoken word could get bigger but we’ve had to be careful about how we describe ourselves to music promoters because they seem allergic to that term. I think the difficulty is that spoken word doesn’t really describe the music and we know several artists doing spoken word and music in a totally different way, which is what I think makes it exciting but if you’re not into lots of different types of music then you won’t like all spoken word bands so this is hard to programme. But maybe the type of delivery will become more popular if people want to listen to words. I like electronic music but that’s what’s in the mainstream at the moment and it seems to be more about synthetic sounds than something organic like the human voice and the words are often recorded with a dreamy effect so you can’t really hear them. That said, Kings Will are an awesome electro-spoken word duo who got radio play on 6 music and I think they mix the genres really well in a way which people who like electronic music will like. Roots Manuva also has a bit of a spoken delivery.
WFM: What can we expect after this release, a mini UK tour or will you be looking to get even more material out there?
Ziggi: We’ll be releasing our EP, Smash the Floor, on 5th May and having a launch for it on the 29th Aprilat Notting Hill Arts Club with support from the fantastic spoken word and music act from the depths of Deptford – Gemma and the Mil Men. After that we’ll be gigging more and looking to get the EP out to as many audiences as possible. We’re always looking to get more material out but at the moment we’ve been focusing on getting on the gigging circuit after our residency at the Windmill Brixton. We absolutely loved performing to the crowd there but we were getting quite comfortable performing to an audience who know what we’re about and we need to have the challenge of performing to unsuspecting audiences, so you’ll see us on more stages in London during the summer! It’s also always fun to get gigs outside of London because audiences are very appreciative of new music so you may see us somewhere South of the city soon too.
WFM: Final question, most embarrassing thing you have experienced as a band? (Optional)
Ziggi: It involved a henge and some miscalculations. No, actually I think it was a case of mistaken identity. We went to the wrong hall at a country festival and they thought we were the function band. We found out pretty quickly that Letter to David Cameron is not everyone’s choice for a first dance!