Yes, a slightly naff name but a Belgian indie band getting the remix treatment from James Yuill. And there’s an exclusive interview, in which we learn the secret of good mussels and what to put on your frites.

Indie band’s wistful original of single My Holy Grail gets remixed by James Yuill into epic indie dance. James adds synthy sounds and lots of uplifting chords. Like the Stuart Price remixes of Coldplay. The singer’s voice is an uncanny mirror of Chris Martin’s yearning delivery – although the UK’s Indepdent newspaper says the bloke out of Del Amitri. “You are my holy grail. You make me feel so great“. Stops short of Coldplay-lite by the chopping of the vocals. You could imagine this doing well on radio. Meanwhile, the May68 remix goes for a more early New Order or Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark feel. Eigthies syn-drum sounds, synthetic handclaps and bass drive this forward.

Ted’s Top Ten Quiz

1. Weatherall or Oakenfold? Can I say Dave Friedmann (MGMT, Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) If not Weatherall.. With my second band, I once open for Primal Scream at Fortress, was an dirty party backstage in the Fortress studio..

2. Indie or dance? Indie

3. Real instruments or synthesisers? Real but we like vintage Synthesisers and Mellotron

4. Arcade Fire or Coldplay? Arcade Fire, but first I like the first Coldplay.

5. Coffee or Beer ? Beer, we’re Belgian ! [Hurrah!]

6. Mayonnaise or Ketchup? [on your frites] Mayonnaise we’re Belgian ! [Hurrah!]

7. Waterzooi or Mussels? Mussels, with Mayonnaise and Musterd, that’s the secret [Prefer Waterzooi mesself]

8. Football or cycling? Football

9. Blonde or Lambic? Blonde

10. King Albert II or Prince Albert? They are useless

And the interview proper:

1. I knew about Belgian New Beat and R&S Records. I didn’t know that Praga Khan, Fabrice Lig and Django Reinhardt are all from Belgium. But what is the music scene there like now?

There are tons of great bands around here..Yes, Django and Jacques Brel were Belgian, and now we have great DJ’s and rock bands, sometimes both (Soulwax, 2 many Dj’s..) dEUS back in the 90’s did a lot for the rock music scene worldwide..Now a lot of bands are doing music as a full time job..

2. How did you come to choose your bandname? What do you say to those who think it a bit naff (sorry that includes me)?

You can say MLCD… when I was 18, I gave my first solo show, opening for Bonnie Prince Billy, I just send a Tape Demo with « recorded on My Little Cheap Dictaphone ».. that’s what the beginning of that silly name..

3. Your first single “What Are You Waiting For?” featured Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev. How did that come about?

We are big fan of him and have a friend in common. When we worked on the album, we needed others singers than me to sing some my self consciousness, own demons etc.. We write down a list, the top 3 singers are the ones on the album..they just like the concept and the songs we sent and said ok.

4. Your album – The Tragic Tale of a Genius – is a concept album (gulp) about a Brian Wilson-style musician going off the rails. Why go for a concept album rather than a set of poppy singles? Isn’t that rather 70s?

We hate rock opera and 70’s prog rock.. we hate the name rock opera.. It’s just that after explaining we were working on a concept of an album bases on the life of an artist, with some orchestral arrangement, and a show with decor & video projection, people always told : it’s a rock, some journalist like to use this word..I tried to say Pop Opera..

5. Your new single is remixed by James Yuill. How did you alight on him? And what do you look for in a remixer?

We heard about some cool remixs he did.. We wanted to try totally different approch of our music, May68 also did a nice Krautrock remix..
We had so many tracks for each songs (often more than 200 tracks per song) that we were curious to give the project the a DJ :  and told him : good luck fella !

6. You just  won the 2 belgian “Octaves Music Awards” : BEST ARTIST & BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR. I’m afraid I’ve never heard of these awards. How big a thing is it in Belgium?

I have a nice statue who takes dust.. It’s nice to have this, it’s like the MIA’s in the flemish part of Belgium.. But we were more happy to best Best album of the year in most of the national media of Belgium at the end of 2011.. Now we’re are very busy in France, Canada , and they like to know we won those prices

7. What’s it like writing and singing in a language that’s not your first language? And how has the band changed in the 10 years you’ve been in existence?

It’s more work than If I was born in UK, for sure… I tried to be good at this and wrote the lyrics in Oslo one of my best friend who’s a writer there (Lillian Vatnoy) … and I work my vocals with my Ex Girlfriend who’s from Seattle..

Yes, the band changed a lot, actually we like to say the band is 3 years old, cause the line up and the music reborn with The Tragic Tale of A genius album, we wanted to change the name MLCD, but we didn’t find a new name we all like..

8. What does the future hold for you? 

We have more than 50 gigs coming in the next months in 6 countries…so touring a lot, and trying to work on new songs.. we also produced some small bands we like in our studio… Going a lot to US by the end of the year will be good… and we’re ready for UK too!

My Cheap Little Dictaphone – My Holy Grail (James Yuill Remix)

~ by acidted on February 18, 2011.


  1. […] might remember we had and interview with My Cheap Little Dictaphone a month back and featured the Jame Yuill remix of their single. Time to try another remix, this time by May68 in […]

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