In retrospect, it's easy to see that when Whale scored a hit in 1994 with "Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe," the success came a bit too early. The song had rushed up the charts before Whale had secured a record deal or had even formed a proper group. Now, some four years later, a re-tooled line-up finds the Swedish band making its second foray into the U.S. with an eclectic new album, "All Disco Dance Must End in Broken Bones."
Whale was a three-piece outfit when the band originally recorded "Hobo," which featured a sleek video directed by auteur Mark Pellington. But by the time vocalist Cia Soro, guitarist Henrik Schyffert and drummer Gordon Cyrus had cut the songs for its 1995 debut, "We Care A Lot," the band had already evolved into a sound that wasn't exactly consistent with its breakthrough hit.
After touring with Blur in 1996, the group chose to disband for a short period of time. Whale subsequently reformed last year, expanding its line-up to a five-piece and recording its
new, stylistically diverse album in studios in London, Chicago and Stockholm, Sweden.
During a recent interview with MTV, Soro and new bassist Heikki Kiviaho talked about a friendly altercation that erupted during the Chicago sessions between the group and R&B singer R. Kelly -- sparked, of all things, by a video game.
"I had the high score," Kiviaho immodestly added, "but the problem with R. Kelly was that [the game] was actually [in] his room, but he was never there. Because he can come in and come out whenever he wants, but we had to take our times [on the game]. So we borrowed his room and there was this Space Invaders machine. Later he just said, 'Hey guys, this is my room, you have to leave.'"
"And we were forced to stand
in the corridor," Soro said, jokingly, "and I felt like, I mean, we're poor musicians so we can't afford to buy ourselves our own Space Invaders game. But he can, so I think he [should be able to] buy himself at least two or three. It's not fair." [28.8 RealVideo]
Whale is currently on the road with an old friend, Tricky, and their joint tour is scheduled to play the Metropol in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.