Interview: Later Babes

Later Babes began as a solo venture for one time ‘We All Have Hooks For Hands’ member Isaac Show. It basically involved Isaac in his basement working funky keyboard riffs into a DJ mix he had compiled of big, bold tunes. The resulting album LISA is the perfect house party soundtrack – a liberated, genre-jumping affair recalling ‘Two Many DJs’ at their most light-hearted. It brought together underground indie-rock hits and gangsta rap with occasional nuggets of pure pop cheese melting into the gaps.

With the release of DETH, everything has changed. Later Babes are no longer confined to the basement and Isaac is no longer alone. Announced with animated zombie GIFs, Later Babes have transformed into a four-piece unit primed and ready to bring a rampant collision of rap, rock and electro kicking and screaming into the live arena. DETH is a brutal tour-de-force of head-nodding body-popping dancefloor gore. Each of its 13 sections are named after quite frankly horrendous ways of dying (we wish we’d never Googled Ling Chi). I caught up with Isaac Show to ask him all about DETH.

How have Later Babes evolved since LISA?

I started the Later Babes project with no intention to ever play it live or release an album. It was just me in my basement making a mix and playing keyboards with it. It made LISA good for parties, but not so much for a live show. DETH on the other hand was made from start to finish for a live show.

Rap and hip-hop feature heavily on DETH – what do you love about working within these genres?

I started DJing more often and I guess I’ve just found a lot more hip hop lately that I really dig. I try not to stick to one genre for that long, but whatever works best always overshadows the rest.

So who are your favourite MCs to mix with?

The Generationals’. They are probably the least well-known group on both of the Later Babes records.

How did you come up with the DETH concept – the section titles, the GIFs, and the artwork?

I found an artist that I dug, Dela Deso and the concept grew from there. It feels like it all came together really easily because we started with such a good base to the concept.

If you had to choose one of the DETH ways to die, which would it be, and what tune would accompany it?

They are all super brutal. I would choose Brazen Bull just so people will look it up. And the tune would be any popular song by Tom Jones.

What mix are you most proud of on DETH? And which one makes the crowd go craziest?

Decapitation was made on a trip to Fargo in the van and it sums up a lot of the record I feel. We really haven’t played DETH enough live to know for sure, but anything by ‘DMX’ usually gets people pretty excited.

What’s the hardest thing about putting together a mix like DETH?

Hitting the delete key after you have put hours, sometimes days, into a part that didn’t work.

How does the Later Babes live show work?

Picture ‘Girl Talk’ with live instruments. Instead of people looking at a person behind some tables and wondering what they are doing, we provide a much more visual aspect to the music with the drums and keyboards.

What’s the secret to a good party-mix?

If you dance by yourself in your room to what you are making, chances are others will too.

You have described DETH as sounding like ‘what pizza tastes like’ – what toppings are we talking?

That’s an everything pizza my friend. It can somehow be a vegetarian pizza with meat on it.

Later Babes’ ‘DETH’ is available to download for free now.

Words by Tom Spooner