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The Land of Chocolate

Death by Chocolate is a new interesting group being foisted on the American public. Where do they come from and what are they about? This playful record is a mix of sixties psychedelia and bubble gum pop. Imagine Captain Beefheart meets Shampoo. Angela Faye Tillet is a teenage chambermaid from Clacton-on-Sea, miles and years from London. Songs like "Mustard Yellow" and "Ice Cold Lemonade" recall a different time and place, and should go down well with people with "Japan" fever. They also do songs by Dudley Moore, and from the movie Harold and Maude, plus the theme song from The Flying Nun. I talked to lead singer, Angela Faye Tillet the other day on the phone right before Angela had to go to work.

AL: Is this a band proper or is just you?

Angela: Oh no it's a band. It's me and two other guys. There's also a producer who decides what we will record. They do the music and I do most of the lyrics.

AL: How did you find each other?

Angela: Through Michael Way who runs the label, L Records. He got us together, because he knew we were of like minds. We got along immediately.

AL: Were you in other bands before that?

Angela: I did some stuff with Michael Way, but not really, I was in no other bands. Death by Chocolate has been together for a year now. We did a couple of tracks for a compilation, "Songs for The Jet Set, volume 3." That seems like a long time ago.

AL: Were those like demo songs?

Angela: Yeah, it was a practice for the album. We wanted to see what it would be like.

AL: The album seems like it was conceived as a whole, mixing the spoken bits and the songs. Who's idea was that?

Angela: A bit of both really. Michael wanted to do stuff about colors and things like that. I had to write down what all these colors meant to me. It all comes down to editing.

AL: Were you influenced by children's stories?

Angela: We wanted it to be like you were watching the film Willy Wonka.

AL: Have you played any shows yet?

Angela: None. We want to. We just want to establish ourselves and release a few records and get known. But I am looking forward to playing some live shows. I hope so. It might be like a picnic in the park. I can't imagine it being like a normal evening in a club. We want to have sets and scenery.

AL: So you live outside London?

Angela: Yeah, I live in Colchester. It's about an hour out on the train from London.

AL: Has that influenced you and your music?

Angela: You mean being out in the sticks? Probably because when you grow up in a small village you are only surrounded by people who are into the same things that you are into. I think so. You get narrow minded about things, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in bad way. I think we have went in the good way. It's more inspiring and realistic in a way. London is all very well, but a bit of a nightmare and really expensive. Living in London is expensive.

AL: You have lived in London?

Angela: I used to work there when I was at school. It was a ride but a little bit too hairy for my taste. I used to work for the government. I worked in the publicity office. It's a job that you do when you're at school. It was at Whitehall right by Big Ben.

AL: What do you do now?

Angela: I work in a pub. I grew up in a pub, so I like it. That's what they did. I like to drive around in my car. I like Cider. I drink Guinness too.

AL: You have a song about Salvador Dali? What was that about?

Angela: Oh that was Mike's idea. It's just titles and things about paintings mixed together. I suppose that I like art.

AL: Are you a fan of Dali?

Angela: Not particularly. I think he's quite dark. I do appreciate him, but he's not my thing.

AL: Many of his painting are about masturbation and being a narcissist.

Angela: Yeah, I know. All fucked up things. I like things a little bit more straight and narrow.

AL: You did a song from the movie "Harold and Maude." Was that your idea?

Angela:
No. That was something that Joe was into. I haven't seen it. I knew you were going to ask me that. I should buy it on video. I'll make an effort. I've heard about it.

AL: What about "The Singing Nun?"

Angela: Which one? The Singing Nun? I don't know which one you mean?

AL: Sally Field. "Who Needs Wings to Fly?"

Angela:
Right. When people say that I think that they're saying The Leaping Nun. Sorry. Mike was a big fan of that song. I liked it a lot. We did it a long time ago.

AL: Are you a big Dudley Moore fan?

Angela: He's alright.

AL: Do you have any favorite films?

Angela: That's one of those questions where you draw a blank. Well, Bedazzled obviously. I like Ghostbusters. Anything that has Bill Murray in it is fabulous.

AL: I like Rushmore a lot.

Angela: I never heard of that. When did that come out?

AL: About two years ago.

Angela: Wooo. That went by.

AL: It's a great film. It's one of the great Bill Murray films.

Angela: Is it? What's it like? What does he play in it?

AL: He plays a rich guy. There's a private school. One of the students falls in love with a female teacher. Bill Murray has two sons at the school. The student looks to Bill Murray for help, and they both end up battling for the girl.

Angela: Sounds familiar now actually. Sounds nice.

AL: What about TV shows?

Angela:
There's a few good things on at the moment which are quite obscure. Comedies. We have a program called "Operation Good Guys" which is a spoof of police documentaries. There are a few fake news programs. I used to be really into comedy. These are things that you haven't heard of, because nothing has crossed the Atlantic.

AL: Why do you think people choose to do music?

Angela: You have to want to do it because you believe in personal expression. Don't bend over backwards to please other people. Just do something silly and relevant to yourself. You are not going to change the world and be anything better than you are. Do it for the right reason.


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