Although a duo, made up of Justin Lockey and studio boffin bandmate Craig Pilbin, White Belt Yellow Tag have managed to conjure up a grand, sweeping, sound reminiscent, in part, of Doves or Editors, which has been winning them glowing endorsements from critics and DJs alike.
Lockey is determined to keep his feet on the floor about his latest project. The band came about when he met Pilbin (a Chris Lowe to Lockey’s Neil Tennant) while working on a British Expeditionary Force album in the North East last year. As Lockey puts it, the pair have “both been around the block a bit” and this are determined to do it their own way.
“It’s great actually,” says the singer. “We don’t have to make lots of other people happy any more. This time is just us making the music we want to make. We got together by accident really. Craig happened to be working in the same studio where I was and we clicked. We started writing songs and it turned out they were really good. A couple of months later and here we are. We’re just winging it really, seeing what turns up.”
Having gone through the mill with YCNI:M, Lockey reckons he’s better prepared now to deal with the pitfalls of pop stardom and is looking forward to releasing a new album later this year with little pressure for it to perform.
“We’re not signed to a major label, which helps,” he says. “We’ve got more time to develop at our own pace now. We’re not 17-year-old kids any more desperate to be rock stars. Now we can take the more relaxed route. As long as I can pay the rent and feed my kids at the end of the day, I’m happy.”