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Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 14:24 UK
Introducing... White Belt Yellow Tag

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

From the scatted remnants of Newcastle's Yourcodenameis:milo arrive WBYT, but this time the music is on Justin Lockey's terms.

White Belt Yellow Tag
White Belt Yellow Tag [L-R]: Craig Pilbin and Justin Lockey

White Belt Yellow Tag might well be a brand new project but Justin Lockey has already seen it all before.

As the guitarist in dearly defunct north eastern serrated-noise experimentalists Yourcodenameis:milo he's been there, done that and bought the gig-ravaged T-shirt as far as the music industry is concerned.

Stepping out from his local rehearsal studios he explains, looking back, that he has mixed feelings about life in his previous outfit.

"We did some good records, we did that whole major label thing, we did the whole America thing and I got to work with two of my favourite producers…"

New project

It was though, the heralded five-piece's pigeon-holed image where the glue came unstuck in 2007 and saw the group partake in a permanent hiatus.

"Musically, it was one of those bands who were never going to be a massive band - critically no one ever touched it," he says.

"We suffered from being one of those cool bands who did that cool music and I really wanted to steer clear of that. After we'd finished I didn't want to get back into that trap of being a band that do that."

White Belt Yellow Tag, the facts

WHAT: Gentle noise-rock from north east England

FOR FANS OF: The Joy Formidable, My Bloody Valentine, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly

DOWNLOAD: You're Not Invincible


LIVE: Playing in London on 6 May

It's a very deliberate move then that his new project is a brooding, mechanical fuzz-rock jigsaw of pluming melody that's very much of his - and his only - own making.

"I think going back and ploughing the same sort of sound would be rubbish," he confirms stoutly.

Not going back

With that band now firmly fractured into its various components - Paul Mullen replacing Alex Pennie in The Automatic and the others involving themselves in other musical local projects - Lockey has gone in his own distinct direction.

Sonically, …Milo were concerned with carving as many jagged edges into their furious cacophony as possible.

White Belt Yellow Tag - Lockey and studio pal Craig Pilbin [vocals/samples], joined by ex-Cooper Temple Clause member Tom Bellamy when they play live - are as he puts it, more about "writing ace songs".

Those songs have been compiled onto a debut EP entitled You're Not Invincible released next week [6 April]. A full-scale album, already recorded, is due this summer.

The pair are though, still very much in an embryonic stage having only played two gigs. One of them an Introducing session.

"We sound massive for a two-piece, we sounded ridiculous," brags Lockey. "But then we thought we could probably get it that one louder if we just got a drummer in.

"We don't want to drag those extra few bodies who don't really need to be there."

I know loads of people who are in bands who don't actually like their music
Justin Lockey, White Belt Yellow Tag

In White Belt's world simplicity is key, two minds making speedy, unpolluted decisions.

"We basically did it [the debut LP] all ourselves in about 13 days. We have got a pretty swift manner about us when it comes to recording.

"I know loads of people who are in bands who don't actually like their music. We've made a conscious effort on one part to not be out there to make the hottest, coolest record known to man and then to make music that we like."

The music comes easy then, but the band name less so.

"To be honest naming a band is the worst thing in the world ever. It's the hardest thing," he laughs. "Trying to come up with a name that doesn't make you cringe when you say it out loud.

"It doesn't start with 'The' and end in 'S' which is a plus point - we like the name and I think it's the furthest I got in taekwondo when I was about seven."

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