Britain’s Hot Pop Duo: The Ting Tings

It all started with the banging, power pop track, ‘Great DJ’ on We Started Nothing. Then, there’s the punchy “That’s Not My Name”, a sort of 2008 version of The Knack’s well known ‘My Sharona’.

Katie White’s vocals sound like she’s a pop princess trying to get the guitar chords right while Jules de Martino offers a rich musical backbone that crosses from indie rock to electro pop. Together, The Ting Tings have created a unique and exciting sound that is edgy, arty and at times ADD intense. Watch out for the duo this summer at Japan’s Summer Sonic Festival.

The Ting Tings only played three gigs before performing at the Glastonbury Music Festival last year. Having spent only a year together, this fresh, new, dynamic UK duo is hyped to be the next big thing. Band member Jules de Martino chatted to Ann Lamb about their serendipitous success…

the ting tings we started nothingANN: So what’s up with the name, The Ting Tings?

JULES DE MARTINO: Katie was working at a boutique clothing store when we first started the band and her colleague’s name was Ting Ting. She said it meant ‘bandstand’ in Mandarin.

We thought it was a great name, so we Googled it and found all these meanings like, ‘The sound of innovation of an open mind.’You knovv when you get an idea and it goes ting?

It was also a Jamaican drink and head massager, but we didn’t name the band after the head massager, that’s for sure.

ANN: Talk about your experience at Glastonbury?

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JULES DE MARTINO: It sums up every day of our lives since we first started this band. We turned up at 12 noon and we both hadn’t been to Glastonbury before, so we were really excited.

There was a mess up with the tickets and we were left outside until 6pm. They started introducing us at 7pm and we were stuck outside while everyone was screaming. We got a call telling us to get back to the gate around 7:30pm.

We had to push past everyone and really got the experience of mud and chaos at Glastonbury. We got up on stage with mud on our feet and just played our set. We come off stage, everyone went crazy and we were like, “Really, you’ve seen us before?”

ANN: After all the turmoil, what changed your minds about working with a big label?

JULES DE MARTINO: We put out our own records and created a big buzz. Then we were thinking about investing in club nights to sell a few records. But, when we met with Columbia, they just seemed to be thinking differently or were prepared to think differently.

Recently, we did a tour in the US and they had all the promos. We did it by hand in the UK, but they got a whole load of their staff to take a day off and re-create those handmade CD sleeves. We were doing them by hand and that’s impossible to do when the numbers start getting in the thousands.

In the UK they’re making such a big effort to help supply us with the artwork. It’s unprecedented to see a company that actually wants to takes the time when things could be faster.