The Ting Tings: Up from 'Nothing' The English electro-pop duo recorded three songs and posted two on their MySpace page. But by their fourth show they were playing host to the entire U.K. music press — quite literally from their own living room. The band just released its debut CD, We Started Nothing.
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The Ting Tings: Up from 'Nothing'

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The Ting Tings: Up from 'Nothing'

The Ting Tings: Up from 'Nothing'

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(Soundbite of music)


The internet has had huge influence on a band called the Ting Tings. Their new album "We Start at Nothing" is available in stores tomorrow, but you could get it online starting yesterday when a single from it went straight to the top of the singles charts.

Mr. JULES DE MARTINO (Band Member, The Ting Tings): OK, hi, I'm Jules.

Ms. KATIE WHITE (Band Member, The Ting Tings): I'm Katie and we are the Ting Tings. We have three songs, and we put two of them on MySpace, and then we did four gigs in Blackheart (ph), and the third one is being advertised on that big radio station and the Ting Tings having a house party. It's like what? You know, going crazy and...

Mr. DE MARTINO: We were hiding our DVD collections.

Ms. WHITE: Yeah.

Mr. DE MARTINO: And personal stuff.

Ms. WHITE: And the fourth one, literally the whole sort of UK music industry sort of squashed themselves into where we would normally sit down on the floor and watch TV and they sat there and it was really surreal.

(Soundbite of song "Shut Up and Let Me Go")

The TING TINGS: (Singing) I ain't freaking. I ain't faking this. I ain't freaking. I ain't faking this. I ain't freaking. I ain't faking this.

Shut up and let me go, hey.

CHADWICK: Those three or four songs on MySpace led to a record deal and turned into a full-fledged album. You might have heard one song, "Shut Up and Let Me Go" on the latest iPod commercial. Day to Day producer Martina Castro asked the Ting Tings to say what it's like to go from nobody to somebody in just one year.

Mr. DE MARTINO: When me and Katie first started working together we had no intention of forming a band, we were kind of just our frustration, trying to do some sort of music, was leading us down a path, like kind of house parties. And we only had three songs, and we played that, and then another band would go on. And people would come back to us and say, you know, those songs are really good, if you just didn't played song for ten minutes, you know. If you'd cut down into sort of four minutes, that might make decent songs.

The second house party we did, the first one cost us money, because we put on beer for our friends, and the second time we decided to - we found this old T.V., and we emptied out the contents of it, and put a big arrow and a hole on top saying, donations for beer. And after the party the next day, we opened the T.V., and it was 130 pounds in there, which is about 260 dollars I think, here. And that was the first time we felt that we were actually a band.

Ms. WHITE: We were on our way. The first song that we wrote together, I think, was a song called "Great DJ." And I hadn't been playing the guitar for very long, and I played like a D chord continuously on Jules' guitar, and then I put my finger on a string that was sort of wrong, and it sounded weird, but Jules is like, that sounds amazing! So we started to sort of jam with that, and that was the first Ting Tings that we wrote.

(Soundbite of song "Great DJ")

THE TING TINGS: (Singing) Nothing but the local DJ. He said he had some songs to play. What went down from this fooling around. Gave hope and a brand new day. Imagine all the girls, Ah ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.

Ms. WHITE: Who is based a place called Isington Mill(unintelligible) which had quite a lot of artist working there, and a club space, and so we used to do some work behind the bar in there, and various jobs which, completely random jobs, like arranging to get bird poo removed. Not the best thing, not the best conversation.

(Soundbite of music)

THE TING TINGS: (Singing) Four little words just to get me alone, It's a difficulty, and I'm biting on my tongue.

It is quite overwhelming how quickly it's gone, not in a stress way, just in a physically having time to do all these great opportunities, all these great gigs that people are asking us to go and play. Just a shame we can't fit them all, like, there is no more hours in the day to do them.

Mr. DE MARTINO: I'm the most difficult thing that we are having to get used to is the travelling. The UK is a quite small country, you can go around the country and play six gigs and be back for tea, you know, or for dinner, whatever you call it here. But the States is huge, and it is really sad, we would love to have a bit more time, and sort of, you know, see the coach, and some of these cities but, it is just flying so fast, everything, you know.

(Soundbite of song "That's Not My Name")

THE TING TINGS: (Singing) They call me hell They call me Stacey They call me her They call me Jane That's not my name That's not my name That's not my name That's not my name

We didn't go on MySpace and upload people as friends. We just, I had just uploaded like 20 of our favorite bands, and then, that was it, and everybody seemed to just find us through them. I think songs just travel sometimes, it's a nice feeling to know that people can still like a song and not know where it's come from. It's not been pushed towards them or anything, but it tends to sort of chase it up because it means something to them. So it's a nice feeling.

CHADWICK: Ting Tings new album is "We Started Nothing." Our piece was produced by Martina Castro. You can hear full songs from the Ting Tings at our music website, that's

(Soundbite of Ting Tings music)

CHADWICK: And stay with us from NPR News.

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