Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LEYLAND KIRBY


Leyland James Kirby is a true hero of modern music.  A genuine innovator and persistent thorn in the side of mediocre composition, his output is vast and ranges from corrupting and distorting electronica through to pop music destruction and his current ambient beguiling.  Having operated under the guises of V/Vm, The Caretaker, The Stranger, his own name and countless other monikers he has performed all over the globe and released a larger catalogue of work than Littlewoods and Argos combined, much of which these days requires its own Da Vinci Code to uncover and acquire.  This interview is conducted specifically relating to his contribution for the Long Division With Remainders project itself a similar undertaking to his participation on Thurston Moore’s Root project almost a decade ago.  Ladies love a legend.

“I wanted to be a bumblebee when I was a child.”

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
LK: Mr James Leyland Kirby, located in Berlin Germany and surrounded by beautiful women.  My music is like Alan Whicker on the Orient Express with a magnum of Champagne.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
LK: I was the disc jockey at Justin and Helen’s wedding day bonanza.

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
LK: I did it inbetween bedding many beautiful women of different nationalities in various countries.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
LK: Trevor Horn always did very well.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
LK: The afterglow of sexual conquests.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
LK: During a warm sensual massage with some warm aromatic oils.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
LK: We cannot put time on such sensual pleasures everything lasted as long as it needed to last and was never disappointing.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
LK: The sexiest organ I have.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
LK: The original 16 minute sex mix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Relax – Don’t Do It.”

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
LK: The Stranger, The Caretaker, V/Vm and a million other pseudonyms including recording music for other lazier musicians.

NP: Where are things heading?
LK: To the bedroom for debauchery with a beautiful girl or if we are very lucky beautiful girls room 808 style.




Monday, June 28, 2010

SONE INSTITUTE


Sone Institute is the weird and wonderful world of electronic artist Roman Bezdyk spinning together found sounds, classroom percussion and a host of stringed instruments to conjure up a surreal and fantastical world of pure sonic imagination.  To date he has released one album in the form of the fine of Curious Memories on Front And Follow Records who are also curating and releasing the Long Division With Remainders project that finds me speaking to Roman today.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
SI: Hello I am Sone Institute (Roman Bezdyk).  A psychedelic excursion through chance encounters and an escape from the mundane.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
SI: I was asked by Helen Watson and jumped at the chance.

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
SI: I really looked upon the tracks as raw material and to try and make each version different from each other and from the original material.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
SI: I think it can be as long as it’s approached with a sense of adventure, to find a less obvious element and to try and bring that to life.  The original material was pretty abstract so that made it easier for me.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
SI: I hope a sense of adventure!  As I mentioned I tried to make the feel of each one very different.  From manic to mellow!

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
SI: I think my tracks work well on headphones.  I was a bit obsessed with panning effects at the time!  I like the idea of isolation that headphones allow.  Real big headphones not the little iPod ones.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
SI: I worked on and off on them for a couple of months.  I thought they deserved the time and respect to let them develop as much as possible.  I didn’t want to just bang something out for the sake of it that would be pointless.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
SI: I used a turntable and vinyl for non scratching effects.  The odd string sample from a boot fair record.  I also added electric guitar to one track and mainly my Prophet One snyth.  Plus a circuit bent Speak n’ Spell.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
SI: One that comes to mind is “Love Parasite” by Fad Gadget but I haven’t heard it in years!

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
SI: I have an album out on Front And Follow called “Curious Memories”.  And will have a 7 track EP out later in the year which is a collaboration with Dollboy called “The Sum And The Difference” also out on Front And Follow.

NP: Where are things heading?
SI: Onwards and upwards!




Sunday, June 27, 2010

THE TRUTH ABOUT FRANK


Truth About Frank are two dudes called Ian and Alan.  They are from Leeds but do not hold that against them.  They have been active in electronic and experimental sound and music since late 2006.  Theirs is a cannibal work ethic.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
TAF: My name is Ian and I’m one half of The Truth About Frank, a duo based in Leeds, UK active since 2006.  We would prefer to leave the description of our music to others (neither of us being particularly eloquent in this regard), but the standard flag of convenience that we tend to employ would be “electronic/experimental”.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
TAF: We approached LDWR and asked them.

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
TAF: I for one didn’t particularly view this as a remix project; the terms of reference from the label were quite liberal, so we didn’t feel the need to forge a “representation” of the source material.  Rather, our aim was to produce something that we felt could stand alone, albeit restricting ourselves to solely employing only the LDWR sounds (we understand some participants worked the source material alongside their own sounds).  We divided the labour, confident that we are sufficiently of a mind to produce a series of pieces with an internal coherence throughout, and we believe we achieved this.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
TAF: Presumably it’s as creative as the artists engaging in the remix, to some extent governed by the tools at their disposal.  The term has obviously developed over the years from what the word actually suggests, to now encompass wholesale reconstruction appropriating as much or as little of the source material as the artist sees fit.  I’m not sure if there’s a line where something crosses from “remix” into “new unrelated item that happen to use sounds drawn from a certain source.”  Perhaps there’s some sort of artistic (and maybe legal) consensus out there that I’m unaware of.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
TAF: Again that might be best left for others to assess.  But in all honesty I don’t think either of us in TTAF is overly familiar with the original pieces.  If this sounds like a sleight against the project curators that’s not intended – it was a choice made at the outset of our participation which I for one will remedy with the CD issue.  There’s been some really excellent stuff produced by the contributors, such that putting them out together as a beautiful artefact is one we’re proud to be involved in, but it’s very difficult for us to say what The Truth About Frank brought specifically.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
TAF: In a state of indeterminate anxiety after prolonged sleep deprivation, horizontal and with headphones.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
TAF: Very difficult to quantify as we were working on this project alongside others.  Some of the work happens very fast.  Some of it develops over a period of weeks.  The two of us work on aspects of most projects separately, in different ways and at different paces.  The imposition of a deadline is always a bonus for me though.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
TAF: Ableton, Acid-Pro, Sound Forge and Audacity.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
TAF: That’s a difficult one.  “All time favourite” would be a bit strong but I particularly like “Roaring Hat Seeds” by Hartley & Huhta.  This is a reworking of “Sea Horse Trading” from the album “Catch Supposes” by He Said Omala.  HSO is a project involving  Graham Lewis from Wire.  A subsequent album of what I suppose you’d call remixes, entitled “Matching Crosses” came out and this was the standout track for me.

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
TAF: We’ve just released our 4th EP “Murder Sleep” and have contributed tracks to several compilation and remix projects (such as “Sous Les Pieds La Terre” and “Faust Re:Cycled” (both on the French Headphonica net label) and are forming ideas for a full length release for later in the year.  There’s a possible collaboration with a Mongolian performance artist currently resident in the UK and a session (which would be our second of the year) for Dandelion Radio.

NP: Where are things heading?
TAF: No idea.




Saturday, June 26, 2010

BLK w/BEAR


BLK w/BEAR is a harsh beast from Washington D.C.  Originally the vehicle for J.S. Adams, his reputation is a legacy of crushing aural organisms and organisations via manipulation and destruction.  BLK w/BEAR has since grown and extended into a three piece experiment with the additions of Doug Poplin and PD Sexton to the ranks.


NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
BLK w/BEAR (read: black with bear)_Washington DC USA.
Ambient_drone_experimental_modern classical.

BLK w/BEAR is a full-band effort of JS Adams (loops + prepared vinyl), Doug Poplin (cello + effects) and PD Sexton (bass + effects)…since recording the LDWR tracks the band now includes Renee Shaw as full creative partner and who has often augmented performances with live video mix as VJ Poppins.

BLK w/BEAR advocates a communications aesthetic wherein audio/visuals are distilled to key base components through image pixilation and sound/time manipulation.  We celebrate the physical manifestation of misfired communications, broken language and broadcast interference.  We champion delay and decay.  We champion audio bleed, field recordings and the deconstructed surface noise of altered vinyl recordings.  We herald cyclical repetitions and misappropriated realignments, intentional over-processing, signal saturation and digital malfeasance, audio pranksterism.  Through aggressive enlargement and recontextualization of the mundane and every-day we hope to usher listeners and viewers into a deeper introspective relationship with previously familiar – now unstable – environs.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
BLK w/BEAR: Prior associations with Justin Watson via Bad Hand Films (http://www.myspace.com/badhandfilm).

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
BLK w/BEAR: As one of the first versions, we mixed the original LDWR source materials to backing tracks and structures for supplementing by our recording sessions.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
BLK w/BEAR: The remix should exhibit and champion a truly new and collaborative product between the original constructs up and above simple audio window dressing and embellishments; either taking a totally new direction not unlike wherein Richard D. James reportedly submitted wholly original material for a NIN remix request; or – the route we took for our LDWR versions – the recontextualization found in “9 Beet Stretch” and pure sound manipulation of source materials as wonderfully expressed in Ekkehard Ehlers’ “Plays” series.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
BLK w/BEAR: I believe that we brought our personal “stamp” and flavour to our version – more so a reconstruction and recontextualization version rather than a remix – that reflects a distinct BLK w/BEAR recourse.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
BLK w/BEAR: I would hope that listeners shed preconceived notions and audio logistics, freely and openly accepting audio bleed and signal processing glitches as compositional tools and structures.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
BLK w/BEAR: Approximately 3 months between first remixes and final studio versions.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
JS Adams – loops and prepared vinyl.
Doug Poplin – cello and effects
PD Sexton – bass and effects
Long Division With Remainders – source materials
Pink Noise Studios, Takoma Park Maryland USA
Richard Morel – sound engineer

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
BLK w/BEAR: Coil “The Anal Staircase (A Dionysian Remix)

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
JS Adams collaborates with Jeff Surak (Violet) in VLT_BLK, a deconstructive turntablism duo.  Previous collaboration (“Wish For A World Without Hurt” album) with Mark L. Beazley (Rothko, Rome Pays Off).  BLK w/BEAR was originally Adam’s solo project.
Doug Poplin is a member of Bach Sinfonia.
PD Sexton regularly deejays in Atlanta and also performs as a solo artist.

NP: Where are things heading?
BLK w/BEAR: Forward with equally pleasant and challenging variant diversions and retrograde missteps.




Friday, June 25, 2010

CATS AGAINST THE BOMB


Hailing from Ipswich, Cats Against The Bomb is a long standing sonic outfit that has tearing up stages for over ten years now.  A real one man audio bomber Adam Flood is the man behind the wheel.  To date he has released one album in the form of “Attack Of The Bunny Boilers From The Nth Lagoon” on his own Advanced Lawnmower Simulator label.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
CATB: Plutonium noise rock.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
CATB: We have known Justin Front & Follow since his previous record label (Bad Hand Records).

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
CATB: I was deprived of an internet connection for a week and got very annoyed.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
CATB: How creative is the art of songwriting when most songs use the same progression?

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
CATB: Noise.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
CATB: After a 24 hour long haul flight at the bottom of a bunker in Berlin.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
CATB: The duration of the flight.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
CATB: Ajutar and SYB-3.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
CATB: “Children Suffer” by Mixomatosis.

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
CATB: I’d like to do more Advance Lawnmower Simulator stuff, which is my label – any submissions accepted.  I’m also thinking of doing something much more primitive than Cats Against The Bomb.  Hasil Adkins is a reference point at the moment but there is some fancy wiring I also need to do.

NP: Where are things heading?
CATB: Towards entropy.


ADVANCED LAWNMOWER SIMULATOR

Thursday, June 24, 2010

THE ABOMINABLE MR TINKLER


The Abominable Mr Tinkler is a long-standing fixture of the Colchester music scene.  Tinkler is an act of caffeine-induced multiple sound degradation and sonic obliteration coupled with frantically spasmodic beats.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
T: The Abominable Mr Tinkler, also known as Peter Ravan but you can call me Pete.  Currently residing in Colchester, Essex.  If I had to describe this project I would say that it came out of necessity to avoid the need to start up a new band/project for every type of music I wanted to create.  I suppose I have quite a broad taste and with this, although it tends to be primarily electronic, I feel there aren’t any genre restrictions in place so it offers me a certain musical freedom that I find very attractive.  Musically, it’s very chaotic, but mostly organised chaos.  I have a cartoon-like visual image of a large cupboard piled high with objects and if you open that door it’s all just going to come spilling out…followed by a bowling ball.  And possibly a Yorkshire Terrier.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
T: Enthusiastically.

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
T: My approach varied depending on the tracks.  For the first two I played around with filters and effects, mostly reverbs.  I guess half-inspired by work from artists such as Tribes Of Neurot and Albert Ayler albeit in a more synthetic way.  Differently filtered versions of the pieces were layered over themselves or repeatedly processed, both forward and reversed, and in places the original dry sound completely removed leaving just the accumulated effect and reducing the track to mostly ambience and deep reverberations.  The second two tracks, I took a different approach.  Again running the original sounds through various processes but this time manipulating them into (mainly) percussive notes and noises, then combining them with new sounds to construct beats and rhythms which I used to create entirely new pieces.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
T: As creative as the individuals who make them.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
T: Well hopefully the idea that a remix can be more than just a slight re-working of source material.  That it can be a complete re-imagining from the ground up.  Of mood, rhythm, dynamics, melody, texture, etc.  And I think it helped in a way that the source material were not “songs” as such to explore that.  It’s by no means a new concept but I think it’s an important one.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
T: Ha ha.  I find this one quite hard to answer because things can get quite schizophrenic.  The LDWR EP in particular leads you into a state of serenity, before wrenching you in completely the other direction, so it ends up being neither purely aggressive nor peaceful, rather a combination of both.  I guess I’d have to say a receptive mindset.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
T: I find it varies track by track; sometimes pieces come together relatively quickly, sometimes not.  What really takes the time for me though, is when there are a lot of separate little sounds going on, due to the way I tend to work it can be a long process getting it all to sit in any kind of cohesive manner.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
T: Primarily a computer.  And turntables, sampler, fx pedals etc.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
T: That’s difficult, there are too many.  To mention just one would be an injustice to all the other fantastic ones I’ve heard.

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
T: Currently, as well as Tinkler, I have a more down-tempo/ambient project F-Lithium; Mother Sky, an improvisation/jam/post-rock type band in which I drum; and The Coriolis Effect, a project featuring a series of recorded soundscape pieces that build and evolve over long periods of time.  But there are others.

NP: Where are things heading?
T: With The Abominable Mr Tinkler it’s hard to say, I try to keep things diverse.  I’ve been playing live dates, not just gigs and dance events, but parties, noise nights, gallery spaces and multimedia events.  I’ve really been into the idea of spending more time working with mixed-media and collaborating with other artists since I did 1st cut (an alternative soundtrack piece to accompany the 1929 Luis Bunuel film “Un Chien Andalou”).  I also plan to release more EPs and possibly an album in the near future as well as continuing to remix for other artists.  Musically, things have been becoming progressively harder and faster of late, but that’s not really pre-meditated.  Realistically you can only go so hard and fast, so it could go anywhere next.  I guess we’ll find out when it gets there.




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

KEN PEEL


Ken Peel is a modern composer based in Somerset.  He creates a blend of lounge electronica that can drift into experimental and often lyrical areas.  In addition to this he is also an occasional media composer with two critically acclaimed albums (“Salary Man” and “Marginal”) and two EPs under his belt.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
KP: Hello!  I am Ken Peel from Somerset, England.  I would describe my music as “lounge electronica.”

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
KP: I met Justin through The Arctic Circle collective/night club.

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
KP: I sat at the piano and improvised whilst listening to the tracks until I came up with something that felt right.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
KP: It’s as creative as a jazz soloist improvising a melody around a standard tune.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
KP: Perhaps some accessibility – I am not as experimentally “out there” as most of the contributors, so perhaps my versions are a way in for people unfamiliar with the genre.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
KP: Not whilst driving or operating heavy machinery.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
KP: Weeks.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
KP: Keyboards and a computer.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
KP: Renegade Master 98 – Fatboy Slim remix of “Wildchild”.

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
KP: The Arctic Circle, Chiller Cabinet, Flo-Motion, solo works, many years ago I played in a Blues Brothers covers band each year we talk about reforming but have yet to make it past curry stage.

NP: Where are things heading?
KP: Up!




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

VOLUME = COLOUR


Volume = Colour are a duo consisting of guitarist/artist Arthur Karanikas and musician/visualist Don Rogers.  They originally came together to perform at the closing night of the 2006 Melbourne Fringe Festival where in a live setting they use images of Karanikas’ paintings to create visual projections to accompany their playing.  Their performances are “open ended” instrumental pieces that draw on the elements, creating a distinct and expansive ambience in execution.  Subsequently the concept has been performed several times in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
VC: Volume = Colour.  Australia.  Hypnotic.  Rhythmic.  Meditative.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
VC: They had introduced themselves online and they had a call out for submissions going around.

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
VC: Meshing Volume = Colour music with LDWR tracks with assistance of mixing engineers – processes of layering, cut and loop, time stretch – one track is a ten second edit stretched to three minutes.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
VC: Very.  A good remix makes you feel like you’re listening to a new work, there can be just as much “writing” in a mix as there is in creating other “new” works of music, particularly if one is prepared to leave behind a sense of being precious about the original work, though of course some mixes can “enhance” what was “hidden” but present.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
VC: A sense of physicality – some of the Volume = Colour music that has been introduced was recorded live and this has brought an air of immediacy to a couple of the mixes.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
VC: Live with visuals.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
VC: A few weeks to pull together all four but this was listening to each perhaps once in a week or fortnight.  The time in between listens is just as important as listening, in fact it is imperative that there be time from one listen to another so that there is time to forget what was heard before.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
VC: Standard mixing programs, nothing special.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
VC: The remix of Alex And The Ramps’ “Pisces Vs Aquarius” from Faux Pas’ “Changes” EP (FUSE Music Group).

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
VC: Currently performing as founder member of Infinite Decimals.

NP: Where are things heading?
VC: In a good direction.




Monday, June 21, 2010

BARNABY OLIVER


Barnaby Oliver is a UK born composer and sound artist currently residing in Melbourne.  Amongst his many projects he includes Brenin – a mini-opera for BBC Wales inspired by the mythical Welsh ancestry of Elvis Presley.  His experience and influences are vast as he delves into sonic textures with intricate glee and precision.  His works are “arranged to bring attention to the beauty of a refrain, a note or even a moments silence”.  It is an act of pulling sophisticated sounds via unconventional sources and manners.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
BO: I’m a British ex-pat living in Melbourne.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
BO: I sent some stuff to Justin a while back

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
BO: It’s kind of a traditional remix in that I didn’t edit, sample or cut up the tracks, nor did I add anything that wasn’t there before.  I’m a big fan of Jamaican Dub and followed the same basic process of cutting bits out, then adding echoes, distortion, feedback and eq.  Having said that, the original tracks are pretty much pummelled into obscurity.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
BO: Potentially, very.  Reprocessing existing material has a long and distinguished history going back at least as far as Medieval times.  On the other hands it’s often a cynical attempt to wring as much money as possible from a track.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
BO: Echoes, distortion, feedback and eq.  And some digital silence.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
BO: Probably early to mid morning, like a blast of cold fresh air when you least expect it.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
BO: About an hour getting each one roughly done.  Then several more hours trying to get them that little bit better.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
BO: Apple Mac, mixer, Revox reel to reel.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
BO: A toss up between Michael Nyman’s music for The Draughtsman’s Contract (reworking pieces by Henry Purcell) or Lee Perry’s Original Blackboard Jungle Dub.

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
BO: Turn of the century alt space rock band Venus Ray.  The 17-piece Wall Of Electric Guitar Ensemble.  Audiovisual improvisers Infinite Decimals.  19 piece girl group juggernaut The Rebelles.

NP: Where are things heading?
BO: Everywhere.  In all directions.  At various speeds.




Friday, February 24, 2006

MACROCOSMICA


Questions for Macrocosmica

Answers by Cerwyss and Brendan

NP: What is the history of Macrocosmica?  (there seems to be a lengthy gap around the turn of the millennium)

B: We started in 1996. The line up was me and Cerwyss with Gav Laird and Russell Mcewan. Me and Gav had been in Telstar Ponies together (i played drums, he played bass). The day after i left the band, i met up with Gav for a pint. he said he had an idea  for a new band and offered me a slot as second guitarist within the line up. I was surprised to say the least, but jumped at the chance. We started playing / recording / gigging around 6 months after. Gav left in 1998, Russell left in 1999. Me and Cerwyss (well mostly Cerwyss) had a kid in 2000. at that time i asked Gogo and Keith if they'd help us out - they were in the fully awseome Bangtwister at the time. Thankfully they said yes and we started trying to get together some songs in time for Cerwyss to rejoin the studio action. The rest, you know it would appear.....well researched :-)

C: Since we were down to just me and Brendan by 2000 I had a baby in an attempt to swell the ranks. Brendan had the more practical idea of asking two adults to join the band.

NP: How does Macrocosmica compare to your previous bands?  (you know which ones I mean)

B: Heavier and more shouty than the Fanclub, the Ponies and the 'Gwai, but i don't mean that in a "heaviness is better way" just in an honest way!

NP: How/when did you hook up with the Bangtwister guys?  Whatever happened to Bangtwister?  (Agony Aunt was a fantastic single)

B: oops peaked too early in question one!

NP: Do you often have dead arm contests?  The picture on the website looks pure malice.

B: only when on tour with Dead or American - top Scottish rock band

NP: The band’s sound seems to have changed/progressed since Ad Astra, wha’ happened?

B: we became old and gnarly

NP: What is the Glasgow music scene like these days?

B: Loads of bands as always

C: And they're mainly pish

NP: What other jobs do you do/have you had?  How are they are for you?

B: currently a venue promoter, was once a barman.

C: currently researcher on a historical linguistics project - nice job. Formerly all the crap jobs and they were all crap.

NP: What is the new/upcoming record like?

B: Over-rated.

C: Expansive, pretentious, righteously rocking.

NP: What is your songwriting process and how do you record?

C: Most often a riff from Gordon or Brendan then we just jam and develop the idea - it's democratic which is time-consuming but better for the songs.

NP: Do you think people should pay for MP3s?

C: Bands should have control over their music - whether they want to give it away for free should be their own choice.

NP: Does Macrocosmica have some kind of obsession with space?

C: Of course; it's the place.

NP: What bands of note have you played with live?

B: fugazi, teenage fanclub, bangtwister, ligament, idlewild, dead or american, bilge pump, oneida

NP: What have your gig experiences been like?

C: If the stage sound is good I always enjoy gigs even if peripheral things like the size of the crowd go badly - it's the main point of being in a band and always exciting. If I can't hear myself properly I go in the huff, like J-Lo.

NP: Generally, how important is it to be creative?  (Have a form of expression?)

B: stupidly important

NP: Ever committed crimes?  What?

B: Only musical ones.

C: Petty theft. Horrible cardigans.

NP: What advice would you have for other performers?

C: I recently realised that a good way to avoid the age-old problem of bra strap slippage off shoulder due to guitar-playing moves can be avoided by wearing a sports bra. It will also repel would-be suitors if that's of concern.

NP: What are you current listening tastes and what are your favourite forms/styles of music?

B: my favourite band is a band from Norway called Motorpsycho. I only listen to them and us.....potentially unhealthy, but i care not a jot.

NP: What are you plans for the future both musically and personally?

B: to have a good time all the time Marti....that's my philosophy.

Monday, January 23, 2006

SHELLAC


Shellac are my favourite band. And I liked them first. Hailing from Chicago, their roots are legendary and their sound is pretty unique. I liked Shellac of North America before/quicker than I liked my best friends. Formed on an informal basis in 1993, Shellac are so good, the tightest band I have ever seen and the most pokerfaced and comically intense outfit going. Its no surprise really as their pedigree is faultless. The lineup of Steve Albini (velocity), Bob Weston (mass) and Todd Trainor (time) is a genuine unit, not just the latest tool/vehicle/version of Mr Big Black/Rapeman’s backing band. Weston’s past can be traced back to Volcano Suns and Brick Layer Cake whereas homeboy Todd Trainor is previously a Rifle Sport and Breaking Circus number (if nothing, these three know how to name bands). Albini’s trademarks are awkward time changes, thundering baselines, screaming guitar and frantic vocals. Oft copies/imitated but never near matched, Freewheelin’ Bob Weston graciously took the time to get it in the butt with my Qs:

NP - Hi how are you? What are you currently up to?
Bob - Puttering around the house.
NP - What do you make of the music climate (dare I say industry) circa 2002?
Bob- I don't know. I'm not really involved with the music industry. I buy records that I like and listen to them. I play music that I like in a band. I go see bands that I like play at bars.
NP - Ignoring that the industry is swallowing it to become another sales tool, do you think Napster provides (provided) a good service? What do you think of the MP3 format?
Bob- Napster/music on the interlink is good for one thing: listening booth. But then when you hear something you like, you go and buy the real thing at the store. The audio quality of an MP3 is terrible. Up until the minidisc and the mp3, the history of music delivery was a history where the quality of each new format was better sounding than the one before. Now, two of the newest formats actually sound worse than the previous format (CD). Why would anyone stand for that?
NP - How are plans/preparations going for All Tomorrows Parties 2002?
Bob - We each have 50-100 bands we want to invite. We've tried to narrow it to the 30, but it's difficult. Now, we're making phone calls and inviting the 30.
NP - Did you attend All Tomorrows Parties 2001? Any good?
Bob- I went. I had a great time. Standout sets by The Ex, Television and Yo La Tengo.
NP - What is/was it like playing at the Knitting Factory in New York?
Bob- Fine.
NP - How much would you say a sense of humour effects the enjoyment of Shellac's music?
Bob- We write and play with a sense of humor or absurdity. Hopefully, some listeners will pick up on that and enjoy the music in the spirit it was written. Lots of folks seem to think that we're angry and mean people.
NP - What is the band's biggest flaw?
Bob- Steve and Bob not having as good a fashion sense as Todd.
NP - At The Drive In. What are they about?
Bob- Never heard them.
NP - What are your current listening/reading/viewing tastes that you are enjoying?
Bob- West Wing, "The Man With the Golden Arm" - Nelson Algren, "The Spectrum Between" - David Grubbs, "Complete Monkees Headquarters Sessions boxed set" - The Monkees,
NP - I've heard that you recorded "The Futurist" album for a Montreal dance troupe called Lalala Human Steps. Who are they?
Bob- They're a modern dance troupe from Montreal.
NP - Wouldn't it feel great just to kick "nu metal"'s sorry arse?
Bob - We do every day.
NP - The movie Sex And The Single Girl. All the girls in it want to meet Bob Weston. What's that about?
Bob- I've been meaning to see that. My friend, Sue Miller, keeps telling me to rent it.
NP - What's the fascination of/with igniting stuff?
Bob- Fire good.
NP - What is the most embarrassing thing you have done whilst drunk?
Bob- Make an ass of myself at a dinner party.
NP – What do you think of WWF wrestling?
Bob – I have no thoughts about it one way or another.
NP – You old cynic you. No opinion on the subversive/homoerotic theory?
Bob – Cynic? No. I simply don’t spend any time thinking about pro wrestling one way or another.
NP – Any plans for Christmas?
Bob – New Orleans to see the wife’s parents.
NP - Tell me a joke.
Bob- What's the difference between an onion and a hippie? Nobody cries when you slice a hippie.
NP – Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?
Bob – Why?
NP – Because it was dead. Bob, how's the cat?
Bob- Which one?
NP - Anything else?
Bob- Hang up and drive. Red light means stop - yellow means stop if you can safely.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

SOLEX


Seeing Solex live was seeing something new to me.

Hi, how are you and what are you doing right now?
[de C&D] I'm o.k.. Have a few days off now,...enjoying a very late breakfast.

How did you enjoy playing in England (Matador show and Brighton Crawl)?
[de C&D] I had a great time. My bandmembers too by the way. The 10th anniversary Matador party in London was very well-organized and every night they had a very good set of bands on the bill.
The Brighton crawl is a very charming festival. Organized by a small, but very enthusiastic group of people. Brighton itself is very nice.

Live Solex is a three piece. How different is playing live to recording?
[de C&D] VERY. For me recording takes place the same moment as the making of the song. Quite the opposite of a normal recording session of a conventional band where the recording is a matter of copying something that's already there. When I finish a song I ask my musicians to join me in a rehearsal room and than we try to find the best form to play the song live.

How does the second album differ from the first?
[de C&D] The source of the samples is different. For the first album I took samples from very cheap unsellable cd's from the 2nd hand recordshop I co-own in Amsterdam. The challenge was to find good little fragments on awful cd's. When I made these songs I never had an idea of actually releasing them, ....that is untill I got signed by Matador. So the first album is more or less my demo tape. It's a low-budget album. So in order to try and avoid paying any clearancies for the samples, I asked some musicians to play the sample for me so I could resample and rerecord them. The second album is quite low-budget too. But I tried to come up with a different way to avoid paying clearancies. During the first few months of '99 I went to a lot of concerts (from pop too classical too jazz too metal) in and around Amsterdam and secretly made bootlegs. Because there are no copyrights on bootlegs you can sample from them without having to pay clearancies. Of course it's still ilegal to make bootlegs but it's always better getting caught making a bootleg instead of getting caught for an uncleared sample.  Apart from this I also used a 16-track digital recorder instead of my analog 8-track. So I could experiment a lot more with songstructures 'cause of edit-possibillities. I also asked a clarinetplayer, a guitarist and a drummer to jam along with a drumloop and only one or two samples. They needed the loop for speed and rhythm ofcourse, and the sample for key. I recorded their jams and edited them afterwards,..tried to integrate them in a song.

Why did you include the word Solex in every song title on the first album?
[de C&D] It's a rip off from comicstrip book titles. They also always have the main character in the title. So Solex is the main character of every song on the Hitmeister,...but it's not nessesarily me. If it would be me I might as well use my own name instead of the word Solex, and present myself as a singer-songwriter,....which I'm not. Or not like the standard: guitar-on-lap-singer-songwriter-girl.

Who is your favourite comicbook character?
[de C&D] Heinz (probably not known outside of Holland),....it's a cat.

Is Solex your alter ego or just your band?
[de C&D] My alter ego.

How many of your songs about sex?
[de C&D] Depends on your imagination....

Who are you influenced by?
[de C&D] Dance musicians.

But what does "[de C&D]"?
[de C&D] 'De C&D' is the second hand recordshop of which I'm the co-owner.

What is it like owning your own record shop?
[de C&D] I need independence,...and that's exactly what it gives.

Is the story about Randy Costanza being a distant cousin of George from Seinfeld true?
[de C&D] No.

George from Seinfeld always has dates. What do you think his secret is?
[de C&D] He probably smells really really nice.

Who are the Letdowns?
[de C&D] It's a nice band from Pittsburg in which Randy Costanza is the amazing drummer.

I have heard that you do not use a sequencer. If so, why not?
[de C&D] Using a sequencer is more like programming music instead of making music.

What is your favourite sample?
[de C&D] The little guitarpiece in Randy Costanza.

Is the guitarpiece on Randy Costanza by Jon Spencer?
[de C&D] No way,....and even if it was,....I would never tell anyone.

did you get signed to Matador Records?
[de C&D] I had send them a demotape with 4 songs on it. Along with it I'd written a note saying; "If you want to hear more, give me a call" And so they did....

What records have you released so far, Solex or otherwise?
[de C&D] I released one mini-cd and an E.P. with my former band 'Sonetic Vet'. It was a Benelux release only and completely flopped. Not to our surprise by the way,...I mean who wants to hear Hectic noisy guitar music....???

Solex: Solex vs. the Hitmeister (CD, LP)
Solex all licketysplitt (single)
Pick Up (CD, LP)
Randy Costanza (single)

How do you relax?
[de C&D] Watching television,...or going to the movies and drink a lot.

What's your favourite movie?
[de C&D] Rosemary's baby.

What has been the highlight of your career to date?
[de C&D] The Peelsessions

Do you have any pets?
[de C&D] Two cats,...one is called Koekie and the other one is called Solex,...and she is longer around than the Solex YOU know. Koekie is smart and fat,....Solex is thin and stupid.

What makes you laugh?
[de C&D] Everything,....it's all a joke.

Anything else?
[de C&D] Apart from everything ????

Monday, November 21, 2005

KHAN

It was truly an honour to witness Khan playing live at the Everything Is Nice Matador anniversary weekend. It added a bit of spice to the air. The output is electronica with a swing, very loungey and reminiscent to the music that Laura Palmer and Audrey Horn would be into, dancing to in a drug addled frenzy during another crazed episode of Twin Peaks. It’s no surprise that Julee Cruise (Who sang the Twin Peaks theme) has worked with him and appeared on his “1-900 Get Khan” album on Matador.

It was also quite fun when we saw him to see him play whilst simultaneously being molestered by nurses wearing bondage masks wielding whips and strap ons. What a focused performer. My new hero. Here goes:

NP: Who are you?
Khan: Khan son of Chaka

NP: When did Khan form?
Khan: Khan is a one man band (myself) with special guests on stage that released the first record under that name 1994 on the Brooklyn based electronic label Direct Drive. My real name is Can but I couldn't use it because of the German kraut rock band Can. I became friends with Can bassist Holger Czukay later and complained.

NP: Who are your influences?
Khan: James Brown, Sly Stone, Cerone, Psychic TV (and Throbbing Gristle), Lydia Lunch, Robert Hood, John Carpenter, Freddy Fender a.m.m.

NP: Where are you from?
Khan: I'm half Turkish half Finish, born in Germany and living in New York moving to Mexico.

NP: I saw you guys play in London last month at the Matador gig thing there. Who were those women with you onstage, then on the dancefloor and then back onstage again. They were cool
Khan: The girls are called Chinchin. If you want some pictures I can e-mail you but you have to let me.

NP: Who are/is Chinchin?
Khan: ChinChin is a London based performance group that deals with fetish in all forms. They are friends of a friend and wanted to perform on my Underwear Tour 99 so they did. Some people in the audience complained that I was exploiting the female body but they were free to do what ever they liked on stage and I had no influence on their performance. I think they are awesome !!! They are my guests on stage any time. Anybody else into stage sharing ??

NP: Have you had relations with them?
Khan: I met them the day of the show for the first time myself but we had more "body contact" back stage. I think their boyfriends are hot !!

NP: What did you think of Solex at the gig?
Khan: Liked it alot !

NP: What was Australia like?
Khan: Bizarre, BIG and fun. I heard the electronic music scene is really big but pretty cheesy at the moment. I love the people there and the audience. Very sexy.

NP: What's the story behind the cover of the record?
Khan: I identify more with hustlers than with DJs so I got a bunch of them to advertise on my cover. Also the title "1-900 GET KHAN" is a real telephone sex line in the states that I was running. Just making some extra cash with stuff I enjoy and having fun. It was meant as a statement against American prudity.

NP: How did you enjoy playing in England?
Khan: Loved it !

NP: What was the difference between the New York and London Matador shows?
Khan: I always try to be in the wrong place at the wrong time so both shows were great and I/we had a great time and got pretty smashed backstage.

NP: How did you hook up with Matador?
Khan: They invited me over to talk in the NY office, signed me and gave me a very nice cheque.

NP: What do you think of Kraftwerk?
Khan: I loved them when I was a kid growing up in Germany. It was pretty wild to see them on an afternoon TV show next to some cheesy Schlager singers playing "we are the robots". I still think they only make sense in the German language. They are just funny. Now I don't like them anymore I'm over it. At least they don't really try to come up with something new.

NP: What do you hope to achieve with your music?
Khan: To bring soul into electronic music and enjoy what I do. I want to come up with new sounds and structures even if I have to go back to older forms of music like blues or jazz.

NP: What Jazz are you a fan of?
Khan: More of a jizz fan. But I love Sun Ra, Chicago Art Ensemble, Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker, Billie Holliday.......Stravinski

NP: What's your favourite John Carpenter film?
Khan: Escape From New York.

NP: I meant to ask before, how did Julee Cruise get involved with your album?
Khan: Julee heard my stuff through a friend of mine and she liked it a lot so i gave her some tracks and she did lyrics and vocals for them. Mostly we talk about guys and sex. Recording is a minor concern between us.

NP: What did/do you think of Twin Peaks and David Lynch?
Khan: I like David Lynch stuff but rather the new stuff. I was never a big fan of Twin Peaks......I'm not a big tv freak. I loved the soundtrack though.

NP: What were you doing in Mexico?
Khan: Playing the "El Colmillo" club and taking my clothes off as usual.......I presented my new show there "Khan Sings" and will be back in South America with Julee for a whole tour in mid January.

NP: What records have you released to date?
Khan And More EP Direct Drive 12"
Khan Sweet Pink Lemonade Mille Plateaux 10"
Khan B-Man XXC-3 10"
Khan Turkish Bath XXC-3 10"
Khan Silver Satellite Eat Raw 10"
Khan Ethic II V/A Eat Raw CD
Khan + Himadri Blade Switch? 12"
Khan + Walker Super -8 Super 8 12"
Khan Silent Movie Electro Bunker Cologne 12"
Khan Hot n' Spicy Middle Eastern Cooking 10"
Khan Electricity Harvest / EMI CD
Khan I don't wanna say anything Harvest / EMI 2x12"/CD5
Khan Psychic Khan El Turco Loco LP
Khan Orgien 1- 4 El Turco Loco LP
Khan Toys' R' Us El Turco Loco LP
Khan + Lary 7 Black Sabbath Riot El Turco Loco 12"
Khan Robot Wars 95 V/A Smile Communications 12"
Khan + Walker Empire State Building XXC-3 12"
Khan + Walker Empire State Building Harvest / EMI 2x12"/CD
Khan + Walker Schleichfahrt Disko B 2x12 / CD
Khan + Walker Simplex Harvest / EMI 12"/CD5
Khan S-8.2 SilentMovieSilverScreen Super 8 12"
Khan The Guarantor V/A Mille Plateaux 2xCD
Khan SilentMovieSilverScreen Caipirinha Productions CD
Khan Super-8.3 Super-8 12"
Khan Super-8.4 Super-8 12"
Khan Super-8.5 Super-8 12"
Khan Super-8.6 Blue Pool Part 1 Super-8 12"
Khan Super-8.7 Blue Pool Part 2 Super-8 12"
Khan + Susa Templin Blue Pool/Fish Tank Expo 2000 Super-8 CD
Khan 1 900 Get Khan Matador Records 2x12"/CD

Bizz O.D. I'm coming out of your speakers Force Inc. 12"
Bizz O.D. Black Jack EP Force Inc. 12"
Bizz O.D. O.D. Smile Communications 10"
Bizz O.D. Suzanne Goes Shopping DJ ungle Fever US 10"
Bizz O.D. Love Shack DJ ungle Fever US 10"
Bizz O.D. + Jimi Tenor Traffic EP Ozon 12"
Bizz O.D. Disco Trash Force Inc. 12"
Bizz O.D. Get Up Smile Communications 10"
Bizz O.D. Beeper head in the Year 2000 Electro Bunker Cologne 12"
Bizz O.D. Bells and Bones Tekhed 12"
Bizz O.D. Bones Force Inc. 12"
Bizz O.D. Stomp, Fim 100 V/A Force Inc. 3x12"
Bizz O.D. Trail of Lost Souls Temple Rec. 12"
Bizz O.D. You may be Hard-core...but Force Inc. 12"
Bizz O.D. + Black One Little Funky Jazz Piano DJ ungle Fever 7"
Bizz O.D. Bass'n'Beans Force Inc. 12"

Gizz T.V. Saure Gurken DJ ungle Fever 12"
Gizz T.V. Acid Ninjas DJ ungle Fever 7"
Gizz T.V. Little Shop of Acid DJ ungle Fever US 12"
Gizz T.V. Shakar Temple Rec. 12"
Gizz T.V. + Walker Live at the Elektro DJ ungle Fever 12"
Gizz T.V. + Walker Spread DJ ungle Fever 12"
Gizz T.V. + Walker Little Lonesome Astronaut Force Inc. 12"
Gizz T.V. + Walker Spalt Acid Orange 12"
Gizz T.V. + Madonna 303 Mass- Turbator Structure 12"
Gizz T.V. + Madonna 303 South 2nd Structure 12"
Gizz T.V. + Madonna 303 Praise the Lord Temple Rec. 10"
Gizz T.V. + DX 13 Loop Vienna V/A Labworks 2x12 / CD
Gizz T.V. + DX 13 Phunky Force of Noiz Vol.1 V/A Rising High 2x12 / CD
Gizz T.V. + Gringo Should I stay or Should I....? Delirium 12"
Gizz T.V. + Gringo Contamination Monotone CD

4E Temple Trax Force Inc. 12"
4E Don't Fuck with Nails Force Inc. 12"
4E Blue Note Home Entertainment CD
4E Blue Note/Black Note Home Entertainment 12"
4E Post Coitus V/A Home Entertainment CD
4E Serious Drop Out V/A Sony 2x12"/CD
4E Gentle Killer Socket 12"
4E O.G. Pharma 12"
4E introducing DJ Snax 4E4ME4YOU Mille Plateaux 2x12"/CD

Fuzz D.J. + Walker Acid Burns N.Y.C. Smile Communications 12"

Cube 40 U make me Function Temple Rec. 10"
Cube 40 Bad Computa Temple Rec. 12"
Cube 40 S/T Force Inc. 2x12"

Global Electronic Network Roleiflex / Weltron Mille Plateaux 2x12"/CD
Global Electronic Network Time Square Mille Plateaux 12"
Global Electronic Network Electronic Desert Mille Plateaux 2x12"/CD
Global Electronic Network Electronic Desert Feat. 4E Mille Plateaux 12"
Global Electronic Network Modulation Transformation V/A Mille Plateaux 2x12"/CD
Global Electronic Network G.E.N.A.T.T.A.C.K.S. Harvest/EMI 12"/CD5

H.E.A.D. EFS Blue GEF 2x12"/CD
H.E.A.D. Hedonist Blue GEF 2x12"/CD
H.E.A.D. Modular Sound Innovations V /A XXc-3 2x12"/CD
H.E.A.D. James Dean Harvest / EMI CD 5
H.E.A.D. 97/98 Harvest-EMI/Caipirinha 2x12"/CD

Radiowaves Radiowellen / Radiowaves Rising High 2x12"/CD
Radiowaves Radiowellen / Radiowaves Harvest / EMI 2x12"/CD
Radiowaves Shortwaves/Kurzwellen Harvest / EMI 2x12"/CD

German Electronic Foundation S / T Blue GEF 12"

UMO S / T Home Entertainment CD
UMO UMO 2 Caipirinha Productions CDx

Twizzler S / T Nervous/Sorted 12"
Twizzler Fuck You Up Nervous/Sorted 12"

Biogas Vol. 1 Propulsion 285 12"

Nylon Babies + DJ Keoki S / T X-Sight 12"

Loisaida Sisters Home Cooking Pharma 12"

Various Remixes for: NEU, Air Liquide, Jammin' Unit, Blue Pearl, Ars Antiqua and more.

Exclusive Tracks contributed to various compilations and Mix-CD's.

Works for German, Austrian and American Television as well as private Film productions.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

LES SAVY FAV


Les Savy Fav just suddenly seemed to appear one day.  Actually that’s a lie, when they were one of the (failed) “new breed” on Sub Pop around 97, Lamacq and Peel did just about “pick up on them”, in their limited capacities of lurve.  Hailing from New York, the first time I saw them was almost by accident.  Indeed backstage, I impressed/freaked the bearded one out when I opened his bottle of Bud for him with my teeth (true).  Part of me has them down as just being a low maintenance but the other part is just “WASSUP!”, this being 2002 and the Jesus Lizard now being (sadly) distant history.  Seeing them live was true excitement.  Tim Harrington (the bearded one.  At times) is a true showman and the band is stuff!  In addition to the pelting sensation of an alt band backing a laughing hyena, musically it can all come over as the best in brew of such spices as the Dead Kennedys, Devo and Sonic Youth up to (and including) the stuff of true whiteboy spastic FUNK!  Now signed to Southern, having unleashed The Cat And The Cobra and Go Forth (amongst other things) on life, its all working out.  The very accommodating Tim, Syd and Seth helped me out on a few Qs:

NP: How and where are you and what are you doing?
Tim: I'm at my job in New York. I'm answering e-mails. I'm Tim(the singer)
Syd: I'm on a plane returning from Chicago.
Seth: I’m fine, thanks. I’m at home in Brooklyn checking email, working, and thinking about stuff.

NP: How was 2001 for you?
Tim: Well everyone seems to say "thank god 2001 is over" mostly because of this horrible fall and the Us recession and stuff but I'm really thankful that so many people are O.K. and all that half full glass stuff.
Syd: 2001 was great for the FAVS and emotional for me
Seth: Some good things came out of 2001, so I’ll spare you the cliché about how awful it was and blah, blah, blah. I always look forward to the future.

NP: What do you think of music at the end of 2001/beginning of 2002?
Tim: Kind of good there are several bands I'm excited about and I've been meeting a lot of cool/smart/kind people when we play on tour so that is good.
Syd: I have know Idea about the future. Right now I think there are some great bands out there that people should check out. The Oxes, 90 day men, The Apes, The Mars Volta, The ex-models, The husky girls and Inc.inc.
Seth: I still like music, believe it or not. As well, I still want to play music. I heard and saw some great bands this year. I think it's looking optimistic.

NP: What did you think of the awful events of September 11?
Tim: This is too big a question.
Syd: Sept 11... I think the events from Sept 11 were insane. Period.
Seth: A real shame.

NP: To MP3 or not to MP3? That is the question.
Tim: MP3s at work and in cars LPs at home.
Syd: MP3. With respect.
Seth: Fuck yeah, MP3. I like them. It saves me money. Just kidding. Well, not really. I love my music at home, though, and will still continue to collect records and CDs.

NP: Give us some reasons to be optimistic for the future for?
Tim: Language is evolving.  New wooden handrails are getting worn and smooth.  Butter and cheeze are getting left out rather than being refrigerated and will soon be nice and soft and aromatic.  There is a name for when you jump because you feel like you are falling while you are trying to get to sleep; it is the myoclonic jerk.  Frenchkiss Records (the label we (Syd) run(s)) is putting out a new record in February by Sean Na Na called "My Majesty) and it is great.  We are coming on tour in March with Mars Volta (the afro guys from At The Drive In) and the Apes (also on Frenchkiss records)
Syd: Les Savy Fav, the Mars Volta and the APES tour of Europe in MARCH 2002
Seth: Love. Flying cars. You may win the lottery.

NP: If you could have any gift, what would it be?
Tim: Patience
Syd: A house or apt.
Seth: To be more tolerant and understanding. Wisdom beyond my years.

NP: What do you think of Christmas?
Tim: I love it, it is great I made my sister a manger scene!
Syd: Christmas... I think on paper it's great. I prefer thanksgiving.
Seth: It causes me more stress than the meaning of the holiday should. I do, however, enjoy it.

NP: What music/movies/books are you grooving to right now?
Tim: Right now I've got a major fixation on language I'm reading "The Mother Tongue: English and how it got that way" by Bill Bryson and this collection of William Safire articles called "Let a simile be your umbrella" and both are decent. I'm listening to Pleasure Forever, The Liars, The Apes, The Beatles Anthology (3), and John Denver's "Rocky Mountain Christmas.
Syd: The Lord Of The Rings (movie), The Corrections (book), the new SEAN NA NA (music)
Seth: I’m reading "the three cornered world" by Netsuke Soseki. I’ve been listening to the Liars, Neil Young, Love As Laughter, playing my guitar while I’m sitting around. I loved The Royal Tenenbaums. I’ve been into the first two Mad Max films as well.

NP: What is the best advice that you can offer a person right now?
Tim: Don't (pause) wait. Try it with different length pauses for different effects.
Syd: Advice: The harder you work the luckier you get.
Seth: to not worry too much. Be calm and cool. Worry is something your mind does about things that haven't occurred yet. To remain calm in the midst of a hard situation is a better way to handle things.
 
> WWW.frenchkissrecords.com
> Frenchkiss records *** 111 east 14th St suite 229 NYC, NY 10003 ***



Friday, December 10, 2004

BOBBY CONN

BOBBY CONN vs BRATPOP

This was a long, wondrous and horrific 24 hours. Rarely have I squeezed so much into that period of time. The first band I saw, by surprise, was Fridge in the Rough Trade shop. I just thought they were some melodic Mogwai-esqe rip off band. Looking in disappointment, I smacked my head on the stairs railings stupidly, looking up to see some skater smirking.

From there it was to Greek Street to interview Bobby Conn but not before getting lost in Soho ("mummy!"). The scheduled venue of the interview was the most packed cafe in London history it seems. The owner reminded me of Ma Gianni's from Eastenders. We were thrown out pretty politely, a surprise for the big smoke. In the end the interview took place in some dingey pub around the corner, where old people with dogs shared space with hipsters, as we talked with the angel of death.

After over an hour of pounding with Mr Conn we returned to Matt's illegally parked car, which sat behind the venue (where Hirameka were playing), only inches from the Astoria, dead in the centre of London. We expected to find everything and anything there from it being torched, towed, clamped or ticketed. Upon our return though it sat content and happy, full of health. Gringo Conglomerate 1 London Clampers 0.

Inside the venue, Plastic People in Oxford Street, the band were soundchecking. Inside there was no stage but to the left of me was two hollowed out washing machines with decks atop of them and a Bros 12 inch ready to go. To the right were some tense Bratpoppers awaiting a soundcheck. Flittering about was the ghost of Peter Cook. Freaky deaky. I took a piss in the girls toilets but not before scribbling on the door at eye level "Jason Graham has a really neat penis", like a bored desperate shithead does. We left the venue out the back entrance and it was completely surreal, pitch black save for muffled lightbulbs from inside buildings and the giant neon Centre Point light miles above. Hiding In the dead centre of London it was like the Gotham City of the noir original Batman movie instead of the childish, gloss sequels. We amscrayed before we could be killed, raped or robbed.

After eating we returned to the club (Pornstar), us hangers on barely getting in without paying. We positioned ourselves in which was obviously was the make out corner. I dreaded (predicted) being swamped and suffocated later in the night (see below). Still the seats were comfy. And white. Out came the pen again and My Shit was forever (hopefully) emblazoned across the comfy chair.

The first band on were called Role Models. I remember little, other than them playing an adjusted Elastica song with personalised vocals and lyrics, thus making it their own. Bravo Bratpoppers. I would guess they had had the best soundcheck so as a result they had the best sound. Their guitars sounded heavier than Elastica's so I guess they may have been into Hole as well or something. Nothing to get gooey over really I guess.

Mouthwash punked next. They had punk drums and punk bass. The singer started out doing a chicken dance and a chicken rap. The drum and bass reminded me a little of late Minor Threat (aka not the choicest MT cuts). Towards the end I suggested that it might be better had they got a guitarist in and then I had it pointed out to me that they had one. Ewww. I hope it wasn't meant to be so no-show. With effort and concentration (and probably imagination) I was just about able to hear something. The weedy guitar rendered them little more than some hyperactive ska band.

Thirdo was Product, which in my opinion is a very good name for a band. Certain parties in this band were instantly recognisable. Fortunately this band did not sound like der Orchestra. The reference point here seemed to be Placebo and their fizzy guitars, watered down. Unfortunately by this point I had lost interest. The bands were running late and I was panicking as we had to haul arse across London immediately after the show.

Hirameka Hi Fi weren't really, really.....neat. I have no idea what happened. I was left to look after our shit (my shit) in the make out corner all on my own. And the inevitable happened. I guess it is an endearing site imagining a bunch of drunken teenagers bobbing about as I go out of my mind trying to save our personal items. It's funny now but I'll tell you (in a voice like Dougal's) it sure wasn't at the time. I ended up mailing a hate note to Melody Maker the next morning, which when they printed several weeks after I had forgotten I'd posted the fucker. Well they were dancing atop what feebly was the Gringo stall (ie some records sprawled over a table). Fucked off I poured a bottle of water over the most annoying drunken teenager and it turned out she was in a band called Cheetara (no me neither), she told me, and her rosey red cheeks appeared in MM weeks later (I add this because she now denies the incident. Funny what memories (underage) drinking will evaporate).

It turned out though that there were bigger arseholes in the house in the form of the ****er security men. Seconds after Hirameka ended their set they set about throwing every living organism out as if the shithole venue was on fire. Fuck them, I hope they die. Outside, in Gotham City, confronted by big arse rock trucks we waddled past the Astoria crew of the headliners there that night. Holy fuck it was HELLOWEEN from Germany! Well, their instruments and crew. We also think Cleopatra may have been in that particular house (or else that is the name of a club there but I'd like to think we were mere inches away from three exploited teenagers).

The mission was to now get to some loft in Stoke Newington (fuck knows where that is) before 11pm. Matt got us to a place with a similar address to the loft and he ran round like a dedicated trooper as the remainder of us remained in horror as it looked like some Saturday night gang warfare was about to kick off. Frozen with fear, we were soon snapped out of it as Matt said he had found the place. We made comically pathetic attempts to run the whole way to the place, the smart realising the suckers running ahead would keep the door open for us slackers.

Inside Bobby was on. And not just on the stage, he was on in the way NME suggests but never achieves. We were in and immediately, BAM! on stage he was rocking the place. I couldn't believe we were watching a show in a place where someone lives. I realise now I am unlikely to ever be anywhere so hip again (Diego Maradona was spotted in attendance). On stage was a band with character as opposed to some convenient retro punk band. To both sides of the stage were girls hula hooping (as featured in Hudsucker Proxy). Stage right the renamed Dr Weasel Walter rocked out in a fake moustache and Slayer shirt, lurching about metal fashion as stage left Monica Bou Bou, bewigged, played her violin from inside a catsuit. Centre stage Bobby Conn was acting larger than life. He reached for heaven and pulled down a pipe. All to an FM classic waiting to happen. The band (and its music) tasted so fresh. Much should be made of Monica Bou Bou's electric violin. In order to be of quality more bands should employ them. Here is a basic string section with full effect. Unlike the previous evening's entertainment these songs were devoid of worthless aggression and irrational angst. The sound is mature with amazing lyrics adding a sinister twist (edge). Baby Man sounded great and United Nations moved the room (loft). The undisputed highlight was Never Get Ahead (unsurprisingly). Without fear the showman grabbed the beam above the stage and began climbing revealing a similar stature and hunger to prime rib Iggy Pop. Dangling, monkey style, a gracious audience member held his mike in place as Bobby sang the song upside down. Upon returning upright the baying crowd began tugging at his jumpsuit slacks. Out came his arse, then pubes and then the inevitable which he promptly grabbed to completely insinuate the meaning behind the song. To really emphasise, push the point, he had popped out his ween. Dedication (that's what you need to be a record breaker). Here was a man suffering for his art. The place was into him.

On the way home some mad fucker deer came running out of nowhere into the road and all the way home we enjoyed spooking and fucking with the driver's head, claiming that he was imagining the fine beast that either he had almost been taken or that had almost taken him out. We then stopped at a 24 hour Tesco Superstore to stock up which was inexplicably closed. Shan't be late night shopping there again in a hurry. Fucking corporations.
BOBBY CONN

Bobby Conn: You have "hi how are you" already listed on there (my question sheet)
Jason Graham: Yeah.
BC: We've already gotten that one down. I like that, that's preparation! You know, I've noticed that the English interviewers, the press, seems to pride themselves on having the questions typed out. Not just handwritten but typed out.
Alun Shepherd: The Dutch would just handwrite them out.
BC: Yeah, if they even had questions, which the Dutch don't have, questions. They just go like (in mondo Dutch accent, slowly) "well Bobby, tell us.....something".
JG: Do they? I dunno. How about the English? Do you like England?
BC: Oh, like? Yes, yes.
JG: What about the food? Do you like the food?
BC: Yes.
JG: Well, its like, whenever Americans come over to this country they just bitch about the food.
BC: The food? I mean, in America you can get really bad food, without trying very hard.
JG: They're not overly gourmet in this country, Americans say how everything gets boiled in this country so....
BC: Well you know, we had mixed grill today.
JG: Did you enjoy it?
BC: I did actually. It was very odd, an odd assortment of meats. Liver, steak, some kind of weird bacon. Like all on one plate. It was odd. So is this two different fanzines or one fanzine?
JG: We're mates.
BC: Ah, now that looks like a fanzine.
JG: So what do you make of Soho then?
BC: Here? Why are we doing this here? Mr Prinsloo has odd concepts. So far I've been in a little like boutiquey shop to eat and then a tea shop and then here. Here is the most comfortable but its like odd. Why he picks Soho? Is it centrally located or something?
JG: It's centrally located.
AS: This is Soho? So it is like 42nd Street.
BC: Yeah, I mean this is Broadway. This is like the theatre district.
AS: This is precisely like the type of location you deliberately avoid when we're in New York.
BC: Yeah.
JG: Yeah, well I guess you know that. Sorry I didn't catch your name?
BC: This is Alun Shepherd.
JG: Alun Shepherd?
AS: Yeah, its A L U N. Alright.
JG: Oh, like the Welsh!
BC: Yes (?)
JG: So, how did last night go?
BC: Very good, very good. It was full of people and it sounded...... I think it was very affective.
JG: Really? What sort of reaction did you get?
BC: Er, "yay", (claps). "Yes!". "I like you very much sir". I got "we love you Bobby". I got "thanks for a great show".
JG: Did you get a "wooo!"?
BC: I got a "wooo!". I got several "Wooos!".
AS: A man in Hamburg proposed to him.
JG: Really?
BC: Yeah.
AS: He told him he thought now that he loved him and he wanted to live in a glass dome with him.
JG: Are you going to take him up on it?
BC: I can't marry everyone that wants to marry me.
JG: I wish I had that problem. How many interviews have you done today?
BC: This is my fifth.
JG: Are you getting tired of them?
BC: Just a little (screams with frustration).
MN: We caught you at a bad time then?
BC: No, not at a bad time (grabs my questions). "How about the weather?". The weather is beautiful.
JG: Its turned out nice now. So what has been the most asked question?
BC: Basically, probably the most asked question is about the anti-Christ. That's generally the angle that people wanna start with. And that’s like an hour right there. To explain that is like an hour so....
JG: We'll have to fragment that question.
BC: You're gonna have to lead me round to that one. The last guy, oh my god, what a doubting Thomas he was.
JG: Really?
BC: Yeah, he did not, he would not budge an inch. He was tough, tough guy. Hard. Hard boiled hard ball. He just asked "so what's this about you being the anti-Christ?".
JG: But you are, aren't you?
BC: Yeah, yeah, yeah I explained it but its like.......lets lead up to that one. Lets not start with that.
JG: Yeah, some people are like so cynical
(Bobby looks up, breathing like Darth Vader as if possessed by, say, the force).
JG: Have you done the erm......OK?
BC: Fine.
JG: Have you done the MTV VJing yet (on M2)?
BC: No, that's tomorrow. No, Monday.
JG: What are you going to play?
BC: You know, I don't know. This is something that is very interesting, they gave, they said that I'll be able to look in their library and pick all of my favourite videos, seven of them. You know, the last time I watched MTV was in 1984, I think, so.....
JG: Dire Straits!
BC: Actually that’s one of them.
JG: That's the only video they had back then.
BC: (Bobby sings) "Money for nothing and chicks for free". I might pick that. I think I might pick Dance Hall Days by Wayne Chung (?). (more singing).
AS: You don't even know these tunes do you?
JG: Not that one.
BC: Or the Karma Song (?) (more singing)
AS: Do you know that one?
JG: No.
AS: How old are you?
Matt: 20
BC: You're 20? Oh!
JG: 22
AS: How old were you in 1984?
BC: He was a tot.
JG: I was in school.
MN: I was seven.
AS: You were seven years old!
BC: The same year. So that's going to be tough to pick videos. Maybe you could give me some videos that you might like to see.
JG: Pick your own. I really enjoyed your video.
BC: Well thank you. I mean that’s, I guess I should explain since people are thinking that that video was deliberate. Like that’s just, that video, is an excert from a children's dance party show on Chicago Cable Access. And I dunno if you're familiar how cable works in America, you know they, the cable companies, are granted the franchise they have to allocate a certain number of channels for local programming.
JG: Public Access.
BC: Yeah, Public Access, and then you can just have shows and a friend of ours has got this show called Chic-A-Go-Go which is a children's dance show.
JG: How do you spell that?
Weasel Walter: Its like saying Chicago.
JG: Oh yeah.
BC: So he asked me to be on the show that day and I was there with this other character called The Lord Of Lightning who is this kind of washed up, R n B guitarist, sort of in the Hendrix mold. This guy from the south side of Chicago and he released a single in 1985 or 1986 called "I want To Get To Know You", it was like this sort of psychedelic Hendrix riff thing. That was his only single, he comes with this Macramay guitar swing, lip synchs his song and then I come out lip synch my song for an audience of like 8 children and a few adults but the video is like, just that excert, is just like so strange. Hello, how are you?
Monica Bou Bou: I went shopping and then a Ju Jitsu Class
BC: You took a Ju Jitsu Class?
MBB: I took a Ju Jitsu Class.
BC: Oh, yay!!!! (Bobby clapping and cheering). So, er, yeah, so that's the video. So its not like a, we didn't, er, its just the way it turned out.
JG: I saw the video, it was on MTV and.....
BC: We need Chic-A-Go-Go. They need to have a show like Chic-A-Go-Go on MTV. I think.
JG: It could happen now with it (TV) going digital in this country, so the telly channels have expanded to about a thousand channels. Why did you release Never Get Ahead as a single?
BC: Why did I release that as a single?
JG: I mean as opposed to, you could have done something from the new album but you chose that one.
BC: Ah, well actually, yeah Never Get Ahead actually was done, its off the first album and it just got released as a single here because Southern decided to do that. I would have liked to release a single off the new record but no one has been forthcoming with an offer.
JG: We'll do it!
BC: You'd do it? You would release a single?
JG: We do a label but yeah. There’s some good songs on the new album.
BC: Yeah, I'd give you one of those songs of the new album and I'd give you a b-side too. It'd be great. I would love to see United Nations as a single, I think it would be a great single.
JG: Steve the bassist in our band, that's his favourite. Its a great song. The opening lines of Never Get Ahead though....spot on! You're talking about compromise... Have you seen the Bobby Conn Official Unofficial Lovepad website?
BC: That's not the one from Chicago?
WW: The one from Chicago. The kid.....
BC: It's a lovepad?
WW: It's got a page on it that's like sort of his message board that's attached to it and he has a picture of him on.
BC: Yeah, I met the guy that, I think I know what you're talking about, I've seen or I've met that guy. That guy is... You know my idea is that ideally that people who would be making fan clubs or websites would be young, attractive boys or young attractive girls but this fellow is someone who has lived with his mother and dropped out of school because he is so frightened of other people that he stays at home all the time and plays with his computer. So, it's not really....
JG: It's a sort of stereotype.
BC: Yeah, a stereotype fanboy. The ultimate fanboy but I'm trying to get him out of his shell just for my own purposes because if he is going to be doing the fan club without any money I want him to be more presentable so I'm trying to get him like a suit, like an Armani suit or something to sort of dress him up a little bit and then I think people will respond to him, I don't think he needs to be so shy. You know if you look good, then you're gonna feel good. Right?
JG: Yeah, right, I got a haircut for today. Does he subscribe to the Continuous Cash Flow System then?
BC: Do I still?
JG: Does he?
BC: Does he? Oh, I don't..... yeah, I guess he does because he lives with his mom, so yeah. So I guess, you know, money is irrelevant to him. Yeah.
JG: Did you used to be an accountant then?
BC: No, no. I never was an accountant. I used to sell real estate via phone out of New York and, er, yes that was a very unsuccessful venture ultimately in that it lead to a short conviction for mail fraud, back when I was in my early twenties, 21.
JG: Pleasantville yeah?
MBB: (butting in) did you get a chord for your computer?
(in background some cockney geezer repeatedly saying Tesco)
BC: It was impossible.
WW: He wasn't able to have time to.
JG: Did you see the description of yourself as "Beck-style pop rock" in the local listings?
BC: As a what style?
JG: A "Beck-style pop rock".
BC: Oh well, let's see the comparisons I've had. The worst one, or the one that's most unappealing, was our last show in Holland, the billboard said "Hendrix versus McCartney". It's a battle between a corpse and an old knight of the realm.
WW: A fuddy duddy.
BC: A fuddy duddy. Very unappealing. Also "the Make Up on acid". That's another one I find perplexing.
WW: "The Allman Brothers versus Oz Mabarach (?)".
BC: That's a very tenuous reference. I don't know, are you familiar with the work of Oz Mabarach?
JG: No.
WW: And neither is he.
BC: Anyway, also "the Tortoise combined with Captain Beefheart". Pretty unappealing brew there. "Bobby Conn is better than David Bowie", that's also a Dutch one. It's awful. So "Beck-style" is like a......new one. "Ween like" also "Ween like". "Zappa". People compared the first record, they seemed to think it was a Zappa album. The irony is that I don't own a single Tortoise, Beck, Oz Mabarach, I do own some David Bowie records, I'll grant you that, Allman Brothers, Captain Beefheart, I never even heard these bands. Zappa, I've never heard this stuff. So....its because I don't listen to music.
JG: You don't?
BC: No, I listen to, I mean my head is filled with all the popular music that was first fed to me during my childhood and then I buy a lot of singles at the thrift store which I like, R n B and stuff from the seventies.
JG: You have a very pop sound, its very....its like the sort of music that people usually buying Southern stuff don't usually buy, the stuff that you're playing and its a really nice release so say like that you're into that sort of music. Have you heard of Robbie Williams?
BC: Robbie Williams? No.
JG: Cliff Richard?
BC: Keith Richard....
JG: Cliff Richard!
BC: Cliff Richard? No.
JG: GG Allin?
BC: Heard of him, don't have much time for him.
MBB: Good thing cos he's dead.
BC: That's true, he is dead isn't he.
JG: So is Hendrix.
BC: Yeah, that's true, Hendrix is also dead. The same way too.
MBB: Someone gave me some funny money today.
BC: What, fake money?
MBB: Not fake, out of date....
JG: 50p?
MBB: ...and I cannot get rid of it. I tried and no one would take this stuff.
AS: What the fuck is this?
JG: A 50p.
AS: Wow, I have one of those too.
MBB: Yeah, well the smaller ones are good but not the big ones.
BC: Why won't they redeem this? What the hell?
Matt: You can take it to a bank.
BC: You can take it to a bank?
MBB: (in sarcastic English accent) "I'm sorry ma'am, we can't take this".
JG: You should hold onto it, it'll become a collectors piece.
BC: This was made from 1977.
JG: Yeah, that's what I mean. It'll be a collectors piece.
MBB: In fact I have a mind to go back to that restaurant and demand her give me a proper one.
JG: It's kind of typically English.
BC: They spotted your American accent and thought "oh, we can get rid of this old 50p".
AS: I'm gonna run out and try and find an adapter.
MBB: And you know what else happened to me today? Some children, not children, teenagers said "you're not in Moscow now".
BC: Yes. Well that hat has drawn much criticism in Europe.
WW: Tsk tsk.
MBB: "Go back to fucking Moscow!"
WW: You should turn the page really, the most interesting subjects.
JG: The other side?
WW: Ah, this side!
JG: I was building up to those ones.
WW: Oh I see.
JG: These are the motherfuckers these ones.
BC: Oh wait, I've seen these questions before.
JG: Isn't this a whole set of new questions?
BC: No, I've seen these before. I was supposed to answer these questions months ago via e-mail, that’s how I recognise them. You know why I didn't answer these questions?
JG: Because they're a bit personal?
BC: No, just because I kept putting it off and putting it off.
JG: Jeff had mentioned you'd spoken to you about them.
BC: I have been thinking about them a lot. You're the accountant.
JG: You got my e-mails then....
BC: Yeah.
JG: ...where I said my label's making money and should I put it into a new record or buy a motor bike.
BC: Yeah. No, I remember all this stuff. Let's see (grabs questions and doesn't give them back).
JG: You're cheating, I wasn't prepared, I just went into the PC and took a copy.
BC: The thing is also, you didn't have the new record on this one.
JG: I've listened to the records, hooks on it.
BC: Now this is a funny one, I can't believe people actually believe it. Do I look like someone that would actually cut off their own finger?
JG: I was going to check it without asking (looks) oh no.
BC: That would be insane!
JG: That would be painful.
BC: Cross that one off. "Was I an accountant?". No. "Starsign". Gemini.
MBB: Gemini is the best!
BC: You?
JG: Leo.
Matt: Virgo.
WW: Taurus.
BC & MBB: Gemini!
BC: "The happiest event I have ever witnessed". Someone else asked me a question like this. These are hard questions, like the happiest! I'm trying to think of a happy event. Er, what's your happiest event? Let me just see what the standard is.
JG: Happiest event?
BC: Yeah.
MBB: The day you got released!?
BC: Errrr (reluctance) yeah, I mean that was a good event, it was a relief but it was not a.....
MBB: The day you met me!
BC: That wasn't an event. That was very nice though.
JG: First kiss.
BC: First kiss?
JG: No, that's mine.
BC: That was yours.
JG: That was more spontaneous than the other thing.
BC: Let me think, my first kiss. Hmm, that was nice.
JG: When was that then?
BC: Er, I was at a movie, with a girl watching Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
MBB: Wow! (starts der der dering Indiana Jones theme).
JG: What part of the film?
BC: That wasn't my first kiss, that was my first protracted sexual grope session. We were like, the entire movie was like..... (squirty noises and failing arm gestures).
MBB: My first kiss was like a sweet Madonna kinda thing, passion game.
BC: Mmmm.
MBB: Post office.
BC: No?
MBB: You didn't play those games?
BC: No! First kiss, we'll put that down.
JG: Yeah, Raiders! Good film.
MBB: First grope session.
BC: First make out session (writes it down). Actually it was humiliating, it was also a really sad event because my friends at the time, it was when I was fourteen, my friends at the time were like "I cannot believe you're making out with her, she is so gross!" and what did I do?
MBB: Dumped her?
BC: I dumped her like a hot piece of shit.
MBB: Ahhh! Like the shit you were.
BC: Yes. And then for years afterwards, for years, I would have very powerful sexual, masturbatory fantasies about having sex with her.
MBB: Who was it? Somebody you shacked up with?
BC: This is actually a pretty awful story, so I'm glad I dumped her, they did me a favour but I should have.... I could have had sex with her!
MBB: Or you could have figured it out for yourself.
BC: Yeah.
MBB: Following the crowd!
BC: (next question) "Do you believe in putting subliminals in your music?". Of course not, he said with a knowing wink. "Are jokers more interesting than winners?". I thought this was a really good question. This is really good. I almost made a song out of this, I was thinking "there's gotta be a lyric in here". I may use this.
JG: It's a great first line.
BC: I'll copyright that. But that's a hard one. I think losers are winners you know. When you're a joker you get it both ways. That's what I'm always, you see I'm a Gemini, I like to have it both ways.
MBB: That's a goddamn question (in distance a whippet yelps).
BC: "Are you lonesome tonight?". You know, I started to write this interview when I was in a really bad mood and it wasn't coming out very funny and then I thought I don't wanna give it a bummer. It wasn't like no but... And I won't be because I'm gonna rock tonight!
JG: Do you know the band who are supporting you? Penthouse?
BC: No I don't but I hear they sound like Jesus Lizard.
JG: Yeah, mixed with the Birthday Party. Stonking and really good.
BC: "Does Jim O'Rourke play in the band often?". Pretty often.
MBB: Sometimes.
BC: He's done it like four or five times, played in the band in Chicago. But you know, he's very busy, like he's always busy, like right now he's on like three months of travels and he's gonna do the Stereolab record and all this shit. So he's like, he's the hardest working man in the music business. Probably. ("what significant about 13 June 2000?). It's my birthday!
MBB: It's my birthday?
BC: You see, what's gonna happen is that if I am the antichrist, which is not certain but is just a gut instinct I feel very strongly about it, if I'm the antichrist that’s when I, I mean that’s when its going to all come together for me. If you think about it; Jesus. From age one to age thirty three; carpenter! That's it! Just a carpenter and then when he hit thirty three he goes, he gets baptised by John the Baptist, he goes to Israel, he goes to Jerusalem, he gathers his disciples by the side of the mountain, does all the Jesus stuff, he does in like the last six weeks of his life, its like a very short time. All the other time he's just hanging out, making stuff, carpentry. So, his career as Messiah is a very short one. So that's what I'm hoping and then I'm hoping when I'm 33 I'll really come into my own as an antichrist because I'm really, I'm terribly far behind in terms of unifying the nations of the world and that sort of thing. I'm really way behind. The first record was supposed to sell like a 100,000 copies and now its only sold like 800 so....
JG: This question here certainly links to that one really ("do you believe in the live fast, die young philosophy?").
BC: Er, live fast die young? (pauses and contemplates) I've been living pretty fast and I'm not dead yet.
JG: But Jesus died at 33.
BC: Is it young? You know I'm 31 now. I don't feel that young, I feel pretty old.
JG: What was 30 like?
BC: Was it a barrier? Yeah, actually it was a very depressing year. I had recorded my first fucking solo record and I'm 30. You know, 800 copies! Not very auspicious. Its like "why am I doing this? This is ridiculous, I'm getting nowhere fast". So....but this year I am feeling much better. So, no no no. "Should people called Paul be avoided?". No, its not so much the name Paul, its more the connotation of the Pauls.
JG: Its not the name its the....
BC: Yeah, and you understand that?
JG: Its just me and Matthew have known people called Paul in the past and...
BC: Really?
JG: Someone called Paul Buck but with a name like that...
BC: Paul Buck?
JG: I grew up with him.
BC: Is he an ass?
JG: He was mad.
BC: Insane?
JG: Pretty much.
BC: I find the Pauls I am thinking about are very talented but sneaky and manipulative like the Apostle Paul or Sir Paul.
JG: Did you ever look into the Paul Stanley thing?
BC: Paul Stanley also, I mean he's a real sleezeball but the thing about Paul Stanley is he's not particularly talented really. Would you say he is particularly talented?
WW: No.
BC: But compared to say Gene Simmons.... (sees teethy picture of himself) that is not pleasant. That's rather unpleasant.
JG: That picture, when I first saw it, scared me to death. You look so angry and hungry.
BC: Yes. Well I am hungry. "Who is Dr Weasel Walter?" (points at the man)
WW: I'm not really a Dr. I think I know what you're talking about. The young man who interviewed me, I was sort of, before I was in the band, I was sort of working as Bobby's press agent. Bobby didn't feel like he was ready to talk to anybody so we would sit around having long discussions and you know , about what he was thinking, and I would sort of inform people about what he was talking about and this person mistook it that I was a doctor. Its really messed up.
JG: What shirt are you wearing?
WW: This is an old Slayer t-shirt, Satanic Grimoth.
JG: They're not the best thing but at least you know they mean it.
WW: Yeah, yeah, its a hate of love.
BC: Erm, "what pisses me off?". These anger questions are really hard. I'm just not feeling that hot headed today. What pisses you off?
JG: The small things. The things that get to you most, like when you're driving along and someone cuts you up. There’s this thing in England, Road Rage, that I don't think you get in America.
BC: Road Rage? People shoot each other’s cars in our country. Actually, that keeps Road Rage down because people feel like it can escalate to a point, like in Los Angeles its very common for people to like cut you off, someone cuts you off and you have a gun, you shoot them. It happens quite a lot (starts laughing).
JG: Do they do that in Chicago?
BC: Not so much because Chicago isn't such a driving city as L.A. is but.... I guess the rats in my front yard piss me off.
MBB: The deer problem in Humble Park.
BC: The deer problem is excessive which pisses me off. People shooting each other for no good reason in my neighbourhood pisses me off.
WW: Damn!
BC: "What do I do about it?". I put my head under the pillow. "Describe Short And Sweet and did they put out any records?"......
MBB: (reading Sleaze Nation article) Monica Bobo?!
BC: Bobo? Are you Bobo?
MBB: Misspelling.
BC: Fuck!
MBB: Did you do this interview?
BC: I did this interview.
MBB: You did! You said then......
BC: I said Bou Bou, I didn't say Bobo.
MBB: It's verbatim, right?
BC: I didn't write it out.
WW: There will be other mistakes. You're talking to Weasel Walter instead Walter Weasel here.
MBB: Oh well, I'll expect it many many times then.
BC: OK, I'll talk about Condeucent. Condeucent was my first favourite band I was in. And we were like an experiment? I don't know. We were like just four hippy freaks that lived in an apartment and slept with each other and made improvisational music together.
JG: When you mean sleeping together, is that like in the same bed or....
BC: Both same bed and inside of each other’s bodies. And then usually when inside each other, we were actually not sleeping at that time, we'd be awake, but an early incestuous band. And we all got a group tattoo, we were very.....
JG: What was that tattoo?
BC: Our logo. Isolated, very isolated. Very out of step (draws it).
JG: It's like the Now Wave thing (logo).
BC: Oh yeah, that's right. Here, Weasel, look.
WW: Wow, that’s kind of weird.
MBB: What is that?
BC: This is the logo, this is Now Wave, this Condeucent.
JG: Where have you got your tattoo?
BC: Where did I get my tattoo? On my arm, right here. I showed it to the Swedish woman but I'm not going to show it to you.
JG: I won't show you mine then.
BC: Do you have one?
WW: Oh yes?
BC: So anyway, we anticipated, we played for a long time and people would say stuff like "you know you guys really sound like Can" and then we got a Can record and it turned out we kind of did sound like Can but then that Post Rock explosion happened in Chicago about that Kraut Rock shit and we were long broken up by that point, so we were unable to bask in the glory...
WW: ...of being so lame.
BC: Of being so lame. But we did put out two records that are pretty good, they're quite good, two singles.
JG: What label was that on?
BC: We just put them out ourselves. One of the records will be for sale tonight.
JG: Really?
BC: I'll give it to you. You deserve a single.
JG: Please.
BC: Short And Sweet was a collaboration between me recording under the name of Shorty Roughneck. This is a true story. I live in Humble Park, which is a part of Chicago, for like ten years and these little kids would be like "Yo! Look at that, it's Shorty Roughneck. Look at him, it's Shorty Roughneck over there, look at him. You think you're so tough Shorty Roughneck". So its my street name. I was like, I was so happy. "I got a street name given to me by real little black children gave me a street name. I'm like street now, I have street credibility because I am Shorty Roughneck". And then Johnny Sweet, who lived a few houses away, he got his street name the same way, like six months later, because he was wearing a like really nice silky shirt. "Oh yeah, look at that, it's Johnny Sweet. Look at Johnny Sweet". So we decided to be Short And Sweet. And it was premium super hard rock. Two guitars and a drum machine. And anthems like "My Love Landed On You", "It's Too Hard!", all sexual songs. Songs about sexual ecstasy in a hard rock vein. And we later added the drummer from Condeucent, Ray Shawn, who is now living in Frankfurt Germany and it was a very nice band. We weren't able to record, Johnny Sweet and I had a falling out in that he's..... well, we're both difficult to work with, let's just put it that way. "Will I be using MTV?". Well yes, on Monday.
JG: How about VH-1 though?
BC: I don't know about VH-1. I think VH-1 would be more suitable because they would probably have the vintage videos that I would like to see. "Are you the first Edutainer". No, edutainer is something, there are many edutainers, they generally have....
JG: Richard Simmons, is he one?
BC: Richard Simmons?
WW: Richard Simmons, yup, yes he is.
BC: Yeah, he is an edutainer.
WW: He's made records.
JG: Has he?
BC: They're..... (breaks down laughing)
WW: You can only imagine, let's put it that way. If you can make it through that whole record, you're a pretty damn hard person.
BC: They're anti-music. Imagine the thinnest, like thinnest most trebly irritating disco music and then Richard Simmons is like "OK! Come on! Wake up, it's a really great morning!". Its insane, its really psychotic. Richard Simmons is an edutainer.
JG: He cracks me up, every time he's on Oprah or Ricki.
BC: I love him, he's great. He's fantastic. He understands that, some people are born with only one thing, their personality. You know who else I really like who is British? You know Leo Sayer? "I know I can dance! I know I can dance!".
MBB: What's the beers?
BC: I got that bitter beer. Its really good.
JG: Get Carlsberg.
MBB: Carlsberg. And you got the bitter?
BC: "Can using the CCFS lead to alcoholism or drug abuse?". Yes. It does, it does.
JG: I would imagine so as they are very expensive items and they can be consumed on mixed levels.
BC: And they also, alcohol and drugs, generally take you out of a sense of thinking about the future because you're into immediate please then. They're actually, its almost, its very hard to contain the CCFS without drinking heavily because otherwise you start worrying about all the people that hate you.
JG: What do you think of people that are straight edge?
BC: Straight edge? Well. No, fine, excellent. Good for them!
JG: It's just I've got a friend who's gone straight edge and he just seems to be denying himself.
BC: Well I mean, its like any other kind of fanaticism, you know, whether its being a junkie or being a teetotaller, if you're an ass about it, it's irritating. I personally like to sample all of life's pleasures in amounts that I can control. So I love heroin, it's a fun drug but you can't really do it more than a few times a year without, er, having problems.
MBB: How much do you tip?
JG: We don't in this country.
WW: That 50 pence piece.
MBB: I tried to give it to them already. It failed.
BC: He said "this is not useful". Yeah, I don't recommend people do heroin but its a good drug if you do want to try it.
JG: You can have some real good times I've heard.
BC: Yeah but some people vomit when they take it. I don't, I love it.
JG: There's a whole problem, there’s a whole stigma attached to it, you don't really want to get involved in that scene.
BC: Right, whatever. You know its just like anything else. I mean its just like potato chips or anything else. It's like.....pursuing a heroin lifestyle is very boring. LSD also, I did a lot of that and I don't need to do that anymore. Marijuana, useful but again gets very boring. Alcohol, I can't really get drunk anymore, it takes too much effort, I get too sleepy. Speed, very hard on the body. Quaaludes, who can find them? I can't find Quaaludes. You know, like Barbiturate pills.
JG: Have you tried Prozac?
BC: Er, a drug that just makes you feel like good?
JG: It makes you fart too.
BC: It makes you fart? It makes you not want to have sex. Cocaine, I don't like, it makes me feel like a bug. I don't like that. You know I'm already extroverted enough so the idea of me being more extroverted sounds like an arsehole. Actually when I did try it I wasn't in a very talkative mood, I just felt kind of like I hated people. There was nasty shit running down my throat and I felt like an insect. And then when I woke up I started crying. Yeah, that's a great drug.
MBB: What drug was that?
BC: Cocaine. Remember the morning after? I was in tears. "Will I be pursuing multinational corporations?".
JG: Yeah, you actually offered to do a seminar at my firm I work at.
BC: Yeah, I would. I would love to do that, it would be so funny but I would have to do it in like the cafeteria but it seems you don't have a cafeteria. I had visions of like a big office block. Yeah, but that's like the kind of thing I'd like to do, seminars in cafeterias.
JG: Especially as I was thinking that in my line of work, the accountants are influential with clients, it would be a really good way of targeting people.
BC: You see, you do realise that that will land you in jail.
JG: I personally would not subscribe to it, it would harm my reputation.
BC: You've got to have ethics. I don't but you should. (next question regarding Bill Hicks and the Waco incident). Um, Bill Hicks is a genius. "Do I fear the FBI?". Well the FBI, actually no what is scary is that on that website, that fanboy website, he is telling me who hits that website, he says that the Justice Department of the United States visited it five times. That’s not a good sign for Bobby. So, do I fear the FBI? Yes I do now. I'm not worried about the FBI rubbing me out ala David Koresh but I'm worried more about people like Koresh rubbing me out. I worry about assassination at the hands of Right Wing fanatics.
JG: What did you make of Koresh and what he did?
BC: Well he was a nut along the same lines as Marshall Applewhite of the Heaven's Gate thing and Jim Jones. He's a nut along those lines, a very American style nut. But the FBI. They assassinated him and they killed 80 innocent people. That attack was one of the most heinous crimes of our government. What makes it so heinous is that they could have easily arrested Koresh in the years prior to that but for some reason they would rather eliminate like 60 children. "Do I think I'll be reincarnated?" Reincarnated, maybe. Reincarcerated, not if I can possibly help it. I will move to Brazil before I go back to jail. "How does touching people assist my cause?". Because it feels good and its warm! "Do I trust the music press?" No, why should I? Why should I trust anyone? Why should you trust me? We don't know each other. We're not really friends, we're just meeting over this talk. It's not personal...
JG: You're trying to get your message across, we're trying to get something interesting to read.
BC: We're using each other, in the friendliest way. In the nicest way, right? "Have I seen 'Brewster's Millions'?" No I haven't, but I see your point - he's trying to spend all his money.
JG: You should, it's very.
BC: I love Richard Pryor.
JG: And John Candy?
BC: John Candy? I feel very sorry about him. I feel very bad for him. Did you ever see Second City Television? It was a TV show he had in Canada and later in the
US. Amazing show, really fucking funny. He was incredible on that, but his movie career was like (dive-bomb whistles). Just cheesier and cheesier shit.
WW: He generally played the bumbling uncle. Your relative that is a little clumsy!
BC: Right. Are you familiar with Chris Farley?
JG: Yeah.
BC: John Candy didn't have it as bad as Chris Farley did. Chris Farley really got fucked. The amount of self-loathing that that man was encouraged to partake
in was...
JG: When John Candy died he had newspaper coverage but when Chris Farley died, nothing. Chris Farley was never recognised in this country. Tommy Boy and his Saturday Night Live stuff was great.
BC: He was great but they encouraged him to feel about as bad about himself as possible. Hollywood is very cruel to the misfits.
JG: Have you considered acting?
BC: (smiles) Yes but I haven't had any offers.
MBB: You've been asked to be in a couple of movies.
BC: Not Hollywood movies. "Musical influences?" Isn't it obvious? You've heard the record, you can tell what I listen to. The classics. Classic nouveau. (as Shepherd reappears from buying his computer stuff). "What effect will the year 2000 computer bug have?" I think they're going to work that one out frankly.
MBB: I'm a little worried about the phone company.
BC: Utility bills may be confused.
MBB: They have so much trouble right now before the computers have even done anything.
BC: I actually think the world wide depression and economic crisis are going to be a bigger problem than this bug. What is my idea of the perfect Continuous Cash Flow System? To borrow $100 dollars from you and then take her (points to Monica) out to dinner, assuming that she was a complete stranger, do you know what I mean? So it's like, who loses? Okay, you lose $100, but she gains and I'm just a catalyst. I figured morally that would allow me to have the excitement of the lifestyle that I craze, without any of the guilt or obligation of having, like, a Porsche. But anyway, I've abandoned the CCFS because I can't maintain a network of friends and other humans. When you have the CCFS going people avoid you. You have to constantly meet new people. That's the sad thing about being a parasite, you always end up killing the host. That's what the song Baby Man is about. Women are easy to sponge off of. That men do it is depressing. "Is it true that I'm 5 foot 1?" Actually I'm 5 foot 4.
JG: You're 5 foot 4! So am I! (then I remember I'm actually 5 foot 6).
BC: Congratulations, we're the same height (Bobby and Jason high-five). There we go!
JG: Male bonding!
BC: (Starts reading the mailout about Bobby written by Southern press person Jeff Prinsloo, upon which my questions are typed). This is a good point from Jeff "Vanilla was like a cross between Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Lake of Dracula, they were awful!". "After just saying hi to Monica Bou Bou she accused me of giving her shit. I like her". Jeff Prinsloo is the most paranoid man in the world! (Bobby starts laughing) This is good (of Coldman, Bobby's drummer) "I guess he used to play drums in Rome. Not much to say about him other than he reminds me of the biker guy in the Village People. Sunglasses and leather".
JG: Have you been managing to get satisfactory changing rooms and riders?
AS: For the most part . It's interesting that people's attitudes to crack in the parts of Europe we've been to so far seem to be way out of whack with the way things are in real life. I don't know if people don't have any access to crack here or if the crack is different here or something like that. You mention that here and people freak out. You have the conception that it's an alley-sweeper of a drug right? I don't understand it all, it's totally different in the US. It would be nice if you could get crack on your rider but people don't seem to want to do that.
BC: (still laughing and reading Jeff's press release) "Self-amputated ring finger". That guy!
JG: It's a strange rumour, who started it?
BC: I was telling Weasel that I wanted to cut my finger off and then Weasel extended it to that I already had done it. I'm gonna have to tape this finger down tonight cos this guy's coming to the show and he's going to be really upset. He actually very directly asked, "So you're not lying about this ring finger?", and when a guy's on the phone I'm
not gonna say, "Yes, I’m lying". I'm gonna say, "No, of course not!"
JG: I just remembered a really frightening thing. When I was at school this boy, Lee Patrick, had his ring finger chewed off by his pet weasel (I remember now, it was actually a Ferret called Freddy. Vicious, vicious little fella). That's a bit of a coincidence. So is the Chicago scene really good then?
BC: We never think of it as being good but when we look at what else is out there it seems like it, well, can't be that bad. It's better than L.A., I dunno, it's been very good to me.
JG: So is England living up to your preconceptions?
BC: Actually it's turned out a lot better. The show last night was really a lot of fun. It was packed.
JG: What's in your set at the moment? Is it a mixture of the two albums?
BC: Yeah, it's a mixture of the two albums and we've got some new songs which haven't been released. Basically I wanted to include more covers but we weren't able to work those out. We've got a repertoire of around 23 songs right now so we alternate.
JG: What covers are you out to do then?
BC: I do a really nice version of Without You, which was made famous by Harry Nilsson (and Mariah Carey's version didn't hurt it), but it's actually written by the guys in Badfinger. (Quietly sings) "I can't live if living is without you". It's a classic song. My version is very touching. I like the really desperate love songs.
JG: Do you think they make songs like that these days?
BC: (sighs) No, they don't. That's the next thing I want to do, go into that territory of painfully embarrassing desperate love songs. Stuff that makes you just... drop. I'm interested in shock music, y'know? Noise is not shocking any more. What I'm trying to do is use the melody and harmony in song writing to surprise people. Cos I've already done all the noise shit. Maybe I'll get back to it later or something.
JG: How far do you hope to take this music then?
BC: To the top. To the toppermost of the poppermost. Why not? I mean, I've got to go as far as I can go.
JG: What's the major ambition then?
BC: To be able to do this all the time and not having to worry about other things. I've done a lot of different things, some of them have pretty unpleasant. I've wasted a lot of time working. You understand.
JG: I do, yeah.

(originally featured in NO PICTURES issue 10)