The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'interview'
Backseat Mafia, a music blog from Sheffield, has an interview with Clare Wadd about Sarah Records:
I hate the term twee, loathe it. I think there was a lot of sexism in the abuse we got from the music press, we were girlie we were fey, we were twee, they were all bad things, but they’re feminine rather than masculine things. Most indie labels still are and were then run by men, I was co-running as an equal, we were called Sarah, & that was all a reason to put us down. Quiet concerning really. That said, I hate all the childishness side of twee that a few people embraced, I always wanted to be a grown up, felt required to be a grown up, I’m not a fan of escapism.
‘We don’t do encores’ your press statement said on ‘a day for destroying things’. does a little part of you, if only occasionally, think well……maybe if….
Not really, not now. It was weird at first, and someone said to me soon after “… didn’t you used to be…?”, but it’s 17 years since we stopped, I’m 45. One of the things I thought was good (although in some ways I guess it was bad) was that we were kids the same age as the bands, give or take, in that sense we could never be a proper record label.
It’s disappointing that nothing much seems to have changed, particularly with regard to feminism and the preponderance of bands or labels still to think the main role of women is decoration – a cool sixties chick on the sleeve or poster, some nice female backing vocal – and to fail to question what they’re doing and why. We tried to run the label we would have wanted to be consumers of, so we didn’t do limited editions or extra tracks or things designed to get people to buy the same record several times over, there’s a degree of respect for the audience and the fan that was completely lacking through a lot of the eighties and nineties – they were the little people essentially, and that’s a very Tory attitude.Previously:
McSweeney's Internet Tendency has a detailed interview with underground comics author Daniel Clowes, in which he sheds light on his early career with Cracked! magazine (which he describes as being like methadone for MAD Magazine addicts, and reels off a comprehensive list of various MAD clones and their nebbish mascots), the genesis of Ghost World and its making into a film, the art of writing/drawing comics, and numerous other things:
I used to tell people I was a "comic-book artist," but they'd look at me as if I'd just stepped in dog shit and walked across their Oriental rug. I never knew what to call myself, but I was always opposed to the whole "graphic novelist" label. To me, it just seemed like a scam. I always felt that people would say, "Wait a minute! This is just a comic book!" But now, I've given up. Call me whatever you want.
Whenever a musician isn't happy with the quality of an early record and records it again with a "better" band, it's never better. It's like when Paul McCartney re-recorded "Eleanor Rigby" in the  movie Give My Regards to Broad Street. Did "Eleanor Rigby" need to be re-recorded? The original work is connected to a specific moment of time; it's never going to become "better." Even when I do a new cover for one of my old books, it always seems sort of condescending to the material.
You just mentioned a movie I'm not familiar with: Scarlet Street. What is it about?
It's a strange movie. People always think of film noir as a genre of violent action. To me, noir is more about a state of anxiety and profound loneliness − an awareness of the quotidian grimness of the postwar world. Scarlet Street is about a poor, ugly loser [Edward G. Robinson] who gets hoodwinked by a horrible woman and her pimp, almost willingly so, since even this cheap thrill is preferable to his emasculated existence with his harridan wife.
The original version, directed by Jean Renoir, is even better. The  movie is called La Chienne, which translates to "the bitch." I'm not even sure "the bitch," in this case, refers to the prostitute as much as life itself.
I never really considered Ghost World to be a teen film. To me, it was more about these two specific characters working through something −l something very personal to me. I wasn't necessarily trying to communicate with teenagers, and I never really imagined they would be as much of our audience as they have.
(via Boing Boing)
Pitchfork has a new interview with Jens Lekman, in which he talks about listening to the Sly Hats, plans to move to Melbourne (where he has more friends than in Gothenburg), the Arthur Russell covers EP he has put together, and incurring the wrath of the South Swedish Elvis Society:
There's one song with Frida [Hyvönen] that is a song that we wrote together in Finnish that I think is coming out sometime. I played it for a lot of people. It almost made it onto the album, actually. I think it would have actually fit pretty good on the album. But we just took the four phrases that we knew in Finnish-- she knew two phrases, I knew two phrases-- and we just wrote them down and realized, "Oh, this would actually make a really great song." And it starts off, like, I sing, "I love you," and she sings, "I'm sorry, I don't understand." And I repeat, "I love you," and she says, "I'm sorry, I don't understand." And then the chorus goes, "Wonderful, cutie-pie, wonderful." And that's the whole song, but it's a really beautiful song. Yeah, you will love it. I think you will really like it.
So I was thinking of just trying to settle down. I think I need a new home and a new place and to see how that place and home and how the people who live there will influence my music. I guess that will be Melbourne, if I don't find something else before that. It's going to be interesting.
No, I don't have a girlfriend. No, I don't. I haven't had a relationship in years, actually. But yeah, I'm still looking. It's kind of nice to be looking for a home at the same time. And I really think I need to find a home. I don't know if that includes a girlfriend or not, but first I need to find a home, definitely. Because I felt pretty homeless in the last couple of years, and I never felt at home here in Kortedala. So it's time to find someplace where I feel like it's home.
Jens Lekman talks to Pitchfork about his upcoming album, Night Falls over Kortedala, his travel plans, and the travails of sample clearance:
He's thinking about setting up shop in Melbourne, Australia, as part of "a huge exploration next year in the Southern Hemisphere. We're actually thinking about going to Antarctica, for a while... I've been saving for years to go there."
Jens likened his situation to that of French author/soldier Xavier de Maistre, who penned the 1794 essay Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre (Journey Around My Room). "I haven't read it myself but I think it's amazing. It's about a young man who's imprisoned in his own home, and he wrote this parody of travel stories-- you know, back in the 18th century when everyone wrote about their journeys to China and the East and West. So he wrote about traveling around in his living room. I think it's amazing. And then he wrote a sequel, A Nocturnal Journey Around My Room (Expedition nocturne de ma chambre, published in 1825 --ed.]. It was like the exact same thing except it was at night.
Frequent readers of Jens' blog may have encountered a somewhat embittered recent entry regarding securing the rights for the samples on the new record-- in which Jens expressed disappointment toward his U.S. label-- followed a few days later by a reconciliation. "I can't really talk about it that much," Jens explained, "but let's just say it worked out. I was able to replace one sample that was extremely expensive; it was like the one bad guy. And I had a guy who played with Steely Dan play it, and it came out exactly the way it sounded on the sample."
The Believer has an interview with Khaela Maricich, of The Blow (conducted by a friend of hers, writer Miranda July), in which she talks about her past art projects and what various songs from Paper Television are about.
The Age has a profile of Boing Boing and Cory Doctorow, who, incidentally, is speaking in Melbourne on Tuesday:
It was Boing Boing that first noticed that "black people loot, white people find" groceries in the now-infamous captions of news photographs taken after hurricane Katrina.
"The greatest threat to an artist is obscurity, not piracy," says Doctorow, who has released three other novels on the internet. "All the people out there who didn't buy my books mainly did so because they hadn't heard of me, not because they could get it for free.
The Graun interviews Morrissey, who talks about his past and his songwriting, skirts questions about his sexuality, and reveals that his new album has been recorded, titled You Are The Quarry, and comes out on the 17th of May:
He admits he was unsure if anybody still cared. "I doubt that on a monthly basis and I'm always surprised when they listen. In the midst of the seven-year gap I went through great gulps of doubt wondering whether there was actually any point to it." And yet he is hardly crippled by excessive humility. Later on he says: "I think if I was shot in the middle of the street tomorrow a lot of people would be quite unhappy. I think I'd be a prime candidate for canonisation."
He misses walking in England, and the shared TV programmes. "I miss the drab everydayness and I miss the common experience that everyone has. And I quite like the absurdity and ridiculousness of British people." You have to ask yourself if he misses the real England or the long-gone, three-channel, Sunday-closing England that he sings about.
So why does he choose to be alone? "Well, you see, I consider that to be a privilege. I don't feel like I live alone because I've made a terrible mistake or I'm difficult to look at. Can you imagine being able to do what you like and never having to put up with any other person? And their relatives. You can constantly develop when you're by yourself. You don't when you're with someone else. You put your own feelings on hold and you end up doing things like driving to supermarkets and waiting outside shops - ludicrous things like that. It really doesn't do."
He took antidepressants when he was 17 in order to help him sleep, and he has had therapy intermittently since then, but he is almost proud of his black moods. "I think if you're remotely intelligent you can't help being depressed. It's a positive thing to be. It means that you're not a crashing bore. I mean, you don't get support groups for rugby players, do you?"
The Onion interviews Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian:
Q: O: What made you want to be an airline pilot?
SM: It's the kind of random job when you're that age. You never really seem to get beyond being a fireman or a policeman or an airline pilot, that sort of thing. One of the three. Actually, I don't like flying, so now it seems kind of funny to me. It would be one of my least favorite jobs now. Still, I would much rather be flying the plane than the steward. I mean, if I'm going to die, I'd rather have a hand in my own death.
O: A Hard Day's Night is on the list of your favorite films. If someone were to make a film about a day in the life of Belle And Sebastian, what would it be like?
SM: I think it'd be really boring. I'm not sure anybody would want to see it. It'd be a lot of us sitting around talking.
Mancunian street-press magazine City Life has an interview with Morrissey, recently voted Greatest Manc Frontman Ever. The entire thing is piratically transcribed here:
Who would you have voted for?
"Liam, or Mark E, or Linder Sterling. Technically, of course, Linder Sterling isn't a man. But neither are most of the others on your list."
"I honestly didn't have any decent offers. For example, three major US labels said 'We want you, but we don't want your band,' so I turned them down. Another label said 'We want to sign you, but we'd first like you to make an album with the musicians from Radiohead,' and another label said 'We'll sign you if you agree to make an album with Tracey Thorn'. Absolutely bewildering. People don't know what I've been through."
He also reveals his disappointment with Channel 4's The Importance of Being Morrissey documentary, speaks out against the invasion of Iraq (compare this with Liam Gallagher's outspoken fence-sitting on the issue and assertion that pop stars shouldn't get involved in politics, probably because supporting the war would alienate any fans with half a brain and opposing it would mean agreeing with that southern poof Albarn and losing face; isn't atavistic masculinity a wonderful thing?), and denies that his upcoming album will be named Ludus Lum(i)ni; and of course waxes Wildean at every opportunity.
Ben Rocknerd interviews Jimmy Cauty, one half of pop dadaists The KLF, who's also recently responsible for a controversial culture-jam based on British postage stamps. The interview will appear in an upcoming Big Issue.
An interview with Dorothy Gambrell, who draws Cat and Girl and The Four Fours.
DG: Are the proletariat cool? Or is talking about the proletariat cool? I'm interested in culture, in society I have generally found that politics are not nearly as important as politicians claim they are. Unless, of course, Politics starts running around the room waving its arms and shouting incoherently, as it's been doing lately. I haven't considered myself political in the past, but I can see people around me becoming much more political. I wouldn't be surprised to soon find myself among them.
What does bother me are trends disguised as inevitabilities like, say, marriage, or having a full time job. There are lots of excellent reasons to have a full-time job money and stability and getting out of the house - and there are lots of good reasons to not have a full time job - like owning your own time. If you choose to make that trade off, between stability and time, time and money, that's fine, but I do feel that a lot of people never realize that there was a choice to be made.
Incidentally, there won't be any new issues of Cat and Girl for a few weeks, because Dorothy has gone to Australia, of all places.
An interesting interview with gurning nutter Richard James, a.k.a. Aphex Twin.
Not surprisingly, considering its challenging, provocative style, Aphex Twin's music gets used a lot on TV whenever the subject is confrontational or disturbing. "It's always on programmes about surgery, or rapists, or paedophilia, or murder, or war," he says. "It's like, 'I'm glad that's how you see me!' But that's better than it being used on some cooking or DIY programme."
Btw, it now appears that "Drukqs", the name of Aphex Twin's new album, is not, as Steve Wide claimed, the Welsh word for "drugs". No idea whether the rest of it is a pisstake on the all-Welsh-language album concept. (via Graham)
Douglas Adams talks to Slashdot readers about life, the universe, the upcoming Hitchhiker's Guide film, and MAX.