Something For The Weekend w/e 29/01/2009

This week Philadelphia Grand Jury, Everybody was in The French Resistance Now! Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, The XX, Marina And The Diamonds, The Big Pink, Late Of The Pier and The Psychedelic Furs

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Philadelphia Grand Jury – “Going To The Casino (Tomorrow Night)”Free Download

Everybody Was In The French Resistance… Now! –“ G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N. (You Know I’ve Got A)”

Interview here Download the album here

Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip– “Get Better”

The XX– “VCR”

Marina And The Diamonds “Hollywood ( Infected Your Brain)”

Get the album here…
Interview here

The Big Pink“Velvet”

Late Of The Pier “Best In Class” (Live Session)

Retro Track Of The Week

Psychedelic FursSister Europe”

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Liverpool Sound City 2010

NEW WEBSITE FOR 2010 & LIMITED DISCOUNT TICKET OFFER

Wednesday 19th – Saturday 22nd May 2010

www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

“One of the biggest musical events the city has seenNME

“Taking control of Liverpool’s venues and commanding attention with one of the city’s most eclectic line-ups…..the event shows a lot of promise and could certainly become an annual draw on the festival circuit” Virtual Festivals

“This event is sure to stay on the UK music calendar for many years to come and has plenty of room to expand in the future. Proving that Liverpool really is a ‘Sound’ city” Music-News.com

Critics Pick 2009 – Independent on Sunday

Top City Festival 2009 – Sunday Times Culture

Following their foray into Dubai this winter, the UK’s most eclectic metropolitan festival ‘Liverpool Sound City’ is back for the latest instalment of their musical junta alongside their internationally renowned music conference. After the resounding success of the 2009 festival, Liverpool Sound City is raring to go with a packed programme of live acts, special events and world renowned speakers and panellists who not only shape, but make the music industry.

With Early Bird tickets on sale for a limited time only, Liverpool Sound City has launched a brand new website to give a taster of what to expect in 2010.

Applications are also now open to perform at Liverpool Sound City 2010, through www.sonicbids.com. Bands will be chosen from the festival’s extensive A&R team to play a gig alongside some of the biggest names in the current music scene.

Liverpool Sound City 2009 welcomed the best in new music with over 400 bands from across the world at 35 venues across the city. Over 4 days and nights of live acts included The Zutons, White Lies, Little Boots, White Denim, Black Lips, Telepathe, Enter Shikari, You Me @ Six, Cage The Elephant, Mongrel, Juliette Lewis, The Damned plus many more, alongside parties hosted by the likes of Gigwise, SXSW and Clash magazine.

On top of a premier and eclectic line up Liverpool Sound City includes an international music conference.  With over 1000 registered delegates and 40 panellists in 2009, the Liverpool Sound City international music business conference caters for everyone; from young people aspiring for careers in the music industry to the more established entrepreneur looking to grow their business.

And new for 2010, as part of it’s ongoing commitment to grass roots education and the DIY spirit of music, Liverpool Sound City will host ‘Create @ Sound City’- a series of educational panels, workshops, seminars and interactive sessions aimed at both new and established artists and young people.

Complimenting the extensive music festival and conference offering Liverpool Sound City also present a mastermind selection of Special Events including art and photography exhibitions and the now legendary John Peel World Cup where 18 teams of music industry favourites don their shorts and battle it out for the prestigious cup.

Early bird wristbands tickets are now on sale for just £40 which enables full entry to all the live gigs (capacity permitting and age restrictions apply)

Early bird Delegate passes are now on sale for just £100 which enables full entry to all live gigs and conference and special events.

The Early Bird tickets will only be available for a limited time so to ensure your annual fix of music exposure and education visit www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

“Liverpool Sound City is about being the coolest and most exciting city centre music festival in the world. With Sound City we bring together the greatest new music and art from all over the world.  Together with this we welcome the key execs, mavericks, new entrepreneurs and industry players from the international arena of music, media and technology businesses…” Dave Pichilingi – Festival Director

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Key Info:

Date:                            19th – 22nd May 2010

Location:                      45 various venues, Liverpool.

Ticket Price: Early Bird Festival Tickets: £40

Full Delegate Pass Tickets: £100

Online Tickets:            Offical Festival Website:

http://www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

_____________________________________________________________

Something For the Weekend w/e 22/01/2010

Some new tunes/ videos/ free downloads  from The Kissaway Trail, The Raveonettes, Eels,  Run Toto Run,  Ash, Laura Marling, Bony Ghosts, Lucky Soul, Hurts and a track I have loved since I was but a small egg , one which will forever remind me of  John Peel shows in the 80’s… 😉

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The Kissaway Trail“SDP” (free download)

The RaveonettesBoys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)

Eels-“Little Bird”

Bleed ElectricThe Last Night Of 1989″

Run Toto RunCatch My Breath”

Ash– “Spaceshot “

Laura Marling– “Devil’s Spoke”

Bony Ghosts“The Curse” (free download here)

Lucky Soul -“White Russian Doll”

Hurts“Wonderful Life”

Retro track of the week


The Passions– “Hunted”


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From A-Z-The Ash Interview

ASH -"Space Shot "

Ash  -Space Shot (Loverush UK! Club Mix)

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The Noughties, whilst producing some great music also seemed to be a decade in which the hype machine went into overdrive.  Obscure bands you’d never heard of suddenly started to appear on the front pages of the music press with taglines such as “saviours of pop” or “the future of music”. Problem was, in their desperation to generate “buzz” and discover the “next big thing”, the press had overlooked the simple fact that a lot of these bands weren’t actually very good.  Alas “the next big thing” often found, within the space of a few short months, that their careers were effectively over, killed by the unfair burden of expectation placed upon them.  Hype based on nothing more than a nice haircut and well chiselled cheek bones  meant that “this weeks T-Shirt” became “next week’s dish cloth” with heart sinking regularity. To achieve longevity during the decade in which the music industries collective arse started to twitch like a rabbit’s nose over file sharing and illegal downloads, it seemed you had to either  be very bland and reproduce variations on the same theme or alternatively be Tom Jones.  But there are always exceptions to the rule for there still exists a clutch of bands and artists who continue to demonstrate that consistently great song-writing and innovation can transcend the blandness of a music industry unwilling to take risks and forever looking for the “safe bet”.

Downpatrick rockers Ash are one such band which has sustained the sort of longevity that many acts can only dream of in this brave new world of convenience, disposability and instant gratification. They’ve been together since the early 90’s embarking on their first tour (supporting Elastica) whilst still at school. Since then they have gone on to become one of Northern Irelands most successful acts, topping the charts around the world and selling over 8 million records in the process.  Given the quality of their recent output, the good news is it looks like they’ll be with us for some time yet!!

During their career the nature of how music is “consumed” by fans has radically changed, due in no small part to the internet, the mp3 and the I-pod. Where as the industry itself adopted a belligerent King Canute style stance, aimlessly threatening anybody found in possession of ears with legal action, Ash sought to develop innovative ways of working within the digital framework.  The trio quickly recognised the fact that “the way people listen to music has changed, with the advent of the download the emphasis has reverted to single tracks” and in 2007 they revealed that ‘Twilight of the Innocents’ would be their last album. Instead Ash channelled their creativity into setting up their own label “Atomic Hearts” and  a new project,  ‘The  A-Z Series a subscription service consisting  of  26 limited edition 7″ vinyl  and digital download singles with a new  track  released every two weeks over the course of a year. This week sees Ash reach the letter “H” in their release schedule with the full on pop splendour that is ‘Space Shot’. It’s an unfeasibly catchy , swirling ,electro, sci-fi pop behemoth which boasts the sort of sky scraper levelling chorus that really should see the band back in the charts and  also demonstrates once more, that Ash have a great ear for  killer pop hooks.

In between recording, managing a record label, recording songs, arranging tours, shooting videos and changing nappies, one third of Ash Mark Hamilton, found time to talk with us about survival in the digital age, their unreleased “teen-slasher” movie and the Charlotte Hatherley rumour mill!

VP:  How did the idea for the A-Z series come about? Didn’t The Wedding Present try something similar a number of years ago on a smaller scale? Was that what inspired the idea ?

MARK: Basically we became a bit disillusioned and uninspired with the traditional album cycle. Our last album, ‘Twilight Of The Innocents’, came out through Warners and they dropped the ball on it after the 2nd single didn’t get play-listed at a particular radio station. After more than a year of writing and recording it, it was a tough pill to swallow… all that work was essentially hinged and dumped on one decision. Tim then came up with the idea of regular download releases rather than a one-off album (that are usually 3 years apart), each track taken on it’s own merit, and then the A-Z Series became a lightbulb moment, ie. 26 fortnights in a year. We were aware of the Wedding Present doing the 12 singles in a year so we wanted to expand on that and do something even more ambitious. 52 weekly songs seemed too much and 12 too little. 26 songs is basically 2 album’s worth of material in 12 months. More than we’ve ever released previously. The A-Z concept is a cool way of tying it all together into a collective body of work.

VP:  Given the value for money of a subscription service like The A-Z singles do you think it could be a template for bands to adopt in the digital age?    Have you recorded all 26 songs in the series now?

MARK:  We’re just about to go back into the studio to finish a bunch of new tracks that will complete the A-Z Series. We do already have enough songs recorded to cover all 26, 44 in total, but we like to record more so we can choose the best and keep the quality up. I think our new model is definitely a great way to work and is great value for the subscribers, £13 for 26 songs as well as a bunch of bonus tracks that we’re sporadically throwing into the mix for free (2 so far and we’re only on G). I wouldn’t be surprised if more people follow our lead and do something similar. Fans hate the wait for albums, they want regular content and we’ve had very positive feedback from our fans about the new approach.

VP:  Obviously since starting out as a band the whole way people consume music has radically changed. What do you make of it and do you think the “industry” has failed to keep up with technology and attitudes, how do you see it evolving

MARK : The industry really kept it’s head in the sand for so long (regarding downloading) and they’ve been paying of price for the last few years now. The industry has contracted so much, with massive layoffs and there just isn’t the money there used to be. There’s little or no artist development going on and the majors are mostly only signing safe bets, like the reality crap that’s sure fire chart material. Basically it’s tough out there and it’s become all about survival and financial sustainability rather than the glitz and excess that was rampant in the 90’s. It’s still kinda like a new frontier and people are watching to see how the dust settles. We’re taken a very bold and pro-active move with the A-Z Series and I think people are waiting to see how it plays out. The fact you can download an artists entire back-catalogue in seconds from a torrent site has completely devalued music. The reality is that large numbers of people, especially in the net savvy younger generation, will not pay for music. Why would they when it’s so readily available?

VP:   How have you been finding running your own label, Atomic Heart Records?

MARK : It’s been a lot of work, especially with all the logistics of releasing 26 vinyls in a year. There have been a few teething problems but we’re working them out as we go along. We also don’t have the finances that a major label has at hand so we have to be a lot more thoughtful on where our own money’s going. It’s also kinda cool because it has put us back into the D.I.Y. mode that we were in when we were releasing our own demos, before we got signed.

VP:  When Ash started out as teenagers, did you have any idea of how long you’d be involved in music?  Do you think the “teenage you” would believe that you’d still be producing great music some 18 years later?

MARK : We had no idea but we did have a blind self belief and unshakable determination to succeed. In our teenage years we played in some tragic bands that were known as the worst in our town. That sort of ridicule certainly gave us a lot of purpose, to prove people wrong and ultimately flourish. I don’t think the teenage me would think I’d still be alive 18 years later never mind that we’d still be making music! Having witnessed the excess of the 90’s and the ensuing crash of the music industry in the past decade, we’re just happy to have survived so long. We still have a lot of gas in our tank and a lot of goals we still want to achieve.

VP:  One of my favourite singer/songwriters  Emmy The Great has been involved in Ash a fair bit lately. How did that come about and will she be getting more involved with the band in 2010?

MARK : She’s great and has an awesome voice. She first caught our attention when we heard her cover of ‘Burn Baby Burn’ and when she sang ‘lick my shit’ during the solo that got a quite a laugh. Tim got in contact with her and they’ve played together acoustically for some online videos. She recently joined Tim on stage during our encore in Tunbridge Wells to play our ‘D’ single ‘Tracers’. I believe a recorded version of this is in the works and will be available later this year.

VP: Will the horror movie “Slasher”you produced featuring the likes of Chris Martin and Dave Grohl  ever see the light of day?  Is it true some of the footage is being used in your next promo video?

MARK : Yes, watch www.ashofficial.com or follow ashofficial on twitter for developments. I doubt very much that the full movie will ever materialize but the footage will see the light of day in some form.

VP: Any truth in the rumour that when making “Slashed” there was a ouija board scene that went a bit wrong ?

MARK : Yes there is truth in that. That happened in a dressing room in LA and it went very wrong. Precise details won’t be expanded upon, real or purely psychosomatic it wasn’t pleasant. The actual footage was wiped from the camera and it’s best forgotten.

VP:  What have been your highlights as a band during 2009 ?

MARK : The A-Z tour was a definite highlight and a lot of fun. We got to go to so many strange places and Zennor, the final show in Cornwall, was one of the most fun nights we’ve ever had. Having Belfast’s Panama Kings with us for the whole tour was also a real trip. The day we got the vinyl copies of ‘Return Of White Rabbit’, Atomic Heart’s first release was also a real thrill.

VP:  What plans for 2010?  Will there be more tours and festival appearances?  Any truth in speculation that Charlotte Hatherley may join up with Ash again at some point in the future ?

MARK : After finishing recording in Feb, we’ll be on the road in April / May in the UK to continue promoting the A-Z Series. We’re also currently working out our schedule for the festivals and trips to Japan, Australia, SE Asia and across Europe are on the cards. As for Chaz, I think she’s pretty busy at the moment with her own career. I know that you should never say never, so you never know… : )

VP: What were your favourite albums of 2009?

MARK : I had a baby daughter in 2009 so the only music I really heard was a screaming baby and the insanity of Yo Gabba Gabba! on Nick Jr. I really like the new Muse and Biffy albums, also Humbug was a brave move by the Arctic Monkeys. I changed my mind on The Horrors, they’re quite good really.

VP:   Five words to sum up 2009 ?

MARK : Reality-check, Fatherhood, Alphabet, Sustainability, Vision.

Links

Official Site & A-Z Subscirption

Facebook

Myspace

Wallpapers

Videos

“Space Shot” By Ash

“Joy Kicks Darkness” By Ash

“Tracers” By Ash (Acoustic with Emmy The Great)

“Jesus Says” By Ash

“Burn Baby Burn” By Ash

Ash

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Dag Days Are Over… Dag för Dag Interview

Dag For Dag

“Hands And Knees” By Dag för Dag

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If you like reverberating guitars allied with spectral vocals of infinite beauty then Dag för Dag might just be your favourite new band.  Formed by the American brother and sister duo of Sarah Parthemore Snavely and Jacob Donald Snavely, Dag för Dag first became a reality in the wake of a period of travel that makes the likes of  Bill Bryson appear  a somewhat insular and provincial individual.  After living separately around  the world  in places as diverse as San Francisco, Greece, Spain, London and Honolulu the siblings reunited and set up camp in Sweden, (it seemed  “as good a place as any”) and began writing music together.

Dag för Dag’s first offering  was the ‘Shooting From The Shadows’ EP released in 2009 and since then, with the addition of  drummer Chuck Bukowski, they have  toured with A Place To Bury Strangers ,Wolf Parade, The Faint Cursive, Lykke Li, The Shout Out Louds, Handsome Furs and The Kills. In an attempt to nail down Dag för Dags style comparisons have been made to artists such as PJ Harvey, The Cure, White Stripes, Howling Bells and even Joy Division. Whether such connections are justified is of course a matter of opinion but their debut  long player “Boo” is certainly  an album of sweeping majesty , full of darkness and light, of serenity and rage, shot through with a sense of  that  restless wanderlust that has in no small, part informed  Sarah and Jake’s musical vision.

At times the music is brutal and stark at other times tender and reflective. The combination of visceral guitars weaved around the interplay between Sarah’s otherworldly vocals and Jacobs’s sonorous drawl enables “Boo” to take the listener on a road trip in which despair and hope, love and regret often hitch a ride but never outstay their welcome. There’s a definite cinematic vibe running throughout the album, like the soundtrack to your favourite cult road movie.  The guitar work is quite wonderful ,  at times sounding like Echo and the Bunnymen interpreting “Twin Peaks , whilst on the more laid back lo-fi  numbers they act as sonic thunder bolts and like the presage to a great storm, they slash through the soundscape adding to the foreboding , haunting atmosphere that is the essence of “Boo”.   Dag för Dag have produced a début album to cherish and one that may, in time, be regarded as a mini-classic. We had a chin-wag to the female half of the duo, Sarah, about the bands formation and future plans …

VP:  Ok, I’ll leave the whole  “where did you meet?” question out of this interview 😉  But when did you first start to share a common musical bond and begin writing songs together?

SARAH:  Jacob started sending me mix Cds when I lived in London and he was in San Francisco back in the early 2000s, and I really dug what he was putting upon his ears. Up until then our musical tastes were quite diverse from one another.  Then  in 2006 Jacob moved to London to live with me for a while.  From that point, we discussed making music together but finally began in 2007 when we found ourselves living in Stockholm.

VP:  As brother and sister duo does it make song writing and performing together easier? Can you be more frank about your views with each other?   On the other hand does sibling rivalry sometimes rear it’s head?

SARAH:  The songwriting aspect is so much easier between us than with any other musicians. We feel we speak a sort of sibling language, a silent way of communicating, an all-accepting nothing-to-be-embarrassed about kind of talk. And we share core vales – like a total disdain for pretension in the industry and a desire to release our inner junk through the crystal beauty of music. But yes, sibling rivalry does rear its sometimes nasty head, and we have been known to have all-out shouting matches in front of non-suspecting onlookers…and even grumble and bicker on stage during gigs at times.

VP: Your début album “Boo”  has a kind of sweeping, yearning quality   would you say it reflects your nomadic nature given you are originally from the States and  have lived in Greece , Spain, London  and now Sweden?

SARAH:  Absolutely. Our music is like a painting of the landscape of all our travels, and the day by day reality of our existence as foreigners in our adopted homeland. We both not liking to fit in, not being another face in the mass I reckon.

VP: What was it about Sweden that made you want to “ drop anchor” so to speak?

SARAH:  Sweden is an absolutely gorgeous place, and Swedes have managed to encapture all the fantastic qualities of the different nationalities I’ve come across in my travels. They are friendly but not overbearing. They keep to themselves but help one another out simultaneously. They are incredibly intelligent overall, and most can bake a very decent apple pie or throw together an impromptu meal with finesse, men and women alike. Sweden feels more and more like the home I’ve been searching for.

VP:  What sort of artists past or present would you say have helped shaped your musical tastes and attitude toward to music as a whole? Do you both similar tastes?

SARAH:  We do have very similar tastes. Very rarely do we present one another with music the other dislikes. Jacob has been influenced by folk, jazz, hip hop, Nicholas Mosley novels, early Modest Mouse, The National, The Walkmen. I have been influenced by PJ Harvey, James, Ella Fitzgerald, Echo and the Bunnymen, Nirvana.

VP:  You’ve toured with some pretty impressive bands, what’s been your highlight so far?

SARAH:  It’s impossible to pick out one moment. Every band has been perfect at the perfect time. A Place to Bury Strangers are the nicest guys on the whole planet. And singing ’Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ with Wolf Parade on stage in Cologne was pretty epic.

VP:   How do you go about song writing, do you do it separately or write together?

SARAH:  Most is written together in our cavernous rehearsal space. Jacob spends a lot more time there than I do, coming up with some basic melodies and ideas, which he sort of ’presents’ to me. We each write our own lyrics and we have very strong drumming ideas before the drummer even makes it in the door. Dag för Dag is a very Jacob-Sarah collaborative effort.

VP:  What made you settle on the band name Dag for Dag ? What’s the correct pronunciation and what does it mean?

SARAH:  Jacob was listening to a Learn Swedish tape at the gym and heard ’Dag för Dag’, ’Day by Day’. We fell in love with it. The correct pronunciation is almost like Dog for Dog.

VP: What were your favourite albums of 2009?

SARAH:

Handsome Furs, Face Control

A Place to Bury Strangers, Exploding Head

Happinness, Or We Could Move On

Fever Ray, Fever Ray

I Hear Hiroshima, Friends with Swords

VP: “Boo” your album is out in March 2010 , is there a tour planned ?

SARAH:  Lots of tour up through the end of March. We’re taking April and May off and will be back out there in June through the end of the year.  We love the live show.

VP: Five words to describe your thoughts upon waking up on New Years Day to embrace a bright shiny new decade?

SARAH:  Fuck yeah album release February.

Links

Official Site

Myspace

Facebook

Wallpaper

Video

“Hand And Knees” By Dag For Dag

“Words” By Dag For Dag

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Live A Little, Love A Lot -Moose Interview

Moose

“Jack” By Moose

Moose may have flown under many peoples radar in the early 1990’s despite being the band that inadvertently helped coin the term “shoegaze.” In spite of their music being an artistic and critical triumph they pretty much remained a glorious cult throughout their career. The public seemed to prefer the reverb soaked vibe of bands such as Ride, My Bloody Valentine and the post Cocteau dream pop of Lush and The Pale Saints to Moose’s more laid back country tinged output.  Moose were never a band bound by the fickle nature of fashion and at a time when the music press where collectively soiling their pants with excitement over My Bloody Valentines much vaunted “Loveless” album Moose where casting aside the white noise guitar wash of their early EP’s to embrace a laconic alt country guitar infused hybrid. This new sound first began to surface on their Mitch Easter produced debut “…XYZ”, the album still retained elements of distortion and effects pedals but didn’t solely rely on a layered wall of sound; it was a much more subtle, nuanced affair.

Despite a generally positive response from the music press the album seemed to baffle the record buying public who possibly expected more of the same shoegaze vibe of their early releases. Sales were a little disappointing  and before long Moose were dropped by their label-“Hut.” Undaunted by such a set back  Moose continued to produce music which often beguiled, confounded and confused, the reaction it often provoked was encapsulated perfectly in this “Melody Maker” review from 1994 -“Moose are a conundrum, don’t you find? Live, they hunch over big black guitars and tip out blank and unappealing white noise, but then they make the sweetest and darndest records. The lead track here, “I Wanted to See You to See if I Wanted You”, is a camp country-inclined thing which seems to be linked by umbilical c(h)ord to kitsch Seventies classic, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” by Dawn. And then they start singing in Spanish! A curious business all round, quite frankly.”

After signing to “Play It Again Sam Records”, the band released their second album, “Honey Bee”, in early 1994 which included the aforementioned “I Wanted to See You to See if I Wanted You,” a track which certainly stuck a personal chord with me and became my very first break-up song. It taught me a harsh lesson in life…I may have wanted to see her, to see if I wanted her but alas when she saw me she didn’t want to see me.  Once more the band received critical plaudits but yet again this didn’t translate into sales. A third album followed “Live a Little, Love a Lot” which also featured the Cocteau Twins’ Liz Frasier and it seemed Moose had reached a creative impasse.  It was another four years before Moose resurfaced,  releasing yet another fine album “High Ball Me”, which proved to be their final release, although the band have never officially split there seems little chance of a reunion.…..

In some ways Moose were either a band born into the wrong era, or a band who’s timing was slightly out of kilter with what was going on around them. After virtually inventing “shoegaze” and at the height of it’s popularity they chose to walk a different path. When Albarn became the Dick Van Dyke of pop and Noel Gallagher offered us his “Matalan” version of John Lennon, Moose continued to produce laid back, reflective thoughtful  music. Their albums contain songs of yearning, beauty and tenderness that were the polar opposite to the gaudy vacuous pantomime that was to became “Britpop”. And where as many of the bandwagon hopping “Britpoppers” now sound incredibly bland and dated (try listening to Sleeper’s lamentable po-faced nonsense without feeling an urge to snigger!) Moose’s own output  by virtue of not bending to the will of fashion, has a timeless quality and still possesses a calm majesty which makes revisiting their back catalogue a thoroughly rewarding affair  ….We spoke to KJ “Moose” McKillop to reflect on the bands career.

VP: The bands name “Moose” comes from your own nickname (“Moose”) but how did you come by that nickname in the first place? Does anybody call you Kevin?

MOOSE: The nickname comes from my student days at North London Poly.In the bar they always had this cheap,but not completely unpalatable, Canadian lager called Moosehead – you can guess the rest!

VP: Your début album …XYZ has recently been re-released on Cherry Red Roads, in many ways it seems to have stood up to the test of time much  better than some of your contemporaries from the same era  What do you think of it now, is it still something you’re proud of ?

MOOSE: I’m really proud of XYZ even though it’s not my favourite.We had the most amazing time doing it – Mitch Easter was a real gent.He pushed us to give our best without being a bully.I have very few regrets about my Moose days but to have worked with him on another album would have been a joy.

VP: Some people were a bit surprised at the kind of country infused vibe that was contained within XYZ, did that reaction surprise you, or did you set out to take a different approach after your early EPs?

MOOSE: I think Mitch really brought that country vibe out.When we met him for the first time we went out drinking and very quickly got round to the obvious – songs, bands, singers,LPs. There  was so much common ground – Love, the Byrds,Big Star, Lee Hazelwood. More recent things (or recent for ‘92  !) Cocteaus,Valentines,REM, AR Kane, XTC.But what struck Mitch was our penchant for some old school C&W. Willie Nelson,Merle Haggard,George Jones et al.You can certainly here touches of that on XYZ.

VP: There’s also probably my absolute favourite cover version of “Everybody Talking” on the album, what is it about that song that drew you towards it?

MOOSE: We’d started playing Everybody’s Talking live the year before.  Russell Fong, who’d recently joined,suggested it. We all loved the song so we thought…Why not?

VP: The story goes that Moose, a band that hated to be pigeonholed or categorised, were unwittingly responsible for creating a journalistic genre, “Shoegaze”. How did that happen?

MOOSE: What you’ve probably heard is true.Andy Ross came along to review a gig for the long-defunct and lamented Sounds.Russell was reading the lyrics from A4 sheets at the base of his mic stand. From a distance he must’ve looked painfully shy. The rest is……..

VP: Throughout your time together you seemed to have a fraught and frustrating relationship with the music industry .What was the worst aspect of it for you?

MOOSE: We didn’t have the best of times with record labels but,looking back,it wasn’t too awful.We were able,after all,to get our music out. We had such a lot of fun that those more troubled times have mostly been obliterated. Russell, Mig and I recently got together for ‘a couple of shandies‘ and once  nostalgia took over,we found ourselves laughing about so much of what had  happened in the band.  It really was a great time.

VP: Do you think the band would have had a better experience nowadays with the internet taking an element of power away from the labels and music press?

MOOSE: I have to agree with you. There is genuine autonomy if you want it. It’s quite comical watching the record labels scrabbling around trying to play catch up.

VP: What would you say were your own highlights of your time together?

MOOSE: Highlight no.1, for me anyway, was the tour we did in ’94 with the Cocteau Twins. They gave us the chance to do our first U.S. dates; being on tour with people whose music we absolutely adored AND our first American shows – I still get teary eyed thinking about it. They were incredibly generous and carried a lot of our gear around on their bus as they knew we had to do the tour without any substantial record company support. Wonderful people, a wonderful time. Highlight no.2 was playing a show in Paris supporting Arthur Lee (my highlights seem centred around being a fan!).Shack were his backing group that night and everyone had arrived the day before to soundcheck and, for Arthur and Shack, to rehearse. We sat there with a few friends,drinking and smoking, as they ran through his greatest hits,doing each song 2 or 3 times until they were happy to move on to the next. We were totally blown away by what was happening in front of our eyes. I’ll never forget it.

VP: Did you see the much feted Blur reunion at Glastonbury? What did you make of it? An artistic triumph or a few middle aged blokes putting their egos to one side for the sake of a few million quid under the pretence of “unfinished business”?

MOOSE: The whole Blur reunion thing passed me by. I wasn’t surprised they did it as I always thought their split, for whatever reason, was a bit premature. I really liked The Good,The Bad & The Queen – it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but Herculean and Kingdom of Doom were excellent.

VP: Do you listen to much music these days, any new bands about over the past few years that have taken your fancy?

MOOSE: I think there has so much great music in the last decade – we really have been blessed. Nick Cave’s Abattoir Blues was outstanding. Low – The Great Destroyer – still play it a lot. Both Burial albums but especially Untrue – genius! Phoenix have put out some great tunes. 5.55 by Charlotte Gainsbourg and, just last month, La Superbe by Benjamin Biolay – fabulous. Sufjan Stevens-Illinois -this had some great songs.Philip Glass-The Hours soundtrack – a joy. The Avalanches and Air France. The Justice album was fantastic. My personal faves have been Iron and Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog – it has such a warm, inviting sound; The Great Destroyer and Untrue.

VP: Fast forward ….. In a few years time your kids say” Dad, we want to form a band and conquer the world”, what advice would you give them?

MOOSE: They are very welcome to form a band and conquer the world but I’m selling the T-shirts.

VP: What do you consider to be the five finest albums ever released?

MOOSE: “Forever Changes” (Love)  is always there. “Heaven or Las Vegas”(Cocteau Twins) still sounds astonishing to my ears. “Dusty in Memphis” – what a voice. John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman – Wow! The Kinks –“The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society” – their masterpiece and give me them over the Beatles/Stones anyday.

VP: Finally how do you rate Spurs’ chances this season! 😉

MOOSE: If we can stop gifting matches/points to teams (Stoke, Everton etc.) then the top 4 isn’t out of the question. We’ve got a great squad and when fully fit a potential starting eleven that could beat anyone.It has to include Modric – and he’s back soon. Hurrah!

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“Little Bird (Are You Happy In Your Cage?)” By Moose

“I Wanted to See You to See if I Wanted YouBy Moose

“Suzanne” By Moose

“Kidney Bingo’s ” by Moose ( Peel Sessions)

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