Nice interviews to read

Started by SueC, June 27, 2021, 12:49:35

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SueC

Occasionally I'll read a nice musician interview - here's one from someone whose music is not normally my thing, but I always make time to read an interview with him because he's got interesting things to say.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/jun/27/elton-john-meets-john-grant-boy-from-michigan-interview

Never heard of the other guy but good value too. And I vividly remember Elton John doing a beautiful job on Candle in the Wind at Diana's funeral - that performance made me cry, and I'm pretty sure he was crying too.

This reminds me of something that happened when I was staying at a school friend's place for a weekend when I was 13. They were nice welcoming people to me, which was a bit of a change in this xenophobic little rural town in which I went to middle school newly arrived in Australia. I remember having a little trouble with the amount of fat in the Australian-rural-style roast - the roast was swimming in the stuff, and it was poured off and kept as dripping to return on sandwiches and to roast vegetables in down the track...

Anyway, we were early-teenage girls and it was 1984, so we were listening to music, could have actually been on Countdown, can't remember, but a Boy George song was on when my classmate's Elton-John-fanatic dad came into the lounge room and said, "Boy George is gay, you know!"

So bloody what. Typical bloody cultural homophobia at the time. But we shot straight back at him, "Hello, so is Elton John!" and it devastated the poor misguided man. Could never enjoy his favourite artist's music the same after that. People are so strange.

At least her father kept it to teasing and unnecessary remarks, which was bad enough. My own father bashed me in the face for having a poster with a "poofter like that" up on my wall the following year.  :persevere:

You'd think we've come a long way in 30-odd years since, but in some ways we haven't.
SueC is time travelling

SueC

Metal isn't my thing, but selected bits of it are in my husband's multi-genre collection, so I pricked up my ears and read this interview:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/oct/09/tom-morello-we-came-within-a-babys-breath-of-a-fascist-coup-in-the-us

I was particularly interested in this part of the interview, which is relevant to a topic on this forum about Killing An Arab, which some people (yours truly not included) seemed to think The Cure should stop performing, not because of what the song was about but because of how it was often misinterpreted by nincompoops:

QuoteEven though you weren't physically present, Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name was chanted at the Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, but it was also chanted by pro-Trump supporters in Philadelphia. How did that feel?
First of all, there's no accounting for stupidity. There's a long list of radical left anthems that are misunderstood by bozos who sing them at events like that, from Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land to Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA to John Lennon's Imagine - those people have really no idea what the hell they're singing about. The one thing that I speak to in all of those instances is that there's a power to the music that casts a wide net, and that's a good thing, not a bad thing. In that net, there will be the far-right bozos, but there will also be people that have never considered the ideas put forward in those songs and are forced to consider those ideas because the rock'n'roll is great. You can either put a beat to a Noam Chomsky lecture - no one wants that, but there's going to be no mistaking what the content is - or you can make music that's compelling.

So you don't try to serve people with a cease-and-desist order when they misuse your music?
When they were using Rage songs for torture in Guantánamo, we sued the state department, but no. My take is: "Go enjoy the rock'n'roll. You look like fools, but go enjoy the rock'n'roll."
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Didn't really know where to put this, but it's (kind of) an interview with Mogwai producer Dave Fridman about work on their latest album:

Quote from: undefinedDespite the challenges of producing the album remotely, Dave Fridmann's work on the latest Mogwai album saw the band top the charts for the very first time.

"Mogwai is one of those bands that's ultra‑dynamic, that goes from ear‑bleeding volume to deafening silence. If you go to one of their shows you'll experience a full range of emotions because of those dynamics, and because it's so visceral when they're loud. My job was to try to make the visceral experience of a live concert come out of a pair of stereo speakers, or tiny computer speakers, or earbuds. That's not an easy task.

"In general, it is why I have bands come into my studio and perform their music here, and I'm in the room with them listening, experiencing their music in the way they experience it. I'm not sitting in the control room. When you do that with Mogwai, it's absolutely mesmerising. Capturing that is not as simple as just recording them straight. There's studio trickery involved in getting that across on a home stereo system. I hope that I can bring some added value to the table here, not only with Mogwai, but in working with anybody."

In these two paragraphs Dave Fridmann summarises many of the essential aspects of his production and mix work on the latest Mogwai album, As The Love Continues.

Fridmann has worked with Mogwai off and on since the band's second album, 1999's Come On Die Young. He also worked on the follow up, Rock Action (2001), and again on their ninth album, Every Country's Sun (2017), and most recently on As The Love Continues. The latter, which went to number one in the UK (the band's first chart‑topping effort), came into being in a rather unusual way. Fridmann directed the recording sessions via Zoom, which may seems like a rather remote, impersonal, digital approach for someone so fond of the warmth and humanity of analogue gear. However, while countless people the world over are by now absolutely fed up of relating to others via a screen, the American has a different perspective.

"I'd actually argue that even as Zoom is a digital format, it's an analogue experience. We were looking at each other in real time. We were hearing each other in real time. We were interacting in real time. I couldn't pause reality. It was just like being in the room together. If we had been sitting in the room together, we'd have had the same conversations.

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/inside-track-mogwai-love-continues?utm
It doesn't touch me at all...

Ulrich

https://www.thenational.scot/culture/19668424.mike-scott-waterboys-10-things-changed-life/
It doesn't touch me at all...

Ulrich

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2021/10/28/r-e-m-25th-anniversary-new-adventures-hi-fi-michael-stipe-mike-mills-interview/6137691001/

QuoteQ: Peter Buck has said "New Test Leper" is his favorite R.E.M. song of the band's whole catalog. What still resonates with you from the album?

Mills: I don't listen to R.E.M. records for pleasure, but "How the West Was Won and Where it Got Us" is so eerie and spooky. It was an incredibly organically created song. Bill started playing the drum line, the piano just fell out of me, and in about three minutes we had a framework of the song. It's rare and exciting and when something happens that fast - it's usually pretty good. There's a reason it came out like that. That song was meant to be.

Stipe: I would agree with "New Test Leper." It's a song that I worked very, very hard on. I wrote seven completely different drafts and narrative arcs and through all seven I landed on one after watching a daytime TV talk show and someone we would have referred to then as a transvestite was presenting their idea about why they felt compelled to express themselves. That song followed me. I just couldn't land it. I can remember the couch I sat on when it hit me, and when I wrote that story down on a notebook. That song and "Man on the Moon" (from 1992's "Automatic for the People") are two of the most difficult I wrote.
It doesn't touch me at all...