We wanted to do our own little tour and thought well how do you do it. We wanted to do something rather than just appear in a club, but there wasn't enough money. We didn't have enough power in our name for what we wanted to do which was quite experimental stuff. We played at Club Dog quite a few times and we got to know the Doggie crew, like what they do, and liked their attitude towards `anything goes'. They have a bit of variation during the course of the night with different styles of music and stuff and we were well into that. So we approached them to see whether we could do a joint thing. Then we were talking to the Drum Club, our mates, and they had this idea about doing a similar sort of thing. About electronic bands in the dance section getting together and doing this tour. Like a Lollapalooza idea. So what we did, because we knew the Drummies and that, and we were all sort of talking about the same sort of time was said "why don't we collectively do it"? A Megadog and Midi Circus and that's how it evolved really.
The idea was to collaborate a bit more with the people in the area where we where playing that were putting on more underground things and join forces. But Bob Dog at the time didn't have the confidence to set all that up. You need a lot of money for the whole production, what with the P.A., and the money wasn't there because none of us could get any tour support for this from the record companies. They couldn't understand the idea. So we had to get an agent in to promote us in the different areas and that has proven to be where it falls down a little bit.
The thing is the Club Dog people have realised that they could have done all this themselves, but it took doing it like this for them to realise, and how eventually it will happen again with Club Dog being the agents and everything.
We should have sent out generic posters with equal billing and that sort of thing. Added a few more bands as well, made it later evenings and interesting locations.
All said and done the dates we have done with Megadog/MidiCircus have been really good. They haven't been promoted well within the areas. But there have been no bummer ones.
Since our LP in June and now this tour combined with it has been good in a way. The idea was to do this sort of thing and get good press out of it so the next time we can be more creative because we can cut an album with middle people involved and do a bit more of what we want creative wise, because you know you can just go on and on.
Yeah, well you can't really do much anyway because when you're sitting there twiddling knobs there's no focal point. It's not like a stage thing is it? It's a bit like an old dance hall style of doing things. It has certain similarities, where you would have a band playing all the old standards and everybody would be walking around doing the Fox-trot or whatever. Nobody watched the band then but the band played the music.
I don't know, it's like normal. You have your DJ and you have your traditional band and we're somewhere in the middle, but because we are up there doing the music the audience faces us. I do it myself with the Drum Club.
I think it's because whenever you go anywhere with a stage it's like having a TV set in the room. When you have a TV all the chairs in the room face the television, it's like everyone sitting round the fire or whatever. Likewise come into a theatre or you come into a place even if there's just DJ's on the stage regardless of whether they're where the lights and the speakers are normally focused. So it's still just finding that focus point isn't it?
I think it's coming out of that group of people that are all over the country, I don't know how to describe it, but it's the people who normally wear Doc Martens a lot of the time. I can't explain it, it's the group of people who have got into dance music last of all. The grungier side of dance music where it doesn't have to be a certain BPM, the non DJ side of music. You go to Club Dog in London it's full of all sorts. You have got people with mohicans and people who are dressed up all clubby and trendy, but there not looking down their noses for a change. It's that open-mindedness. It's more of a unity sort of thing rather than "I hope I'm the best looking person in the club". I hate those clubs where you go and they play one type of music and you get a similar sort of DJ that comes on where you could just as well hear the same couple of records over and over. You know I like variety or it gets a bit boring. Because they all link somewhere along the line, all these different sorts of people and different bands and I think the interest is within electronic music, like the Front 242 connection. People are getting more used to electronically produced music and people are getting tuned on to different types and there are so many different types which is good . We were with the Aphex Twin on the first leg of the tour, that was really good because it's so different as well. We don't get this comparison between the bands because they are so different. They are all good in their own little field. It's very interesting.
We did a gig with the Shamen in Livingstone and they were on as well. In this cube in this car park, it was a really weird place (Livingstone Forum) and we just got talking to him about doing remixes and we asked if he would fancy doing one. It was the time of mutations and London Records were pushing their weight around saying who they wanted to remix some of our stuff. We went down to Swindon and joined all our gear with their gear and did it properly, which was really nice.
I met someone the other day who said they didn't really like our remix of Edge of No Control. I quite like that one actually, but we didn't take too long over it so we didn't get really numbingly bored with listening to the same thing for a week. Most of Mindstream was essentially things that we made up and the way we got round that remix was to make a different track to put Jack Dangers vocals over the top of, which leaves us with the track that we made up to put his vocals over. So we thought, you know, it's fair enough to slap it on the album because it's not going to appear on an album any other way.
I think it makes it easier because we've had plenty of opportunity to find out if we're going to fall out or not. We've had twenty-five years of it. So you're pretty safe on that level and you certainly know you're not going to start ripping each other off and things like that. So it's probably easier. It's certainly easier doing this compared to every other band I've been in, for falling out purposes.
We just hit each other and get it out of our system.....No, that's not true.
You're not so worried about offending someone by going "Oh no I don't like it, how can I possibly tell them, they're going to get all stroppy again."
Our first aim is to make a living out of it so we can keep on doing it because anyone who can make their hobby their career is laughing. We have to keep reminding ourselves of that every now and again, but you do. Our aim really was to keep that going without compromise and without doing anything we don't want to do.
We can just about support ourselves because that last LP we had to pay for ourselves. It cost us [[sterling]]12,000 which is nothing, but we did it in a little room. That's how we always recorded, you don't have to hire out a recording studio. We got our equipment but that is what we needed because our mixing desk was the one we used for live performance and it was all rusty from all the sweat in the clubs.
To have a musical plan is a futile idea because by the time you fulfil it it will be a stale idea. You can have some ideas but it's not like a game plan musically. Essentially I don't know where I'd like to go. I think you have to keep that element of experimentation and to experiment is to not know what you are going to come up with. I will say that I'd like to do an LP that is interconnected, maybe as loosely as a Kraftwerk album where a lot of the music is interconnected. It's all very computer world, but also loose in a way.
No. My dad can just pick out a tune on the piano. They were always really into music though, weren't they? My Dad was into theme music and Earl Gardener which probably influenced us a lot. The Carpenters always used to get a good thrashing on Sunday mornings, I still love them now actually. But it was like film soundtracks. He was really into these epic pieces Ennio Morriconi and things like that, which I think is excellent. That's a thing I'd really like to get into, film soundtracks.
A film I'd really like to do would be a film version of Judge Dredd.
Well, maybe not then.
He's a bit too short though isn't he? If you were going to pick someone like that you would have been better with the hideous Arnold Shwarzenneger.
Clint Eastwood would have been all right cause he's a bit older, Yeah, you're probably right he (J.D.) is Clint Eastwood isn't he? Arnold Shwarzenneger would be pretty Judge Dreddy if you cut him off above the jaw, but then his voice wouldn't comply. "Does not compute" (in best Arnie voice). Yeah, so Clint Eastwood would be better.
OK for example I would rather not have done the music for that hideous Lawnmower man. I thought that was fuckin dire. It's such a load of crap. I thought it had a few choice moments in it and when it started I thought Oh this might be good, with the monkey and everything.
Yeah we got the opportunity recently to do one track on a film called Shopping that's about joy riding and things like that. It's a Channel 4 film and Channel 4 films are normally pretty good. It will be a cinema film. The thing is we really want to find out about it to make sure it's not on dodgy moral grounds. It's a funny subject.
I would do a crap film because beggars can't be choosers. I would refuse to do a right off film, like some of the horrendous films that Tangerine Dream did. Or a film with some element like sexism or gratuitous violence.
I think Shopping might be quite good because it has Jonathan Pryce in it and I can imagine he's in the position to be choosy now. So I tend to think that if he's in it it will be quite good. Trouble is we have to decide now. They've sent us a video through with some scenes for us to look at. The Utah Saints have got a track on it and P.J. Harvey.You really want to view the film before you do it but you have to make a decision and hope they don't go for a different angle when they edit it.
Yeah that's what we want to do. We have got ideas for involving that and samples. Like sampling some of the sound effects and incorporating it into the music. You could go wild.
I do that a lot. Yeah, I do it I can't help it. I always hear it and I think why didn't I record that. But, I've now got a real seventies' television with the tape recorder and radio and all built into one thing and the recording comes out really well. So the idea now is that I'm going to sit with a pile of blank cassettes by the telly and when I'm watching something even remotely interesting I'm just going to put a tape in, press record and just keep taping till I hear something I like and then just whip it of and sample it so it's not lost.
No. I'm still struggling over trying to think of more interesting ways to use them, because a lot of the time you get good samples and they sound indifferent. It has to fit with the phrasing of the music, you can't avoid it.
Well we knew her anyway from before she was in Opus III and she used to say "Oh I'll have to come down for a sing" and then it never happened. Then she did the Opus III thing and I bought it cause I knew her and thought well I didn't manage to get you down so I'll sample you and finally get you on something.
The show we did at New Years Eve at Brixton when we played that track she came on and did some harmonics over the top which was really good and really lucky as our main synthesiser went down and just wouldn't work at all from the beginning of the set. We relied on it in that set so we had to dub it up so the sound was sparse but really good.
No, we don't have any sales figures back yet. All I've been doing is looking at chart positions and things and it's been doing well in the Indie charts.
I mean we don't normally it's just because it's so hard to see how many LP's you've sold and the charts are a certain indication. The interest-ing thing is the album's started going up again and it had went down but since this tour it's been going up again. I was waiting to see if that would happen.
Yeah we did with this one. It's because this album is the same as the first one. It's just a collection of things that we've been doing for the last year or so. There is no overall concept to it, so we figure that every time we do an album like that it will have the same cover and no title. When we do an album that's got an overall theme we will give it a completely different cover and give it a title and everything.
Well, with this album we tried a lot of experimenting with mixing the first batch because we were able to as we got an eight track recorder for the first time. So we got to try this experiment out by mixing two tracks together almost exactly the same as the DJ would. So there is that connection between them, but they are still individual songs.
We try and keep a lot of singles off LP's it's just a bit boring buying a record for the singles, although they are going to take a single of this one. But I don't think it's so bad when you do it the other way around though. If you take records off an album people know the score already. It's when people look forward to a new album and it comes out and it's got 4 singles on it. We had a really hard time getting them to release an LP without the normal back up with the single out first as if you get success with that it will help sell the LP. That's like with Halcyon, we like to do something a little bit different. But you have to bear in mind that not everybody has got your singles as well, so if they get the LP they might not have heard the original as well.
Both of us
(much deliberating) I think I'd have to try a few to have an ultimate one. Actually, I quite like Jean Luc's, the one where he goes for the American detective when he goes away on his murder weekends because I quite like criminology.
I will come up with something in a bit.
Yeah I don't think I saw that one, oh yeah yeah I did see that one. I loved the original till the second generation came and then it was no turning back.
I think for my Holodeck what I'd like to do is put this headset on hooked up to my sub-conscious and let the Holodeck create what is in my sub-conscious.
No, I'd be interested to see that, but then eventually you'd have no sub-conscious left because if you saw everything in your sub-conscious and you got totally into watching it, it would just be like going up your own arse. In a not very poetic way of saying it.
Yeah I think there's a strong connection between that and meditation and what the Yogis do in, what might take years of experimental meditation. I think acid or even Ecstasy to a certain point do reach parts or trigger of chemicals in your brain that make you `see'.
I've been getting into meditation recently. It would be nice. My friend takes E and meditates and it sounds quite an interesting experiment. But, I don't know, he does it all the time and I'm not into that it's far too hedonistic. It gets you there but it cuts out all the levels of practice. Basically it's a very short short-cut. I think short cuts are not very good though because you don't know how to deal with it properly because you haven't been through the learning process. It is a bit freaky.
Well, I think that if I was going to go into the Holodeck I'd like to go into a microscopic world and have a look at amoebas and giant viruses and things like that.