Showing posts with label Bancroft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bancroft. Show all posts

Aug 1, 2012

BLACK TIME "Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview"


Feral! That's a good one word description when trying to explain England's BLACK TIME. Hissing! Clawing itself free and scratching out eyes. Like getting whacked upside the head with a garbage can by a gang of rats the size of a surly bouncer at a dingy bar who's jukebox is stacked with nothing but Link Wray, the Fall, Swell Maps and those who follow them like a cult and all the partons chain smoke and wear dark glasses
-interview by Dale

Band history to start...Isn't there a Hot Wires and/or an Action Time connection to the Black Time?

Lemmy Caution: Yeah, the Action Time was my youthful attempt at mod-punk/girl group stylings – I was listening to a lot of motown and English punk rock in the ATV/Subway Sect/Pop Rivets vein.. I didn’t really have the know-how at the time to get the right sound for the vision and most of the records are watered-down versions of what it was supposed to be. The Hotwires was my last attempt at a band in the romantic sense of the word and totally fucking wasted about 3 years of my life as a result.

What do you recommend for getting blood stains off a carpet?

Janie Too Bad: Red carpets.
Mister Stix: What do you wanna take it off the carpet for?
LC: Scrape it off with over-priced bootleg of obscure euro-punk.

Speaking of "collector" records-Did ya wonder what the hell Peter P.Trash was talking about when he
said he'd have artwork silkscreened onto the vinyl itself?

LC: I didn't have a clue what the fuck he was on about!  I thought maybe something was getting lost in the german/english translation - "I'm going to silkscreen the vinyl!!"
    "You mean the labels?"
    "No, the vinyl!!!"
    "Er, yeah OK mate..."
    The only thing I could imagine it was going to be like was one of those Def Leppard type picture discs. I was really bowled over with the results when I finally got the records in the post - even MORE beautiful than a Def Leppard picture disc - though obviously we're gonna have to work on the songs and Stix might have to lose an arm.

What's your take on all that collector type stuff? Do you have a bunch of stuff like that (completist/comic
book geek type stuff) or do you just buy one copy to rock out too?

LC: Well personally I'm a vinyl junkie 'cos CDs suck but not at the expense of just owning the music - I'll happily have a vinyl repress of something if it sounds decent rather than shell out £££s for the original.  Ultimately I just wanna be able to listen to the track on my fave format - I don't collect records in a completist/investment way 'cos it's not really entering into the spirit.  Records are meant to be loaned out/not returned/taken round people's house for parties/get beer split on them/frayed edges/those sexy circles you get on the sleeve when you've played it a thousand times etc...they're ultimately ephemeral objects of fun to dance, drink, fuck to etc..
    I know a lot of people were bummed about the price of the p trash 12 it was really expensive but then it cost Peter a shitload to make it - I don't think he's making loads of money out of putting out Black Time and Manikins records y'know?  I like the idea of Black Flag and Minor Threat keeping their back cat in stock for ever at a cheap price but there's nowhere that level of demand for our stuff... the fact is if we do a few hundred copies of a record almost everyone that really wants it will be able to get a copy. I think Peter's planning on doing a 'normal' press of 'new vague themes' at some point for all the non-c.scum as well.

What's the saddest song in the world?

MS: True by Spandau Ballet
JTB: The saddest song in the world is "Friends of Mine" by The Zombies. Actually even sadder than that is I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up) by Joey Ramone. Now I feel awful, thanks a lot.
 LC: The theme tune to Sesame Street - they're singing about sunny days and happy days but with the kind of melancholy minor-key wistfulness that convinces you all the kids are the victims of horrible systematic abuse by their parents and teachers.

 
My 6 year old son, Nolan, makes me play the "Crawlin'" single at least once a day. He always says "This song is gonna freak out in a couple seconds." Is it okay to let him freak out when the part he is talking about starts? Can I hold you responsible for any subversion that may take place later?

MS: Blacktime accept no responsibility for kids freaking out and going retarded there's enough of us(why are we mutants?) in blacktime for starters.  I suggest for safety reasons you should get your kid into contemporary 80's jazz and teach him to gingerly tap his foot.

Do you blame that on society?

MS: Being Mutants? No I blame it on the blacktime gene pool.  Freaking out yea ADHD or whatever it is called is a crock of crap.
LC: Being English I blame it on the weather.

Bob Dylan-Genius or fool?

MS: Robert Zimmerman thats his name
JTB: Genius for pissing off hippie purists.
LC: Old people's music

What's your favorite song by the Fall.

MS: The cover of "Jerusalem" hands down for me
JTB: Totally Wired.  It's kind of an obvious choice but you can't deny how great this song is and it just makes you want to dance all over the place to show how totally wired you feel.  I'm usually more Totally Tired though, but that doesn't make such a great song.  Being from California I also relate sentimentally to anyone using the word totally repetitively. To-tal-ly.
LC: "Neighbourhood Of Infinity" - "Used to listen to Link Wray, used to play him every Saturday, god bless Saturday".  Fucking great.

Do you like the Brix era much? It's some of my favorite stuff by them but I've heard some call it their "sell out years".

LC: A lot of the Brix era is really good, especially the first few albums and singles of that phase.  Even something like "Dead Beat Descendent" which is from near the end of the Brix era - killer riff.

So In The Red is doing a CD version of "Blackout". What type of demands did you make to give Mr Hardy the honor the re-releasing it?

MS: Demands were eating an English breakfast every morning for a month explaining the offside rule in football to us and reciting who’s who in the football league
LC: Yeah Larry’s had to shell out for a triple heart bypass ‘cos of all the greasy food.  He’s doing OK I hear but he’s still got to do his major in cockney rhyming slang before we’ll let him do another record.

What should people expect with your second album?

MS: Blacktime football songs
LC: Sensitive acoustic ballads

Silk or Satin?

JTB: Silk nighties are the way to a girl's heart. Satin will also work.
LC: 10 Silk Cut behind the bike sheds.
MS: Nights in white satin sheets with silky chicks.

Ya ever slid off of a bed with satin sheets?

MS: No but once rolled over and hit my head on the wall.

When's the last time you were spotted outside wearing something that wasn't black?

LC: What do you mean go outside??!!!
 MS A few days ago a navy blue i love French girls t-shirt in French.
 JTB: I had to wear purple eyeliner at our last gig because the black one disappeared, a formal apology to the good people of Nottingham.

Nottingham? Did you run into Robin Hood?

JTB: No Robin Hood per se, however there was a drunken whimsical Robin Hood-esque character dancing like crazy during our set as the rest of the crowd quietly moved towards the back of the venue, and exited out the back door. But we're happy to please just one misguided drunkard a night because it's far more fans than we had before.
MS: Blacktime ran into a lot of feedback whilst lost and disillusion driving down Maid Marian way...no Shit.
LC: Yeah we got pulled over by the cops for unsteady driving in our fully load mini metro.  We were all bouncing along to Screamin' Jay Hawkins like in 'Stranger Than Paradise' and it must of caused some swerving.

When was the last time you got in trouble?

JTB: I tried to sneak into a Adobe Illustrator course and not pay for it, because I thought it was 120 pounds. I got caught and the man in charge escorted me out the class and demaned I paid up. I tried to escape but then he told me it was only 30 pounds and I felt really stupid. So uhhh, I am a bit of a rebel for higher learning!
LC: When we were on tour in France and Janie couldn't eat anything 'cos of a stomach ulcer, and I sat opposite during a delicious meal the promoter had cooked us and accidentally blurted out "ohmygod, this is the best meal I've ever had in my life!".  If looks could kill...  You always get really great food when you play in mainland Europe - it's like being on holiday.  I think the UK is more like what I've heard playing in the US is like - you play your set and then the promoter clips you round the ear and tells you to fuck off out of his venue.
MS: Drinking got into trouble with my liver

So, Black Time are kindred spirits with the Real Losers I hear...Ya ever had a barbeque together?

MS: We've got drunk on a boat together and discussed the importance of booger in revenge of the nerds
JTB: We have a picture with The Hand and a huge bowl of mushrooms, that kind of looks as if we were about to do some kind of barbeque. But we just were posing with some huge bowl of mushrooms for some reason.
LC: No BBQ yet, but when I first met the Real Losers they showed me their party trick, which was C-Shake dropping his trousers (sorry, that's 'pants' to you guys) and Hot Dog shoving a beer bottle up his arse (sorry, ass).  I was all downhill from there... The Real Losers are basically the greatest rocknroll band in the world right now - they just get better and better. I'm just some schmuck (hey, I'm picking up the lingo now) who works in an office and messes around with my little punk rock project when I'm not getting wasted, but the Real Losers are THEE real deal.

I'm just starting to get into french films. Can you give me a quick crash course in what I should check out?

LC: Any early Godard is good (he gets a bit more heavily into experimentation and Marxism as the 60s go on, so the later films can be quite hard work) but yeah check out A BOUT DE SOUFFLE aka BREATHLESS, ALPHAVILLE (which Bladerunner ripped quite a bit off), MASCULIN FEMININ or UNE FEMME EST UNE FEMME are all great and really watchable.  Haven't seen much Truffaut except SHOOT THE PIANIST and THE 400 BLOWS but they are both amazing.  I really like this guy Jean-Pierre Melville who isn't really part of the New Wave scene of 60s french film makers but he made loads of great moody existential crime movies like UN FLIC and La SAMOURAI - Tarantino was definitely taking notes.  There's some great films from the 40s and 50s as well like Jean Renoir's LA GRANDE ILLUSION (great dissection of war and the class divide) and 50s film noirs like LES DIABOLIQUES and RIFIFI.  I don't know that much about modern french cinema - a lot of it seems to be tastefully shot bourgeois melodrama which lives me a bit cold, but I like some of Claire Denis' stuff like BEAU TRAVAIL (anything with Denis Lavant is usually good actually) and the vampire film she did TROUBLE EVERY DAY.

Vincent Price or Christopher Lee?
LC: Christopher Lee for looking so suave and evil in 'Beat Girl'

Jul 31, 2012

The TEARS "Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview"

     Green Bay is small.
     Algoma is infinitesimal.
     When a new band forms around here, ya' tend to know the players, their folks,and what they eat fer breakfast any particular morning about 3 practices in. The Tears even more so for me -- Casey: "I'm going to be doing a new band with nickg,Courtney and Natalie."
Me: "Cool. How's the folks?"
     Courtney and Natalie are sisters that first graced us with the Take Offs, a highschool punk/garage band that coasted by on energy fumes and stumbled even more often due to the fact that nobody could play their fuckin' instruments. A first band, right? Courtney later laid down a Blue Balls tape that showed a knack for catchy songwriting and vocals that at-least-matched Kim from the Muffs in terms of scream-power and kick-inth'-balls sweetness. Very promising. Casey and nickg had already arrived via projects such as the Strong Come Ons, the Knockers, the Catholic Boys and the aforementioned Blue Balls. Would it rock? I was certain. How good would it be? I dun-din know.
      Fast(back) forward to a Milwaukee show where I showed up fashionably late 'n missed their debut. It was pretty packed, and all I heard was "Tears this," "Tears that" and "best debut in years." Lotsa' enthusiasm from a pretty jaded set. Fug. I made plans to meet 'em the next day at the Algoma trailer for the recordings yer hearing here.
     Still had to hear for myself, ya' know?
     We sat back with some brews while everybody yelled at each other 'n set up mics and borin' shit like that. Click-click-click WHHHHOOOOOSSSSSHHHHH! Jesus! Locked groove organ-rattlin' shit-can r 'n r -- the kind that makes you helplessly switch from sippin' to chuggin'. The kind that cuts all the years of lifeless (re)animation away to reveal the raw nerves and inchoate hysteria that made this stuff worthwhile in the FIRST fucking place. The kind that moves me.
     And I'm pretty immovable. And they were adding vocals later, so all I had was the instro-din to play offa'.
     When did Natalie learn how to slide her fingers around a guit-neck like that? She's 17 on this recording, but she brings more soul than labels-fulla' "hip" 30+ black-bang white-belt dudes. Supposedly, our very presence was making her nervous, and since we're assholes, we refused to leave the trailer. "It's much better live where they're comfortable," said Casey.
     Fast(again) forward a couple-few weeks to their second show. The Mystery Girls and Strong Come Ons had just rolled back into town following their US tour. We checked out pics, tour stories, etc., remarked upon how cool it was that folks outside the area seemed to be diggin' the local sound, and downed a good number of beers. It was the tour capper, a tribute to the 'Gals 'n 'Ons, but the Tearswere gonna' open it up. Didn't really think much of it as they plugged in, but(once more) click-click-click WWWWHHHHHOOOOOSSSSSSSHHHHH! Jesus fuck! This is a BAND, a swing-together unit that speaks the same language, and that language is (say it with me) shit-can r 'n r. Courtney drops a beat, the band plays on. Someone throws a corncob at Casey's head, and the band slides on over to cover. Nick forgets a line and Courtney takes over.
     They were easily the band of the night.
     Ya' know, so many "girl" bands have the lowest possible expectations, because they's girls. Guys like eye candy, women like seeing gene-sisters up on stage. They only have to look cute and perten' to rock. Fuck you if you think any differently -- sad or no, it's an ugly fact. Not the Tears -- they're a rock 'n roll BAND, a unit that brings it right between your eyes. They work off a "garage" base, somewhat Pandoras, I guess, but the rhythm section swings it and nickg & Natalie trade off riffs 'n string-shots that YOU KNOW woulda' sounded diff if the Mystery Girls were from Alaska and hadn't smoked us all with dual string-improv dozens of times over the years.
     So yeah -- this is only the beginning, but it might be the most auspicious one I've yet been privy to.
     Casey told nickg's Mom about the time Nick smoked crack when the Strong Come Ons played in Ohio. Green Bay is small. Algoma is infinitesimal. Real rock 'n roll CAN'T come from New York. Not anymore. But small towns are timeless.
     Can you feel the desperation?
-Todd Tricknnee

-Interview by Dale

What's it like hanging out in an Ice Shanty?

Natalie: I think this is a question for the Algoma folk
nickg: Being that I'm from the Shanty Village, you'd think I'd've hung out in at least one shanty. I have not. but after seeing "Grumpy Old Men," i always wanted to get a shanty to sit in while i listened to records. I probably would put a line in the water, but I dont' think i'd really be fishing.
Casey: It's warm and cozy, and full of fishin'.
Courtney: A What?


Have you ever "done it" in a Ice Shanty?

Casey: Done it meaning Fish?  Yes, I have ice fished in an Ice Shanty.
nickg: I don't know what you mean.
Courtney: Done "It"? 

Who's the diva?

Casey: nickg.
nickg: Are you asking who the diva of the band is? Obviously I'm the diva, and you don't have to look much further for the definition.
nickg=diva=nickg. i'll throw down with Celine or Mariah or even Aretha. anytime, dude. Diva upside ya head.
Natalie: Casey is the diva, he's the only one with a real fashion sense.
Courtney: Casey.


What defines a diva?

Courtney: A Really Tight Jean Jacket.
Casey: A diva seems to be someone who has an inflated sense of reality around/about them.  Their demands are unreasonable usually involving extraneous blah...shit like temperature control and fruity additions to their mixed drinks.  Not that nickg asks for anything extra or out of the ordinary, but he's the hardest to please.  If you know what I mean.


Does nickg have multiple personalities?

Natalie: Yes.
Courtney: No, He has a period.
Casey: Yes.  Multiple Multiple personalities. At first you may think it's just drunk = happy nickg w/ sober = unhappy/sad/mean/et cetera nickg but eventually you realize there is the happy drunk nickg, the something other than happy drunk nickg, the something other than happen sober nickg and the not quite happy but still not exactly not happy sober nickg.  There is nothing between sober and drunk though, it's either all or nothing.  It's very complex.  nickg's life is in temporary permanent grayscale.
nickg: I wouldn't know too much about this, but nickg has sworn to me that he does not, in fact, have multiple personalities.

Define the word smooth

Courtney: My Body
nickg: There's so many different ways to use the word smooth. I could say, "dayamn, baby, yo' ass is smooooove like a mothafucka." That doesn't really tell you anything. I like the word "slick" a little better.
Natalie: Dressing like Marty McFly is pretty smooth. 

Did ya ever go through a hip-hop phase? 

Courtney: Fuck Yeah, Fifth Grade!

Casey: Not really.  There were moments back in my pre-formative, formative years that had touches of hip hop.  Summer of 91 or 92 or whenever that one "Summertime" song by Will Smith (does he count) came out.  There were moments of endearment to it for me, but even then it was a guilty guilty pleasure.  A few Snopp Dogg moments.  Most of it was in passing, nothing to live by.
Natalie: I don't think so, does rap count?You can't fuck with "The Chronic"
nickg: I don't know if I'd say hip hop, but one of the first cds I ever bought with my own money was by my brother Warren G. I also really liked slow jams when I was in like 5th grade. I wanted to be in Boys II Men.

Beat on the brat with a baseball bat?

Natalie: Oh yeah!
nickg: I prefer the backside of my hand.
Courtney: Beat on the What? 

What makes Lionel Ritchie so outrageous?


nickg: The obvious answer is that his wife beat him up, and he didn't kill himself. That's pretty outrageous but really i think it goes back to his days in the Commodores. check out the funky hairdos and the OUTRAGEOUS costumes. Silly Lionel Ritchie.
Natalie: It's gotta be the hair.
Courtney: Lionel Who?
Casey: I think that fact that he's introducing Pat Benatar Videos on VH1 classic on Valentine's Day using the relationship turned to marriage between the guitar guy Neal and the singer women pat.  I really don't know Lionel Richie,but I know Pat Benatar made some bad videos. She seemed to be able to handle the Nazi's well, and well that's a good thing.

Care to describe the perfect cheese curd?
Natalie: A good cheese curd is squeaky.
nickg: I'll just say, when you get the perfect cheese curd, you KNOW. and it most likely has the word "renards" somewhere on the package, if we're talkin' the raw curds as opposed to the fried variety.
Casey: Are you talking about the breaded cheese curd or the fresh cheese curd?  While I'm a fan of the breaded cheese curd there is nothing that cantop the unbreaded fresh from the cheese factory made that morning still sitting out under cheese cloth squeaks when you bite into it cheese curd. You haven't really experienced cheese curds until you've experienced them likethis.  You can reheat them after they've sat in the fridge for a few days to regain some of the pure feeling they once had, but it's not exactly the same.
Courtney: Squeaky!

Cheap Wisconsin beer?

Natalie: Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Courtney: PBR me ASAP
Casey:There are so many quality WI beers, and so many I've yet to experience:  Rhinelander, Huber Bock (both brewed by the Huber Brewing Company, Monroe, WI) both cheap and quite tasty, Point is good, Leinekugels is fine too, especially the Creamy Dark, Blatz originated in WI, Milwaukee's Best Ice-it's a Miller Product but it's cheap.

If you could be a cop for one day-What would you do?

Natalie: Arrest Casey for being too sexy.  Then give him my own special "punishment"
Courtney: Make Question Interviews Illegal.
nickg: I'd shoot lots of inanimate things. That's the only reason I'd want to be a cop.

Girls-What's it like touring with two boys?

Natalie: Ha!  Not as easy as you'd think. nickg gets his period.
Courtney:They have worse PMS than we do

Boys-What's it like touring with two girls?

nickg: This is a good question. Lots of people warned me that it would be hell, to be quite honest. actually, though, I'd rather be on tour with these two girls than anyone else i've been on tour with. not to say I like them better than anyone else, but I got along with the band much better while on tour with the Tears than with anyone else. For the most part, anyway. so yeah, sometimes you gotta carry the heavy stuff or whatever....but that makes me feel like a man, or like I'm doin' something besides being a pansy,so I'll take it but yeah we all have our bitchy moments, but I'm far and away the bitchiest. they put up with it remarkably well and it helps. Not to be sappy, but I couldn't be happier with a couple o' girls.
Casey: It's something like I'd imagine heaven to be like.  Perfect.  That's sounds good.  Or they have breasts.  It's really no different than touring with Gus (Strong Come Ons drummer), except the competency level is much higher and they're better looking, smelling and more loveable.

Who do you fear most behind the wheel?

nickg: Casey's really the only one behind the wheel at any given time. I guess i have been afraid a few times, too. I think when I drove one time, no one really loved the idea.
Natalie: nickg.
Casey: Is this from the perspective of being in a vehicle driven by this person or driving along side someone in a different vehicle.  Gus scares me when he drives (that's twice I've made Gus references), and I'm basically the only who drives.  I thought nickg would scare me, but he handled himself quite nicely.
Courtney: Casey In New York State

Are some places just too nice to practice rock-n-roll in?

Courtney: Yes!
nick g: Yeah. Some places are just too nice to BE in, though. I don't wanna fuck shit up, so I try to stay outta nice places. I don't feel as bad if i drop a beer on the floor at the Punk Mahal, as I would if I was in my mom's house.

What gives basements their vibe?

Natalie: Is it the darkness?  Those poles?  I don't know.
Casey: Concrete walls, leaky pipes, over all dankness or Carpet floors, bright lighting, et cetera.
nickg: You need carpet. Carpet is where it's at. And shit on the walls. Not, like, shit shit. Just stuff. Posters, curtains...something. I like being cozy.
Courtney: Vibe.

Would you rather be paid in diamonds or marijuana?

Courtney: What does better on the Black Market?
nickg: Okay, well this depends. Say we get diamonds...are they only worth as much (money-wise) as the pot we passed up to get them? If so, then give me the weed right away. If we got big ol' expensive diamonds, compared to like an 1/8 of weed, gimme the diamonds. Then I'll sell 'em and buy a bunch more weed. Unless it's like the shit my roomate got recently. These dudes tried growing their own and fucked up somehow. They ended up with what I'll call "fools weed." I thought i was getting high for a moment, but then I realized it was just that i was smoking so much, there was no oxygen going to my brain.
Casey: I honestly believe there is too much of an emphasis placed on the material/bodily aspects of this world.  Through performance I transcend conventional boundaries imposed by society, wealth and drugs and gain my most rewarding payment through self-satisfaction.  Diamonds:  sell diamonds, buy marijuana, or something to that effect. 
Natalie: I'd rather be paid in cheeseburgers.

Do the Tears write love songs?

nickg: I can't speak for the rest but all the songs I write are love songs. Awwww.
Casey: "Blew My Baby Away", that's got love running all through it.  "Don't Care About Nothin'" actually has an implied "But You" at the end of it that the others don't even realize. We are capable.
Courtney: Only love songs and songs about puppies.
Natalie: All the Tears songs are love songs.

Jul 4, 2012

Wednesday Photo by Dale: Jack Oblivian Yarber at Donovan's in Detroit

   
     Jackie O and his band rolled through Detroit last Wednesday at Donovan's Pub. As usual it was an awesome show and the last configuration of his band is one of the most bad ass ones he has had yet.

   
      The set was, as usual, full of songs from his solo and Tearjerkers records, Oblivians tunes and a handful of cover tunes.    


     A couple special guests got up and jammed on some tunes including former southerner and current Port Huron resident Dale Beavers. Dale played with Jack on the Compulsive Gamblers Crystal Gazing, Luck Amazing album. Jack called out to him from the stage (which was actually just a clear spot of floor in the corner of the bar) asking if he remember his parts to "Wait A Minute, Joe" a song they co-wrote together for the album. Jack then turned to his guitarist John Paul Keith and said "This is gonna be FUN!"

   
     Before and after the show Jack and I got to catch up on things. It has been a couple years since we have seen each other (but that seems to be the case with most of my rock-n-roll friends as I live out in the sticks and it's more times than not a 60 mile drive one way to see any live music I want to check out. Factor also in that most of my show going pals/shotgun riders have jobs and responsibilities too heading out to a rock-n-roll show on a weeknight ain't what it used to be.)
     The first thing he said to me was "Man, You have gotten taller." One of the many other things we talked about was my currently in long hibernation  record label Bancroft which put out his "Dirty Nails" single some years back. We are making arrangements to get the original pressing plates back to him. It was one of the fastest selling records I put out but financial strains and life in general at the time kept it from seeing a repress at the time (sounds familiar as I am someone straits at the current moment too. Yep, the story of my life more often than not). Who knows, maybe he knows someone who will help a 2nd pressing see the light of day again some time.
https://www.facebook.com/jackoblivian