Sunday, 20 October 2013


It's pretty lazy to call any loud, bass-driven psychedelic rock 'Stoner Metal', but it happens all the time. Sometimes, I suppose the bands are happy with it. Weedeater and Sleep, you'd imagine, probably don't go out their way to distance themselves from the label. Queens of the Stone Age got called it for a while, but they didn't like it. Witch get called it quite a lot, just because they play that riff-heavy, bass-driven, propulsive, noisy rock music. They do tick a lot of the boxes that qualify a band as Stoner Metal, but there's so much more going on with them than that label would suggest. Formed in 2005 by J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr and his friend Dave Sweetapple, Witch have their roots as much in U.S. hardcore as they do in metal - two genres that don't often see eye to eye - and while these influences are definitely identifiable in their music, the sound they make is simultaneously incomparable to either. We spoke to Dave just after he returned to the States following a trip to Europe.

How was Europe?
Europe was a lot of fun. I went along to tour manage part of the Earthless tour and launch the first round of decks the French and I doing on 1939, which included an Earthless board, but the plant never got them finished in time. The only item we had along with us was a 1939 collaboration t-shirt with Alan Forbes art on it. But yeah man, record shopping, good eats, and late night tourist shite made it all worth it.

Did you have a favourite town, or show?
I'd have to say London was my favourite town. I knew quite a few people that came out to the show and it was kinda like a party rather than a show where you pull into a town, play, pack up and leave. And of course, French and his wife Chrissie came out which was awesome. When he gets a few beers in him, he blossoms into a wonderful arsehole. He pretty much emptied the the backstage fridges of beer. Stood by me at the merch booth all night and yelled at people buying things. It was great fun, especially when the prospective buyer would ask for a deal on two or more items... He would swoop in and start berating them, "What the fuck do you think this is mate, a fucking bazaar in Marrakesh? You see the price. Fucking pay the man". I was laughing my ass off all night.

How did you meet French, and how did 1939 come about? I don't think too many people over here know much about that.
French and I met at a think-tank in Wyoming. I have no idea why we were there, except it was good food and beverage with a really nice outdoor pool. After a few more times of hanging out and having a mutual interest in skating and music, we decided to start this new company. Of course, he has been putting out boards for a long time through his Witchcraft Hardware brand, and I've been involved with releasing music for many years, so we thought... "Hey let's mix the two!" So we decided to start doing skateboard decks with band graphics on them, mostly in old school shapes. The first three decks were kind of a no-brainer... Witch, because I play in it, and the Earthless and Graveyard ones because it's like doing stuff for family. Coming up are boards for Doomriders and High On Fire, with a few more in the pipeline. It's not like this is a new concept, as there have been sick board designs in the 80s for bands like Metallica and Gang Green, The Big Boys and so on, but for me, those boards always meant something a little more than just a simple generic graphic. it was like wearing your favourite band on your t-shirt.

Do you like being called a Stoner band? I've always thought that term was kind of marginalising.
That's true. I have never liked that term. At first I was completely against it and to drive that point home, our label Tee Pee put some disclaimer in the press kit. It was sent around stating something to the effect of "Not to be pigeonholed in the Stoner rock category". But these days I don't really care. It's easier to call it that than say, "It sounds like Sabbath mixed with...".

What records made you want to form Witch, and make this music?
It wasn't so much listening to records that made us want to start Witch as it was a reaction to what was going on in our area (southern Vermont/western Massachusetts) in the mid 2000s. Mascis and I more or less came from the same musical background, classic hard rock into punk followed by hardcore. We'd been going to these shows in our area, more as a social thing than even for the music itself. There was a whole thing going on in these hill towns, which at the time hadn't yet been called Free Folk or Freak Folk or whatever you want to call it. There were tons of bands and they were playing this mellow, folky, falsetto vocal, clanging, folk music... Not that it was bad but it just had so little energy. One day, J and I were talking to Kyle (Witch singer/guitarist) who at the time was playing in an eight-piece folk band called Feathers, making fun of the 'scene', and J starts talking shit about how when we were his age, we listened to and played music that had balls. Kyle more or less dared us to start playing with him and after a few practices, we decided to record the first LP.

Just after you formed Witch, Dinosaur Jr reformed. Were you worried that your drummer might end up being too busy with his old band?
No, I was psyched for him and the fact that his second wind swept in. It did mean not doing certain things at times but none of us had that 'do or die' mentality about the Witch 'making it'. We just pick and choose things that make sense these days.

Were you a fan of the Californian band Witch? Have you met those guys?
No, truthfully we'd never heard of them before. same goes for the African band called Witch. 'Witch' is a tough thing to Google or whatever because it's such a basic, common word. Upon first looking into the name, nothing else had appeared relating to a band using that moniker.

Do you listen to any music that might surprise people? Did your listening habits change over the first couple of years of the band? It sounds like they might have.
I used to be a partner in a music distribution company, and we carried anywhere between 300 to 400 labels at any given time, so it meant exposure to a lot of different bands and a lot of different types of music. If anything I've reverted back to rudimentary shit from my childhood and followed some of that lineage to find new things to listen to. Before the punk/hardcore days, it was all classic rock from me. When I got out of the distro racket, i pretty much stopped listening to new music, mostly because it had been a job. Then I got back into enjoying music.

What do you think of the hardcore scene these days?
I don't really follow the hardcore scene much these days. Like every genre, it has splintered so much that it's hard to keep track of what's out there. Like metal, it's become really watered down with tons of derivative bands. I'm not saying I don't still buy hardcore records, I'm just a lot more selective of what I do buy. Check out Obliterations. They're from Los Angeles and have that '82 style thing going on.

Did you know your Roadburn set was going to be released?
The German cassette?

Yes. Chris from the label asked about releasing a live Witch recording and I didn't really have much other than the Roadburn thing to give him.

What appeals to you about cassettes? It's quite an impractical medium.
Truthfully, nothing appeals to me about cassettes. I hate them as much as I hate CDs. I gave away almost everything I owned on cassette and CD, except for a few nostalgic things, like the first Bad Brains tape, and some other stuff form the early skate days... There's Raw Power- the Italian band- 'Live', the Toronto Hardcore '83 compilation, Direct Action, etc. These days I only have a basic stereo amp and a turntable at home. I got rid of the cassette and CD players. 

Witch isn't as full-time a project as it could be. Does that make it easier to make music, knowing everything's on your own terms?
Yes, the pressure isn't there to bang out a record every year and try to stay at the top of the heap. We do shows or whatever for fun and if we happen to record then cool, and if not, same thing. 

Witch isn't your day-job, is it?
No, I do a bunch of stuff. I work for a couple of record labels and do the 1939 skate thing as well. Witch is just one of the bands I play with. I just got the test pressings for a new project I'm doing with a few friends. There is no name attached to it yet, but it's it's more doomy that than the others. A drummer friend and I recorded the basics riffs, sent it to California where another friend added layers of guitar, and then the whole thing was sent to Bergen in Norway where vocals and Moog parts were woven into it. It all came back to Vermont where it was mixed and that'll come out later this year.

Can you tell us who's involved?
Sure, I play bass and the drummer is Terri Christopher from 27, who are on Relapse. The guitar was added by Tim Lehi. He's co-owner of Black Heart Tattoo in San Francsico and records solo stuff under the name Draugar. He's a sick artist as well. He did the last High On Fire album cover. The singer is Grutle, who is the frontman for the Norwegian black metal band The Enslaved.

Is that hard work? It sounds a lot more complicated than jamming with your friends in a studio.
No, it was quite easy and stress free actually, because you can do it on your own time without doing multiple takes as a band. The problem is that those freedoms eat time like nothing else. It took us months and months to end up with the recently finished masters, but it's just a project, so it's not a big deal.

What's it like at Tee-Pee? They seem like a pretty good label.
Tee Pee has gone through many phases since I have been involved with it. It's a fine label with much recognition, but a book could be written about the label itself based on all the drama surrounding it. 

Have you got the nicest name in metal?
You know what they say about apples...

How do you know the Earthless guys, and how did the Volcom split EP come about?
Getting to know the Earthless guys came from being signed to Tee Pee around the same time. Witch and Earthless did a few shows in Europe together around the time that we both played our first Roadburn sets. Then we did some east and west coast U.S. tours to follow. (Earthless drummer and former pro skateboarder) Mario Rubalcaba actually filled in as the Witch drummer on a tour or two when Dinosaur first started its reunion shows. Tee Pee used to be like a real family back then, with all the bands touring together and hanging out in each others towns. Bands like Witch, Earthless, Graveyard, Assemble head in Sunburst Sound, Annihilation Time... It was one big family. Things got a little divided in years to follow with newer bands being signed, but I have to say that from that original group of mid 2000s bands, we are all still very tight. I see the same kind of vibe starting these days with a bunch of newer bands, bands like The Shrine, Hot Lunch, Lecherous Gaze, Carousel and so on... With regards to the Volcom split, Kurt, who runs the music division over there, just asked us to do it and we said "Definitely".

What do you think of the new Black Sabbath album? And the new Black Flag line-up..?
I haven't heard the new Sabbath. I'm not sure why, but I haven't had the desire to even check it out. I did, however, buy the new Deep Purple and it fucking rules. I haven't paid much attention to the Black Flag drama. Two bands playing the same songs with different line ups. Pick your kings.  

What are your musical plans for this year? A third Witch LP?
Hopefully, one of these days, we, Witch, will all be in the same room and bang out another record. If it doesn't happen, well... Once this U.S./Norwegian thing comes out, I'm planning on working on another one of those long distance recordings. Time is tough with that one though, as the singer plays in a touring metal band who are rarely home. Another band I started a while back is called Dusty Skull. We released a single earlier this year on Outer Battery Records. It features, me and the drummer from 27, and Graham from Witch and Lecherous Gaze, with Isaiah from Earthless on vocals. I really want to do a full length of that stuff. I guess I just need to book a ticket to Oakland and get it started.



Despite having only one verse on the world-alteringly brilliant debut Wu-Tang Clan album (he was in jail for most of the recording), U-God quickly cemented himself as a solid member of the Staten Island nine-piece with four solo albums since 1999, tracks across all subsequent Wu-Tang albums and guest appearances on records by just about every one of his Wu-Tang associates. From his initial pre-Wu friendships with RZA, Ghostface and Cappadonna through to his son being shot, his incarceration, his own record label his and turbulent time as a Wu solo artist; U-God is planning to document his life in an autobiography. In the meantime, his new album, Keynote Speaker, is out now on Soul Temple Records.

Do you ever visit Park Hills?
Nah, I don't visit the place man. For what? I used to go back there, try to show love to people, try to help people out, and they try to chop you up into a million pieces. There's no reason for me to go back there.

You records are pretty different from other Wu-Tang solo records. They each seem to reference different parts of the Wu that nobody else does.
I got my style of music. People either gonna like my style of music or they ain't gonna like my style of music. I'm trying to grow, and at the same time keep the original fans, you know what I'm saying? Every time I put out a record I figure out what people want more of from me. I'm also trying to give you a creative aspect, without being like anybody else. I don't know if people respect originality any more, but I'm still trying to keep that originality there as well. If people don't think it sounds like a Wu-Tang Clan album, well it does to me. It's just a 2013 type of Wu-Tang thing. People in the US are liking it, but some people don't like it. But hey. You can't please everybody. 

When did you realise the tracks you had were turning into an album?
I do a lot of work, and I picked the best of my work, that meshed together. I do more than what a lot of folks do, and I picked the best of what I got. That's how I put it together. I can't tell you how to do it; you just gotta work, work, work, work, until you come to a complete body of work.

You've got Meth, Inspectah Deck, GZA and RZA on this album. Were those tracks you'd been working on together, or are they tracks for the album that you wanted those guys on?
When I get my tracks, when they give them to me, I know where I gotta go with them. I do what I do. When I'm with my group you're only gonna hear sixteen bars of me. You'll only hear a little bit of me on each song. I'm much bigger than that, so that's why I put out records, which are more of what I'm about. I think I did that with Keynote Speaker.

Your first album was quite late, in terms of Wu-Tang solo albums. What took you?
Because I wasn't getting attention! You got nine people in my group. I had to gather my own music, gather my own beats, and I put out my first record in 1998. My first record was a gold record. I don't know what you mean by "come out late", to me it was time to put out a record.

When does something stop being hip-hop? Like the new Kanye album, it's pretty far from what hip-hop 'is'.

Music is music. It is what it is. You as the writer and me as the artist, your job is to write what I'm saying. My job is to entertain you. With my words, with my rhythm patterns. That's my job. Your job is to sit on the sideline and critique what I'm saying and also what I'm doing. At the same time, as a musician, we're dealing with sound here. And there's different levels of sound. As a person who is a musician, I understand what he was trying to do. We go through our experimental stages as musicians. We have to experiment, it's in us. Nobody wants the same fuckin' eggs and salmon every morning. No one wants to talk to the same people every day. You want to keep new energy coming. People want to push the envelope. It's the same with me, I'm gonna give you some Wu-sounding shit, but I'm also gonna take you somewhere else too. And you gotta come with me. But certain music does touch more people than others. And as a musician, that's what your dreams are, you're trying to touch as much people as you possibly can with your music. And sometimes we go out of bounds.

Your track 'Golden Arms' on the new record is more electronic. It's a step away from what you've done before.
The crazy thing about that is that a lot of people are gravitating to that track. Some people love that shit, and some people, it's not their cup of tea. As a musician, I have to make a whole body of work that everybody can absorb. You might not like track number fifteen, but somebody else does. My desire is to get fifteen tracks that y'all can relate to. And that's kind of a hard situation. Everybody's not gonna like the blockbuster movie that comes out, everybody didn't like Batman. You know what I'm saying? Everybody's picky. If you're making a salad you gotta put things in there that people are gonna like. People might not like croutons, but they in there. Like a body of work.

But people are going to dig an electronic track, because it's on a U-God album anyway. Even if it doesn't sound like their idea of Wu.

I don't know how you compare Wu-Tang sounding records, because my record is Wu. Wu-Tang sounding records? I don't know what the hell you mean by that shit. But I know one thing for sure, you turn that record on and it's Wu-Tang right there. It's 2013. By the time I come back you might change your mind. Because people do that too. Saying something at the beginning, then when everybody start liking it, they got a change of heart all of a sudden. It is what it is. This is a Wu-Tang sounding record, it's just my version of it. You're gonna hear more music from me too. It ain't like it's just going to stop. Trust me. I'm gonna give you always good quality soundin' music. That's my job, man.

RZA is credited as being 'Executive Producer' of this record. What does that mean?
I don't know what you're talking about. Next question.

Tell me about the book you're writing then.

That's gonna be about my life story, because a lot of y'all don't even know me like that. I've been like the black sheep of the family, in the background of the fam. It's gonna be my life story. I have lived a very adventurous life. I was a very adventurous guy. It's gonna be a good ride. It's gonna be what it's gonna be.

What are you listening to right now?
I listen to everything. I listen to too much different types of music. That's why my music might sound a little more abstract than usual. I'm not biased, if it's good I'm gonna listen to it. I was listening to some Evelyn 'Champagne' King earlier. I might throw on Mr. Mister, I might throw on Journey, I might throw on Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan or Ray Charles. I'm all over the place.

What are you doing for the rest of the year?
We gotta finish this 20th Anniversary (of the first Wu-Tang album). Get that crackin'. We got that crackin' before, then we had to go on tour. Then I got like a month home, vacation for a little while. Get some air, see the babies. Take care of fam. Then it's back to work. I ain't playin'. We gotta get this music done so we can entertain y'all and do what we do best.

Ty Segall

Ty Seagll is the 26 year-old Californian garage rock troubadour channeling Black Sabbath and The Stooges into his own deluge of psyched-out musical visions. Whether solo or with one of the countless bands/collaborations he works with over numerous labels, the guy is adored by everyone from the indie rock underground and Pitchfork to prime-time US Saturday night TV audiences. We got a chance to speak to Ty about where he's at right now, and if he's worried about becoming too hip. His new album, Sleeper, is out now on Drag City.

You've just moved to LA from San Fransisco?
Yeah, I've been here four months now. The main difference is really that LA is bigger. You have to drive. I guess there's more space, I mean, we found a house here to live in. We wouldn't have been able to find a house in San Fransisco. It's cheaper too.

Are you nearer the things you need to be near?

The only things I really need to be near are friends, family and the ocean. I don't need to be near any 'industry' place or anything.

What's so good about sleeping?
You don't strike me as somebody who spends much time sleeping.
Haha! The album's about dreams. And death. It's not actually about sleeping, it's about what comes after sleeping.

Have you seen the website of the Texas prison service, where they post up all the prisoners' last words? It's pretty fucked up.
That's such an intense piece of information. That's crazy. I can't believe they would put that up. Are the things that say pretty potent?

Yeah. They all seem to say that God has forgiven them, and that death is just a stage of some journey.
And they all apologise. Anyway, the songs on Sleeper are all pretty different to what you normally do. Is it an album you sat down and wrote or is it a collection of old songs?
They were all songs I wrote for the record. I started with a couple, then they all started coming out. It was a fast thing, like a month of writing and recording. I honestly was trying to write some loud rock n' roll stuff, and it just wasn't working for me. It just really didn't sound good. Those two songs came first, and I tried to write more loud stuff and it just wasn't working out. So I didn't really know what was going on. You kind of decide half way through a record where it's going to go, once five or six of the songs are done you know the vibe.

You've done Conan O'Brien and Letterman. Are you a rock star?
No, I don't think so. Haha!

Well what's more significant? Prime-time TV appearances or people bootlegging your new record? The CD I got wouldn't even load into iTunes. I could only play it.
That's wild. Both are just as wild. That's pretty rad if people are trying to bootleg the record, because it means they're excited about it. That's probably cooler. In the moment, playing Letterman and Conan was pretty cool. That's an experience that you'll never forget, or have anything similar to. But they're both equally rad.

Do you think there are people at your shows now who only come because they think you're hip?
There's definitely a lot more people coming out. People come up to me at shows and say "Yeah man, I'd never heard your records, I'd just heard your name", which is always a trip to me. It's like "Woah, that's pretty cool that you'd spend fifteen bucks to come out to a show of somebody you don't know!" Which is cool. It's always a trip to see different crowds, it's not just pals or rock n' rollers or punks or psyche-heads or record dudes any more. It's definitely a bunch of different kinds of people that come out to shows now. Which is awesome, which is the point.

You played a load of classic rock covers at a show in New York quite recently, how did that go down?

I don't remember that show. What happened? Covers..? Oh yeah! I remember that show! It was at Death By Audio. We did two shows that night, the first one was just normal then the second one was a load of covers and a few really old songs of mine. They were stoked, it was a super-small place and people were just raging, crowd surfing. We did 'Paranoid' by Black Sabbath, a couple Redd Kross songs, a James Gang song. And AC/DC, 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap'.

How much music do you make that doesn't get released? You've made more albums already than most people do in a lifetime.

A lot. There's a lot that I don't release. At least half has been thrown away over the years. With records, I'll always write 20-plus songs, and it'll end up being a twelve track record.

When you sit down to write a record, do you know what label's going to put it out?
It kind of depends. Almost all of my proper solo records have been for Drag City. And then a lot of other projects go to a lot of other places. There's still a few labels I've talked to that I kind of 'owe' a record to, because I want to do one with them because they're pals. Nowadays labels can really do a lot, with the internet and with distribution. There's not a ton of difference between labels, it's really just who you're working with and their style of pushing a record, or promoting a record, or how they're going to 'work' the record. Goner is more of a garage punk label, and Drag City is kind of an everything label. So there's some differences in that. Drag City has worldwide distribution, and Goner does too, but they're an import, so their records are more expensive in Europe. There isn't much difference, they both care a lot and put in a ton of effort. They're both radical labels to work with.

You've got a signature guitar pedal, how much input did you have in making that?
Matt from Death By Audio asked if I wanted to do a pedal, because I've gotten my pedal tweaked a bunch of times. I've known those guys for years now and I'm always sending my pedal in to get repaired or tweaked. I got this one Fuzz War that's my lucky Fuzz War. I've probably bought seven or eight of those over the years to give to people or as back-ups. The said they were doing a series of pedals and asked me, and I was like "Yes! Awesome!" and I came up with an idea. It's basically a volume boost with a delay reverb. I wanted something to volume boost over the Fuzz War. (John) Dwyer (of the Oh Sees), his pedal is a pedal that they had already designed like two years ago, because he loved the Fuzz War but wanted something even gnarlier. The basically put two Fuzz Wars together and made a mega Fuzz War.

Rad! You're playing the last ever ATP festival, and ATP has increasingly become the domain of reformed legendary bands. Is there value in that, in reforming, playing an album and going away again?
It's definitely more difficult to pull off, but there's definitely value in it. If it's rad it's rad.

But if it's not, it could ruin the whole thing.

Yeah! That's the chance you gotta take. The handful of reformed bands I've seen have been so good. I saw Pere Ubu do The Modern Dance in its entirety and it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my life.

Did you ever meet or play with Jay Reatard?
I did, yeah. I played a couple shows with him. Once was a Reatrads reunion and once was his solo band. The first time I saw him was his solo band, and it was amazing. It was right when Blood Visions had come out. It was in Oakland and there was only 150 people there. It was so cool. The second time, at the Reatards reunion, was definitely gnarly. He peed on his guitar player. It was pretty intense. But rad.

Did you ever skate?
I used to just cruise as a kid. I used it for transportation. Sidewalk surfing!

What are you doing for the rest of the year?

I'm in this band Fuzz, and we got a record coming out on October 1st. We're going to Europe for about a week, then doing a US tour, then maybe back to Europe in the Spring to do a full tour. I'm just working on demos, and my band are going to start touring again. We haven't played in a really long time. We toured so much that we needed to chill out so we haven't been on tour for four or five months now. I was working on Sleeper when we were kinda slowing down! I think we're going to go back into the studio and do a sequel to Slaughterhouse, maybe. And I'm going to do another record. Just working on stuff, but it's cool to have some down time.

Have you ever sneezed so hard that the doorbell rang?

Definitely not.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Jon Horner

You'll know Jon Horner's work already, if not from his Sleeping In The Dirt comic strip Sidewalk magazine then perhaps from his monthly strip in Thrasher, or even his comic in music-nerd bible Record Collector. It could be that you know his art from the boards, t-shirts and wheels of John Rattray's lifestyle/streetwear super-brand The Predatory Bird. Howsoever you've been touched by Jon's wit, penmanship and imagination, you can be assured that everything he draws, he draws for fun - truly a skateboarder's approach to art. Without ever having to dabble in the dark art of self-promotion, Jon's cartoons and caricatures have found their way into magazines and skateboards here and across the Atlantic. With his profound knowledge and appreciation of skateboard history and Alan Partridge, we're lucky to have him - and since he's one of the most humble people you could meet, we were even luckier to get him to agree to this interview. As you'll see, we're very glad we did. You can find vast amounts more of his work here and here.

Jon Horner by Andy Smoke

What's your art background? Did you study art, design, graphics..?
I've got an art GCSE! That's it as far as 'formal training' goes though. My training was years spent copying things from the Beano and trying to draw the Thunderbirds.

When did you start skateboarding?
Around 2001ish I think. It was in the Tony Hawk boom. My brother skated and it looked like fun so I got a Hudson complete from JJB Sports for £20. The board had been shrink wrapped before the trucks were attached, and as I didn't know how to take the trucks off I spent hours trying to pick all the little bits of plastic out from around the bolts.

Did one lead to the other?
Not really, but it definitely helped keep my interest. I'd spend longer looking at shop adverts than the photos in skate mags. Looking back I guess it was the tail end of the hand drawn cartoon graphics boom, World and Blind had been sold but Marc McKee was still doing incredible drawings for them. Flip had some incredible graphics then too, it probably helped that most of their team were basically cartoon characters.

Mark McKee kind of dropped out not long after that, what other skateboard graphic artists did you get into? It maybe wasn't the most obvious era to be inspired by... Did you start getting interested in older stuff? You seem to have a pretty vast appreciation of the history of it all.
Enjoi was just starting back then, I think Marc Johnson was doing the art, there were a lot of Saul Bass inspired graphic s that were great, the Heroin illustrator series were always amazing too. As far as particular artists go, at the time I had no idea who actually did anything! The internet was like a little broken down hutch compared to the vast rabbit hole it is now so there wasn't really a way that I knew of to find out who actually did anything, or really to find old board graphics. Document used to interview artists, so that was always interesting. I remember trying to copy one of the drawings in the Jamie Bridson interview.

What's your day job?
I was hired to design a range of children's characters. Basically, my job was to invent the characters (how they look, what they're like, their world etc) and to work with other people on making toys, computer games, books and that sort of thing. The project is still relatively new, I've been working on it for about a year now and it's starting to come together. It's beginning to go from ideas on paper to actual physical things. Before that I worked at HMV. 

Do the people at your work know about your other life as a skateboard illustrator?
Haha, yeah! The day job's only part time and I work from home so as long as everything gets done it's all good!

'Where's Penny'. Click for bigger and more.

How long did the 'Where's...' posters take? I imagine you sitting up for nights on end surrounded by hundreds of magazines - was it like that?
They took forever! I don't really want to know exactly how long because it will probably just make me miserable. There were a few magazines but mostly it was just finding things online. I watched a lot of old videos on YouTube and logged an obscene amount of hours scrolling through the Chrome Ball Incident. That was the fun bit. Mostly they came together gradually over time but there was one all-nighter. When I did Where's Chin it was just one massive drawing on 9 sheets of A4 paper held together with sellotape so the whole thing was pretty precarious. I was moving flat and I wanted to be able to take it apart before I moved it so I stayed up all night surrounded by boxes listening to the Tina Fey audio book (which is excellent) and drawing.

What medium do you work in?
The most basic one! I plan things in pencil on cheap A4 paper, go over them with drawing pens, rub out the pencil marks, scan them and colour them in with MS Paint.

Rejected Factory Sleeve Designs. Click for bigger and more.

What artists do you rate just now?
Andy Smoke, obviously. 'His Board Had No Pop' is one of my favourite things (it's at Everything Mike O'Shea does is amazing. There are loads of people! Phil Morgan, James Jarvis, Ryan Salter, Paul Parker, Pete Fowler, Rob Mathieson, Mr Gauky... I could probably go on for a while...  

Would you be doing what you do now if it wasn't for Gilbert Shelton?
Ha, I was never that into Shelton, his art is always great though. When I was younger it was the Beano, Thunderbirds, Asterix and Wallace and Gromit then the Simpsons and later I discovered underground comics and got very into R Crumb, Peter Bagge, Joe Matt, Art Spiegelman, Harvey Kurtzman, guys like that. Basically, anyone who draws properly and writes funny stories. Life's too short to read turgid crap about feelings. Although, having said that, Chris Ware is incredible. A bit of melancholy is fine in his hands.

 More Man Cat here.

Loads of boards get re-issued these days. Do you think that's because the graphics were better then? Rather than just logo boards...
Hmm. Maybe. I don't know if anyone will ever be as good as Sean Cliver, Marc McKee and Jim Phillips, they were the right guys in the right place at the right time. And it's true that some companies put out some awful rubbish these days (and not just logo boards), but there are still amazing new graphics coming out all the time. I think the reissue market is a lot more to do with nostalgia, there are a lot of men 'of a certain age' who have glowing memories of happy childhoods when skateboarding was all that they cared about. Now they have jobs and mortgages and responsibilities and reissued boards let them buy back a little piece of that glow and hang it on their wall. I totally get it, I bought a copy of the first Beano I ever owned from eBay! Also, it's probably pretty helpful financially for certain companies who's years of relevance are in the past.

Alan graphics.

Magazines have always been a big part of the skateboard aesthetic. You must love magazines.
I'm such a sucker for actual physical things you can pick up and hold in your hands. Obviously it's pretty indisputable that in many ways the internet is 'a good thing' and as a method for distribution it's incredibly exciting. But as a medium for holding the written word, photographs or comic strips I don't think anything will ever be able to beat a piece of paper. Going back and flicking through old magazines is so evocative of a time and a place in your life, and that ability to go back and wallow a bit is something that's much more difficult online with the constant screaming emphasis for the newest, most excitingest shiniest thing. I really hope the days of the printed magazine aren't numbered. I never had much access to American magazines aside from a few issues here and there, but between Sidewalk and Document we've always been pretty well catered to over here.

 A strip Jon did, featuring characters by Andy Smoke, and based upon the Bite My Wire interview with Jereme. Click for full size.

How did you come to work with Sidewalk, and how did you come to work with Thrasher and Record Collector?
Andy Horsley changed my life. After finishing uni there weren't really any 'proper' jobs around so I decided I had nothing to lose by just doing the thing I most wanted to do rather than something I thought would be more obviously useful in the quest to be employable. I'd tried being a journalist for a while, and it was fun but my heart wasn't really in it, although I did get to review the film 'Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus' for Time Out. That's a film about which dissertations should be written. It was also really hard to find anyone willing to pay real money, so I figured if I wasn't getting paid anyway I should be getting paid nothing to do what I really wanted to do. 

What I really wanted to do was make comics, so I made one. At the time I was horrendously naive over-ambitious, so I planned out an eleven part epic called 'Gentlemanly Conduct' about a UK skate team on tour in 2002. It was vaguely inspired by the Vans 'No Home Comforts Tour' video, which is one of Andy Evans' many masterpieces. About six months after starting work on it issue one was finished and I sent it out to pretty much every magazine and skateboard company I could think of. Andy got back to me and started giving me bits and bobs to do and it went from there. There was a Big Push DVD cover, some stuff for the Buyer's Guide and the regular strip. The pitch was 'It's like Lost, but with the history of skateboarding'. As I result, I've been making it up as I go along. Getting work from Sidewalk was the first thing that really made me consider illustration as a thing that could potentially be a job, so I started looking for part time work to subsidise my hours spent drawing. 
The Thrasher connection is all John's doing. He sends me a script, I send him a comic and he has all the dealings with them. 

Bob Dylan Supervillian. Bigger and more here.

The Record Collector strip came from a comic I wrote with my brother called 'Bob Dylan Supervillain'. He's a massive music nerd and a musician himself (look for Syd R. Duke on YouTube) and we wrote this ridiculous strip about Dylan going electric with the help of Allen Ginsberg to fight Mr Tambourine Man. It was originally written with the Stool Pigeon in mind, they had a great comics section, but when we never heard back from them I sent it out to a few magazines just out of curiosity. Record Collector got back in touch saying they didn't have space for a full page comic strip every month, but asked us to pitch a few ideas for shorter strips. We did, they liked them and it's gone from there.

Was the Crayon board pre-Predatory Bird? How did that come about? Did you skate the board yourself?
That was a direct result of the 'Where's Chin' poster. Dykie sent me an email and it was his idea to do something similar but with Korahn and his friends and famous Bristol spots. I was so stoked to be asked, Korahn is an amazing skater and Crayon have some serious heavy hitters doing graphics for them, so to even be considered was amazing. I didn't ever skate one myself, it was a bit wide for me! Having someone make something you've drawn into a skateboard is the best feeling. 

Do you art types all hang out?
Andy and I have regular important high-level executive business meetings to discuss implementation strategies for Class IIB. These often take place at the kerb bit at Clapham skatepark, the crusty old banks at Royal Oak or in the pub. 

You drew up a rad graphic for the new Blueprint. Do you think they should have ditched the spray hearts or do you reckon it's a legacy the new guys should keep up?

I'm trying my best to get hired by Bizarroprint. No luck so far though. It's all a bit sad what's happened there, isn't it? Everything I know about exactly what happened comes from internet rumours and hearsay (Myleene loves industry gossip), but it seems like the brand's been in a bit of a tailspin for a little while due to various factors and now it's crashed down to earth in the Canadian tundra. I suppose it's a good thing that what Dan Magee and Paul Shier created was seen as worth saving, but this lumbering dreadlocked Frankenstein's monster is fast becoming a cruel and incontinent taunt to the past.

In a way, maybe it's exciting that Britain can add a brand to the Blind/World legend of companies that were once great and are now a bit awful, but it must be pretty horrendous for Dan that they've not mixed up the graphics a bit. I mean, aside from the always incredible team, the first thing that Blueprint brings to mind is an aesthetic, and as far as I can tell, that was entirely deliberate and all Dan's doing. It must be pretty grim to see something you've worked so hard at and poured so much of your soul into being hacked up and shuffled about and slapped with a rasta colourway. From the graphics I've seen so far, and particularly that monstrosity of a cruiser board, it's like they've got all the pieces but they don't quite understand how they go together, why they would go together and why anyone would even want them to in the first place. But stick them together they do, with all the artistry of a drunk assembling an Ikea bookshelf. 
But maybe it's a good thing. I think we can now all agree that Blueprint is no longer worthy of our attention, and perhaps that will give some other UK companies a bit of breathing space. Now that the Death Star has been blown up, the ewoks can all dance around a bit. If the decline of Blueprint was in any way responsible for the birth of the National and the existence of those RA Brown painting decks then it wasn't an entirely bad thing.

Triangles in 2013: Post-post-modern, or tired and tedious?
I've got a theory about Palace and it's quite highfalutin (which is just a pretentious way of saying pretentious).
Plato had a theory that everything has a form. I tried explaining what this means in my own words but it wasn't working out so I'm going to do some route one philosophy student work and copy and paste from Encarta:

"Forms are the essences of various objects: they are that without which a thing would not be the kind of thing it is. For example, there are countless tables in the world but the Form of tableness is at the core; it is the essence of all of them. A Form is an objective 'blueprint' of perfection."

My theory is that Palace is incredibly close to the form of 'Palace skateboard company'. It seems like every single decision that they make is made on the basis of 'is that what we want to do?'. It sounds obvious, but it's pretty rare that you don't see something that's been second guessed in some way, whether it's to try and broaden its appeal and shift more units or to take the edges off an idiosyncratic idea that might be unpopular or controversial. It's especially rare in a company that's actually got popular and successful. There seems to be no great strategy in place at Palace other than, in the words of Nuit, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" and I think that's pretty admirable. 
Having said all that, they're so tempting to make fun of! As far as I can tell, there are two main reasons for that. Firstly, they've got a really strong graphic identity (and rest assured I hate myself for using that phrase) which makes them easy to parody because it's very straightforward to make it clear that what you're doing is a Palace reference. And secondly, they're massively beloved of Sugar Ape readers who are nature's easiest and most deserving target.

John Rattray bonus!

Hello John. Tell us about Jon.
Jon sent me, via Gmail, an illustration he did, fully finished and coloured, of Carl Weather's character Dillon, from Predator. The illustration depicted Dillon, screaming on his knees on the jungle floor, his arm, severed at the shoulder is being carried skyward, assault rifle still blasting, by a bold and ravenous gull.
The accompanying note said, "I've been very much enjoying the blog lately and in a moment of inspiration(?) I drew this. It's yours if you want it."
I did want it. This was the greatest piece of unsolicited mail I've ever received. So far it's a tee shirt.

Not long after that, on Instagram, he posted a picture of some graphic ideas with portraits and quotes from Bertrand Russell, Hunter S. Thompson, George Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut. I hit him up about the fact that these should be somehow manufactured. It's a project that remains unrealised - as lots do - but it showed that we were on the same page as far as heroes go.

Anyway, a couple of weeks after that there was some news coverage of Dutch artist Bart Jansen's taxidermied cat helicopter. Jon posted a picture of that and I commented that "I just can't tell if I really do like that or not", I've still never double tapped that image. Jon replied, "I know what you mean. It's the expression on his face that sways it for me. Plus, he was named after one of the Wright brothers. And it would be really fun to take it to Trafalgar Square and blow some pigeons minds." He was selling me on the idea that although morbid, it was also awesome. I already knew morbid things can be awesome from growing up watching Evil Dead and listening to the drum check with Pete Sandoval skit. I told Jon that "it certainly adds a new dimension to the whole predatory bird thing". That's when he suggested, "The villain in The Predatory Bird comic would fly around in this".
"You make it and I'll sell it and this time next year we'll be millionaires!" I said. I've never been sure if he got the Only Fools and Horses reference there but he did agree that "Unimaginable riches surely beckon".
That's pretty much it. We've been collaborating on this comic story since then. We email and occasionally Skype to talk about it. It's been a lot of fun, Thrasher's been running it and hopefully we'll adapt it into a little stand alone thing at some point.

Andy Smoke Bonus!

Jon and his pal Andy Smoke are both managing directors of the UK's leading skateboard sticker company, Class IIB. Dismantling the snobbery of the skateboard industry one adhesive at a time, their limited edition collaborative cartoons can be admired (and purchased) here: You might have seen Andy's drawings illustrating our Bite My Wire music page, you might remember the board graphic he did for rooftop-preacher and self-confessed sexual superhero Jereme Rogers, or you might even have noticed the excellent drawing of Jon he knocked out to illustrate this very interview; so we asked Andy about his mate. Andy's drawings, photographs, mixes and other art can be found here.

How do you know Jon?
I met Jon through a mutual affection for Clockwork Orange banks and the Beano. I think Class 2B was born out of skating the bottom step of Southbank 7 one day. And anyway, having drawings printed up into stickers rules!

Congratulations on getting a drawing on a Jereme Rogers board.

The Selfish graphic competition was funny - the other entrants were excellent. I'm still amazed the boards ever saw the light of day. J Cass may be manically insane, but he put one of my drawings on a board. Stoked!

How did you get into drawing?

Alex Moul was getting a lot of coverage in the first magazines I bought. Moul was on Deathbox then - a company that inspired not only with their skaters, but with their twisted cartoon graphics. New Deal and World were also making great graphics - I'm still stoked on Marc McKee and Sean Cliver's art. Needless to say, I was hooked.

And how do you go about it?

Most of my stuff starts with an idea in the bath, followed by a damp paper sketch. Sometimes drawings get completely re-worked in Photoshop; other times they get inked and coloured by hand.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Mat Fowler and Spillage Fete Records

From his part as co-producer of pivotal UK skate video Playing Fields to his current role as a graphic designer with Playarea (sharing an office with legendary UK skate photographer Wig Worland, no less), and running a boutique independent record label with his friend Matt Hunt, it's fair to say Mat Fowler likes to keep himself busy. Since curating the first Blank Tape Spillage Fete event in 2006, the exhibitions have evolved into Spillage Fete Records, one of the most interesting labels - or communities - straddling the boundaries of art and music today, with artists/exhibitors/musicians all being encouraged to provide music, artwork and performance on their own terms. The DIY label releases beautifully experimental other-worldly music on vinyl, cassette and sometimes even CD, packaged in (and amongst) some very fine artwork; recently The Wire magazine described the label as "a delightful outpouring of outsider audiovisual art" while The Guardian declared it "A lo-fi celebration". Mat gave us his time to tell the story.

Mat Fowler's Playing Fields section, 1997

What did you do after Playing Fields? It must have been such an all-consuming task, what did you do afterwards? Were there other projects you could move on to, or did you take it easy?
Playing Fields was the last independent skate film I was involved in. Three years before that, myself, Mark Channer and Mike Manzoori made a film called Jello. All three of us had just left school and were studying at Amersham College on the outskirts of London, I was doing art while Mark and Mike were studying film and media. We hand duped around fifteen VHS copies and distributed them very carefully! I think Ben Powell might have the last copy left standing, my own nurtured mold in my cellar under the house! Jello documented some great footage, especially of a very young Tom Penny and Toby ShaulI. I continued skating up until my late twenties, at which point I became self-employed and starting creating design work under the name Playarea. Being self-employed allowed me to start focusing on my design work as well as playing music which had become a real passion since easing off skateboarding.

Did you feel you'd reached a bit of a peak in skateboard film-making with Playing Fields? I don't know where you could have gone from there anyway, it was quite 'defining'.
Looking back it definitely felt like a journey, a one-off project, at least for myself and I think for Ben, Mark and Frank also. My mum had passed away that same year and being involved in Playing Fields, spending time and forming bonds with Mark and Frank really helped me through a challenging time in my life. When it came to editing, I was interested in the final film, but the year spent making it was an incredible time where I had the privilege to meet some great people and get to know our small Island that much better. I met up with Frank recently to pass on the original master tape of Playing Fields - which had been in my dad's garage for over fifteen years - and it was so good to see him, he's still killing it on a skateboard!
'Snowsteps', by Bons

How far down the line did the idea for a label come along? Was it always your plan to take such time and care with the music you released - and its presentation - or was that a by-product of the artists you ended up working with? Tell us about it.
The 'Spillage Fete' record label was a result of a pipe dream both myself and musical collaborator Matt Hunt dreamt up called 'The Blank Tape Spillage Fete'. I had becomes friends with Matt while we were both studying at Norwich Art School and when we eventually moved back to London we shared mix tapes and started recording music together under the moniker of Bons. Both myself and other Matt loved the warm, and sometimes unpredictable, sound quality of tape and the four-track was our own weapon of choice when it came to recording. So we came up with an idea for an sound/art exhibition based around our passion for the cassette.
We invited musicians making art - and artists making music - to compile and create their own musical/sound material and record it onto a cassette tape, then asked them to produce the artwork to accompany their cassettes. The brief was left intentionally open, leaving the participants to explore all musical possibilities as well as creating artwork that could transcend the plastic cassette case. The varied and eclectic contributions formed the content of the first Blank Tape Spillage Fete exhibition at the Cecil Sharpe House in 2006, where visitors could listen to the cassettes at individual listening posts whilst also being able to peruse the artwork. A week long exhibition culminated in an evening of performances from selected participants. The project was a happy success for everyone involved and we ran a second exhibition with new contributors in 2009. These contributors included Luke Abbot, David Thomas Broughton, Sue Tompkins, Luke Fowler, Kirsten Ketsjer, Mike Lindsay of Tunng, Mac McCaughan from Superchunk, Merge and Half Cousin. After the two exhibitions it seemed a natural progression to release music by ourselves and people closely involved with the Blank Tape Spillage Fete projects. The name 'Spillage Fete' pays homage to the eclectic sounds of the fete, the spills of the tape, but also to emphasise a village community spirit of people making and doing.

Contributions from Luke Abbot & Marcus Oakley for the Blank Tape Spillage Fete exhibitions.

What about the other events you do?
Since the exhibitions we held in 2006 and 2009 we've also curated a number of evenings showcasing a line-up of artists who have released on the label or taken part in the exhibitions. Due to the often organic nature of these 'happenings', we label these gig nights as Spillage Fete 'Occasionals'. We've also released our first publication under the same name - 'Occasional' - which features artwork from label artists and a sampler CD.

It's a beautiful artifact, yet very few people will see it. Would you consider doing bigger runs, or do you like that it's so limited?
I think for us the small runs are almost a necessity, cost being one reason and the other is actually getting the things we make into the wider world! We don't run the label through any distribution agents, we do it all ourselves, so our market is pretty niche, at least for now. Doing limited runs also allows us to hand customise releases which we could never do if the quantities were really high. The artifact is really important to us, there is so much 'stuff' in the world, that we hope our time, effort and goodwill puts something positive out there.

Harry Deerness live recording

Do you think skate videos today have such longevity, what with file sharing and so on? Would Playing Fields have ended up such an important part of UK skateboarding if it was released on iTunes? You obviously value the physical artifact, rather than things existing just on a hard drive.
I never thought about that, interesting. Since Frank Stephens is re-releasing Playing Fields on behalf of all of us this year, I think he would have more to say on this topic, now having to reconsider the best options to get it out there in a digital age. Although a fan of physical artifacts, I think it would still have the same impact, mostly due to the collective and community driven feel of the film. It encompassed and documented the whole UK skate scene at that particular time and did so
with the pure blind faith, positivity and good will of everyone involved, void of money or sponsors. But yes, I am interested in the artifact and document, especially within music. It feels like archeology to me when rifling through record racks, and I think the artwork chosen to represent someone's music is equally significant and intriguing.

A Blank Tape Spillage Fete listening post

Could the aesthetic of modern skateboard videos ever match stuff like the old Powell videos? Or the first three Alien Workshop videos? Can that be replicated these days?
That's a hard one to say, I'm not up to date with modern skate videos but I should imagine that people could create films to rival those old classics. I think it's hard though, as skateboarding in those old Powell days was at such an early stage that those videos were introducing huge leaps in what was physically possible on a skateboard, as opposed to variations on existing tricks. Although I do think the accessibility of modern technology, like phones and internet combined with cine, Hi-8 and video could create some really interesting results. I'm interested in using 'generic' mediums in unique ways, there's a lot of potential and things seems to be really opening up.

Do you see parallels between self-producing a skateboard video and starting a DIY record label? To an extent both are based on hard work, little reward and trusting others to perform...
The motivations are definitely similar, with Playing Fields and Spillage Fete, and
the emphasis was and always will be the process of creating and releasing something you feel is both positive and authentic. When we made Playing Fields we were unsponsored, signing on and using affordable low budget Hi8 cameras, we saw it as an opportunity to create a complete scene video without any bias from the skateboard industry. The limitations of both money and equipment were often more a catalyst for creativity and ingenuity than a hindrance. The label runs off not such a different philosophy, the rewards being the creative process, the journey involved and the relationships that follow. Both myself and Matt work full time and the label runs parallel to this, it's self funded and all sales go directly towards future releases. Most of the artists and musicians involved in Spillage Fete are friends or extended family met through the Blank Tape Spillage Fete exhibitions we curated. Kevin Cormack - aka Half Cousin - is a musician we originally approached to take part in the BTSF projects, since then we have put out two wonderful releases by him, one being a mini album under his Half Cousin moniker and a second titled Harry Deerness, a psychedelic celebration of decay.

Why do you think so many skateboarders eventually move into creative industries?

Skateboarding really teaches you to pay attention to your surroundings, 
to really look and observe, then from this to make creative marks. I feel this is more relevant to street skateboarding than park or ramp skating; street skating was so much about exploration and curiosity, questioning the landscape and architecture, making it submit or release some untold secret that would otherwise be held in its everyday functionality. I remember first seeing a sequence in RAD magazine of Ged Wells doing a wallride just off the flat, and I found it hard to believe. It made me rethink the realms of possibility, and not just on a skateboard.

Half cousin

You've mentioned enjoying the feel and sound of cassettes, but why do you think DIY and cassette-culture is enjoying such a comeback just now? Ultimately, it's a very impractical medium.
That's an interesting one, the cassette tape was the first format of music I bought when I was young and the only medium
I've used in recording my own music, so although I know they are considered a retro format, to me they feel very normal.
From my point of view the cassette and four-track is a cheap and tangible home recording method. I like the limitation of having only four tracks and no computer after effects, as it's really forced me to dig deeper and uncover new sounds, textures and processes. And of course I love the natural warmth of sound that tape attracts. I think perhaps it's had a comeback as there are a whole generation of new music makers who are new to analog recording and are curious to explore, which is exciting as they will have a totally different approach to using the medium having grown up in a digital age.

Do you see this as something that's growing, developing out of just being a niche? A lot of people are deleting their facebook accounts, going back to old phones, that kind of thing. Do you think technology has gone as far as it needs to for now, and would you encourage people to embrace techniques used for decades rather than trying to keep up?

Wow, that's a good question, and it's something I think about a lot. I'm fortunate to have grown up in a time without the internet and computers. I feel this places me in a position to observe and use the technology as a tool, but not become 'plugged in'. I don't have internet or email on my mobile, for me it's a distraction from engaging with the life around me and it just suits me better. I think technology will always be pushing forward and it can be wonderful and useful for creating, but I value imagination and curiosity far more. Whether it's four-tracks or computers, either way I'm interested in scratching beneath the surface. When I make music, it feels like lifting pebbles in rock pools, that same excitement, trepidation and discovery.

'The Occasional', the Spillage Fete publication

Describe the music you put out on the label.
That's a tough one! Generally we're attracted to - and release - music that somehow fills the grey-areas between genres and styles. I've always loved the records that become definable by being almost unclassifiable, the ones you've never heard of, but are drawn to in the record racks by their curious covers. Both myself and Matt invited musicians to take part in the BTSF whose music we'd discovered through years of second hand record shopping. Some of these records being the unknown gems of our collections, prime examples being Half Cousin's Function Room and Position Normal's Goodly Time albums. We like the label to have that same diverse feel, to echo the eclectic and experimental nature of the exhibitions.

You discovered Half Cousin through second hand record shopping? That's really cool. Was it easy to get him involved in the BTSF stuff, and get two full length releases out of him?
My friend Matt first introduced me to Half Cousin, he would make me the most incredibly obscure mix tapes, and one featured a few tracks off the Function Room album. Following this, we both went to watch a Hood gig and Half Cousin played support and blew us away! After one of his gigs we passed him an invite to contribute music to the first BTSF exhibition and he kindly obliged with a track titled after fellow Orcadian George Mackay Brown. Since then we have become great friends, sharing a similar aesthetic and collaborating on musical projects. Myself and Kevin - Half Cousin - are collaborating on a project called Jam Money, which is recordings I've made to four-track then re-recorded onto Kevin's four-track for him to work with.

How did Spillage Fete move from being an idea to a fully formed label/project/community? How did the first few months of it shape out?

In the words of my fellow cohort, Spillage Fete is a slow burner!
We started it with a viewpoint to creating something that both ourselves and - hopefully -
other people would enjoy being involved in. We see it more as a community or vehicle for friends to create and release interesting music and art. So releases on the label generally only happen as and when they are fully realised and ready for the world, no deadlines or schedules. One release that has been threatening to grace the record store shelves is Medallions by Bons; a collaborative album by myself, Matt and a sound artist called Benji Fox.
Our original recordings made using four-track, keyboards, guitar, pedals, voice and percussion have been reappraised and removed from their analogue context, then reconstructed, destroyed, tampered with and ultimately redefined to create a curious bedroom-pop-post-punk assemblage. All being well this should be completed and out by end summer, there is a taster on our site!

Would you recommend building a project like Spillage Fete to the curious creative types out there?
Without a doubt; creative projects are a rewarding and healthy release, be it music, art, writing or anything else. And involving and engaging with other artists in a community based project really expands, colours and feeds you imagination.

Outside of Spillage Fete stuff, what are you listening to just now?
Maher Shalah Hash Baz, Flaming tunes, Tall Dwarfs, Dustin Wong, The Books and Broadcast to name just a few.

More to listen to at the Spillage Fete SoundCloud

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