Vic Chesnutt RIP - A Recent Quietus Interview
, December 29th, 2009 11:50
It was with sadness that we learned that this time the rumours were true and that Vic Chesnutt had died on Xmas Day. Wyndham Wallace talked to him a few months ago, this feature was the result
Vic Chesnutt: the skinny dude in a wheelchair with the spindly voice, right? The paraplegic folk singer Michael Stipe liked, yeah? Put out a few records that people wrote about in the nineties, didn’t he? Yeah, that’s the guy. You nailed it. Stick that new CD of his into your stereo — if you can be bothered — and listen to him ramble again: a barely plucked nylon-string guitar, a thin reedy vocal bemoaning the fact that its owner is a coward, a little baroque violin and cello wavering in the background . . .
But hang on. What the fuck is this? After only a hundred seconds Chesnutt’s increasingly desperate voice is giving way to what sounds like a Glenn Branca concerto, drums exploding like roadside bombs, and what seemed at first like a song of self-pity has transmogrified into a roar of fury and frustration. Three minutes in and Chesnutt’s vocals are threatening to tear his throat out as guitars rage around him, feedback leaking from the speakers, drums struck so heavily their skins burst.
Reach for the CD sleeve: some of these names sound familiar. Efrim Menuck? Wasn’t he that fella in Godspeed You! Black Emperor? And aren’t some of these other folk in Silver Mount Zion with him? And who’s that? Guy Picciotto? The dude from Fugazi? I thought Vic Chesnutt was a folk singer? Isn’t he a folk singer?
“That’s where I come from,” he agrees on the phone from his home in Athens, Georgia early one September morning...
...The full version of this article is available in Point Close All Quotes: A Quietus Music Anthology. Buy it now in the Amazon Kindle store.