The Quietus At Stag & Dagger: A Preview Of A Night Of Fine Tune
, May 21st, 2010 10:23
In just a few hours we're taking over the Macbeth as part of London's Stag & Dagger festival... here's a little taster of what to expect
So the Quietus is currently in Maury Towers, dining on a fine home-made grilled trout and watercress potatoes salad as we prepare music for tonight's takeover of the Macbeth, as part of the Stag & Dagger festival. When shall we three meet again, in thunder, lightning, or in rain? Well actually it’ll be in the very best of some of our favourite new bands: Teeth Of The Sea, Gyratory System, White Hinterland and Archie Bronson Outfit. Now,you can read Ben’s excellent interview with White Hinterland that put up yesterday, and why not delve into the Quietus archive to get to the heart of Gyratory System’s mysterious "process".
We also dropped Teeth of the Sea a line to see what they they’ve been up to recently. The mincing cosmonauts spake thusly: “We haven't played live in six months, as we've been working on our second (spectacular) magnum opus, which is going to be finished by early June and hopefully out in October. Thus, we've got a serious case of racketeering withdrawal symptoms, and we can't wait to delight the assembled throng with some monolithic ditties old and new on Friday night. It's an ace bill, and we hope our demented flailings can do it justice."
All hail those flailings! Can you tell us a little of what you've been up to recently, and what you have planned?
Mostly arguing about the merits of tedious pop culture minutiae while on the sauce, much as ever, and watching movies like Hardware and Doomsday, and William Hartnell-era Doctor Who. The new album's been taking up a lot of our time of late, though, and we want to throw everything we can of ourselves in there, in the hope that it sounds like some nightmarish episode of 'Come Dine With Me' within which Genesis P.Orridge, Angelo Badalementi, Linnea Quigley and Richard Pinhas are all getting on famously."
We associate TOTS with cleansing of the third eye. What do you do to ensure 20/20 third eye vision?
Mat: A squeeze of lemon. Inner-ocularity is purified through pain.
And finally, headlining at 23h, will be the mighty Archie Bronson outfit, one of Britain’s finest and most feral live bands. Earlier this year, we spoke to Archie Bronson’s chief songwriter and drummer Mark Cleveland about their fanastic latest album Coconut (read the Quietus review here)
So, Mark, for starters, how have your lyrics changed?
Mark Cleveland: I mean there’s a song called "Harness Bliss’. It’s a different time. I guess the way I’ve been writing them is, and this sounds awfully pretentious, but in a really automatic way, just letting them come out on the typewriter. I write tonnes and tonnes and come back and edit, and that process goes on and on. I think they’re abstract, but of course they’re not. They’re simple, but have layers of meaning. I think they’re always really personal, that’s what I’m getting at, and I think we’re in such a different place from the last one.
There’s clearly a massive musical progression from Derdang Derdang. What shaped that? Who did you record with?
In the states we had a couple of sessions with Tim Goldsworthy from DFA, which had taken it in a really clean place. There’s only one track that was untouched by our dirty rock hands and that was Chunk. I think he brought in some really interesting sounds, shoving things in our faces and playing our songs through new instruments and pedals, but a lot of it came back and we panicked, and put loads of guitars on it. I’ve always seen you as being a dance group, though. Did Goldsworthy take it too far that way?
MC: I love the dance stuff, I think Sam’s more terrified of that, he’s more into the filth. I don’t think he was really approaching it like a dance record, but he wanted to work with a live band so it was meant to be a meeting of worlds. He didn’t take it too far in a dance way, my favourite one is Shark Soup, which is probably the most dancey song on there.
How did you meet Kristian (otherwise known as CapitolK, Archie’s new keyboard player)?
MC: He works at the studio where we were going to do overdubs and we got on really well. We were worried about how the album was going to sound live, so we got him involved. In rehearsal it’s great, it’s like having a new headmaster who’s joined three naughty boys. We’ve got someone saying "what are you doing? There’s no bass in that part!’ and we feel like we’re 16. He’s amazing.
You’ve obviously always worked with other people, is it like there’s the core of three with a flexible extremity?
I think that just sort of happened. It happened quite naturally, there was always just us three. Getting Luke in was just because he’s a friend really. I think Kristian feels different because he’s the first outsider, or somebody who we’ve only met very recently.
Last time I saw you play, looking around some people looked rather shocked by how the new material was sounding.
MC: Really? I never have an idea of how people are going to respond. We were more panicking about playing. You’ve heard the record right?
Yeah it takes a while to get. I mean it’s ace, but it takes a while – in a good way
MC: I know what you mean, I can totally relate to that. I must have listened to it thousands of times as we were doing different things to it. It’s funny, I think for me what makes it like that is that it is odd to have those really loud guitars and really dead drums, disco drums and filthy guitars, and with the drones as well. What’s going on?! People don’t expect garage rock to be like that.
It sounds like Archie Bronson, but there’s a progression. And garage rock? I hate garage rock, I’ve never seen that about you lot, even though you get described as such.
Yeah same. I’m glad you’re saying it’s different. I was feeling it to be a lot different, but people have said "oh it’s just like you’. I was really pleased that you said people in the live show were perturbed because it shows we’ve moved along a bit. To get pigeonholed is really boring, and I think if that happened it’s because we recorded live.
Why is the album called Coconut?
Just because I wanted something that sounded a bit absurd. We’d definitely wanted to embrace the tropicalia bit, and there was a play called Mango which I thought was an amazing title. And this sounds really corny, but it has been a hard nut to crack. There you fucking go.
_Teeth of the Sea, White Hinterland, Gyratory System and Archie Bronson Outfit play the Quietus stage at the Macbeth, Stag & Dagger tonight. For more information, go here.