The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Things I Have Learned

Fab Moretti of The Strokes On Sculpture And Art
Matt Kaufman. , November 6th, 2008 11:19

The sheer size of sculpture is impressive.

When I got to college I was still trying to decide what to do. I majored in art. The first semester or two, I had to decide between painting and metalwork – sculpture. I just liked sculpture. I met this guy, a graduate student but also a teacher, and he used to work with me at the welders and make these huge sculptures that were super impressive, and I feel like I was impressed by the grandeur. Like, wow, one man can do such crazy shit. So I'm gonna try it...

There is a connection between sculpture and the physical exertion of drumming.

There is definitely a connction. In regards to the drumming, music in general is kind of like a sculpture, you know. You have to start with a base, and try out different things, writing different sections, and once you finally find the tone, or the material, and start chipping away at it ... I feel that music is very sculptural.

I like to work with scrap metal.

I don't sculpt any more. Actually that's not true. At college I got into building these machines that kind of mimic basic human functions, like walking – I had this little machine with this motor that you plug in, and it would bounce all over the place. I had one that would kinda wobble. Just recently I built a music box. I like to work with scrap metal, or any found objects, bit of old wood ... nowadays I don't have much to do with metals, because I don't have access to the welding equipment.

I don't actually own any art work

I've bought one piece of art in my life, but it was for an ex-girlfriend. She kept it. It was a Moreau print. But I'm really interested in paintings, you know, my tastes sort of ping-pong back and forth from John Singer-Sergeant to Egon Scheele and Kilmt.

It's difficult to carry on art while touring.

The truth is that I've reached a certain point in my life where the unfortunate thing is that I've changed my focus. It's really difficult – when you discipline yourself in any field you have to really work hard at it. I feel a little dull when it comes to my art, I feel bad. There's always time later on, I guess. I did something for the Broken Wrist Project. [] It's a picture of an old lady in ball-point pen. It's like a doodle that's gone terribly wrong. She has a vagina neck.

It is easier to sketch than sculpt.

Sketching is the kind of thing that you can keep up with, you know? When you're on the road you can't really bring your drum set with you. Kind of like sculpting – you can't bring your sculptures with you. So you bring a little guitar instead, or a notepad and a pen in my case.

Touring is a good excuse to visit art galleries.

There was a beautiful exhibition here in L.A. called Noah's Ark, which was all animals made out of recycled goods. I like to visit the National Portrait Gallery whenever I'm in London. There are some great marble busts of old generals with fantastic noses and enormous moustaches.

I would put a sculpture of a Delorean on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

That would be great! With its doors open. In all of its engineered glory.

I don't know why the Editor of The Quietus's first wet dream was about a giant brass statue of Burt Lancaster.

It was of a 35 foot statue of Burt Lancaster and Bridget Bardot but I have no idea, what it means. Is he a straight man? I wonder what the statue of Burt Lancaster represents. You know what, he probably identifies himself with Burt, he wants to be the handsome icon that represents stardom in all its glory, standing proud and erect, while Bridget Bardot has her way with him. He'd be incapable of actually moving, of course. The more you go into it, the more complicated it gets ... if he can't move, then can he really be pleasured, or is he just there to pleasure the woman? I don't know.

The eponymous début album by Little Joy is released via Rough Trade on November 4th.