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Fab Moretti On Strokes, Neon Neon & Knitted Cocks
The Quietus , November 5th, 2008 15:14

Fab Moretti spills the beans on The Strokes' new album, recording with Neon Neon, knitted penises and bungee jumping.

While speaking to Fab Moretti about his side-project Little Joy recently, The Quietus learned that The Strokes will start writing material for a new album soon and that he wouldn't rule out working with Neon Neon again.

How was playing drums for Neon Neon on their track 'Dream Cars'?

It was good – the situation was a little, er, it wasn't like I got together with the band and just played ... I met up with Bryan [Hollon, aka Mercury Music Prize-nominee producer Boom Bip] and he asked me to come into the studio and I just basically played on the track, it was kind of a lonely experience... I just turned up and played the drums. He was away in the control room.

Are you planning on playing with them again?

I'm not sure ... Bryan's a very sweet guy, and I like his music a lot, I'd love to do it if he asked me, but I'm not sure if I'd be asked back, I'm not sure if I was any good...

We had that record on pretty much every other day in the office here when it came out. Are you familiar with the work of Cynthia Plaster Caster? [The Chicagoan who makes plaster casts of famous peoples' penises.]

I am. I mean, not personally familiar...

Have fans ever offered any of The Strokes a plaster cast service?

Ah, no, but I do believe that somebody made a penis-and-balls sweater for Albert [Hammond Jnr.] one time.

That's sweet. Was it knitted?

It was, actually.

How tasteful. Did he wear it out much?

He tried it on but it didn't fit. It was very delicate actually, it reminded me of grandmother.

That's a bit odd. I can't say that I usually look upon an item of clothing with a throbbing male member emblazoned upon it and think of my grandmother.

No, I mean, because it was knitted.

Ah. So, Little Joy. Plug away.

It came about pretty much off the cuff. I met Rodrigo [Amarante, singer/guitarist with Los Hermanos], he was playing this festival in Portugal and so were we, and he came and said hello and we started to chat. We decided to do some music together and we got along pretty famously, but it was just kind of a pipe-dream. Until he called me one day, he said: 'I'm in LA, are you in New York?' I happened to be in LA, so, we started making music together. In the meantime we had met this girl, Binki Shapiro, she's pretty fantastic. And we just locked ourselves in a house and made music together. All in the name of fun! It was a very uncertain time for each of us – we had no idea what we were doing, Rodrigo's band was on the verge of ... taking a break. We had no idea that it was going to become an album really, neither of us had set out to do a side project. We were just making music for the sake of it. The more we collected songs the more we realised we had the makings of an album, so we decided to go and record it.

Is there a tour planned?

A modest tour. It's pretty similar to starting over, you know? We're doing a small van tour, with no tour manager ... we have to be responsible for ourselves, so we can't drink much, because we have to do the driving! But, it should be fun. Have you heard the record?

Er, no. That's one of the things an interviewer should do in his prep, isn't it? Sorry, this is my first time.

Well, you can probably get it, I think it's leaked already, on-line...

Are you then advocating music piracy?

I'm not condoning the act of taking music illegally, but I am condoning the idea that music should be free.

So I can go ahead and listen to it, but I can't steal it? I promise to put it back when I'm finished.

Come on. Music should be free! Music has been a form of expression since before, I dunno, since before we could even form a sentence properly. You know what I mean? Why should it cost anything now that it's at a professional level?

That's the defining difference between professional and amateur though, isn't it? Whether or not you get a fat juicy cheque at the end of it? Anyway, tours don't pay for themselves. Zappa used to lose hundreds of thousands on tour, but he'd recoup by recording fifty gazillion albums...

No, you know, if you play enough good music for enough good people, I feel like it does pay for itself, you know? Somehow along the way.

Have The Strokes got any new LP details?

We're taking a bit of a break. We're planning on getting back together sometime soon, though. Nothing's been demoed just yet, but to be honest with you, I don't know – if the others have demoed anything, well, nothing's reached me yet. And I haven't demoed anything for them.

You guys ever been up for doing a Bond theme, or approached for one?

I wouldn't rule it out, just like I wouldn't rule out bungee jumping, but I don't think anyone's going to ask me to bungee jump any time soon.

This is veering a bit off-topic, but would you like to bungee jump?

I would!

Have you bungee jumped? I'm after the exclusives here, you can tell.

No. But I have jumped off a building.

You what?

In Auckland, New Zealand, they have this thing, off the Sky Tower, it's not a bungee jump, 'cause you never go back up, but you're harnessed – there's a string behind you, and two strings to your sides, and at the end of the two strings there are these wings, and these connect the strings from the top of the tower to the bottom of the tower, and as they go along, they get further and further away from each other, so that you slow down as you get towards the ground. You see what I'm saying?

Yeah ... it sounds rather dangerous, hurling yourself off a tower whilst only attached to three pieces of string.

It was pretty scary! I tell you what, it was the closest I've come in my adulthood to shitting my pants.

There's the exclusive right there.

The eponymous début album by Little Joy is released via Rough Trade on November 4. Neon Neon single 'Dream Cars' is released on December 8 via Lex.

Little Joy.

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