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Baker's Dozen

Lay Of Her Land: Brix Smith Start's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , December 15th, 2016 11:19

As she prepares to release a debut album with her band of former Fall troopers, Brix Smith Start takes Julian Marszalek through some of the records that have shaped her life


Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
I first heard this in the States during my first year at college and I got OCD with this one and I never stopped listening to it. I become completely obsessed with it. I think this is the album that made me want to play bass. It made me sit up and say, 'I want to be in a band.'

It spoke to me on so many levels and it really resonated with me and the age I was and what I was going through. It was the darkness of the sound and the hypnotic-ness of the sound and the repetition and the way the melody worked with the bass-lines. And also the way the bass was played as a melodic instrument which is something that Steve Hanley does, too. Hooky and Hanley are my two favourite bassists. And Adam Clayton from U2 as well.

I love it when a bassline works really well with a melody; that's a weird sonic glue and a great recipe for writing a song is writing the melody with the bass-line. It's a really interesting sandwich that brings all the vibrations into alignment. It's like a harmonic conversion, a beautiful horizon of sound. That's what Joy Division is to me.

When I came to The Fall I was a bass player. And of course, Mark was like, 'We don't need a bass player' but he said that I played guitar like Lou Reed. I said, 'are you joking?' and he was like, 'no, I mean it.' It was all about style and attitude. Technically I'm not a good guitar player - y'know, Jeff Beck I'm not – but I am a great guitar player because I have whole different vibe. When I play, you know it's me. Mark was right but I didn't have the confidence to realise that then; it took a long time. Anyway, I was a bass player and this is the album why.