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INTERVIEW: Zsa Zsa Sapien Discusses His New 'Sapiosexual' LP
Patrick Clarke , April 8th, 2021 09:24

The sometime Scud FM and Meatraffle member's new album sees him repurposing classic LPs in a technique he calls 'Bastard Parasite Vandalism'

Zsa Zsa Sapien, perhaps best known to tQ readers as frontman and trumpeter of indefatigable South London Marxist-Leninist oufit Meatraffle, has recorded a new album called Sapiosexual, for which he's taken a unique approach to the physical release process.

In a method he's named 'Bastard Parasite Vandalism', the sleeves for Sapiosexual are made from old classic albums by the likes of Portishead and Prince. After blanking the back and front cover and spine in 'Polonium 210' pink, he then added his own screen print artwork.

Customers who order a copy of Sapiosexual will not only receive Sapien's album but that of the original band whose sleeve has been co-opted, as well as an A4 LP info card printed on recycled cardboard, art prints, pictures and 'anti-propaganda'. Each of the strictly limited run of 111 copies is completely unique. You can order one while they last here.

The music on Sapiosexual, which include a cover of Pet Shop Boys' 'Rent', an anti-capitalist repurposing of 'The Mending Song' from Bagpuss, and plenty of deeply psychedelic dub, electro and punk, was written by Sapien and his Scud FM bandmate Gavin Mysterion. To press the record, Sapien says they broke into a redundant pressing plant that had been closed down during lockdown, and paid a technician with bags of rice.

To find out more, tQ caught up with Zsa Zsa Sapien via email.

Bastard Parasite Vandalism in action

Can you tell me where the idea of repurposing/vandalising other album covers first came from?

Zsa Zsa Sapien: Oh well you see, when producing a record, what a lot of people don't know is that the cover and printing actually costs more than the actual vinyl pressing! Now, bearing in mind we have a zero budget I then had the idea of using second hand record covers and reimposing my artwork on top using a special chemical called SBR used in the construction industry. This shit sticks to any surface. It's mixed with a special colour I invented called 'POLONIUM 210 ICESCREAM PINK', I then screenprint my piece called Geological Diagram Arthur Scargill (who defeated Margaret Thatcher in the war of righteousness) on top of the blanked-out image. A lot of my victims included Prince, Van Morrison and Bruce Forsyth.

Where did you source all the old LPs?

ZZS: I sourced the LPs from my own record collection and from friends I asked to donate. There's an abundance of material to be used out there staring us in the face. We keep the old records in the new cover when you buy Sapiosexual (apart from the deluxe version). So you get a bonus LP!

You cover Pet Shop Boys' 'Rent'. Why that track in particular?

ZZS: I've always loved Pet Shop Boys and really loved their song 'Love Comes Quickly', which I was going to cover for the album. It somehow didn't fit, so I chose 'Rent' instead. I remember talking to my friend, house legend Paris Brightledge, about them covering his classic 'It's Alright', and he told me he thought it was shit, so I thought, 'wouldn't it be a great idea to do a cover version that the Pet Shop Boys thought was shit!'

Tell me more about breaking into an abandoned pressing plant and bribing a technician with rice to press the records.

ZZS: I am afraid I really cannot talk too much about that, it would lead to arrests and sackings. Sorry.

You were one of the first artists I saw putting stuff out as the pandemic started getting serious with Meatraffle's 'Oh Corona'. How has the pandemic impacted you creatively?

ZZS: The pandemic made a great impact on me, it went from pandemic to Panasonic very quickly. I was making so much music in my new open prison, started doing embroidery too and all sorts of stuff like going to the off licence very regularly and repainting the staircase. I was also very scared I was going to die which is good thing because it brings out the psychedelic. I was growing whole legions of friendly bacteria and fermenting a lot, getting very pagan and pre history like a hunter/gatherer. The breaks were slammed on the grotesque Crapitalist machine and I loved it. But of course a lot of people died, I believe needlessly because of this stupid violent government.

Is 'We Will Fix It' based on 'The Mending Song' from Bagpuss?

ZZS: Yeah, 'We Will Fix It' is based on that song the mice sang in Bagpuss. It's a song about fixing the world that the capitalist swines have destroyed. Vermin.

Sapiosexual is out now