Another Homo

circa 1986
Interview by John Mav

John Mav: On the Homo Safari series: I heard a previous interview where you talked about it and you said you had forgotten [number] five, was it, ... , or was it four?

Andy Partridge: Number four, I think, we just forgot to do number four.

J: Briefly, what's the story behind [the homo safari series] ... ? I think you said you did not like ... number five, or number four.

A: I didn't like ... number four. Number four was really ...

Colin Moulding: Which one was that?

A: That was “Mantis on Parole”. That was really kind of cobbled up very quickly on the merest whim.

J: After I listened to that, 'cause I heard you said you didn't like it, I thought oh this would make a great little short film music or something like that

A: That riff had been lying around for ages, a fake bebop riff.

C: It's like, you do your riff, and then I'm going to do mine.

J: Were you guys pointing at each other?

A: Basically, it was all played live.

J: Is that right?

C: He switched on the tape.

A: Just switch on the tape [and] start the fun!

J: Is that what a lot of studio sessions were like, are you guys just fooling around in there sometimes and see what you come up with?

C: Andy thought it was about time he got another “Homo” out, you know.

A: Don't want to start any rumours here.

C: So we had some spare time at a Top of the Pops fake session, and so we thought we'd do another Homo.

J: Has it been completed? 'Cause you put them all on the back of the “Dear God” CD.

A: The original one was given a joke title, “Number one in a series of six” just as a joke, and then we came up with another piece of music we couldn't put anywhere so we said, “Hell, we might as well do the whole series”, and number two happened and number three and so on.

J: But you didn't worry about it at the time, do another record and let's think about it?

A: What happens is these things are usually bits of music that were going to be songs, that didn't get the lyrics finished, or the lyrics weren't happening so that we just used the music, or they were kind of unusual riffs or pieces of music that were nagging. We don't just want to throw them away.

J: 'Cause they sound okay by themselves?

A: Right right, so it goes into this special drawer marked “The Homo Safari Series”. I think we should start another series 'cause were always getting these bits of music that you never know where to put them. It's like a filing system, you know, it's like the miscellaneous file.

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[Transcribed by John Relph, thanks to John Mavroudis]