Jim Price speaks to Andy Partridge

WFMU, Uppsala College, East Orange
29 June 1991
Phone interview, edited for broadcast

Jim Price speaks to Andy Partridge

Andy: Do you know this is the first interview I've done in a long time?

WFMU: Is that right?

A: We've been crouched over hot pens lately. You probably get out of the swing of talking to people who aren't in your direct family.

WFMU: I guess it's related to releases of albums, too.

A: Kind of, or somebody wants to do a feature about how you play your guitar or blah blah, you know . . .

WFMU: The new album? Possible? Yes?

A: The new album . . . We were ready to make a new album a year ago but we've been through an awful lot of feces, certainly with Virgin Records in England. And a lot of producers have very badly let us down. It's a long story and not totally interesting. . .

WFMU: . . . the new album, [it] has a name?

A: The new album, well, there's a couple of working titles. Balloon is one of them, except somebody told me that it's a euphemism for an empty-headed person in America, though I've never heard that. I just like the word "balloon". So Balloon is a working title, and Wonder Annual except that a song has now been written called Wonder Annual so I don't know. If we record the song I don't think that would be the title of the album because that puts too much damn pressure on the song and everyone gets the magnifying glass and says, ‘Hey, what was so special about this song that they named the whole album after it?’

WFMU: What was that title?

A: The Wonder Annual

WFMU: What is that?

A: It was a series of children's annuals in England, they haven't made them since the 50s and 60s, but people would always be giving you them, or you'd find them in junk shoppes, or uncles would pass them on to you, or somebody would say, ‘Hey, I've got some old books, do you want them?’ You'd occasionally find these Wonder Annuals. They weren't such wonderful things in themselves, but it's books from that, I hate the word but i've got to say, genre. Kind of magazine article-length, interesting kids books, usually well-illustrated that you can kind of lose yourself in. So that and "Balloon" are the two working titles. But i'm sure there will be plenty more thrown up.

WFMU: Is there a producer at the moment?

A: Oh yes, that was really the big problem, was finding a producer that was either sympathetic to what the band wanted to do . . .

WFMU: Is it Gus Dudgeon?

A: It's Gus Dudgeon, yes! The archaic Gus Dudgeon, the prehistoric Gus Dudgeon. He's possibly the wrongest producer we could have picked, but it's very exciting because of that.

WFMU: Wrong because of what reason?

A: I don't know, he's old and square -- Oh, I suppose we're old and square, too -- he's older and squarer. And he likes some of the songs of ours that we don't like. . . I don't know, he's kind of so wrong in every way that it's going to be really exciting working with him. I like the bloke immensely, but his musical tastes are, if mine are North Pole then his are South Pole, and I think there's gonna be some great, hopefully enjoyable, tensions. And he's going hear things that we pass over and we're going to supply him things that he can't hear and I'm anticipating good things.

WFMU: Gus Dudgeon was known for a number of major releases in the early 70s, major artists right?

A: My goodness, I think his first number one single was "Time Of The Season", The Zombies. It was either "She's Not There" or "Time Of The Season." I think it was "Time Of The Season." So there's an indication of the age on the bloke. Yeah, he did that, he did "Space Oddity", David Bowie, a load of Elton John singles. . .

WFMU: The Bonzo Dog Band.

A: Ah yeah, a load of stuff for The Bonzos, including one of my favourite all-time albums, The Doughnut On Greenwich Greener, which is a great record. So the man who got those sounds and had to translate their demands is gonna be working with us.

WFMU: I also understand that you've got a drummer, Dave Mattacks, is that true?

A: That's completely true. He sort of found us.

WFMU: How did that happen?

A: Well, it's a bit of a fairytale really, because the Dukes' drummer, Dave Gregory's brother Ian, or E. I. E. I. Owen as he is in his Dukes guise, went to a Fairport Convention gig. Now Dave Mattacks' regular drum stool is with Fairport Convention. They had some programmes for sale, kind of giving you a history of Fairport, and Ian Gregory had one of these and was reading through and he got to the bit on Dave Mattacks, because Dave Mattacks is a very famous drummer amongst drummers and musicians. He's kind of like one of England's top two studio drummers. To get back to the original story, Ian Gregory was reading through this programme and in the programme was an interview with Dave Mattacks and the interviewer asked Dave Mattacks, were there any bands or artists that he hadn't worked with that he would love to be asked to work with, and I think it was us and Joni Mitchell. And I got to see this programme, Ian Gregory got this programme 'round to me and said, "Look, you're looking for a drummer, how about Dave Mattacks?" And I thought, no, I could never ask Dave Mattacks, he's like one of those legendary figures, you know. And I rang him up out of mischief at a show and the roadies were there setting the gear up so they passed the message on. I think that when Dave Mattacks got the message he thought it was a joke and rang up expecting it to be a sex line or some kind of convent school and it was actually me on the other end and I said, "Look, will you drum on our album?" and he was, I think the expression is, "blew his socks off!" at the very suggestion. So we've been rehearsing with Dave Mattacks who is an alarmingly tasteful drummer, nauseatingly tasteful. He just plays the right thing. One of those players that are so good at what they do that you have to either laugh when you hear them play something. . . My reaction is kind of to laugh, with joy I suppose, or to stop what you are doing in kind of a dumbstruck fashion. Sometimes when I've heard, say for example, a Charlie Parker thing that I haven't heard before, sometimes the playing is just so good I have to giggle and it's kind of an uncontrollable reaction. It's like pure joy or something. Dave Mattacks is one of those drummers. Sometimes he leaves such amazing holes in his drumming that in reheasrsal I wouldn't be able to carry on with the singing. I'd just have to stop and guffaw. So I'm looking forward as well to working with him. The long-jinxed wait that we've had making this album looks like it's all falling together in a great way.

WFMU: Are there any songs you're dying to get started on?

A: Oh yeah. There's one called "Rook" that I had a great difficulty finishing. It was a really blank period for me, I had a bit of writer's block, I couldn't find these songs anywhere, the muse had deserted me. And "Rook" fell out at a very low point in my life. I couldn't actually finish the demo, I kept bursting into tears. Almost a mixture of gratitude -- I don't know to who, the muse -- a mixture of gratitude and just the joy at finding (I'm trying to be modest here, it's going to sound really pompous) the joy of finding of what I consider to be a personal little musical jewel. It's very austere and very empty sounding and I think when we record it for real it will retain a similar emptiness. I played it to Dave Gregory who stopped by one afternoon for a cup of tea and I said look I've got a new song and I played it to him and he said, ‘Yeah, it sounds like Hoenniger with lyrics.’ So I'm very proud of "Rook" and I really want to get to grips with that.

WFMU: Do you think it will be a long CD?

A: Well, we want to record as many tracks as we can. We have about thirty, but I think in terms of budget and the time it's going to take we may be able to get twenty recorded, which would be great. I want to do as many of these things as possible. It's a real mess, I mean, there's a song on it that sounds not unlike Burt Bacharach, there's kind of things that go between African High Life and John Barry, there are some swampy bits. It's kind of a nice mess. I just love these records that are a nice mess. Why have a meal consisting of just one thing when you can have every ingredient on Earth and you can choose your own? And to be truthful we sort of stopped writing, because it got like we were having so much trouble with other producers and/or Virgin Records and that we thought, hell, we've over-written, and went off doing different things. I got into sculpting and producing other people. I think Dave was playing more and more sessions for other people just to keep his hand in, and Colin was disappearing off the face of the Earth and got into doing stained glass windows! So we all disappeared doing different artistic endeavours, because we were really sick and tired of this mill with the record company, you know, putting us thorugh the mill of "Oh you mustn't work with them, oh you can't afford to do this, that and the other." A kind of negativity, that I think we wrote the album and kind of slowed down and went into other projects to keep our minds . . .

WFMU: It's got to be frustrating. If you were just sitting, and a song came to you would you say, ‘No more songs’? What would you do?

Andy: No, I can't do that, 'cos this happened to me the other day. I was mooching around I think in a bit of a bad mood and I just suddenly had the desire to rush down to the shed at the bottom of the garden where I do all the writing -- a bit like a gnome I suppose -- I just had to dash down there for some unexplained reason, I had the desire . . . I just worked on a little drum loop of very spastic proportions that has a nice kind of hobbly glide to it. It was something that just popped into my head and I had to get it out. As I worked it out a song just fell out almost like I'd opened a bag the wrong way 'round and this song fell out of it.

WFMU: That's great.

A: So it is a bit tricky to deny it but at the same time a lot of songs, a lot of germinated ideas, that I would have followed through just never got followed through in recent months because I think we were going through a pretty bad patch, feeling that there was somebody out there trying to stop us from making another album.

WFMU: You guys go under the name The Dukes, The Dukes of Stratosphear, sometimes?

A: That's right.

WFMU: Any chance for a third album? Because I understand there were two songs that appeared in a magazine.

A: Yeah, in fact there were two songs. There was a magazine in England which I think has now folded, which is a shame because it was a great magazine. It was a very highly glossy -- which I think is the reason why it folded -- magazine that concentrated largely on 60s and early 70s music. Each time around there would be features on people, like early John Martyn recordings, or early Byrds stuff, or a history of phasing in late 60s music, or something like that. They were very specialist kind of late 60s early 70s things. And I like a lot of music from that period myself and I rang up the editor, the main man of the magazine and -- he's a big Dukes fan. In fact he was partly responsible, along with a friend of his, for doing a fake Zappa album, by The Kings of Oblivion, he was involved in that. . . He likes musical forgery as well. And I rang him up and said, ‘Look, if I sent you a couple of musical forgeries would you put them out in your magazine claiming they were authentic pieces from the time?’ I have no qualms about forgery whatsoever. I wrote two songs, one I claimed was by a group called Chalk Cigar Chief Champion. That was kind of a song that was everything The Lovin Spoonful did, with big dollops of Donovan. That was called "It's Snowing Angels." I also gave him another one which I claimed was by a group called The Golden, and that was called "Then She Appeared." He was going to put these out claiming they were long lost archive pieces but I think the magazine folded literally before the edition that these were due to go in, which is a real shame. So I'm kind of stuck with them. Except I've since played "Then She Appeared" to Gus Dudgeon, because he's a Dukes fan, and he said, ‘God, you should do that seriously!’ So I'm now at the dilemma where, do I rewrite these ludicrous forgery lyrics to be more personal or do we just do it as a copy of The Dukes? So I've got myself into a real fifth dimension of a dilemma here.

WFMU: Thanks to Mitch Friedman we do have those two songs. In fact I should play one of them now, do you want to choose one?

A: Yeah, if you're going to play one, do "It's Snowing Angels" because the other one we may go, as i say, to work on further so I don't know in what guise it will happen, but this one, "It's Snowing Angels," I don't think will ever surface in any way, shape, or form. So if you play it it will be like glimpsing a ghost of something that only lived as a ghost, so it might be the one to play.

WFMU: Are you the band?

A: I'm the band, yeah. I did it all in the shed at the bottom of the garden. I had good fun doing the middle section in which I had to sort of talk to myself in two different slightly punkoid American voices. ‘He's a bird, he's a bird.’ ‘No, he's a plane.’

WFMU: [plays "It's Snowing Angels"]

A: Much inspired by the announcer's voice . . . Did you ever hear the Wah-Wah Demonstration Record?


A: That The Electric Prunes took part on. There was a flexidisc Wah-Wah Demonstration Record, you know, the Crybaby Wah-Wah pedal. In the late 60s this was going around, trade shows and music shoppes were giving these out. And there was a narrator telling you ‘Here's a piece of music as played by The Electric Prunes’ and there was this awful, literally really awful piece of, just piece of stuff, music. And then the narrator says ‘Now listen to it after The Electric Prunes click on their Crybaby Wah-Wahs.’ And it was the same wretched piece of music, guitars going wahwahwahwahwahwahwah, except when they pressed up these flexidiscs or free singles they got the speed of the master tape wrong in some way. It must have been cut really cheaply or something, because all the versions of the single I've heard [in voice of record narrator] ‘the announcer's voice has become strangely sped up. And now listen to the same piece of music with the Wah-Wah pedal clicked down, Electric Prunes!’ [Laughs] He's got this great sort of punkoid voice. It's really good.

WFMU: Since you were talking about lifting styles of music from other bands. . .

A: I like to think of them as . . . I think forgeries is a different area than stealing, and I like forgeries to be known that they're forgeries. I'd never keep a forgery in circulation totally unknown. At some point, relatively close to its place of origin, I would say ‘This is us,’ or ‘This is a forgery.’ I'd hate people to be kind of taken in, but it's sort of a self-policing thing, 'cos if you are taken in you must be not very knowledgeable on the subject because I think certain things have such a distinct taste and such a distinct aroma and musical density to their fibrous chewiness that you can't mistake it. So maybe forgeries are only for taking in people who don't know, and if you don't know then you should do some work to know. Yeah, I love forgery.

WFMU: As far as forgery then, it seems to me that "Pale and Precious," "Chalkhills and Children", is Brian Wilson.

A: Apparently though, somebody played "Pale and Precious" to Brian Wilson and said, ‘Do you think it sounds like anyone?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, it's Paul MacCartney, yeah, it's Paul MacCartney.’ He didn't think it sounded anything like the Beach Boys.

WFMU: What do you think?

A: I think I really fluffed the American accent, 'cos you know, English people can't do American accents very well and American people can't do English accents very well. So I think I really fluffed the trying to sing like a combination of Carl and Brian. Between two stools you shall fall, and there you go. But it was good fun to do and there are a few parts that kind of smack of authenticity, especially the surf bit. I enjoyed doing the surf bit, with Al Jardine's ‘Bow bow ba ba ba bop.’ You know, 'cos he's in that punkoid slightly sped up area. The Beach Boys are weird 'cos I only ever got into the Beach Boys over the last few years. When I was a kid and they were on the television over here, I just thought they were like five astronauts. They were like the closest things I've seen to astronauts with guitars, you know what I mean?

WFMU: I guess it depends on what period.

A: Yeah but, you look at Mike Love, I mean the candy-striped shirts and the slacks that are under their armpits and then they have really baggy crotch areas on them. You look at Mike Love and Al Jardine and Carl, I mean they just look like astronauts, there's no getting away from it.

WFMU: Those two songs are beautiful, "Pale and Precious" and "Chalkhills," regardless of where they came from.

A: "Chalkhills" is not a forgery but I do hold my hand up and say, ‘Yes, sir, that's me.’ I can't help being influenced by latterly hearing Smiley Smile and Pet Sounds. I heard Smiley Smile for the first time in '86, '85, '86? I was stunned, I hadn't heard it before then, and it was like a piece of wondrous musical history that had been hidden away, by accident, from me and I just stumbled on it and I was totally in awe of this stuff, that somebody could do this. I felt a little upset that I hadn't stumbled on it first. And think it was immediately, the word isn't, I suppose it's "inspirational," but it immediately unlocked a lot of things in me that it kind of gave me permission to do them, to work in those areas. I felt as if there was a safety net that somebody had already gone out that far and that I could kind of go out that far and see if I could take it any farther, perhaps. I felt that there was a safety net if somebody had already gone and done that sutff. I don't know, I can't explain it. Needless to say, I was pretty gobsmacked. But "Chalkhills and Children," that's no forgery, but I do admit there are large chunks of it that wouldn't have existed in that form had I not been exposed to Smiley Smile.

WFMU: It must be tough being a songwriter or an artist when you have critics or DJ's like myself who say, well, this is the Beach Boys, right? Or, you did this as a result of hearing this song...

Andy: Some people, I'd say most songwriters, singers, groups -- musicians generally -- feel precious about letting out their influences like they're being kind of cheap and nasty or thieves, or they have no ideas of their own. I have no qualms about letting people know who has influenced me, who has affected me. I can see no point in trying to call it your own thing. If those people have influenced me I feel okay about saying, "Yes, that influenced me. I felt very moved by that." Or, "That made me so happy I had to reproduce it." Or, "I had to convert it in some way through my own system." I have no qualms about that. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. I'm proud to say that music has affected me and I know the music that has affected me generally, although some things do go in and I'm not aware of them. That's another area.

WFMU: In Swindon there's a mural, that was painted on a wall, that had XTC, Justin Hayward from the Moody Blues, Gilbert O'Sullivan, local politians and sports figures.

A: A member of Supertramp, Bruce the begging dog. Yeah, all kinds of...

WFMU: That's been torn down I hear.

A: It was on the side of the end of a row of houses and it was painted on your standard mural stash. They find an end of a block and then they paint it on the big end of the block. And a local artist -- actually the chap who did one of our album covers, he did all the background stuff for Black Sea, you know the Victorian engraving, the sea stuff behind us -- his name is Ken White and he does murals all over the place. He did one of Swindon's contribution to the world of cheese manufacture as we know it. We made it on this mural and it was there for a couple of years and it got redone and touched up. But Swindon's a funny town and they can't show their emotions in this town and they don't like to give anything its due for some reason. I don't know why. And now as of a few months back the mural was painted over and pebble-bashed or something. It was just obliterated for some reason, something to do with damp seeping in the end house. They didn't seek to rectify it in any way. They just covered it over with this kind of damp-proof stuff and gravel and grit and there you go. So we've disappeared from posterity in the eyes of the local people.

WFMU: How's your collection of toy soldiers? Do you still have a passion for it?

A: It's getting a bit crazy. I had a letter yesterday. It's right here on the desk. A letter from the curator of The Uniform And Medal Collection of the Navy Museum, Washington D.C., and it's postmarked Arlington. This chap is the curator of this museum and he says he's a big fan of the band and he saw us on MTV. I mentioned I collected toy soldiers and he does too and can he find me any American ones? I was really chuffed actually.

WFMU: Manoil?

A: Oh, Manoil, yeah they were great! They started as the Man-Oil Lamp Company. Two Hungarians started up this lamp company and for some strange reason got into the most bizarrely animated toy soldier industry. Just the most weird poses you can imagine. Like parachutist landing on his arse, or two soldiers boxing each other, or a group of men looking out of a shed. Some really weird poses.

WFMU: I did send you a couple a few years ago.

A: I think you did, yeah. What are they doing? Is it the fellow attached to the gun?

WFMU: Actually one of them is the deep sea diver.

A: That's right, yes, you're right! And he's got a number on his chest!

WFMU: Talk about odd poses. They have an infinite number of poses and positions. People in trucks, people carrying wounded, carrying radios, having lunch.

A: It's the weird ones I like. Like doing their laundry, or there's one of a fellow spooning some soup. Really bizarre poses. What do kids do with them? When I was a kid I wanted them all charging into action and screaming. I didn't want them ladling soup, fer chrissakes!

WFMU: What about now?

A: I like them now, I like the ones ladling soup now.

WFMU: It keeps them from being bloody.

A: I'm not into the gruesome ones. I like the ones involving culinary delights.

WFMU: Geffen Records has just released Rag & Bone Buffet, a compilation that Virgin had out six months ago. What do you think of this package?

Andy: My god, that's a very perverse collection. And put together for a very strange reason, too, because they're all songs that have never appeared on CD for any length of run. A couple of them have appeared on CD and then disappeared for some reason or other. But basically it's safe to say that all of them have never been on CD and so it's literally -- that's the reason that they exist, so they don't. . . [Dog barks.] That's my dog there, he's commenting on the same subject. There we are Charlie, that's the first time you've been heard on WFMU. Charlie, do you want to say something else? There you go. That's Charlie Parker, my dog. He's not too good on the saxophone, I'll give him that. He's got a great Monk piano style. I'm gonna let him out, somebody's called at the door, he needs to tear them to shreds. Or at least give them a nasty lick. "Life's very tame, he's letting the dog out." Where was I?

WFMU: Rag & Bone Buffet.

A: If we didn't put this stuff on CD then it would have just disappeared off the face of the earth because most companies don't make vinyl anymore.

WFMU: So it's a collection from all periods, all sorts of odds and ends, rarities, B-sides, odd mixes, that sort of thing, right?

A: It's stuff under other names, it's B-sides, stuff that was supposed to be on albums, and then was chopped off at the last minute, because of somebody's whim at the record company. Things like "Punch and Judy", that was going to be one of the tracks on English Settlement, in fact we even cut a running order with that on. And the excuse for it was very petty, I think the actual excuse was, "There's too much music." Sounds like a line out of "Amadeus". "How shall one say, XTC, too much music." So they chopped it off. Things like that, you know. They're songs that come from an incredibly disparate source. Special projects, and pseudonyms.

WFMU: On the cover there are three metal sculptures. Are those yours? Did you make those?

A: They're actually piles of farmyard junk. I asked somebody to bring some boxes of junk from their father's farm into the photo studio. And so they turned up with just all this desperate rusty muck. Dave Gregory and myself pulled out what we could and made the band. In junk. An American said to me recently, "What's ‘rag and bone buffet’ mean? What's ‘rag and bone’?" In England the rag and bone man is a junkman.

WFMU: How long did it take to make those?

A: Oh about an hour or so. But that's the best band photo session we've ever done.

It's tricky to kind of talk about it, because they said, would you talk to some people, about Rag & Bone Buffet, but it's difficult to have an overview because it's such a weird slice through such a weird strata of our career.

WFMU: It really is. [dead air]

A: In fact I can say no more! It's a complete rag and bone buffet! It's almost the perfect title.

WFMU: It's a must-have, though.

A: Well, if you like playing air guitar on would-be Christmas singles, then it's for you.

WFMU: It's much more than that. It's very long, it has a lot of important songs.

A: CDs should be long. I learned the other day that the great rock and roll swindle is not only the price of CDs -- in England they were immediately twice the price of vinyl -- but also the fact that everyone says eighty minutes is the most you can get. A technician told me last week that you could get four-and-a-half hours running time on a CD but it's not allowed because "it would be bad value for money for the record companies." So just think what we're missing.

WFMU: Although I can't complain, because CDs tend to be longer when they re-release our favourite artist's. . .

A: Sure, they dig up some more obscure stuff. Well, I like 'em because I like value for money. I'm a sucker for double albums. I think all double albums are beautifully flawed. They're like a gorgeous woman with a huge mole on her cheek or a bald patch or something. They're totally stunningly beautiful but they're all flawed and that makes them really attractive for me. So many double albums are just packed with stuff that probably should have died at birth musically, but it's fascinating to hear it.

WFMU: Here's a funny question. You're not in this category, maybe two decades from now you might be. We've got a lot of old grey men jumping the stage now, the Stones, McCartney, a lot of artists who have been around for decades that are still up there. Do you have any feeling about, would you want to be there?

Andy: Not particularly shaking myself around on stage because it would take a very physical person to be able to do that. I don't mind if they want to play on stage, that's fine. My sort of big overview of aging rockers is that if they still write good songs then there's no reason on earth why they don't have value. The Stones, for me, occasionally would put out something that was stunning, at whatever point in their career. Obviously the more stuff they put out the more chances of good stuff being in there. But they occasionally still put out something that's as good as anything they ever did, so they still have a value. Just like McCartney, he still writes one song in twenty that -- one song in forty rather -- that's as good as anything he ever did, so there's every reason why he should still be making records. But I'm all for more and more people making records. I think it would be really age-ist, I don't know what the word is, why can't people still make wonderful music right up to their day of death?

WFMU: I agree. It is a question that I see too often in music magazines.

A: I know what it is. Rock'n'roll / guitar music, whatever, it's because it's because it's relatively new in the musical spectrum, over the last forty years or something. People are still kind of gauche about it and blushing, "Oh, it's real teenage music, isn't it embarrassing, my dad does that." It's got this thing where they have this idea that it's teenage music and that's what it should be forever more and that's where it should end. Why keep it in this stupid acne-ridden ghetto? It's been music for everybody. It's crazy. Just because it's made on a guitar or because somebody stands there bucking a synthesiser around. People have some funny screwed up ideas. Music is music. Why keep it in this kind of age ghetto?

WFMU: That's perfect. Since you mentioned "live", you did the radio tour last time around. When Oranges and Lemons came out you did an acoustic show from radio stations.

A: Yeah, some of that was fun. It was incredibly hard work actually. Like three or four a day up to like half an hour or more at each station playing. But it was good fun because there was no expectation of wonderfulness involved. We could be as crap as the mood took us or as good as things clicking just right and there was no pressure to be fabulous. It was just us being loose and real. And I quite enjoyed it. It ended up tremendous hard work.

WFMU: Did you catch the bug? Did you feel anything about playing live? It wasn't quite live but did you feel like you . . . ?

A: Some of them were pretty damn near it. You'd turn up at some radio stations and they'd put out like a hundred chairs and they'd put up a little P.A. for you. Suddenly you've turned in to Peter, Paul and Mary, and you were doing some gig in some club somewhere.

WFMU: That's enough for you?

A: I never got suddenly . . . My playing live bone never got massively erect at the thought of it. I'm just not a physical person, I've never been a physical person and playing live was just killing me, and as a by-product of that it was killing me mentally as well and was giving me all sorts of bizarre illnesses that were either psychosomatic or physical exhaustion-related stuff. I thought, now why am I killing myself? I don't even enjoy playing live that much. I'd much rather sit at home and think this stuff up and then go into a studio and make it for real instead of reproducing it time after time. And I don't see any reason why we have to behave like everyone else. They do this puppet thing, "They made an album, you'd better get them out touring." I thought it was kind of a needless treadmill that if you don't want to be on it you shouldn't have to be on.

WFMU: Well, Andy, that's about it. I know you have other interviews to do. I want to thank you for talking to us. It's great to catch up on things and to hear what you're up to.

A: It's a bit of a tease because the stuff that's about to come, I feel that it threatens to be some of the best stuff we've done. If you've heard the demo you can get an idea of some of the things that are going to be coming. And I'm a bit revved up about doing it. A mixture of revved up and relief that we finally got this thing going.

WFMU: Do you have a problem if we end the interview with an airing of "Rook"?

A: No, not at all! I'd be sort of flattered. I know some people get immensely paranoiac: "It's a demo of a song that doesn't exist yet! Oh my god, you're going to be spoiling it for the public!" No, it's me sitting in the garden shed with a synthesised piano and a synthesised trumpet and a shaker made from a Harrod's shortbread tin full of rice. And I'm sort of proud of it, although it's primitive.

WFMU: That's what we'll do. Thanks again Andy.

A: Alright, Jim.

WFMU: [ plays demo of "Rook" ]

[ End of interview. ]

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29 June 1991 / Jim Price / WFMU
Recording courtesy of Woj / Transcribed by John Relph.