Loss

Apr. 25th, 2016 04:02 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Hickey Monster)
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Last Tuesday, I officially ended an almost 30-year friendship that unofficially ended when I was thrown into grief over losing Aunt Tudi.  It would seem that suicidal depression and self-isolation clears the room every damned time.  I’m not saying anything further about it, because there’s nothing more to say, except for one thing.  The friendship could often be very toxic but, because of who we were and how we were treated before we met, the two of us always ended up back together.  It won’t happen this time.  There are too many miles, tears, and life-changes between us now.  I will miss him but, honestly, I’ve been missing him since he moved across the country back in the 90s.  It’s time to accept the inevitable.

In other loss news, I’m still reeling over the death of Prince.  From the moment I heard and saw him in the Controversy video, I was in love with his music and in lust with him.  From 1981 until his death, that never changed, and it never will.  After so many losses of beloved musicians so far this year (fuck you, 2016.  fuck you hard.), I’m pretty much walking around in a combination of stunned grief and abject fear.  Why the fear?  Well, there’s Shriekback, Barry Andrews and Carl Marsh in particular, with whom I’ve developed a good friendship/acquaintance and a fine working relationship over the years.  Then there’s Jeff Lynne, who’s resurrected ELO I’m supposed to finally get to see in concert after ages of dreaming.  If any of them passES this year, I’m going to lose my fucking shit.  I’m not exaggerating here.  I can barely handle thinking and writing about it.

tinhuvielartanis: (Torquemada)

I haven’t done one of these in about 10,000 years, so let’s get this show on the road.



This is all true. photo 1264091_10153348891685721_288267917_o.jpg1. Full name: Tracy Angelina Evans
2. Nicknames: Tin, Tinhuviel, George, Darth Shriek
3. Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina USA
4. Birthday: 10 September, 1967
5. Where Do You Live Now?: San Diego, California
6. Parent(s): Father Unit has passed.  Mother Unit is here in San Diego.
7. Sibling(s): ZERO
8. Looks: Better off invisible.
9. Favourite Animal(s): Anything non-human, except for millipedes and centipedes.  Like humans, they can go fuck themselves.
10. Favorite TV Show(s): Impractical Jokers, Better Call Saul



11. Favorite Kind(s) Of Music: Most everything but Country and Opera.
12. Favorite Movie(s): Sci-Fi, Unusual, Conceptual, Foreign
13. School: Some college, focusing on English and Veterinary Assistance
14. Future School: I’m too old for this question. The Chapel Perilous

15. Future Job: Testing new, effective sleep aids.
16. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: nah
17. Best Buds: I’m a bit of a hermit these days.
18. Favorite Candy: Milk Dud
19. Hobbies: Music, reading, writing
20. Things You Collect: Grudges, CDs, movies, moments in time.



21. Do You Have A Personal Phone Line: Yes
22. Favorite Body Part Of The Opposite Sex? The eyes and brain
23. Any Tattoos And Where Of What?: Red & Black Triskele on right hand, Green Shriekback logo on left hand, Mwanza Flat-headed Agama with green and blue hues instead of pinkish and blue.
24. Piercing(s) And Where?: not anymore
25. What Do You Sleep in?: clothing
26. Do you like Chain Letters: aw HELL NAW.
27. Best Advice: Reality is peripheral.
28. Favorite Quotes: Hope for the best, expect the worst. - Mel Brooks.
29. Non-sport Activity You Enjoy: sleep
30. Dream Car: A transporter



31. Favorite Thing To Do In Spring: Avoid the sun.
32. What’s Your Bedtime: Whenever I’m lucky.
33. Where Do You Shop: Wherever I can.
34. Coke or Pepsi: Cheerwine

35. Favorite Thing(s) To Wear?: Something loose that will allow me to blend into my surroundings.
36. Favorite Subject(s) In School: English and Creative Writing

37. Favorite Color(s): Green, Red, Black
38. Favorite People To Talk To Online: People with brains and a wicked sense of humour that has set them on the road to Hell.

39. Root-Beer or Dr. Pepper? Root beer

40. Do You Shave? I’m too old for that bullshit.




41. Favorite Vacation Spot(s): I don’t do vacations.  My favourite place to BE is England.
42. Favorite Family Member(s): Smidgen
43. Did You Eat Paint Chips When You Were a Kid? WHAT?
44. Favorite CD you own: Currently Without Real String or Fish by Shriekback
45. The ONE Person Who You Hate The Most: Going with an old standard here and saying Pat Robertson.
46. Favorite Food(s)?: Potatoes
47. Who Is The Hottest Guy or Girl In The World?: I have a very short list.
48. What Is Your Favorite Salad Dressing?: Bleu Cheese.
49. When You Die, Do You Wanna Be Buried or Burned Into Ashes? I don’t care, as long as I end up on Craggy Dome.
50. Do You Believe In Aliens?: Absolutely.








51. If You Had The Chance To Professionally Do Something, What would You Do? I’m already a Professional Misanthropist.
52. Things You Obsess Over: Various artists, ideas, philosophies, theories, general weirdness
53. Favorite Day of the Week: Don’t bloody care.
54. An Authority Figure You Hate: The Feudal Mistress still tops the list.
55. Favorite Disney Movie: Bambi
56. What Is Your Favorite Season? Winter
57. What Toppings Do You Like On Your pizza? Cheese, with extra cheese, and cheese on the side.
58. Do You Like Your School Food Itself (As In The District Food): I never ate it.
59. If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would You Live? Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
60. Favorite Thing(s) To Do On Weekends: Sleep, if I can accomplish it.







61. Favorite Magazine(s): Don’t have one.
62. Favorite Flower(s): White rose

63. Favorite Number(s): 5

64. Favorite Ice Cream flavor(s): Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy

65. What Kind of Guys/Girls Are You Attracted to?: Dangerously intelligent, beautiful, talented, and hilarious.

66. What’s Your Most Embarrassing Moment? I inadvertently introduced myself to someone as his wife.

67. If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself What Would It be? I would be fearless.

68. Do You Eat Breakfast First Then Brush Your Teeth or Brush first ten eat breakfast: breakfast first.

69. Favorite Time of Day: Whenever I get to sleep.

70. Can A Guy and Girl Be Just “Best Friends?”: Why not?



71. Do You Ask The Girl/Guy Out Or Do You Wait For Them To Come To You?: I don’t go there anymore.

72. Do You Mind Paying For Sex? I never would.

73. What’s The Most Important thing In Someone’s Personality: Sentience

74. Do you have a pager or cell phone? Cell

75. Favorite Sport: Flambodious Butt-walking

76. What Was the Best Gift You Ever Received? Love

77. How Long Did This Letter Take You To Finish?: Not very long.

78. What Did You Listen To While Completing It?: Electric Light Orchestra’s Alone in the Universe.

79. Are you or would you like to be married in the near future (next 5 years)? NEGATIVE

80. Don’t u just hate how psychics never win the lottery? I hate it more than I don’t win the lottery. I hate psychics, especially the ones who claim to talk to your dead relatives.  They’re grifters who should be drawn and quartered.  The End.

tinhuvielartanis: (cadmus pariah)
Wherein [livejournal.com profile] beheretinnitus speaks with the inimitable Barry Andrews and Carl Marsh!
Just click the pic to be taken to the podcast!
tinhuvielartanis: (Can't Stop Writing)

Things have been going on, so this may be a bit of an update from Hell, compared to my usually non-updates.

 

First off, my phone has been on the fritz for who knows how long.  It’s not actually the phone, but the Cricket network.  I went yesterday to try to sort it, but the folks at the store couldn’t even troubleshoot it, so they had to put in a service order, which means up to 72 more hours of no service.

 

Since the first of the year, my health has been shite.  Recurring migraines with the most vicious nausea I think I’ve ever had, has beaten down my body more than I could have ever imagined.  In the past month, I have lost 10 pounds, and spent three days in the hospital, thanks to these fucking headaches.  I’m thinner now than I have been since I was 12 years old.  It has gotten to the point where I can’t even walk to the bathroom, which is right beside my room, without my having breathing difficulties and a pounding heart.  I feel like I am dying.

 

But, I might get to tick one thing off my bucket list before heading into the Void, if I’m lucky.  Jeff Lynne is bringing ELO back to the American stage on September 9th, 10th, and 11th of this year, at the Hollywood Bowl. When it was announced, I emailed a bunch of people with a proposition that, if they could get the tickets, I’d try to arrange us a place to stay.  My old high school friend, Andy, has always dreamt of attending a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and he bit.  We’re just waiting for the tickets to go on sale, if I can’t finagle them earlier than 1 May.  The target day is September 10th, as that’s the best day for Andy.  It’s also my birthday, which would be perfect.

 

Speaking of Jeff Lynne, David Bowie’s unexpected and untimely death made me come to grips with a truth I’ve known for a long time, but never truly verbalised, even to myself.  I decided to accept it and to come out, to use the term in a wholly different manner.  I wrote Barry Andrews and told him that he was the single most influential individual in my life, more so even than even the godlike Jeff Lynne and JRR Tolkien.  I wanted him to know it, in the event either of us kicks the bucket.  You should tell people how they affect you before it’s too late.  It could be too late in the next five minutes.  No one knows what each second will bring.  No one.

 

A few weeks ago, there was a huge shake-up in the format of the Work in Progress that officially made it into a full-fledged novel in the works instead of a collection of short stories.  I don’t even know what brought it to mind, guessing it had to be some kind of divine inspiration.  The long and short of it, though, is that Flint steals the New Hive’s first - and currently only - relic, Cadmus Pariah’s Harming Tree.  The story will revolve around Cadmus hunting down Flint, with possible help from Orphaeus Cygnus, and will include the stories and vignettes I have already written about the Harming Tree.  As The Blood Crown was essentially a Vampiric Hope & Crosby Road movie in book form, The Harming Tree will be a bit of a book version of a hunt and chase movie, kind of in the vein of Mad Max: Fury Road and the like.  I have asked Barry if he could drum up a photo of his harming tree, which is seen only briefly in the ‘Captain Cook’ video, and is obviously the benign inspiration, despite its name, for Cadmus’ dreadful tool of agony.  It would be good to have a very clear image reference as I continue this mad journey into the Darkness.  I need to jog his memory, though, as it’s been two or three months since I asked him.  I’m sure he’s forgotten, and I keep forgetting to remind him.  We are old as fuck.

 

The end.

The End

Dec. 31st, 2015 08:44 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Darth Geek)

And so we have arrived at the threshold of yet another year, four cycles after the long hoped for Alpaca Lips.  In some ways, it has been an eventful year and, in others, things have barely changed.  I figured I'd touch on the highlights of 2015, then throw some hopes (gasp, hope?  Tin?  NOOOOOO!) out for 2016.  So, let's begin.

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The first major thing that happened in 2015 came in February, when I was allowed unprecedented liberties to continue and expand my campaign to disseminate All Things Shriekback.  I was elated, for I had watched for too long their greatness be swallowed up by the ever-expanding Internet, without the proper tools in my box of toys to make enough digital noise to be noticed.  That changed prior to the release of one of their best albums to date, Without Real String or Fish.  To my immense joy, this was only one of many releases by the band that I got to relentlessly plug throughout the year.  It's been an honour to do what I could for the guys, and I will continue to do what I do until they tell me to stop!

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In April, another wonderful thing occurred:  I got to go up to Los Angeles to attend Jeff Lynne's Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony.  Even though I didn't get to meet him - again! - I was still thrilled to be in the general vicinity of my spiritual and musical godfather, and listen to him talk a little about his career and how honoured he felt to be getting the praise and attention that has long been due the man.  He's a genius, and I am overjoyed that people are finally catching on to this fact.  It also heartens me that so many Millennials, particularly in the music world, are embracing Mr. Lynne and his music.  That means that his legacy will live on through the generations, as long as humanity plagues this world.  It almost makes me glad we're all still around.  Anyway, also in attendance to the star ceremony, making speeches of their own about how groovy Jeff Lynne is, were Tom Petty and Joe Walsh.  I caught this epic photo before the brouhaha began.   

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And it got even better later in the year, in November, when Jeff Lynne released Alone in the Universe, the first official ELO album since the release of Zoom in 2001.  I'm currently listening to it for the first time but, hey! better late than never, right?  2015 was the year both Shriekback and the Electric Light Orchestra gave the world new music.  If for no other reason, this year should be marked as a complete success because of this.

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Shortly before I moved out to San Diego, my TV died.  For a while, I was pretty miserable, until I got used to watching streaming formats online, like Netflix.  It cut down on my viewing habits considerably, and I found myself focusing on just the movies and shows I personally found important and worthy enough to spend my time watching.  Beginning in late 2014, though, my number one go-to place for instant entertainment gratification became You Tube.  I discovered Alonzo LeroneGarret John, and a host of other talents, visionaries, and creatives.  In June of 2015, though, I stumbled upon a short film that completely blew my mind. It's what made me realise how grateful I am to no longer have a television. I probably would have never discovered such brilliance had I still been enslaved to the mediocrity that spews out of the boob tube.

When I first saw The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, I had a reaction eerily similar to what I had upon seeing The Joker Blogs' Therapy Begins.  I couldn't get enough!  Impressed didn't even begin to cover it.  The more I watched it and the related films on Richard Gale's You Tube channel, the more I laughed.  As anyone who has known me since losing Aunt Tudi in 2011 knows, laughter is something I treasure above all other things.  I credit anything that could cut through the grief and trigger laughter as holding a seed of the miraculous within its heart.  The Impractical Jokers were the first to make what I thought was impossible happen.  The Horrible Slow Murderer carried on that life-saving tradition.  

I was so impressed with the undeniable talent in this short film and others on the channel, like the wholly unfunny and horrifying Criticized, I was compelled to learn more about the film maker and his posse.  Employing the web search skills I learned in the Pit oh so very long ago, it didn't take me long to learn a good bit about the director and actors Paul Clemens and Brian Rohan.  

Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up helping them with their Kickstarter campaign, after having the pleasure of discussing a few promo ideas with Richard one Sunday a few months ago.  During this time, I've come to see that not only are these guys uber-talented, but they are also genuine, groovy, insightful, kind individuals.  How could anyone not want to help people like this in any way they can?

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While all this was happening, I was going to the doctor about my back pain, which seemed to be getting worse despite all attempts to reverse the issues causing it.  The doc finally suggested that I look into getting an panniculectomy.  Now, in South Carolina, no insurance, private or public, would cover anything considered cosmetic.  When I got the gastric bypass surgery, I went into it with no pipe dreams of getting any excess skin removed.  It was never an option, so I never entertained the idea.

When the doctor brought up the panniculectomy, I silently scoffed, but decided "what the hell?  It doesn't hurt to ask."  So, a couple of days later, I called Aetna and asked them if such a surgery were covered.  They informed me that, if it were considered medically necessary, they would cover it, and all I would have to pay would be $264.00.  I called the doctor, who referred me to Dr. Jason Hess.  He took pictures, informed me that he'd gotten approval for surgeries with less severe pannus issues, and said he'd be asking approval for not just a panniculectomy, but also an abdominoplasty which, combined, are basically the human equivalent to being cleaned like a fish.

In two weeks time, Aetna gave the go ahead, and I had a tummy tuck and panniculectomy in September.  I'm still recovering from it, but my back does feel better after no longer having to deal with 17 pounds of dead weight constantly pulling on my lower lumbar region.  Also, for the first time in my life, I actually have a figure.  I'm still not used to the new body.  It's like living in an alien biological construct.

So, 2015 saw me become a bit of a California stereotype in that I got plastic surgery and began "hobnobbing" with Hollywood directors and actors.  Folks, don't expect that, if you're thinking of planning on moving to California.  Bear in mind that I live in the Twilight Zone and have no idea how shit like this happens to me.

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One more cool thing that happened this year actually happened this month.  After over a year of struggling with it, I finally had a breakthrough in my arduous Wacom education.  I still have a very long way to go before I consider anything I do with the tablet worthy of pride, but at least I'm finally seeing results from what I have so far learned.  This is the result - the best representation of how I see Cadmus Pariah in my mind's eye.  I plan on making this a full body picture, not just a floating head of death, but I thought I should make note that my obvious learning disability when it comes to digital art has at long last had a wee chink taken out of its seemingly impenetrable wall.

There have been some unhappy things to happen this year - conflicts with Matt, friends falling prey to illness, seriously fucked up news on the family front, among other things - but I am choosing not to focus on that in this year-end post.  There is nothing I could write here that would change any of these things, and I frankly don't want to give the bad areas of 2015 any more power than they already have.  I would prefer to give energy to more positive outcomes in those categories in the coming year. 

That being said, here are some things I'm hoping to see happen and/or make happen in 2016.

  • Friends and family beat the odds and kick all manner of ass with some insane Health Fu.
  • The Presidential election does not turn out to be a disaster of mega-Fascist proportions.
  • People collectively reject the status quo and embrace a higher vibrational state of being.
  • There is full disclosure on extraterrestrial life and activities, as well as extra-dimensional life and activities.
  • Jeff Lynne plays a concert in San Diego and I get to attend.
  • I can eventually feel as comfortable riding the buses in San Diego as I was riding the ones in Los Angeles. LA makes a lot more sense as far as layout is concerned.  Or maybe that's just me.
  • Yoga becomes a part of my everyday life.
  • Barry Andrews has more delightful written and musical works of art in store for the world.
  • I complete my latest book and maybe even publish it.
  • The filming of Ginosaji goes smoothly and is a low-stress joy for all involved.
  • I get to go to the desert to gaze at the Milky Way at least once in 2016.
  • I and those I love are surrounded by non-toxic individuals and that we can continue to expand the influence of beauty, creativity, common sense, and divine madness.
  • The Alpaca Lips finally happens.

Here's hoping everyone has a fantastic new year.  May it be visionary in every way.

tinhuvielartanis: (PSA)

MasterBAG Newsbag


"The fact that it isn’t breaking its back to be anything is quite liberating," says Barry Andrews, pondering over the music he’s currently making with Shriekback. "It’s what it is – individuality is quite refreshing. Like those old guys who walk down Oxford Street carrying banners saying ‘stop eating peanuts’. It makes you feel good about people."


Specifically, he means a new single called "Sexthinkone" and a mini-LP labeled "Tench". Both are on Dick O’Dell’s Y Records, and both their sound and the manner of their making suggest something a little bit out of the ordinary.


There’s the basic nucleus of Shriekback, for a start. It’s a trio – Barry Andrews, Gang of Four’s former bassist Dave Allen and guitarist Carl Marsh, who used to be with Out on Blue Six. On top of these three, any number of friends and accomplices might drop by the studio to help out. "Sexthinkone" itself features departed member Brian Nevill on percussion, plus Linda Nevill and Andrea Oliver on vocals, a strange character allegedly called Carlo Lucius Asciutti on piano and xylophone and Dick O’Dell himself on "paperweight and claptrap of death".


Dave Allen, who talks most, backtracks. "What I wanted to do was get together a loose collective of people where you would maintain a sort of unit, but it wouldn’t ever be a band. It would come out with a lot of material that would involve a lot of people that you wouldn’t necessarily keep on.


"We’ve got to the point where the three of us now work together very well and very easily, and this is the unit. Now we just invite people down who we think would be suitable to perform on our tracks, so it’s like a very loose collective with Shriekback as the sort of mentors and producers."


Andrews – who used to be with XTC – and Allen both shudder when they think back on their days with big groups on major labels. Both loathed the duhumanising process of touring, and both now find it incredible to think back on the thoughtlessness with which groups are sucked into the ponderous mechanisms of "rock’n’roll" and its attendant money-wasting potential.


Andrews: "I hesitate to use the word ‘decadent’, but that’s what it is. Working with Y means a lot more work on our part, like we actually have to do a lot of stuff like artwork and looking after day to day logistics ourselves, but it also means you know who’s responsible for what and things don’t keep getting passed round offices."


Carl Marsh chips in: "If a group like this had been involved in a major label it’s possible it wouldn’t have survived the process, because there’s so many pigeonholes you’re supposed to fit into."


For example, the "Tench" LP contains some 26 minutes’ worth of music and retails at £2.99. "People can afford £2.99," says Dave Allen. "Skidoo proved it. There’s just no reason to put out 10 or 12 tracks, four of which you don’t really like, and sell it for £4.50 because the record company want to get its money back."


Shriekback have kept operating costs to a minimum by seeking out various small, cheap London studios, and recorded "Tench" at KPM, a 16 track demo studio owned by their music publishers EMI Publishing. It had never occurred to anybody before to make records there, but as the Shrieks point out, there simply isn’t any good reason to spend £50 and upwards an hour in a big-name studio when you can achieve excellent results at a third of that cost.


And the music? As Andrews points out, it’s my job to label it, not his, but I’m at a loss for some glib handle to attach to it. How can you describe the ominous stalking of "Mothloop", or the curious obliqueness of "All the Greekboys (Do The Handwalk)"? The photograph on the label of "Tench", by the way , inspired the latter song. "I think he’s probably Turkish, but it didn’t scan," confides Andrews.


But mark my words, there may be a new force in the land.



Adam Sweeting

Masterbag July 8-21 1982



Tench has been reissued and remastered, with additional tracks and a bonus CD of their never-before-released 1983 Detroit concert. You can purchase this via their store on Burning Shed by clicking the Tench pic. Order before 1 September, and you will also receive the Shriek/Thee Caretakers collaborative effort free!

tinhuvielartanis: (B Interview)
no title
Not-so-fried Fish
Below the Ice
Cut bait by Jason Pettigrew
Alternative Press, February 1993

The other day I took my mother out to dinner.  As she looked through the menu, she called my attention to the steak and fish combo, mentioning that the way the fried fish portions were laid out in the photo, they looked like (to her, mind you) a fetus.

“I’m not crazy, look at this,” she said.  “Over here is the head, these are the arms…”

“I think you’ve snapped, Mum.”

“Go to hell.  What’s it look like to you?”  (Abrasion is a hereditary trait in the Pettigrew family.)

“Fried fish on a plate.”

“Forget it.  I wonder what the Turkey Special looks like…”

Over a decade ago, Shriekback excavated the area of post-punk avant garde with a dense groove.  When Barry Andrews, Dave Allen and Carl Marsh released their first mini-LP Tench back in 1981, there were many necks strained from the double take.  Each member brought with them elements of their previous bands (XTC, Gang of Four, Out On Blue Six, respectively) and created a funk-rock-noise amalgamation.  Drummer Martyn Barker was acquired shortly afterward, and the quartet released a few records that were crazed and mysterious (Care, Jam Science and Oil And Gold), as well as a string of heavily rotated club singles like “My Spine (Is the Bass Line),” and the only rock song which used the word “parthenogenesis” (“Nemesis”).

Marsh was the first to bail out during a 1985 tour and the trio continued with guitarist Mike Cozzi, releasing a smoother record, Big Night Music.  Soon afterward, disinterest began to take a toll on Allen, and he vacated.  The remaining band members recorded Go Bang!, an album aimed solely at the marketplace.  If there was any irony in recording a cover of KC and the Sunshine Band’s loathsome “Get Down Tonight,” it was certainly lost.  After they had written the band off, Barker and Allen formed the faceless AOR-ploy King Swamp, and Andrews started a band called Illuminati, whose only album remains on ice.

Eventually, Allen, in his new position as label chief at World Domination, thought the time was right for a new Shriekback LP.  Andrews and Barker agreed and the result, Sacred City, like most of their prestigious body of work, has moments of tense ambience, shimmering pop, screaming noise and jungle grooves.

But what’s this got to do with fried fish looking like fetuses?  Two things:  does this tried-and-true “comeback” story look more like that of the Buzzcocks, or the Sex Pistols?  And is their reunion just another stab at commerce or does it only look that way?

“Comeback?”  questions the terminally polite Andrews.  “Go ahead, use it,” he concedes.

Even with all the dinosaur/last gasp connotations?

“That may well be so, but fact is fact and here we are, so make of it what you will.”

“I don’t think that’s totally appropriate,” counters Allen.  “It’s acceptable, but whenever I hear ‘comeback,’ I hear ‘failure.’”

So you think of the Gang of Four’s recent reunion then?

“That’s a bit unkind,” he corrects trying to ease smears on his old band.  “I think of it as a continuation.  God knows where it’s going to go now.”

Allen bailed out of Shriekback the first time around after a neverending world tour left him drained, stifled and looking quite miserable.  These days his stage demeanor is totally animated and he looks like he’s even having (gas) fun.  Fun despite having to open Shriekback shows with his other group Low Pop Suicide and living on a $26-dollar-a-day touring allowance.

“I was disillusioned playing the same set every night,” he says.  “I was tired of having to appease fans with hits, and my personal life was in shambles.  I had to leave and go do things.  I remember telling you that whatever happened in my life, I had to do King Swamp, just to see if I could.  Now, I fell a lot more inspired.”

And Allen has provided his share of inspirations as well:  his terse bass lines during his tenure in Gang of Four and Shriekback predate all the new tattooed bass-slapping plagiarists that have sprouted up in funk-metal cliché bands in regional music scenes.

“Yeah,” he concurs.  “It seems that’s more like cabaret now.  And I was concerned about [being construed as a funk-metal band] to the point where I had discussed it with Barry before this tour and he felt the same way.  I was talking to Flea at Lollapalooza and he told me he learned everything about bass from the first two Gang of Four records.  But it sounds to me like he actually listened to Shriekback!”

“The time is really right for us,” says Andrews.  “Now we don’t have to wonder what the single’s going to be or what our place is in the market.  We’ve returned to the same principle we had when we made Care – if it’s exciting we’ll do it.”

Chinese water torture seems far more exciting (if not more fulfilling) than the truly tepid Go Bang!

“We have a light and frivolous side so we figured we’d make a light and frivolous record,” he counters.  “Nothing wrong with that, is there?”

Even at the expense of what you do best:  propulsive funk and dark atmospherics?

“I think you can trace Shriekback’s career in those two threads:  a dancey, noisy side and a dark, brooding bit.  There’s no shame in something different.

“I think it’s quite unfair to raise the banner of a sell-out album, which I believe is what you’re implying,” he says with a little annoyance.  “I think every time you make a record your motivations are complex, so in your implications that Go Bang! was made to be commercial, well, yeah.  And we were [trying to be commercial] on all the other records we made too.”

The latest LP Sacred City is a song cycle (the ‘90s term for “concept album”) featuring vignettes of city life.  Andrews’ original concept was intended to take the form of a written thesis or a movie, until Allen called him up to discuss reforming the group (actually, Andrews has created a video for the album which will be available shortly).  There is the foreboding darkness of “Below” and “3 am,” the steamy grooves rising from the street on “Beatles Zebra Crossing” and “Signs” and the noise overload of “The Bastard Sons of Enoch.”  For this LP, the band reassessed their energy and avoided the hard-driving funk synapses, aiming instead for subtlety.

“Yes, it’s a more subtle record,” agrees Andrews.  “In terms of some of the African-y grooves and brush rhythms and such, sure.  On “Bastard Sons” we had guitars being played with power drills and knives but at the end of the day, some of them didn’t make it through our filtration system.”

What is that filtration system?  Here’s a man who’s scored film music, played with XTC, Iggy Pop, Robert Fripp and still has the enthusiasm to get onstage and, ugh, shriek (sorry).

“I can’t sing like Aretha Franklin or Bono,” Andrews muses aloud.  “I can’t play keyboards like Rick Wakeman.  All I do is have ideas and an energy to want to make things.  The fact that it comes out in music is because I’ve been doing it for a while.”

apshriekfinal.jpgShriekback’s live line-up is augmented by the serrated violin stylings of Cat Evans and guitarist Cozzi.  Another tour may be in the works, and a new Shriekback LP may appear next fall.  Despite a hiatus from wild shamanic dancing and playing in front of people, Shriekback theorize that the difference between rejuvenation and adrenalin is merely in the spelling.

“Playing live is odd,” admits Andrews.  “You put on weird clothes, jump around, get sweaty and shout at people, and they behave in the most unnatural way.”

Are you apologizing?

“No, not at the moment.  I haven’t done anything terrible yet!”


Shriekback's 13th studio album, 'Without Real String or Fish', is currently available from the band's website.  If your mouse aim ain't what it used to be, just click the album cover below.  While you visit, be sure to sign up for the band's newsletter, as you will be provided with opportunities to nab yourself some rare or never-before-heard songs, freebies, and all the latest Shriek news that's relevant.

Shriekback's Finally, whatever you do, do not read this and then not share it with everyone.  Should you be the only happy member of your Ka-Tet? Nay! Be the precious petal we all know you are, and spread the good news to all four corners of the world! 

tinhuvielartanis: (B Interview)

Another Throwback Thursday confection for all my homies.


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Some time ago, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in contact with Barry Andrews via the Internet. He further astonished us by agreeing to an Interview! So, with an abundance of fan input, we put together a "small collection" of the most pertinent questions and fairly alarmed him with a Lengthy Interrogation. Undaunted, Mr. Andrews expressed himself as he most usually does: with eloquence and not a small amount of wit.


Shriek Questions



The Band


  • How did you meet Dave Allen, Carl Marsh, and Martyn Barker? How did the band come together?
    Errr, met Dave thru Sara Lee –(Bassist w. League of Gentlemen –Leeds connection) He rang me on leaving Go4, Carl wrote him a letter (ever the literary one) and I brought Mart in when we needed a proper drummer –I knew him from Clare Hirst, the sax –player who I was going out with and who played in The Emotional Spies w. Mart. ( I think that’s right ??)


  • Did Shriekback try to create an image with your music and visuals? If so, were you successful?
    Sure we tried, I think we had our moments.


  • Were you surprised with the positive response to last year’s album, "Naked Apes and Pond Life"?
    Very much so. I’d disowned the whole project and was off bashing bits of metal (rather than other band members). Had it not been for Lu and Martyn it would never have come out. The fact that it was sonically the least user-friendly of all our work made it doubly suprising that it was getting good reviews (the old ‘fuck em if they can’t take a joke’ ethic again I guess)


  • Is that what got you to thinking of the possibility of a new Shriekback project sometime in the future? There’s rumour that both Carl and Dave are involved with the new Shriek project. Would you care to comment?
    Dave was in London with a big expense account to abuse, so the Shrieks (class of 85) duly obliged. It was a heady mixture of lurid cocktails, free money and that ineluctable chemistry of 4 old pervs with something still to prove. It looks very likely that we will do Another One. With D & C.


  • What are the Seven Pillars of Shriekback?
    They were a series of principles by which we intended to focus our, at the time, dissipated and addled energies in order to create a rock band.  Have totally forgotten what they were, though..


  • Tell us about the Shriek logo. Whose idea was it and does it have a particular meaning. If so, what?
    It was Al Macdowell’s design –our sympatico Art Person (last seen being head of production design on the Fight Club film –howabouthat?).   I think it was to do with cyclical energy (otherwise known as going round in circles –hmm, be careful what you visualise).


  • Do you still have contact with Sarah and Wendy? What are they doing these days?
    Oh yes, very much so. Seeing them this Friday, actually. Wendy’s a homeopathic practitioner (with 2 kids) about to Move to The Country. And Sarah manages recording engineers and producers.


  • Are you enthusiastic about the resurgence of Shriekback’s popularity?
    Now there’s a leading question, with a certain ambiguity. I certainly like the idea of making some more music both with, and without, the Chaps. A Shriek-Renaissance would be handy. Is it happening? Maybe. You tell me… I don’t get out much.

Shriek Works


  • Why do so many Shriek songs resonate with a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) spiritual energy, both sacred and profane?‚Äč
    Aww, get outta here. Do they? Cheers. Nice one.  Like Jah Wobble (whom God Preserve) said: 'You either make music to see God, or to make money, and if it’s making money then you end up like a million other people all trying to get lucky with a beat.' That’s not exactly relevant really though, is it? I love the idea of touching people in That Place. That’s the main idea, of course.


  • Looking back on the albums the Shrieks have made, do you have a personal favourite and, if so, why? Do you have any favourite Shriekback songs? Any you dislike?
    Care, because we really had no idea what we were doing but we couldn’t help doing it. It was discovering a place where we / I could legitimately and comfortably express ourselves. Finding a Voice, all that.. The end of a hard, messy road of adolescent angst and it was Going To Be Alright after all. Still does sound like that to me, as it goes.

SONGS:


  • Evaporation because it was the first time I got the underwater, Lee Perry, ‘it’s dark but don’t be afraid’ thing to happen. Nice ‘tune’ (meaning melody).

  • Black Light Trap because it’s so ..Large. Lots going on. Architectural vibe. Big creaky Gormenghast thing with disco. Sounds like Shriekback and absolutely noone else.

  • This Big Hush - A big scary fantastic Love affair in the snows of 85 and everything impossibly vivid. Well that’s what I was doing. Add your own recollections, of course.

DISLIKED:


  • Get Down Tonight (what were we thinking of? oh yeah, making money , that’s right)

  • Mercy Dash the single (the intoxication of trying to sound like someone else - don’t do it, kids, especially not with machines that you don’t understand.)  Still, that’s it, not bad over 8 albums, is it?


  • What songs were made into videos?
    Nemesis, Get Down Tonight, Lined Up...


  • Any hope of a video compilation? Speaking of videos, who conceptualised the ‘Nemesis’ video?
    Probably not, who could possibly have the ‘masters’? and they were all dodgy apart from Nemesis.  I did all the ‘conceptualising’, Al McDowell did the visualising, Tony VandenEnde (the ostensible director) made it happen.

Projects


  • There is word of a new compilation album of obscure and unreleased material coming out sometime in March entitled "Aberrations 81-4". In what countries will this be available? Is there anything further you would care to offer to your listeners regarding this album?
    The territories are down to who wants it –where we can get licensing deals. The States will be covered by Nail Records, we think…  It will be available from Mauve Records mail order if all else fails.  It’s an interesting car-boot sale of weirdness, 9 never before released songs also remixes, live bits etc. Copious sleeve-notes by Marsh and I. We’re going to include ‘Naked Apes’ in the package, so it’s cracking good value for anyone who never got the latter.


  • Will we ever see the BBC recordings released?
    Hope so, we’re looking into the Legalities (not the name of a soul band).


  • Michael Mann used the Shrieks’ music extensively in ‘Miami Vice’ and in the movie ‘Manhunter’. Did you ever meet him and do you foresee any future collaborations?
    No and No. Shame: I especially liked it when they were chasing the Miami coke-baron round the harbour in speed-boats, white 80’s trousers flapping and Shrieks are singing some weirdshit in Sanskrit (Running on the Rocks). Obviously made sense to Mike.

Personal Questions

Music


  • Tell us about your Illuminati project.
    Doomed doomed, emotionally overwrought Guitar driven rock, Humungous female vocal, ravishing melodies. Me trying to be ‘non-ironic’ and ‘not weird’. Don’t fight your nature, that’s what I learnt. Still have the album in the can. Maybe release it someday.


  • What music do you listen to? What do you think of today’s pop music scene?

bazzachat2015.jpgANDREWS PLAYLIST 2001

  1. Beethoven ‘Creatures of Prometheus’

  2. Planxty (Irish trad) ‘The Woman I loved so well’ ‘After the Break’

  3. Nick Cave ‘The Boatman’s Song’ ‘Murder Ballads’

  4. Arvo Part 'Cantus for Benjamin Britten' 'Festina Lente'

  5. John Cooper Clarke ‘Snap Crackle and Bop’

  6. Slade ‘Greatest Hits’

  7. Underworld ‘Everything Everything’

  8. Mouse on Mars ‘niun niggung’


  • Will we ever see a collection of your solo work?
    Dunno, it’s nearly all only on cassette so it would be a hissy kind of a thang.


  • Will we see anymore from The Caretakers, the Refugees, or some other project yet to come to light?
    Caretakers are Bruce Mcrae and Carlo Asciutti, both of whom are complicated men to get hold of. Bruce is in Canada and Carlo’s in East Dulwich – which might as well be Canada. Come on guys, the World needs you… sigh, what can you do with ‘em?


  • What prompted the song ‘Win a Night out with a Well-Known Paranoiac’?
    The Adolescent angst of which I spoke and my snotty scruffy persona, (at 22-23) & resistance to authority which wound up all the right people sufficiently to support a – that’s right - paranoid world view. I liked the idea of a spoken song like Patti Smith’s 'Piss Factory'. It’s funnier though-especially the bit about the 'Underwater Toilet.'

History


  • When did you develop an interest in music?
    The parent’s collection of 78’s on the wind-up record player (fuck-I’m old) me alone in the attic playing ‘Shifting Whispering Sands’ and 'Indian Love call'. The rest is history.


  • Most of what we’ve heard about your departure from XTC has been from sources in relation to that band. In fact, in the liner notes of the recent XTC box set, Andy Partridge laments your leaving the band. To balance things out, would you like to let your side be heard?
    Well, as I’ve said probably more times than I should – I always regarded XTC as a stepping stone –we came from the the same town, were all working class pissheads and were all talented, it was never really a meeting of minds. Thus, as soon as we had some breathing space from touring and getting a deal it was obvious that this combination had run it’s course. You don’t need a degree in Workplace Dynamics to see that both an Andrews and a Partridge is one egomaniac only-child too many. For me that was – as they say in Swindon – ‘it and all about it’. It was great fun for a while though. And loads of shagging.


  • Many articles and XTC book passages indicate that you’ve seemingly resented the intellectual labels attributed to you and, later, Shriekback. Have your feelings changed on this issue or do you still wish to stress the physical aspect of your music?
    I don’t know why you say this. Anyone who calls me an intellectual will have me purring on the floor and buying them drinks.

    Oh, you probably mean that ‘what do your lyrics mean?’ type thing.

    It’s really that what I’ve always tried to do with music – specifically SONGS- which are a brilliant art-form and still nowhere near exhausted - is create new places - funny little aquariums where the rules of the outside world no longer apply. Bear in mind that this is not sheet music it’s recorded music so all sorts of subtleties and inflections are possible – the ambient sound in the room, the slapback echo all have different things to say (ambient sound says ‘fly on the wall documentary,’ slap-back can mean Elvis or, add a few repeats and it’s Nuremberg). What I mean is that Songs are perceived sonically, primarily - then we add the strata of meaning. But, as with all good art-forms the most fun is in the grey areas. Where the Delicious Frissons of Ambiguity live.

    So when you can’t quite hear what Strummer’s singing on Janie Jones, you hallucinate your own visions into the gap between what you can understand and what you can’t. As one does as a child listening to the grown ups talk. It’s an interesting place to be. When I finally saw those lyrics written down the song was over for me. Not that they were bad lyrics, just that they were only what they were, no longer all the things they might possibly be.

    So the lyrics are one part of this tense interdependent little biosphere. Another example: Marvin Gaye's ‘Grapevine’ –it’s dark, the bass and congas sound jungly (like a Rousseau jungle in purples) the song’s about jealousy - there are loads of different ways of saying ‘people are saying that you’re seeing someone else’ but he picks vines – big strangly creepy things with round sweet purple grapes on them and the jungly groove and the sweet sad voice and the minor key all support each other – organically, you’d have to say - the medium and the message all beautifully shmershed together. The lyrics as written don’t tell you any of this, like the sheet music doesn’t tell you how sexy that bass line is. The experience is to be had in front of a speaker and that’s it. SO - even if you use words like ‘parthenogenesis’ and ‘historesis’ you’re still playing the same game. I used ‘parthenogenesis’ mainly because it sounded good and almost rhymed with Nemesis. The meaning was secondary (but relevant). So if you were to apply the ‘Grapevine’ treatment to that chorus - my intention was to get a laugh - or at least an internal smirk - from the big-almost football crowd-chorus, the long ungainly scientific word, the huge daft power chords, and everything within this barmy context of ‘let’s examine the nature of morality’ – like some philosophy professor who went to Vietnam and listened to a lot of Gary Glitter. Still makes me laugh.

    Another way to see it is like you ‘get’ a joke, which, if you want, you can explain, and you can even analyse why it’s funny. But the point of the joke is really only in the ‘getting’ of it. If you don’t experience that then all the rest is pointless. Thus, when people make a big deal of 'explaining the lyrics', it very often (experience has shown) means that they never really ‘got’ the idea of the song. It’s turned into some gnarly little Eng. Lit puzzle.

    Blimey, value-for-money-question.

The Individual


  • We know that you are a consummate musician, that you’ve dabbled in filmmaking, and that you’re also an artist, having studied 3-D design. It would seem that you’re quite the Renaissance man. Is that a fair description? How would you describe yourself?
    Naah, the trouble with doing lots of things is that you meet lots of people who only do one thing and are therefore extremely good at them. Bad comparisons are inevitable. ‘Jack of all trades’ says it . Still, it seems to be my nature to apply a similar aesthetic to lots of different things and this is as close to a mission statement as I can get: ‘try everything, make up as many things as possible; remember to take notes.’


  • There have also been many comments from folks who’ve met you that you exude an otherworldly air. Would you care to address that?
    I have been known to drift, somewhat. Oh yes..


  • We’ve heard many stories from fans whom have attended Shriek concerts and, afterwards, were thrilled to find you dancing, drinking, and generally making merry with them after the show. Why are you so prone to mingle with the fans when artists, including other members of the band, don’t generally engage in such activity?
    Human fucking Beings, man. What else is there?


  • In what other projects are you currently involved?
    The ongoing exegesis of Parc Stic (a metaphysical theme park) and amassing material for a solo album. And keeping an eye on Finn (the lad) who’s starting his own musical career (which is spooky).


  • Being the primary lyricist for Shriekback, it’s obvious you have a gift with words. Do you write prose as well or have you considered doing so?
    Saving that for when I’m Really old and can’t do anything else.


  • Who or what would you say is your greatest influence?
    Alex Harvey, Lee Perry, Patti Smith, the Constructed World (not a band either).


  • The dance that you and the Sids perform to ‘The Reptiles and I’ in the ‘Jungle of the Senses’ concert video exhibits a variety of Kung Fu movements. That, combined with the fact that you’ve been spotted many times wearing Tabi, lead us to ask if you’re a Martial Artist as well. If so, what form or forms have you studied?
    Mark Raudva – who plays on ‘Naked Apes’ - is a qualified Tai Chi teacher and would piss himself if he read that. I studied with him for about six months and gave up. I did Aikido for about three weeks – way too upsetting.


  • What do you think of the world today?
    Oh the easy ones at the end eh?

Final Thoughts


  • What would you like see happen at Shriekback.com?
    The hub of a new Renaissance, a centre for Excellence, a source of psychic nourishment and high quality gas-masks.


  • Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans of both you and Shriekback?
    ‘Hold fast to that which gives the deepest jollies.’

7 February, 2001

Help the Shrieks give us all more memories.  Visit their official website to sign up for the newsletter, and don't forget to pick up a copy of their new album, Without Real String or Fish!

tinhuvielartanis: (RepLogo)

Still in its relative infancy, the old Shriekback.com, The Shriekback Digital Conspiracy, launched a campaign based on the idea that artists and their fans should cut out the middle man. As part of Throwback Thursday, here's what is said about that exciting time on Shriekback's Tumblr blog:



Since we're once again *having a moment*, let's take a look back to the genesis of our "by subscription" EP, which foretold the rise of crowdfunding 14 years ago. This was the announcement seen on the old Shriekback.com back in 2001. To those who contributed then and are reading this now, we thank you again for helping make Having a Moment a reality, and cheers to you all for your continuing support. Having a Moment is once again available for purchase. You need only go to our online store. Whilst there, pick up a copy of our new album, Without Real String or Fish!

Personally, I think the band should be getting a cut of the profits sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo enjoy. Once again, the Shrieks were way ahead of their time.  Here is the original "Fate" page mentioned in the above announcement.  In order to easily read it, click the image for full size.

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tinhuvielartanis: (Shriekback Logo)

The band have posted an hour-long interview, answering fans' questions. Take a gander, and don't forget to pick up a copy of Without Real String or Fish.

tinhuvielartanis: (RepLogo)

~Through Us the Way into the Sacred City~






~Through Us the Way into Nights of Heat and Weirdness~





~Through Us the Way to the Illuminated Ones~
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~Sheer enthusiasm made Us~





~And Passion and Poems and Sex~






~Before Us nothing but Excellence can endure~





~For We are the Gateway to Excellence, Deviance, and Delight~
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~ABANDON ALL MEDIOCRITY, YE WHO ENTER here!~



tinhuvielartanis: (RepLogo)


Shriekback

Big Electric Energy

by Lesley Sly


They are tired of being cult heroes – Shriekback, the weird studio band, the unpredictable performers. Their new line-up, tour and album were the firt lap in a drive for wider acceptance. Head shrieker, Barry Andrews, maps out the course.


The Shriekback of old was, by their own admission, chaotic and experimental. They were machine-men, dabbling with drum computers and Fairlights, every song a loose sketch from backing track to overdub. And live, it was jam science.


But the Shriekback that stormed Australia with a high octane live set and the cruisy cocktail-style album, Big Night Music, in March was a different kettle of…fish. (Alas, little light was shed on their strange preoccupation with deep sea creatures in our post-gig interview).


They are now a band intent on cracking the mainstream, getting their powerful live sound onto vinyl and dispensing with as much machinery as possible in the process.


They’ve been streamlining the human element, too. When they hit the cultish London circuit in 1981 with the mini-album, Tench, they were six-piece. By the following year, they were three – Barry Andrews (vocals/keyboards; ex-XTC, Robert Fripp’s League of Gentlemen), David Allen (bass; ex-Gang of Four) and Carl Marsh (guitar).


Then came the albums Care and Jam Science and in 1984 they took on drummer, Martyn Barker, had their first chart single Hand On My Heart and followed up with the album, Oil And Gold, inn 1985.


In early 1986 they signed a new deal with Island and lost Carl Marsh. Another change was the approach to recording. The writing trio of Andrews, Allen and Barker decided to concentrate on the expansive, atmospheric elements of their music and go for an ‘all-played’ groove, augmented by their four-piece Big Live Band – Michael Cozzi (guitars), Steve Halliwell (keyboards) and backing singers, Wendy and Sarah Partridge.


For the Australian tour they added a percussionist and Barry left keyboard duties to Steve, bar the occasional solo.


The last time I saw the band live was at one of their first gigs in a seedy London pub. On stage this year, in the claustrophonic refectory hall at Sydney Uni, there was hardly a trace of the enfant terrible. Dynamic, controlled, structured rock’n’roll theatre, a new authority, no chaos.


In the dressing room later, Barry Andrews explained this new order…


Your live set is much more structured now. There are middle-eights, you all start and stop in the same places. You’re very tight and professional…

I don’t know about very tight and professional, but certainly more than we used to be. We do all end at the same time.


Remember the Greyhound in Fulham (London), one of your first gigs?

(Shudders) Christ Almighty. We have changed since then.


Do you think you’ve sacrificed spontaneity for structure?

Not really. It used to be a fucking mess. There was a good, wild, out-of-control energy, you know all those AAARRRRGH, post-punk screams. But after a while…it’s unchannelled and ultimately not satisfying when you do seven gigs in a row and only one of them is any good.


I think we are channeling that energy more and there are still areas of improvisation…freedom within that structure.


What parts are improvised?

All the solos. I never play the same solo twice on Feelers, I’m always mucking around with the vocals, doing little improvised rants and stuff.


I think it’s a popular misconception that you have to do completely improvised music in order to have freedom. Mike (guitarist) always plays the same solo but there’s a difference when he’s really putting his heart and soul into it. It has an authority and power to it.

You get quite close to recorded sounds live…

I think we do considering how many overdubs and weird things we’re doing in the studio.

Were you using Fairlight much on Big Night Music?

No. We’d decided it was going to be a low budget album and we weren’t going to use the Fairlight as much as we had on Oil And Gold. We also wanted to use more acoustic instruments, so that it sounded like a band in a room playing some music, all in time.


Towards the end of recording there was a particular sound on Underwaterboys that we couldn’t get on either the JP8 or the DSS1 and me and Gavin (MacKillop, co-producer) were tearing our hair out [er, figuratively speaking]. So we decided to chip inn out of our own money and get the Fairlight to do this sound. As it turned out we did do it within budget – we didn’t have to sell our cars or anything – and so we went round the tracks putting little touches of Fairlight on here and there.


You’ve always used machines to make music. Was the decision taken on this album not to do so due to budget or were you bored with that approach?

No, it wasn’t because of the budget. It was the first record where Martyn (drummer) had really found his feet and he had loads and ideas bubbling over. It seemed a bit irrelevant to haul in a Fairlight or drums computer and put it through its paces.


We were bored with all that stuff after a four-year romance with technology too. Also, some of the rhythms are so subtle like, Running on the Rocks – there no drum computer in the world can do that.


How do you write your songs?

Always from the rhythm. In the old day it was a drum machine and we’d build the songs in the studio a la Bowie and all that. But, that wasn’t a particularly cost-effective way of doing things and we also decided that we wanted the…thing to happen in music that you only get when you’ve played a song for a long time on stage.


On Oil and Gold there was only one track that was like that (Health And Knowledge) which, while it wasn’t a great groove or even a particularly great song, had this smoothness, a rotundity to it. We thought it would be nice to have a whole album with the edges worn off, with a nice ‘used’ quality to it.


Do you write together?

Generally, Martyn will put down a rhythm and we’ll all – me, Dave and Martyn – improvise around that. If there’s an energy to the groove we’ll just tape the drums on cassette for two minutes.


Then, I take that home and put it on my cassette machine which has a loop function and just sit there singing to it, record that on another machine and listen to it. I find that quite often good things come out when you’re just burbling off the top of your head whereas if you sat down and tried to write it, that critical part of the brain might be brought to bear on it and crush the idea before it grows. I then go through and make notes, wander round, have a cup of tea, read a few books, find a few weird words (laughs).  Then I do the whole process again until the thing starts to bed down into a structure, verse, chorus, etc.  Then, I take it back to Dave and Martyn and we work on chords and details.


Atmosphere is crucial in your music. Is sound important in the writing process?

I tend to find that the rhythm will suggest a certain kind of atmosphere. It will all be encapsulated in that rhythm. Once you’ve got the initial crystalisation of the song, it’s all police work from there on. Like, Shining Path…it was obvious from that rhythm and the title that it was going to be this huge, swirly, exotic druggie-opium vision. From there on we knew it was going to need bells, big chords, wind gong, etc.


No home studios?

Martyn’s making moves in that direction. Sometimes I think it would be a good idea but then…I used to do that with XTC. I used to sit in my bedroom with an Akai two-track machine, a Wurlitzer piano and microphone and write the whole thing. Then I’d go along with a song and try to impose it on the band and tell the bass player and drummer what to play.It had a kind of awkwardness to it because they were playing something which wasn’t quite natural for them. Sometimes it worked but now it works every time because we don’t add things to songs unless they do work.


So, when you record now you take complete songs in?

Yeah and we’re going to work that way on the next album. There’s a couple of new ones we’re playing already.


How long does it take to get a song together?

Maybe a day per song. But, once I take the verse and chorus along we just put a bit of intense energy into it, maybe an hour, and then I take it home and work on it again. Then we bring in the other players.


You use the Jupiter 8 for rehearsals?

Yes.

What’s happened to that battered old organ you used for years?

It’s in my ex-wife’s cupboard. I go round every now and then and dust it off (the organ, that is). It’s a sweet little thing, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away but I can’t find any use for it anymore.


Was recording Big Night Music standard procedure?

Yes…I haven’t worked in that way since the Robert Fripp album. Gavin is a very traditional producer and I really left it to him. It’s nice, there’s something very organic about recording that way [as a band]. You don’t have to go through the endless…well, there’s a drum rhythm and I haven’t got a clue what to do next, maybe go blurgh on the first beat of every bar and then try to find some chords, and lay three tracks of percussion that we’ll never use.

It was exciting to work like that and if money was no object I probably still would…


Because there’s always the element of surprise when you’re actually creating the song track-by-track?

Yeah…the only track we did like that was Sticky Jazz and I think you can hear the difference…the textures change suddenly.


What about vocal treatment?

On Big Night Music I was getting into big whispering but the process of recording was mostly traditional. Occasionally I fed my voice through an AC30 amp wound up like fuck and recorded in a live room. On the end of Black Light Trap I fed it though Mike’s pedalboard with the distortion wound right up…and all these other knobs. I don’t really know what they do.


It’s your fifth album and seems like a summary of the rest. Do you agree?

No, I think there are areas left out…mainly the big noisy stuff. It’s like taking one of the themes of Shriekback, which is the big, dark, quiet cocktail band thing with more of the reggae influence. We’ve taken that and really explored it.


On the next album we’ll get into the big racket.


Using players and no machines?

Yes, I think so. It usually becomes apparent after you’ve been on the road a while what sort of album you want to make next. On this tour it’s become clear that everyone is excited about taking the atmosphere we get live and trying to record that and mess with it and see what happens.


Back to the whispering…you’ve said you’ll do more shouting next time. Isn’t the whisper part of Shriekback’s charm, a hallmark almost?

Well, for the sake of making an homogenous record…it always irritated me, about Oil And Gold especially, that you’re listening to a noisy track, you’re in party mode and then suddenly it goes all quiet and mushy and you have to leap for the turntable and get that track off.


When I want to listen to a piece of music I want an atmosphere and I think most people do. So, I would say…yeah, we’ll have a whispering-free, high-noise album. (laughs).


Why are you so popular here and often dismissed as an arty band in the UK?

There’s two things…if you’re not getting played on radio in the UK there isn’t really the gig circuit to establish yourself anymore. Also, the British psyche finds it a bit disgusting seeing this person up there on stage going ‘waaaah, look at me’. They like records and nightclubs and keeping it all under control.


For a long time in England we were making experimental, reflective, not grab-you-by-the-throat sort of records and people got a bit bored waiting for Shriekback to do something that would be devastating. And live, it was a shambles. We couldn’t take an audience like we did tonight. Now, we can take a cool audience and have them in a frenzy by the end because we’ve learnt the art of rock’n’roll theatre.


The soundtrack you’ve done for the movie, Slamdance…

It’s not a soundtrack, it’s just the song at the end. I’m looking at doing a soundtrack though…I’ve done a film music demo to a whole bunch of image from wildlife documentaries and films like Conan the Barbarian and Passage to India. So we’re going to go to LA and throw a few video tapes at a few moguls there.


Shriekback has its own sovereignty – it’s not something that each of us independently would do. I found doing the film music demo it was more one dimensional.


You’ve talked about having a magic power live that you don’t understand. Is that created because of the audience?

I think it’s there in rehearsal too, it’s just a smaller audience! It’s partly that with the band the sum is greater than the parts. I like working on my own but I prefer having other people around to bounce off and crash into.


What about your preoccupation with fish?

(Laughs)…What can I tell you?


Other projects?

Yeah…Martyn is writing his own songs which sound fabulously commercial, Dave is talking about doing an album with Jorgensen of Ministry and I’m making Super 8 movies at the moment.


Film seems to be quite a strong direction for me…I’m just assembling images and playing around with scripts.


Solo albums?

No. Shriekback is not entirely my vision but at least I can involve all my musical interests which is great.


In XTC I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, only that it wasn’t XTC. It was only after that that I started to look at my musical language…finding out why I liked certain kinds of music, and what moves me.


Do you listen to music for pleasure?

Yes…not pop. I used to have a clock radio which drove me mad because it would come on in the morning with this pop music and I’d wake up going ‘oh, the bass is good, drums are okay, what about the chorus’ and you go into all that.


I listen to old church music, nice gentle things.


This need for wider appeal…does Shriekback need more commercial success to reach full potential?

I think it’s a popular misconception that you achieve commercial success and then you do what you want to do…I don’t know anyone who has done that.

We are doing what we want to do, it wouldn’t be different if I had loads of money.


What is there left for Shriekback to do?

The next album – translating the live thing. And, getting our music to a wider audience. I don’t think there is anything hopelessly archane about what we do and I don’t see why it shouldn’t appeal to a lot of people. I think it’s a case of appropriate presentation.


And…I’m tired of being a cult figure.



THE BACKLINE

Martyn Barker (drums): I’m using a hired Yamaha 900 Series kit – 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 toms, 22" bass drum, 14" x 10" deep snare and Zildjian cymbals (16, 17, 18 crashes, Chinaboy and Swish both 16"; hi-hats are K Series (top) and Dynobeat (bottom); Camco chain bass drum pedal.


I’ve been using this kit on the American and Australian tours. In England I’ve been using a Gretch kit but I’m changing to Yamaha because I like the depth of the sound of this kit. You get a good natural sound, it’s very good live and as an all-round kit.


I’ve been using very thin crashes because Shriekback is a dynamic band so you don’t need any ride cymbals. The music needs good splash sounds…plenty of that.


The difficulty for me with cymbals is trying to change the sound all the time…in Underwaterboys I used coins to rub against Chinese cymbals which makes that off-beat sound. And in Nemesis the chorus has to be very dynamic so I use lots of splashes, lots of crash cymbals.


No electronic drums?

I used to use bits of Simmons gear and I use the Linn 9000 for writing. But for Big Night Music I used a real drum kit with percussion because it was easier and that was the direction the music was going in.


(Live percussion is: LP congas and cowbells. Cymbals in Zildjian (16" thin crash), and 20" Chinese wind gong.)

Mike Cozzi (guitar): I’ve been experimenting a lot lately and have just changed all my gear. At the moment I’m using a Gallien-Krueger amp as a preamp sending it though a Carver power amp. The main effects I use are a volume pedal, which I think is well under-used these days, and three different distortions, Big Muff, Boss overdrive, and the other is the distortion on the Krueger. I use various rack delays…everything is rackmounted.


I still use a Strat which I’ve had customised (added a Kahler tremolo and humbucker pickups). On the acoustic numbers I use a Hohner semi-acoustic 12-string.


Bass equipment: Music Man bass guitar through Trace Elliot gear, using 4 x 10 and 1 x 15 speakers.

Martyn: Dave has a custom-built bass which he uses for the slower moodier numbers which makes a deep, warm sound. But the Music Man is his main instrument.


Keyboards: Jupiter 8 and Korg DSS1 which wins heaps of praise from Barry Andrews: "We seem to be getting sounds which are as good as a Fairlight Series II. It’s helpful having the synthesizing part as a well as the sampler because you can really fuck around with those samples and make them sound interesting.



Sonic (July/August 1987)


Shriekback recently released their 13th studio album, Without Real String or Fish. It is available on their website. Click the album cover to be taken to their online store!

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tinhuvielartanis: (RepLogo)
yrec5.jpg

There is still a dinky handful of these left. Any of you who have known me for long, know the story behind them. If you don't, just ask. All you really need to know is that the CDs available are in their original wrap (the cigarette kind, not shrink wrap) with the barcodes and spine sticker unaltered or defaced in any way. These are, for all intents and purposes, brand new. Shriekback are offering the album for £40 (just over $60, USD), which is a median price for what the used CDs are typically going for on sites like eBay (new copies of the double CD are priced considerably higher, and you can't be completely sure that what you're buying hasn't already been opened and played, then rewrapped). With these, you can be confident that the product has never been unwrapped and played, and your money goes directly to the band, instead of to middleman profiteers. More importantly, your purchase will help Shriekback record more music for us all to enjoy!

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To the best of my knowledge, these are the very last new copies of 'The Y Records Years.' To acquire one is pretty much a chance in a lifetime at this point, and I am not being dramatic. The band began to send word out a couple of days ago, that the CDs are available, and many have already been reserved for shipment. Right now, I believe around 10 are left.

JUST TEN

Write the band at shriekprods@outlook.com to inquire about purchase.

If you have any questions regarding the double CD, feel free to ask me here or at susperia5@yahoo.com. If I know the answer, I'll give you one. If I don't know, I'll try to find out, then let you know what I've found.

Also, you may want to look into purchasing a copy of Shriekback's new album, their 13th studio project called Without Real String or Fish. It is a genuine tour de force that will more than satisfy longterm fans as well as seduce newcomers into Shriekback's eclectic reality.  The new album is available through Shriekback's official website.  Click on the album cover below to be taken to their store.  Besides the new album, they also have all manner of goodies ripe for the picking.  It's a veritable musical Garden of Eden!

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Now, go forth and shop with abandon!

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You may get a better look at the CDs by clicking on the images for full size.
Hand model is Wilma Terry Evans.

tinhuvielartanis: (Shriekback Logo)
And the album is getting excellent reviews already!  Take, for instance, Dadjago:

no titleTo me at least, the Shrieks have always felt as if they were otherworldy creatures dropping strands of (sometimes rather ichorous) knowledge on us. It might not be immediately intelligible, but there'salways been something there (barring "naked apes and pond life", not sure about that one...) worth examining. This is no exception, the terpsichorean wordplay and capering tunes all come together rather nicely. Much like "Life in the Loading Bay" the album is also possessed of that odd assurance that only comes from having been around the block a few times. There's no doubt, no existential crises, and no peacocking about in some confused attempt to get the attention of a lover or a contract. Not to say that any iota of energy or mystery has been sacrificed for this maturity, that's all still there, in grand amounts, it's just not wasted. Just, you know, buy this. You'll not regret it.

That's not all. Dadjago has plenty more to say, as do all the ones who have so far added their two daktari to the fray. Amazon is only offering the digital album, which can be purchased by clicking the album cover featured in the image above. But you can still obtain the actual physical CD from the band themselves. Having the lovely CD booklet and libretto is well worth the wait for the mailman to come calling! Or you could just do both. The more support the Shrieks have, the more likely we are to get more ingenious music from them.

tinhuvielartanis: (RepLogo)


Shriekback
The World’s Second Best Pop Group with a Bald Singer
By Dave Segal (‘Creem’ June 1987)

“…Shriekback have opted to make a different kind of music – one which exalts human frailty and the harmonious mess of nature over the simplistic reductions of our crude computers.” – liner notes to Big Night Music. This thing called Shriekback is a strange beast. Trying to describe them gives me one hell of a headache. The new Shriekback music (it’s called Big Night Music but it could just as easily be called Small Morning Music) screws with rock critics’ rote jargon. If you wanted to be crass, you could label ‘em an intellectual funk band with gospel/cocktail lounge pretensions. Unlike most Anglo-Caucasians who funk around with black styles of music, Shriekback throw a skewered light on what, in pedestrian hands, can be a brain-numbing genre. You can attribute Shriekback’s uniqueness (no lie) to keyboardist/singer/lyricist Barry Andrews.

Andrews has full control of Shriekback now that Carl Marsh has departed with his Fairlights and drum computers for solo obscurity. Pared down to a trio (Dave Allen, he of the Zeus-like bass playing on Gang of Four’s first two LPs, and Martyn Barker on percussion toys), Shriekback have for the most part ditched Marsh’s vision of a “harsh disco reality” and gone for a rococo/eclectic sonic gumbo that’s as slippery to grasp as Eno’s skull in a bathtub. There’s a slickness to the Andrews/Gavin MacKillop production on Big Night Music, but don’t let that trouble yer noggin. It’s a good kind of slickness; Andrews has a Byrne-Enoesque aesthetic that enables him to craft exotic pop of excessive fussiness (‘Black Light Trap,’ ‘Running on the Rocks,’ ‘Sticky Jazz’) or of severe sparseness (everything else). You could call this The Soft Album without too much controversy.

Oddly, some of the songs sound better with the volume turned down. Perhaps because he can’t sing very well, Andrews often resorts to an intimate whispery delivery. Very nice and relaxing, this voice. And he’s a clever gump, too. It’s not by accident that wispy, gentle toons sit cheek by jowl with swollen brassy epics; and then out of nowhere will sprout a pretension-deflater like ‘Pretty Little Things,’ which sounds like Prince on helium and dexies. I tell ya, listening to Big Night Music is more fun than working in an abattoir on a humid day.

Andrews has the serene monkish demeanor of the Keith Carradine character in the Kung Fu TV show. Before Shriekback, he was in XTC from ’77 to ’79, and he also played with Robert Fripp’s League of Gentlemen in 1980. He’s a peace-lovin’, broad-minded intellectual dabbler wearing a black floppy hat and a long black coat. We had a civilized chat amid the delicately bubbling jacuzzi water inside a swanky Detroit hotel. Andrews proved to be more stimulating than a week’s worth of The Dick Cavett Show.

CREEM: Why did Carl Marsh leave Shriekback?
BARRY ANDREWS: He wanted to do solo things, really. Carl’s quite a self-contained sort of bloke I don’t think he ever found it easy working with other people. The band was becoming a two-headed beast that was tearing itself in half. Oil and Gold (released in ’85) suffered from that. A bit of schizophrenia between the Carl direction and my direction. I like things when they’re soft and vulnerable and maybe even a bit maudlin. I like a certain amount of crying into my Guinness.

Did Marsh’s departure cause a change in your sound?
Definitely, there was a sort of opening of the sluices. When Carl left, I felt like, firstly, I’ve got this huge canvas to work with on the whole record. It’s all gonna be my words, my tunes. So instead of it being this common denominator area we could inhabit with Carl, what the three of us could agree on was actually a bigger area because there were fewer things to filter out. I wanted to try doing something very simple and direct and emotional, like ‘The Cradle Song,’ Just trying out every option and seeing what’s possible. There’s a certain amount of experimentation that doesn’t work, but a whole lot that does. Normally we wouldn’t have even dared to try. Big Night Music is diverse. I don’t think anyone could complain about it being too homogenous. I think there is a coherence to it that we’ve never achieved on a record before, with the possible exception of Care (released in ’82)

Does everyone have creative input into the words and music?
I’m the sole lyricist. On the new album, Dave confined himself to bass playing, Martyn did a whole lot more than he’s ever done. He plays all the drums and does lots of percussion. So he’s actually responsible for quite a lot of the textures. I’m really responsible for the way the whole thing sounds and the structure of the songs. I can’t imagine collaborating with someone on a song. It would be like having somebody advise you while you’re having sex with somebody (laughs). There’s so much that just happens in your head. It’s quite a fragile process and it’s not something I could easily involve someone with.

Your lyrics have a stream of consciousness to them…
A stream of unconsciousness…(much laughter).

Sometimes it’s brilliant and at other times it leaves the listener baffled. Maybe they’re too oblique for universal understanding.
Maybe that’s a valid criticism. I don’t go in for any kind of broad political commentary.

You write more about personal things?
I don’t know if they’re even personal things, really. What I try to do is create an entity with sound that has not existed before. The songs are meant to be things you can walk into and walk around, that have their own kind of smell and atmosphere and texture. They’re not meant to be billboards or television programs. Or newspapers. The lyrics aren’t the point any more than the bass drum pattern’s the point. You might have a very good pair of kidneys but that’s not your whole story, is it?

If I asked you what ‘The Reptiles and I’ is about, could you tell me?
I can tell you what I was trying to do. It’s what it is for you definitely. That’s a nice fatuous answer, I suppose, and it’s what it means to me. And that’s about as far as it goes. I had this idea of using a lot of lists that I found in Webster’s Dictionary. A list of languages, elements, proverbs. I liked the idea of a bunch of verses that were lists. I was trying to create a nursery rhyme that would work in an adult way and would have that sort of darkness about it, that sinister kind of thing that the best nursery rhymes have. I’m really a little kid sitting at the foot of the great god Language. I’ve really got no command over it. I pretty much take what it gives me. I get excited by all the different ways people speak in the same way. I get excited about all the different cultures people can have, all the different ways of being in the world. It seems very rich and diverse and brilliant. And it inspires me.

Were you influenced by any writers?
I steal a lot. I’m a complete bastard for that. I’ll tell you the dead ones. I’ve ripped Shakespeare off something rotten. I’ve had my way with T.S. Eliot. Martin Luther King. The Bible. Certainly bits of the Koran. Complete verbal beachcomber.

At least you’re taking from great sources.
Oh yeah. That’s what they’re there for. To get crunched up and recycled. I don’t do it in any cynical way. It’s like doing a cover of a band’s song that you really think is a good song. It seems silly to wrack your brains when somebody else’s said it so well. I just rip it off. Shameless, really.

Have any current songwriters influenced you?
David Byrne’s approach – when I was a bit more uncertain about writing lyrics – he seemed to offer quite a good little cubbyhole to hide in, where you could get away without saying anything at all as long as it sounded all right. But on this LP, I got less and less satisfied with what you could do with that and more interested in what would happen if you pushed the thing up toward the light a little more. So things like ‘Cradle Song,’ ‘Reptiles,’ and ‘Gunning for the Buddha’ are like little narratives, stories, which I’ve never attempted before. Getting into the old Tin Pan Alley thing. People like Gilbert and Sullivan and the English music hall singers. Popular Victorian kitsch. Edwardian parlor songs.

Shriekback is often labelled an intellectual band.
It’s high time we burst that bubble.

Are you college-educated?
No. It was between making a choice of being in a rock’n’roll band or going to university.

Are you religious?
I don’t belong to a religion. I don’t have any faith, in that way. I do have a strong religious sense. It’s difficult to say without it sounding pretentious. I have a sense of awe of a kind of religious veneration or worship in the presence of what is around – people, mainly, the rush and energy of people and what they can do and build and keep going on and having babies. Just what it is to be alive. There’s definitely a force that moves us on in a mysterious way. I said to someone once that I feel about religion the way I felt about sex when I was 12. You know there’s something going on, but you don’t know what the fuck it is!


To read more about Shriekback's music and career, please visit their website (sign up for the newsletter for free downloads) and Tumblr. You can also join in our conversations over on Facebook. And, while you're at it, pick up a copy of their new album, Without Real String or Fish!

tinhuvielartanis: (Shriekback Logo)

As seen on Shriekback's official Tumblr.

Filter Buried Treasure

Commodity Blaze

Dug up from the permafrost of punk-funk obscuria, ex-XTC and Gang of Four men explore the emotional life of monsters.  It’s alive…

Shriekback - Oil & Gold

ARISTA, 1985

Throughout the rock epoch, commentators have slagged record companies for the dilution of art in pursuit of profit.  Full marks to the Arista label, then, for releasing Shriekback’s Oil & Gold.  A chthonic portal into an inverse world of eat-or-be-eaten terror-funk, macabre amusements and terminal ambience, it would have sat heroically askance in the Phil Collins and Wham!-embracing charts of 1985.

Co-vocalist Barry Andrews looks back on an anomalous situation.  “There was a precedent in the Thompson Twins - also on Arista, also signed by the bloke who signed us - of a band turning from weirdo, uncommercial ugly ducklings into great big shiny ‘80s cash swans,” he reflects.  “I think Arista still held out a wispy hope that that would happen.  The cover idea was to make us look dreamy and great, but we ended up going for a gang of eels and feathers, which were props that became the main event.  Once again the record company were not totally made up.”shriekmojo3.png

Formed in 1981 in Kentish Town, the group’s core consisted of ex-XTC keys man Andrews, Gang Of Four bassist Dave Allen and Carl Marsh, former guitarist in squat funkers Out On Blue Six.  Having logged such unnerving dancefloor releases as My Spine Is The Bassline and Tench EP on the Y label, they’d signed with Arista for 1983’s Jam Science album.  After July ’84’s crisp single Hand On My Heart got to Number 52, they regrouped for a third LP, having been joined by drummer and Fairlight sampler operator Martyn Barker.

Andrews recalls a complicated genesis, commencing when the band took 20 rhythmic sketches to Rockfield studio in south Wales, with producer and future Hollywood soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer (who turned up three hours late, copping a £600 black cab bill after missing his train).  “Everybody was involved in a lot of groove-building and improvisation to get ideas rolling,” says Marsh.  “Then Barry and I would pick the ones we fancied and write lyric and melody ideas and structure them into songs, after which everyone would pitch back in with ideas to fill in all the gaps.”

After more session at Lillie Yard in west London, mixing took place in various studios in the capital and Bath.  It was not an over-harmonious process, remembers Andrews.  “There were a lot of major rifts,” he reveals.  “Our manager wanting to sack me, Carl was gearing up to leave, Hans getting sacked - we ended up mixing with Gavin MacKillop.  God we spent a lot of money.”

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What emerged clearly thrived on the discord.  Opening with the febrile, spasming Malaria andtwo more feverish funk eruptions sung by Marsh, Shriekback’s strangely scientific world of primordial nature was revealed in its noisy, intoxicated splendour.  Drastic contrast was provided by This Big Hush, a phantasmal, possibly post-apocalyptic contemplation of ultimate extinction sung by Andrews, and similarly spectral pieces including the Cretaceous instrumental, Coelocanth.  Marsh cites lead single Nemesis - which name-checked 2000AD comic’s alien hero who battles Earthling superfascist Torquemada - as “the one that sums up all the themes and contrasts into one pop blast.  The animals and monsters, the tensions between instinct and intellect, nods to high art and comic books, and big laughs in dark places.”

Despite this, Marsh would leave the group after the album was completed, fulfilling press and photo duties but bailing before the touring could begin.  “I did feel that the band had become a bit of a two-headed monster with myself and Barry both fronting it and pulling in different directions,” he says.  “That said, I’m actually always surprised the album as a whole has such a unified feel.  I guess we had a common purpose after all.”

The group forged on, but despite all efforts including an arena tour with Simple Minds, Arista’s dream of an immaculate cash swan would prove chimerical.  Director Michael Mann, however, would add to the group’s cult cache by selecting Oil & Gold tracks for his movies Manhunter and Band of the Hand.  “He got the tenderness in the weirdness, I guess - the emotional life of monster,” muses Andrews.  The singer continued to lead Shriekback, with 1986’s Big Night Music a worthy companion piece to its predecessor, but would cease operations after 1992’s Sacred City.  The beast would not die, though, and four more releases down the line, Marsh was back in earnest for 2010’s sterling Life In The Loading Bay.  Now Barker is also returned; the three-man line-up is finishing a new album.**

Twenty eight years on, Oil & Gold remains visceral proof of what they’re capable of.  “The actual title came from a lyric that wasn’t used,” reveals Marsh.  “‘It’s as physical as oil and gold’.  It was the contrast between dark, sticky, clingy blackness and bright, hard clarity that seemed to encapsulate some of Shriekback’s extreme qualities.”

Ian Harrison

MOJO July 2013



**The new album referenced in Ian Harrison’s article is Without Real String or Fish, our thirteenth studio album, just released earlier this month.  You can learn more about it on the official website.  Please join us in the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for free music downloads and current Shriek activity.

tinhuvielartanis: (Shriekback - Nemesis)

Happy Throwback Thursday, good souls!  I'm currently transcribing a rare article that looks back to the Shrieks' Oil & Gold and upload it before the end of the day.  In the meantime, enjoy this interview straight outta Belgium.

And if you have not yet procured Without Real String or Fish, what on Earth are you waiting for?  The new album is sonic brilliance that I'm certain will enchant you more with every listen.

Many of Shriekback's fans may be a bit cultish (pulls innocent face), but we know great music when we hear it. You can trust me when I tell you that Jam Science - the album released around the time this video interview was made - is an excellent album, and that Without Real String or Fish is an absolute triumph, proving the band are still mad musical geniuses.  Their ability to still provide relevant music that outshines their contemporaries is so evident, one cannot logically debate it.  Click their gateway logo to the left, to explore their store, and grab yourself a copy of WRSoF.

tinhuvielartanis: (Nemesis)
This track-by-track entry is on Shriekback's Tumblr.  If you have not already done so, click the album cover here to purchase Without Real String or Fish, so you can enjoy 'Beyond Metropolis' at your leisure!

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‘Without Real String or Fish’
Track by Track: ‘Beyond Metropolis’ (BA)


I often think about whatever alchemy of mind and circumstance it is that produces that elusive Last Track - the one that appears when the album seems to be over.  When you think you’ve mined whatever seam of compressed life-experience, obsession and influence-cluster it is that songs come from and you’re not exactly content but applying a sort of willed gratitude that, at least, it’s not all total shite, and - a baby miracle - another tune comes into being that you really didn’t expect and that seems to have, more than the others, a character that didn’t seem to have much to do with you (a bit like your children).

I find these are the ones I tend to listen to for fun the most. They’re more like someone else did them.  Past examples include Sticky Jazz, Coelacanth, Exquisite Corpse and Hubris. On this album we got two: Beyond Metropolis and Soft Estate.  Both voyaging into new territory: with BM an alt-funk anthem in an aircraft hangar with shards of space junk flying out of the darkness at you.

The chorus being a Bowie-esque, aching sunset of chords encouching word clusters of outrageous audacity. There is - gasp- even a key change (yeah we can do that muso shit if we want) and a key change back.

The groove upon which it was built was a thing I wrote a couple of years back, I had sent it to Carl but he hadn’t - as of last summer, when my ‘we are now finishing this fucking record if it kills me’ protocol was in full effect - come up with anything for it. I had booked Stuart Rowe for the mixing; we had enough tunes; Carl had 3 songs on the album; God was in his heaven and the sun was sporting a roguish titfer. Then..

..in his fearful aspect as the demiurge of deadline bending, Carl sent a roughie I couldn’t refuse. At a stroke, the mixing (which was to have been a stately affair of considered tweaking and contemplative strolls around the elegant parterres and formal gardens of the Lighterthief estate) turned into the usual Shriekback panicked scramble as we struggled to bring the prodigal Beyond Metropolis to the same stage of development as its siblings.

Not to do so would have been unthinkable, of course: it had the word: ’Enchromosoniradiopolis’, fer crissakes.  The heart bows down.

Barry Andrews
19 March, 2015

tinhuvielartanis: (Can't Stop Writing)
I thought it might be convenient, as well as give the album more visibility, if I created a You Tube playlist featuring the three official music videos for Shriekback's Without Real String or Fish. The URL for the playlist is below the embedded player here. Please share it with anyone and everyone!



http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhGoy_yBqvYnjZ1ds7WxkbDprKe-f_PPL



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Also, if you want to buy the album, which I advise you to do, as it may be the best decision you make all year, click the festive Shriek logo to your right to be taken to Shriekback's online store. While you're there, click the music option, 'cos there are songs there to download, some of which are free!

tinhuvielartanis: (Shriekback Logo)

Barry Andrews posted the video for Now Those Days Are Gone, from Shriekback's new album, Without Real String or Fish. The album can be purchased directly from the band on their website store, beginning at Midnight GMT on 4 March, 2015! Just a few hours, and your life could be filled with some of the best music you'll ever hear. Enjoy this wonderful Gen X anthem, and be sure to make note of the accompanying information, regarding the Shrieks and where you can find them on Teh Intarwebz.



From 'Without Real String or Fish,' Shriekback's 13th studio album. Available only from http://shriekback.com/store from midnight GMT tonight, 4 March!!

Visit: http://www.shriekback.com and sign up for the newsletter!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shriekback
Tumblr: http://shriekbackmusic.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shriekbackmusic

Subscribe to Shriekback's You Tube Channels!

Barry Andrews - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo3E-T15XkSzg0reNcFalPw

ANAXATON6 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJMkzOIkm9sqOjch00BhHBg


I'm also reposting the other videos the band have made available this week, but I'm cutting it, so please click to expand the entry.

They have such sights to show you )

If anyone has questions regarding any of this, please feel free to reach out. Also, if you would like to review the album, or know anyone who may want to take on such a task, let me know. The more response the band gets, the more music we will get to enjoy in the coming years.

Be sure to pass all this great music on to everyone and, as noted in the album announcement, send the band proof of your dissemination, and they will heap all manner of musical treasure on you.

Be pure, be vigilant, behave!

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tinhuvielartanis: (Default)
The Cliffs of Insanity

October 2016

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