4/28/2011

Make Music Pasadena: June 18th



ZOLA JESUS



KISSES


These bands hit the streets of Pasadena on June 18th, with Best Coast and Morning Benders....

http://www.makemusicpasadena.org/program.html
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Spectrum + The Black Ryder





Spectrum + The Black Ryder play the Troubadour tonight, April 28th.
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4/26/2011

Dirty Beaches - Lord Knows Best



Hello music fans. This week we are giving away some pairs of tickets.

If you want to see Dirty Beaches or Royal Bangs this week at the ECHO,
please send an email with your name to PORTINFINITE @ aol.com

Mention the show you want to go to "Dirty Beaches" or "Royal Bangs"

You can also leave a message below or follow us on twitter.

Good luck!
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Austin Psych Fest 4



Prefuse 73



A Place To Bury Strangers



Crocodiles



The Growlers



The Black Ryder



Zaza



The Quarter After



Spectrum



Beach Fossils
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Poly Styrene 1957-2011


Poly Styrene 1957-2011



We can confirm that the beautiful Poly Styrene, who has been a true fighter, won her battle on Monday evening (4/25/11) to go to higher places. Poly Styrene was born Marianne Elliot Said on June 3, 1957. She passed away due to cancer.

Poly Styrene was a punk amongst punks. A groundbreaking presence that left an unrepeatable mark on the musical landscape, she made history the moment she uttered, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think oh bondage up yours!” The influence of Poly and X-ray Spex has been felt far and wide ever since. The seminal album Germ Free Adolescents is a landmark work and a primary influence on Britpop and Riot Grrrl. At the center of it was Poly Styrene, a bi-racial feminist punk with the perfect voice to soundtrack rebellion. Poly never sacrificed the intelligence or the fun in her music and style. Her trademark braces and dayglo clothes were a playful rejection of the status quo and of conformity and complacency. She dissected gender politics, consumer culture, and the obsessions of modern life in a way that made us all want sing along with her.

At the core of Poly’s work from Germ Free Adolescents through Generation Indigo, is a revolutionary with a genuine love for this world and the people and things in it. Her indomitable heart is all over the new material from her championing of cruelty free products and as she put it, "being conscious of the slaughterhouse culture" (“I Luv Ur Sneakers”) to giving voice to marginalized poor people worldwide (“No Rockefeller”) to tackling racism (“Colour Blind”). Poly Styrene never stopped exciting us with her incisive world-view, amazing wit, and her adventurous sound. It is impossible to imagine what modern music would be like without her incalculable contributions but it’s probably not worth imagining a world that never had Poly Styrene in it.

A thrilling work from a true pioneer and rebel in every sense, Poly Styrene’s album Generation Indigo is out today through Future Noise Music and was produced by Youth (The Verve, Killing Joke, The Fireman, Edwyn Collins).The album’s fusion of punk spirit, and fresh sounds has already received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic from Spin, NPR, NME, MOJO and countless others. The forward looking Generation Indigo showcases Poly’s humorous musings on pop culture, the internet and fashion whilst also tackling heavier subject matter (war and racism) with her politically aware and intelligent lyrics all in the inimitable voice of a genuine icon. Listen to the full Generation Indigo record streaming on AOL Spinner.

Poly was very proud of Generation Indigo. See an interview where she discusses the album track by track here. The album is released in the US today.


www.poly-styrene.com
www.twitter.com/poly_styrene
www.facebook.com/polystyrenemusic
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4/25/2011

Band of Skulls @ Bootleg



bos1BAND OF SKULLS

Monday, June 6 - Bootleg Bar - $15 - Doors 9p

Stay tuned for info on more tickets!

TicketFly
"Glam and dangerous and just a bit kinky, it's absolutely not the sort of thing that happens in the Ritzys and gastropubs of Southampton. The fact that Band Of Skulls come from somewhere so mundane makes this low-slung grimy lead single all the more impressive." - NME

"The British trio draws from the same well as The White Stripes, but not so blatantly that things get ugly: Singer-guitarist Russell Marsden echoes White in both his vocal delivery (bluesy, but not blatantly so) and in his guitar-playing (trebly but meaty, and often with an eye aimed at Jimmy Page). Marsden is joined on lead vocals by Emma Richardson, whose smoky, natural voice resembles Alison Mosshart's-she of The Kills as well as Jack White's new band, The Dead Weather." - AV Club

"These cats can rock! It only makes sense that the contributions and talents of all three members meshed together could create something like Baby Darling Doll Face Honey - one of those rare cases of an album exceeding the lofty expectations that preceded with the buzz. The styles of the songs alternate between a cool bluesy vibe to a nostalgic classic British rock to, as mentioned above, a more modern raw wet dream-like White Stripes." - The Rock and Roll Report


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4/24/2011

Tame Impala live









All live photos by Angel Ceballos
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4/19/2011

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Letterman



The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will be on David Letterman tonight April 19th.
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4/16/2011

Alessi's Ark: US Tour

British folk-popstress Alessi’s Ark released the second in a series of singles on Bella Union records. This time, it’s a cover of 60s teen pop icon Lesley Gore’s “Maybe I Know.” Made famous by her still nearly ubiquitous hit “It’s My Party,” which she recorded at the age of 16, and others like the early feminist anthem “You Don’t Own Me.” Alessi feels a special kinship with Gore as a result of herself also being thrust into the spotlight in her teen years; she signed on the dotted line with Virgin Records UK when she was just 17.
“Last summer, I heard 'maybe I know' for the first time after my good friend Jake (Bellows) dreamt I performed it at a school party. He sent a YouTube link to Lesley Gore performing the song and it got stuck in my heart and brain immediately.”
Check out Alessi’s version of Gore’s song via her new video for the song.


Amid the record craziness at this year’s SXSW festival, Alessi played a quiet and comfortable set in an Austin hotel covered and photographed by the New York Times. Remarks Alessi in their story, “They handed me a piece of chocolate and asked if I had any more shows, and I said no,” Ms. Laurent-Marke said. “Then they said they were having this salmon breakfast, and asked if I’d play. I said yes, of course. I love salmon.”
“Maybe I Know can be purchased on iTunes and on Amazon mp3.
Alessi will be playing select dates in the U.S. in June, with more to be announced soon…
June 7 Club Passim Cambridge, MA
June 9 Joe’s Pub NYC (supporting John Grant)
June 11 Bella Café Washington, DC
June 14 Casbah Durham, NC
“The understated arrangements suggest you’re listening to a woman with impeccable taste, while her exquisitely resigned version of Lesley Gore’s ‘Maybe I Know’ confirms it.” – MOJO
“A bewitching stage presence and an angelic vocal make Alessi’s Ark very easy to love…this will leave you utterly spellbound” – Clash Music

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The Black Ryder



The band, hailing from Sydney Australia, relocated to Los Angeles late last year following the release of their album entitled Buy The Ticket, Take the Ride in the states by Mexican Summer They toured with The Cult across the USA for 2 months, played a sold out show at Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco with Tamaryn and The Soft Moon, kicked off the new year with shows in LA, and now the band have some brand new dates to announce opening for the likes of Broken Social Scene and Spectrum (Pete Kember / Spacemen 3 / Sonic Boom as well as some headline shows. In addition, The Black Ryder will be playing Austin Psych Festival on the 30th of April along with Crocodiles, Black Moth Super Rainbow and Spectrum.



A little more about The Black Ryder as told by The Cult's Ian Astbury:

"With auspicious sensual textured layers of melody and guitars, both Scott Von Ryper and chanteuse Miss Aimee Nash weave a densely rich tapestry of love, sex and death, mountains, oceans and astral travel.

They indicate the way to the heart of life the centre of our humanity in ritual space, in crafted chords, in veiled waves of sonic tone and drone. Rich dangerous opiated swirling attacks on the third eye lysergic and lupine in equal measure. Once drawn in by this perfume its essence stays with the listener forever.

There is only one way to truly experience the journey and that is to listen to their debut album 'Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride'.

Self-produced, self-funded, self-realized. An act of necessity formed in earnest from the ashes…. Nash Von Ryper locked themselves away to create this beautiful set of recordings.

We are struck be Aimee's beauty and Scott's sartorial gaze. They are assassins of experience of deep exploration broadcasting direct from the palace of wisdom."
Tour Dates:

19th April 2011 BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE + THE BLACK RYDER
The Majestic Ventura Theatre - Ventura, CA

27th April 2011 SPECTRUM + THE BLACK RYDER
Soda Bar - San Diego, CA

28th April 2011 SPECTRUM + THE BLACK RYDER
The Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA

29th April 2011 SPECTRUM + THE BLACK RYDER
Sons of Herman Hall, Dallas, TX

30th April 2011 AUSTIN PSYCH FESTIVAL
SEAHOLM POWER PLANT

3rd May 2011 THE BLACK RYDER - line up TBA shortly
Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

4th May 2011 THE BLACK RYDER - line up TBA shortly
Santos Party House, New York, NY

25th May 2011 THE BLACK RYDER + BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD
SF POPFEST - The Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, CA
Support to be announced

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4/15/2011

WIRE @ Coachella



WIRE us tour comes to an end this week. Saturday April 16 WIRE will be at Coachella, playing at 8pm. Sunday they will play at SLIMS in San Francisco.
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Trentemoller @ Mezzanine April 16th



Trentemoller will be playing Mezzanine on Saturday April 16th, and Coachella on Sunday April 17th.
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4/13/2011

Alessi's Ark - Maybe I Know


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4/11/2011

Coachella 2011

These bands will be performing at COACHELLA on April 15th-17th:



Foster The People



The Rural Alberta Advantage


!!! (Chk Chk Chk)


Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti


The Pains of Being Pure At Heart


Warpaint


Francis and The Lights


Freelance Whales


The Kills


The Love Language


Fistful of Mercy (Joseph Arthur)

All photos: ANGEL CEBALLOS
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4/10/2011

The Secret Machines - Marfa Song


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4/09/2011

Angel Ceballos: the latest



DEVO



Olof Arnalds



Smith Westerns



Wild Nothing



Revolver



Kisses



Seapony



Har Mar Superstar



Peaches

ALL PHOTOS by ANGEL CEBALLOS
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4/07/2011

Saoirse Ronan Interview



SAOIRSE RONAN interview
By Alexander Laurence

Saoirse Ronan is a young actress who has been in movies like Atonement, City of Embers, and The Lovely Bones. She is also in the new movie HANNA.

AL: How are you doing?

Saoirse: I’m good. I am enjoying the sunshine. Before we go back to Ireland. When we got here at first it was freezing. Then the sun came out a few days ago. It was great.

AL: Do you live in Dublin?

Saoirse: No. We are about an hour from Dublin. We are in a separate county. It’s County Carlow.

AL: Did you always plan to become an actor, or was it an accident?

Saoirse: I suppose it might have been an accident. It wasn’t necessarily something I wanted to do or a dream of mine. It wasn’t anything like that. I started film acting when I was eleven. I did some things when I was eight. At that time I wasn’t thinking about it as a career. My dad was an actor. I did some short films with him and it was lots of fun. I have kept on doing it. The more I do the more I love it.

AL: Did you ever think about taking some acting classes?

Saoirse: I don’t think so. I am taking acting classes twice a year when I do the movies. It’s a four-month acting class that is an experience in itself. I would love to go to college. I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

AL: I wasn’t saying that you need classes. I was thinking of actors like Brooke Shields and Jodi Foster who acted young, took four years off from college, and did great movies as an adult.

Saoirse: Yeah. Definitely. Jodi Foster is someone who young actresses should definitely look up to. There are many people out there who are similar, like Natalie Portman. She went to college as well. It’s something that I would love to do. I am not sure if I would want to stop acting for four years. I would have to do films in the summer.

AL: When did you take these pictures with Bryan Adams?

Saoirse: It was two or three weeks ago in London. It was good fun actually.

AL: Are you interested in fashion?

Saoirse: Yes. I am interested in fashion as I become older. Like most teenagers, I like to look at Vogue and Elle. I like Zoo Magazine. I like all fashion magazines. I am in the public eye a little bit more, and I am nearly sixteen. I am experimenting with fashion a bit more. I am working with a stylist. It’s great.

AL: Getting beyond the t-shirt and levis thing.

Saoirse: I like doing that as well. I like to chill out. I like clothes that are comfortable to wear.

AL: You did Atonement with Joe Wright. Are you looking forward to doing another film with him?

Saoirse: Exactly. I am really excited to work with Joe again. We get on very well together. For us to come back together four years after we did Atonement is fantastic. We are doing something that is really different from what we have done before.

AL: I see Atonement as a Keira Knightley vehicle. Do you feel that you stole the show a little bit?

Saoirse: Do I feel like that? No. Not really. Atonement was the type of movie where every character was very important. You need Cecilia and Robbie. Definitely you need Briony because she brings the whole thorn into the story. You need Lola. Everyone seems to be quite essential. I don’t think it was possible to steal each other’s thunder

AL: I was thinking more in terms of acting awards. I think some people probably voted for you, and some voted for her.

Saoirse: Oh yeah. I was nominated for best supporting actress, so we were never really in competition.

AL: One of the narrative devices for Atonement is that the character of Briony has the same haircut all her life. All the three characters who play Briony have the same haircut. Did you think that was weird? And did you have to get rid of that haircut so people didn’t recognize you in the street?

Saoirse: Yeah. People would come up to me and punch me in the face. No. It was a wig. So I didn’t have to worry about people recognizing me. They still did but they were shocked that I was nicer than Briony. It was an interesting choice to have that haircut because Briony, from that moment that she accused Robbie of the crime, is stuck in that moment in which she is atoning. She is stuck in the moment of that decision. I didn’t discuss this with the director, but that’s what I think is going on there.

AL: I didn’t see City of Embers, but it made me think. Do you like doing films that are more fantasy, more in a science fiction world, or do you like realistic films?

Saoirse: I like both really. I like films like City of Embers and The Lovely Bones were you have this special world as you said. The special effects guys come in and create this vision. You are not limited to what is on Earth. It’s great to do that stuff. But it is also great to do something that is a family drama. As an actress, you don’t want repetition and you don’t want to keep doing the same things.

AL: With The Lovely Bones, what was it like to work with all these Hollywood veterans like Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci?

Saoirse: I heard that giggle. It was fantastic. We were really lucky with the cast and the crew we had. We all got on extremely well. Luckily for Stanley and I, although we had some intense and sometimes uncomfortable scenes together, we were comfortable together, and we got along really well. We joked around. It made it very easy and relaxed for me to be in that kind of environment. I had a lot of people who were really good at their job, and who wanted to make the best possible film. So it was brilliant.

AL: I think of Stanley Tucci as a funny guy and great comedic actor. He plays a bad guy, and he gets all the awards.

Saoirse: Well, he deserves it.

AL: Where did you film The Lovely Bones?

Saoirse: We shot the first two months in Pennsylvania. All the exteriors. Then we went to New Zealand. It was six months all together. We shot on location and in Pete’s studio in Wellington.

AL: What was it like to do all that blue screen acting where you are standing in a room, and all the background is added later?

Saoirse: Yeah. Look at the blue. I mean, the moon. I didn’t mind it, to be honest. I thought it was going to be more difficult. Once you have imagination, and I think I do, and once you have good guidance from the people around you, and they know what they are doing, it’s very easy to react to something that is not there. When we were on set, Pete would talk to me and describe what was going on around me, even though it wasn’t there. He works like an actor, and there was music playing, and many things that we did during a scene.

AL: You have also done this movie with Australian director Peter Weir. It called The Way Back. How was it to do a film with all these tough looking guys? Colin Farrell looks like he can rip someone’s head off.

Saoirse: Have you seen any photos of it?

AL: No.

Saoirse: He looks pretty tough in this actually. He had a big beard. It was fantastic to work on that film. We were in some rough locations like Morocco and Bulgaria. These places were different than any of our homes. There were two Romanians. They weren’t too far from where they lived, but for the rest of us: Jim Sturgess is from London. Colin lives all over. It was very new. I am pretty much the only girl in the film. There is an appearance of a few women in the film. I was the only girl stuck with a load of boys.

AL: Is it comfortable when you are the only girl in a film?

Saoirse: They all looked after me. They were all different ages as well. Ed Harris was like the dad. You feel like one of the boys after working with them for two months.

AL: You are now doing another film with Joe Wright called Hanna, where you play an assassin. How is that going?

Saoirse: Yeah. Very different. It will be good fun. I am training for it at the moment. We are going to film it in Europe and Morocco. I am looking forward to working with Joe again. It will be many people who worked on Atonement. It will be nice to be back with familiar people.

AL: Do you have any favorite authors?

Saoirse: I read a lot of books that are going to be made into movies. Things like The Lovely Bones and The Hobbit. I love anything really. There are some books that if they don’t catch my attention I find it difficult to go on.

AL: Did you ever read any of James Joyce or William Butler Yeats?

Saoirse: I did read a little bit of James Joyce. I read Dubliners. I love that book.

AL: You have been to Academy Awards and BAFTA awards. Do you keep a lot of dresses?

Saoirse: Sometimes. The problem with those dresses is that once you have worn a dress at the Oscars once you are probably not going to wear it again.

AL: Do you do Twitter?

Saoirse: Yeah. I do Twitter from time to time. For a while I was vaguely addicted to it. But now I have to pull back. I only write on Twitter now if I am going to a premiere.

AL: I looked at your Twitter page. I saw that you followed some music people like Lily Allen.

Saoirse: I like Lily Allen and Lady Gaga. I love Lady Gaga. I listen to modern music and some oldies.

AL: Do you go to any concerts?

Saoirse: I have been to a few concerts. I wanted to go to see Lady Gaga in Dublin. She is playing the same day as the Irish Film Awards. I was bummed that I couldn’t go. I have seen Fleetwood Mac.

AL: Do you get recognized a lot?

Saoirse: In Los Angeles, it is happening more. In Ireland, if people come over to you, they are very nice. You feel relaxed. I read in a magazine that Bono said he could walk down Grafton Street in Dublin and no one will approach him. That’s Bono. That is what our country is like. It’s the same in Los Angeles. People have their pride.

AL: Do you have any other hobbies?

Saoirse: Besides watching films, I learned to surf last summer.

AL: (laughs)

Saoirse: You find that funny? I am really quite good at it. I really like it. I was in rage this week in Los Angeles that I couldn’t go down and have a bit of a surf. There you go. I love swimming in a river.
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Wire (live) on The Jimmy Fallon Show 04-05-2011


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4/05/2011

Hugh Cornwell Interview



Hugh Cornwell Interview
By Alexander Laurence

Hugh Cornwell has been a force in music since the early 1960s. Back then he played in a folk band with Richard Thompson. His music journey starts then and leads to The Stranglers, Captain Beefheart, Blondie, and many solo records. He recorded ten albums with the Stranglers over sixteen years. He recorded an album, Nosferatu (1979) with Robert Williams from Captain Beefheart. There are seven more solo records since the Stranglers days, plus several live albums and collaborations. He has also written three books. The Stranglers started in 1974, but became more widely known in the UK punk era of 1977. The name Hugh Cornwell is slightly obscure to the American scene, but many of us have heard these songs over the years. It’s just in the past five years that Hugh and the band have been touring over here. I figured out that I had to meet him and ask him about music and what he is up to.

AL: You used to play with Caroline Cunningham on bass and Chris Bell on drums. Now on this tour you have Clem Burke and Steve Fisher.

HC: I came over with Caroline and Chris before. The thing is that English musicians need to have a work permit. IF I bring them over here it would cost me fifteen thousand dollars before I even got off the plane. I have made three solo records with Steve Fisher. He’s been in and out of the lineup. Steve was living in London for fifteen years. He moved back to America. Caroline replaced him. When we had the situation of work permits, Caroline had just joined Cradle of Filth as the new keyboard player. When I get back to England I am going to tour with Steve and Chris. And then we are going to Australia.

AL: How long have you known Clem Burke?

HC: I have known Clem Burke for a long time. I supported Blondie in Europe a few years ago. I met him originally in 1978 when we all saw Captain Beefheart together in Los Angeles.

AL: Is that when you met Robert Williams?

HC: Exactly. I went to all three nighhts. I met Robert at that show. I went with Clem and the rest of Blondie.

AL: How many American tours did you do with The Stranglers? I remember there was one show at the Whisky in 1980.

HC: We didn’t do enough. We were on an American label. We were on IRS and worked with Miles Copeland. He wanted to put out a combination of our first two records. We didn’t want to do it. Rattus Norvegicus, the first Stranglers album, that we are playing tonight: how do you cut that up? I was very arrogant and obstreperous. I sent them a Telex saying “Don’t fuck with our album.” They wanted to mix it up. They did a compilation, because that was what you did over here. And then we were dropped from the label.

AL: Did you ever do a proper tour of American?

HC: Later we were on CBS, and Epic over here. In the 1980s we finally did some bigger tours. Just in the past five years I have been in America and done six solo tours. I split it up in two areas. I do the east coast in the fall and the west coast in the srping.

AL: So are there many people who haven’t seen you play till the past few years?

HC: Exactly. So many people in America have come up to me and said “I never saw you play before. I have waited thirty years.” We didn’t come enough when we should have done. I remember coming to America for the first time and The Police were on the same plane. We did three dates: New York City, LA, and San Francisco. The Police were doing what I am doing now: three week tours at small clubs all over America. They were doing the hard work. The Police and The Clash were doing the same. They were coming over every few months.

AL: What was holding you back?

HC: The Stranglers were so successful in the UK and Europe. We had such a good life there we couldn’t be bothered. We were lazy. We didn’t see the big picture.

AL: Do you think the Clash lost the fans in the UK by being here so much?

HC: Not at all. It compounded their success worldwide. It doesn’t happen. You can do a small tour a few times a year.

AL: I think that a band has to tour America seven or eight times at least to build an audience. If you miss Hugh Cornwell one year…

HC: You will catch him next time. This is my fourth tour in eighteen months. So I am halway there getting my foothold in America. It’s got to be done. As long as it’s about a month at a time. It’s fun and hopefully not so tiring. I am not a young man anymore. We have driven seven thousand miles this month. England is smaller than California.

AL: So it is true that Richard Thompson taught you how to play bass guitar?

HC: That’s right. He was sixteen. We played for a few years.

AL: You said that the music business was not too interested in new bands in the early 1970s?

HC: In the early 1970s, there was all that prog rock. There was glam and glitter rock. There was Roxy Music and Bowie

AL: You didn’t care for it?

HC: Not the prog rock. I remember getting an album by Camel. I used to smoke dope then. I remember putting it on. I quite liked it but one side only lasted about twelve minutes. I couldn’t understand. I figured out I had put it on at the wrong speed: 45 instead of 33. I liked it at the faster speed. When I listened to it at 33, it was unbearable.

AL: Was that one of the ideas on Punk: it had to be fast?

HC: Sort of. I think people in London back then had short attention spans.

AL: I saw something on youtube. You were being interviewed by Rick Wakemen. Were you a fan of his music? How did that interview come about?

HC: Yeah. He was doing a series. He wanted me to appear. I bumped into him a few times. He’s a nice guy. He told me he was a fan because he told me. That’s perfect. I couldn’t think of a better guy to do an interview with. And we went way over time. I haven’t seen it.

AL: Did you get a lot of flack because you had keyboards in The Stranglers?

HC: People didn’t trust us. Quite rightly. We were too old. We weren’t part of the Punk thing.

AL: Before Punk there were pub rock bands like Dr. Feelgood and Kilburn and the High Roads. Did you play with those bands?

HC: Yeah the pub bands. We supported many of those bands. Dr. Feelgood and Kilburn and the High Roads were edging towards where we were. They had a bit of an attitude. Pub Rock was bands like The Yachts, and Ducks Deluxe, and Brinsley Schwarz. There were loads of them. There was one called The Scarecrows. They were very good musicians. It was supposed to be the next thing, and it didn’t happen.

AL: So when Punk happened you were included? You looked more punk than “not a punk” band.

HC: We were sneered at by the pub rock bands because they thought we were upstarts who couldn’t play very well. We refused to go away. We weren’t trusted by the Punks because we were older and we could play better than them. We were caught in between.

AL: You weren’t accepted by the groups of people who supported the Clash and the Sex Pistols?

HC: I used to go to the Roxy and have a drink and watch bands. There was an inner circle. It was like a punk monarchy. We weren’t part of that because we weren’t pure enough. We didn’t fit in with the rigorous definitions of punk: we weren’t young angry musicians who couldn’t play. We were older and we could play.

AL: You were writing songs about literary things, french novels, UFOs, nuclear waste, and vampires. That wasn’t really what most of the punk bands were writing about.

HC: I was writing about 90% of the lyrics, so all those subjects were my decisions.


**

AL: How did the “Men In Black” thing come about? The Gospel According to the Meninblack was a concept album that came out in late 1980.

HC: I remember distinctly. We were thinking about what we were going to do after Black & White. There was a lot of ska bands coming in after the punk thing. That was alien from us. We were wondering if this ska revival was going to affect us, and what we should do next. I was sitting around Jet Black’s house and he was obsessed with UFOs. He had all these journals that were sent to him. I thought that was some amazing stuff. I thought that we could do a whole album about stuff they were writing in those books. Everyone got excited about that. We all started getting into it. Jet didn’t realize that anyone would be interested in this weird stuff.

AL: You also had a fanclub magazine. Did you write stuff for that?

HC: Yeah. We all contributed to that. I wrote articles. There was some stupid stuff. Jet ran the magazine.

AL: What about the books that you wrote?

HC: The Pentonville book was a taped interview much like we are doing now. We taped it and the journalist took it away. He turned it into a book. That was the Pentonville book. Jet wrote a book about our time in Nice prison. I did a book about The Stranglers songs. It’s called The Stranglers song by song. It was another long interview. We did it in ten days. The reason for that was there was a Stranglers biography coming out right after I had left the band. I got a call from David Buckley who had done books about Bowie and Sparks. He said: “I am doing a book about The Stranglers and I think that I should talk to you.” I asked when it was coming out, and he said: “It’s nearly finished.” We spent a weekend brainstorming about the book. He added my conribution, but he had already written most of the book. I read the book when it came out. Although it was factually accurate about what happened and the dates, there was nothing about the music. I thought that he had missed a trick there. So I did the song by song book, which was about the music. After that I did my own autobiography.

AL: How was that received?

HC: Very well. It sold very well in England. I wrote it myself. I didn’t have a ghost writer. I worked with Harper Collins. As a result of that I have my first novel coming out in May. It’s called Window on the World. I am working on a second novel now.

AL: Getting back to the Pentonville days. Why didn’t you do the Keith Richards thing, and keep it in court? Why didn’t they let you off?

HC: They wanted to make an example of me. The judge said that I was a role model for the fans and he wanted to make an example of me. He said it in his summing up speech. I am more an implied threat to society.

AL: Your songs are in commercials and in movies. Do you make more money than the rest of the band because you wrote “Golden Brown” which has been used often?

HC: We always split the writing credits evenly within the band. I wrote that song with Dave Greenfield.

AL: When I think of your singing voice, it’s very dramatic. It’s very stagey, like Jim Morrison. Do you ever get compared to other singers?

HC: I used to hear Lou Reed.

AL: Lou Reed always sings the same note. He’s like Rex Harrison. It’s speaking-singing.

HC: Yeah. It’s amazing how people hear you. I have never been compared to Jim Morrison. Incredible.

AL: What about actual people in bands? What bands have come up to you and said “The Stranglers are a big influence on me?”

HC: There are no bands of note that have come out and said that the Stranglers are an influence. I wish they would. In time, these things become more evident.

AL: People like Lou Reed and David Byrne always get asked about doing a reunion. How about you?

HC: I don’t want to do a Stranglers reunion.

AL: What are you doing when you are not doing music?

HC: Mostly writing novels now. Writing songs and being in a studio all the time is very hard work. It’s time consuming. I have a new album called Totem and Taboo. I have all the demos done. I will record it with Steve and Chris in Autumn 2011.

AL: You are more productive at 60, than you were at 20?

HC: Totally.

AL: You have done four American tour the past two years. You have the book coming out. How many times do you tour in Europe?

HC: Probably once a year. Mostly in the UK. I am hoping to go to Germany soon. I have kids in their twenties telling me that they just got into my music and they just got into the Stranglers. It’s refreshing that they found out about the band because what I do.

AL: You went to University and studied bio-chemistry?

HC: Yeah. It came in useful when I started to do drugs. I knew what to look for. You study how the body reacts to chemicals.

AL: There were many French writers and intellectuals in the 1970s like Jean-Paul Sartre and Jean Genet. William Burroughs lived in London at some point. Were these writers influential to you?

HC: Yeah. I was really into Jean Cocteau. He was a master of several disciplines. He was so good at writing, film, and theater.

AL: Was Surrealism an influence back then?

HC: God, yes. I loved it. I read a book by Dorothea Tanning. She was living with Max Ernst in a French village. He came up to her and said “Happy Birthday” and gave her a painting. He was one of the top Surrealist painters. She took and said “I’ll take this into town and get it framed.” She put it in a plastic bag and took a bus. She got into town and realized she left it on the bus. She came back to the house and said to Max Ernst: “I’m sorry but I left the painting on the bus and lost it.” And he said “Don’t worry. I’ll do another one right now.” So there is an original Max Ernst painting floating around in some basement in France.

AL: Did you grow up with any religious influences? Was that all over by the time you were a teenager?

HC: No. It’s very sad. The Church in the UK used to be a social center for the community. It’s gone.

AL: What has replaced it?

HC: Nothing has replaced it. What has happened is these old beautiful churches are being sold off and being made into condominiums.
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