I interviewed Andrew Liles for Brainwashed.com at the end of 2006 and the start of 2007; the finished product was originally published there on February 3rd of ’07. I’ve edited some of my questions because they were too lengthy and overwrought; live and learn. Their general sense is preserved. All photographs were taken by me during his performance with Jonathan Coleclough at Brainwaves 2008.
Andrew Liles took time out of his increasingly busy schedule to answer some questions for Brainwashed. His massive Vortex Vault project, many of his past albums, his work with everyone from Steve Stapleton to Jonathan Coleclough and Daniel Padden, and future releases in the making are discussed, as well as roses, electronic voice phenomenon, eroticism, anagrams, Hans Bellmer, and covert recordings in Egypt.
Lucas Schleicher: You’ve told me that the first thing you ever made a recording on was a tape recorder your dad owned. How much did your early experience with music affect the way you record now and in what ways were you affected?
Andrew Liles: My father always played music every day and all the time, either the radio or records: he had and still does have quite eclectic tastes. I remember many, many years ago he got out a pair of headphones and sat me down to listen to a programme on BBC radio that was solely based on the utilisation of stereo. Basically the radio show was a programme dedicated to what, at the time, was the relatively new world of FM stereo radio. The radio programme featured a recording of man running through fields and across various terrains whilst being pursued by some other people with dogs, the details are sketchy: after all it was over 30 years ago, but this has stayed with [me] since. I was fascinated from then on with how things could spin around your head or how you felt like you were right there. I assume a lot of my music to this day is based on this single experience, on how you can manipulate sound to create tension and space and alter the senses.
[LS] There are distinctly turn-of-the-century American, English, and Victorian themes in some of your music. I’m thinking principally of the My Long Accumulating Discontent and Aural Anagram/Anal Aura Gram albums. Do you have a particular preoccupation or interest with these periods and why?
[AL] I love the Victorian and Edwardian eras. I love the fussiness of everything. I assume it appeals to the anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive in me. I also like the notion of Dickensian London, old clocks, over complicated clothing etc. It’s an idea more than anything, I am sure the reality was horrible. I also like the idea of a society on the edge of new horizons, a time that saw great changes in politics and industry, the threshold of scientific discovery.
I also love those films like the The Time Machine that represent this world of intellectual gentlemen debating in cigar drenched drawing rooms. Other romantic notions of laudanum and Byronic debauchery appeal to certain facets in my nature as well.
The title My Long Accumulating Discontent is the name of a chapter in a book about the life of Victoria Woodhull who was a devotee and practitioner of ‘other powers’, table turning and spiritualism. She was also a campaigner for women’s rights and a ‘heretical high priestess for free love’. So yes I do have a preoccupation with the era on a romantic basis and a fondness for bleached out photographs, intriguing scientific instruments and suchlike.
[LS] Other recordings I’ve heard from you remind me of H.P. Lovecraft, maybe because of the Victorian connection there. What is your interest in horror authors, horror fiction, and the terrifying in general, if any? And in what way has that informed the way you record or the things you choose to record?
[AL] I don’t really have any interests in fiction or horror writers: I think the day-to-day world is horrific enough. Much of my music is based on my experiences in the real world and a longing for a time when things fascinated me, when I was scared, when things were terrifying, when things that went bump in the night had a distinct reality. Now I feel I have lost touch with who I really am and how I should really feel. The bills come and the daily chores need attending to, real life has got in the way of what we all should be seeking, wonderment and enchanting experiences. In the 21st century we seem confident that we have all the answers for everything that was once inexplicable—it’s sad we live in such a conservative time. So in short my music is about a longing for the ethereal and a reportage of the hideousness in real life.
[LS] Tell me a little bit about the part of the UK you are from. How much has the place you are from affected your music?
[AL] I was bought up in the south of England, lived in London for many years and now I live on the south coast in the UK—Brighton to be exact. I resent being billed so often as a ‘Brighton based artist’ I feel no great affinity to the place and see no relevance in what I do being in any way linked to the what town I live in, I could do this from anywhere. In some respects billing me as ‘Brighton based’ suggests I personally endorse the town and its inhabitants; that in itself couldn’t be further from the truth. I despise any form of patriotism whether it is on a national or local level, it’s repellent nonsense.
Of course the UK has influenced a great deal of what I do. A lot of the titles and undercurrent themes are about my life here, its politics, its faded empire, its surly misery, its eccentric characters, its great history of comedy, the ‘talk about the weather’ culture – they are all repetitive themes in my work.
I really do think that the UK has turned into a place based solely on the principles of capitalism, cable television, celebrity, shopping malls, the facile and accessible. I guess the UK is like any Western country, maybe even the whole world, now; we are all living in a world based on Hollywood ideals. More and more I find it unacceptable—people’s selfish behaviour, people’s ill founded self importance, the imposing of their belief systems on me by their antisocial behaviour and other demons like spam or junk mail. It’s the ME generation at the expense of everything and everyone. Without trying to sound like Billy Bragg (heaven forbid) or a Marxist zealot I think everyone is becoming an automaton, a robot for the corporate machine, a machine that will own, govern and dictate their every move, a monster that will devour the very fabric of their lives, their homes, their possessions and their children, ultimately a system that will destroy as all.
People now seem to be living vicariously through TV magazines, Hello magazine, and the world of soap star actors and the latest imbecile in Big Brother. It’s what I call ‘The Diana Syndrome’ where people feel a closer affinity to a princess that they never met, who had a totally alien life to them and yet they don’t address their own lives and own problems or care for the immediate well being of themselves or people around them. It’s insane how people emulate and worship the likes of David Beckham and J-Lo, essentially intellectually challenged super rich gods of consumerism. It marvels me how the majority of people don’t feel any impetus to discover more about themselves or the fascinating world both natural and scientific around them.
I’m not pining for an idyllic, imaginary England of yesteryear. I just want people to take a look at what is important and this is an integral part of the conceptually based element in my music.
[LS] You’ve told me before that you like to stay away from computers, but sometimes it’s difficult for me to imagine how your music comes together live before you edit, arrange, or change it in any way. Why do you dislike working with computers and how do you feel it affects your writing and recording process?
[AL] I write down all my ideas down then collate them. I always have a fixed idea about what I am going to do and an axis on which the whole project will turn. I write all the music in my head and on paper, then record the sounds and mix it on a computer. I am not opposed to using computers at all, I multi-track and record on the computer. I detest computer ‘instruments’ and never use them. Most of the music is 85% done outside the computer; I only use the computer as an editing and mastering tool, really. I think to make music purely on the computer is just number crunching, it has its place but it’s not for me.
[LS] Much of your music is very organic, The Dying Submariner perhaps more so than any other record. To what extent is this organic sound intentional? Is this a result of how you see the music in your head, before it is recorded, or is it somehow a result of how you compose music?
[AL] It is both, that and a keen ear and sense of direction. I can’t say it is purely intentional of course! There are a lot of flukes and random elements flowing that seem to find the right niche at the right time. I have made a lot of records now and know (well, at least I think I know) how to mould a piece and help it find its natural progression.
[LS] What is the strangest instrument you’ve ever used in recording your albums? Are there any strange accidents or incidents you’d like to talk about that ended in a happy way (finding sounds, melodies, ideas accidentally, etc.)?
[AL] I haven’t really used anything that I consider extremely interesting on any of my recordings, they are all pretty generic instruments plus quite a few homemade instruments. There is a guy who lives down the road from me who has invented an instrument called the X –Piano, which is essentially two upright pianos made into dulcimers that I would love to make a recording on.
Generally the most interesting sound sources I use are the field recordings I have made over the years. There is stuff in there including a girl screaming who had just tried to stab some friends of mine, lots of stuff friends have stolen for me from their jobs in call centres and sales calling. There is also a recording I have of myself being fired from a job I had, my wife’s stomach rumbling, and unbeknown to them the rhythms of my next door neighbours having sex. They were really quite loud so it was no problem to record them by holding a microphone to the wall. Probably the most dangerous was recording the Call to Prayer in Egypt where I was almost arrested by an undercover policeman—you may or may not know it is illegal to record ‘the call to prayer:’ they are unique to each mosque, and each mosque is fiercely protective over their particular version.
[LS] Your website features a number of links to other websites, some of them including sleep related websites, some of them other musicians, and there are a number of links to artists like Edward Gorey, Joel Peter Witkin, pop artist Coop, and the infamous Trevor Brown; Aural Anagram was based on the erotic works of Hans Bellmer. Is your music related to these artists and how is it related? Also, is there anyone you are particularly fond of that you feel most connected to artistically? Who is it and in what way do you engage their works in your own?
[AL] The list on the site is really quite simply a list of artists I like, I don’t think any of them have influenced me directly; I think it would be very hard to make an aural representation of many of the artists. Saying that I dread to think what Bellmer would have made of my album based on his works.
The only artist out of the list I would say that I feel connected to would be Bellmer, when I first saw his art I thought I have had these images in my head for years, it was in some respects a visual representation of some of the images in my mind.
[LS] I noticed that the news section of your site features a scrolling message that repeats “Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep.” Do you have problems sleeping? Or is there an interest beyond personal that is responsible for the presence of this topic on your website?
[AL] I have had problems sleeping, but my interests are around ideas of hibernation. I am into a lot of popular science so it’s just another interest of my mine. I must say that sleeping for the duration of the winter does appeal to me.
[LS] Dolls and other gadgets have been featured prominently in your artwork (New York Doll and All Closed Doors) and Mother Goose’s Melody: or Sonnets from the Cradle is an obvious reference to childhood. In what ways do you see these figures and references to adolescence as part of your music?
[AL] It’s not really a conscious decision at all. I like dolls, something almost human but not quite. There is no schematic or grand message: it is as simple as liking dolls, robots, toys, and automatons. I’m sure you could psycho-analyze me and get to the root of it all but as I say, on a conscious level [there is] no real reason other than personal aesthetics.
[LS] Both New York Doll and Aural Anagram exhibited a focus on anagrams themselves. In what way do you see your own music as being anagrammatical? If you have an interest in anagrams, where does it come from? Also, the second disc’s title on New York Doll appears to be one enormous anagram. I’ve tried in vain to find a number of sentences or phrases in it, but can never come up with a complete translation. Is there something specific to be found in that long anagram and if so care to give us some clues as to how to find it?
[AL] I love anagrams. Aural Anagram was based on Bellmer’s notion of the body as an anagram. I see everything as an anagram; time, places, and events, they are all interrelated. The track you are referring to is the longest place name in the UK and the longest place name in the world put together. There is no real anagram as such to unravel, the voice on the recording is a Polynesian poem translated into Welsh, which I consider not necessarily an anagram but a little quiz. Basically my recordings are references for myself, documents of times, places, people, events and littered with jokes and things that amuse me. To unravel their elaborate meanings would be impossible: mainly they are for me and would mean little if anything to anyone else.
Sometimes people do e-mail [me] and have the conundrums solved which astounds me, only one person ever has latched on that all the titles of New York Doll are names of M.O.R. and rock bands as well, which I thought was obvious. That was another concept of the album; a thing that really interests me is why on earth you would call your band after a city? It seems unique to America: maybe it’s a patriotic thing. Needless to say it’s a very curious pride in the town they come from, it just wouldn’t happen here in the UK . If you transposed it to the UK it really wouldn’t wash: ‘Good evening we are Barnsley let me hear yer say yeah!’ I don’t know, though, some might work: Blackpool could be the name of a death metal band.
[LS] Tell me about how you view New York Doll as an album and as a series of “transcontinental audio anagrams.” Where did the idea for this album come from and how did you conceptualize it before you began recording?
[AL] Almost all the recordings I make are conceptualised before I even play a note. I write down everything and draw a chart of how everything should be. I keep a book that looks like a book of lyrics more than anything; it’s an array of words and ideas that appeal to me. The whole of New York Doll was story-boarded before a single note was recorded. The idea came to me on tour in the USA in 2003; basically it was based on place names. After all, America has many city names that are the same as the UK. So field recordings were made in New York, USA and York, Yorkshire in the UK, Boston, MA and Boston, Lincolnshire in the UK. It stretched further by recording the likes of traffic lights changing in Gothenburg mixed with the sounds of the pedestrian crossing sounds in Prague, mixed with the street sounds of Paris: basically working on the notion that in many respects we are all the same country. So sounds became anagrams, city soundscapes merging into different cities. Every place name becomes a sound and those different sounds are edited together to make an anagram of time and space. Every town and city, every airport and subway becomes just one city and it becomes increasingly difficult to define which place is where. It may sound a little pretentious but it was basically an exercise for me and a historical travelogue of music to remind me of the places I have visited and the sounds and sights I saw: it’s my holiday album if you like.
[LS] Aural Anagram has an erotic focus to it (the remix album was perhaps even more erotically and sexually charged), not only musically but also in the places it takes its inspiration from. You’ve participated in projects with names like The Sexecutioner and All Pink Inside and the artwork on releases like New York Doll and Love Song (the CD-R) either implies sexuality and eroticism or directly suggests reproduction and clinical sex. On your website the Love Song (1-100) releases are situated next to a recommended reading list that features authors like Marquis de Sade, Charles Bukowski, Laurence O’Toole, and Georges Bataille. It also features more “academic” studies edited by doctors and historians. What is your interest in eroticism? Is there an academic as well as a visceral interest? What do you hope to communicate by using it as a theme or a point of reference in your music?
[AL] Doesn’t everyone have an interest in eroticism? I do have both an academic and visceral interest. I think with some of the authors you mention and some of the art I love, it’s the imagination and detail and lengths of intricacy they explore that really inspires me. It’s not necessarily a ‘saucy’ picture or a taboo subject that I enjoy, it’s more to do with the creative minds of people. After all 9/10ths of sex is in the head is it not? In short I can be a dirty old man and a pseudo intellectual on the subject.
I have a vast collection of books on the subject at hand (as it were). There is an amazing glossary of words and bizarre ritual practices that have inspired songs in my catalogue. It’s a fascinating and huge anthropological area, from infibulation to swinging. It’s outstanding what lengths people go to just to have sex with someone, or indeed with themselves. In its rudimentary form it is what we all want: to be desired, loved, wanked off in the bushes or whatever. I think eroticism, sex, and pornography, whatever you want to call it, serves as a huge influence for much of modern recorded music. From James Brown to Justin Timberlake, there is a huge catalogue of music out there that says, “Hey look how many girls love me” or, “Hey baby I’m gonna love you all night long.” It’s what music was made for, from the primordial beat to Beyonce: it’s a chant to sex .
I don’t really want to communicate anything through creating erotically based music; it’s for my own pleasure, like all of my recordings. It’s not for a ‘market’, it is quite self-indulgent. I had a fan write to me about how he can only play Love Song when his girlfriend is out. She thought it was disgusting. It’s a fascinating concept to think that I can revolt someone I have never met just through something as simple as a song. It’s mind-boggling to think what people might be doing whilst listening to my music but I can’t imagine that either Aural Anagram or Love Song would inspire a couple into the ‘act.’ But it’s amusing to think what it might do.
[LS] Your remix of Bass Communion’s Ghosts on Magnetic Tape album added a lot of weight to an already heavy album. How did these remixes come about? Did you find it difficult to work with and why? Also, what do you think about the subject matter of the original and the phenomena of EVP?
[AL] Steven Wilson had been buying my music for some time and he sent me the album. I really liked it and said if one day you are going to do a remix I want to be involved. I started work on a track and sent him the results, more as an exercise and for our amusement rather then any intention to release the recording. Steven rang me up and said he really enjoyed what I had done and why don’t I reconstruct the whole album… so I did.
I found it pretty easy to reconstruct the original as it has many elements of my own music in there, and the album was based on a concept I was very familiar with. I was working on a new way of making music at the time that involved playing the original source at twice the speed backwards and twice as slow forwards at the same time, so it was a bit of an experiment and an aural exercise. I filled the recording with some of the EVP recordings I used on my own EVP inspired release ‘Viva Raudive’ and a lot of recordings I made in a cemetery near my house here in Brighton. The cemetery is vast: Aleister Crowley was cremated there and Count Stenbock is buried there, so I thought it made sense to go down a ‘goth’ route and incorporate some kind of ‘validity.’ Not that I have any concrete beliefs in the occult or supernatural.
With regards to EVP, I am extremely sceptical of there being ‘voices of the dead’, and completely dismiss a two-way conversation with the living and the ‘other side’. I do have certain beliefs and ideas when it comes to such phenomenon, electrical foot prints and some inexplicable memories left like dust particles, but I won’t elaborate too much for fear of making myself look idiotic.
[LS] Ghosts on Magnetic Tape marked the beginning of a series of very productive and interesting collaborations with other artists. In 2005 you released music with Nigel Ayers, Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar, Tony Wakeford (as The Wardrobe), and Darren Tate. So far in 2006 you’ve worked with Steven Stapleton, released a record with Colin Potter and The Hafler Trio, and continued your work with Wakeford on another The Wardrobe album. What do you enjoy the most about working with other musicians and artists? What sort of difficulties have you encountered when working with someone else that surprised you or perhaps ended up informing the way you view the process of making music?
[AL] It is always great to work with other people: people I meet, friends, people whose work I admire and fellow weary travellers. All the collaborations generally have reasons behind them. Either jokes between us or just working with friends really – people that share a lot of the same interests and worldview. Generally all my solo recordings are conceptually based and have a theme throughout, but when working with other people half the fun is not knowing where the recording will go and where it will wind up. In many respects it is light relief and interesting and inspiring. I can both learn something from it and discover different ways of making music. I always like to make something different and unique. I have never experienced any difficulties working with anyone, thankfully. There have been no hissy fits or artistic differences: mostly everyone are friends of mine or I have known them for a number of years. They are all decent, kind, selfless and generous people in m! any, many respects.
There are plenty more in the making, some completed, some half finished, some just started and others in the pipeline. Myself and Colin Potter have been working on an album for years and years, there is also a possible project with David Tibet, two or three secret missions planned with the wonderful Matt Waldron/Irr. App. (Ext.), an excursion into ‘sinister whimsy’ with Nurse With Wound: this is a recording that myself and Mr. Stapleton have been discussing and working on and off for sometime now.
There is an album called Black Paper with narration from Japanese author Kenji Siratori (this is the first instalment of a massive 12 CD collection, www.myspace.com/vortexvault ). The Vortex Vault is a CD a month for a whole year for Beta-lactam Ring Records). There are a lot of people involved with the Vortex Vault. I have amazing and outstanding opera from a gentleman called Ernesto Tomasini who has a stunning range of 4 and a half octaves. I have a lot of translations coming for it as well in Norwegian, Urdu, Persian, Finnish, Italian and Hungarian and a death metal track with Wolfgang Weiss from Cadaverous Condition doing what he does best.
Also there is an album with Jonathan Coleclough called Torch Songs that will be out on double vinyl for Die Stadt in early February, and a remix for Paul Bradley. There is talk, yet no real confirmation of a possible recording with Thurston Moore for Blossoming Noise, a very cryptic and absurd recording half made utilising the language skills of Andrew McKenzie (he speaks something ridiculous like 30 languages), an album with Daniel Menche, another with Edward Ka-Spel and an even stranger project that myself and Clodagh Simonds have been discussing for a number of months that I’m really looking forward to: the list will grow… or shrink! Hopefully they will all come to fruition but of course they are all liable to change alteration and cancellation.
[LS] More specifically, what was it like working with Lord Bath and Sion Orgon? How did the opportunity to work with Lord Bath come about and what drove you to work with him on Mother Goose’s Melody…? Did the album exist before he was involved or did you intend to recruit him from the beginning?
[AL] The album came about as a kind of joke between my self and Beequeen. We were going to make a recording based on the theme of the ‘Great British Eccentric`, so I approached Lord Bath (neither Frans nor Freek have heard of him although he is pretty much a household name here in the UK). So they weren’t sure about getting involved [and] I pursued the project on my own. As with many things it picked up its own momentum and just fell together. The album was made around Alex’s voice and built its own character. I did have a specific notion of where I wanted to take it before we met and… well it just evolved – I haven’t heard from Lord Bath since and have never been invited back to his mansion!
I have never met Sion in person; we had shared a couple of emails and shared a mutual acquaintance. I invited him on board as a couple of tracks needed a little something extra and he was the man for the job at the time.
[LS] Your website lists Ouarda: The Subtle Art of Phyllorhodomancy as a forthcoming release featuring the collaborations with Danielle Dax, Karl Blake, Darius Akashic and Miriam Chivers, Edward Ka-Spel, Daniel Padden, Maja Elliot, and Rose McDowall. What can we expect from this release? Perhaps you can tell me a little bit about how these artists worked with you on this album? I suspect this means we’ll be hearing some more vocal/singing work on this album? Also, your website says this release will include an edition featuring a DVD disc. Can you tell me a little about this DVD and what might be on it?
[AL] Ouarda is about roses, flowers and other stories that the listener will have to work out. Those who know will know, those who don’t won’t: puzzling I know – but necessary.
The recording got out of hand, really. Initially I approached Karl Blake about adding some narration for one track. I told Karl about the theme of the album which is essentially about roses and he suggested I get Rose McDowall involved – I suppose it made sense in an obvious type way. So Rose came down and we spent a day or so recording. Then Karl somehow got Danielle Dax into some of my music so I invited her to do a few tracks, which wound up being a lot more. Maja Elliot was staying with me for a few days so I got her to narrate a piece that I had written. Edward approached me as he was a fan of My Long Accumulating… so I invited him to do a track that incidentally is a really amazing story. Then I approached Daniel Padden as I have always been a fan of his voice. And my friend Darius, being a radio presenter, has a great radio voice, so he was invited into the fold. It all just fell together and has taken over 3 years to make. It has been recorded all over the place: London, Paris and Sicily. I really think it has been worth the effort and consider it my most important and accomplished recording to date. There is a little bit of singing but mainly it is stories and narrative. I think it’s my ‘commercial’ record. The album really would be nothing without the wonderful people involved. It will be out in Spring / Summer of 2007 on Raash Records.
The DVD? Well you have to wait and see but it has some great visuals by a gentleman who approached me called Michael Tang: go to http://www.whatdoyousee.co.uk to get an idea of what it might be like. Some other filmmakers will possibly be involved as well.
[LS] Also, what is “phyllorhodomancy?”
[AL] It’s an ancient method of divination. It involves slapping a rose in the hand; the sound the rose makes denotes what your future holds… apparently.
[LS] You’ve released a massive 13-CD box set featuring a large portion of your previous CD-R releases called Miscellany – Deluxe. How did you choose what material to include in this box set? Where did the extra, unreleased material come from?
[AL] The box is all the CD-Rs that sold out years ago collated into one concise document. The extra material is live shows and lost and forgotten tracks: anomalies that didn’t fit into to the theme of an album, odd [and] ends. Something borrowed, something new, and etc. It was just a way of collating all the material as one huge document and to make it available to those people who had missed out first time around. It is one of my most popular releases.
[LS] The Dying Submariner came in a limited edition that featured a second disc, The Dead Submariner (A Concerto for Bowed Guitar and Reverberation in Three Movements). Any chance we will see the music on that disc elsewhere? Why did you choose to accompany the piano record with a disc of bowed guitar?
[AL] The Dead Submariner is unlikely to appear again. I chose to make a record using a bowed guitar to emulate and compliment the piano piece, as it was a ‘live’ stringed instrument: it made sense to me. I thought it would be more fitting and I didn’t want to include a throw away item as many limited editions can be a bit slap-dash. I didn’t want to cut corners with a remix of the piano versions or some extra, unrelated piece of music.
[LS] Where did The Dying Submariner come from? Many of your records are conceptually focused and I do not think this one is any different. While the artwork is very dark and perhaps meant to relate a sense of fear or even claustrophobia, for me some of the music was quite playful. Was this juxtaposition intentional?
[AL] I don’t really want to advertise where the idea came from on The Dying Submariner, but again I think it is pretty obvious what it’s about. The music is in part meant to be quite playful but never humorous or frivolous.
[LS] There was, for a time, some hope that you’d be touring with Colin Potter and The Hafler Trio in the United States. That tour was sadly canceled. Can you tell me a little bit about what you had planned of this tour? Also, can you tell us a little bit about why it was canceled?
[AL] I’d rather not go into the details, but the financing of the tour was a stumbling block and it was quite an ambitious tour in the timescale and financial constraints we had.
[LS] What difficulties have you found in performing your own work live? What kind of equipment do you use? Is it still possible that fans in the US will be able to see you perform?
[AL] I use an assortment of tools live – CD players, keyboards, bric-a-brac: anything at hand really. Guitars and anything really that takes my fancy on the night: a vast majority of the set is improvised and is different every time. I would love to tour extensively in the US but again it’s about money and time. Maybe this year or the year after. But hopefully I will tour more in the future.
[LS] Tell me a little bit about your work with Steven Stapleton both in relation to the material recorded and performed for Soundpooling and as part of his live performances. What sort of influence did you have on these performances and what were your responsibilities?
[AL] Responsibilities? That’s a novel turn of phrase for Nurse with Wound. Yes, Steve has given us very loose direction when playing live, but it’s very loose and very freeform. It is in many respects completely improvised. Thankfully every time so far it has produced really interesting results, but the live experience does involve the talents of maestro Colin Potter and whiz kid Matt Waldron, both are key components in holding it altogether. In short, live it IS very much sound pooling, we all have a good rapport and bounce from one another live: it seems to flow quite on its own.
Steve and myself are working on a new Nurse album that is slowly evolving. It has no time scale; I guess it will just come together one day. But so far it is very different from what you might expect. Who knows where it will wind up but it’s shaping up. We have a great title for it and we are both really dedicated to the task.
[LS] Describe your solo sets to me. How did your performances in Vienna go? In July you announced you might be performing in London during a Hans Bellmer exhibition. Is there any new news on that end? What kind of performance could we expect given the subject matter?
[AL] Live sets? Well it’s very difficult to ‘entertain’ without using a visual element so I always try to project interesting images, which are in further development right now.
The Bellmer show has fallen through, according to the gallery it was to do with the sheer volume of works (of which they are many, almost too many, which I can vouch for as I saw the show earlier this year in Paris) and fire exits… so it goes.