Bands

The “Lost” Fennesz Reaktor Interview

I came across an old interview on cdm with Christian Fennesz about some of the setup he uses, both live and in the studio. It has a link to a piece of the interview left out, specifically on his use of Reaktor.

Being a fan of both Fennesz and Reaktor, I was pleasantly surprised (I thought he only used Max/MSP) and then, shortly afterward, disappointed. Not only is the link dead, but Google didn’t show a replacement and even the Internet Archive hasn’t stored it.

Well, a bit of digging later I managed to find a copy (in the Internet Archive, under a different link), so I’m re-posting it here so hopefully it’ll be easier to find in future.

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Paul Simonon’s Bass

This image popped up in my feed this morning:

It’s the kind of image that immediately makes you want to know the back story.

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Andy Gill : Gang of Four, Chili Peppers, Killing Joke, more… : TapeOp Interview

Archived from Tape Op interview here


Sometimes you get to meet people who were your heroes back when you were a teen. The first time a 16-year-old me heard Gang of Four, a “post punk” band from Leeds, England, the directness of the vocals, the taut rhythm section and slashing, stuttering guitars of Andy Gill made a huge and lasting impression. To be sitting in Andy Gill’s personal recording studio (in the Beauchamp Building, London) nearly 30 years later and finding him to be an engaging and interesting person was a treat. Not only is Andy an inspiring guitarist, but along the way he became a producer — not only with Gang of Four, but also on albums with The Jesus Lizard, The Futureheads, Michael Hutchence, Killing Joke, Red Hot Chili Peppers, We Are Standard, Asyl, Detlef Zoo, The Stranglers and The Young Knives.

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RIP Andy Gill

Over the last few days I’ve been down a rabbit hole of reading interviews with various post-punk guitarists. A Keith Levine interview would lead me to one on Rowland S. Howard, which in turn would take me to Gang of Four, and on and on…

Then this morning I woke to the news that Andy Gill had passed away. I didn’t find Gang of Four until years after Entertainment! had been released, but his choppy, brittle, chaos-bubbling-beneath-the-surface guitar playing and his resolute vision of what the band was, and just as importantly, what they were not going to be, had a big impact on me. (more…)

Stone Roses, Fools Gold and John Squire in the Cupboard

Great SOS article on The Stone Roses in the studio with John Leckie recording Fool’s Gold. I thought this quote explained a lot about both the quality of the guitar work on the first album and also the time taken to release the second album:

“John Squire always had his Fostex 16-track recorder in the tape cupboard at the back of the studio, and after we’d gone home he would sit there with headphones and work out all his parts,” says John Leckie. “He always did that, right through ‘Fool’s Gold’, up until the second album.

In fact, part of the reason for the breakdown of that second album was that John would sit in his bedroom with the Fostex while the rest of us waited in the studio for his guitar parts. He wouldn’t improvise or make something up in the studio, but he got to the stage where he was really good. For instance, on ‘Bye Bye Badman’ there’s a guitar that plays all the way through — a kind of counter-lead line, going through a Leslie — and I remember him playing that in about half an hour. However, we had to wait four days for that before he came out of the cupboard.”

Full article here.

Gil Norton, The Pixies and Song Length

Great Sound On Sound article about  The Pixies recording “Monkey Gone To Heaven”. I especially loved the bit about how Gil Norton (Producer) was trying to convince them to lengthen the songs:

“I remember the second afternoon I spent with Charles, after we’d gone through this process of me constantly trying to lengthen the songs from a minute and a half and provide them with more complex arrangements, he said ‘Let’s go for a walk,’ so that’s what we did, and we went into a big music store where he picked up a copy of Buddy Holly’s Greatest Hits and handed it to me. He said ‘Gil, look at the times on these songs.’ And when I looked at them, they were nearly all under two minutes.”

There’s a good lesson in that, I think.

Peter Koppes : Theory, Songwriting and Guitar

I’ve long been a fan of Australian band The Church. Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper are two of a handful of guitarists who made me want to pick up the instrument decades ago. Their beautiful, interweaving guitar lines served as both a source of inspiration and also frustration for me over the years.

Yeah, frustration. See, I’ve sat down many times to work out their songs, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Ironically, the unsuccessful attempts are not the frustrating part. I’m used to not always being able to work out what’s going on, and very often shooting for something and missing still lands you somewhere interesting. No, the frustration comes when I’ve been successful. On more than one occasion when I have worked out a section of their interplay, I’m left scratching my head thinking “How the hell would anyone know that THAT would work?”

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