Quiet and clear
Hier nun ein weiteres Mojave 3 Interview, diesmal hatte ich selbst die Gelegenheit, die Band zu treffen, und obwohl eigentlich Neil und Rachel für's Interview geplant waren, kam nur Neil, weil Rachel noch im Tourbus ein Nickerchen gehalten hat. Das Treffen fand an einem kalten Wintertag im Kölner Underground am 25.10.96 statt...
About one year ago the Mojave 3 album came out, and what have you been doing ever since - touring basically?
Yeah, basically, we did a tour with Luna, which was in Europe, and then we did a tour in America with Lush and Scheer. That was quite a long tour. Since we've got back from America, we've trying to get a studio together, we've been trying to build up a room to record stuff.
Did you notice a big difference between the audiences over here and in America?
Well, I've noticed on this tour that a lot of the audiences are really appreaciative, they don't really show it 'til the end of the shows in Europe, so you're not really sure of how you're going down until the end, and that always surprises me, that at the end we get sort of lots of applause. In America I think they're not as reserved as here - but in the end they're all quite the same...
It must be a big difference for you to play Slowdive and Mojave 3 shows - at Slowdive shows you could sort of hide behind that huge wall of sound, and now with Mojave 3, it's all very clear...
Yes, there's a difference. Sometimes, when I get on stage with Mojave 3, I get totally nervous, which I never really gotten with Slowdive, and I think that is, because we just turn everything up, so you weren't really aware of the audiences. We tend to be very aware of the audience now, because the music is quiet. But I think we've rocked up a little bit since we've started doing tours. When we first started, we were all sitting down, Ian [the drummer] was using brushes. I mean it kinda worked, but sort of naturally we wanted to do something heavier live I think.
Yes, that what I noticed the night before at the show in Bochum. And I've got a tape with your very first live show at the Black Session in Paris, and I noticed that you must have been really nervous, and you played a lot of wrong notes...
Yeah, that was our very first show, and it was terrible! It was the first time we've played live as a band, and it was live on the radio, so that's not a really good show, but I think we've improved a bit now...it's weird, because we had to get Alan in just before this tour to play the piano, 'cause Poppy, our piano player, couldn't do the tour, so we sort of phoned Alan up just four days before the tour, and he came down to Cornwall, which is like a 5-hour-trainride from London, and he was just trying to learn all the songs. But I think he's getting the hang of it now.
I noticed that the audience last night was a bit older than usual...
Yeah, maybe that's because we've playing with Lisa Germano. I highly respect her, I think she's a brilliant song-writer, and I think she tends to appeal to an older audience than we do. Some of the dates have been really weird - when we played in Sweden, there would be like a lot of really young kids for our set, and then they sort of disappeared after we've played, and the oldies would move forward for Lisa's set. In Germany I think we attract more or less the same audience.
Why didn't you play "Love Songs On The Radio" then?!? I think that song must the most popular one over here, 'cause it's featured on several compilations...
Well, we haven't played it that often, and Rachel is just not very happy singing it live. It's kind of a shame I suppose, but we're basically playing the songs that everynone's sort of happy playing live.
You've played a lot of new songs last night - do you have other new songs ready on demo or so...
Yeah, we've been starting to work on a lot of stuff recently, so one the things we wanted to do on this tour was trying to play as many new songs as we could, just to see how we've going to record them. It's the same with the songs from our album, they kind of developed when we're playing them live as a band, you know. So we'd like to develope the new songs before we record them, just to get some different vibes to the last one.
I've heard some radio sessions of Mojave 3, where you've played cover-songs by the likes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan - do you plan to release them at some point?
We're not sure, I mean since we've started playing we've always had some cover-versions that we could play, and sometimes we put then in the set. I dunno, but we might record one or a couple of other songs, but I'm not sure really.
When it comes to recording the next album, do you plan to record it in a different way than the debut?!?
I think we just wanna record it very sort of live, that's the only sort of plan we've got, and then see how it goes really. I mean we never really plan what we're doing, but I think we wanna try to catch as much as possible of our live sound.
Did the inspiration or the influence change when writing now with Mojave and back then with Slowdive?
I dunno if the inspiration really changed, I mean I'm still into certain things that I was into when I was in Slowdive or whatever. Not consciously, but I tbink we've just moved towards writing songs rather than just experimenting with sounds, it seems to move into that way. I don't think there has been a major sort of change.
So, what are you into at the moment?
A lot of different stuff, I like Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Palace. I don't like many English bands at the moment. Obviously there are bands like Oasis or Kula Shaker, they're all sort of really good you know, but it's sort of going mainstream as well, and there aren't that many interested bands coming through at the moment, or maybe it's just because that I'm not listening to all that new stuff. When I was like 15 or 16, and getting into kind of all sorts of music, there was a real, proper sort of alternative to the mainstream, with bands like Jesus And The Mary Chain, Loop, Spacemen 3. In England, everything's kind of like converged into the mainstream now, and there's a very narrow brand of music really. I suppose it's not really true, because there's this Jungle and Dance stuff, but that's become sort of noticed since Oasis have become so successful. It just worries me in some ways, because it's all a bit bland, really. I mean I do like Oasis and Kula Shaker, but I don't know what new stuff I'm into at the moment, because none of it is particularly exciting.
I got the impression that the English press sort of ignores you - are you happy about that?
Yeah, but I don't really mind. With Slowdive we sort of got a load of press when we've started, and then they really sort of worked against us in the long run. I mean, you get a lot of press, you get hyped and everything, and when we signed to Creation Records, we were like 18 and we've had 4 songs ["Beach Song", "Take Me Down", "Slowdive", "Avalyn"], and it was all kind of hard to deal with all the things like press and everything when we weren't really sure of what we were about as a band. I think we feel more comfortable now, becasue I suppose we all got a little bit more older and more aware of how thing's work. I'm just into making music, and I'm just sort of happy with the music. I mean I believe that what we're doing is really good, you know, and I kind of think the music press will come round to it one day, but you can't really take too much notice of what they're thinking, because they're gonna change their minds.
In the song "Tomorrow's Taken" there's the line "I'll take another shot and think about you" - is that about drugs?!?
[smiles] Well, it could be about drugs, or it could be about drinking, you know. I think I was thinking about taking a shot of whiskey or something.
So, what do you think of drugs to broaden your musical horizon?
Personally, I think drugs are cool, you know. I mean if we wouldn't have drugs, we wouldn't have a lot of good music. You know, even the Beatles were fucking high most of the time they recorded, and so you wouldn't have that range of music you have now. In that aspect I suppose drugs are really cool, you know. I mean I wouldn't...whatever...it's a personal choice, isn't it?!?
You mentioned earlier that you've done this 4AD-package-tour with Scheer and Lush - I've got a tape of one show where you formed a 4AD-supergroup with members of Lush and Scheer to perform Lush's "Ciao!"...
Yeah, on quite a few of the dates I'd gone on stage at the end and sing with Miki that song - I think at the end of the tour, basically there was more or less everyone on stage of both bands doing something, and it kind of got out of hand, but it is funny...
So, do you feel comfortable now being on the 4AD-rooster?
Yes, and they've sort of been very encouriging and really supportive about the bands, so that's been really good for us. I think 4AD is really good record label...
I've read that you've done some soundtrack-recordings - what's it all about?
We did one film, where we did all the music for, but we haven't released any of it, and I'm not sure whether we will. A lot of it is instrumental, and there's a few sort of songs there as well, but it's kind of weird, because it's almost a kind of bridge between the "Pygmalion"-Slowdive-record and the Mojave stuff. It almost comes together like that, 'cause some of it is very abstract, and then there's the more sort of song-based stuff.
Do you have any plans to record another soundtrack?
Yeah, I mean the guy that did this film, an American guy called Forest Wise(?), he's working on another film right now and we're going to do the music for that one. It's good fun, and you can stretch the limits a bit, 'cause you can be as experimental as you want, 'cause you don't have to set certain limitations to what you're doing.
I've read that you planned to release a new version of "Mercy" with strings and stuff - whatever happened to that one?
Ivo sort of suggested that we put some strings on it, and so we did a version. It's very different to the version on the album, and to be honest I'm not really totally sure about how I feel about it. I think it's being used in an English film that's coming out in March or something, but I don't think we're gonna release it as a single.
Well, do you remember how you heard about Chris Acland's death?!?
Yeah, we got a call from 4AD the day after they found him. I didn't know him too well, but it's sort of weird, because I've known him for quite a long time I suppose, and I think it's just really sad. I mean you never can't get to the bottom of why it happened or anything, but I think we just have to remember him as a really cool guy!
Tja, und dem kann ich nur zustimmen, und nichts mehr hinzufügen.
Interview: -David Bluhm-
Fotos: -Ullrich Maurer-
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