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A. C. Acoustics
Die schottische Band A.C. Acoustics hat vor ein paar Jahren schonmal kurz für große Aufregung mit ihrer experimentellen Gitarrenmusik in England gesorgt, und irgendwie sind sie dann für ganze zwei Jahre in der Versenkung verschwunden. Zur Veröffentlichung ihres neuen Werkes "Victory Parts" hatte ich die Gelegenheit, mit Sänger Paul Campion zu reden...
Die schottische Band A.C. Acoustics hat vor ein paar Jahren schonmal kurz für große Aufregung mit ihrer experimentellen Gitarrenmusik in England gesorgt, und irgendwie sind sie dann für ganze zwei Jahre in der Versenkung verschwunden. Zur Veröffentlichung ihres neuen Werkes "Victory Parts" hatte ich die Gelegenheit, mit Sänger Paul Campion zu reden...

Making the second album seemed to have taken quite a long time - any specific reason for that delay?!?

Unfortunately, it was more a business thing rather than lack of creativity - the label that we are one in Britain, Elemental Records, they were kind of part of a label called Alternative Tentacles, we made some records on that label, and things went quite well, and they recently wanted us to go any further than we had gone, the label then got involved with a bigger label called One Little Indian. So, normally the process of a band getting signed by a record label takes a long time, but when your record label then signs another deal, it takes even more time! Unfortunately for us, we had to sit on our arses for two years, twiddle our thumbs, wash dishes and dream of releasing another record.

But surely you've written some songs in the meantime, haven't you?!?

Yes, and we could've done the album a year and a half ago, so yeah, we wrote a lot, and we developed the songs a lot. We rehearsed a lot and worked on the songs, but not as visibly as we would have liked to. Actually, we recorded the new album twice. We recorded it first in a studio in Wales, which was kind of a mistake, because it was kind of like a residental studio, so they feature really well and stuff, and it was in a country side and it was this beautiful country house, and it was beautiful weather and all that, so it wasn't be most productive experience. The best way to make bands work really fast is put them in a really stinking studio with no food, no money, no natural light, make it as miserable as you can and then they work as fast as they can so that they can get out. So, the first time we recorded it in Wales, we fucked up completely, and with this business thing still going on, we were in a really miserable mood. Initially, we were to re-record about four songs in a studio in Glasgow, and it turned out brilliant, so we decided to re-record some more songs, and ended up recording all songs all over again. The most expensive part was recording the first version in Wales, 'cause it took a long time, and the second recording session went pretty quickly - we recorded the tracks in about nine days. If we would have done that the first time, we would be the golden boys of our record company now!

Are there any moments that stick most to your mind whilst recording the album?

The last track on the album, "Red Not Yellow", it was kind of recorded spontaneously, but it's also kind of creepy, so our producer would work on that for only one or two hours a day, 'cause he thought it was completely freaky, and there was something kind of evil about it, and it made him kind of uncomfortable working on it, so we built it up over a period of a couple of days, it was very odd. Also, the studio in Glasgow was haunted, it used to be a horse stable thing, and there's a story that someone got trampled to death by a horse, so that was kind of weird. So, I don't know if that kind of reflects on the tone of the album or not...

So, is there a specific formular how to write an A.C. Acoustics song, or do you write from jamming and experimenting?

Unfortunately, there isn't a formular. Mostly we write from jamming, and it's kind of exciting to see how a song develops over a period of time - you'll never know where the song's going or how it will turn out in the end. Which is probably why we haven't had a number one hit in Britain, maybe with clever editing we might be the new Spice Girls or something - Spice Boys!

Do you wish you had a number one hit then?

Actually, we are fucking glad that we haven't had a number one hit! I mean, we've had number one indie hits and stuff, and it's like when you have a number one commercial hit, and the second single only hits number two, it's kind of like on its way back. I guess if your first single goes to number 129 or something, that means that potentially you can release another 128 singles and they will always be more successful. But that all makes me laugh...

In the press info it said that you are all perfectionists - are you happy then with the new album?

I'm absolutely fucking ecstatic - I think it's a masterpiece! You know, the smell and the taste of the music has to be something quite substantial, although I'm sure it's not techniqually perfect, but I think in terms of the spirit of the album then yes.

Also I've read that Brian from Placebo is involved with the song "Hammerhead" - but not on the album I guess?!?

A. C. Acoustics
Yeah, he sometimes joins us on that song when we play live. We've toured with Placebo quite a lot, and Brian loves that song, so sometimes he just turns up to sing it with us. So, when we're playing in London, Brian sometimes jumps up on stage, pissed as a frog, Jack Daniels & Coke in one hand, a cigarette in the other, lipstick all over the place, eyeliner smudged, stumbling on stage to sing "Hammerhead", which is great fun. Also, it's the only time people take photographs of our show!

How important are lyrics to you?

Very important! Music should be meaningful, and so many bands see lyrics as some kind of necessary evil rather than an artform. Generally, I guess people who sing in bands, they kind of get the job by the nature of the fact that they are the only ones who are bigheaded enough to do it. To me, that doesn't really qualify somebody to be a singer, just because you're not embarrassed to get on stage sing to people. I really enjoy poetry, theater, drama and all sorts of things, and I think that language is a very beautiful and powerful thing. I guess fortunately for A.C. Acoustics it's something I do very seriously, unfortunately for A.C. Acoustics I'm not a very good guitarist - but you can't have everything, you know?!?

The British press seems to have a problem with A.C. Acoustics - they hardly ever write something about, and if they do, it's not very positive. Do you have any explanation for that?

Well, I dunno really. The British press likes to hype bands a lot, and a lot of them play the game, but we don't. Also, I think that our record is the beginning, the middle and end of experimental guitar music in Britain, and those people seem to have a problem with that. I think that when you're in a band, you kind of believe that your music is actually important - if you don't, then why be in a fucking band?

Das "Masterpiece" namens "Victory Parts" ist seit Juni erhältlich, und man sollte sich für dieses Album Zeit nehmen, denn es verlangt einem doch recht viel ab, und ist bestimmt keine leichte Kost. Aber es lohnt sich dennoch!

[Erstveröffentlichung im Baby Talk-Fanzine #11, August 1997]

Interview: -David Bluhm-
Fotos: -David Bluhm-


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