1 + 1, Baby 2. The Wit of Dan Melchior’s Spiral Staircase

There are several bios you could reference that more or less accurately describe Dan Melchior, but they tend to focus on his past musical output and his association with Billy Childish and the garage rock revivalist scene. Dan’s no slave to basso continuo bullshit. Yeah, he’s gone “barefoot in the head” lately, dispensing with traditional forms and experimenting with interstitial states of consciousness by manipulating his medium from an array of angles. Whether it’s to do with the quality of the recording, that resonant hiss that recalls the landmark recordings of the LAFMS or the cut-up, collage-style that his latest outfit The Lloyd Pack employs, Dan has clearly gone batshit for the general good. And he’s a super-patient guy, too, because this interview is overdue by months, so my infinite gratitude for his understanding. Be sure to check out his website, his Soundcloud page and his artwork (which does you so much good to stare at while listening to his music) ASAP.

Dan Melchior

Dan Melchior

DECAYKE: So who is Lloyd Pack? Is he your weird uncle?

DM: Roger Lloyd Pack is an actor mainly known for his portrayal of the character ‘Trigger’ in a much loved English comedy show called ‘Only Fools and Horses’. The name came from Russell Walker (main vocalist with the pack) as he and I share an appreciation
for these more middle of the road English comedies of yore (no Brasseye type boundary pushing with this show!) and the name Lloyd obviously lends itself to being a band name.

Only Fools And Horses

Only Fools And Horses

Strangely enough, I only received my (only just) passing grade from Guildhall School of Art because someone either stole or destroyed a few of my paintings after the end of year show so that they were not there when I went back to get them. I took this up with the school
after I received my failing grade, and they then bumped it up to a pass due to the fact this happened (a real cowboy outfit!) – – anyway, the reason I mention this, is that one of the paintings was a club-fisted attempt at a photo realist depiction of the Only Fools and Horses Team.

Dan

DECAYKE: You’re right about Lloyd being a natural selection for a band name. It’s very civilized. Now, you’re pretty well-known for your work with/as Das Menace. What brought about the idea for Lloyd Pack? Was it just a shift in musical direction or was it personnel related?

DM: Well, Das Menace was a fake band (on recordings anyway) as I played all the instruments, and did it all at home. I picked the name because it was the closest I could get to Dan Melchior and Dan Melchior without actually calling it that. Live, I played with whoever was available, with many people passing through the ranks. I have retired that name now.

The Lloyd Pack is a true collaboration between me and the other people who appear on the record, where I am more of an editor than anything else. I didn’t impose a structure on any of the songs, I just took the tracks I was given and more or less extracted what appealed to me from them, juxtaposing things that were done in totally separate environments to
create a whole. I played a little bit of this and that, and did one vocal, but I wouldn’t say I am the main/lead player on any of the songs. Everyone who contributed affected the sound of the recordings equally. The Siltbreeze 45 was different, because I did play the music behind Russell’s vocals, and Letha contributed some clarinet – – this album is much more of true collaboration.

know-your-pack-front

The Lloyd Pack | Know Your Lloyd Pack | Siltbreeze 7 Inch EP

DECAYKE: So it was personnel related. The Siltbreeze 45 is really great stuff. It’s very abstract and seems to follow its own logic. That would suggest a seamless collaboration with Letha and Russell. Is Russell local or does he send you the parts he has worked on and was it your idea to finally retire this public deception you’ve been propagating (Das Menace) or did you arrive at the notion of The Lloyd Pack after a long night of wholesome activities and household chores? And is editing akin to finalizing the composition?

DM: I will be continuing to do stuff under the name Dan Melchior – -which obviously doesn’t allow for my confusion in the personnel dept. The Lloyd pack is an interesting set up. There may not be any more Lloyd pack records, or there may be many more utilizing different people. I would like to think Letha, Russell, and I would continue to be involved – but all bets are off in the other departments – – people get busy!

Russell lives in the UK, and shares very similar ulterior motives/driving forces to me- – I can rely on him to write something I can stand behind. He sends me parts (vocal tracks) which I then line up with appropriate tracks. In one case (‘The Magyars’) Russell did a vocal specifically for a track he had been sent.That’s the only one though. Editing is the only way to end the madness. Too many options are not creative. The first thought/urge is often the best, you just have to remember what it was! That’s the challenge.

 DECAYKE: That’s pretty intriguing, that you use Russell’s vocal parts to guide your sounds. In the past your lyrics have often been opaque or sometimes surreal. Is it normal for you to work from language first then build the song or is it simply a case of whatever fits the given situation best? And how many records have you released to date? There’s a lot. Has your approach always been the same or has it evolved over the years, with all that disparate material?

DM: My approach has changed a great deal over the years, because my tastes in music, and my aims regarding what I would hope to ‘achieve’ by releasing a record have changed a great deal too. Language is important to me, in that I do not want clunky songwriter cliches to be present in my work – – with Russell I don’t have to worry about that. With the Siltbreeze 45 I took Russell’s vocal and fit music around it in a couple of cases, and in the others I just lay it over an existing track. Sometimes the incongruous nature of the combination is what makes it work (in my opinion).

I don’t know how many records I’ve released – certainly more than 50. I don’t think there’s many people out there who consider themselves fans of the first release and the last. I have lost a lot of fans along the way!

DECAYKE: Why did you lose fans over your last record?

DM: I think I have probably been losing fans pretty consistently since about 2006. I have made some new ones though. When you take fairly radical left turns in your work it’s to be expected, and having been previously associated with something as pedestrian as garage rock (whether I liked it or not) there isn’t much wiggle room. I have never wanted to be a revivalist, though my very first records were made up entirely of traditional or at least very old material because I hadn’t found my songwriting voice yet.

DECAYKE: I was going to say, do you think you’ve lost fans because your music has become more elusive over time, but I think you answered that. The songs have become more personal, like you’ve filled the spaces with your own symbology (including birds), more elliptical and harder to pin down. Those earlier records are great, but you’ve developed a sing-ular voice. Do you think that The Lloyd Pack material is the culmination of this direction (or exploration) thus far?

DM: It’s one of the culminations (is that grammatically correct) I actually think the lp on Kye “Excerpts”, and “The Heron” may be slightly more radical ones. There is also work in the pipeline that pursues a grm/concrete direction to a greater degree, with even less concession to traditional song structure. “K-85” (the record coming out on Homeless) will probably be the last one to have regular songs on it for a while – – and that only has about four.

excerptscoverone

DECAYKE: Does it sound clichéd to characterize these less definable records as ‘states of mind’ rather than songs? Maybe that’s too pretentious, I dunno, but they’re more mysterious, unexpected and, well, psychedelic.  Did you get bored with playing more straightforward music or was it a matter of it not really capturing the complexity and contradictions of life that impacted and influenced you…or neither or both and something else, too? Or let’s contextualize. Who are the bands/artists, past or present that you listened to as your music evolved that you can definitely point to as an influence? Or maybe visual or literary artists? As your music has gotten more difficult to label, generally speaking, so have your words.

DM: Yes, I have been very influenced by certain things, often very obscure one offs and stuff that just sticks with me, like this track on the LAFMS “Blorp Essette” comp by Frank Bedal “Just Don’t Forget, Frank Is The Boss” – – from what I can work out it may be his only output, but I love the purity of it as a piece of field recording utilising nothing but the voices of his co workers. Another one was the ‘song’ “Reckless Policies” which I heard on the “Messthetics Greatest Hiss” compilation. It’s just a skipping punk record with this guy ranting over the top of it. Great stuff.

On a more general level I’ve been influenced by Graham Lambkin (especially “Softly Softly Copy Copy”) Luc Marianni, Luc Ferrari, Gus Coma, Brent Wilcox, Jim Shepard – -etc,etc.

I have always liked to read poetry, and was fairly recently introduced to the work of James Tate, which I love. Other favourites include Gerard Manley Hopkins, Basil Bunting, Hart Crane, Nicanor Parra, D.H Lawrence and Edward Lear.

Yakko (SOS pt one) – Dan Melchior

DECAYKE: Funny that you mention the “Blorp Essette” because I’ve been listening to that quite a bit lately and I’m interviewing Ace Farren Ford. That whole LAFMS (see link above to their site) scene has really extended its tentacles of influence. It’s like music that simultaneously has and lacks roots, with its sorta brut qualities. Your earlier stuff was obviously rooted in blues and it’s accurate to say that it still is, but those other influences are more avant-garde and European. It all seems to collide in your harder to pin down material. That kind of makes sense seeing that you’ve transplanted yourself to the States. Can you talk a little about roots, both in your life and your music, about how you came to live here and the importance of your roots and the distance you now have from them, both physically and musically?

DM: Actually, it might be more accurate to say I became less ashamed of own voice.

DECAYKE: Moving from one place to another often has that effect, of throwing a contrast, so to speak, that makes us perhaps appreciate things that were there in front of our nose the whole time. How about your visual art? Did moving have a similar effect on it and has it changed as well? What relationship exists to your mind between the visual and the sonic, especially in context of your more abstract LP’s and singles?

DM: The thing that most changed my visual art was having the space to paint larger canvasses – – so, once again that was a result of a move – the one from NYC to NC. I was painting and drawing well before I ever started doing music, and I just had the chance to get back in touch with my main influences (Nolde, Guston, de Kooning, Soutine, Sidney Nolan, etc) when the space opened up, and I had room to do things again. There is a very close relationship/correlation between the two things (the music and the painting), especially with the kind of thing I am doing now. Most of my paintings have a very rough look to them that gives the impression of spontaneity and lack of revision, but most of them are actually done over a long period of time, being mostly the result of erasing all the over-worked, stiff, familiar looking areas and marks, so that I am left with a collection of slips of the brush, splashes, partially erased areas of colour, etc  – that together hang in some sort of approximation of an image (if there isn’t one there the mind imposes one!) Sound collage type utilises a lot of the same techniques. It’s like that Homosexuals line “capitalize on random snippet of sound” (though I’d leave the word random out). You want something that draws the listener in, like they’re walking down a corridor toward the source. Things are obscured with effects and unexpected juxtapositions, excerpts are repeated, giving a sense of some continuity whilst never really settling down into a linear or predictable composition. It is a very similar process.

DECAYKE: I can hear (and see that). Do you visualize your music. Does it occur to you in colors and/or forms. I’m not talking full-on synesthesia or anything, but with me, what I do often presents itself as geometric patterns or washes of hues before I ever begin to record. Patterns often correlate to meter and color is tone and so forth. Is this something you experience?

DM: Yes, I do. I think of it in terms of space/placement mostly.I try to get my non-vocal, less song-based music to work in a more formal sort of way than I do my painting. Almost like trying to create depth by setting up the pictorial plane, with various elements of sound layered behind it at different intervals (sorry if that sounds grandiose, I just can’t think of a better way of saying it) It’s a bit like a Giorgio De Chirico painting – with those strange unrelated elements bouncing off each other in the weird vacuum of those piazzas he paints (or at least that’s what I’m trying for).

DECAYKE: That’s the first thing that struck me about the Siltbreeze 7″ – the way it was spatially organized. It was as if there were planes overlapping other planes and it just happened to be that the planes were composed of sound. Consequently that really fucks up any sense of linear time, successfully so, I think.

DM: That one’s quite haphazard – – sort of a burst of sonic enthusiasm! – but I think it came out well.

DECAYKE: It’s very disorienting. Totally time out of joint. It may be the most surreal of your records, and while it was similar to your more recent output it also marked a more radical direction. So let’s talk about the LP “At Home With The Lloyd Pack.” Who is pressing it and when do you expect its release? How many young girls will cry because of it? I’m very curious about that. We’ll get on to the use of spoken word on the record, but only after you predict the amount of adolescent tears fallen.

DM: How do you mean? It is melancholy in places, but I don’t expect that any young girls will cry because of it, unless someone makes a young girl listen to it! I could see that causing some problems.

DECAYKE: The young girls? I think I just failed at making a joke. Or maybe not.

Here there’s some interim conversation about Dan’s past interviews. He remarks that they usually consist of people asking him what Billy Childish eats for breakfast and so forth. “People really do enjoy living in the past!”

DECAYKE: They do…and whenever I have been interviewed, which has only been a few times, it inevitably comes up. I think it’s only relevant in context of what you are doing now and where you see yourself going. Roots are important to understanding how you see things now and as a predictor of where you may be going as an artist or person. Evolution is important because it tells us why you do what you do now, but asking what your favorite song to play from 15 years ago is boring and, well, mostly irrelevant. Almost every artist I know does one thing and is on to another. So they like to talk about that or the bigger issues that drive them, whatever they might be. And those are what makes up any person, so it has a universality about it that everyone can connect to.

DM: Yes, I agree totally. Unfortunately the type of music scene I am often (erroneously – in my opinion) seen as being part of is one that defines itself by denying the present, so much so that the people who contact me from that scene have basically given up on buying new music (their heyday was the mid nineties or something) and assume that you haven’t even remained active since that time, as none of your records have impinged on their consciousness. If any of them did, they would hate them! To be honest I’m pretty comfortable with that too. I really hate revivalist music forms at this stage.

DECAYKE: Yeah, I remember that big boom of garage rock that happened. I bought a few Billy Childish records here and there but even then I was more into the more adventurous side of things. I blame it all on David Jackman. I ate some acid one night in the 80’s and got obsessed with drone…and there was always SCG etc., too. I’m shocked at how common drone has become these days and am trying to find ways to break through that form without totally abandoning it, but it’s done. I can’t see anything else to do with it at this point and the reason I even bring this up is I imagine that’s the way you feel about garage rock. It’s not that it’s inherently bad or anything, it is – particularly for the artist – a matter of creating new forms or trying to anyway. Then you have someone like Mike Rep who doesn’t really care about doing something “new” but somehow accidentally stumbles onto it. With him it’s always fresh. Maybe it’s the recording quality or whatever but I think it’s something unique to him and his pals, the way the see and hear things. You know, I watched this cool interview with Robert Ashley asking Terry Riley questions yesterday and Riley commented on how Western music seems to be about tearing down older forms and inventing new ones, whereas Indian music is more formally and historically serpentine, that it builds on what has become before. I personally think that’s semantics and a matter of perspective,but I get it. Then he started in with his organ ragas and not even 10 minutes in I was bored to tears.

When I was first talking to Mike Rep at Facebook he mentioned about how he was musically stuck in the past, and I replied with something along the line that as far as music or any creative pursuit is concerned, I see it as a continuum above or outside of time. Sure, there are paradigmatic reactions – some out of boredom with what has come before, some out of pure criticism…whatever – that appear to create some sort of progress. But there’s something greater than that, too, and this is where it gets sort of metaphysical and questionable. It seems that there is a continuum which exists outside of time. Something akin to a revolutionary spirit and it’s evident in change in artistic forms. Punk is only one manifestation of it. Free jazz another…insert any movement or school. Does that make any sense to you and does that make you rethink “revivalism” in music? To me it sort of parallels what Riley said about building on the past while also accommodating the notion of one movement overturning another, or destructive creation. Sorry to have rambled on…

DM: Yes, I know what you mean. The main way it strikes me, is when I listen to something, read something, or look at something that was made in an era prior to a time we consider ‘modern’ or ‘current’, that still seems way ahead of its time – partly because it was never shackled to the time in which it was created (in a fashion following sense) and partly because it gets to some core issue, or truth (if you like) that people have always felt. To me it applies to everything from Bo Diddley to Knut Hamsun- – making a whole band a rhythm section to access some long repressed urge to dance, or talking about the mercurial nature of the human mind – – JMW Turner painting in an impressionist style 50 years before it became a movement.

I think it is very questionable to think of most artistic movements as representing something entirely new, as a bit of digging about usually exposes some clear precedents.
People like to get caught up in this idea of newness though, even if they are old enough to know better. I remember how unpopular or even controversial it was to mention the fact that Devendra whatsisname sounded exactly like Tyrannosaurus Rex era Marc Bolan at the time of this great popularity, because it was like you were raining on everyone’s parade by pointing out an ‘inconvenient truth’ – – now, you can’t mention his name without someone saying ‘oh that Marc Bolan impersonator.’

DECAYKE: So I’ve been trying to figure out exactly where your latest music fits into things historically and I’m having a bit of a hard time. That’s great. Is it more important to try something new and fail or to do something tried-but-true and be great at it? Now I just want you to know that I’m not saying you fail (ha!), it’s just that this comes up as a topic when people talk about trying or “experimenting” with new forms. I once had a teacher, who I hope doesn’t teach anymore, who said about fiction that it’s fine to experiment, just remember that most experiments fail. It seemed to me that was a fucked up way of going about teaching to me at the time and, though I now see his point, it still seems remarkably stupid.

DM: Yes, I’m glad to hear that the stuff is not that easy to place, as that’s a quality I value in the music I like. I do feel it’s very important to fail when you’re trying to reach for something – it’s about the only way you can work out what you really want to do. In the case of releasing records you do hope that the failures don’t end up making it onto the record, but I suppose that’s subjective! I find a few of the attempts at more grandiose songwriting that I have turned out over the years quite embarrassing, and [I] would say that they were failures in my eyes, as they didn’t achieve what they were supposed (acclaim, increased popularity,  etc.). I also don’t like listening to them (I’m thinking particularly of an album called ‘O, Clouds Unfold!’) but I don’t regret making them as they were very helpful in showing me that it wasn’t really my thing.

Dan Melchior The Lloyd Pack

At Home With The Lloyd Pack | l’esprit de l’escalier

I think your teacher sounds conservative, and a person who likes to guard their little corner of ‘expertise’ (or at least proficiency) rather than fail spectacularly and learn an invaluable lesson in the process. Definitely a bad thing to pass on to students!
It reminds me of a life drawing teacher we had at art school – – the only decent teacher in the whole place! He would give us exercises that involved doing things like starting our drawing from the corners of the page, or having our pencil attached to the corner of the paper with a short elastic band so that it was difficult to make marks on certain parts of the paper. A great teacher. Most of the students hated him though, because being in their early 20’s at least, they had all developed a style of life drawing that accentuated favored techniques and styles and really did not want to be forced to look like stumbling amateurs in front of a class of their peers. They were not at all up for the challenge of learning something through struggling. That teacher left after one semester because he couldn’t be bothered with the class. I know this because he told me!

DECAYKE: As I recall, this teacher, a very sort of solemn character, very serious, had come from the Iowa school of writers. Me, being young, I was looking to try anything and everything. I suppose that, in terms of the rather strict guidelines he laid out, I did fail, but like you, I’m happy that I did. In 20th C. music and art, whether it’s pop or avant-garde, mistakes play a great role. Well, that and chance. You have Eno who said something about mistakes being hidden intentions. The Dadaists and Surrealists using chance and automatism. The phrase “happy accidents” didn’t come around by accident! So with your more enigmatic material how much does accident play a role? The Siltbreeze 7″ feels like a dream. It has its own internal logic and immediacy, truly unique and remarkable. The LP is also like that, but like a different sort of dream. They share that surreal aesthetic however. Given that you work over long distances, that there’s so much uncertainty in life, so much absurdity, how does that impact the way you go about editing or putting together those records?

DM: Well, I think I try to grasp at accidents a little too much at times! – – it’s like a family with a camcorder (cellphone these days I suppose) desperately trying to capture someone in the group falling over so they can post it on youtube and go viral! – – you can’t fake an accident! – you can try, but it will always ring hollow.

What I tend to do (and this was particularly true of ‘Assemblage Blues’) is to take a part of a song/riff/whatever that seems quite inconsequential (or at least not at all monumental) loop it (often slightly out of sync) and build something on top of it. It’s like trying to paint with someone jerking your arm around, but if you’ve got a bad habit of falling into habitual patterns like I have, it’s helpful.

I’m not really sure what surreal means anymore. It’s one of those words that have been chronically devalued by over use – – lie ‘zen’. It’s a shame, but it’s become something you wouldn’t particularly want to apply to yourself. I think that life is inherently absurd, and things that call attention to that are really only digging slightly beneath the surface that we have cultivated (or that we acknowledge, at least) so that we can go about our everyday lives. I try to spark a bit of the ‘other’ when I’m putting these things together – – I’m not sure if I succeed. It would be nice to try and replicate that feeling of being half asleep that you get when taking a nap. You wake up suddenly, and realize you were thinking about something that our language can’t make sense of. You managed to slip between the cracks for a little bit.

DECAYKE: I agree with you about “surreal.” That seems to happen to significant words and concepts, especially as they filter down through pop culture. The same thing has happened to “singularity.” That’s probably the most recent example of a word with cultural resonance that has lost all its meaning. Last time I counted there were nine distinct versions of what it meant exactly. So it’s essentially dead. With all the lyrics you’ve written, you understand the value of language and how to keep it vital, which leads me to think of a conversation that we recently had on facebook that ended up being centered around our world now. Devaluation, promises of progress, systemic reform, technological leaps for a better, cleaner, healthier life…these were all things we were led to believe when our generation grew up. Can you discuss your song The Old Future in terms of our metamarketed world? Where’s the beef?

DM: Oh, it’s sort of lighthearted really.A bit of comic relief! I was trying to make myself laugh mainly. The thing I get most bothered by as far as social media goes, is the idea of the dj/curator/instant expert. The person who has a vast collection of mp3s they have half listened to and skip reads Internet articles to get their info, then feels quite justified in lecturing you on any number of music movements/genres with no sense that they have failed to really connect with any of it. I think the idea of connecting with something is probably becoming a rarefied concept. I don’t see this as being a strictly generational thing either, it seems that quite a few older people have sort of devolved into this way of behaving.

Of course music is my particular obsession, so that’s the thing I notice this happening with. I’m sure it is also happening in many other areas. It must be hard to be a teacher. I was a terrible student. I used to read the blurb on the back of the book and write my 500 word essay based on that. I can’t imagine what I would have been like in this climate. It’s like the idea of built-in obsolescence so beloved to car/tv/computer manufacturers has become built into every aspect of our culture. It must be quite riling for genuine experts, to have some upstart who scrolls through a few wikipedia pages and feels that they are on a level footing.

DECAYKE: Oh I’m sure it is. There’s the undeniable fact that it used to take work to find out about things you, me, us, we, them, they were interested in. You had to dig, follow leads. Kind of like being a detective. Not so coincidentally Helga Fassonaki mentioned something similar, that we really don’t connect to the culture anymore. That it’s mediated, and for music, mostly through YouTube. It’s just served up in literal bits. Describe your ambivalence to technology? Please.

DM: Well, I have a weird relationship with technology, because I am (as you say) ambivalent to it to some degree. At the same time, it has made everything I do possible really, as I record all my music on a computer using Pro Tools, sell my records on a web site, communicate the fact that there are new records out on Facebook, so it would be disingenuous of me to claim I am not ‘plugged in’, or I that I don’t benefit from it hugely – it’s just the stuff you’re talking about, and all the inane thought and photo sharing (which I am also guilty of sometimes!) that starts to get you down. It makes people of younger generations seem really intensely self-obsessed in a very unproductive way. I suppose it is exactly the way the pre-tv generations felt about what happened to people after tv.

DECAYKE: Can you thematically and aesthetically summarize the commonalities of your newest material and tell us a little about the motivation or inspiration for what you are doing? Please tell us about the newest releases as well…I know you have something on Dylan Nyoukis’ Chocolate Monk imprint?

Dylan Nyoukis Put This Here CD-R Out

Dan Melchior | A Squirrel Could Never Be A Disappointment To Me | Chocolate Monk

DM: Well, the new stuff all comes from the same place – – and has the same aim really, it just achieves (or doesn’t achieve, according to your point of view) those aims in more subtle or blatant terms from release to release. Obviously songs that have words, a chord structure etc, are more palatable to most people, and they are the thing I am known for (when I am known at all) – but I think a song has the potential to carry just as much sonic richness as an instrumental piece, or a piece using ‘samples’ if it is handled rightly. It may be hard to convey quite such a sense of otherness or detachment, when that song features your own voice, but it is still nice challenge to try and make it do so.

The stuff that Mr Nyoukis is releasing under the title “A Squirrel Could Never Be A Disappointment To Me” is a mixture of things that have been worked on over the last few years. They are linked mainly by a sort of mischievous, playful quality – and some ‘wordless vocals’.

“Dan Melchior was last heard of in the UK playing to living fossils in Camden for spare change and greasy handshakes, but THINGS HAVE CHANGED (if they were ever ‘the same’) – scattered and haunted sounds have been flowing from his North Carolina bunker, and the last few years have seen releases on Siltbreeze and Kye, and now the esteemed Chocolate Monk is taking the plunge too. Dan hopes you will enjoy this helping of ethereal nonsense” – Some guy in the know

DECAYKE: You said, “It may be hard to convey quite such a sense of otherness or detachment, when that song features your own voice, but it is still a nice challenge to try and make it do so.” Is there a general movement in your music lately that somehow seeks to transcend or dissociate from the self, and if so, to what extent?

DM: I’ve done so much recording that pushed a sort of persona (me, or a version of me) that at some point it starts to become repetitive, no matter how hard you try to break out of it by deliberately going into different areas, it’s still that voice – that turn of phrase (or whatever) that starts to seem a bit cosy. I’m absolutely certain that I’ll carry on writing songs, and recording them – but it would be nice to think that doing this other stuff would bring something new to the more familiar song based stuff, or at the very least just provide a break.

DECAYKE: I think that touches on an interesting thing about your identities or personas from the past and the sort of “whu?” quality to your recent outings. This make sense to you? Do you think that you having been so identified with those British “fossils” (haha! I couldn’t help but include that it made me laugh so hard – see the Chocolate Monk blurb) shaped your more shapeless sound?

DM: Yes, I do. The whole rigid blueprint of that music was always like a straitjacket to me. I never thought that having a certain amp, or a certain guitar, or a certain pedal was somehow going to bring the past to life, and I never wanted to anyway. It’s always been amazing to me that there are so many people who do see that as a worthwhile pastime.

It’s always hilarious to look at any video on YouTube and then check the comments underneath. If it’s anything from the sixties, seventies etc., there will always
be someone ranting about Bieber and Lady Gaga, and how real music is dead. My main reaction to those kind of statements is a feeling of contempt for the people who write them. I have no sympathy with that kind of viewpoint at all. It’s just a way of boiling life down to ridiculously simplistic either/or choices (like the famous Beatles or Stones debates) that seems to infect our modern culture all the way up to who we choose to run countries.
A bit of mystery is what’s needed I think – a bit of playfulness – – something that doesn’t spell out it’s intentions in 10 foot letters from note one.

 Artwork by Dan Melchior

"Cockney"

“Cockney”

"NO"

“NO”

"Nurds"

“Nurds”

"Windy"

“Windy”

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Albums, Art, Dan Melchior, David Jackman, Los Angeles Free Music Society, Music, Psychedelic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.