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Review + Q&A More Klementines (2022, Twin Lakes Records)

To me these days, there are few things as satisfactory as a bunch of free form musical artists finding each other and jamming like there is no tomorrow. To me they are like mind readers almost, or cosmic weavers of sonic threads. The band Can were based on this principle, and they spend many months perfecting their jams, often culminating into what they called “Godzillas”; slowly built up eruptions of sonic energy.

More Klementines definitely bear fruit from that can, and they definitely share four of their most successful Godzillas on their new album Who Remembers Light. There is in fact little about it that I do not like. Whether they wax instrumentally like on opener Hot Peace, or add lyrical poetry like on the much shorter Key Of Caesar, they do it in a way that is ephemeral in nature, here one moment, gone the next. Like ideas, and thoughts, More Klementines’ improvisational music comes and goes, back and forth, sometimes steady rockin’, sometimes more fragile, but ever flowing.

Who Remembers Light is a photograph of this ephemeral power of More Klementines, a recorded moment in time where they rocked, and flowed freely amongst newly discovered sounds. Freshly picked klementines for your listening pleasure…

So I discovered about More Klementines rather late, more than a month after the release of Who Remembers Light. The more I found out about them the more I liked them though, because aside from cool musicians im multiple bands they are also proud record label owners…let’s quickly dive deeper into that with the trio that makes up More Klementines!

Hi guys, can you please introduce yourselves to the Weirdo Shrine audience?

Kiefer: Hey Jasper, thanks so much for taking an interest in More Klementines. Michael Kiefer here, and I play drums in the band. 

J: This is Jon – I’m the only person in the band not named Mike or Steubs. I play guitar, banjo and lap steel.

Steubs: Esteemed congregants of the Weirdo Shrine, I greet you heartily! I am Steubs, and I play strings, keys, delay, and bells. 

How have you been the past pandemic years? How did you see it affect your musical careers?

J: The pandemic required stepping back and putting things on hold for a bit – in a way it was nice to pull out of the game for a bit and spend time listening and going for walks in the woods. Fortunately, we were able to share ideas and work through new material. One highlight of the pandemic was recording our “sk8 @ yr own rsk” record where we regrouped for an afternoon outside and got to play in my backyard in the fresh air.

Steubs: All that time to play with no real agenda but to try to entertain myself, led to some new ways to hold the instruments, and make happy noise with less of a focus on plucked notes or stacked harmonies. Something about that time led me to seek out lighter ways to make the instrument move the air. Something about melody, harmony or even traditional dissonance seemed to bring the dark quarantine times into unwanted high relief, and finding ways to make the instrument hum, hiss, wobble, and take up new sonic spaces made it seem like I was moving through the time better. 

Kiefer: It definitely afforded me some more time to get back to practicing the rudiments of drumming, while also exploring ways to create new textures around the kit. 

Can you tell me about your band(s)? I have just been listening to the last More Klementines a lot! It’s awesome! But there is more, right?

Kiefer: Thanks so much! Yeah, I also play in a psych duo called Spiral Wave Nomads with Albany, NY’s Eric Hardiman. We’re just about to put out our 3rd LP, Magnetic Sky in November–another co-release with Feeding Tube Records. And Jon and I also play in another outfit called Drifting North. It’s kind of a fresh take on the Cosmic Americana that’s been bubbling up from the American underground the past several years…psychedelic folk tunes and garage rockers that can morph into motorik train beat jammers or freeform meditative folk ragas.

J: Yes. As Mike mentioned, he and I play in another project called Drifting North that includes some heavy hitters from New Haven – we’re moving into recording mode with a batch of songs and jams and hope to put out songs in the coming year and a full record to follow.

Steubs: My recent side project joy has been to play drums with my kid’s band, and to work on some solo sound compositions and try to teach myself about synths.

What can you tell me about the Twin Lakes record label? 

Kiefer: Well, Steubs and I started the label back in 2007, I think when we were still working as a duo called Myty Konkeror

Steubs: Ah yes, I remember it well! We had a lot of friends at the time with tape labels, or self-recorded labels, and it seemed more logical to pursue the music and the distribution on our own terms. The surprising bit, was that as soon as we released anything by ourselves, we were overwhelmed by amazing musicians seeking help to release their music. We’ve always sought to do limited runs, records if possible, and with the band bringing a unique or handmade art design to the table. It feels like, and felt like, even way back then, that to put a physical object into the world, it had to have some love baked in as well as some aesthetic merit. 

Where are you guys from, and how does it affect your music?

Kiefer: Jon and I live just outside of New Haven, CT in Branford/N.Branford, while Steubs lives in Brooklyn. I’m not sure how it affects our music. There’s certainly a lot of great music around the New Haven area, like our friends in the Mountain Movers, Headroom, the C/Site label run by Stefan Christensen, Henry Birdsey, Mercy Choir, Lys Guillorn and many others. Plus other CT artists like Michael Slyne and Fatal Film in New London. Seeing them all continue to keep working and push their creativity in new ways pushes us to keep going and exploring new sounds.

J: Living in the woods of Connecticut near the shore gives the opportunity to listen to the trees, lapping of the water, and drive winding roads while listening back to recordings and mixes. Something about these surroundings permeates the music – it’s kind of a state of mind-  the ebb and flow of the tides that pulls on things and has profound influence in subtle ways.

Steubs: The music scene in and around New Haven, CT is very special, and one of the most underrated deep beds of weirdo-music talent in the U.S. People are caring and real and involved the rest of the community at large. I’m so lucky to know Mike and Jon and to be able to get up there to bang around with these guys, skate with these guys, ride down mountains with these guys and surf with these guys.

I am a NYC native, from the boroughs, and I’ve always had an affinity for the music NYC has produced that has aligned itself with sounding out the uncomfortable and harder parts of NY life in a DIY-way:  New York Hardcore (CroMags, LifesBlood), Crust and Squatter Punk (Nausea, Missing Foundation – Germans who were nevertheless in Tompkins Square Park), No-Wave (8-eyed-spy —- first time I got to read a Byron Coley cassette insert!), that whole scene that Sonic Youth eventually presided over, metal and crossover (Leeway rocks!), etc, etc… there are so many kinds of heavy music bands and players and composers who have been from here, and it’s so humbling  …. so much jazz, noise, beats…John Zorn!, Velvet Underground, SWANS, RUN DMC, KRS-One, Eric B and Rakim, Wu-Tang… it’s made me want to open up to hear so many things, and feel like I always have beginner’s mind when I try to write and perform. 

There is a strong kraut vibe in your music, where did that come from? And who are your kraut rock heroes? 

Kiefer: CAN tops the list for me. Amon Duul II and Neu! are right up there as well. I’ve always loved the repetition and motorik beats that you’d often hear in those bands. I really liked how propulsive and groovy the rhythms could be while also leaving so much room for the songs to open up with interesting, weird textures and sounds. That coupled with the free approach you hear in a lot of that music…to me it represents the joy of discovery in new sounds that I love experiencing with my friends and collaborators.

J: What Kiefer said is exactly what I’d say on this subject.

Steubs: All of that for sure ++ I also spent a lot of time with 90s kraut-rock influenced bands like Th’ Faith Healers uk (still a rhythm/lead guitar north star for me— the opening riff on Imaginary Friend is just so definitive. Not to mention, I took that whole mark chime thing into song into our own last album.) Thank you, Th’ Faith Healers uk. Incidentally, this has been and remains an album I put on during larger gatherings, and people always start clamoring: “What is this record?!? It’s so great!”

I think we try to be respectful about celebrating our love of these bands that take heavy repetition and building freakouts, but we are trying to move to an entirely new place. I think that one of the things we’ve started to explore more and more,  is how you can create the effect of repetition without actually doing it, but instead taking the listener into new places while they think they are hearing repetition. This is almost the opposite of a lot of older psych and krautrock, which would use the repetition to make the same sound unfamiliar. I think we are using heavy music, and playing with dynamics, to make the listener follow us to places that are different and radical, but leaving aspects in place that cushion the giant steps so suddenly what sounded like repetition is doing something totally different.

Who are your favorite contemporary musicians?

Kiefer: Oh man, there are just so many, so I guess I’ll focus on the ones I’ve been listening to most the last couple years. We recently played a gig with Michael Beach at Tubby’s in Kingston, NY, and he just released an EP that confirmed he’s one of the best singer-songrockers out there. The new Elkhorn LP is amazing, and the new Bill Callahan album has been on repeat for me since it came out. I also keep going back to the Myriam Gendron record that came out earlier this year. Oh, and Steubs turned me on to a Curtis Harding record that came out last year that I also revisit a lot. Pretty much anyone on Three Lobed Records…that new Eli Winter record is so good, and I’m always excited when a new Gunn-Truscinski Duo record comes out. Our New Haven buds The Mountain Movers continue to inspire us with each release. Another New Haven artist that blew us away recently is Henry Birdsey’s Old Saw project, specifically his 2021 album Country Tropics

J: I’ve really enjoyed all the music that Rose City Band has been putting out the past few years – very inspirational stuff right there. I’m a huge Steve Gunn fan as well. I’m continually discovering musicians that are long gone such as Amanaz that just blow me away – I seem to have them on continuous play even though I discovered their record from 1975 a few years back. I’m still discovering decades old records by King Tubby and Lee Scratch Perry that pull me in more than anything.

Steubs: Wille Nelson. Bill Frisell. Mitsky. Jim White. Pete Kerlin.

What is the coolest thing you have done so far? And what is still on the bucket list?

Kiefer: Hmm…I’m not sure there’s one coolest thing. We’re just super grateful to have joined bills with some of our favorite artists. We’ve had such a blast sharing bills with bands like Oneida, Howlin Rain and our buds Garcia Peoples. Playing some shows in Europe is definitely on the bucket list.

J: Probably the coolest thing may have to be our first improv gig at Cafe 9 in New Haven – I can’t remember all the details (year, who else was on the bill, etc) but I recall that Steubs played a gamelan and the three of us managed to levitate a few feet off the ground during our 30 minute set. It was one of the most profound musical experiences I’ve had… 

Kiefer: Oh yeah, that gig was amazing. And the fact that we improvised that night was borne more out of necessity than anything else. I remember a couple days before the show Steubs let us know he couldn’t make it, so Jon and I practiced the day before as a two-piece with some rough ideas. But then the day of the show Steubs let us know that he could make it and would just jump in and improvise. I think Jon and I started out the set with whatever approach we had prepared for, but then the set just sort of took on a weird, beautiful life of its own. That show definitely gave us the confidence to keep improvising, and I’m not sure if we’ve written any structured songs since, with the exception of “Key of Caesar.”

Steubs: Getting older and having these two buddies to bang around with is the coolest thing. It’s like that lyric from ‘boogie chillen’: “Let that boy boogie-woogie/cause it’s in him, and it got to come out.” That’s music for me- I don’t have a choice. It’s weird stuff, not universally appealing, and if I could have chosen, I’d probably have chosen to play more popular and profitable sounds. But these dudes and I find some peace and release in playing this noise out of ourselves together—wherever it might originate from. Having a handful of people that seem interested in listening to the noise we make is just gravy. 

Kiefer: Yeah…that’s definitely the coolest thing for sure. 

What are your immediate future plans? 

Kiefer: We do have one gig on the horizon that we’re excited about. We’ll be playing the I Heart Noise Festival on December 10 in Williamsburg at Pete’s Candy Store with some other artists we love, like Wet Tuna, Jim White & Marisa Anderson, Solilians, Skyjelly, and I Feel Tractor. We can’t wait!

Aside from that, we just wanna continue getting together when time allows and jam. We’re all great friends and we feel really lucky that our bonds go beyond the personal connections we have. We have this deep musical connection that allows us to converse in our own language not studied, but fluently spoken and all our own. So we’re looking forward to more of that! 

J: I’m about to eat some fresh from the oven apple crisp made from hand-picked macouns. One of the best things about autumn in New England. Don’t forget the scoop of vanilla ice-cream to cool it off!

Steubs: I’ve gotta catch up on a few late parking tickets, and we’re almost out of dog food at home, so I’ll probably head out to the store in a few minutes.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after this interview?

    Eat More Klementines!

Review + Q&A: James Johnston & Steve Gullick- Everybody’s Sunset (2022, God Unknown Records)

In February 2021 We Travel Time by James Johnston and Steve Gullick was the perfect soundtrack to melting snow and hopes of a new day after a very long and depressing pandemic winter. I also had the pleasure to reach out to James and talk about this project and his time in Gallon Drunk, PJ Harvey, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He is a full time painter now though, and Steve Gullick an amazing pop photographer who shot many great artists. Everybody’s Sunset is a their sophomore effort as a duo, and once again it displays the symbiotic relationship the two men have with imagery and music.

Like his canvasses, James Johnston paints his music on the verge of abstract and figurative, sometimes writing songs, mostly writing soundscapes. Like in photography, Steve Gullick captures moments at exactly the right time, creating musical mental images that reflect song titles like A Greater Silence, Shimmer, A Fear Of Everything and such. The title track made think for a moment; isn’t every sunset everybody’s sunset? Or is the sunset you experience a unique experience for any individual?

There is plenty of time for musings of this kind on Everybody’s Sunset, as more often than before the music is void of lyrics, painting an image of stillness with sparse sound collage, a small dash of violin, a lonely guitar wail, a shimmer of percussion…music to reflect, to sort your thoughts to, perhaps to paint to? In any case, it’s another fine piece of avantgarde music for use to wonder about and cherish.

I was lucky enough to talk to James Johnston again, after our lovely chat last year. We caught up about the time in between, and also talked about the present and the future…

Hi James, good to talk to you again, can you tell me a little bit about how you spend your time since the release of We Travel Time in February 2021?

Well, it feels like a long time to us as we recorded the first album quite some time ago, and the situation was so different as to almost seem unreal now. Global lockdowns etc. Since then I’ve been in the studio painting 5 days a week, and Steve’s been back into photo and video work again. We’ve been working on the new album since March 2021, a very gradual process of building up a body of work, so the music has been a constant throughout.

I can imagine that the writing and recording sessions for Everybody’s Sunset were quite different from last time! Can you tell me about it?

It was more that the music was different. We basically went about it in the same way, although we were able to work together recording a bit more this time, especially when it came to the crucial part of mixing and making snap decisions to cut things down, take things apart. As ever, it’s loose and live, but the work after the initial recording is what we took a lot more time over. It’s a process we both love, and both work as instinctively as possible while doing it, trying not to get lost on details, but to go with feel about the overall atmosphere of the music. Get some surprises in there, turn things inside out. For example, we’d take a violin section I’d done, and then got totally bored of, and refeed it into the music through guitar pedals so that it becomes something totally new, then rethink the whole piece around that.

What do you think is the biggest difference between the two albums? 

The first one’s maybe a bit rawer, fragments of music that make up the whole, whereas this record has a very different and more immersive feel in general. It’s more out there.

Is there a link between your development as a painter and your music? It felt to me for instance like there is a similarity between the borders of abstraction in both your painting and your music, how do you see that?

It’s totally fed into it, as has Steve’s landscape photography for him. The mysterious edges of things, where the more conscious and planned ideas blend into something that feels more unknown.

Aside from your work with Steve, have you gotten any offers to work with other artists after covid, you have worked with a lot of big artists, will that continue in the future?

I’ll be working with Polly Harvey again next year, but until that happens I’ve decided to focus totally on the painting. Ive got a solo show in a couple of weeks, and I’ve been building up a lot of work for that.

Looking back at the pandemic, what changed mostly for you personally and professionally?

Thankfully family and those most close came through it ok, so as a result the experience was ok. I loved living in the empty version of London for a while, it had a real beauty to it.

Can you elaborate on the album title? It got me thinking; isn’t every sunset everybody’s sunset? And then again; does a specific way you experience a sunset make it unique to you? Am I close here…?

Well, it’s universal, a daily recurring sense of finality that’s paired with total beauty, something shared. Like a lot of the titles, it came from  a painting title. At the time I did the painting, it felt like it had a lot darker resonance to it as well. It hopefully reflects the ambiguity and embracing feel of the music.

What is the last book you read? Can you recommend any books you read recently?

The last book that I just finished was ‘Waterworld’ by Graham Swift. A real favourite is Madman’s Drum by Lynd Ward, a novel in woodcuts from the 1930s. A book my mother had that totally blew me away as a child, and still does.

What are you looking forward to most at this moment?

Getting into the studio.

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do after reading this interview?

Go outside.

Steve and James

Review + Q&A: Paper Bomb- Into The Sun (2022, The Weird Beard/Echodelick Records)

Paper bomb. It’s a bomb, but it won’t kill you. You can throw it at somebody to communicate your disapproval at them, and the message will arrive, but will it help? In any case, it might mystify your opponent, and that is something too, right? Paper Bomb is also a band, a rather cool band from Victoria, BC in Canada. If my previous ramblings were a bit vague, know that it was on purpose. For vagueness is an attitude that fits this band and their super hazy garage surf stoner album Into The Sun like a warm woolen glove, and that’s totally fine with me.

On display is a forward driven slab of 90s inspired grooving rock that is equal parts Monster Magnet, Together Pangea, Sonic Youth, and Thee Oh Sees. I bet MM’s John McBain had a lot of fun mastering this, a big blunt on his lip, and a wide ghoulish grin on his weathered face. It’s an album that definitely rocks hard, but takes plenty of time to pull its foot off the gas pedal to let it all hang out, and just chill, you know?

So, total “dude” rock this one, and some of the most fun I had while listening to new music this year. It does not pretend to be anything it’s not, you know? It is just what it is. And again, that’s totally fine with this guy….

Groovy cat at the Paper Bomb HQ

So let’s meet the band! I hit it off online with band spokesperson and singer Rob Brelsford, and he was kind enough to join Weirdo Shrine and add his As to my Qs…

Hi guys, how are you these days? Can you introduce the band?

we are doing good hanging out jammin lots at home and in the studio.

Rob Brelsford -Guitar/vocals (Wolf Rider/Bumface Productions)

Adrian Gates -Bass (Entanglemints,Walter,Veronica Tangent)

Chris Mackenzie -Guitar (Astrocolor, Robert Roth,Walter, Whip, Rod Iron Haulers)

Conor Matthews -Drums (The Fine Options, Bloody Wilma , Stray Cougar)

The new album Into The Sun was written and recorded during covid times, what can you tell me about that time and the influence on the band and the music?

Yeah it was written during Covid times and it was (a completed solo project/Album by Rob) probably an opportunity to reflect on things and I guess process stuff that’s been on the back of my mind for a long time as life is and so wrote it all out and created some songs. 11 songs in fact had a lot of time during Covid off work so got the equipment and just started recording. 

What are the influences? definitely from heavy rock /psychedelia to stoner rock. Over the past few years been listening to a lot  psychedelic music really got turned onto it through the Levitation festivals etc. I guess you could say Oh SeesBlack Angels, Allah-Las, etc. so I started out with a few songs on Bandcamp making some videos on Instagram and seemed to get some attention and then it was decided to do a full album.

You are a relatively new band, right? What are your musical backgrounds?

Yes that is actually correct we are a very new band ( from a solo project to now a fully formed band) and just fully formed in October with a few jams under our belts. Myself (Rob) and Adrian were in a band back in high school and reconnected earlier this year to work on Paper Bomb project. Adrian was able to get a hold of another buddy Chris McKenzie to play guitar and then his buddy Connor to play drums.

How did you get a record deal with Weird Beard and how did you get John McBain to master the album?

 Al and Dai at Weird Beard reached out after they saw some stuff on Instagram and listened to a few songs on Bandcamp. They asked if I was interested in doing an album with them. This was around the end of December 2020, so I spent at least about the first 3 to months of 2021 writing the songs had some more material from before and  recorded at broken waves studio through Bum Face Productions. Was all mixed with Ben Whiterock and then mastered by John McBain. John McBain is who does all Weird Beard’s mixing and mastering. John did an awesome job on the album. Super stoked to have Al and Dai (Weird Beard)reach out to do this album with them. Very grateful and It gave the motivation/push to do it. I’m really glad they dug the music and supported it!

Can you tell me what life in Victoria, BC Canada is like for a musician like you?
Victoria’s a great place for music a lot of talent here great musicians bands!Unfortunately we have lost a few venues and I think a lot of this was due to COVID etc. but with that being said I think with that paradigm shift so  there’s other places that start up a new ideas are generated. You can see a lot of places in Victoria that are starting to do more like gorilla like underground sort of venues at homes ,different little studios and live shows. I think that’s important because going back to grassroots really gives the music scene a unique foundation and has a lot of creativity/Good vibe.

How do lyrics come to you?

Usually write a song and then add some lyrics in mind. Try to go to a isolated place or beach especially in the winter season.Try to see how it fits with the song but usually it’s like something on the back of the mind maybe something that’s needing processing or a observation. Just trying to create a song having a connection with it and and hopefully listener has their own connection/interpretation with it as well.

Is there a band Paper Bomb can agree on being the greatest ever? What else is played in the band van?

For me (Rob) from I really find Beach Boys/The Wrecking Crew  are a major influence on myself as well I love the band Oh Sees.

Chris Mackenzie the Beatles and Soundgarden

Conor definitely is Black Sabbath 

(1st 6 albums) 

Adrian: Tortoise ,the Cure and the Red Hot Chili Peppers ( old stuff)

Being played in the van: Frankie and the Witch FingersAl La lahsToys That KillBaptistLA WitchTame Impala DK, Primus,King Gizzard , Alton Gun etc. so many local bands we listen to next to this: the HexArt DecoMoths and Locusts , Slam Dunk to mention a few.

What is your dream goal? And how about next year?

Honestly I guess some of the dream goals would be probably to be able to get some shows going in the new year start doing a small tour/start playing some festivals! That would be awesome I guess we’ll see how it goes and next year could entail probably writing the next album/making more music

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do immediately after this interview?


Go out to as many shows as possible and support your local venues/bands!

You are what makes them creates a scene just as much as the music and the bands!

oh and check out our new album Into The Sun!!! 

Review+ Q&A: Moon Goose- La Nuit (2022, Fruits De Mer Records/Inflatable Tarmac Records)

Sometimes it’s best not to overthink or over analyze things. Reading back my questions and the answers for the interview with UK’s space rock quintet Moon Goose I realized that what they expressed in words exactly covered what they are about; five guys creating music in the moment, taking it the way it comes in the moment. Not taking themselves too seriously, but definitely giving room for the free creative process. Anything they might think or say more about it is pretty moot, really. That does not mean it is less valuable or interesting as an art form though.

And it does not mean the listener cannot have their own thoughts. On the contrary, their new album La Nuit is filled to the brim with all kinds of crazy ideas and side paths that will make your brain do loopings and somersaults trying to stay on track of what is happening. Because with Moon Goose anything goes, within the domain of their -mostly- instrumental space rock psycho debauchery, that is.

Whether it is the soundtrack to understanding the inner feelings of future sex robots, being cursed by a lemon, or “a vicar’s brain being fried by the light”, Moon Goose will take you through it on this weird psychedelic journey. And when the final notes of Great Halls Of Broken Tools have sounded…you will hit the repeat button and take the ride again.

Moon Goose Dave handled the answering duties today, and as it appears these space rock Britons are just as as wacky in their daily lives as in their music businesses….

Hey Moon Goose! How is everything on your side of the globe?

Hello Weirdo Shrine! Literally everything is perfect on our side of the globe. No surprise really, once you know about the underlying geology in this part of the world. (It’s mostly Devonian-era Old Red Sandstone.)

Can you kindly introduce your band to the Weirdo Shrine audience?

We are five humans who use electricity, food and some other inputs to create noises which have the capacity to make people dance. 

What are your musical backgrounds?

Our musical backgrounds represent a clashing and infinite mix of styles ranging from Ennio Morricone to Jah Wobble via the sound of urban frogs in a storm drain on a humid Nairobi evening. 

Where do you live, and how would you say that influences your music?

Well the sandstone obviously influences everything else, including the heavy clay soil which supports a quixotic range of crops that can tolerate the waterlogged soil here in the in-between-space where England meets Wales. Overlay that biological reality with the tribal back-and-forth that characterizes life here as well as in the borderlands in every part of Earth and you will have a good understanding of the shifting identity, ruined castles, and potatoes that underpin our music. 

What does an average day look like for a Moon Goose cult member?

If we’re not riding the mile-high circular monorail that sketches the boundary of the entire bioregion, we are often to be found using our heads to roll gym balls up scree. 

What does it look like when you are writing music?

It looks like the feeling you get when you rediscover a half-eaten bag of crisps lying on precisely the windowsill you would have imagined it to be lying on, had you taken the proper time to think about it. 

Where do you gather your inspiration?

Inspiration-gathering is too active a description. Inspiration emerges when we play together in our barn. We inspire each other and the place we play adds its extra quality. Someone starts playing nothing in particular, someone else joins in, there’s a vibe or not, we remember it or not. Most if not all of our best stuff we’ve only ever played once when inspiration has crept up on us, and then we have failed to recapture it. If that sounds too fragile, don’t worry. 

What is “the dream” for Moon Goose as a band?

The dream is probably the ability to get somewhere close, on a record, to how we sound in the barn where we rehearse, on a night when the moon is shining and we are in flow. This would probably require spending several days and nights in the recording studio with our sound engineer Ryan and our producer Leon, maybe along with a pile of cheap garish cakes, and the more exhausted and delirious things became, the closer we would get to that precious barn vibe. 

What are you most looking forward to in the immediate future?

Realising our dream.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do immediately after reading this interview?

Feel loved. 

Review + Q&A: TENGGER- Earthing (2022, Centripetal Force, Cardinal Fuzz, Ramble Records)

It is not hard to believe that TENGGER is the love child of South Korean ITTA, and Japanese MARQIDO. There is a deep Eastern feeling about their music, a certain stillness and natural mindfulness that cannot be found anywhere else. If you close your eyes and let the music wash over you. It could well be that you will soon find yourself in a natural reserve, with birds chirping in your ear, a warm wind flowing through your hair, and an inner peace that will glow…

I wrote a bit about musicians and meditation, and TENGGER also has a flow that lends itself for inner exploration. Its minimal approach, mostly just synths and vocals, leaves much room for your own interpretation. Soon enough images will fill your retina, and travels to quieter, more beautiful places will ensue…

This is music that you can play on dew-touched mornings, with the promise of sunshine still dormant in the sky. The warmth and comfort of a cup of tea in your hands, and the heavenly voice of ITTA softly massaging your ears. While you leave some room between getting into the business of your day and your sleep state, it is time to get fully into your mind and body first.

Do not worry though, Tengger is there to help us.

I had the pleasure to talk to ITTA about her very special musical family. Turns out their son RAAI (see the video above) is part of the team as well! So quickly read about their journeys, their goals, and their myriad of wonderful future plans…

Hi guys, how are you doing these days? 

Hi Jasper, We are really happy to be invited to your interview!

Can you please introduce yourselves to the Weirdo Shrine audience?

We are a traveling musical family, TENGGER. Mother ITTA and father MARQIDO [marki:do], and our 10 years old son RAAI are members. 

I understand there were some difficulties in the writing and recording process of Earthing, can you tell me about that?

As all over the world had troubles, we were also in the pandemic difficulties. The pandemic closed the border and even blocked the VISA for families visiting between Korea and Japan, so we couldn’t meet each other for a long time. We could only meet shortly during RAAI’s school vacation time. When we met, we did a kind of pilgrimage in nature, did field recordings and made video footage for the music video. and recorded the album separately in Korea and Japan. We had to rely on the internet to complete the album.   

You are a family of three, right? Can you tell me about being a family and being a band? What are the pros and cons?

ITTA and MARQIDO were doing activities as solo artists and being together as 10 in 2005, traveling a lot with their own music, facing other cultures and indie musicians, and mainly nature. And then RAAI was born, so we continued traveling with him. Suddenly he came on the stage, then we let him do anything he wanted freely on stage. It allowed us to be a family band, naturally. RAAI made his own debut album during pandemic, MARQIDO released his solo album recently, ITTA as well. So we are working as solo artists too.  Being a family band with a child is simply hard. It’s not allowed to perform at some venues sometimes, and you have to wait for your baby’s period or school matters.  But that limitation is also an inspiration for us, and there is also the joy of surpassing it. 

Where do you live, and how does it effect the music that you make?

Right now we are mainly living in Seoul, Korea. And sometimes at our “Studio Kyurt” in Shikoku, Japan. Shikoku is a historical Buddhist pilgrimage destination, surrounded by nature and spirituality. We completed our first Shikoku pilgrimage in 2014, and we have made our “Studio Kyurt”, a 7-year DIY renovation of an old house in the middle of the pilgrimage route since 2015, and that studio is our base for continuing pilgrimages to spiritual places of nature. Through the eyes of a traveler, we feel the contrast between the metropolitan area and the great natural environments, and we feel the gratitude and harshness of the great nature even more.

I wrote an article about music and meditation once, and TENGGER would fit right in! Do you meditate, are you familiar with the concept?

We think that it is close to mindfulness to stop listening to music and consciously listen to ambience and environmental sounds. We do that on a daily basis. It is also about thinking about the boundaries of the concept of music and thinking about what music is. Thinking about how environmental sounds become music is akin to meditation.

How does nature and the natural world play a role in your music?

Everything in nature revolves and is connected. It is the basis of our expression.

Can you tell me which instruments are used on the album? What was different from before?

Until the album NOMAD, MARQIDO’s analog synthesizer was used. We like that sound because it’s warm. but for the album EARTHING, MARQIDO focused on making sounds with FM synthesizers. The FM synthesizer assembles SINE WAVE and controls HARMONICS, so We like the concept of harmony. And it’s fit for the concept of EARTHING. We also recruited our main guest vocals through field recordings for the album. They are Cicada and Suzumushi. 

What are your hopes and dreams for TENGGER?

To continue our journey with more people. And to reach TENGGERLAND, the utopia we envision, together with everyone.

What are your immediate future plans?

EU TOUR, 2023 FEB. We will announce the whole schedule very soon!  And, we have started to make a new album.  Ah, ITTA will release a picture book with her own paintings based on her lyrics, next month. It’s for her 20th anniversary.

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do immediately after reading this interview?

We recommend basking in the sun or going out to nearby natural spots. We are going out now! 

Review+ Q&A: Holy Springs- E.A.T. (2022, Up In Her Room Records)

Holy Springs must have gotten hold of a time machine somehow. I don’t see how else they picked up that perfect 90s dream tone of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, and Spacemen 3. Yet upon their return to the present they added even more fuzzy wool to the mix, making E.A.T. into a mega hazy experience that will make you feel like the walls are made out of cotton candy and your chair has come alive to swallow you whole…

The voices whisper sweet and nasty things in your ear while the songs leech their way into your subconscious. Get ready to hum along to Surprise, Believe It, and I Want You, whether you like it or not. Sure, you know this sound, you know the good old shoegaze adagium, but this performance is so spot on, so damn well executed that if you had any apprehension meeting yet another ‘gaze band you will let it go immediately after that guitar hits your cranium.

You will swallow those horse size pills and that chair will swallow you, and you will like it that way. Holy Springs will EAT you, and you will savor every bite.

So let’s meet the band! Here’s Neil Atkinson Jr, Maria Bellucci, and Suzanne Sims introducing themselves and explaining how E.A.T. got so freaking awesome…

Hi Holy Springs! How are you doing these days?

Neil: We’re good thanks. Excited about the album being out and playing live. Also relieved it has had a positive response!

Can you please introduce the band; where are you from, how did you meet?

Neil: I’m the guitarist and somewhat singer! Maria plays bass and keyboards and Suzanne plays drums. I was born in Hampshire but have moved around quite a bit. I’ve known Suzanne for a long time playing music and going to see bands. Me and Maria met in Italy at a music festival (Beaches Brew).

Maria: I’m from South Italy. 

Suzanne: Neil and I have been playing music together about ten years or so. 

What are your musical backgrounds?

Neil: I started playing guitar in my late teens. I grew up listening to punk and garage bands as well as the classic rock bands. Then as I grew up I discovered bands like the Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Spacemen 3 etc and they really influenced how I play guitar and write music now. 

Maria: I used to play the keyboard when I was a child. I’ve only recently started playing the bass (a few years ago).

Suzanne: Bit of a late starter, I didn’t begin playing the drums until my mid/late 20s. I play in Dead Rabbits and have been in a couple of friends’ musical projects. Before drumming, I played clarinet at school and guitar at college. It’s better for everyone that I don’t sing.

Where do you live, and how would you say that influences your sound?

Neil: Me and Maria live in South London. It’s hard to say if it influences the music. I think a band’s sound usually comes from their musical tastes. 

Suzanne: I live in Southampton. I don’t think the location influences my sound, but there’s a really good community of musicians, all various styles, and it’s nice to hang out and support each other.

What does a typical day in your lives look like?

Neil: We all have day jobs. I work from home mostly and a typical day is sitting in front of a laptop. 

Maria: I’m an NHS nurse so my day can be quite hectic! I try to relax with yoga and some sports.

Suzanne: Oversleep, intense workout session, arrive slightly late to my office job, work overtime, drink too many beers, doomscroll, repeat.

What can you tell me about the writing and recording process of E.A.T.?

Neil: We made demos for most of the songs on an old multi track. We start with recording some guitars then add a bassline. After that the hard part is lyric writing and finding some kind of melody or hook. When the demo is nearly done me and Maria will work on it at home before taking it to the rehearsal room with Suze. We recorded E.A.T over 2 weekends at Press Play Studio and Hackney Road Studios in London. I enjoy the studio and that whole process. Working with James Aparicio was great. It’s cool hearing the songs gradually build through loudspeakers. Those 3 instrumental tracks on the album were recorded at home afterwards feeding a synth through my guitar pedals. That was fun to do.

Maria: We also love hanging out in between takes and going for a drink at the end of the sessions.

Suzanne: I usually panic as soon as the click track starts and that red light goes on. There’s a lot of sitting around waiting when you’re in a band, but it’s worth it to capture a track.

How do your lyrics usually come into being?

Neil: They’re usually the last thing I do. I try to find a melody and will usually mumble nonsense into a mic until the right words come. Sometimes lyrics can form while playing a guitar unplugged and watching TV. I remember watching quite a lot of Abel Ferrara films and reading David Foster Wallace at the time. Maybe that seeped in?! Who knows. 

Can you tell me what music’s on the daily band playlist?

Neil: I’m currently listening to Hotline TNT, Toner, Bloody Head, Spiritualized, Bowery Electric. 

Maria: Minami Deutsch, Horsegirl, Tamaryn, WEED, Mo Dotti, The Gories.

Suzanne: Kikagaku Moyo, Tess Parks, Beach House, Genn, looking forward to checking out the new Goat when I can.

What is “the dream” for your band? And what are your immediate future plans?

Neil: I guess the dream is to record more albums and play shows in as many places as we can.

Maria: Have fun playing and hanging out together.

Suzanne: I prefer playing live to recording, so as long as I get to travel about meeting people, exploring places and making a racket I’m quite happy.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Neil: Start a band!

Maria: If you haven’t already heard our album please check it out!

Suzanne: maybe re-read and look for secret messages, I mean there aren’t any but you can put off everyday life for at least 10 mins.

Interview and album walkthrough: Farflung- Like Drones In Honey (2022, Sulatron Records)

With the re-release of Farflung’s 1995 classic 25.000 Feet Per Second only last year it seems like Farflung has not been off our collective radars for a while, but in fact their last outing This Capsule was released over four years ago! Four years in which a lot can happen, like a freaking pandemic! Luckily our four spacemen can travel space and time, and will not be held back by distance or time. Even with lyricist and guitarist Michael Esther living on another continent (Europe) and the rest of the band in Los Angeles, USA Farflung kept on writing and recording. The result is no joke! Like Drones In Honey feels in everything like a full band operating with all engines running full speed. There is Hawkwind worshipping space rock madness, there is postpunk tripping, there are full blown weirdo experiments fueled by nightly escapades in the Californian desert…in other words, not much has changed.

But hey! Why take my word for it when you can have the full band explaining what is going on in your ears when you are listening to the new album? Tommy Grenas, Michael Esther, Paul Hischier, and Chris Nakata were kind enough to spend some time describing their thoughts on the writing process, and ultimately on taking a full blown walk through the album. So buckle up, it’s going to be a spacey ride…

Hi guys! First of all: how are you and how have you been since last time we spoke? (at the re-release of 25.000 ft per second LP in January this year).

Paul: Hi there. Things have calmed down after turbulent times; the pandemic, the death of my father, collapsing relationships, but those struggles have passed.  Now it’s mellow vibes on the West Side.  We did an interview the other day and it wasn’t until I saw the other guy’s faces that I realized how much I miss seeing my Farflung brothers.  We were so happy to see each other!  I’m pleased that Like Drones in Honey has officially released.  Stoked to be on Sulatron!!!  Dave rules!!

Michael: Things are ok here. Not much has changed…working on the music and art… hoping for more positivity in the world…

Tommy: Things have been good. I ‘we’ve’ been very happy working with Dave at Sulatron, and the releases that have come out so far. I was glad to do it, and with all the guys to come up with the concept and artwork for the new lp , and the groups overall construction on the mixes and vibe of it all. There’s new things on the back burner and ideas are already starting to formulate. There were also a couple of interesting sessions out at Saturn Moon (Nakata’s studio in Yukka valley] and I’ve been working on ideas out here in Woodstock, NY. I hope to get out to the desert to see Chris and Paul soon to continue with things. Out here in the Catskills, NY, things slow way down in winter, so I’ve been taking Jobs here and there to prep for it. This is quite a contrast to the Covid shutdown of the recent past. I’ve also been working with a local cinema, and record store, putting on events that are live music to film, or visual to music also. We’ve had some great artists involved and it’s been a great experience. I also built a small print shop and have been making posters and shirts, sleeves, for the event, and other things. Yes, been a quite busy year so far. 

The new album has been finished for quite a while, right? Can you tell me about the writing and recording process

Paul: From my angle the process was, and the product is, pure ecstasy in the Greek meaning: “entrancement, astonishment, insanity; any displacement or removal from the proper place”. The time of recording this LP is the most free that I have ever felt making a record. 100% the process for me was to disassociate from the pandemic and it’s ripple effects.  To me (us?) it’s sculpture and collage, improv avant-freedom-rock, no boundaries.  We create & capture everything; the deeply psychedelic and confrontational, the perfect and the sublime, the incorrect and the wrong. Add in existential void screaming, found sound, field recordings, then exploit our limitations, then add in a dash of kosmische moon howling.  Reverse everything and start over. 

Michael: It’s different than it was years ago…seeing that we are spread across the globe… from my side… the difficult thing is and the thing I miss most is all of us being in the studio at the same time…. we trade track ideas and overdubs back and forth via the internet and Chris does his magic… 

Tommy: Well this will be a long answer, but ~Most of it started  at Tarantula Ranch [my wife Abby Travis’s old studio in Los Angeles]. It was an interesting time. We ‘were already prepping to pull up anchor and leave that city. Abby was on tour and the studio was basically 3/4 gutted of stuff for the move. All that remained was faulty equipment, pieces of drum kits, stuff too sell, low grade amps and dodgy synth gear. Chris had a mobile pro tools unit he would slung around to jam sessions, and brought it over and set it up. We had no planning, just, let’s try to use what’s here and if it’s crappy sounding well so be it. It turned out to be quite the challenge and totally rewarding. Chris basically duct taped and bolted a kit together using what was around into a rather strange set. He also just set up things to hit that would give off sound.  Me and Paul chained our gear together and experimented with the tweaky ramshackle amps to get tones. Between what was glitchy and operating, and with the rather bizarre keyboard selection Chris had at Saturn Moon, I created the synth pad arena. Last but not least, Skott Rusch, old time Farflung, when science fails guitar psych-scaper, showed up with the wired out troglodonic noisemaker, and generators amongst everything else. Mean while in Italy Michael was conjuring strange worlds and patterns at his mobile unit, that would be transmitted to our radar station of sorts. I think this all started around may of 2019. It certainly was not an album session as many of Farflung’s were, but just another field of experimentation. Sessions were whoosey, and magical. It seemed like we’re we’re on another off charts adventure with the band. Sonically, it was an experimentation on a new level for me. I’d like to think Farflung has never been a slave to a genre, even though sometimes we’ve been pigeonholed to it by certain folk, but that’s ok. Whatever there pleasure is. We have never been interested in trends or tags, and this compendium of tracks is clear of that on this lp. Coincidentally, Chris was living in Los Angeles, and that is where the original Saturn Moon was. I’ve spoken about that wonderful lab before, but Chris also pulled up anchor, and found a place to set up studio in Yucca valley . It was a bit later, but we got together and started to flesh out the tracks more into song there. I did not bring any gear really, Just used what Chris had there. We were also joined by Bobby Lee [moso groto] who had played a bit on the original sessions. He put down some great low and driving stuff on a couple of the tracks, and he’s an all all round swell guy. After some long walks in the desert and “stimulation” later, we were laying down the vocals and finishing touches to the tracks from Mike’s emu3 in Italy, and the Los Angeles, and Yucca sessions . We Mixed remotely, but had a good idea of what it should be like. Chris doing most of the honors on that end.  

Can you both tell me your favorite thing about the album and why?

Tommy: To me it’s a natural continuation of This Capsule, the previous LP. It felt like it should be. It does go off in its own tangent here and there but they still seem related. The same is reflected in the look and artwork continued in a more sparse and forward visual. We have also become tighter with friends and family. Everyone put a lot into it and I can feel it. I sure the next one will be quite different, but for now this is still the focus. My favorite tracks are King Fright and Tiny Cities [best section is the end of side one, where it really levitates to me.] it’s in the sound on there very clear. I don’t think anyone who has followed what we do will not see that’s but essentially, we [I] also do it for ourselves own goal. 

Paul: My favorite thing about the album is the journey.  I prefer to listen to the whole LP in a sitting with headphones. Like when I was a kid listening to LPs, hyper focused on every detail.  It’s a love letter to decay and collapse from wizened survivors. 

What can you tell me about the title Like Drones To Honey?

Michael: We were tossing ideas around and this one worked… I like the open reading possibility of the word drone…(a bee, a sound, a flying device). I think about recording in terms of layers of sound… of ideas that come together and arrive at a song, then a group of songs, then album artwork that solidifies into an object..  sonic and physical…Bees carrying pollen flower to flower…Honey as residue… similar to the way in which ideas float person to person…thought as a productive function of the body…a type of secretion……all these types of things I’ve been fascinated with for years….  it just worked for this album

Tommy: I think Michael came up with it.  There was a photo of a woman laughing in a garden by photographer Peter Graham we were going to use, but I don’t think it was in a place were the label were too excited about it. I ended up making collages around the title. It was a lot of fun and I like doing things by hand and not on a computer. I liked the triple meaning of the LP title, a kind of calvertesque sci fi vibe to it. Drunken workers floating in the mead, mind bombs gliding without fuel, the sound of open chords together, something like that.

Paul: We started it in May 2019 without a hint of what would happen 6 months later.  At that point we were personally undergoing a ton of changes; Chris moving out of LA to the desert, Tommy moving to Woodstock after living in LA for so many years, and I had just moved back here after living overseas for a long time. Mikey had a lot going on in Italy.  A lot of major changes with us were already underway.  A good portion of the music was recorded during the height of the pandemic, so there was a lot of strange feelings happening all around us, which the music captures.  A lot of fear/uncertainty/doubt permeating the atmosphere. The music and the rituals around the music making were a bright spot during that period, but it was very dark and isolating time for everyone.  Like Drones in Honey was a coping mechanism for me (us?). 

On to the walkthrough: let’s go through all the songs of the album and their meaning:

  • Acid Drain

Tommy: Lyrically, someone I knew had passed away from dementia, and did not receive much needed help. She left a great sweetness behind her in her past, so both things colliding there a bit. Musically, a little nod to Can, but definitely also one of my favorite movies, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, all those ominous melodies creating a weird score. That was the first track recoded We believe. Paul’s Pro One making fuzzy bass freak outs on the chorus, and lots of vocal mayhem. 

Paul:

Perfect start “klingggg” 

3 tix to CS

Tremmmy guitars and pings, such a swirl happening

Gut punches and screams

Pro~One sweepszzzz

A rich tapestry of tones, zones zones zones zones zones zones zones

Chris: Yes, this was the first track we recorded. I remember familiarizing myself with the drums, and liking them. Tommy was excited by the sound from the start. That was a great way to begin, and pretty much set the tone for much of the album. I can still see Paul, peering at me through the small opening of the hood of his hoodie, zipped up to the top because it was cold in the garage, his wide eyes growing even larger from the massive sound of his synth.

  • Earthmen Look Alike To Me

Chris: This one seemed to go down quickly. Just a lot of fun. Tommy could often be seen shaking his butt to this one during playback.

Tommy: Moving to the Catskills forests in autumn  was mystical and surreal being in a big city for so long. There was a big male red bull cardinal who would fly into the windows dawn till dusk relentlessly waking us to explore things early, very early. The silence, and sounds of trees and animals that has become normal now. We had discovered weird rock formations on the property that were were told to be paleo Indian. It was magical an foreboding. The title was a working title, and the lyrics came much later, so it just stuck with a quote from and old analog, pulp novel.  The musical session was a big jam. I was channeling RCA period Hawkwind a little I think. Then it just goes into Farflung, it reminds me a lot of what a session from us in the 90s would of sounded like. 

Paul:

Sick Casio beat into Uncontrollable Urge acoustic

Super sick turnaround

50 tracks of guitars, or 50,000?

Chrome-esque Helios-y ‘Destroyed My Brain” turnaround is incredible 

  • King Fright

Tommy: Mike’s original track, overdubbed by the rest of us, then mike back on it again. Lyrically the main thread is Michael. I interpreted it as having an almost Nick Cave vibe to it, but the retort that I vocalized came off rather PIL in a weird way. Political PIL meets Crass ha ha. The sound in the beginning is an old printing rack slamming and creaking with me being, well drunk, blabbering . Chris was percussively playing his whole kitchen on that track. 

Paul:

Another fooking amazing Mikey Surprise

Turns into a face puncher

Diamond nipples

Then the bells, so many bells, bells and swirls

Fuzzy chuggzzz 

GREEN HAS LEFT THE BORDER

Chris: Basically, a back-and-forth between Michael and Tommy. A great juxtaposition, and very gratifying to lay down tracks on this.

  • Tiny Cities Made Of Broken Teeth

Tommy: I was sitting in an old art warehouse in Woodstock, in the middle of winter looking out into a dead frozen woods surrounded by water. It truly looked like an alien planetscape. I thought about how life almost dies but is dormant, in a dream state we can’t imagine.  I was listening to a lot of old dub at the time, and there was a cinematic vibe to the jam. We were a little confused what to do with it, but one night a layering session in the desert just blossomed and we’re were all lying around just spacing on it. It just came to be like that. Two worlds collide, and end with someone standing on a flyover in Los Angeles in the rain. Past future present. 

Chris: A very soothing trip. Such a groovy bass from Bobby. In the last section, Tommy hummed the bassline for me to play, and I really liked the orchestral sound of the bass part. Then, Michael sent his parts with such an orchestral approach, fermenting the gentle crescendo that allows for the exhale to end the side.

Paul:

From where do these seeds sprout?

I’ve hitched my space-steed to the goddamn ring mod on this one

Early Pink Floyd chord progressions

Michael’s slide, perfect as always

The tremolo guitar has so much sustain

The ending is straight off of a LA ’68 Love re-issue

Soo psychedelic 

  • Dludgebmasterpoede

Chris: Honestly, I wasn’t sure where this one was going, but somehow Tommy’s other-worldly mind managed to bring it all together. Originally, a working title (again, from Tommy’s mind) that I insisted on keeping.  Resistant at first, Tommy relented after he saw how particular I was about the original spelling and pronunciation.

Tommy: 3 sessions fused into one, but strangely , also recorded in that order. I really love Manuel Göttsching‘s inventions for electric guitar, and it’s funny that, well, I always thought Steve Hillage’s, Rainbow Dome Music LP is also related musically. I got this new guitar pedal thing in the mail, that just happened to sound like that and went for it. Old Farflung luminary Skott Rusch [hunting lodge] just happed to  be around and added his trogotronic transmission device to the whole track, levitating it out of orbit. Part two, a little Rudimentary Peni vibe on it. Just a great fun punk moment for us that’s always there. Paul phrased “self cleaning oven” as a way that nature gets rid of an irritating presence on its skin, the rest of the lyrics just ran in. Title ? No idea. 

Paul:

Infinite pings and unceasing pongs

glissando guide master Michael

Chirps, tweets, and sweeps

Jaki Liebezeit beat to the T 

Delay 68 Can meets Heldon 

With INSANE turnaround after “OKAYYYYY!!!!”

The teeth on that guitar and the drummer, Jesus what a drummer . . .

Sneaky fucker on bass, the balls on that kid performing those sick runs

A SELF CLEANING OVEN – a lack of empathy will destroy us

  • Baile an Doire

Tommy: I always thought some surf music sounded kinda Celtic, or euro ethnic. Or maybe it had an influence on it in the 60s, probably the latter, anyhow always loved the rousing element to it. We laid down the track and thought it was also kinda goth sounding. My grandparents some aunts uncles spoke a little Gaelic, and I remembered the pigeon English that would happen after a few drinks behind the piano or even transistor in the kitchen. I was burnt out that day and could not come up with any theme or idea, so I started to run off in that banter. Paul and Chris both loved it, but also we’re amused by it. I decided, why not. the rousing tribal drums almost sound like a battle call and I  was reminded of an area where I grew up, where the river crossed into the Lough Neagh through an oak wood. I used to go fishing there.  But I was told a site of great turmoil. If you’re up for some history, look it up, Baile an Doire,  Ballinderry.  Just probably channeling spirits, of sorts.  

Chris: My main memory is the night we recorded vocals. As soon as Tommy started singing in this style, we knew it was right. Or was it? Who knows. All I know is that Paul and I couldn’t stop laughing.

Paul:

Why don’t you try the lyrics in Gælic?”

Turns into a Killing Joke song

Who did the haunting lead?

All of a sudden it is an Echo & The Bunnymen song

Absurdddd-uuu ringgggg-uuuu moddd–uu klannnnggzzz

Into bliss

The forever-ending is too beautiful

  • Touch of the Lemmings Kiss

Tommy: Mikes lyrics. Sounded ominous and soothing. Felt like I was lying down in a meadow somewhere, waiting for it to end. 

Paul:

Mikey flying in from a deep and beautiful place to give us his blessings

Dolce piano pianissimo 

Goddamn always with the bombers, love it!

Chris: Michael’s tracks were trippy and didn’t need much, really. We just added a few instruments here and there.

  • A Year In Japan

Chris: A late-night video-call led to making the background for Tommy’s whispers.

Tommy: Talking birds in the forest one night. I just recorded me speaking back to them after enjoying things I found to eat there. These birds fly to japan in winter. Hope they took my message. I miss Japan a bit. Would like to go there again. Very different. 

Paul:

Beefheart gone wild

Right into a later Wire song

What are your immediate future plans? (hoping for some tours!!!)

Paul: The immediate plan that I want to happen is for all of us to hang out in person again.  It’s been far too long.  A tour will happen at some point after all the uncertainty dissipates. Until then I’m good to stay in the studio and work on the next batch of songs.

Michael: It would be great to tour. We have to see how things shake out ….

Tommy: Oh boy I don’t know. I’d do it with Sula Bassana or a Dave Sulatron thing. Cosmic minds, for like minds. Good vibes, no neg stuff. We play better when it’s connected. I’m kinda over the random stoner rock night out, and we’re the lemon band not riffing off 3 bars to hard shit. I’m not that into getting sick on the road either. We’ll see. I’d love to travel with my friends, no pressure no worries. We’re a bit older, just don’t want to be away from home and sick. That may not sound very rock n roll, but fuck that shit. I don’t care. Recording stuff can be way too much fun sometimes. Especially with the guys in Yucca valley, and Milan. 

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do immediately after reading this interview?

Michael: It’s difficult times these days in the world…I’d say, produce some joy. Think of joy as a  transformational act… 

Tommy: Do whatever is possible to support the true people to end this global tyranny wherever you are, and also support those who do it. It’s a frightening world, and I’m very concerned for the next generations. There’s no way you can’t be concerned about that. Things have to be better than this. 

Paul: Give Like Drones in Honey a spin and ride the cosmic tides.  Then head out into nature. 

Review + Q&A: Cymbaline- Computerleven (2022, Self-released)

It is a Metropolis-like city. Dark, black and white images flicker on our collective retinas. The atmosphere is caustic, and what city sounds are still heard in this pitch black night darkness are melancholic in nature. In a shadow hidden corner of a tall business building there are two humanoid robots getting high on some defected power cable. They reflect on their “lives” and feel dreadful. This is Computerleven.

Cymbaline paints the sonic picture for this gloomy vision of future doom. With musical references ranging from New Order to Kraftwerk to Neu! and Bauhaus, they have built an arching road between krautrock and post punk, also combining their own history of psychedelia with their current more darker personas. The Dutch duo does this in plastering style, smearing layer upon layer, until their sound is very thick and heavy with synths and keys and electronic beats. While the nature of the songs is pretty dark, this sound wall feels warm, and it radiates in fact a rather comfortable glow.

It does not outstay its welcome either, clocking in under 30 minutes. Perhaps it fits the band’s statement of a fast forward future that is coming rather too soon, and far quicker that we can anticipate. For now, Cymbaline has arrived in our present with Computerleven, and unlike their automaton protagonists, their current state of being is just fine. This album is proof of that, and something that might survive even into the bleak outer limits of our mortal existence.

I managed to track Thom and Jeroen Rondeel, the two human beings in Cymbaline, down for a thorough investigation; I found out much about their devious plans for the future, their influences, and their methods...

Hi guys! How is Cymbaline doing these days? How has the band “survived” the pandemic
period?

We’re doing pretty well! We’ve just started our fall tour, promoting the new album, and the
reactions have been great so far. During the pandemic we’ve kept ourselves busy by writing and recording our album. Because of the restrictions and the evening curfew it was a lotmore difficult to come together and play, so a lot of writing/recording was done apart from each other. We actually had quite some fun trying out new stuff, such as experimenting with cassette tape loops and crappy tape machines. Some of that is on the record as well! During that time we also realized that we wanted to head into a different musical direction and decided to continue as a duo, instead of a four-piece. During our current live shows, however, we’re helped out by Moreno Hogervorst on bass guitar. He’s mixed our album and we also recorded the guitar parts for the album with him and some extra synths/percussion.

Can you please introduce the band? Whereabouts, where you live, history, anything you’d
like to share really 😉

We’re two brothers, Jeroen and Thom, making new wave/post-punk music. We’re really into
bands such as Kraftwerk, Grauzone, Vox Low etc., but we actually started out as a psychedelic Sixties band around 2015 in Nijmegen. Back then there were still five members. At one point the band even had six members. That was when we were really into The Brian Jonestown Massacre haha! Now we’re based in Utrecht and it’s just the two of us (and a live bass player).

What are your musical backgrounds? 
Jeroen and I both started playing guitar around the age of 11 and have been playing together for a large part of our life. Jeroen started playing piano about 10 years ago and has moved towards playing keys more and more since then. Jeroen has had some classical piano training and Thom has been into jazz guitar for a while, both of which are reflected in a very subtle way in the songs on the album (f.i. the guitar solo on Falling in Love).

Has your stylistic direction always been clear to you as a band? How did/do you determine
your “sound”?

No definitely not, it took us quite a long time to get to the point where we are now. We started out as a psychedelic Sixties-influenced band around 2015 and, kind of chronologically, moved more towards early-seventies punk and now late-seventies/early-eighties new wave. We even used to do Beatles and Patti Smith covers during our live shows! I think we started to listen to a lot more new wave the past couple of years and also a lot more early electronic music. We realized we wanted to include more of that in our sound and started buying gear that could help us out with that. Jeroen buying an Odyssey synth and a Siel Orchestra has been very important for developing our current sound, but we also got more into drum computers. There’s an old Maestro drum computer on a couple of tracks, but we also used an Eko rhythm box and a 808. Those together with a couple of synths really make for the dark, retro sound on our album.

Can you tell me about being a band in The Netherlands? What are some of the pros and
cons? (and have you played outside the country and can you compare it?)

I think the pros are that The Netherlands are pretty small and, especially when you live in de
Randstad, it’s easy to play in a lot of different cities. At the same time it’s also not really easy to find a way in (especially in Amsterdam) and not every city has venues suited for bands that fall between the pub-circuit and club-circuit. And then there’s the Dutch disease.. we played in Belgium, France and Germany and the audiences we played to were so much more attentive. Of course, we had some really fun shows in The Netherlands, but our favorite live experiences are still the ones in France and Germany.

What made you decide to dub your new album Computerleven, what is the story behind it,
and a question that sticks in my mind: why in Dutch-since (most of) the lyrics are in English?

The title track Computerleven is about a person who is so absorbed by the digital world that he turns himself into computer data. For us it is a kind of Kafkaesque metaphor for current social media behavior. Seen as the theme returns in several songs, it seemed an appropriate album title to us. The funny thing is Computerleven is the first song where we sing partly in Dutch, it just sounded better than English. But we’ve always written our lyrics in English, I don’t know why. I guess we’ve always listened to a lot of international bands who sing in English. However, you have a lot of cool bands nowadays that sing in Dutch like Spinvis and De Ambassade. Who knows, Computerleven might be the start of something new…

What can you tell me about the artwork, I like it! Very artsy, dark, fits the vibe!
The artwork was made by Utrecht-based graphic designer Jorgen Koolwijk and is a collage of images he found in a thrift shop. It’s actually the parliament building in Brasil, which is a
funny coincidence seen as Jeroen lived in Rio de Janeiro for the larger part of this year.
Jorgen has also designed our previous artwork and he really knows how to fit the vibe of the music in imagery.

Tell me about your hopes and dreams for the band…
Our hope is that, now we released our first album, we can play more live shows during the
coming year. We’d really love to tour in Germany and Eastern Europe and play some festival
shows next summer. Also our plan is to record a new EP or album somewhere next year and
develop our sound even more. We’re both lucky to have steady jobs, but it would be great to
tour and record music on a more regular base.

What are your immediate touring plans?
We’re playing shows in October and November. A couple of them are support slots for the
Dutch band Smudged and the American band The Vacant Lots, which we’re really excited
about. Here’s the list of shows:


21/10 Toekomstmuziek AMSTERDAM
22/10 Onderbroek NIJMEGEN
28/10 ‘t Oude Pothuys UTRECHT
11/11 V11 ROTTERDAM (support show Smudged)
16/11 Muziekgieterij MAASTRICHT (support show The Vacant Lots)
18/11 Ojc Jonosh HEUSDEN
19/11 Pier15 BREDA (support show Smudged)
30/11 Patronaat HAARLEM (support show The Vacant Lots)

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do immediately after this interview? 
They probably should go to YouTube and look up the music video of Computerleven. It was made by Glitterjunk (Sam Cuppen) and fits the music perfectly. Also, if they haven’t already,
they should watch B-movie: Lust and Sound in West-Berlin. It’s an amazing movie about life
in West-Berlin during the eighties and we used to reference to this movie all the time when
trying to figure out the vibe that the album should have.

Review + Q&A: Upupayãma- The Golden Pond (2022, Centripetal Records/Cardinal Fuzz Records)

It must be so wonderful to live in a quiet mountain village surrounded by nothing but beautiful nature, with life adjusting its pace to your inner clock, and to really have time to listen to it and reverberate that beauty into your music. It is what Alessio Ferrari does with his alter ego Upupayãma. On The Golden Pond, his second effort, he connects with his inner Eastern spirit once again to channel all that surrounding nature and stillness into nine brilliant psychedelic folk rock tracks.

Guided by his own invented language and a self-minded and brilliantly naive way of songwriting, The Golden Pond smooths out and continues the Japanese feel (Kikagaku Moyo fans take note!) of the debut album, and adds to it a unique layer that could have only come from where and how Ferrari lives. There are lots of folk instruments briefly popping up and fading out like flutes, sitars, and all kinds of percussion, but primarily it is bass, guitar, and drums that determine the flow.

Sometimes there is room for heavy fuzz, sometimes the rhythms invite for a wild dance, but most of the time it is serene listening music. Music to walk in forest to, music that draws you in, and invites you to look over the edge of that cliff over yonder to gasp at the wide views…

The beauty of The Golden Pond is that even if we might not always have time to go out and be in around nature and stillness like Ferrari, we can actually have his experience by partaking in his records. It is this extra experience that music can bring that makes it so incredibly valuable, and artists like Upupayãma a phenomenon to cherish deeply.

I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Upupayãma’s sole member and multi-instrumentalist Alessio Ferrari about his life, his whereabouts, and his influences. Sometimes the music gives you a certain vibe of a person, and it is cool to have that vibe fully affirmed when you connect…

How are you doing? How was living under covid restrictions for you?

Hi Jasper! First of all, thank you. I am fine, always in a hurry as today’s world dictates, but I am fine. During the strict lockdowns we had to go through, I must say that I ‘travelled’ a lot. Being forced to live only the horizontal part of our lives, I tried to explore the vertical part, that is, myself. I have climbed, I have descended and I have climbed again many times. This was to try to travel within myself and I must say that I have not spoken to myself so clearly for a long, long time. I also have to tell the truth, living in a very small village, I also allowed myself a walk in nature every now and then. Ultimately, I tried to make the best of that time, both musically and humanly, and I succeeded. 

Can you tell me about yourself and your musical background?

It’s a very trivial story: I started listening to music thanks to a tape of punk music from my brother, from there I wanted to learn to play some instruments, not so much to remake the songs I was listening to, but to write new ones. I have played in a few bands over the years, playing a bit of everything from punk to post rock, from the most brutal noise to indie rock. As for myself, I studied foreign languages and literature, English and Spanish, and I have a job I like to call ‘gypsy’, which gives me a certain autonomy and freedom. In short, pretty boring as a story ahahah. 

What does an average day look like for you? How do you mostly like to spend your free time beside making music?

I have a job, so let’s say I work Monday to Friday. Then in the evenings I often play, or when I’m not playing I watch a film, read a book, although I must say that I really enjoy walking in the evenings. Living in a small mountain village, in the evening you can hear many beautiful sounds such as the howling of roe deer, on a few rare occasions I have also heard the howling of wolves. Then you also happen to meet a fox, that’s very nice. But I spend most of my time playing. Then of course, I have to work to be able to afford to buy all the instruments and my trinkets ahahahah, in Italy whoever makes music is considered a layabout, it’s very difficult to make a living from music. 

I feel that where you live is important for your music, can you describe your living situation and how it would effect your music?

I live in a small village in the mountains near my home town of Parma. I live in this fairly large house in which, on the ground floor, there is a barn that I have turned into a recording studio/rehearsal room; it has a beautiful natural reverberation. I must say that yes, the choice to stay and live in a reality that is anything but comfortable is due to music. Earlier I talked about the sounds of animals, of nature in general, and certainly this is an element that influences my music, but even more than this the influence that the place where I live has on me and consequently on the music are the rhythms that I can give to my life. Let me explain: the place where I live gives me one of the greatest privileges you can have today, which is to decide your own pace. Do you want to go slow? You can do that. You want to speed up? Go for it. In recent years, living in the city didn’t give me this feeling, it rather gave me the feeling that the only choice was to go faster and faster. Sooner or later I will return to the city, but not now. 

How do you go to work on a song? Do you play all the instruments yourself?

Yes, even on this second album I played and recorded everything myself, apart from the drums on ‘Come here, Noriko’ which was played and recorded by Sheila Bosco, the great drummer of Dire Wolves (Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band). My approach to the song has a lot to do with improvisation, as you can also tell by attending our live shows. However, I don’t have a precise methodology. Not having studied music, I do not have and do not claim to have a method, which I find advantageous with my project. So yes, a song can come from a bass line, one from a sound that popped into my head while walking, sometimes I improvise for hours with a looper, so I have to say that I don’t have a method and I’m really happy that I don’t.

I really love your artwork for the first album and also the new! Who made it and what was the inspiration?.

The cover of the first album was designed by Daniel Onufer, an extraordinary Seattle-based illustrator who, among other things, is the founder and runs Halfshell Records, a very interesting record label. The second cover was designed by Peter Grey Hurley. They are both wonderful in my opinion and both inspired by places I often daydream about, sometimes even while sleeping. Obviously I wanted, especially talking about the first album, that the cover also reminded me a bit of the places I live. I wanted the cover of the second album to be a little bit like the cover of the first album because I wanted it to close a discourse. Whereas in the first album I went on a journey, in the second album I stopped at a place and explored it far and wide. 

Album art for the first album

There is a certain “Japanese” feel to your music and concept, do you agree? Could you pinpoint where that comes from?

Yes, you are not wrong. I have always had a soft spot for Japan and its culture, it fascinates me so much. Only in the last few years, however, I’ve tried to get to know it better, going deeper into its culture and arts such as movies, literature and music, especially music. I find in many Japanese musicians a freedom that is unparalleled. I am thinking of Shinki Chen, Food Brain, The Flower Travellin’ Band, Acid Mothers Temple and of course Kikagaku Moyo. I could stay here and list hundreds of them. When I listen to their music I think ‘hear how they have fun? They don’t have any rules, they don’t put any brakes on their creativity’, they don’t jerk off and that’s what I try to do in my own small way, I try to let things happen, and not having an academic musical background helps me a lot. 

Can you tell me about your vocals and the lyrics? How do they form?

It is an invented language, a kind of grammelot, but with very precise rules, few, but very precise. So far only one song is sung in English, which would be White Oak, and it has only four verses.

You worked with Yui Kimjima before, which must have been pretty cool! Who did you work with this time, and how did you find the right record labels?

As for working with Yui Kimijima on the first album, it was all very naive. I wrote him an email convinced he would never reply, but instead after a few hours he replied enthusiastically with that little material I had sent him! It was beautiful. As for record labels, etc., let me say that my aspiration was this: ‘I put the album on Bandcamp, if fifteen people listen to it and three of those fifteen people like it, I have already realised the dream of my life. I also sent it to two or three labels without receiving a response. However, after a while I noticed that people started talking about it in some webzines, on social media etc. and from there Mike from Centripetal Force and Dave from Cardinal Fuzz wrote to me. Boom! From there I went crazy, two of my favourite labels wanted to release my album! 

What are your immediate future plans? And what is “the dream”?

I am already working on a third record. It won’t really be an album, but more a collection of songs that are not as connected as in the first two records. And then of course playing as much as possible on the road. The dream…the dream… I have many, but if I had to choose one today I would choose playing in a nice festival. Very corny? 

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do after reading this interview?

I would recommend watching, just to link to a few questions ago, Yasujirō Ozu’s ‘Banshun’, a beautiful 1949 film by the wonderful director that is Ozu. Also because it inspired a song featured in The Golden Pond

Review + Q&A: Thought Bubble- Nowhere (2022, Echodelick Records)

Although UK duo Thought Bubble opted for a cartoonish moniker, their musical output is nothing to laugh at. Rather than a soundtrack for comic book communication methods, the music on Nowhere will transport you to into your own thought bubble; the confines of your own head. Being very electronic through synths, loops, and beats, the music at times feels “bubbly” as well, in a sense that you are experiencing your own thought bubble while being wrapped in bubble wrap wobbling away through the colorful artwork on display.

There are shards of spoken word and lyrics popping up through Nowhere, presenting the eerie modern day feeling of being rushed, as well as some claustrophobic reflections on the covid period, which was not a walk in the park for these guys as you will read in the interview below. While the moods and atmospheres on Nowhere are very varied, the listener cannot escape this sense of isolated gloom that stretches over the music, an obvious result of the state of mind of the makers.

Not to say that Thought Bubble have created an allover gloomy affair. There’s even some room for a dance (Cloudbursting), and on the Can-inspired more repetitive parts you have to be dead if you do not at least wiggle your right toe to it. It is electronic music for people who do not like electronic music. And some very good music at that.

I talked to Thought Bubble‘s duo Nick Raybould (percussion) and Chris Cordwell (keys) about the making of Nowhere, there pretty dense covid experience, and of course their love of music…

Hi guys! How are you these days?

Chris: Well thanks, recovering from a bout of covid but good.

Nick: Considering the bizarre times we are now living through, surprisingly well. As Chris says, we’ve both just recovered from bouts of Covid, but are feeling proud of our new album and are already back making new music.

The writing and recording process of “Nowhere” was all during covid, right? And I heard they were some stressful times for you as well! Can you tell me what happened and whether you think it can be heard in the music?

Chris: Yeah, Nowhere was made during covid lockdowns, but also Nick was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed urgent surgery which, unfortunately, due to the stresses on the NHS turned out to be a lengthy process. So Nowhere turned into a welcome diversion for Nick. 

Nick: That period will probably be remembered by most of us all as the lockdown years, or something like that. For me personally, of course, it was also a pretty bleak and terrifying time. Having spent much of 2020 strangely exhausted, with sharp back pains, in February 2021 I was eventually diagnosed as suffering from chronic heart disease, which would require urgent multiple bypass surgery. I’m guessing I’d have been especially vulnerable to Covid with my heart issues and that catching it could have delayed my operation, should a surgery slot have actually come available. So that was that – my wife and I became hermits.

Everyone around me set about helping to distract me from dwelling on it too much, as I waited, in various ways. Not least my Thought Bubble partner Chris. He’d hit a particularly prolific and creative seam, so started sending me lots of new Thought Bubble tracks to work on. One of which assumed the apt name ‘Distraction Engine’. 

Despite being a generally quite bouyant person, there was still a darker corner in my mental makeup telling me there was a chance things could go very wrong indeed. Either on the operating table – or even before I managed to get there. Another new track we’d started creating started of as a snappy drum work out, which I sent over to Chris. What he sent back was another pretty much finished sounding track. It was now a lovely trippy funk groover. His original parts included a sampled voice, from some royalty-free archive, as a percussive effect. While I felt it sat right, I considered that voice a bit anonymous and something of a missed opportunity to say something for ourselves. So I quickly wrote a short poem. And, while I usually hate the sound of my own voice, set up a mic and recorded myself reading it. I was facing this big heart operation and had already reconciled that these recordings might be our ‘Black Star’. So yeah, for once I actually used my own voice. Yeah, proper heavy shit was going on in my head by this stage. 

Can you tell me about your musical backgrounds? How did you find each other to form Thought Bubble?

Nick: Chris and I met when we formed a ‘dads’ band through mutual friends. Nobody could play particularly well. It was really more of a boozy social thing really, but over a few years and line-up changes we improved. I eventually broke away and played with different muzos and bands, before reuniting with Chris in Glowpeople a sort of funky prog fusion band. That band released several CD albums and played lots of crazy gigs and psychedelic rock festivals. Inevitably being a band that burned bright  – we inevitably burned out! Chris and I then played for a year in another festival band; the more rocking Delphini. All this time, at rehearsal sessions, awaiting the arrival of our bandmates, Chris and I were jamming together, sometimes recording our improvised grooves, unaware that we were already forming Thought Bubble!

Chris: Most of my friends during my formative years were musicians and I used to mess around with sine wave generators and ring modulators, even owning an original ARP Odessy at one stage, but certainly never considered myself a musician as such, but music has been one of the mainstays of my life.

Nick and I were both brought up in Redditch in the West Midlands but didn’t meet up until much later when we both moved to the Shropshire Hills. We first played together with band of friends who just got together for a bit of light entertainment during those long winter nights, nothing too serious and that didn’t last too long. Nick and I kept in touch however as we seemed to have similar curiosity when it came to the sort of music we listened to. Some time later Nick got in touch with me as he was playing with a bass player and guitarist and thought I’d fit in. That turned out into the band Glowpeople which went through a couple of incarnations. We played a lot together, mainly improvising mad jams taking them in many weird and wonderful directions. We played at small festivals and were well received but as is the way of bands after a number of years we drifted apart.

Nick and I went onto to play with the short lived Delphini before covid threw everyone’s lives into abeyance. We’d always swapped musical ideas over the years and when covid and lockdowns came along it only seemed natural to keep ourselves busy.

How do the two of you write music? Is there for instance any jamming involved?

Chris: Sometimes Nick will send a drum track to me to work to, but generally I’ll send Nick something I’ve been working on. Nick has a great ear, so I’m always comfortable sending tracks across to him for mixing and editing before they come back to me for mastering. Unfortunately there has been very little of us being able to jam together lately but a number of tracks have stemmed from lengthy jams that I’ve done which have then been edited down and refined. Neon Garden and Superficial being cases in point. We also enjoy having other people play on tracks if we think it needs another voice and are truly grateful for their willingness to engage and bring never fail to enhance the tracks.

Nick: Yeah, before the pandemic messed everything up – and my subsequent heath issues necessitated my isolation, we did actually jam together. So several tracks on the previous two albums were live jams. However, while ‘Nowhere’ was taking shape we only met outdoors, socially distanced, to discuss ideas.

Tracks, these days, are created remotely. We’ve fallen into a routine that works. It’s usually me who mixes and edits the whole thing into shape. We seem to have fallen into roles and routines, but these aren’t written in stone.

What can you tell me about the spoken word part in Superficial?

Chris: I’ll leave Nick that one, but just say that we’ve probably all been on both sides of that story, and beautifully delivered by Pablo.

Nick: I keep a notebook In which I’m continually scratching away at lyrics and silly rhymes. But, this poem was a bit different. This one was done in response to some miserable arsehole who was draining the joy out of my day. I’m sure we’re all acquainted with at least someone who seems to find pleasure in bringing the whole vibe down. Well, this was me venting myself, without having to resort to sticking pins in a voodoo doll. They’re usually narcissists who aren’t quite getting the attention they crave so resort to less constructive means.

My brother Pablo Raybould is an actor. He does stage, film and television work – and he also has that gift of a versatile voice and can perform in all manner of styles. And, thankfully, once again he was happy to help us on this Thought Bubble track. You may remember him from Möbius Trip on our first album, maybe?

As you’ll hear, once the words have finished, the track changes gear and goes off into rather different territory. We do this a lot and will do again, later on this album.

What are your musical influences? Do you listen to a lot of contemporary music?

Chris: I’ve got an extremely wide range of musical influences in all genres of music and am always searching for things that whet my curiosity. I love music that takes you somewhere unexpected, the thrill of Can, Sun Ra, the melding of different genres of the new generation of British jazz musicians. I recently had the privilege of seeing Matmos perform at the Sonic Lab in Belfast an amazing evening at an amazing venue. It was a real ear opener and truly inspiring. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Telefis, the collaboration between the sadly recently passed genius Cathal Coughlan and Jacknife Lee. Cathal’s band Fatima Mansions were one of my favourite ever live bands, truly awesome.

Nick: When Chris and I were playing in Glowpeople and Delphini, we’d usually give each other a lift over to the rehearsal studios. In our cars is where we’d share our latest discoveries, as we drove. As I remember it, it was probably more Chris turning me onto some amazing new producer than vice versa. I like fusion bands like Snorkel, Taupe and Red Snapper, also more danceable electro outfits like Lamb. I spent the late 80s in a band called The Libertines (not them), who toured as support band to Stourbridge groovies The Wonder Stuff and watched in awe as their lovely and grifted drummer showed me how it’s done.

I think we’re both very open and catholic in our musical tastes. Despite being of senior years, we have pretty much always explored new music. My record buying started with T.REX in 1971 and one of my latest purchases were King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and one of Chris’s recommendations Hania Rani

How do you translate the music on Nowhere to a live setting? What does that look like?

Chris: That’s a tricky one which hopefully we’ll resolve over the coming months. I think for sure it will be the same but completely different if you see what I mean.

Nick: Live? I’ve really no idea yet. Only, our very early recordings were done we played live, in a studio. We’ve yet to actually play a gig, as Thought Bubble. All of this album was done in our two separate studios, recording our responses to each other’s initial tracks. However, I must mention that we do have plans to perform live. I doubt we’ll strive to replicate any actual released track, though. All of ‘Nowhere’ is a series composite production pieces, built up in layers. Lots of performed pieces with overdubs, which have then been edited. And remember we’ve used guest artistes some of whom I doubt we’ll ever meet on a stage.

What is “the dream” for Thought Bubble as musicians?

Chris: To get better.

Nick: I think I’d like to play live with Thought Bubble, which we’re yet to actually achieve – and it would be nice to invite some of the guest collaborators along, too. I’d also like there to be more of a buzz around our releases and enough sales to allow us to buy better gear. I’m happy to continue doing what we do, at the level we’re currently doing it though, too. Maybe a manager could help with getting us into soundtrack work? Also for badgering labels and publishers for future releases.

What are your immediate future plans?

Chris: Looking forward to getting together more often, in order to see what comes out when we’re in the same room.

Nick: As this album took so long to be manufactured – and because we were so locked into that prolific seam, we carried on recording lots more tracks, so we probably have at least one album already done. In fact, we are already in discussion for a release early in 2023.

I might also add that before even that we are planning to release a download only EP, through our Bandcamp site. Online acquaintances Unio & Petitio, a particularly quirky electronic duo offered to remix some of our tracks! So, that will be our next thing. We are reciprocating, by the way – so, I guess their next release will be our remixes of them!

I had a quadruple bypass operation in January 2022, which seems to have been an enormous success, so I feel rebooted and ready to get back out there playing live.

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do after reading this interview?

Chris: Obviously get a copy of Nowhere, if they don’t already have it. Then go out and see some live music. It’s good for the soul.

Nick: To get get themselves into an appropriately receptive frame of mind and before their motor skills abandon them, to get over to our Bandcamp portal, crank up the amp and immerse themselves into our explorations and sonic adventures. Several times, maybe. And yes, as Chris says, get Nowhere.