tinhuviel: (Cadmus Pariah)

I don’t think I have ever made a comprehensive list of the influences that helped in the creation of Cadmus Pariah.  If I can explain without sounding like an utter loon, I will also write out my reasons for their involvement in Cadmus.  The list is really not in any order, except for the first three or so, which are ridiculously obvious and I’d just be a prat if I didn’t put them first.  So, without further ado.

  • Barry Andrews: Well, duh.  He gave Cadmus his looks.  Aunt Tudi thought Barry had the most angelic face she’d ever seen.  That, combined with a half-sleep nightmare that involved him, heavily influenced Cadmus’ appearance and dichotomous demeanour.
  • Carl Marsh:  Carl Marsh gave Cadmus his name.  Think about it.  He was the collected companion of the menace of Barry’s priest in the video for Nemesis.  That knowing stoicism he exuded gave Cadmus the needed cap to his misunderstood rage, and is often the only thing that keeps the Pariah from falling into mindless depravity.
  • Tim Curry (in character as Gaal from Earth 2):  Gaal was a manipulator and a murderer with a silver tongue.  He gravitated to endearments like “pet” and “poppet”.  His voice, along with Barry’s dramatic whisper on many of Shriekback’s best songs, comprise what Cadmus sounds like in my mind.  
  • Ed Kowalczyk:  Cadmus became a hardcore hedonist thanks to Ed Kowalczyk of the band Live.  His performance in their video for the song “Freaks”, along with the fact that his nails were painted, was like a Cabaret for the damned.  It was perfect.  Before Tom Hardy, I wanted Ed Kowalczyk to play Cadmus in my movie.

  • Tom Hardy:  This was an odd one, because Cadmus was already fully-formed and developed by the time Tom Hardy railroaded into my world.  I see my stories as movies in my head and, before Mr. Hardy, Cadmus’ appearance was a very effeminate, Egyptian, alien version of Barry Andrews.  Then I saw Star Trek: Nemesis (aptly named) and beheld one of the best actors to come along in a very long time accurately interpret the ravages of child abuse on a young adult, and BOOM, he was anchored to Cadmus.  As a result, Cadmus adopted a more sullen affect, at times, and was also graced with an eloquent viciousness, devoid of any bothersome conscience, because conscience was for the weak.  Tom Hardy also allowed Cadmus to properly express anger with dignity, inadvertently contributing what I called his “crazy eye” to my character.  Cadmus’ change of mood, indicated by just a single subtle expression, can turn a situation of civility into one of slaughter in literally the blink of an eye.
  • Annie Lennox:  Her techno-domme persona has pretty much affected all aspects of my writing and character creation, but she touched Cadmus in particular with her stoic command of everything around her in the “Sweet Dreams” video, combined with her perfect androgynous image.  I’ve never put Cadmus Pariah in a suit before but, if I ever do, it will be because of Annie Lennox.
  • Rob Dougan:  His song “Clubbed to Death” teamed up with Shriekback’s “Deeply Lined Up” to create thematic sound of Cadmus Pariah’s soul.  Everything and everyone belongs to him, and he dispenses with his possessions as he sees fit.
  • Darth Maul:  Prior to The Phantom Menace, Cadmus was devoid of any sexuality.  He was a creature of destruction, not affection, love, or lust.  Then came Maul.  Wrapped in dark flowing robes that were incredibly Cadmusian, this soft-spoken warrior was a physical poet.  His poise and grace enhanced Cadmus Pariah, and gave him the ability to experience sexual gratification.
  • Pryrates:  From Tad Williams’ trilogy, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Pryrates was the red priest who dabbled heavily in dark magick and alchemy, eventually uniting with the Storm King in his quest for dominion.  Like Cadmus, Pryrates is small and bald, but his fierceness and determination affected the development of my character, and I must admit the influence.  Pryrates is the reason Cadmus maintains an altar, despite his lack of faith.
  • Pinhead:  This should be obvious to anyone.  My Cadmus aspires to reach the levels of poetry and slaughter Pinhead has wrought in the written world.  Everything about him is beauty, dread, desire, and suffering.  It is Pinhead who inspired Cadmus to say, “Survival is the parchment upon which the Law of Nature is Inscribed.”  Like Cadmus, Pinhead is dedicated to his ideal, his focus is an exercise in perfection.  He, along with Barry, gave Cadmus his eloquence.
  • Hannibal Lecter:  His command of the language deeply inspired the development of Cadmus.  Also, his abiity to manipulate through nothing but words is something I felt Cadmus would be perfect at doing.  There is also the Shriekback/Hannibal connection that gives me episodes of frisson.  I love it.
  • Randall Flagg:  I admit that my fascination with Randall Flagg is probably incredibly unhealthy but, when I read The Stand in 1980, I was drawn into this charismatic entity, and his spirit dwelt within me for a decade before Cadmus was born.  Randall Flagg is a natural leader and a master manipulator.  He exudes the perfect combination of fright and desire.  This absolutely influenced Cadmus Pariah.

I’m sure there are other influences that I just can’t think of right now, but these folks/characters are the core.  Writers often say that their characters are figments of the imagination and not based on any real person, but I beg to differ.  We write what we know, and we are constantly bombarded with inspirations and influences.  It’s inevitable that they come out in our compositions.  In my opinion, it’s perfectly natural, and the primary method by which information is passed on from one generation to another.


Loss

Apr. 25th, 2016 04:02 pm
tinhuviel: (Hickey Monster)
the_loss_by_whiluna-d9h0l0s.png.jpeg

Last Tuesday, I officially ended an almost 30-year friendship that unofficially ended when I was thrown into grief over losing Aunt Tudi.  It would seem that suicidal depression and self-isolation clears the room every damned time.  I’m not saying anything further about it, because there’s nothing more to say, except for one thing.  The friendship could often be very toxic but, because of who we were and how we were treated before we met, the two of us always ended up back together.  It won’t happen this time.  There are too many miles, tears, and life-changes between us now.  I will miss him but, honestly, I’ve been missing him since he moved across the country back in the 90s.  It’s time to accept the inevitable.

In other loss news, I’m still reeling over the death of Prince.  From the moment I heard and saw him in the Controversy video, I was in love with his music and in lust with him.  From 1981 until his death, that never changed, and it never will.  After so many losses of beloved musicians so far this year (fuck you, 2016.  fuck you hard.), I’m pretty much walking around in a combination of stunned grief and abject fear.  Why the fear?  Well, there’s Shriekback, Barry Andrews and Carl Marsh in particular, with whom I’ve developed a good friendship/acquaintance and a fine working relationship over the years.  Then there’s Jeff Lynne, who’s resurrected ELO I’m supposed to finally get to see in concert after ages of dreaming.  If any of them passES this year, I’m going to lose my fucking shit.  I’m not exaggerating here.  I can barely handle thinking and writing about it.

tinhuviel: (Torquemada)

I haven’t done one of these in about 10,000 years, so let’s get this show on the road.



This is all true. photo 1264091_10153348891685721_288267917_o.jpg1. Full name: Tracy Angelina Evans
2. Nicknames: Tin, Tinhuviel, George, Darth Shriek
3. Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina USA
4. Birthday: 10 September, 1967
5. Where Do You Live Now?: San Diego, California
6. Parent(s): Father Unit has passed.  Mother Unit is here in San Diego.
7. Sibling(s): ZERO
8. Looks: Better off invisible.
9. Favourite Animal(s): Anything non-human, except for millipedes and centipedes.  Like humans, they can go fuck themselves.
10. Favorite TV Show(s): Impractical Jokers, Better Call Saul



11. Favorite Kind(s) Of Music: Most everything but Country and Opera.
12. Favorite Movie(s): Sci-Fi, Unusual, Conceptual, Foreign
13. School: Some college, focusing on English and Veterinary Assistance
14. Future School: I’m too old for this question. The Chapel Perilous

15. Future Job: Testing new, effective sleep aids.
16. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: nah
17. Best Buds: I’m a bit of a hermit these days.
18. Favorite Candy: Milk Dud
19. Hobbies: Music, reading, writing
20. Things You Collect: Grudges, CDs, movies, moments in time.



21. Do You Have A Personal Phone Line: Yes
22. Favorite Body Part Of The Opposite Sex? The eyes and brain
23. Any Tattoos And Where Of What?: Red & Black Triskele on right hand, Green Shriekback logo on left hand, Mwanza Flat-headed Agama with green and blue hues instead of pinkish and blue.
24. Piercing(s) And Where?: not anymore
25. What Do You Sleep in?: clothing
26. Do you like Chain Letters: aw HELL NAW.
27. Best Advice: Reality is peripheral.
28. Favorite Quotes: Hope for the best, expect the worst. - Mel Brooks.
29. Non-sport Activity You Enjoy: sleep
30. Dream Car: A transporter



31. Favorite Thing To Do In Spring: Avoid the sun.
32. What’s Your Bedtime: Whenever I’m lucky.
33. Where Do You Shop: Wherever I can.
34. Coke or Pepsi: Cheerwine

35. Favorite Thing(s) To Wear?: Something loose that will allow me to blend into my surroundings.
36. Favorite Subject(s) In School: English and Creative Writing

37. Favorite Color(s): Green, Red, Black
38. Favorite People To Talk To Online: People with brains and a wicked sense of humour that has set them on the road to Hell.

39. Root-Beer or Dr. Pepper? Root beer

40. Do You Shave? I’m too old for that bullshit.




41. Favorite Vacation Spot(s): I don’t do vacations.  My favourite place to BE is England.
42. Favorite Family Member(s): Smidgen
43. Did You Eat Paint Chips When You Were a Kid? WHAT?
44. Favorite CD you own: Currently Without Real String or Fish by Shriekback
45. The ONE Person Who You Hate The Most: Going with an old standard here and saying Pat Robertson.
46. Favorite Food(s)?: Potatoes
47. Who Is The Hottest Guy or Girl In The World?: I have a very short list.
48. What Is Your Favorite Salad Dressing?: Bleu Cheese.
49. When You Die, Do You Wanna Be Buried or Burned Into Ashes? I don’t care, as long as I end up on Craggy Dome.
50. Do You Believe In Aliens?: Absolutely.








51. If You Had The Chance To Professionally Do Something, What would You Do? I’m already a Professional Misanthropist.
52. Things You Obsess Over: Various artists, ideas, philosophies, theories, general weirdness
53. Favorite Day of the Week: Don’t bloody care.
54. An Authority Figure You Hate: The Feudal Mistress still tops the list.
55. Favorite Disney Movie: Bambi
56. What Is Your Favorite Season? Winter
57. What Toppings Do You Like On Your pizza? Cheese, with extra cheese, and cheese on the side.
58. Do You Like Your School Food Itself (As In The District Food): I never ate it.
59. If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would You Live? Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
60. Favorite Thing(s) To Do On Weekends: Sleep, if I can accomplish it.







61. Favorite Magazine(s): Don’t have one.
62. Favorite Flower(s): White rose

63. Favorite Number(s): 5

64. Favorite Ice Cream flavor(s): Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy

65. What Kind of Guys/Girls Are You Attracted to?: Dangerously intelligent, beautiful, talented, and hilarious.

66. What’s Your Most Embarrassing Moment? I inadvertently introduced myself to someone as his wife.

67. If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself What Would It be? I would be fearless.

68. Do You Eat Breakfast First Then Brush Your Teeth or Brush first ten eat breakfast: breakfast first.

69. Favorite Time of Day: Whenever I get to sleep.

70. Can A Guy and Girl Be Just “Best Friends?”: Why not?



71. Do You Ask The Girl/Guy Out Or Do You Wait For Them To Come To You?: I don’t go there anymore.

72. Do You Mind Paying For Sex? I never would.

73. What’s The Most Important thing In Someone’s Personality: Sentience

74. Do you have a pager or cell phone? Cell

75. Favorite Sport: Flambodious Butt-walking

76. What Was the Best Gift You Ever Received? Love

77. How Long Did This Letter Take You To Finish?: Not very long.

78. What Did You Listen To While Completing It?: Electric Light Orchestra’s Alone in the Universe.

79. Are you or would you like to be married in the near future (next 5 years)? NEGATIVE

80. Don’t u just hate how psychics never win the lottery? I hate it more than I don’t win the lottery. I hate psychics, especially the ones who claim to talk to your dead relatives.  They’re grifters who should be drawn and quartered.  The End.

tinhuviel: (Asthma Hound Chihuahua)

Just when I was getting back into the swing of things here, I was “fortunate” enough to contract influenza.  I actually started coming down with it in late February, but it didn’t get really bad until after the first of March.  Just to give you an idea of how sick I really was, here’s a list of what plagued me throughout my time with Captain Trips.


  • Got flu from people I live with on 23rd February.
  • Body ache
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen glands at base of ears
  • Constant cough
  • Foul taste in mouth and inner odour
  • Laryngitis
  • Eye pain with green discharge
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • No appetite
  • Difficulty keeping down fluids - probably very dehydrated now, because heart is pounding with minimal activity
  • Dizziness and weakness
  • High fever at first (103.2 on 2/25) and sporadic low-grade fever since, the latest being two nights ago, when the eye thing started)

I vaguely remember going to one of my doctors on March 3rd.  Apparently, I was so bad off, she prescribed me meds, put me in her car, took me to the drugstore, went in and bought my meds, plus a load of OTC stuff to help me, then brought me home.  I need to check and see if she paid for all of it with my card or if she used her own money.  I hope she didn’t get sick as well.

 

My final symptom was getting an eye infection in both eyes, accompanied with another fever.  There was one day when I actually had to fumble blindly to get a hot wash cloth in order to melt away the glue from my eyes after a couple hours of sleep.  Even then, I couldn’t get my eyes entirely open.  I looked like the banjo player from Deliverance.  There’s no doubt it was conjunctivitis, and the Mother Unit took me and dropped me off at the ER so I could get some meds for it, because she didn’t want to end up getting sick again.  But the wait was so long, and I was so weak from being sick for suck an extended period of time, I had to get a taxi back to the house.  (The Unit was with Matt who had cut himself badly enough to need stitches.  His left arm is still wrapped up.)  I barely remember getting back to the house, and I found out a few days later that I lost my debit card.  I’m waiting for a new one.

 

When I finally started coming out of my haze, I still didn’t feel like doing anything but staring at things, so I decided to re-binge watch Breaking Bad.  I spent a few days doing that and just staring into nothingness, coughing and wheezing.  Four days ago, I finished Breaking Bad and, even though I had watched the series once before, this time I’m grieving that it’s over.  I’m just fucking bereft.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I have some Walking Dead I could watch, but it’s like being offered a puppy after your dog of 15 years has died.  No thanks, mate.  I will never have another dog.  Like that.  It’s gonna take me some time.

 

My greatest regret about being so sick is that I promised Barry I would promote the latest Shriekback release.  He sent me the information and whatnot to download, and I failed to do so because I was so out of my head with the Superflu.  Now, I’m not sure where we stand on it and if it’s too late for me to proceed.  I need to ask, but I’m ashamed.  I’ve tried my best never to let the Shrieks down, and I’ve done so in spades this time around.  I kind of suck.

 

I still have the cough, and I have no doubt I’ll develop bronchitis, because I always do.  Hopefully, I can hold out on seeing a doctor until my appointment on 4/18 with my new primary care physician.  I had to chance doctors because the one I had behaved extremely unprofessionally with me a couple of times, and actually failed to treat me for a UTI I had, telling me I had one, but not prescribing anything for it.  The cardiologist she needlessly sent me to was the one who prescribed the antibiotics I needed.  So I had to say buh-bye to that doctor.  My insurance told me that the change in doctors was effective immediately so, if the cough gets progressively worse, I may call to see if I can be seen earlier.  They have long hours six days a week, as well as a good walk-in policy, so hopefully it won’t be a problem.  

 

So that’s what’s been going on with me.  This year has so far been chock full of uber-suck when it comes to health.  I just hope I can get my shit together by September.

tinhuviel: (Jeff Lynne)
I just don't even know what to do with myself right now.  I needed to mark this moment, but I'm barely dealing with the incomprehensibility of it to feel like I would be making much sense.  So I'm just gonna let the pic speak for itself, and go scream in a pillow for an hour or two. Now, if only SHRIEKBACK would come to Cali and play a concert...

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 4.29.58 PM.png

tinhuviel: (cadmus pariah)
Wherein [livejournal.com profile] beheretinnitus speaks with the inimitable Barry Andrews and Carl Marsh!
Just click the pic to be taken to the podcast!

The End

Dec. 31st, 2015 08:44 pm
tinhuviel: (Darth Geek)

And so we have arrived at the threshold of yet another year, four cycles after the long hoped for Alpaca Lips.  In some ways, it has been an eventful year and, in others, things have barely changed.  I figured I'd touch on the highlights of 2015, then throw some hopes (gasp, hope?  Tin?  NOOOOOO!) out for 2016.  So, let's begin.

no title

The first major thing that happened in 2015 came in February, when I was allowed unprecedented liberties to continue and expand my campaign to disseminate All Things Shriekback.  I was elated, for I had watched for too long their greatness be swallowed up by the ever-expanding Internet, without the proper tools in my box of toys to make enough digital noise to be noticed.  That changed prior to the release of one of their best albums to date, Without Real String or Fish.  To my immense joy, this was only one of many releases by the band that I got to relentlessly plug throughout the year.  It's been an honour to do what I could for the guys, and I will continue to do what I do until they tell me to stop!

triskeleline.gif

In April, another wonderful thing occurred:  I got to go up to Los Angeles to attend Jeff Lynne's Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony.  Even though I didn't get to meet him - again! - I was still thrilled to be in the general vicinity of my spiritual and musical godfather, and listen to him talk a little about his career and how honoured he felt to be getting the praise and attention that has long been due the man.  He's a genius, and I am overjoyed that people are finally catching on to this fact.  It also heartens me that so many Millennials, particularly in the music world, are embracing Mr. Lynne and his music.  That means that his legacy will live on through the generations, as long as humanity plagues this world.  It almost makes me glad we're all still around.  Anyway, also in attendance to the star ceremony, making speeches of their own about how groovy Jeff Lynne is, were Tom Petty and Joe Walsh.  I caught this epic photo before the brouhaha began.   

LynnePettyWalsh4.jpg

And it got even better later in the year, in November, when Jeff Lynne released Alone in the Universe, the first official ELO album since the release of Zoom in 2001.  I'm currently listening to it for the first time but, hey! better late than never, right?  2015 was the year both Shriekback and the Electric Light Orchestra gave the world new music.  If for no other reason, this year should be marked as a complete success because of this.

triskeleline.gif

Shortly before I moved out to San Diego, my TV died.  For a while, I was pretty miserable, until I got used to watching streaming formats online, like Netflix.  It cut down on my viewing habits considerably, and I found myself focusing on just the movies and shows I personally found important and worthy enough to spend my time watching.  Beginning in late 2014, though, my number one go-to place for instant entertainment gratification became You Tube.  I discovered Alonzo LeroneGarret John, and a host of other talents, visionaries, and creatives.  In June of 2015, though, I stumbled upon a short film that completely blew my mind. It's what made me realise how grateful I am to no longer have a television. I probably would have never discovered such brilliance had I still been enslaved to the mediocrity that spews out of the boob tube.

When I first saw The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, I had a reaction eerily similar to what I had upon seeing The Joker Blogs' Therapy Begins.  I couldn't get enough!  Impressed didn't even begin to cover it.  The more I watched it and the related films on Richard Gale's You Tube channel, the more I laughed.  As anyone who has known me since losing Aunt Tudi in 2011 knows, laughter is something I treasure above all other things.  I credit anything that could cut through the grief and trigger laughter as holding a seed of the miraculous within its heart.  The Impractical Jokers were the first to make what I thought was impossible happen.  The Horrible Slow Murderer carried on that life-saving tradition.  

I was so impressed with the undeniable talent in this short film and others on the channel, like the wholly unfunny and horrifying Criticized, I was compelled to learn more about the film maker and his posse.  Employing the web search skills I learned in the Pit oh so very long ago, it didn't take me long to learn a good bit about the director and actors Paul Clemens and Brian Rohan.  

Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up helping them with their Kickstarter campaign, after having the pleasure of discussing a few promo ideas with Richard one Sunday a few months ago.  During this time, I've come to see that not only are these guys uber-talented, but they are also genuine, groovy, insightful, kind individuals.  How could anyone not want to help people like this in any way they can?

triskeleline.gif

While all this was happening, I was going to the doctor about my back pain, which seemed to be getting worse despite all attempts to reverse the issues causing it.  The doc finally suggested that I look into getting an panniculectomy.  Now, in South Carolina, no insurance, private or public, would cover anything considered cosmetic.  When I got the gastric bypass surgery, I went into it with no pipe dreams of getting any excess skin removed.  It was never an option, so I never entertained the idea.

When the doctor brought up the panniculectomy, I silently scoffed, but decided "what the hell?  It doesn't hurt to ask."  So, a couple of days later, I called Aetna and asked them if such a surgery were covered.  They informed me that, if it were considered medically necessary, they would cover it, and all I would have to pay would be $264.00.  I called the doctor, who referred me to Dr. Jason Hess.  He took pictures, informed me that he'd gotten approval for surgeries with less severe pannus issues, and said he'd be asking approval for not just a panniculectomy, but also an abdominoplasty which, combined, are basically the human equivalent to being cleaned like a fish.

In two weeks time, Aetna gave the go ahead, and I had a tummy tuck and panniculectomy in September.  I'm still recovering from it, but my back does feel better after no longer having to deal with 17 pounds of dead weight constantly pulling on my lower lumbar region.  Also, for the first time in my life, I actually have a figure.  I'm still not used to the new body.  It's like living in an alien biological construct.

So, 2015 saw me become a bit of a California stereotype in that I got plastic surgery and began "hobnobbing" with Hollywood directors and actors.  Folks, don't expect that, if you're thinking of planning on moving to California.  Bear in mind that I live in the Twilight Zone and have no idea how shit like this happens to me.

triskeleline.gif

One more cool thing that happened this year actually happened this month.  After over a year of struggling with it, I finally had a breakthrough in my arduous Wacom education.  I still have a very long way to go before I consider anything I do with the tablet worthy of pride, but at least I'm finally seeing results from what I have so far learned.  This is the result - the best representation of how I see Cadmus Pariah in my mind's eye.  I plan on making this a full body picture, not just a floating head of death, but I thought I should make note that my obvious learning disability when it comes to digital art has at long last had a wee chink taken out of its seemingly impenetrable wall.

There have been some unhappy things to happen this year - conflicts with Matt, friends falling prey to illness, seriously fucked up news on the family front, among other things - but I am choosing not to focus on that in this year-end post.  There is nothing I could write here that would change any of these things, and I frankly don't want to give the bad areas of 2015 any more power than they already have.  I would prefer to give energy to more positive outcomes in those categories in the coming year. 

That being said, here are some things I'm hoping to see happen and/or make happen in 2016.

  • Friends and family beat the odds and kick all manner of ass with some insane Health Fu.
  • The Presidential election does not turn out to be a disaster of mega-Fascist proportions.
  • People collectively reject the status quo and embrace a higher vibrational state of being.
  • There is full disclosure on extraterrestrial life and activities, as well as extra-dimensional life and activities.
  • Jeff Lynne plays a concert in San Diego and I get to attend.
  • I can eventually feel as comfortable riding the buses in San Diego as I was riding the ones in Los Angeles. LA makes a lot more sense as far as layout is concerned.  Or maybe that's just me.
  • Yoga becomes a part of my everyday life.
  • Barry Andrews has more delightful written and musical works of art in store for the world.
  • I complete my latest book and maybe even publish it.
  • The filming of Ginosaji goes smoothly and is a low-stress joy for all involved.
  • I get to go to the desert to gaze at the Milky Way at least once in 2016.
  • I and those I love are surrounded by non-toxic individuals and that we can continue to expand the influence of beauty, creativity, common sense, and divine madness.
  • The Alpaca Lips finally happens.

Here's hoping everyone has a fantastic new year.  May it be visionary in every way.

tinhuviel: (Spork)

marevaporum.png

So here am I, spooning tiny bites of Stove Top Stuffing into my piehole, and trying to watch Boogie Nights for the umpteenth time around Smidgen’s wide, hairy butt.  Another Thanksgiving winding down.

After Halloween, Thanksgiving was always my favourite.  It seemed less stressful than Christmas.  I still feel that way, even though I really don’t do anything, and haven’t since 2011.  But I do want to send some shoutouts of gratitude into the aether, so here goes.


  • I’m thankful for my friends. ff.pngYou all know who you are, both old and new Tribespeople.  Those of you who have been with me for a while  have stuck by me when even some family chose not to.  You’ve been with me longer than anyone else in my life now.  And my new friends, though thin on the ground, have opened up new avenues to experience, exhibited goodness and decency that threaten to prove my theories about our species dead wrong.  All of you:  Despite my dedicated misanthropy, you still love me just as I am, and I am happy to reciprocate.  When we are facing the Alpaca Lips, I hope we get to do it together.


  • I’m thankful for the Earth. It has been quite a year, as far as space exploration has gone, but I find it incredible that we still have so much about our home planet that needs to be discovered, explored, and possibly explained.  With every dim twinkle of light far beyond our comprehension of just how really fucking large the multiverse is, there is an equal twinkle far beneath the churning seas, something we’ve never been able to see, something even the angler fish, who can twinkle themselves, would be afraid to examine too extensively.The Earth is where we open our eyes each day.  Instead of casting those eyes to your feet as you go through the motions that are expected of you, cast them outward.  Not upward, but around you.  Everything that you are is star stuff, yes, but that stuff chose to touch down on a world that both nurtures and destroys us.  We owe it to ourselves, to one another, and to our home planet to try to find out why, before it’s too late.  Even if it’s all a hologram and we are not truly physical entities on the surface of a planet, it’s all we currently have, and it is a wondrous construct, so full of mystery and music.  I’m glad to have been able to see what I have of this world.


  • I am thankful for the music.jlshriek.png  It has been a truly resplendent year in music for me.  I got to see Jeff Lynne get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and watch him perform live (on TV) for the first time in over a decade.  I’m foaming at the mouth to get my ears on the new ELO album.  Then there’s Shriekback, who has dominated my musical choices for yet another year, giving fans both old and new, the triumph that is Without Real String or Fish, not to mention all the rarities, reissues, and side-project material.  I have long contended that, as long as the Shrieks make music, I will be “doomed” to write, and my friends will be doomed to read, or say they did!  Even earlier today, I was constructing a possible chapter in the WIP, based on a Shriek rarity, ‘Shake the Big Tree’.






  • I am thankful for laughter. As all my older friends know, I’ve been a bit of a laughter junkie since 2011.  Laughter is the human purr.  It’s present when we’re happy, and it can heal when we’re sad.  daffyporky.gifBeing a devout believer in Jessica Rabbit Syndrome, I would have to say that laughter is the most important thing in this reality, especially when you are more than underwhelmed about trudging forth, but trudge nonetheless because you have responsibilities.  If something makes me laugh, its therapeutic qualities are far from lost on me.  So, to all the things and people that have gotten me through 2015 by making me laugh like a demented Vizzini, I am quite grateful for it all.



And there you have it.  Short and simple.  I tried to be as upbeat and uncomplicated as possible.  I gotta go outside for a few minutes, ‘cos it’s raining, and that shit’s rare here.  Happy T-Day, freaks.  May the Dark Side of the Force Be with you.

tinhuviel: (PSA)

MasterBAG Newsbag


"The fact that it isn’t breaking its back to be anything is quite liberating," says Barry Andrews, pondering over the music he’s currently making with Shriekback. "It’s what it is – individuality is quite refreshing. Like those old guys who walk down Oxford Street carrying banners saying ‘stop eating peanuts’. It makes you feel good about people."


Specifically, he means a new single called "Sexthinkone" and a mini-LP labeled "Tench". Both are on Dick O’Dell’s Y Records, and both their sound and the manner of their making suggest something a little bit out of the ordinary.


There’s the basic nucleus of Shriekback, for a start. It’s a trio – Barry Andrews, Gang of Four’s former bassist Dave Allen and guitarist Carl Marsh, who used to be with Out on Blue Six. On top of these three, any number of friends and accomplices might drop by the studio to help out. "Sexthinkone" itself features departed member Brian Nevill on percussion, plus Linda Nevill and Andrea Oliver on vocals, a strange character allegedly called Carlo Lucius Asciutti on piano and xylophone and Dick O’Dell himself on "paperweight and claptrap of death".


Dave Allen, who talks most, backtracks. "What I wanted to do was get together a loose collective of people where you would maintain a sort of unit, but it wouldn’t ever be a band. It would come out with a lot of material that would involve a lot of people that you wouldn’t necessarily keep on.


"We’ve got to the point where the three of us now work together very well and very easily, and this is the unit. Now we just invite people down who we think would be suitable to perform on our tracks, so it’s like a very loose collective with Shriekback as the sort of mentors and producers."


Andrews – who used to be with XTC – and Allen both shudder when they think back on their days with big groups on major labels. Both loathed the duhumanising process of touring, and both now find it incredible to think back on the thoughtlessness with which groups are sucked into the ponderous mechanisms of "rock’n’roll" and its attendant money-wasting potential.


Andrews: "I hesitate to use the word ‘decadent’, but that’s what it is. Working with Y means a lot more work on our part, like we actually have to do a lot of stuff like artwork and looking after day to day logistics ourselves, but it also means you know who’s responsible for what and things don’t keep getting passed round offices."


Carl Marsh chips in: "If a group like this had been involved in a major label it’s possible it wouldn’t have survived the process, because there’s so many pigeonholes you’re supposed to fit into."


For example, the "Tench" LP contains some 26 minutes’ worth of music and retails at £2.99. "People can afford £2.99," says Dave Allen. "Skidoo proved it. There’s just no reason to put out 10 or 12 tracks, four of which you don’t really like, and sell it for £4.50 because the record company want to get its money back."


Shriekback have kept operating costs to a minimum by seeking out various small, cheap London studios, and recorded "Tench" at KPM, a 16 track demo studio owned by their music publishers EMI Publishing. It had never occurred to anybody before to make records there, but as the Shrieks point out, there simply isn’t any good reason to spend £50 and upwards an hour in a big-name studio when you can achieve excellent results at a third of that cost.


And the music? As Andrews points out, it’s my job to label it, not his, but I’m at a loss for some glib handle to attach to it. How can you describe the ominous stalking of "Mothloop", or the curious obliqueness of "All the Greekboys (Do The Handwalk)"? The photograph on the label of "Tench", by the way , inspired the latter song. "I think he’s probably Turkish, but it didn’t scan," confides Andrews.


But mark my words, there may be a new force in the land.



Adam Sweeting

Masterbag July 8-21 1982



Tench has been reissued and remastered, with additional tracks and a bonus CD of their never-before-released 1983 Detroit concert. You can purchase this via their store on Burning Shed by clicking the Tench pic. Order before 1 September, and you will also receive the Shriek/Thee Caretakers collaborative effort free!

tinhuviel: (B Interview)
no title
Not-so-fried Fish
Below the Ice
Cut bait by Jason Pettigrew
Alternative Press, February 1993

The other day I took my mother out to dinner.  As she looked through the menu, she called my attention to the steak and fish combo, mentioning that the way the fried fish portions were laid out in the photo, they looked like (to her, mind you) a fetus.

“I’m not crazy, look at this,” she said.  “Over here is the head, these are the arms…”

“I think you’ve snapped, Mum.”

“Go to hell.  What’s it look like to you?”  (Abrasion is a hereditary trait in the Pettigrew family.)

“Fried fish on a plate.”

“Forget it.  I wonder what the Turkey Special looks like…”

Over a decade ago, Shriekback excavated the area of post-punk avant garde with a dense groove.  When Barry Andrews, Dave Allen and Carl Marsh released their first mini-LP Tench back in 1981, there were many necks strained from the double take.  Each member brought with them elements of their previous bands (XTC, Gang of Four, Out On Blue Six, respectively) and created a funk-rock-noise amalgamation.  Drummer Martyn Barker was acquired shortly afterward, and the quartet released a few records that were crazed and mysterious (Care, Jam Science and Oil And Gold), as well as a string of heavily rotated club singles like “My Spine (Is the Bass Line),” and the only rock song which used the word “parthenogenesis” (“Nemesis”).

Marsh was the first to bail out during a 1985 tour and the trio continued with guitarist Mike Cozzi, releasing a smoother record, Big Night Music.  Soon afterward, disinterest began to take a toll on Allen, and he vacated.  The remaining band members recorded Go Bang!, an album aimed solely at the marketplace.  If there was any irony in recording a cover of KC and the Sunshine Band’s loathsome “Get Down Tonight,” it was certainly lost.  After they had written the band off, Barker and Allen formed the faceless AOR-ploy King Swamp, and Andrews started a band called Illuminati, whose only album remains on ice.

Eventually, Allen, in his new position as label chief at World Domination, thought the time was right for a new Shriekback LP.  Andrews and Barker agreed and the result, Sacred City, like most of their prestigious body of work, has moments of tense ambience, shimmering pop, screaming noise and jungle grooves.

But what’s this got to do with fried fish looking like fetuses?  Two things:  does this tried-and-true “comeback” story look more like that of the Buzzcocks, or the Sex Pistols?  And is their reunion just another stab at commerce or does it only look that way?

“Comeback?”  questions the terminally polite Andrews.  “Go ahead, use it,” he concedes.

Even with all the dinosaur/last gasp connotations?

“That may well be so, but fact is fact and here we are, so make of it what you will.”

“I don’t think that’s totally appropriate,” counters Allen.  “It’s acceptable, but whenever I hear ‘comeback,’ I hear ‘failure.’”

So you think of the Gang of Four’s recent reunion then?

“That’s a bit unkind,” he corrects trying to ease smears on his old band.  “I think of it as a continuation.  God knows where it’s going to go now.”

Allen bailed out of Shriekback the first time around after a neverending world tour left him drained, stifled and looking quite miserable.  These days his stage demeanor is totally animated and he looks like he’s even having (gas) fun.  Fun despite having to open Shriekback shows with his other group Low Pop Suicide and living on a $26-dollar-a-day touring allowance.

“I was disillusioned playing the same set every night,” he says.  “I was tired of having to appease fans with hits, and my personal life was in shambles.  I had to leave and go do things.  I remember telling you that whatever happened in my life, I had to do King Swamp, just to see if I could.  Now, I fell a lot more inspired.”

And Allen has provided his share of inspirations as well:  his terse bass lines during his tenure in Gang of Four and Shriekback predate all the new tattooed bass-slapping plagiarists that have sprouted up in funk-metal cliché bands in regional music scenes.

“Yeah,” he concurs.  “It seems that’s more like cabaret now.  And I was concerned about [being construed as a funk-metal band] to the point where I had discussed it with Barry before this tour and he felt the same way.  I was talking to Flea at Lollapalooza and he told me he learned everything about bass from the first two Gang of Four records.  But it sounds to me like he actually listened to Shriekback!”

“The time is really right for us,” says Andrews.  “Now we don’t have to wonder what the single’s going to be or what our place is in the market.  We’ve returned to the same principle we had when we made Care – if it’s exciting we’ll do it.”

Chinese water torture seems far more exciting (if not more fulfilling) than the truly tepid Go Bang!

“We have a light and frivolous side so we figured we’d make a light and frivolous record,” he counters.  “Nothing wrong with that, is there?”

Even at the expense of what you do best:  propulsive funk and dark atmospherics?

“I think you can trace Shriekback’s career in those two threads:  a dancey, noisy side and a dark, brooding bit.  There’s no shame in something different.

“I think it’s quite unfair to raise the banner of a sell-out album, which I believe is what you’re implying,” he says with a little annoyance.  “I think every time you make a record your motivations are complex, so in your implications that Go Bang! was made to be commercial, well, yeah.  And we were [trying to be commercial] on all the other records we made too.”

The latest LP Sacred City is a song cycle (the ‘90s term for “concept album”) featuring vignettes of city life.  Andrews’ original concept was intended to take the form of a written thesis or a movie, until Allen called him up to discuss reforming the group (actually, Andrews has created a video for the album which will be available shortly).  There is the foreboding darkness of “Below” and “3 am,” the steamy grooves rising from the street on “Beatles Zebra Crossing” and “Signs” and the noise overload of “The Bastard Sons of Enoch.”  For this LP, the band reassessed their energy and avoided the hard-driving funk synapses, aiming instead for subtlety.

“Yes, it’s a more subtle record,” agrees Andrews.  “In terms of some of the African-y grooves and brush rhythms and such, sure.  On “Bastard Sons” we had guitars being played with power drills and knives but at the end of the day, some of them didn’t make it through our filtration system.”

What is that filtration system?  Here’s a man who’s scored film music, played with XTC, Iggy Pop, Robert Fripp and still has the enthusiasm to get onstage and, ugh, shriek (sorry).

“I can’t sing like Aretha Franklin or Bono,” Andrews muses aloud.  “I can’t play keyboards like Rick Wakeman.  All I do is have ideas and an energy to want to make things.  The fact that it comes out in music is because I’ve been doing it for a while.”

apshriekfinal.jpgShriekback’s live line-up is augmented by the serrated violin stylings of Cat Evans and guitarist Cozzi.  Another tour may be in the works, and a new Shriekback LP may appear next fall.  Despite a hiatus from wild shamanic dancing and playing in front of people, Shriekback theorize that the difference between rejuvenation and adrenalin is merely in the spelling.

“Playing live is odd,” admits Andrews.  “You put on weird clothes, jump around, get sweaty and shout at people, and they behave in the most unnatural way.”

Are you apologizing?

“No, not at the moment.  I haven’t done anything terrible yet!”


Shriekback's 13th studio album, 'Without Real String or Fish', is currently available from the band's website.  If your mouse aim ain't what it used to be, just click the album cover below.  While you visit, be sure to sign up for the band's newsletter, as you will be provided with opportunities to nab yourself some rare or never-before-heard songs, freebies, and all the latest Shriek news that's relevant.

Shriekback's Finally, whatever you do, do not read this and then not share it with everyone.  Should you be the only happy member of your Ka-Tet? Nay! Be the precious petal we all know you are, and spread the good news to all four corners of the world! 

tinhuviel: (B Interview)

Another Throwback Thursday confection for all my homies.


greendivide2.gifgreendivide.gif

Some time ago, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in contact with Barry Andrews via the Internet. He further astonished us by agreeing to an Interview! So, with an abundance of fan input, we put together a "small collection" of the most pertinent questions and fairly alarmed him with a Lengthy Interrogation. Undaunted, Mr. Andrews expressed himself as he most usually does: with eloquence and not a small amount of wit.


Shriek Questions



The Band


  • How did you meet Dave Allen, Carl Marsh, and Martyn Barker? How did the band come together?
    Errr, met Dave thru Sara Lee –(Bassist w. League of Gentlemen –Leeds connection) He rang me on leaving Go4, Carl wrote him a letter (ever the literary one) and I brought Mart in when we needed a proper drummer –I knew him from Clare Hirst, the sax –player who I was going out with and who played in The Emotional Spies w. Mart. ( I think that’s right ??)


  • Did Shriekback try to create an image with your music and visuals? If so, were you successful?
    Sure we tried, I think we had our moments.


  • Were you surprised with the positive response to last year’s album, "Naked Apes and Pond Life"?
    Very much so. I’d disowned the whole project and was off bashing bits of metal (rather than other band members). Had it not been for Lu and Martyn it would never have come out. The fact that it was sonically the least user-friendly of all our work made it doubly suprising that it was getting good reviews (the old ‘fuck em if they can’t take a joke’ ethic again I guess)


  • Is that what got you to thinking of the possibility of a new Shriekback project sometime in the future? There’s rumour that both Carl and Dave are involved with the new Shriek project. Would you care to comment?
    Dave was in London with a big expense account to abuse, so the Shrieks (class of 85) duly obliged. It was a heady mixture of lurid cocktails, free money and that ineluctable chemistry of 4 old pervs with something still to prove. It looks very likely that we will do Another One. With D & C.


  • What are the Seven Pillars of Shriekback?
    They were a series of principles by which we intended to focus our, at the time, dissipated and addled energies in order to create a rock band.  Have totally forgotten what they were, though..


  • Tell us about the Shriek logo. Whose idea was it and does it have a particular meaning. If so, what?
    It was Al Macdowell’s design –our sympatico Art Person (last seen being head of production design on the Fight Club film –howabouthat?).   I think it was to do with cyclical energy (otherwise known as going round in circles –hmm, be careful what you visualise).


  • Do you still have contact with Sarah and Wendy? What are they doing these days?
    Oh yes, very much so. Seeing them this Friday, actually. Wendy’s a homeopathic practitioner (with 2 kids) about to Move to The Country. And Sarah manages recording engineers and producers.


  • Are you enthusiastic about the resurgence of Shriekback’s popularity?
    Now there’s a leading question, with a certain ambiguity. I certainly like the idea of making some more music both with, and without, the Chaps. A Shriek-Renaissance would be handy. Is it happening? Maybe. You tell me… I don’t get out much.

Shriek Works


  • Why do so many Shriek songs resonate with a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) spiritual energy, both sacred and profane?
    Aww, get outta here. Do they? Cheers. Nice one.  Like Jah Wobble (whom God Preserve) said: 'You either make music to see God, or to make money, and if it’s making money then you end up like a million other people all trying to get lucky with a beat.' That’s not exactly relevant really though, is it? I love the idea of touching people in That Place. That’s the main idea, of course.


  • Looking back on the albums the Shrieks have made, do you have a personal favourite and, if so, why? Do you have any favourite Shriekback songs? Any you dislike?
    Care, because we really had no idea what we were doing but we couldn’t help doing it. It was discovering a place where we / I could legitimately and comfortably express ourselves. Finding a Voice, all that.. The end of a hard, messy road of adolescent angst and it was Going To Be Alright after all. Still does sound like that to me, as it goes.

SONGS:


  • Evaporation because it was the first time I got the underwater, Lee Perry, ‘it’s dark but don’t be afraid’ thing to happen. Nice ‘tune’ (meaning melody).

  • Black Light Trap because it’s so ..Large. Lots going on. Architectural vibe. Big creaky Gormenghast thing with disco. Sounds like Shriekback and absolutely noone else.

  • This Big Hush - A big scary fantastic Love affair in the snows of 85 and everything impossibly vivid. Well that’s what I was doing. Add your own recollections, of course.

DISLIKED:


  • Get Down Tonight (what were we thinking of? oh yeah, making money , that’s right)

  • Mercy Dash the single (the intoxication of trying to sound like someone else - don’t do it, kids, especially not with machines that you don’t understand.)  Still, that’s it, not bad over 8 albums, is it?


  • What songs were made into videos?
    Nemesis, Get Down Tonight, Lined Up...


  • Any hope of a video compilation? Speaking of videos, who conceptualised the ‘Nemesis’ video?
    Probably not, who could possibly have the ‘masters’? and they were all dodgy apart from Nemesis.  I did all the ‘conceptualising’, Al McDowell did the visualising, Tony VandenEnde (the ostensible director) made it happen.

Projects


  • There is word of a new compilation album of obscure and unreleased material coming out sometime in March entitled "Aberrations 81-4". In what countries will this be available? Is there anything further you would care to offer to your listeners regarding this album?
    The territories are down to who wants it –where we can get licensing deals. The States will be covered by Nail Records, we think…  It will be available from Mauve Records mail order if all else fails.  It’s an interesting car-boot sale of weirdness, 9 never before released songs also remixes, live bits etc. Copious sleeve-notes by Marsh and I. We’re going to include ‘Naked Apes’ in the package, so it’s cracking good value for anyone who never got the latter.


  • Will we ever see the BBC recordings released?
    Hope so, we’re looking into the Legalities (not the name of a soul band).


  • Michael Mann used the Shrieks’ music extensively in ‘Miami Vice’ and in the movie ‘Manhunter’. Did you ever meet him and do you foresee any future collaborations?
    No and No. Shame: I especially liked it when they were chasing the Miami coke-baron round the harbour in speed-boats, white 80’s trousers flapping and Shrieks are singing some weirdshit in Sanskrit (Running on the Rocks). Obviously made sense to Mike.

Personal Questions

Music


  • Tell us about your Illuminati project.
    Doomed doomed, emotionally overwrought Guitar driven rock, Humungous female vocal, ravishing melodies. Me trying to be ‘non-ironic’ and ‘not weird’. Don’t fight your nature, that’s what I learnt. Still have the album in the can. Maybe release it someday.


  • What music do you listen to? What do you think of today’s pop music scene?

bazzachat2015.jpgANDREWS PLAYLIST 2001

  1. Beethoven ‘Creatures of Prometheus’

  2. Planxty (Irish trad) ‘The Woman I loved so well’ ‘After the Break’

  3. Nick Cave ‘The Boatman’s Song’ ‘Murder Ballads’

  4. Arvo Part 'Cantus for Benjamin Britten' 'Festina Lente'

  5. John Cooper Clarke ‘Snap Crackle and Bop’

  6. Slade ‘Greatest Hits’

  7. Underworld ‘Everything Everything’

  8. Mouse on Mars ‘niun niggung’


  • Will we ever see a collection of your solo work?
    Dunno, it’s nearly all only on cassette so it would be a hissy kind of a thang.


  • Will we see anymore from The Caretakers, the Refugees, or some other project yet to come to light?
    Caretakers are Bruce Mcrae and Carlo Asciutti, both of whom are complicated men to get hold of. Bruce is in Canada and Carlo’s in East Dulwich – which might as well be Canada. Come on guys, the World needs you… sigh, what can you do with ‘em?


  • What prompted the song ‘Win a Night out with a Well-Known Paranoiac’?
    The Adolescent angst of which I spoke and my snotty scruffy persona, (at 22-23) & resistance to authority which wound up all the right people sufficiently to support a – that’s right - paranoid world view. I liked the idea of a spoken song like Patti Smith’s 'Piss Factory'. It’s funnier though-especially the bit about the 'Underwater Toilet.'

History


  • When did you develop an interest in music?
    The parent’s collection of 78’s on the wind-up record player (fuck-I’m old) me alone in the attic playing ‘Shifting Whispering Sands’ and 'Indian Love call'. The rest is history.


  • Most of what we’ve heard about your departure from XTC has been from sources in relation to that band. In fact, in the liner notes of the recent XTC box set, Andy Partridge laments your leaving the band. To balance things out, would you like to let your side be heard?
    Well, as I’ve said probably more times than I should – I always regarded XTC as a stepping stone –we came from the the same town, were all working class pissheads and were all talented, it was never really a meeting of minds. Thus, as soon as we had some breathing space from touring and getting a deal it was obvious that this combination had run it’s course. You don’t need a degree in Workplace Dynamics to see that both an Andrews and a Partridge is one egomaniac only-child too many. For me that was – as they say in Swindon – ‘it and all about it’. It was great fun for a while though. And loads of shagging.


  • Many articles and XTC book passages indicate that you’ve seemingly resented the intellectual labels attributed to you and, later, Shriekback. Have your feelings changed on this issue or do you still wish to stress the physical aspect of your music?
    I don’t know why you say this. Anyone who calls me an intellectual will have me purring on the floor and buying them drinks.

    Oh, you probably mean that ‘what do your lyrics mean?’ type thing.

    It’s really that what I’ve always tried to do with music – specifically SONGS- which are a brilliant art-form and still nowhere near exhausted - is create new places - funny little aquariums where the rules of the outside world no longer apply. Bear in mind that this is not sheet music it’s recorded music so all sorts of subtleties and inflections are possible – the ambient sound in the room, the slapback echo all have different things to say (ambient sound says ‘fly on the wall documentary,’ slap-back can mean Elvis or, add a few repeats and it’s Nuremberg). What I mean is that Songs are perceived sonically, primarily - then we add the strata of meaning. But, as with all good art-forms the most fun is in the grey areas. Where the Delicious Frissons of Ambiguity live.

    So when you can’t quite hear what Strummer’s singing on Janie Jones, you hallucinate your own visions into the gap between what you can understand and what you can’t. As one does as a child listening to the grown ups talk. It’s an interesting place to be. When I finally saw those lyrics written down the song was over for me. Not that they were bad lyrics, just that they were only what they were, no longer all the things they might possibly be.

    So the lyrics are one part of this tense interdependent little biosphere. Another example: Marvin Gaye's ‘Grapevine’ –it’s dark, the bass and congas sound jungly (like a Rousseau jungle in purples) the song’s about jealousy - there are loads of different ways of saying ‘people are saying that you’re seeing someone else’ but he picks vines – big strangly creepy things with round sweet purple grapes on them and the jungly groove and the sweet sad voice and the minor key all support each other – organically, you’d have to say - the medium and the message all beautifully shmershed together. The lyrics as written don’t tell you any of this, like the sheet music doesn’t tell you how sexy that bass line is. The experience is to be had in front of a speaker and that’s it. SO - even if you use words like ‘parthenogenesis’ and ‘historesis’ you’re still playing the same game. I used ‘parthenogenesis’ mainly because it sounded good and almost rhymed with Nemesis. The meaning was secondary (but relevant). So if you were to apply the ‘Grapevine’ treatment to that chorus - my intention was to get a laugh - or at least an internal smirk - from the big-almost football crowd-chorus, the long ungainly scientific word, the huge daft power chords, and everything within this barmy context of ‘let’s examine the nature of morality’ – like some philosophy professor who went to Vietnam and listened to a lot of Gary Glitter. Still makes me laugh.

    Another way to see it is like you ‘get’ a joke, which, if you want, you can explain, and you can even analyse why it’s funny. But the point of the joke is really only in the ‘getting’ of it. If you don’t experience that then all the rest is pointless. Thus, when people make a big deal of 'explaining the lyrics', it very often (experience has shown) means that they never really ‘got’ the idea of the song. It’s turned into some gnarly little Eng. Lit puzzle.

    Blimey, value-for-money-question.

The Individual


  • We know that you are a consummate musician, that you’ve dabbled in filmmaking, and that you’re also an artist, having studied 3-D design. It would seem that you’re quite the Renaissance man. Is that a fair description? How would you describe yourself?
    Naah, the trouble with doing lots of things is that you meet lots of people who only do one thing and are therefore extremely good at them. Bad comparisons are inevitable. ‘Jack of all trades’ says it . Still, it seems to be my nature to apply a similar aesthetic to lots of different things and this is as close to a mission statement as I can get: ‘try everything, make up as many things as possible; remember to take notes.’


  • There have also been many comments from folks who’ve met you that you exude an otherworldly air. Would you care to address that?
    I have been known to drift, somewhat. Oh yes..


  • We’ve heard many stories from fans whom have attended Shriek concerts and, afterwards, were thrilled to find you dancing, drinking, and generally making merry with them after the show. Why are you so prone to mingle with the fans when artists, including other members of the band, don’t generally engage in such activity?
    Human fucking Beings, man. What else is there?


  • In what other projects are you currently involved?
    The ongoing exegesis of Parc Stic (a metaphysical theme park) and amassing material for a solo album. And keeping an eye on Finn (the lad) who’s starting his own musical career (which is spooky).


  • Being the primary lyricist for Shriekback, it’s obvious you have a gift with words. Do you write prose as well or have you considered doing so?
    Saving that for when I’m Really old and can’t do anything else.


  • Who or what would you say is your greatest influence?
    Alex Harvey, Lee Perry, Patti Smith, the Constructed World (not a band either).


  • The dance that you and the Sids perform to ‘The Reptiles and I’ in the ‘Jungle of the Senses’ concert video exhibits a variety of Kung Fu movements. That, combined with the fact that you’ve been spotted many times wearing Tabi, lead us to ask if you’re a Martial Artist as well. If so, what form or forms have you studied?
    Mark Raudva – who plays on ‘Naked Apes’ - is a qualified Tai Chi teacher and would piss himself if he read that. I studied with him for about six months and gave up. I did Aikido for about three weeks – way too upsetting.


  • What do you think of the world today?
    Oh the easy ones at the end eh?

Final Thoughts


  • What would you like see happen at Shriekback.com?
    The hub of a new Renaissance, a centre for Excellence, a source of psychic nourishment and high quality gas-masks.


  • Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans of both you and Shriekback?
    ‘Hold fast to that which gives the deepest jollies.’

7 February, 2001

Help the Shrieks give us all more memories.  Visit their official website to sign up for the newsletter, and don't forget to pick up a copy of their new album, Without Real String or Fish!

tinhuviel: (RepLogo)

Still in its relative infancy, the old Shriekback.com, The Shriekback Digital Conspiracy, launched a campaign based on the idea that artists and their fans should cut out the middle man. As part of Throwback Thursday, here's what is said about that exciting time on Shriekback's Tumblr blog:



Since we're once again *having a moment*, let's take a look back to the genesis of our "by subscription" EP, which foretold the rise of crowdfunding 14 years ago. This was the announcement seen on the old Shriekback.com back in 2001. To those who contributed then and are reading this now, we thank you again for helping make Having a Moment a reality, and cheers to you all for your continuing support. Having a Moment is once again available for purchase. You need only go to our online store. Whilst there, pick up a copy of our new album, Without Real String or Fish!

Personally, I think the band should be getting a cut of the profits sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo enjoy. Once again, the Shrieks were way ahead of their time.  Here is the original "Fate" page mentioned in the above announcement.  In order to easily read it, click the image for full size.

fatescreencap.jpg

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

The band have posted an hour-long interview, answering fans' questions. Take a gander, and don't forget to pick up a copy of Without Real String or Fish.

tinhuviel: (RepLogo)

~Through Us the Way into the Sacred City~






~Through Us the Way into Nights of Heat and Weirdness~





~Through Us the Way to the Illuminated Ones~
logo1transparent.gif





~Sheer enthusiasm made Us~





~And Passion and Poems and Sex~






~Before Us nothing but Excellence can endure~





~For We are the Gateway to Excellence, Deviance, and Delight~
logo1transparent.gif





~ABANDON ALL MEDIOCRITY, YE WHO ENTER here!~



tinhuviel: (RepLogo)


Shriekback

Big Electric Energy

by Lesley Sly


They are tired of being cult heroes – Shriekback, the weird studio band, the unpredictable performers. Their new line-up, tour and album were the firt lap in a drive for wider acceptance. Head shrieker, Barry Andrews, maps out the course.


The Shriekback of old was, by their own admission, chaotic and experimental. They were machine-men, dabbling with drum computers and Fairlights, every song a loose sketch from backing track to overdub. And live, it was jam science.


But the Shriekback that stormed Australia with a high octane live set and the cruisy cocktail-style album, Big Night Music, in March was a different kettle of…fish. (Alas, little light was shed on their strange preoccupation with deep sea creatures in our post-gig interview).


They are now a band intent on cracking the mainstream, getting their powerful live sound onto vinyl and dispensing with as much machinery as possible in the process.


They’ve been streamlining the human element, too. When they hit the cultish London circuit in 1981 with the mini-album, Tench, they were six-piece. By the following year, they were three – Barry Andrews (vocals/keyboards; ex-XTC, Robert Fripp’s League of Gentlemen), David Allen (bass; ex-Gang of Four) and Carl Marsh (guitar).


Then came the albums Care and Jam Science and in 1984 they took on drummer, Martyn Barker, had their first chart single Hand On My Heart and followed up with the album, Oil And Gold, inn 1985.


In early 1986 they signed a new deal with Island and lost Carl Marsh. Another change was the approach to recording. The writing trio of Andrews, Allen and Barker decided to concentrate on the expansive, atmospheric elements of their music and go for an ‘all-played’ groove, augmented by their four-piece Big Live Band – Michael Cozzi (guitars), Steve Halliwell (keyboards) and backing singers, Wendy and Sarah Partridge.


For the Australian tour they added a percussionist and Barry left keyboard duties to Steve, bar the occasional solo.


The last time I saw the band live was at one of their first gigs in a seedy London pub. On stage this year, in the claustrophonic refectory hall at Sydney Uni, there was hardly a trace of the enfant terrible. Dynamic, controlled, structured rock’n’roll theatre, a new authority, no chaos.


In the dressing room later, Barry Andrews explained this new order…


Your live set is much more structured now. There are middle-eights, you all start and stop in the same places. You’re very tight and professional…

I don’t know about very tight and professional, but certainly more than we used to be. We do all end at the same time.


Remember the Greyhound in Fulham (London), one of your first gigs?

(Shudders) Christ Almighty. We have changed since then.


Do you think you’ve sacrificed spontaneity for structure?

Not really. It used to be a fucking mess. There was a good, wild, out-of-control energy, you know all those AAARRRRGH, post-punk screams. But after a while…it’s unchannelled and ultimately not satisfying when you do seven gigs in a row and only one of them is any good.


I think we are channeling that energy more and there are still areas of improvisation…freedom within that structure.


What parts are improvised?

All the solos. I never play the same solo twice on Feelers, I’m always mucking around with the vocals, doing little improvised rants and stuff.


I think it’s a popular misconception that you have to do completely improvised music in order to have freedom. Mike (guitarist) always plays the same solo but there’s a difference when he’s really putting his heart and soul into it. It has an authority and power to it.

You get quite close to recorded sounds live…

I think we do considering how many overdubs and weird things we’re doing in the studio.

Were you using Fairlight much on Big Night Music?

No. We’d decided it was going to be a low budget album and we weren’t going to use the Fairlight as much as we had on Oil And Gold. We also wanted to use more acoustic instruments, so that it sounded like a band in a room playing some music, all in time.


Towards the end of recording there was a particular sound on Underwaterboys that we couldn’t get on either the JP8 or the DSS1 and me and Gavin (MacKillop, co-producer) were tearing our hair out [er, figuratively speaking]. So we decided to chip inn out of our own money and get the Fairlight to do this sound. As it turned out we did do it within budget – we didn’t have to sell our cars or anything – and so we went round the tracks putting little touches of Fairlight on here and there.


You’ve always used machines to make music. Was the decision taken on this album not to do so due to budget or were you bored with that approach?

No, it wasn’t because of the budget. It was the first record where Martyn (drummer) had really found his feet and he had loads and ideas bubbling over. It seemed a bit irrelevant to haul in a Fairlight or drums computer and put it through its paces.


We were bored with all that stuff after a four-year romance with technology too. Also, some of the rhythms are so subtle like, Running on the Rocks – there no drum computer in the world can do that.


How do you write your songs?

Always from the rhythm. In the old day it was a drum machine and we’d build the songs in the studio a la Bowie and all that. But, that wasn’t a particularly cost-effective way of doing things and we also decided that we wanted the…thing to happen in music that you only get when you’ve played a song for a long time on stage.


On Oil and Gold there was only one track that was like that (Health And Knowledge) which, while it wasn’t a great groove or even a particularly great song, had this smoothness, a rotundity to it. We thought it would be nice to have a whole album with the edges worn off, with a nice ‘used’ quality to it.


Do you write together?

Generally, Martyn will put down a rhythm and we’ll all – me, Dave and Martyn – improvise around that. If there’s an energy to the groove we’ll just tape the drums on cassette for two minutes.


Then, I take that home and put it on my cassette machine which has a loop function and just sit there singing to it, record that on another machine and listen to it. I find that quite often good things come out when you’re just burbling off the top of your head whereas if you sat down and tried to write it, that critical part of the brain might be brought to bear on it and crush the idea before it grows. I then go through and make notes, wander round, have a cup of tea, read a few books, find a few weird words (laughs).  Then I do the whole process again until the thing starts to bed down into a structure, verse, chorus, etc.  Then, I take it back to Dave and Martyn and we work on chords and details.


Atmosphere is crucial in your music. Is sound important in the writing process?

I tend to find that the rhythm will suggest a certain kind of atmosphere. It will all be encapsulated in that rhythm. Once you’ve got the initial crystalisation of the song, it’s all police work from there on. Like, Shining Path…it was obvious from that rhythm and the title that it was going to be this huge, swirly, exotic druggie-opium vision. From there on we knew it was going to need bells, big chords, wind gong, etc.


No home studios?

Martyn’s making moves in that direction. Sometimes I think it would be a good idea but then…I used to do that with XTC. I used to sit in my bedroom with an Akai two-track machine, a Wurlitzer piano and microphone and write the whole thing. Then I’d go along with a song and try to impose it on the band and tell the bass player and drummer what to play.It had a kind of awkwardness to it because they were playing something which wasn’t quite natural for them. Sometimes it worked but now it works every time because we don’t add things to songs unless they do work.


So, when you record now you take complete songs in?

Yeah and we’re going to work that way on the next album. There’s a couple of new ones we’re playing already.


How long does it take to get a song together?

Maybe a day per song. But, once I take the verse and chorus along we just put a bit of intense energy into it, maybe an hour, and then I take it home and work on it again. Then we bring in the other players.


You use the Jupiter 8 for rehearsals?

Yes.

What’s happened to that battered old organ you used for years?

It’s in my ex-wife’s cupboard. I go round every now and then and dust it off (the organ, that is). It’s a sweet little thing, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away but I can’t find any use for it anymore.


Was recording Big Night Music standard procedure?

Yes…I haven’t worked in that way since the Robert Fripp album. Gavin is a very traditional producer and I really left it to him. It’s nice, there’s something very organic about recording that way [as a band]. You don’t have to go through the endless…well, there’s a drum rhythm and I haven’t got a clue what to do next, maybe go blurgh on the first beat of every bar and then try to find some chords, and lay three tracks of percussion that we’ll never use.

It was exciting to work like that and if money was no object I probably still would…


Because there’s always the element of surprise when you’re actually creating the song track-by-track?

Yeah…the only track we did like that was Sticky Jazz and I think you can hear the difference…the textures change suddenly.


What about vocal treatment?

On Big Night Music I was getting into big whispering but the process of recording was mostly traditional. Occasionally I fed my voice through an AC30 amp wound up like fuck and recorded in a live room. On the end of Black Light Trap I fed it though Mike’s pedalboard with the distortion wound right up…and all these other knobs. I don’t really know what they do.


It’s your fifth album and seems like a summary of the rest. Do you agree?

No, I think there are areas left out…mainly the big noisy stuff. It’s like taking one of the themes of Shriekback, which is the big, dark, quiet cocktail band thing with more of the reggae influence. We’ve taken that and really explored it.


On the next album we’ll get into the big racket.


Using players and no machines?

Yes, I think so. It usually becomes apparent after you’ve been on the road a while what sort of album you want to make next. On this tour it’s become clear that everyone is excited about taking the atmosphere we get live and trying to record that and mess with it and see what happens.


Back to the whispering…you’ve said you’ll do more shouting next time. Isn’t the whisper part of Shriekback’s charm, a hallmark almost?

Well, for the sake of making an homogenous record…it always irritated me, about Oil And Gold especially, that you’re listening to a noisy track, you’re in party mode and then suddenly it goes all quiet and mushy and you have to leap for the turntable and get that track off.


When I want to listen to a piece of music I want an atmosphere and I think most people do. So, I would say…yeah, we’ll have a whispering-free, high-noise album. (laughs).


Why are you so popular here and often dismissed as an arty band in the UK?

There’s two things…if you’re not getting played on radio in the UK there isn’t really the gig circuit to establish yourself anymore. Also, the British psyche finds it a bit disgusting seeing this person up there on stage going ‘waaaah, look at me’. They like records and nightclubs and keeping it all under control.


For a long time in England we were making experimental, reflective, not grab-you-by-the-throat sort of records and people got a bit bored waiting for Shriekback to do something that would be devastating. And live, it was a shambles. We couldn’t take an audience like we did tonight. Now, we can take a cool audience and have them in a frenzy by the end because we’ve learnt the art of rock’n’roll theatre.


The soundtrack you’ve done for the movie, Slamdance…

It’s not a soundtrack, it’s just the song at the end. I’m looking at doing a soundtrack though…I’ve done a film music demo to a whole bunch of image from wildlife documentaries and films like Conan the Barbarian and Passage to India. So we’re going to go to LA and throw a few video tapes at a few moguls there.


Shriekback has its own sovereignty – it’s not something that each of us independently would do. I found doing the film music demo it was more one dimensional.


You’ve talked about having a magic power live that you don’t understand. Is that created because of the audience?

I think it’s there in rehearsal too, it’s just a smaller audience! It’s partly that with the band the sum is greater than the parts. I like working on my own but I prefer having other people around to bounce off and crash into.


What about your preoccupation with fish?

(Laughs)…What can I tell you?


Other projects?

Yeah…Martyn is writing his own songs which sound fabulously commercial, Dave is talking about doing an album with Jorgensen of Ministry and I’m making Super 8 movies at the moment.


Film seems to be quite a strong direction for me…I’m just assembling images and playing around with scripts.


Solo albums?

No. Shriekback is not entirely my vision but at least I can involve all my musical interests which is great.


In XTC I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, only that it wasn’t XTC. It was only after that that I started to look at my musical language…finding out why I liked certain kinds of music, and what moves me.


Do you listen to music for pleasure?

Yes…not pop. I used to have a clock radio which drove me mad because it would come on in the morning with this pop music and I’d wake up going ‘oh, the bass is good, drums are okay, what about the chorus’ and you go into all that.


I listen to old church music, nice gentle things.


This need for wider appeal…does Shriekback need more commercial success to reach full potential?

I think it’s a popular misconception that you achieve commercial success and then you do what you want to do…I don’t know anyone who has done that.

We are doing what we want to do, it wouldn’t be different if I had loads of money.


What is there left for Shriekback to do?

The next album – translating the live thing. And, getting our music to a wider audience. I don’t think there is anything hopelessly archane about what we do and I don’t see why it shouldn’t appeal to a lot of people. I think it’s a case of appropriate presentation.


And…I’m tired of being a cult figure.



THE BACKLINE

Martyn Barker (drums): I’m using a hired Yamaha 900 Series kit – 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 toms, 22" bass drum, 14" x 10" deep snare and Zildjian cymbals (16, 17, 18 crashes, Chinaboy and Swish both 16"; hi-hats are K Series (top) and Dynobeat (bottom); Camco chain bass drum pedal.


I’ve been using this kit on the American and Australian tours. In England I’ve been using a Gretch kit but I’m changing to Yamaha because I like the depth of the sound of this kit. You get a good natural sound, it’s very good live and as an all-round kit.


I’ve been using very thin crashes because Shriekback is a dynamic band so you don’t need any ride cymbals. The music needs good splash sounds…plenty of that.


The difficulty for me with cymbals is trying to change the sound all the time…in Underwaterboys I used coins to rub against Chinese cymbals which makes that off-beat sound. And in Nemesis the chorus has to be very dynamic so I use lots of splashes, lots of crash cymbals.


No electronic drums?

I used to use bits of Simmons gear and I use the Linn 9000 for writing. But for Big Night Music I used a real drum kit with percussion because it was easier and that was the direction the music was going in.


(Live percussion is: LP congas and cowbells. Cymbals in Zildjian (16" thin crash), and 20" Chinese wind gong.)

Mike Cozzi (guitar): I’ve been experimenting a lot lately and have just changed all my gear. At the moment I’m using a Gallien-Krueger amp as a preamp sending it though a Carver power amp. The main effects I use are a volume pedal, which I think is well under-used these days, and three different distortions, Big Muff, Boss overdrive, and the other is the distortion on the Krueger. I use various rack delays…everything is rackmounted.


I still use a Strat which I’ve had customised (added a Kahler tremolo and humbucker pickups). On the acoustic numbers I use a Hohner semi-acoustic 12-string.


Bass equipment: Music Man bass guitar through Trace Elliot gear, using 4 x 10 and 1 x 15 speakers.

Martyn: Dave has a custom-built bass which he uses for the slower moodier numbers which makes a deep, warm sound. But the Music Man is his main instrument.


Keyboards: Jupiter 8 and Korg DSS1 which wins heaps of praise from Barry Andrews: "We seem to be getting sounds which are as good as a Fairlight Series II. It’s helpful having the synthesizing part as a well as the sampler because you can really fuck around with those samples and make them sound interesting.



Sonic (July/August 1987)


Shriekback recently released their 13th studio album, Without Real String or Fish. It is available on their website. Click the album cover to be taken to their online store!

no title

tinhuviel: (RepLogo)
yrec5.jpg

There is still a dinky handful of these left. Any of you who have known me for long, know the story behind them. If you don't, just ask. All you really need to know is that the CDs available are in their original wrap (the cigarette kind, not shrink wrap) with the barcodes and spine sticker unaltered or defaced in any way. These are, for all intents and purposes, brand new. Shriekback are offering the album for £40 (just over $60, USD), which is a median price for what the used CDs are typically going for on sites like eBay (new copies of the double CD are priced considerably higher, and you can't be completely sure that what you're buying hasn't already been opened and played, then rewrapped). With these, you can be confident that the product has never been unwrapped and played, and your money goes directly to the band, instead of to middleman profiteers. More importantly, your purchase will help Shriekback record more music for us all to enjoy!

yrec2.jpg

To the best of my knowledge, these are the very last new copies of 'The Y Records Years.' To acquire one is pretty much a chance in a lifetime at this point, and I am not being dramatic. The band began to send word out a couple of days ago, that the CDs are available, and many have already been reserved for shipment. Right now, I believe around 10 are left.

JUST TEN

Write the band at shriekprods@outlook.com to inquire about purchase.

If you have any questions regarding the double CD, feel free to ask me here or at susperia5@yahoo.com. If I know the answer, I'll give you one. If I don't know, I'll try to find out, then let you know what I've found.

Also, you may want to look into purchasing a copy of Shriekback's new album, their 13th studio project called Without Real String or Fish. It is a genuine tour de force that will more than satisfy longterm fans as well as seduce newcomers into Shriekback's eclectic reality.  The new album is available through Shriekback's official website.  Click on the album cover below to be taken to their store.  Besides the new album, they also have all manner of goodies ripe for the picking.  It's a veritable musical Garden of Eden!

no title

Now, go forth and shop with abandon!

yrec6.jpg

You may get a better look at the CDs by clicking on the images for full size.
Hand model is Wilma Terry Evans.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)
And the album is getting excellent reviews already!  Take, for instance, Dadjago:

no titleTo me at least, the Shrieks have always felt as if they were otherworldy creatures dropping strands of (sometimes rather ichorous) knowledge on us. It might not be immediately intelligible, but there'salways been something there (barring "naked apes and pond life", not sure about that one...) worth examining. This is no exception, the terpsichorean wordplay and capering tunes all come together rather nicely. Much like "Life in the Loading Bay" the album is also possessed of that odd assurance that only comes from having been around the block a few times. There's no doubt, no existential crises, and no peacocking about in some confused attempt to get the attention of a lover or a contract. Not to say that any iota of energy or mystery has been sacrificed for this maturity, that's all still there, in grand amounts, it's just not wasted. Just, you know, buy this. You'll not regret it.

That's not all. Dadjago has plenty more to say, as do all the ones who have so far added their two daktari to the fray. Amazon is only offering the digital album, which can be purchased by clicking the album cover featured in the image above. But you can still obtain the actual physical CD from the band themselves. Having the lovely CD booklet and libretto is well worth the wait for the mailman to come calling! Or you could just do both. The more support the Shrieks have, the more likely we are to get more ingenious music from them.

tinhuviel: (RepLogo)


Shriekback
The World’s Second Best Pop Group with a Bald Singer
By Dave Segal (‘Creem’ June 1987)

“…Shriekback have opted to make a different kind of music – one which exalts human frailty and the harmonious mess of nature over the simplistic reductions of our crude computers.” – liner notes to Big Night Music. This thing called Shriekback is a strange beast. Trying to describe them gives me one hell of a headache. The new Shriekback music (it’s called Big Night Music but it could just as easily be called Small Morning Music) screws with rock critics’ rote jargon. If you wanted to be crass, you could label ‘em an intellectual funk band with gospel/cocktail lounge pretensions. Unlike most Anglo-Caucasians who funk around with black styles of music, Shriekback throw a skewered light on what, in pedestrian hands, can be a brain-numbing genre. You can attribute Shriekback’s uniqueness (no lie) to keyboardist/singer/lyricist Barry Andrews.

Andrews has full control of Shriekback now that Carl Marsh has departed with his Fairlights and drum computers for solo obscurity. Pared down to a trio (Dave Allen, he of the Zeus-like bass playing on Gang of Four’s first two LPs, and Martyn Barker on percussion toys), Shriekback have for the most part ditched Marsh’s vision of a “harsh disco reality” and gone for a rococo/eclectic sonic gumbo that’s as slippery to grasp as Eno’s skull in a bathtub. There’s a slickness to the Andrews/Gavin MacKillop production on Big Night Music, but don’t let that trouble yer noggin. It’s a good kind of slickness; Andrews has a Byrne-Enoesque aesthetic that enables him to craft exotic pop of excessive fussiness (‘Black Light Trap,’ ‘Running on the Rocks,’ ‘Sticky Jazz’) or of severe sparseness (everything else). You could call this The Soft Album without too much controversy.

Oddly, some of the songs sound better with the volume turned down. Perhaps because he can’t sing very well, Andrews often resorts to an intimate whispery delivery. Very nice and relaxing, this voice. And he’s a clever gump, too. It’s not by accident that wispy, gentle toons sit cheek by jowl with swollen brassy epics; and then out of nowhere will sprout a pretension-deflater like ‘Pretty Little Things,’ which sounds like Prince on helium and dexies. I tell ya, listening to Big Night Music is more fun than working in an abattoir on a humid day.

Andrews has the serene monkish demeanor of the Keith Carradine character in the Kung Fu TV show. Before Shriekback, he was in XTC from ’77 to ’79, and he also played with Robert Fripp’s League of Gentlemen in 1980. He’s a peace-lovin’, broad-minded intellectual dabbler wearing a black floppy hat and a long black coat. We had a civilized chat amid the delicately bubbling jacuzzi water inside a swanky Detroit hotel. Andrews proved to be more stimulating than a week’s worth of The Dick Cavett Show.

CREEM: Why did Carl Marsh leave Shriekback?
BARRY ANDREWS: He wanted to do solo things, really. Carl’s quite a self-contained sort of bloke I don’t think he ever found it easy working with other people. The band was becoming a two-headed beast that was tearing itself in half. Oil and Gold (released in ’85) suffered from that. A bit of schizophrenia between the Carl direction and my direction. I like things when they’re soft and vulnerable and maybe even a bit maudlin. I like a certain amount of crying into my Guinness.

Did Marsh’s departure cause a change in your sound?
Definitely, there was a sort of opening of the sluices. When Carl left, I felt like, firstly, I’ve got this huge canvas to work with on the whole record. It’s all gonna be my words, my tunes. So instead of it being this common denominator area we could inhabit with Carl, what the three of us could agree on was actually a bigger area because there were fewer things to filter out. I wanted to try doing something very simple and direct and emotional, like ‘The Cradle Song,’ Just trying out every option and seeing what’s possible. There’s a certain amount of experimentation that doesn’t work, but a whole lot that does. Normally we wouldn’t have even dared to try. Big Night Music is diverse. I don’t think anyone could complain about it being too homogenous. I think there is a coherence to it that we’ve never achieved on a record before, with the possible exception of Care (released in ’82)

Does everyone have creative input into the words and music?
I’m the sole lyricist. On the new album, Dave confined himself to bass playing, Martyn did a whole lot more than he’s ever done. He plays all the drums and does lots of percussion. So he’s actually responsible for quite a lot of the textures. I’m really responsible for the way the whole thing sounds and the structure of the songs. I can’t imagine collaborating with someone on a song. It would be like having somebody advise you while you’re having sex with somebody (laughs). There’s so much that just happens in your head. It’s quite a fragile process and it’s not something I could easily involve someone with.

Your lyrics have a stream of consciousness to them…
A stream of unconsciousness…(much laughter).

Sometimes it’s brilliant and at other times it leaves the listener baffled. Maybe they’re too oblique for universal understanding.
Maybe that’s a valid criticism. I don’t go in for any kind of broad political commentary.

You write more about personal things?
I don’t know if they’re even personal things, really. What I try to do is create an entity with sound that has not existed before. The songs are meant to be things you can walk into and walk around, that have their own kind of smell and atmosphere and texture. They’re not meant to be billboards or television programs. Or newspapers. The lyrics aren’t the point any more than the bass drum pattern’s the point. You might have a very good pair of kidneys but that’s not your whole story, is it?

If I asked you what ‘The Reptiles and I’ is about, could you tell me?
I can tell you what I was trying to do. It’s what it is for you definitely. That’s a nice fatuous answer, I suppose, and it’s what it means to me. And that’s about as far as it goes. I had this idea of using a lot of lists that I found in Webster’s Dictionary. A list of languages, elements, proverbs. I liked the idea of a bunch of verses that were lists. I was trying to create a nursery rhyme that would work in an adult way and would have that sort of darkness about it, that sinister kind of thing that the best nursery rhymes have. I’m really a little kid sitting at the foot of the great god Language. I’ve really got no command over it. I pretty much take what it gives me. I get excited by all the different ways people speak in the same way. I get excited about all the different cultures people can have, all the different ways of being in the world. It seems very rich and diverse and brilliant. And it inspires me.

Were you influenced by any writers?
I steal a lot. I’m a complete bastard for that. I’ll tell you the dead ones. I’ve ripped Shakespeare off something rotten. I’ve had my way with T.S. Eliot. Martin Luther King. The Bible. Certainly bits of the Koran. Complete verbal beachcomber.

At least you’re taking from great sources.
Oh yeah. That’s what they’re there for. To get crunched up and recycled. I don’t do it in any cynical way. It’s like doing a cover of a band’s song that you really think is a good song. It seems silly to wrack your brains when somebody else’s said it so well. I just rip it off. Shameless, really.

Have any current songwriters influenced you?
David Byrne’s approach – when I was a bit more uncertain about writing lyrics – he seemed to offer quite a good little cubbyhole to hide in, where you could get away without saying anything at all as long as it sounded all right. But on this LP, I got less and less satisfied with what you could do with that and more interested in what would happen if you pushed the thing up toward the light a little more. So things like ‘Cradle Song,’ ‘Reptiles,’ and ‘Gunning for the Buddha’ are like little narratives, stories, which I’ve never attempted before. Getting into the old Tin Pan Alley thing. People like Gilbert and Sullivan and the English music hall singers. Popular Victorian kitsch. Edwardian parlor songs.

Shriekback is often labelled an intellectual band.
It’s high time we burst that bubble.

Are you college-educated?
No. It was between making a choice of being in a rock’n’roll band or going to university.

Are you religious?
I don’t belong to a religion. I don’t have any faith, in that way. I do have a strong religious sense. It’s difficult to say without it sounding pretentious. I have a sense of awe of a kind of religious veneration or worship in the presence of what is around – people, mainly, the rush and energy of people and what they can do and build and keep going on and having babies. Just what it is to be alive. There’s definitely a force that moves us on in a mysterious way. I said to someone once that I feel about religion the way I felt about sex when I was 12. You know there’s something going on, but you don’t know what the fuck it is!


To read more about Shriekback's music and career, please visit their website (sign up for the newsletter for free downloads) and Tumblr. You can also join in our conversations over on Facebook. And, while you're at it, pick up a copy of their new album, Without Real String or Fish!

tinhuviel: (Caveman)

The past couple of days have seen me regain my lost focus on things I needed to do. Along with it was a wonderful spurt of energy, which I have tried to utilise for best effect possible. Yesterday, in particular, resulted in a great deal of Shriek dissemination. I'm thinking knowing I'm going to be taken off life's stage for a goodly portion of the weekend that spurred the flurry of activity.

Late tomorrow morning, I'll be going back under the knife - and "sander" - at the dentist's office. "But why?" you may ask. "I thought you got a full set of dentures!" And you would be more than justified in any confusion this has imposed on you. My permanent teeth never fit me correctly, but I was waiting for the gums to heal more before I went for any adjustments. The problem only got worse over time, though. The dentures are too large for my mouth to rest with my lips closed. I have to work at keeping my mouth closed, which gives me a distinct chimpanzee appearance. If I don't close my mouth, I look like this dog.

(Click the pic to learn more about Tuna)

When I laugh or smile, Tuna is replaced by Mr. Ed. But it's not the aesthetic that distressed me as much as the health concerns. Because the teeth were so large and ill-fitting, I couldn't use them to bite food, and there wasn't enough room in my mouth to even chew properly. The act of grinding the teeth together in an effort to chew was not only unsuccessful, but excruciating. Being a GBS patient, I have to chew my food beyond thoroughly. Any small amount of unchewed food can get caught in my tiny digestive track, which means it will come back up. My inability to chew resulted in a lot of vomiting so, almost a year out, I'm still on a soft food diet. Let's just say I'm fortunate to love potatoes and cottage cheese so much.

Then, there was my speech. I've always been very self-conscious about my speech, because of the variety of accents in my family and, upon entering school, being teased for having a lisp. At the age of 6, I began speech therapy with myself. I obsessed over tongue-positioning to cloak the lisp and, a couple of years later, I was almost lispless. That didn't stop the kids from doing what kids do, though, so speech became an issue for me early on. Obviously, without fangs in my face, and because of my almost life-long practice of tongue positioning, my impediment is magnified. With the teeth in, I have a whole new set of speech problems, from sounding like Gopher in the Winnie the Pooh cartoons to slurring my words to the point of sounding like a drunk zombie politician on the campaign trail. I have to repeat everything I say, all the time. This is particularly frustrating when I go see Dr. Harrington. He's deaf as hell and my unintelligible blarghing is counter-productive to a successful talk-centric session.

The combination of pain, inability to properly eat or speak, and looking like the ugliest Osmond in all of Utah drove me back to the dentist last week to hopefully get them adjusted enough to where I could lead just a fraction of a normal life. I saw a different dentist in the office that day, one Dr. Habashi, who is hubba-hubba-level handsome. Unlike the dentist who took me on after my first dentist, Dr. Preber, moved to Northern California, Dr. Habashi listened to everything I had to say, noted by areas in my mouth that I was not exaggerating, and gave me a thorough exam, including another full digital imaging of my head. After gathering all the evidence, he gave me the bad/good news. The bad news is I'm one of those rare individuals who, instead of having the occasional, inevitable bone shard still in my gums work its way out as the gums healed, some of the shards established residence and began developing spurs. Even though I did have a couple of shards work their way out, which is quite normal, it turned out that I had a few more that remained, forming hard knots all over my gum lines, top and bottom. This was keeping my gums inflamed and made wearing the dentures pretty much impossible and agonising.

The good news is, this can be fixed! He set me up an appointment for a second oral surgery to basically "sand down" my gums and remove any bone left behind from the first surgery. I will then have to be refitted again for properly-fitting dentures. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] b_bopper55, I will be able to pay for the second surgery, but the new teeth are obviously free, considering they were not made correctly, and did not function in any way dentures are supposed to work. So, hopefully soon, I'll stop being left-side Ren and finally transform into right-side Ren.

I'm thinking that this surgery may be worse than the initial extraction surgery. There's an image of a NYC high-rise construction worker ambling into the operation room after I'm put out, revving up his industrial electric sander and wearing a grin that can't say anything but "Serial Killer in Training." So, I'm trying to get as much writing and advertising done today as I can. I've already alerted the band that I will probably be incommunicado for most of tomorrow and all of Sunday, and I am finishing up a rudimentary outline of the five main characters of The Harming Tree. I've been writing a lot of late, but all of it is currently disjointed, as I write what is "given" me, and that process is never a consecutive narrative. So, yeah, I may be posting a good bit about Shriekback today, as well as posting my 5-character study with accompanying anchor images.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

As seen on Shriekback's official Tumblr.

Filter Buried Treasure

Commodity Blaze

Dug up from the permafrost of punk-funk obscuria, ex-XTC and Gang of Four men explore the emotional life of monsters.  It’s alive…

Shriekback - Oil & Gold

ARISTA, 1985

Throughout the rock epoch, commentators have slagged record companies for the dilution of art in pursuit of profit.  Full marks to the Arista label, then, for releasing Shriekback’s Oil & Gold.  A chthonic portal into an inverse world of eat-or-be-eaten terror-funk, macabre amusements and terminal ambience, it would have sat heroically askance in the Phil Collins and Wham!-embracing charts of 1985.

Co-vocalist Barry Andrews looks back on an anomalous situation.  “There was a precedent in the Thompson Twins - also on Arista, also signed by the bloke who signed us - of a band turning from weirdo, uncommercial ugly ducklings into great big shiny ‘80s cash swans,” he reflects.  “I think Arista still held out a wispy hope that that would happen.  The cover idea was to make us look dreamy and great, but we ended up going for a gang of eels and feathers, which were props that became the main event.  Once again the record company were not totally made up.”shriekmojo3.png

Formed in 1981 in Kentish Town, the group’s core consisted of ex-XTC keys man Andrews, Gang Of Four bassist Dave Allen and Carl Marsh, former guitarist in squat funkers Out On Blue Six.  Having logged such unnerving dancefloor releases as My Spine Is The Bassline and Tench EP on the Y label, they’d signed with Arista for 1983’s Jam Science album.  After July ’84’s crisp single Hand On My Heart got to Number 52, they regrouped for a third LP, having been joined by drummer and Fairlight sampler operator Martyn Barker.

Andrews recalls a complicated genesis, commencing when the band took 20 rhythmic sketches to Rockfield studio in south Wales, with producer and future Hollywood soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer (who turned up three hours late, copping a £600 black cab bill after missing his train).  “Everybody was involved in a lot of groove-building and improvisation to get ideas rolling,” says Marsh.  “Then Barry and I would pick the ones we fancied and write lyric and melody ideas and structure them into songs, after which everyone would pitch back in with ideas to fill in all the gaps.”

After more session at Lillie Yard in west London, mixing took place in various studios in the capital and Bath.  It was not an over-harmonious process, remembers Andrews.  “There were a lot of major rifts,” he reveals.  “Our manager wanting to sack me, Carl was gearing up to leave, Hans getting sacked - we ended up mixing with Gavin MacKillop.  God we spent a lot of money.”

shriekmojo.png

What emerged clearly thrived on the discord.  Opening with the febrile, spasming Malaria andtwo more feverish funk eruptions sung by Marsh, Shriekback’s strangely scientific world of primordial nature was revealed in its noisy, intoxicated splendour.  Drastic contrast was provided by This Big Hush, a phantasmal, possibly post-apocalyptic contemplation of ultimate extinction sung by Andrews, and similarly spectral pieces including the Cretaceous instrumental, Coelocanth.  Marsh cites lead single Nemesis - which name-checked 2000AD comic’s alien hero who battles Earthling superfascist Torquemada - as “the one that sums up all the themes and contrasts into one pop blast.  The animals and monsters, the tensions between instinct and intellect, nods to high art and comic books, and big laughs in dark places.”

Despite this, Marsh would leave the group after the album was completed, fulfilling press and photo duties but bailing before the touring could begin.  “I did feel that the band had become a bit of a two-headed monster with myself and Barry both fronting it and pulling in different directions,” he says.  “That said, I’m actually always surprised the album as a whole has such a unified feel.  I guess we had a common purpose after all.”

The group forged on, but despite all efforts including an arena tour with Simple Minds, Arista’s dream of an immaculate cash swan would prove chimerical.  Director Michael Mann, however, would add to the group’s cult cache by selecting Oil & Gold tracks for his movies Manhunter and Band of the Hand.  “He got the tenderness in the weirdness, I guess - the emotional life of monster,” muses Andrews.  The singer continued to lead Shriekback, with 1986’s Big Night Music a worthy companion piece to its predecessor, but would cease operations after 1992’s Sacred City.  The beast would not die, though, and four more releases down the line, Marsh was back in earnest for 2010’s sterling Life In The Loading Bay.  Now Barker is also returned; the three-man line-up is finishing a new album.**

Twenty eight years on, Oil & Gold remains visceral proof of what they’re capable of.  “The actual title came from a lyric that wasn’t used,” reveals Marsh.  “‘It’s as physical as oil and gold’.  It was the contrast between dark, sticky, clingy blackness and bright, hard clarity that seemed to encapsulate some of Shriekback’s extreme qualities.”

Ian Harrison

MOJO July 2013



**The new album referenced in Ian Harrison’s article is Without Real String or Fish, our thirteenth studio album, just released earlier this month.  You can learn more about it on the official website.  Please join us in the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for free music downloads and current Shriek activity.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback - Nemesis)

Happy Throwback Thursday, good souls!  I'm currently transcribing a rare article that looks back to the Shrieks' Oil & Gold and upload it before the end of the day.  In the meantime, enjoy this interview straight outta Belgium.

And if you have not yet procured Without Real String or Fish, what on Earth are you waiting for?  The new album is sonic brilliance that I'm certain will enchant you more with every listen.

Many of Shriekback's fans may be a bit cultish (pulls innocent face), but we know great music when we hear it. You can trust me when I tell you that Jam Science - the album released around the time this video interview was made - is an excellent album, and that Without Real String or Fish is an absolute triumph, proving the band are still mad musical geniuses.  Their ability to still provide relevant music that outshines their contemporaries is so evident, one cannot logically debate it.  Click their gateway logo to the left, to explore their store, and grab yourself a copy of WRSoF.

tinhuviel: (Nemesis)
This track-by-track entry is on Shriekback's Tumblr.  If you have not already done so, click the album cover here to purchase Without Real String or Fish, so you can enjoy 'Beyond Metropolis' at your leisure!

no title

‘Without Real String or Fish’
Track by Track: ‘Beyond Metropolis’ (BA)


I often think about whatever alchemy of mind and circumstance it is that produces that elusive Last Track - the one that appears when the album seems to be over.  When you think you’ve mined whatever seam of compressed life-experience, obsession and influence-cluster it is that songs come from and you’re not exactly content but applying a sort of willed gratitude that, at least, it’s not all total shite, and - a baby miracle - another tune comes into being that you really didn’t expect and that seems to have, more than the others, a character that didn’t seem to have much to do with you (a bit like your children).

I find these are the ones I tend to listen to for fun the most. They’re more like someone else did them.  Past examples include Sticky Jazz, Coelacanth, Exquisite Corpse and Hubris. On this album we got two: Beyond Metropolis and Soft Estate.  Both voyaging into new territory: with BM an alt-funk anthem in an aircraft hangar with shards of space junk flying out of the darkness at you.

The chorus being a Bowie-esque, aching sunset of chords encouching word clusters of outrageous audacity. There is - gasp- even a key change (yeah we can do that muso shit if we want) and a key change back.

The groove upon which it was built was a thing I wrote a couple of years back, I had sent it to Carl but he hadn’t - as of last summer, when my ‘we are now finishing this fucking record if it kills me’ protocol was in full effect - come up with anything for it. I had booked Stuart Rowe for the mixing; we had enough tunes; Carl had 3 songs on the album; God was in his heaven and the sun was sporting a roguish titfer. Then..

..in his fearful aspect as the demiurge of deadline bending, Carl sent a roughie I couldn’t refuse. At a stroke, the mixing (which was to have been a stately affair of considered tweaking and contemplative strolls around the elegant parterres and formal gardens of the Lighterthief estate) turned into the usual Shriekback panicked scramble as we struggled to bring the prodigal Beyond Metropolis to the same stage of development as its siblings.

Not to do so would have been unthinkable, of course: it had the word: ’Enchromosoniradiopolis’, fer crissakes.  The heart bows down.

Barry Andrews
19 March, 2015

tinhuviel: (Bukket)

Mail just arrived, and with it came this.

WRSoFTCvsShriek

I hate I couldn't afford the special box set with the 3-D fish, but I've been blessed with a lot of wonderful and inspirational music over the years, with the promise of more to come, so I really can't complain.

I'm looking forward to listening to Thee Caretakers' bonus disc to hear what dark sorceries Carlo Asciutti and Bruce McRae conjured. From looking at the images on the sleeve and CD, I'm already convinced it's going to be a strange, wild ride. Thee Caretakers have proven more than once that they're irredeemably certifiable.

If you haven't already nabbed a copy of Without Real String or Fish, I advise you to not tarry. I don't think it will be available forever, not in CD form at any rate, and you really must have a physical copy in the event of escalated world war where we're all cut off from one another. Click this pic to order the new Shriek, and don't forget to add the bonus Caretakers disc, as well.



shriekseallogo

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Inspired by listening to Without Real String or Fish, James from Canada (his preferred cognomen) felt compelled to share his thoughts about the mighty “Coelocanth."

Coelocanth: The Last Shriekback Song I Will ever Hear?


So here we are in 2015, and Shriekback have just released their 13th album, Without Real String or Fish. And a most excellent album it is, too: full of the usual Shrieky goodness - clever lyrics and wordplay, groovy basslines, catchy tunes that run the gamut of dark, light, thoughtful, funny and sombre (often at the same time!).

So it is not surprising that while one is feasting on a plate of brand new songs, that one also reflects on a band’s past releases, and how they may have influenced one’s musical tastes, preferences, or - perhaps - one’s life.

In my case, I'd like to look back at one particular song - "Coelocanth" - the atmospheric conclusion to the Oil and Gold LP back in the 80's.  I was a teenager back when Oil and Gold was released, and at the time I preferred all the hard-rockin' tunes like "Nemesis" and "Malaria."  So while I loved most of the Oil and Gold album, I always thought that "Coelocanth" was a piece of crap.  "What the hell is this?" I asked at the time.  "Did Shriekback hire Zamfir and his cheesy pan flues to play on this record?** Awful!"  As far as I was concerned at the time, Oil and Gold finished with the conclusion of "Hammerheads."  And so it went for many years... until Manhunter.

Many Shriekback fans either discovered or re-discovered the band as a result of Michael Mann’s film Manhunter, which featured the Shriek songs “Evaporation,” “This Big Hush,” and “Coelocanth.” For me, when I saw the famous tiger scene in that movie, set to the music of “Coelocanth,” I had a bit of an epiphany. All of a sudden, this song wasn’t a cheesy woodwind “extra” tacked on at the end of Oil and Gold, but something which really penetrated deep down into the soul. I promptly began to listen to “Coelocanth,” and with my ears now finally open (so to speak), I realized just how haunting and beautiful a track it really was.

Back in the late 90’s, I once had a dream about this song. I remember it quite vividly - I was lying on some ocean beach on an alien world, with a huge ringed planet rising in a dark aquamarine sky. I heard “Coelocanth” playing somewhere in the distance, although I knew that I was alone on this planet.

At the time I didn’t give the dream much thought… it was just a cool thing that happened. Well, you can imagine my surprise when several years later, while I was surfing the internet for some new desktop wallpaper for my Mac, I came across this particular image at the Digital Blasphemy website :

This image - minus the palm trees - was almost 100% verbatim what I saw in my dream.  It really chilled me to the bone to see my "vision" realized by some person whom I'd never met.  Of course, I immediately pulled out Oil and Gold and played “Coelocanth,” and found myself thoroughly captivated by the synergy of sound and image…it was absolutely hypnotic, even magical. I had already grown to appreciate that once-belittled track “Coelocanth,” but from the moment I heard it in conjunction with this image from my dream, it just became so much more.

So why is it that I say “Coelocanth” is “the last Shriekback song I will ever hear?” Well, it may not be, but - and this is where I perhaps get a little morbid and over-the-top for some readers, but bear with me - I have for many years thought that “Coelocanth” would be the perfect “last song” for me. The last song is essentially the soundtrack to one’s end: when you’re on your death-bed, and you know that you’ve only got minutes left to live, but you can pick one piece of music to accompany you as you journey out of this world and into “whatever-lies-beyond.”

For me, “Coelocanth” conjures up many feelings and imagery. The obvious one is that of prehistoric fish moving through the dark depths of an ancient ocean. But I also see strange alien landscapes (as in my dream), or even the infinite depths of outer space, filled with stars and galaxies. Combine all that imagery with the background synths and trickling water samples, and you have a concoction that just soothes the soul in a way that’s hard to explain. This is why I would be quite happy to spend my final moments with this song in my head. It really encompasses, well, just about everything, for me. Not bad for a previously-mocked, little 4 minute atmosphere track at the end of a 30-year old album.

So why all the “deep-thought” and rather mawkish gushing over this old song? Well, for me, it really demonstrates what I (and no doubt many other Shriek fans) love about Shriekback. How their music grows on you over time, and how deeply it can affect you. It’s not surprising that I’ve been a fan of the Shrieks since the 80’s: they’ve consistently delivered amazing and diverse music, and the new Without Real String or Fish album continues this tradition. Hopefully there are many more wonderful albums coming from this talented bunch in the years to come.

©James from Canada
8 March, 2015

**with apologies to any fans of Zamfir. I also heartily recommend Digital Blasphemy’s Desktop Wallpaper site. The worlds that this guy creates with 3d software really go well with the whole Shriekback vibe. “Without real worlds or matter”, I guess!

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)
I thought it might be convenient, as well as give the album more visibility, if I created a You Tube playlist featuring the three official music videos for Shriekback's Without Real String or Fish. The URL for the playlist is below the embedded player here. Please share it with anyone and everyone!



http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhGoy_yBqvYnjZ1ds7WxkbDprKe-f_PPL



no title





Also, if you want to buy the album, which I advise you to do, as it may be the best decision you make all year, click the festive Shriek logo to your right to be taken to Shriekback's online store. While you're there, click the music option, 'cos there are songs there to download, some of which are free!

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Barry Andrews posted the video for Now Those Days Are Gone, from Shriekback's new album, Without Real String or Fish. The album can be purchased directly from the band on their website store, beginning at Midnight GMT on 4 March, 2015! Just a few hours, and your life could be filled with some of the best music you'll ever hear. Enjoy this wonderful Gen X anthem, and be sure to make note of the accompanying information, regarding the Shrieks and where you can find them on Teh Intarwebz.



From 'Without Real String or Fish,' Shriekback's 13th studio album. Available only from http://shriekback.com/store from midnight GMT tonight, 4 March!!

Visit: http://www.shriekback.com and sign up for the newsletter!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shriekback
Tumblr: http://shriekbackmusic.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shriekbackmusic

Subscribe to Shriekback's You Tube Channels!

Barry Andrews - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo3E-T15XkSzg0reNcFalPw

ANAXATON6 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJMkzOIkm9sqOjch00BhHBg


I'm also reposting the other videos the band have made available this week, but I'm cutting it, so please click to expand the entry.

They have such sights to show you )

If anyone has questions regarding any of this, please feel free to reach out. Also, if you would like to review the album, or know anyone who may want to take on such a task, let me know. The more response the band gets, the more music we will get to enjoy in the coming years.

Be sure to pass all this great music on to everyone and, as noted in the album announcement, send the band proof of your dissemination, and they will heap all manner of musical treasure on you.

Be pure, be vigilant, behave!

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

I screen-capped a portion of Shriekback's latest blog post on Tumblr. The entry concerns my favourite song on their new album, Without Real String or Fish, available for purchase beginning tomorrow, the 4th of March. If you don't get this album for any other reason, you need to get it for Beyond Metropolis. Just click the picture to go to the full blog entry.


Beyond Metropolis is an unprecedented feat of linguistic skill that is 100% not safe for work for anyone who suffers, as I do, from WGS - Wanda Gershwitz Syndrome. And that's all I'm saying about it.
tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Today, Shriekback released a second video, this time for Carl Marsh's genetically-enhanced tune, Recessive Jean, from the band's new album Without Real String or Fish, which will be available starting 4 March.


From Shriekback's 13th studio album, 'Without Real String or Fish,' released on 4th of March, 2015 Visit: http://www.shriekback.com and sign up for the newsletter! Also be sure to take pics to show you're sharing this and other vids and news having to do with Shriekback and our new album. We're keeping a list of all of you who have so far participated, and will send a bulk mail out to everyone on the list at the end of our campaign to get the word out! Any pictures or screen cap that will get you on this list should be sent to shriekprods@outlook.com. To learn more about Shriekback's offer to fans who help promote the new album, go watch the announcement:




Click to connect:
There are two Shriek-related You Tube accounts to which you will want to subscribe.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)



Good things
come to those
who wait.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.36.32 PM

The English proverb certainly applies to Shriekback’s thirteenth studio album, Without Real String or Fish.  Begun back in 2011, the band completed work on their latest offering on 1 November, 2014 – a wholesome day, indeed – much to the delight of their fans, both old and new.

Before I delve into the song-by-song, I must come clean by informing readers that I count myself among Shriekback’s fans, and the songs I can admit to not enjoying that much can be counted on one hand missing a couple of fingers.  Although I will do my level best to remain objective in writing this, my subjectivity should be considered when you read it.  For that reason alone, you should listen to the album, so you can judge for yourself.

Also, please bear in mind that any lyrics interpretation is mine alone, and could be completely off the mark.  Again, you should listen and judge for yourself.

That said, let’s go!


  1. Now Those Days Are Gone (Andrews/Marsh)

In the tradition and spirit of Shriekback’s 1985 magnum opus, Oil & Gold, and its first track, Malaria, Now Those Days Are Gone bombards the senses, leaving no doubt the band are not playing around.  The groove is deep and unrelenting, living up to the Shrieks’ decades-old agenda to create music to which people cannot resist dancing.  The combination of Rock and Funk, along with the rousing chorus, makes the song a solid anthem.  The lyrics sound not only autobiographical, speaking to Shriekback’s early days, they also convey a biography of the time in which most of us long-time fans came of age.  The chant-like call and response chorus hint at regret for an age that’s passed, but the accompanying music doesn’t let any potential navel-gazing progress go too far.  Sure, those days might be gone, the song seems to say, but we aren’t, and that is what matters.

Favourite lyric:

We were living in the future
Now those days are gone
We were kings, we were preachers
Now those days are gone
We had incubi and succubi
Now those days are gone
All these pleasures standing by
Now those days are gone


  1. The King in the Tree (Andrews, Barker, Marsh)

hapexamendiosBeginning with a clockwork carousel, the song seems to promise a tour through a deserted fairground containing the ghosts of revelries once indulged in happier times.  In typical Andrews fashion, the lyrics contrast with the music, and they conjured in my mind visions of the demiurge-like Hapexamendios, the insane architect of the First Dominion, in Clive Barker's Imajica. Regarding The King in the Tree, Andrews had this to say: [M]y image of a King in a Tree was King Sweeney of ancient Eire (from Flann O'Brien's 'At Swin Two Birds'), who was cursed for attacking a priest and went mad:  climbing into a tree where he stayed - reciting poetry and eating cresses.

The title character in the song also seems like a representation of the Green Man in modern times, invisible to most everyone who prefers to turn [their] face to the wall rather than see him and rescue him from us before we find ourselves in need of rescue from him. A wise warning indeed.

Favourite lyric:

Secrets words of the world are Engulf and Devour
(why is all this tyrannical shit in the soul of a flower?)

Note:  When listening to this portion of the song, pay attention to the music when Andrews sings “why is all this tyrannical shit in the soul of a flower?”  It mirrors the lyrics with an aural blossoming.  Brilliant.


  1. Soft Estate (Andrews, Barker)

Soft Estate weaves a delicate soundscape that will doubtless make the hearts of Big Night Music enthusiasts beat just a little faster.  The undulating melody dresses lyrics that encourage the listener to populate that soundscape with beasts and structures.  It is absolutely a song you would want to sing in your sleep, but it also one that promises waking dreams.  Andrews shines here, his command of language obvious, along with an uncanny ability to seamlessly meld poetry and music to create a unique visual for every listener.

Favourite lyric:

all along we were licking at the light
and clawing at the roots
and walking in the night
all startled at the sound
and reeling at the sight:
all the information:
limitless and liminal…


  1. Woke Up Wrong (Andrews)

Musically, this song is probably my least favourite, but the lyrics, with their play on names and words, more than compensate.  The conceits are all tongue-in-cheek, but for any linguaphile, they will also double as pure delight.  The second verse takes the wordplay a step further, hinting at a little bit of danger you think you can’t quite grasp, but it may be you really don’t want to…  Like so many Shriek songs, the mischief implied latches on to your subconscious, and that’s what you carry with you long after the song has ended.  A particular stand-out is the piano solo, sweeping the languid patterns of the rhythm along in a flourish.

Favourite lyric:

Barney Manglue with his running gags
(you wouldn’t want to do the kind of things he wants from you)
Butcher’s sawdust in a hundred bags
(needs that soak-up since he woke up).
Stretch the moment with his steely claw,
spread this second to infinity and more.
World-matter rattle, it’s a losing battle
(we always knew it had a tendency to get bad)


  1. Beyond Metropolis (Andrews/Marsh)

After days of mulling over how to best describe Beyond Metropolis, I finally settled on Etymological Chimera.  This song is a triumph in every way, and will more than likely drive lovers of language to smoke a cigarette after each listening.  The afterglow is that good.  I’m really not going to say much about Beyond Metropolis, because it would be unfair to spoil those who have not yet listened to it.  Musically, the song is what we’ve come to expect from the Shrieks:  intelligent, funky, and rhythmically perfect.  Lyrically, Carl Marsh makes a good case for adding words to the Scrabble dictionary that will let you win every single time.

Favourite lyric: All of them.


  1. Ammonia Tree (Andrews/Barker)

This song may be the perfect example of why so many of Shriekback’s fans are often also seekers of knowledge, long after they have completed their “official” education.  It is fraught with references to mythology, literature, history, theology, and philosophy, but also offers Easter eggs of a more personal nature, evidenced in a kind of gentle angst and nostalgia.

Framed within Mark Gowland’s fierce harmonica, and underscored with a quiet rhythm, both of which enhance the longing, and a certain level of regret, you can clearly hear in the lush tapestry of Andrews’ keyboard work, Ammonia Tree vividly takes you to the locations, both real and imagined, mentioned in the song.  It paints pictures and freezes moments you can take with you when drawing to a close.

It may be of interest that the last stanza of the lyrics is signature Andrews work, which focuses on a word or phrase – this time, it’s a phrase – that becomes a chant.  It’s very Shamanic in nature, using mnemonics to teach by rote.  This signature composition places Ammonia Tree in Shriekback’s family of songs that also includes The Reptiles and I and Hammerheads.

Favourite lyric:

When your own head bores you
with its bloody awful song
it wasn’t pretty wasn’t clever
and didn’t last for very long:
it felt like looking in the mirror
with all the strip lights on.
(might be a Stendhalian glory if you can only wait that long).
Is it holy intropection or wrestling futility?
In the quest for Truth and Beauty under the Ammonia Tree


  1. Recessive Jean (Andrews/Barker/Marsh)

In the hierarchy of my personal taste, Recessive Jean would rank #11 to Woke Up Wrong’s #12.  What I find most impressive about the song is the rhythm and bass that makes it sound like a descendant of Feelers.  That’s not to say it’s a rehash of the elder song; Recessive Jean is undeniably a force unto itself, but it carries that Feelers vibe, which will make many Shriek fans miss Dave Allen.

Carl Marsh is once again taking the lyrical and vocal reins in this one, growling about the clever homonym in the title.  The apocalyptic implications are deftly hidden within the jaunty melody, and is a reminder that nothing is ever what it seems when you’re listening to a Shriekback song.

Favourite lyric:

With a charm to disarm and a passion for harm
In so many ways, so many ways
A façade of calm can but raise the alarm
At the end of days, the end of days


  1. Horrors of the Deep (Andrews/Barker)

One of Shriekback’s more consistent trademarks is combining unease with beauty.  What could easily be the title of a chaotic Death Metal song delivers to you an ethereal vastness that overwhelms the senses.

Horrors of the Deep revisits Barry Andrews’ preoccupation with the sea in all its metaphorical glory.  The music alone is an aural ocean unto itself, all delicate ebb and flow.

As with Cormorant’s Sea Theory, Andrews offers up a meditation on the sea and how little we know about it, despite being born from it, carrying it within us, and eventually coming to rest within it, in some way or other.  The dust of our evolutionary ancestors can be found on ocean floors, and attempting to comprehend that is often unsettling, as such evidence forces us to come to grips with our impermanence when compared to the unimaginable immensity from which we came.  So, too, is our inability to understand mortality and what happens after.

Just as with death, the deeper the waters go, the less we know.  And it’s a human trait to fear the unknown.  That fear is etched into our DNA.  But just as with this song, if we dare to explore these arcane landscapes, we often find beauty and transcendence just under that layer of dread encoded within us all.

Looking at it from that perspective, the horrors woven into song become a living cradle instead of a watery grave.  Despite the horrors, in the end, it is illumination (or bio-luminescence) that wins the day.

Favourite lyric:

Sumptuously poised here in the foam
a watery quintessence
later pitifully trailing home alone
my bio-luminescence.    


  1. In the Pylons (Andrews)

An instrumental that may be a musical re-enactment of touring an Egyptian temple, In the Pylons begins subtly, but escalates into epic, hard-driving drum-fest. No proper Shriekback album can go outside without an instrumental to keep it warm.


  1. Man of Foam (Andrews)

The first thought that came to me upon the initial listen is that Man of Foam could be a lyrical look in on New Man from Go Bang! Elegant piano and shimmering synth carry the tune into Big Night Music territory, bridging a gap between the two albums in a very satisfactory way.

Favourite Lyric:

Oh Man of Foam
What you gonna do if he follows you home?
There will come a day
when the moth meets the naphthalene.


  1. Everything Like That (Andrews/Barker)

Prepare to worship at the Church of Shriekback when you’re tossed into the Gospel-driven Funk that is this baptismal fire they call Everything Like That.  If anyone needs proof that Shriekback are still making music, this is all the proof you need.  A culmination of Andrews giving a nod to an author whose books have been of inspiration and the long love affair the band have with deep and dangerous grooves.  Everything Like That is relentless in its invitation to be properly arranged in the construct of the song.  Lyrically, it is a very close to being as brilliant as Beyond Metropolis.  The bass line of the song is one of the best on the album, in my opinion.  Judge for yourselves; however, it may take more than one listen to hear everything that’s going on.  It’s a veritable fun park for Shriek fans who prefer their tuneage to threaten as much as delight.  It could break some hearts as well, though, because you can only imagine how a live performance of this song would be.

Favourite Lyric:

Under the time-lapse clouds
out on the screen of green
I want to see the monsters couple
with the wet machine.
You are my salad witch
that I would like to dress.
I do not lack the Wound.
I do not lack the Mess.
And Everything Like That.

I could have easily said “all of them” as I did with Beyond Metropolis; however, this particular stanza holds one of my personally favourite things about Shriek lyrics – words that usually would not be capitalised, but are, to make them seem Very Important,  but the reason or meaning behind it is never explained, and that makes my imagination go wild.  What is this Wound of which you speak, Shriekback?  No, don’t tell me, I have my own ideas.


  1. Bernadette (Andrews/Barker/Marsh)

A perfect end to a nearly perfect collection of songs, Bernadette is a lullaby that lets you get grounded after the manic Everything Like That.  It promises you good dreams and rocks you, overlooking a sprawling cityscape bathed in the twinkle of electricity, as the sun retires with you.

Bernadette‘s gait is akin to a metronome, used not only to maintain the see-saw magic of the melody, but to also hypnotise and assure you of your safety, even when the music spirals down as though the cradle has fallen.

Carl Marsh’s vocals and Barry Andrews’ piano give the song a stately air, a sort of ritual procession done each day as the sun begins to set on the place you call home.

Favourite lyric:

When beauty starts to fall apart
The savage eye and beating heart of darkness
Blessed Darkness.

WRSoFOverall, I cannot recommend Without Real String or Fish strongly enough. Since they returned to music with Having a Moment, I have always cited Cormorant as my favourite among the albums they’ve recorded in the 21st Century. That must change now. This is one of those Shriek albums that doesn’t just shine in its place among the recent outings; I have no doubt that Without Real String or Fish will stand the test of time, and find itself treasured by Shriekers old and new. From the opening song until the soft dissolve into Dark, it’s more than obvious that this was a labour of love.


And we are the winners.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Here's the announcement vid with all the details and links, regarding Without Real String or Fish by Shriekback. I'm also copypasting the info.

Barry Andrews confirms release date for new Shriekback album, 'Without Real String or Fish' and then makes you an offer you can't refuse.

Be sure to take part for exclusive Shriekback freebies. Send entries to shriekprods@outlook.com.

Also, please subscribe to Barry Andrews' personal and secondary channels here on You Tube:

Barry Andrews - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo3E...

ANAXATON6 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJMk...

Sign up for their newsletter at http://shriekback.com, and follow them on Facebook (@Shriekback), and on Tumblr and Twitter.

Tumblr: http://shriekbackmusic.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shriekbackmusic

Please, by all means, spread the news, and be sure to get evidence that you've done so!


tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

Calling all Shriekback Fans!

The new album is right around the corner and the band need
you to spread the festive news like warm butter.

Be sure to pass on everything and screen cap it.

Your involvement will not only help fund more music,
you will also enjoy exclusive freebies for your loyal service.

And who doesn't want that?


tinhuviel: (Nemesis)


Full text:
Cheers to Gordon DW Fleming for this blurb on the Toronto Star's website. As he said, ignore the article's title!

'One of the more eccentric acts to emerge from Britain in the 1980s is about to return to action. Centred around early XTC member Barry Andrews, Shriekback was responsible for two of that decade’s most muscular post-punk singles: “All Lined Up” and “My Spine is the Bassline.”

'"Without Real String or Fish" will be their 13th studio release and their first in four years. Thanks to Gordon Fleming for the heads-up.'

The Toronto Star's website is http://www.thestar.com and they can followed on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/torontostar."

tinhuviel: (Ludicrous Speed)

So far, the week has certainly been an interesting one.

Yesterday evening, You Tube's All Seeing Eye, placed this little gem in my recommendations - Contemporary Acoustic Buddhist music, courtesy of Mantrasphere and record producer, Barry Andrews. Listen!

Today has been a little less productive because I went to get a nerve block injection for the left side of my lower back. They gave me a giant shot of dilaudid and phenergan to relax me, and they said it would last a few hours after the procedure was finished. That was this morning at 9 o'clock. I did not go to sleep, like so many other patients do, according to the staff, but I did zone out for much of the day, only recently snapping out of the catatonia. So far, I've been satisfied with the block's effects. I can stand up straight now, instead of looking like a human comma. After months of really hideous pain, any change for the better is welcome to the point of my turning into this little old lady.

Since hearing the new Shriekback album, the ebb and flow of my current Work in Progress has changed tidal behaviours and set my writer brain on fire. Big changes are in the offing, and I'm eager to get to the revisions and rewrites.

But first, I need to finish the song-by-song review of Without Real String or Fish so it will be ready to share, if approved, when the album is released. The problem I'm having with it, though, is the brainmeats begin conjuring new themes and possible directions for the book, when I'm trying to focus solely on whatever song I'm discussing at the moment. What I'm having to do is limit the work on the review to two or three songs a day, with each song on perpetual repeat until I collect my "sanity." I am halfway finished with it, and am about to work some more on it, since I haven't touched it at all today, for obvious I'm-drugged-the-fuck-out-of-my-mind reasons.

I figured I would visit the Cliffs before proceeding, because I'm committed to being more present here, my favourite and preferred dot on the Internet map. It's now time to make a concerted effort to maintain my "critical brain" as I beat back the "creative brain" for a little while.

I'm gonna be writing like a damned maniac.

can't stop writing or my muse will eat me

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

gatewayfish

This is a composite created with three different images used from 1983 to the release date of their new album, Without Real String or Fish. I think it turned out pretty well, considering my Photoshop skills still leave a lot to be desired. The name design turned up on the album, Jam Science, as did their logo. The version of the logo I used was created by one of the designers of the Shriekback Digital Conspiracy website. And, of course, the 3-D fish that adorns the front of the upcoming record. I made it to help twig on to people that they have less than two hours to pre-order the deluxe fish box of the new album. Pre-ordering ends at 8 PM, Greenwich Mean Time.

tinhuviel: (Hot Damn!)

There is not one person on this planet who has not experienced some kind of surreal moment at one time or another in their lives. Then there are the Fox Mulders of the world, and last night's Event was the final straw that made me certain I fall into the latter category. I got an email from Carl Marsh, a founding and current member of Shriekback, that included a picture of him taking a holiday break in Venice, and reading...

CarlAugury
If the image is too small, click it to see the original size.
Picture was posted with permission.

Take a look at his choice of reading material. This obviously makes him a dubious individual of questionable character, which is exactly why he's one of my few Muses. It's like someone took my core influences, and divided them by 0, resulting in a photograph of an individual holding a book that would not exist had it not in part been for him. Even his name - Carl Marsh - is important, being the inspiration for the name of the trilogy's main character. Indeed, it is an image worthy of Schrödinger's Cat.

**EDIT** (7 March, 2015)
For reference purposes, in the event anyone is not sure of who Carl Marsh is, he's the one singing Recessive Jean in the latest Shriekback video.

If I tried to tell anyone about this, there would be no way they'd believe me. Since I have a picture, though, that should be proof; however, in this age of Photoshop, I wonder if there will still be people who think it's fake. Suffice it to say, if you'd been in my physical presence last night, you would have no doubt that the image is real. Besides, my Photoshop skills are shite.

Considering the other unbelievable goings on that I've attempted to document on the Cliffs of Insanity over the years, is it any wonder I feel like I'm being stalked by Rod Serling?

weirdshit

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

From the band as seen on the Shriekback Tumblr blog:

Limited Deluxe Fish-Box Redux

ok then

after the (slightly startling) success of our Limited Edition Fishbox last week we were-it’s fair to say- innundated with the plaintive entreaties of anguished pilgrims (some of them long-standing supporters and friends) who had for any number of perfectly valid reasons, failed to respond in the less-than -24 hours that they (the boxes) took to sell out.

We, here at Shriekprods, were then presented with a something of a dilemna:

If we make some more, we would: please all those disappointed people,make us more moneyget our, it must be said, very beautiful art object to a wider audience

however, we might also make those who bought a limited edition feel legitimately short-changed since the object has become a bit less limited than at the time of purchase.

This is the sort of thing you do when you don’t have much previous in Record Company World. With hindsight, we would of course have Done Things Differently.

Anyway...

Click pic to continue reading!
tumblr_inline_njo8u2RVCy1sfpz2b

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

Trouser Press (TP89) / September 1983

WHO: Carl Marsh (guitars/vocals), Barry Andrews (organ/vocals), Dave Allen (bass)


HOW:  In mid-1982, Dave Allen was casting about for musicians after leaving the Gang of Four. He found XTC/League of Gentlemen vet Barry Andrews and ex-Out on Blue Six-er Carl Marsh to be kindred spirits. Shriekback began as a sextet with drummer Brian Nevill, singer Linda Burns, and manager Linda Nevill, but halved during the Tench sessions, leaving the current self-contained trio. Last November they added drummer Martyn Barker and percussionist Pedro Ortiz for gigs.sounds


WHY:  Shriekback generates danceable tension through interaction of hot (bass/Linn drum machine bottom) and cool (chanted, cerebral lyrics and droning melodies). Andrews in particular gets incredible mileage out of simple sustained organ chords. The band’s songwriting methods are unorthodox at best: going into the studio with little more than some drum machine patterns, Shriekback emerged 19 days later with the finished Care album. Tunes range from deviant pop-funk ("Lined Up," with a vocal assist from Kirsty MacColl) to Enoic ambient ("Hapax Legomena").


DAVE ALLEN: "Whatever people get from [the music] is what’s right for them. And that’s fine with me. We’re not in a position to say, ‘Some are dance, some are weird, some are this, some are that.’ It’s really just whatever people experience from them."

By Robert Payes

Click to purchase the recent re-issue of Care and learn more about the Shrieks.
shriekbutton

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)



shriekthink
Dave Henderson gets intensive care from Shriekback


Sitting in Barry Andrews' flat in downtown Kentish Town Carl Marsh and Dave Allen relax and try to get a word in as Barry, in his laidback veteranmanner, compares Shriekback in its rising stature to throwing pots and books that he's read.


Barry Andrews uses long words but he's sincere, he believes in Shriekback as do his two cohorts. The room is airy and almost a million miles away from the group's new LP Care. There's a kind of urgency there, a plethora of ideas busting to get out and because of their diversity constantly struggling. It's hardly surprising really, after all, they all come from very strong and varied musical backgrounds. With pasts of varying stature Shriekback's first LP was an expressive and spikey start. Months in the studio - due to the high quality publishing deal the trio had secured - gave them the freedom to work as they wanted and throw ideas around.

"There was always a deadline looming in the future but nobody really knew when," forwards Carl.

Dave continues: "It took quite a while to get it onto vinyl because we didn't have any real commitment to getting anything done. In the end it was really just a summing up of that period."

Loose and rough as Tench was, it still didn't give anything away. The ideas were there, interest created, but no real statement of intent hit you in the middle ear. With 'My Spine is the Bassline' winning new friends for them, had they purposely attempted to take a more commercial tack with their music?

Dave: "It wasn't at all intentional. It just appeared to be going in a funkier direction and we just followed it that way. With the new album we just continued with that attitude and followed where it led. We don't sit down and write songs, we built them in the studio and we just travelled along the paths they took us."

Barry: "When we did Tench, there was a thing about not doing things that were commercial, but we always wanted it to communicate so that people could play it and get into it. We say that we didn't have to live with making music that was rubbish just so that we could live off it, we realised we could actually put out brilliant music and live off that."

But if Tench was inaccessible - it wasn't, but it was a lot less, say, mainstream (pun) than their later work - has their recent work been a conscious effort to get across to a wider audience?

Dave: "People haven't adapted to us. We know what we want to do and they're getting that from us. They haven't just clicked to Shriekback, we've set the ball rolling by getting our house in order, by accepting the fact that you don't have to sell yourself short to sell records and make money. There's no sort of secret message or hidden thing there. What we want is for people to play the album and for them to get the honesty and the communication from us. It doesn't have to be an album of potential hits and in the same way we didn't sit down and say 'Let's do "Lined Up" as a commercial single so that people will buy the album and hear all the weird shit', it just wasn't all that."

The honesty shines through in Shriekback, their unorthodox techniques allow them to come up with things that, if premeditated, would lack the power that they have. Their instruments are extensions of their bodies, claims Barry in a nother reeling cascade of anecdotes, and you can see this in their music.  It's personal, tribal even.  The inner sleeve bears witness with a collection of aids and accomplices written like's their gang, their team.

Carl: "That's just like an acknowledgement of how it works."

And the music too has the spirit of an organised outfit, which is dispersed through numerous people's attitudes and characters. And the tribe was in full flow on Riverside last year when with anarchic precision Shriekback performed a couple of songs.

Carl: "If we'd thought about what we were going to do on Riverside we would have made arbitrary conditions about what we could or couldn't do instead of just doing it. You have to make rules around the things that matter, not the little things."

But this trendy-right-place-at-the-right-time thing doesn't quite fit into Shriek-think.

Barry: "Maybe you'll get it right and the things that you choose to recycle are trendy that week, but that's much less important than the actual degree of conviction and commitment that you actually put into getting things over."

Carl: "It's like we've found when we've been playing live. What you play doesn't matter it's the way you do it, so the songs that we do are structured to express that."

The whole area of being hip is like a recurring virus. In whatever mode you place yourself, the onus will shift within a matter of weeks or even hours. In some cases it can take years to transcend the petty bracketing.

Dave: "I get the feeling at the moment that anything is honest and coming from a real love is definitely not hip. Some people, like Sun Ra and the jazz greats, are allowed to be really close to the earth and won't hear anything said against them. At the moment everything has to be really trivial and it has to come from hearing the right twelve inch this week and trying to copy it. It's like with Sun Ra if you've served your time and done 40 albums then you get your Golden Honesty Award."

With a mere one and a half albums under their belt Shriekback have got quite a hefty trek in front of them. As with all outfits of their structure they will inevitably go in and out of fashion at the drop of a hat. The thing that matters about Shriekback is that they are open to influence. Their music is a hybrid of their moods and experiences and for that it will always be fresh and intriguing.

As Dave confided later, they'd "love to release lots and lots of material but we would feel that we were swamping the market".

I'd love to see that happen as Shriekback are like a magazine rather than a group, a constant ongoing entertainment. A collection of people - fluctuating in numbers - who may not be hip but are always approachable.


Click the button to purchase Care and learn more about Shriekback.     shriekbutton

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)


SHRIEKBACK
Smarter than the Average Bare

Some words give people the willies. The worst of these is ‘Love’. Many will cross the road to avoid it, more sit still and squirm.

Caught with its trousers down too many times, ‘Love’ has lost its dignity, rolls round the tongue like melting chocolate. Who will restore it to its rightful place?

Shriekback will. Already they can talk of ‘Love’ with nary a trace of a blush. Dertermined to be honest, Shriekback have stripped down to fundamentals. What could be more fundamental than love?

Dave Allen (ex-Gang of Four), Barry Andrews (ex-XTC) and Carl Marsh (ex-Out On Blue Six) formed Shriekback to drop their defences. Tired of rock and roll and all the myths that sail in her, they set about establishing their own priorities. Quickly signing a publishing deal with EMI that gave them a great deal of free studio time, they set about discovering a way of playing together. Their first min-LP ‘Tench’ took 5 months to record and was as tense as its title. Nothing quite clicked, the edges were interesting.

Last July, the three signed a pact, a written document titled ‘The Seven Pillars of Shriekback’. Seven rules that commit the three to one another, to love and to energy. Since then, the sailing has got plainer every day.


"When we began," explains Dave, "we had all this free studio time in which to experiment with one another. It was interesting, but we lacked a direction and a purpose. If there’s no framework, you can just storm out in an argument and destroy the whole thing. We decided we were to carry on, we needed to make a commitment to one another. We’d run out of studio time and were moving into rehearsal rooms. It’s easy to keep things together in a studio but a tiny little rehearsal room is another story. So, we wrote up the ‘Seven Pillars’."

The signing of the document coincided with Shriekback’s discovery of a direction. Working upwards from a rhythm track, they made ‘My Spine Is The Bassline’ and discovered they’d almost made a disco track! Now they’ve just released an album, ‘Care’, recorded with ease in 19 days, and a single, ‘Lined Up’, which deserves to be one of the club hits of the year. Shriekback are onto something.

"The aim of this group is to communicate," explains Barry Andrews. "The bottom-line of what there is to communicate to people is love, a sense of relatedness to each other that is expressed through energy. We’ve all put up with not communicating, sitting on the tube, staring at the ads. It doesn’t rate. What is really satisfying is communicating, sharing something with everybody else."

Shriekback are determined to avoid the rock and roll treadmill. They work hard but it doesn’t feel like work. They no longer distinguish between work and play. They’ve come out of the studio and found that people love them live. So much so, Barry Andrews finds it frightening. Without the barriers of the rock and roll pose, he can feel the brunt of his audience’s feeling.

"To be close to anybody is frightening. It’s particularly frightening to be close to a room full of people you’ve never met before. Not that anyone is going to point a gun at you but when you fully engage in communication, the first thing you hit is fear. Sitting on the tube, you see the blind terror in people’s eyes, the terror of being touched."

Shriekback have worked hard to organize their set-up, to take responsibility for their own group. They want to do away with safety nets.

"The safest thing to do, is not to do it wholeheartedly," explains Barry. "It’s easy to blame the gear, or the roadies, or each other. It’s quite comfortable not to take responsibility. With this group, all three of us are doing that. We arrive early for sound-checks! We’re trying to keep things clear."

Vulnerability is Shriekback’s backbone. They aren’t troupers, determined that the show must go on, nor macho men, hiding behind muscle.

"I spent a long time hiding behind things," says Dave. "Now it’s time to come out." Gradually three shy men are coming out of their shells.

"We’re English," laughs Barry. "That means there’s times when we’re really afraid of each other. We’re all normal white English boys, we get embarrassed. But we’re getting through. The actual turning point for me was when we stopped blaming each other when things went wrong."

Shriekback are delighted to discover they don’t have to lie. The night before this interview they played Heaven in London. When bouncers started beating up their mates at the front, they stopped playing.

"I felt really good we could stop, then start again. We were so glad we could handle it. When we did start again, the crowd was more behind us. Stopping onstage is almost suicidal! But why pretend? Admitting that things go wrong is really exciting: you stop acting the powerful figure onstage. We’re not different from other bands, we’re just becoming more and more aware of being human. Men don’t easily admit to making mistakes. It’s such a relief when you do!"

Shriekback make records and they play live. They treat the two processes quite differently. Live, they play with a drummer and a percussionist, in the studio they use a Linndrum. Live, they are fiercely percussive, in the studio they are more curious, more open to moods. This is how it should be.

"I’d recommend you forget you’d ever heard our records when you see us live," says Barry. "The way we see the recorded songs is like covers of other people’s songs. That gives us the right to maul them. What’s appropriate live isn’t necessarily so in the studio.

Carl agrees. "We could take loads of gear and lots of singers and reproduce the record. But what’s the point? You wouldn’t even have the sleeve."

Their path will get more open and more curious; Shriekback have nothing to fear but fear itself.

MARK COOPER
Record Mirror
April 9, 1983


For more information and

to purchase Care, please click.

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

Lifted without regret from Shriekback's official Tumblr

BOSTON - The idea at first was not to play out; Shriekback, like the first edition of Public Image, Ltd., would simply be a studio group, leaving Gang of Four in the midst of an American tour. For Allen, it was too much of everything: too much drugs, too much drink, too much pressure.

Allen, who cheerfully says he is “on the wagon - permanently,” considered gigs dehumanizing: ”We said gigs are awful and they can’t work.” This was in early ‘81. A year and a half later, they played their first gig.

"It was gonna be hard work. It was a matter of transferring all this [studio] stuff to the stage," notes Allen, talking about the decision to make it live.

"It was a matter of fucking blind fear too," chips in keyboardist Barry Andrews.

So Shriekback - which in addition to Allen and Andrews includes guitarist/singer Carl Marsh and touring percussionists Pedro Ortiz and Martyn Barker - now has it both ways: they released their debut EP, Tench, on Y Records last year, have a new LP, Care, out on Warner Bros., and they’re enthusiastic about road work.

rcrd


What makes these gigs work?


"A willingness to communicate," says Allen. "Tonight, for instance, was a good example of accepting that the audience wants to join in. A lot of gigs I’ve been to you’re left out. The other night in New York I went to Simple Minds and there was no attempt whatsoever to get me to join in."

"There’s some sort of interaction between us and the people," adds Andrews. "It’s surprising how few bands do that."

Shriekback is not the most obvious lot, not the latest happy-time English white funk band. Songs are written around a drum track. Allen adds the bass lines and the songs grow from there. Vocals - “anti-vocals” Marsh calls them - are often mixed into the middle, not over the top.

"There is a rule of thumb that all lead vocals have to be treated in a certain way because they’re vocals," says Marsh wryly. "Not like a little wanky percussion part that you can do what you want with. Voices have to be treated with some respect."

"Lined Up" is Shriekback’s catchiest tune (from melodic standpoint), but like New Order’s "Temptation," it’s involved as much with mood as it is with hooks. The rest of Care is even more moody. Shriekback favors sharp, heavy bass lines, chantlike vocals, the occasional textural synth or guitar swirl. Restrained, but tense; spacious. Shadowplay you can dance to.

"I’d kind of like it to be like a wildlife park," offers Marsh. "You wander around and there are all these things there that are diverse and beautiful and grotesque sometimes. You can draw the conclusions you like."


- Jim Sullivan for Record / August 1983

Care has been reissued on both CD - for the first time! - and limited edition vinyl LP.

Please visit our website and store to learn more about, and purchase Care, as well as find other great albums, tunes, and information.

Time is short, so don’t delay!

care

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)
WRSoF

Click on the album cover and go vote in Shriekback's Very Important Petition.

Here are some reasons why:

1) You appreciate excellent music with the best sound quality possible.
2) You are an audiophile who knows the value of vinyl.
3) Being a part of the Shriekback tribe means your vote matters to us.
4) You are keen to further the work of musicians whose music has touched you in some way.

Please encourage your pals and loved ones to go vote as well. The Shrieks are aiming for 1000 signatures before considering making vinyl available.

tinhuviel: (Ace Ventura)

So, the day went a little wonky when I least expected it, so I've been a bit too busy to do another one of these up 'til now. Tomorrow is vet day for Toby, and I am keen on working on a couple of projects that may keep me away from the picture posting, so I'm gonna take advantage of this wee dollop of time whilst I have it. Hope you enjoy the madness!

First up, we have an exchange that was had on Twitter.
Well, I thought it was funny...

1958487_10154714352505721_9157172050829770567_n

visual grooviness beyond this point )
tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

Shriekback have made available for pre-order their 13th studio album, Without Real String or Fish, in a limited edition box, with only 50 available. To learn more about it all, just click the picture. If you're like me and already know it's going to be brilliant, better dash to the store now, 'cos people are already laying claim.

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)
Because technology isn't alarming enough as is. I wonder if you could print out your own 3-D Shriekback for that concert you never got to attend.




Barry
by Gerpho
on Sketchfab


tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

In the liners for the Care CD, Carl Marsh refers to this performance of Despite Dense Weed.

"A track that sounds like it's prowling through a mangrove swamp and unlike anything else around at the time. We played this on TV with everyone huddled on the floor, sticks clattering, like an anxious commitee meeting in the rainforest."

If you haven't ordered the CD, click the pic to take care of that:


While you're on their site, be sure to sign up for their newsletter. Also, you should follow Shriekback through the far-flung social media wilderness, in order to keep up with them. As Things tend to happen, an announcement/post/update/you-name-it may very well pop up at one site, but not another, so it's strongly advised to link to all the places online.  Here are the relevant locales:


Tumblr


Facebook


Twitter
6634397_0b4419a9a9_o

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

It’s 2015 and what have we got?

Well, quite a few things, as it goes.

Last year saw a reboot of Shriekback’s long-dilapidated online profile with an actual working website -where you could actually buy stuff- and a blog on Tumblr (heady cyber-shit indeed!).

And, with great relief, we completed our 13th studio album -after a long drawn out gestation (it was begun in 2011!).


Read more here by clicking on these friendly faces.

tinhuviel: (Super Sane T)

I'm posting these primarily for [livejournal.com profile] ladyana5, with whom I was discussing images on the Internet. I figured I'd make it a separate post to keep the band current in search engines, because Shriekback. The first image is the unaltered scan from a Creem magazine article that was printed during the Big Night Music period. You can click this image or the Photoshopped one to see them at the original size.

creempic

When I began work on the old Shriekback Digital Conspiracy site, I had never used Photoshop. The Father Unit gave me his version, whichever the latest was in 2000. Even though I'm still horrible at Photoshopping, I'm a thousand percent better then I was then. Behold the smeary rock where the lettering used to be! Horrible, horrible manip...

Creemscape

This is one of my favourite pics of the band. The only way it could have been better was if Carl had been in the shot. I will make note here that this image actually inspired an entire chapter in one of my books. A picture has never played a role in that kind of inspiration before, and it never has since. As I'm more auditory when it comes to Muse activity, I don't see it happening again, but I will never say never. You just can't know such things.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Last night, the Mother Unit knocked on my door and said "mail call!"  She came in and handed me a mail order catalog and a small white lined mailer with a customs label on it.  I knew right away what I was in for, but I took a deep breath and told myself to be patient and wait for tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow is now today, and I opened that bad boy up to find the shiny new Care CD by Shriekback!  I must say, I'm delighted with the album, now that it has finally established its rightful place in world of Compact Disc.  And I'm even more thrilled with the fact that it boasts among the bonus tracks, my favourite song by the Shrieks, 'Despite Dense Weed', along with the story behind how this malignant serenade came into being.  I've posted the story here before, as well as posting on You Tube when I uploaded the song from another collection.  But, I'm sharing again, because no one has the power to stop me.




This - if I may make so bold - little gem was only previously released on the Y Records Xmas album, which may not have found the Total Market Penetration it doubtless deserved, so here it comes again. Inspired partly by the novel Riddley Walker (Shriekback required reading) and also by an Acid experience in a forest in which Vivienne Kent and myself experienced being predators of a blood-thirsty, lupine/vampirish kind, and, from the top of a tree contemplated a cosy little family out for a stroll with a view to slaughter and dismemberment (their only possible use). Ah, great days - and they still haven't found the bones (joke).  Viv plays murderous viola on the end bit and the Tiny Green Garden Sticks rear their vicious little heads again.


I left the CD on the bed while I went to get some water.  When I returned to my room, this is what I beheld.

shriekspokesmanx1

Ah, Smidgen...  She truly is my totem and spirit guide.  She knows good stuff when she sees it.  The digipak is obviously delicious.  Thankfully she did no harm to it, and even posed for a second picture.  She looks like a spokesmodel, so I have dubbed her the Shriekback SpokesManx. There's no denying like draws like.  Shriekback are brilliant and take pretty pictures, and Smidgen is the same way.  This pic should be a billboard, I swear to Christ.

shriekspokesmanx2

I may have to cajole her into modeling with other Shriek albums.  It could become a Thing.  With the Shrieks dabbling in forbidden aural alchemy, combined with Smidgen's laissez faire attitude regarding the paparazzi, and the sentient presense of the Internet, anything is possible. While I'm working at evoking a feline pout out of the Shriekback SpokesManx, you should meander over to the Shrieks' website and buy a copy of Care while you still can.  All these reissues are limited editions so, if you don't act now, you may end up lurking in the dark corners of eBay, hoping for the chance to purchase a used copy at some godawful price that helps the band in no perceivable way.  If you're unsure you want the album, allow me to direct your attention to a version of one of the songs on the CD, entitled 'Feelers.'

It's sure to wrap around you like celestial swaddling.

Take CARE!

Dec. 18th, 2014 04:05 pm
tinhuviel: (Shriekback - Nemesis)

After years of waiting, Shriekback's followup to their debut album Tench is finally available in CD format! Also, a remastered version of the album on vinyl will be available after the first of the year. Click any picture below to be taken to the band's store for information. And please this info on to all your friends and loved ones!

caremail 10408110_10152970858657953_3837016519418325820_n1920193_10152970835257953_6194754069841792550_n

August 2017

M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
1415161718 19 20
21222324252627
28293031   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Popular

Summary

Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 03:06 pm