Q+A  :  GENERAL MUSIC  :  OTHER ARTISTS - likes / dislikes / record collection : part one


What music do you like to listen to?

I'm still attached to the bands I listened to when I was younger such as The Beatles, Bowie (pre. 1980), Hendrix, some Pink Floyd ('Meddle' and 'Dark Side of the Moon'), Roxy Music, Eno, Peter Gabriel, Alex Harvey, Mott the Hoople, Magazine, Television, Ian Dury, Public Image (when they first started), Kraftwerk, Talk Talk (last 3 LP's), Cocteau Twins etc.

I really like singers such as K.D. Lang, Jimmy Scott, Julie London, Nat King Cole, Billie Holliday, Arethra Franklin etc.

Current groups I like include Radiohead, Morphine, Beck, Rage Against the Machine, Massive Attack, Portishead, Soul Coughin', Eels and some rap and dance bands like House of Pain, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Juno Reactor, Tresor, and LFO.

Proper Soundtracks with dialogue as opposed to compiled pop soundtracks include Clockwork Orange, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, anything by Angelo Badalamenti, Morricone, John Barry etc.

In terms of classical music I particularly like modern British composers like Elgar and Vaughan Williams, Walton etc., 20th century Europeans such as Berg and Schoenberg, Shostokovich, Mahler etc., New world composers: Gershwin, Barber, Kurt Weil and the minimalists like Reich, Glass, Nyman and Wim Mertens. I also like traditional Irish and Cajun, Mike Flowers, Margarita Pracatan and, of course, Little Jimmy Osmond.

I have an enormous collection with just about everything you could imagine so it's impossible to list everything.

What do you think about the progress of the current dance music scene? I mean to the extent that The Prodigy won MTV awards in 3 categories. Do you think they represent a dark side of music?

Well, they are bitch-smacking, twisted firestarters so they must be pretty fierce.

Did you know that there is a Canadian band called Delerium that has sampled a lot of your stuff and used these samples in their own songs - sometimes to the extent that the whole song is built on a Recoil sample? The same thing goes for a side project of theirs called Intermix. Did you know about this and what do you think of it? Have you heard any of their music?

This sounds very familiar - I think I've heard this but I'm not sure. If you send me a copy, I'll let you know what I think....

Have you ever heard the older Kraftwerk albums called 'Kraftwerk' and 'II'? What do you think about this side of Kraftwerk?

Yes, and also Ralf and Florian's L.P. You can hear where their later ideas came from especially in the rhythm.

I was interested to read in a past archive that you are not all that familiar with The Cure's albums. He like you, is a master of dark, atmospheric work. His lyrics are great and musically he really knows how to grab your soul. Given his effort with 'World In My Eyes' on the 'For the Masses' compilation, do you think that any collaboration may eventuate in the future between you? Or are the inter-record label logistical problems more hassle than they are worth? Or maybe you just don't like him?

I wouldn't call 'Love Cats' and 'Friday I'm In Love' particularly dark.... Robert's a nice bloke but I don't really think our two projects have all that much in common.

How do you like fellow Mute artists: I Start Counting, Fortran 5 and Komputer?

I Start Counting and Fortran 5 are, in fact, one and the same and I never much cared for them in either of their guises. I don't know who's behind Komputer but they are doing pop Kraftwerk for some reason. Is it a joke or a tribute? - I can't tell.

I need to know about the availability of a CD by Jocelyn Montgomery, a David Lynch artist? Do you know anything about it?

No, unless by some coincidence you are talking about Jocelyn West (ex. Miranda Sex Garden), who was supposed to be making an album with Angelo Badalamenti. Yes I know she has a different surname but she apparently got married recently so her name may have changed. I could easily be completely wrong about this but there aren't that many Jocelyn's. Anybody know about this?

Would you ever consider working with Bjork ('cause I think her music needs a kick up the arse) or Madonna?

Bjork I think is interesting but I'm not sure I could stand her voice for long. I just heard Madonna's new single ' Ray of Light' (oh dear) so I wouldn't ask me that one just now.

I´ve just heard a new Madonna album 'Ray Of Light' and I think Mr. William Orbit, who did the production, has very similar methods of producing music to you. What do you think about him?

I know he's been quoted as saying he likes Recoil. He's ok. He did a remix of 'Walking in my shoes' which wasn't bad.

What did you think of William Orbit's contribution on the new Madonna record?

I've only heard the 'Frozen' single (after all the talk on 'Faith') and to be perfectly honest, didn't think the song itself was up to much, which is why I haven't bought her LP. I just know it will be disappointing. I suppose considering what he had to work with, he's done an o.k. job - the remixes were appalling though.

IWhat do you think of William Orbit's technique (I know he didn't pioneer it) of dumping all the audio into an old tape deck and then digitally recording that playback, making an older cinema retro sound. Do you use this process?

It's quite a nice idea. I think Portishead did something similar by actually cutting some of their sounds onto vinyl before re-using them for scratches etc. It's not something I have done but some of my samples have inherent 'noise' that comes with them, adding to the overall character of the sounds.

Do you like Garbage or Massive Attack? If so did you get their new albums? What do you think?

I have the new Massive Attack album, some of which I really like although there are a couple of 'filler' tracks that they could have done without. At one stage I really wanted to work with Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins), so it's an interesting coincidence that they decided to use her too.

What's your opinion on Britpop music like Suede, Pulp and other bands like that, do you ever listen to it?

I quite like Pulp's singles but there's not much else in the Britpop scene that I'm particularly enthusiastic about.

What do you think of other synthpop type bands, like Erasure and The Pet Shop boys. Do you enjoy that type of music?

Erasure and The Pet Shop Boys - not my cup of tea...

You and Robert Smith: both QPR fans, both write dark introspective music - possible connection?

You'd write depressing music too if you had to watch QPR.

My question is about Morrissey. Have you had a chance to pick up his new album 'My Early Burglary Years', a B-side + rarity collection? If so, what do you think of it? And secondly, and more importantly, is Moz on your list of possible vocalists for the next Recoil album?

No, I haven't heard it. I haven't actually seen it - is it out yet? I do like Morrissey's voice and I think he would suit Recoil. What do you think?

Also, do you know that there is a German band called Sea of Sin? They are quite good, actually.

I'd never heard of them until now.

Do you keep in contact with Matt Johnson from The The? He disappeared after the sickening (to me anyhow) Hank Williams thing he put out.

No, I don't have any contact with him.

I'm a huge fan of Tangerine Dream. Which is your favourite album of theirs?

Rubycon, Phyedra (if that's how you spell it).

What do you think about Garbage and Curve similarities?

Curve were around before Garbage and are still streaks ahead.

Is it true that during a U2 concert on the ZOO TV tour (when Bono used to watch TV on stage), he changed to MTV where the 'Never Let Me Down Again' video appeared, and started to sing it with the crowd? Did you hear something about this?

I've never heard about this.

Could you give me an opinion about the Front 242 'Re-born' tour (I called it this because they haven't released a new studio album since 1993's 'Fuck Up Evil' and 'Evil Off' LP's.

I don't know anything about this.

Have you heard Doctor Octagon's album? If so, what do you think? Would you like to work with someone that is a good rapper but can also give another angle to the music?

I haven't heard Dr. Octagon. As for rappers - yes, that's why I liked Maggie. Obviously, she's not what you would think of as a rapper but spoken word seems to suit a lot of my music. It would be great to find a male voice that was equally as different.

I wonder how you and Hep listen to CDs - do you sit still on a sofa or do you listen to the CD while cleaning the floors, ironing shirts or washing the dishes? And what do you do if you really dislike the first song of a CD, will you continue to listen to the whole CD?

We listen much like anyone else - at the moment we've got a gospel CD on. It's great, just voice and organ. Unfortunately our CD collection is full of CD's that we've never listened to beyond track 1, if we've even got that far.....

What do you think of Marc Almond´s music? Have you got any of his albums at home? Do you have a favourite Soft Cell song?

I've never liked his voice. I have 'Non Stop Erotic Cafe' and I liked 'Sex Dwarf'.

Don't you feel sorry for old Mr. Oldfield, desperately living on his past successes ('Tubular Bells'), and now releasing a TB III, which is not worth listening to? I think it's so sad seeing your old heroes sinking into the mud, and noone cares. It's kind of like watching Romario or Maradonna playing football again.

Yes I agree - it's sad to see musicians resort to re-runs because they can't face life out of the limelight. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you're perhaps passed your sell-by date or the magic has gone and you should hang up your boots and retire gracefully. Unfortunately in the world of rock 'n' roll, the trend is to flog the thing for all it's worth.

Do you consider 'Pet Sounds' & 'Smile' to be the most significant, the most innovative albums ever made within pop music?

Not really no. They're good records but there are others I would listen to first. I like some Beach Boys songs like 'God Only Knows' (which is brilliant). Brian Wilson's an interesting character (pothouse).

Speaking of the Fairlight, Jarre uses this and a lot of other stuff, do you ever growl when you see his listing of studio equipment and do you like his music/innovations?

I couldn't give a toss about Jarre's studio equipment. "Oi, Jarre.....NO! I admire your use of fancy light shows on big walls but......"

Have you ever heard of a band called AND ONE?


Did you like The Cure's 'Pornography' album? If not, what is your favourite of theirs?

Is that the one with 'The Forest' on it? - if so, it's not bad. To be honest, I'm not that familiar with their albums, I just know the odd track.

I was wondering if you have had any musical influences whatsoever from Canada's Skinny Puppy? What do you think of Skinny Puppy's contribution to dark electronic music?

I'm not really familiar with their music.

Name a few electronic musicians that you really like (1974 -1998).

Kraftwerk, D.A.F., Eno, Daniel Miller, Tangerine Dream, Nitzer Ebb, Plastikman, many others.....

Toni Halliday / Alan Wilder - a darker Yaz-like arrangement for the new millennium?

Mmmm, I don't think so. As I've said before, I don't want to work permanently with anyone else.

Do you like Talking Heads?

Not particularly.

Have you ever met Morrissey and if so what do you think of him?

I've never met him but I'm a great admirer of his words. His music's not adventurous enough though.

Have you heard of Tanya Donelly? If so, would you consider working with her on the next Recoil project?

Who is she? Sounds like a Country and Western singer.

What do you think of the last Curve album?

I like it.

Surely you have heard the other releases from Madonna's latest album. Have you changed your mind now or do you still have a low opinion of her new material?

I don't have a particularly low opinion of her. I have liked a few of her singles like 'Human Nature' and 'Justify' etc.. I'm just not interested enough to buy the LP.

Would you comment on 'The Prodigy' and Liam Howletts way of making music?

I can understand the appeal of this dance / rock synthesis and I like some of their stuff - I just don't think it's particularly groundbreaking - I mean, Nitzer Ebb were doing a similar thing 10 years ago but it just wasn't considered trendy then.

Have you heard the band Lamb and what do you think of them?

Yes, I've got a Lamb album - some of it's interesting. I like the fact that it's minimal but I'm not sure if the approach sustains your interest for an entire LP.

What is in your CD player right now and what is so good that it stays in there for months?

Latest CD's = new albums by U.N.K.L.E., Moloko, The Aloof, Fun Lovin' Criminals and Whale. Out of that selection, I will probably re-listen to Moloko and Whale more than the others.

Are you familiar with a guy called Beaumont Hannant? He thanks you (or Recoil rather) in the credits of his album, 'Sculptured'.

I've never heard of him. I'll check him out when I have the chance.

Do you ever listen to Nick Abbot on Talk Radio?

Can't say I have, no.

I've read somewhere that Axl Rose likes DM and that you've met him. What did you think?

I've never had a proper conversation with him so I couldn't tell you what he's like.

Do you sometimes listen to DM records? If so, how frequently and what are your favourites?

Well I've been listening to the singles compilation recently. From this, my favourites are 'Stripped', 'Never Let Me Down' , 'Walking In My Shoes', 'I Feel You' and 'In Your Room'. My favourite LP is 'SOFAD'.

Where do you normally buy your records? Records in London are a third more expensive than here in Germany. The only thing I liked was the really big assortment. What do you think?

As I no longer live in London, I am pretty much at the mercy of my local and very crap 'Our Price'. However, when I do get up to town, I tend to visit the big megastores - either Virgin or HMV. I haven't noticed the price difference.

Could you tell how it all happened when THE CURE asked you to join?

It was more of an enquiry, rather than a direct question. I thought it was a joke at first (but I'm assured they were serious). Daryl Bamonte, who used to work for DM and now works within the Cure organisation, asked me. The last thing on my mind was to go and join another band.

What are the chances of Robert Smith doing something on your next album?

I haven't really thought about that one.

What is your opinion of the trip-hopper Tricky? Is he someone you would consider working with?


Did you compose most of the music on 'Ebbhead' or was your production input limited to arrangements etc.?

Obviously I wasn't involved in writing any of the songs but I did, on occasion, contribute a musical idea or part - as any producer would.

I interviewed CURVE recently and Toni was talking about how "great of a mate you are." Their show was fantastic. Have you heard 'Come Clean' [Curve's new album]?

Toni's a good friend and the whole Curve lot are really nice. I think the new albums very good - particularly tracks 2 and 3. I saw their London gig a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it - especially the aftershow bash.......;-)

Tori Amos and you are my greatest influences, I was wondering if you had ever met her and have considered working with her?

I've never met her. I'm not sure I like her voice enough but, maybe.....

I noticed in the interview with you on Mute Records' website that you cited Talk Talk as one of your favourite bands. I think they are one of the most underrated groups of the 80s and early 90s. I'm just curious as to what you liked the most about their music and if you would consider them to be a musical *influence* on you.

I think 'The colour of Spring', 'Sprit of Eden', and 'Laughing Stock' are all brilliant albums. Great instrumentation, lots of space, good songs etc... They are also like nobody else's records - which I think is to their credit. I was a bit disappointed with Mark Hollis' new album though, considering how much I liked the last few Talk Talk albums. It was less adventurous. I take influences from all music that appeals to me.

I read that you didn't like Pet Shop Boys and Erasure - what about The Human League?

'Dare' was a great pop album and their very early stuff was quite interesting.

Are you familiar with the British group Art Of Noise? If so, have you ever considered working with Trevor Horn?

Yes. And No.

In the vein of your 'Faith Healer' mixes, have you ever put any thought into allowing Portishead, Massive Attack, the Scream Team, Danny Saber, Paul Oakenfold or Jon Carter (Monkey Mafia) to do any mixes for you? I would love to see a couple of stomping dance versions of your tracks.

I think Massive Attack could probably do quite a good remix of a Recoil track. I wouldn't be so interested in Paul Oakenfold and I don't know who Jon Carter is.

How many albums do you own? What trends are there in your music collection and how often do you buy new music?

Thousands. We've got every different style you could imagine although there's an appropriate lack of Country and Western......I buy CD's regularly.

How do you find David Syvian's work?

A bit too ambient for me but he has done some good things.

Would you consider his voice to work with?

I don't think he'd be right for Recoil.

Who are your favourite reggae artists?

Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, a few others....

You think that Tricky is overrated. How many times did you listen to Maxinquaye?

Enough times to realise he's overrated. It's not that I hate his music, I just don't think it's as special as people make out. Have you heard his version of 'Judus'?

Do you generally prefer the sound of male or female vocalists?

I don't really have a preference although it seems to be easier to think of female singers that I like, as opposed to male.

Was your work on 'Come Alive', off Nitzer Ebb's 'As is' is very comprehensive. Can you elaborate on your input here?

Yes. They gave me the track in demo form and then gave me a free reign to do pretty much what I wanted with it.

Have you ever thought on working with jazz musicians or making a whole new type of sound in that kind of music?


Would you ever consider asking Angela Conway to be a guest vocalist? (Angela directed the 'Faith Healer' video and did soothing, ethereal vocals on the A.C. Marias album 'One of Our Girls').

I personally find her video directing skills more appealing than her voice.

Have you heard 'One of Our Girls' and if so, what did you think of it?

I'll have to give it another listen because I can't remember what it's like.

Have you heard Propaganda's first album 'Wishful Thinking'? If so, what do you think about it?

No, I haven't heard it.

What do you think of Warp production and Autechre specifically?

I like L.F.O., I can't listen to Autechre.

Are you familiar with the 'Sneaker Pimps', do you like their work?

They're alright. I like some of their stuff.

What do you think about U2's more electronic sound on 'Pop'?

I don't hear a great electronic direction apart from one or two tracks (probably Flood's influence).

Two weeks ago I bought the new Massive Attack album 'Mezzanine'. Did they use some of your 'SOFAD' noises, i.e. the intro. snare of 'Get Right With Me'. 

Yes, I spotted that one immediately - better get in touch with my solicitor ;-) Actually, my attitude is 'good luck to them' - I have no problem with it. I suspect that it was provided by Mark 'Spike' Stent who was involved with mixing 'SOFAD' and undoubtedly has a library of sounds from it. He also mixed the Massive Attack album.

Q+A  :  GENERAL MUSIC  :  OTHER ARTISTS - likes / dislikes / record collection : PART TWO