1.Morrissey believes that songwriters share more of themselves
in their lifetime, than people from any other walk of life ever do
almost growing up in public. Adding, A genuine voice can
change someones life, because people can hear whether or not the
emotion it resonates, is heartfelt. What are your feelings on
Songwriters often adopt characters do something observational
etc. Mozzer certainly doesnt always write autobiographically.
Yeah, I doubt if for e.g. Kraftwerk share much of their real selves.
Sometimes my approach is to condense lyrics into minimal slogans that
use deliberate repetition as an almost hypnotic device cold and
dislocated, cryptic that's deliberately evading being heartfelt
and human. To be honest, I probably do that to protect myself and everyone
else! Obviously something heartfelt can provide creative impetus and
guide a song breathing human life into it. Yes, if it helps,
you can channel emotion into an art form into the cathartic vessel.
Of course, I may have done that a few times. Sometimes, the essence
of a scene in the minds eye is sufficient to guide me though.
Naturally, something of life experience will automatically resonate
through the music as a whole in a melody, a chord progression,
the arrangement etc. I guess I was brought up in a household where there
was quite a lot of classical music going on around me, which I observed
and absorbed but didnt partake in I hasten to add luckily
Im not classically trained, but I have been playing music since
I was about 5. So anyway, its very natural for me to express myself
through music itself thats my language, my genuine
voice just as much as the lyrics.
2.To give us an idea of some of your musical influences and tastes,
if you were asked to guest host your own radio show as DJs, which records
would you play, and who would you most like to invite into the studio
for a live session + interview?
Most of the interview guests wed like to have on are dead
e.g. Martin Hannett. It would be good to invite ghosts in e.g. Cobain,
Morrison, Ian C, Miles Davis, Sinatra how about that. Wed
let the guests choose all the music for the show. Session would comprise
of jams featuring various combinations of the guests. If that wasnt
possible, we'd tune into one of the furthest probe in space that earth
is still able to receive sound from and beam that back. Cassini probe
around Saturn would be good.
3.How would you say your personalities and musical ideas blend together,
and whats the story behind your name the Detachments?
A swashbuckling, spirit of adventure binds us. Lew is originally
from the Midlands. He gets on with it has a solid, no nonsense,
confident approach to things. Hes got that spirit of youth. Musically,
hes quite into his hardware, hes achieved a big soaring
sound with all his pedals. His vice is getting seriously fucked up now
and again with his boho, druggie East London mates one of em
lives in a warehouse full of cool, dapper, vintage threads and is called
Cosmo, you get the idea. Max is from Antwerp, hes got an artschool
background like me. He has a cool head on him and has a taste for the
finer things in life. Hes a superb musician can play all
our instruments and is a well-qualified sound engineer, hes our
tech expert. Max is into loads of different genres. Eclectic taste.
On bass he can handle complex, syncopated stuff, which is very useful.
His vice is chain-smoking and he also seems to be drinking most of the
time. Petes originally from Leeds, hes a top class drummer
Id go so far as to say hes one of the best young
drummers in the UK. He got some kind of award at his London college
and sometimes gets roped in to play session stuff e.g. Goldie. Detachments
must have one of the best rhythm sections around. His vice is he likes
to run around hotels naked all night whilst off his face. Anyway, they
are my crack troops. I like the fact that Detachment means quite a few
things e.g. Detachment as in removal from all earthly desires,
emotional detachment. We currently, mainly like to play on the word
Detachment as in the military term.
1. The act or process of disconnecting or detaching; separation.
2. The state of being separate or detached.
3. Indifference to or remoteness from the concerns of others; aloofness:
preserved a chilly detachment in his relations with the family/office/etc.
4. Absence of prejudice or bias; disinterest: strove to maintain her
professional detachment in the case.
a. The dispatch of a military unit, such as troops or ships, from a
larger body for a special duty or mission.
b. The unit so dispatched.
c. A permanent unit, usually smaller than a platoon, organised for special
4.A new music body, The Featured Artists' Coalition (www.featuredartistscoalition.com),
was recently set up with many high profile musicians having already
signed up and backing the campaigns manifesto. Part of which reads:
"We want all artists to have more control of their music and a
much fairer share of the profits it generates in the digital age."
Do you think this is a positive step?
Yeah, for sure. Theres so many parasitic pimps latched onto
The Music Industry that can be booted off now in this day and (digital)
age. More direct power to the artist I say. The less middle men the
better the industry seriously needs streamlining.
5.Ideally, would you prefer to remain as outsiders, or for your songs
to have greater mainstream exposure?
We want to reach the people, but also keep some enigma. Maybe
were some kind of anti-band in disguise. But anyway, whats
the point in being resigned to the fringes? Im all about a lot
of experimental, underground stuff, but I also have a love of great
pop e.g. Pet Shop Boys, 80s Depeche. The Cure have done an amazing
job with their output stylistically diverse yet everything
still cohering, maybe theyre our heroes.
6.The revered producer Stephen Street, has just uploaded some rare archive
footage onto his official website of Blur recording their seminal album,
Parklife. But are there any artists / bands who you would like to see
video clips of when they were making one of their classic LPs?
The Beatles White Album
Joy Division Unknown Pleasures
The Clash London Calling
My Bloody Valentine Loveless
Massive Attack Mezzanine
The Cure Pornography; werent they all on acid at the time?
should all make interesting viewing.
7.On a similar note, I once read an article about How Mixing And
Mastering Have Shaped Rock History which using records
by Metallica, Nirvana, Oasis, Pearl Jam and Radiohead as examples, discussed
how The right mix can make or break a record. The feature
then went onto list albums that might benefit from revisionist
treatment but are there any old LPs that you would like
to hear mixed and mastered differently?
Don't dig up the past all you get is dirty.
8.Continuing with train of thought, the producer Greg Haver recently
said, Musicians and music lovers have regained control, because
people go out and will find music rather than being told by a label,
This is what youve got to listen to and like. Purer
records are being made the material is closer to the artists
vision and better music is being made, because there are less layers
of interference within The Music Industry chain. Would you agree
Independent spirited, artistically unshackled music has always
been there, and people have always been able to find it if they so desired.
Its much easier to find rare stuff now though obviously, in the
digital age, music lovers have more freedom and control for sure. Freedom
is almost limitless in the contemporary music universe which
is expanding all the time like space after the Big Bang. Were
allowed to have the creative freedom that we want at Thisisnotanexit
Records. However, if youre a musician on a major, you simply wont
have total control e.g. I hear Klaxons for their 2nd album
were ordered back to the studio to write more commercial songs.
9.Over the years, what has been the most valuable lesson that you
have learnt from writing and recording songs and do you see yourself
always making music in some capacity?
Lessons in writing theres, I dont know
Lessons? Theres no rules. No formulas. I dont trust things
like that. Maybe one lesson is, dont try to pursue an idea thats
not quite flowing right from the off? Dont bother sitting down
and trying to concoct a song out of nowhere, as the best ideas just
come along when going about daily life, they come in daydreams or a
response to something theyre not forced. Maybe another
lesson is never get complacent always make your output focused
and firing on all cylinders in all areas. In the future, I'd like to
write and also produce for other people, before or after my solo album
which will consist mainly of mini-epic torchsongs!
10.By using The Smiths How Soon Is Now as an example, Johnny Marr
once talked of the power a recorded song has, in that the
individual components can never be recreated in exactly the same way
ever again by anybody! Is it an exciting prospect for you all,
knowing that with each song you record, you could well be committing
something magical to tape?
In writing and to an extent with recording music, sometimes when
you can sense youve picked up the trail of something magic,
you have to somehow instinctively lock onto that and follow it. When
the final result is good its life affirming. Recording
vocals can be so variable exact frame of mind is dependent on
so many time-specific events responsible for that magic.
When we were recording the other day, at the moment I was singing the
climactic "FAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL!", the wind grabbed the window
and shattered it against the outside of the balcony. We were working
on The Art Of Viewing, which is a song that refers to psychic spying
i.e. the Remote Viewing programme that the USSR and USA spent millions
on during the Cold War. We were on the 7th Floor too, its fortunate
that there was no-one down at ground level could have been gruesome.
11.As a music fan, can you remember your first ever gig and what does
it mean to you to now play your songs live?
First ever concert? Music evening at high school brass
band, woodwind bands, classical guitar things etc. Always fascinating.
My brother and sister were classically trained prodigies thats
why I was in attendance. I think being in a club, feeling the bass for
the first time, may have had more impact on me than my first band type
gigs. We always look forward to gigs even though playing live is actually
a big operation, a lot of prep goes in for a half hr gig rehearsals,
hardware programming, then transportation of loads of gear, soundcheck
(usually with an arsey soundguy), waiting around, pack down, more trans
etc. Tell you what though, playing live if we get into the zone
(theres so many factors to get right) if all the energies
come together, it can feel almost transcendental.
12.How do you go about discovering + buying new music, and whats
the one back catalogue that everyone should investigate?
Nowadays, I stumble across things on MySpace, YouTube, blogs etc.
Word of mouth too people I know who are musicians or DJs recommend
stuff etc. Obviously scanning the music press too, picking up various
free publications in Shoreditch, Camden etc. Also, I often have BBC
6 Music on too good combination of archive classics and new stuff
good programming for a songwriter. The one back catalogue that
I think everyone should investigate is Kraftwerk; melodies, basslines,
drum patterns, lyrical minimalism
all true genius. Either that
or the ENTIRE Factory Records back catalogue!
13.Some people feel that the significance of lyrics is being lost
through downloading, due to a smaller number of music buyers looking
at CD booklets, or incorrect words being posted on websites. Are lyrics
important to you and what are the main themes of your songs?
I'd be irritated if I saw my lyrics stuck up somewhere online
incorrect. Lyrics are important they take a lot of crafting to
perfect. Bands should put up all their lyrics on their websites then
maybe well do that soon actually. However,
some of our songs lyrics are supposed to be a bit obscured e.g. like
My Bloody Valentines amorphous, giving them enigma and
ethereality. What are the main themes? FNF is pure Existentialism, a
bit of science and drugs. Circles is disillusion with the phoney veneer
of the work ethic, 9-5, drone world. Art Of Viewing is about misusing
Remote Viewing in order to reach some girl met on a night out. Flowers
is influenced by Chinese and also Japanese poetry theres
a beautiful, slightly melancholy, ethereal grace and purity to that
kind of verse. My Mother is (Singaporean) Chinese and my Dad is English
with an Irish background. Messages is mainly about when we were advertising
for a bass player on the Internet! Guess, like in most classic Soul
and Phil Spector-esque sort of stuff, lost love is a theme in quite
a lot of our songs, though most of the time its an underlying
thing. Overall, Im aware there's always something to do with being
a genuine outsider informing the lyrics I think that that really
is the constant thread.
14.Throughout the history of popular music, there have been people
who could be classed as Born To Be Rock Stars and then there
are the Unlikely Rock Stars. But which musicians would you
place into either of these categories and also, where would you
Overall, we're a bit of both I think. I don't know? All I know
is were not ordinary people.
15.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Well, if I had to choose a last meal? I think I'd enjoy the cream
buns more. But if it was an everyday situation and we'd been on the
beers (which seems to be quite a lot of the time) and just needed to
grab something it'd be chips.
A very special thanks to Sebastien for all of his time
"In futurum videre"