THE FURIOUS SLEEP
Email interview: February 2006 by Anna C
AC: Hello The Furious Sleep
TFS: Give me Yop, me mama
AC: Describe TFS to a blind and dumb one-legged whore who is tapping his/ her peg leg on the side of your tour van touting for business and who wants to know more about being a groupie for your band (let's face it it could happen at any time) Who? What? Why?
D: Proto prog punk pretentiousness post-everything rock punch up.
AC: What might he/ she expect from seeing this rock n roll monster live?
D: Musically dense wooden-leg-splitting whore rock.
AC: In the film of TFS's life story, who would play who?
J: Dave would play Matt, Tom would play Dave, I would play Tom and Matt would play me. Failing that, we'd just CGI it all.
AC: Best bit about being in TFS in 2005?
TFS: Recording at the Sickroom studios with Owen Turner; many great gigs, including Pirate party, three fun nights pissing off the locals at the Haymakers, the Tottenham Swan to name a few; Ipswich punters (so enthusiastic); getting thrown off stage after 3 songs in Nottingham; the curtains in the Man on the Moon; the heckle "play some fuckin' melodies!"; visiting Roy Harper.
AC: And the worst?
TFS: Playing with asshole bands, for asshole promoters; getting thrown off stage after 3 songs in Nottingham; Dave's blood spattered guitar being stolen; watching The Mars Volta.
TFS: More songs, gigs and recordings. We're planning to write a concept album with every song named after a regular from the Green Dragon in Chesterton.
AC: Any advice for other bands on the local scene?
TFS: Don't let Simon Baker owe you £50. Never write a love song. When you run out of money, drink Alfa.
AC: Do TFS encourage stalkers? Have you ever been stalked yourselves?
TFS: We encourage stalkers wholeheartedly. We're just in it for the stalkers....old duelling male cum-trousers. Smelly piss-stained strands of putrid flesh beard loping behind us wherever we walk. Dave had a stalker outside his house once. She said "get a haircut, mate; who do you think you are, a fucking rock star?". That's how the kids in Chesterton tell you they love you.
AC: Best music "moment" EVER?
D: "You broke my sitar mother fucker" Anton Newcombe
AC: If you could be anyone for the day, who would it be? (this could be a mixture of traits/ talents of different people dead or alive- be as specific/ non- specific as you would like obviously I would prefer the specific option)
J: Do people actually get buried alive? I've just checked and, as of 07/01/06, there are approximately 6,525,486,603 people on this planet. I reckon at least one of these people is going to die by being buried alive. The Korean prince Sado was imprisoned by his own father in a rice chest, curled up in the foetal position; couldn't stretch or even turn over. They left him out there in the garden in his own shit with no food and it took him eight days to die. His father was pleased when his cries got so weak they no longer embarrassed his guests.
AC: Quite. And if there was one album you wish you had written, which one would it be?
AC: Can I hear your favourite joke?
TFS: Why did the Baker have smelly hands? Cos he kneaded a poo. Ha Ha!
AC: Did you cry when Dennis Rickman was stabbed in EastEnders? (I did).
J: I missed that one. Back in the day though, I did have to hold back a sniff when Joe was carted off to the mental hospital. Poor boy, it all started out so well for him too.
AC: Chips or cream buns? (I personally prefer a nice raspberry pavlova )?
TFS: Cum Buns 3
AC: If there is anything else you would like to add, please say it now
TFS: Give me Yop, before the morning comes.
AC: I thank you.
(Thanks to Dave, Tom, Jake and Matt- in spirit if not in body- for answering my banal questions with such enthusiasm. For more information on the band, visit www.thefurioussleep.com)
Snooze quietly at this interview on our message boards here
Lucy: 'Taxidermy' and 'Drink Me' are quite drastically different in their
styles, so what kind of sound can we expect from the 3rd album?
KJG: We don't know yet. We're playing a lot of new material tonight so you'll be able to judge that for yourself. When I'm this close up to it, it's really difficult to tell. I'm on a bit of a negative slant today, but usually with our music I can only hear the bits that have gone wrong rather
than anything that went right. When you reflect back on something it's very difficult to give an objective opinion, and I don't believe in objectivity anyway, I think everything's subjective. I just throw a deck of cards and
wherever they land, that's where she finds herself. I'm not really the one to explain my part in it, you must do that as the observer really, and of course that will reflect your part in the grand scheme of things.
Lucy: Do you enjoy playing live more than the creative process in the studio?
KJG: (Laughs) I don't enjoy any of it. It comes and it goes, ok? There's nothing like when you're writing and you manage to catch something by its
tail; when you're looking for those things underground that are skittering out of sight just when you're about to catch them. And when you catch them it is worth it, but it's a momentary pleasure. I've got so much noise upstairs, and I can hear things in my head that to me are absolutely devastatingly beautiful. I'm always trying to download them and get them
here, but they never get here in the right state, they're always very disabled and they don't even begin to imitate what I can hear in my head.
It's a frustrating process in the main.
Lucy: Your lyrics are simultaneously emotionally expressive and cryptic. Are you looking to be understood by your audience?
KJG: I'm always trying to understand myself, but it's like there's a point in the centre of the room, and there's a hundred windows to look at the same point from. All I can do is give you different angles on the same thing. God, you know, if I could find one conclusive thing in anything I would probably have something to put an anchor down on. But I cant, and I haven't met anyone that can. You can pick out anything you like in my lyrics, I don't seek to be cryptic. I love words for the sake of words, for me they're kind of free standing, and they don't really need to be explained. I think every word has its own character and colour and picture and the result you get with lyrics just depends how you put them together. You could just do it in a William Burroughs esque way, or throw the deck of cards, and you'd probably still find something that our tiny little minds would latch on to in order to gain some kind of emotional understanding. I don't think there's a constant, the only constant that there is for me is that there is no constant. I use myself as my canvas, I gut myself and fillet myself the whole fucking time, I'm always hooking myself out of the water, I'm always cutting my own head off and disembowelling myself, and as you can probably tell I'm quite angry about it at the moment. I'm very tired of it all, of my
process and how I find life, because it always seems to be about living and dying all in one breath. I'm getting pretty fucking tired of that.
Lucy: Do you think drugs stimulate or hinder creativity?
KJG: Well that depends on the drug, because I think most things arrive in the form of a drug really. I know in myself that if anything I am, much to my greater expense, an adrenalin junkie. My synapses don't work well enough to put pills in my mouth, I can't do that, despite popular opinion. I don't need any help breaking down, put it that way. There's not much holding it
together. If there was a drug that could put aline between two polar opposites and make them in to one thing I'm sure I would have it
intravenous, but I haven't found it. I think drugscan be a bit of a lazy way for creativity anyway, you're better off in the cold light of day in the mirror.
Lucy: As a band, you are distinguished by the extreme physicality of your
live performances. Do you consciously make an effort to put on a show or do
your performances just naturally come to you, and whatever happens, happens?
KJG: It's a bit of both, because you see, I think taking the stage is one of the most unnatural things anyone can do. In a way, just walking on stage actually creates an altered state - its not right, no one's meant to do that, unless you're a priest or a magician, or something like that. To put somebody who's very incapable in many ways in to that position creates a combustion reaction inside me. I know that, and I take the stage knowing that. Obviously there's all the usual things that affect my performance; if I'm on my 45th day of a tour I'm probably gonna be pretty fucking tired, so I'll be dictated by that. If I'm doing new material like tonight I don't
know what's going to happen, because we haven't built the train tracks yet. The beauty of playing live is when my drummer goes in to 5th gear or in to 10th gear, and for some reason there's something that hits me in the base of the spine and I'm gone, and that's Halleluiah for me. During the last few months a lot of strange things have been happening onstage, I think the process is changing. I don't know what's going to happen tonight, I've been having quite a tough time on stage, I feel like something's pulling me under, as if something's got me.
Lucy: So does the crowd influence your performances on stage?
KJG: Yes they do. I'm unkind enough to be pretty impersonal about how I do it, so I use them for me to kick against in effect, or to surf on, (I don't
mean physically surf). If you're in an empty roomand there's a couple of people at the back, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a bad show -
they might get the show of their lives. And then again when something's really heaving and going off, I get quite a distorted view of it, because I
can feel quite overwhelmed lose my sense of place in the situation. I lose control of myself. I don't know, I probably wasn't meant to do this, I
wasn't built for this. It wasn't a career option, I didn't start there and go there, I didn't pick up the things on the way. I've sort of gone round
Lucy: As the lead singer of the band, most media interest is focused on you.
Do you feel pressurised by your position or do you enjoy being the centre
KJG: I've been here on this wheel long enough,(and I say this with a little bit of trepidation because I think you have to be really careful with this kind of thing, because the motivation to do it in itself I think is usually pretty corrupt) I'm not doing it for anyone else, I need a cheque through the door like anybody else does, you have to keep eating, you have to keep living. I'm looking for some sense of going home on my own terms, and people's critique of me is not relevant, whether it's positive of negative.
I do need a cheque through the door though, otherwise I'll have to go and be a butcher or something.
Lucy: What is the religious meaning behind the song "For I am the way"?
KJG: If you use the word religion in its truest sense, all it means is communion, it hasn't got any of the attachments to any written word. My
understanding of the word communion is loss of the sense. Another way of looking at it is you've got to get in to get out, and the only thing that I
know to be true is me, is this tiny little dot in the centre of the universe. It's the only thing that I know feels pain; I can see other people's pain and I can feel it in an emotional way, but not in a physical way. I find myself in the unfortunate position of feeling like I am the
centre of the universe and that everything is a projection, made by me - i.e. you two don't exist, you're something that I created. I don't wish that
sense upon anybody because it's not a good one. Through 'For I am the way' I'm saying that you've got to get in, because the only thing one knows to be true is oneself. And on a good day, if you stand on top of a mountain or go to the desert or stand in the ocean, and become completely inconsequential, linear time stops and you become everything and nothing. That for me is
communion, that's how I define religion. I thinkthere's a line in there which goes "Today the only bridge I have I burn" which sums it up really, because it is about cutting all lines of communication in order to really truly commune.
Lucy: Do you think that in the future your creativity will move from the sphere of music in to literature for example?
KJG: It's real hard to say. In a way, that sounds like a much easier life. But for all I know I'm deluding myself. I'm looking for someone to help me frame something at the moment, and someone is actually, someone's being really good to me. I would love to write, but I don't know if I'm good
enough to do it.