Art Brut: The Interview

When I was growing up, Interview Magazine was a must-read for me.  At an early age, I could recognize media bias when I saw it.  I watched the British music mags (NME, Melody Maker) and the U.S. press (Rolling Stone, Spin, Creem) spin bands based on how the articles were written.  Seemingly innocuous quotes were placed within articles to validate the writers agenda.  When I started this site, I vowed to follow the model of Interview Magazine.  You’ll see some of the same questions pop up from time to time because I want to see how different people will approach the same subject.  You learn more about the band than you do about me when you read these interviews and that’s the way it should be.

The only drawback to this philosophy is something that I found endearing when it happened in Interview.  Your interview is only as good as your subject.  I remember laughing when I read Harrison Ford answer an Interview Mag question about Blade Runner by saying simply: “That movie was stupid.  I had no idea what was going on.”.  When you’re the one doing the interview and you get similarly absurd responses, you can only shrug your shoulders and hope the readers blame the interviewee, not the interviewer…

Here’s my interview with Art Brut.  Please keep in mind the band were sent 10 questions, three weeks ago and came up with these responses…

TDOA: What led to the decision to leave EMI?

Eddie: They were useless.

TDOA: The British music press is notoriously fickle. Would we be accurate in describing your response to this being a “damn the torpedos” continuation of your normal style and not attempting to cater to the latest trends?

Eddie: Yep we do what we want.

TDOA: The band’s been to America several times. Can you give us your impressions of U.S. crowds versus Brits?

Eddie: Brits are quite a cynical bunch and sometimes think I’m tricking them not believing Emily Kane is real etc. Where as Americans know I’m sincere. People that actually come and see us though just get drunk and dance.

TDOA: The new album was produced by Pixies great Frank Black. Can you tell us about the experience? How did you connect with him? Did he get involved in the writing process? Did you feel like he produced a different “sound” for the band?

Eddie: I thought I would be intimidated by Black Francis but he was such a creative, friendly and enthusiastic man we all hit it off immediately. I know its a cliche but it did genuinely feel that he and Jason who engineered it were a part of the band. We all knew what each other wanted from what we were doing. Black Francis didn’t write any parts for us. It was more that he was sort of conducting what we already had and shuffling it up a bit. Without him I don’t think we would have had the confidence to write an 8 minute song.

TDOA: We hadn’t listened to “Demons Out” prior to requesting the interview, but freaked out when we heard it and it will likely become the “official song of The Dumbing of America”.  Is this about American Idol and it’s ilk.
Eddie:  It’s not about American Idol.  I genuinely believe people who have terrible taste in music shouldn’t be allowed to go to the ballot. Its time we took a hardline stance on this.

TDOA: Do you sense a change in the attitude towards Americans changing with the election of Obama? Are we forgiven yet?

Eddie: I’ve always liked Americans all my favourite bands are American. Half Japanese. The Mountain Goats. Jeffery Lewis. Daniel Johnston. Jonathon Richman. The Replacements…..So I’ve always liked you. I think the rest of the world definitely prefers your new president though as do I.

TDOA: Have you produced any videos for the new cd?

Eddie: Yes, we made a video for Alchoholics Unanimous as well as a making of video for it and even a documentary of us making the album they are all on my blog


~ by toddc2001 on May 20, 2009.

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