From: Date: Fri, 01 Oct 93 15:12:22 BST I just recieved an ezine containing some material about the fall. So I thought I'd forward it to this list. Actually, that may be a silly thing to do, as it is quite possible I received the message from the list, but I can't ascertain that since the message arrived with a curious set of headers, and no 'To:' or even 'Apparently-To:' fields. There's certainly no indication that it did come from the fall list. If a list member originally sent this out, then I'd be keen to know how it was done, and how the curious set of headers was achieved. Anyhow, here's the edited version.... ------- Forwarded Message From: - ------- Blind-Carbon-Copy To: silva@mond1.ccrc.uga From: silva [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][] QRM - The On-Line Alternative Music Magazine September 1993 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][] Editors: Manuel Michalowski, JoE Silva Contributers: R. Roldan, Mark Woodlief, Lorraine Silva Editorial Offices (Snail Mail): 137 First St. Athens, GA 30601 1801 Williamsburg RD #30A Durham, NC 27707 Phone: (919) 493-0261 Email: TABLE OF CONTENTS - - ------------------ I - eDiToRiaL: "NO SEX, NO DRUGS, NO ROCK AND ROLL SECTION" II - MaKinG NoIze: CODEINE: "TWENTY MINUTES ON CODEINE" TREPONEM PAL: "BIOHAZARD ALERT" UNREST: SUPPING WITH UNREST'S MARK ROBINSON III - A-siDe: RADIOHEAD: "GIVING YOU THE CREEPS..." STEREOLAB: "ADVENTURES IN ULTRA-HIGH FREQUENCY" IV - QrM FeaTureS: THE FALL: "THE CURSE OF PARANOIA MAN" SMASHING PUMPKINS: INTERVIEW WITH JAMES IHA OMD: "THE MAN MACHINE" THE FLUID: "FLUID UPWARD MOTION V - LIvE wIrE: PORNO FOR PYROS VI - REVIEWS [.....cut....] |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM| QRM FEATURE |QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM| |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| THE FALL: THE CURSE OF PARANOIA MAN by JOE SILVA |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM| QRM FEATURE |QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM|QRM| |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Getting a hold of Fall frontman Mark E. Smith had been a chore this summer. The kind lady who runs press for Matador records (the Fall's new home in the States...) reported back to me that Smith had chucked his management mid-tour and was unreachable until whenever he happened to ring up the office . Weeks later at the appointed time for my phone interview I was frustrated to find that my old Princess rotary did not want to initially swallow the hefty strand of digits that made up the lengthy international phone number I was dialing. After a few rings, it sort of made sense that the answering machine answered. Vaguely rising above an unmannered wash of sound was a thin British voice making a clipped and harried statement about what to do after the tone. Later it struck me that that recording bears a sort of odd parallel to the band's long-standing sonic persona. While Morrisey will get more spin time on alternative turntables, his current claim of being one of the last truly British articles pales massively to The Fall's history. But it's Smith and Co. that are institution hands down, never allowing to be written off by the vicious British media or truly estranged from the public. The Fall machine ever clatters forward. But as Smith would have it, their past is not to be dwelled on or even momentarily considered. There are scads of Fall LPs around, most of the well worth hunting for until Matador (the Fall's new American label) rereleases them. And now there is The Infotainment Scam, which mixes the driving grooves that have solidly propped the band up over the years, some techno flavours, and Mark's infamous and scornful patter. The band are just now rounding out a tour of the US. They have whizzed all over the country in a bus with the banner "Shove It" posted neatly in the destination window, stopping over in Athens, GA (where I caught them...) in mid-September before pressing on to New York. The audience members that absentmindedly bob to the hits of the Seventies being sent over the sound system before the show are an confirmed illustration of what Smith professes to be true of most current pop culture. The Infotainment Scam rails against the pathetic rehash of style, and on-stage the nonstop vitriolic presence of Smith and his henchmen do their best to combat it. The set focuses almost entirely on the new album and while the performance is spare, the band is fairly right on. Smith paces the stage with a look of general disinterest switching mikes often, banging haphazardly on the keyboardist's rig, and giving the occasional boot to the reel to reel they use on-stage. Through the stage lights there is a touch of grey visible near his temples. After the show, Mark and the rest of the band mill about the grim recesses of the club toweling off. After a while I hand Mark my twelve year old copy of "Totally Wired" which he politely signs. Without the shroud of stage lights, Smith resembles the man he describes in "Paranoia Man In a Cheap Sh*t Room" ("late thirties..leather jacket, baggy black trousers..."). When I thank him for the journalist/rock star phone tango we did a few weeks before their Stateside arrival, I can in his tired, craggy face that there is no recollection whatsoever. He mumbles acknowledgment in any case and with a small bow excuses himself . Although I made a concerted effort not to belabor the following interview with too many of the tired inquiries that most musicians are hit with upon the release of each new project (e.g. - "So how did the recording of this album differ from the last?"), Mark was still evasive when he wanted to be. Whenever my line of questioning became too in-depth, I would be left to field one of his oblique responses. I think we both would have preferred the more personable environment of a pub, but for what it may be worth we submit the following transcript. Oh yes...he was sorry he was late. QRM: So you've been running around the country with the band then? MES: Yeah, we've just finished a tour virtually yesterday. QRM: How was that? MES: It was brilliant. People aren't going to shows anymore, but ours were full out everywhere we went you know. QRM: I was reading recently that you don't consider yourself a big patriot, so are you for this EC treaty (Maastricht) thing that's going on over there? MES: I don't think so. I'm not really into it. Well it's the same old story with Britain. It's like the British/US relationship. We don't get the good things from America, we just get the bad things. And it's going to be the same with Europe. We'll just get the regulations. That's my personal viewpoint. QRM: So you don't see it as something that's intruding on being English? MES: No no, none of that shit. It's a good idea, but knowing the British, they won't cut it through (cackle). We'll just end up like a lot of bloody idiots in cars with phones. We'll just get all the bad bits of Germany. QRM: An the money will change again won't it. MES: It's already fucking changin' man, you wouldn't believe it. It's like bloody shrapnel. The can hardly see 'em. You can't tell a ten from a fifty or anything else. QRM: A band like Siouxsie and The Banshees have more or less loss the impact at home, but you guys don't seem to have that problem longevity wise. Your still valued by pop society over there aren't you? MES: Yeah sort of. I don't think about it much, but I've noticed over here that our audiences are getting younger and younger. So I must be saying something to somebody. I mean it's not like old coots like yourself. It's teenagers and not students either. I was really shocked by this tour. I'm still in a bit of a state of shock. QRM: So you're not worried about your records not having gotten much play in the States like Cure who makes a lot of cash here? MES: No I think it's important to go to America for Matador really. 'Cuz they signed and that's fuckin' great. When we left Phonogram they signed us up before we got a British deal. QRM: Did you go around looking for an American deal? MES: No, they came straight to us. I mean I was going through all these bloody English records companies and it was like "Umm..come back in two weeks." And I was like "Fuck this." 'Cuz I did the LP off me own back and I wanted it out in April and we finally got somebody to do it....a German company (Permanent - Ed.) QRM: I'd thought you'd gotten the money from Phonogram up front for this record? MES: Well I got some money out of them. Their loss, our gain. QRM: Were you concerned about "Code Selfish" not being released here in America? MES: I was very annoyed. It was one of the many things that I'd left the label for. It really fucking annoyed me. I mean they we're contractually obligated to release all our records. Then you get something like "Shift-Work" that gets record of the year. I don't mean to bore you with all that but what I'm saying is they'd rather give you money not to release in the states!! QRM: How do you go about selecting the bits that you want to stick to music....matching lyrics to sounds? I've heard you've got sheets and sheets of material. MES: Well sometimes I write the music. QRM: Oh really, I thought you didn't play much. MES: I play now and again . I don't sort of concentrate on it 'cuz with like the guitar you get worse before you get better so I just get good and when I get worse, I just sort of put it down. QRM: So how do you go about selecting lyrics? MES: I just go off instincts really. QRM: I've heard that there's a computer based discussion group dedicated to the Fall. MES: I've heard about that yeah. I got a print out! They've got like every song ever, even live that we've never recorded. QRM: Do you find that a bit weird? MES: Very weird. I've got them tapped, don't you worry. QRM: Are you down at the clubs much these days? It seems that everyone is making a fuss over Manchester not being the center of the UK music universe. MES: I don't go out much to be honest. I never did anyway, especially when it was big. All we're left is about half a million students hahaha...who are looking for a scene. QRM: The people at Matador were sort of in a panic about you ditching your manager during the tour. What was all that about? MES: Well he just sort of resigned over night. They just really didn't have the bottle to cut it through. He was doing a very bad job really. It's like record labels, y'know. I mean we've had twelve or something. If you can't stick with it, just basically like fuck 'em. QRM: Is that what happened with people like Marsha (Schofield, former keyboardist..) or is that more your decision? MES: I wanna work and it people don't want to work, they have to leave. It gets too pressurized for them. I mean, I have no problem with writing songs and neither do Craig and Steve. QRM: Was she just not fitting in with... MES: Where you phoning from, New York? QRM: No, I'm phoning from Georgia - the deep south. MES: Oh really, wow. QRM: Does it bother you though that you get the reputation that you're difficult to work with? It does really cause I'm not. If you ask anybody, I'm okay. QRM: Getting on to the record. Do you think there's a sort of contradiction in viewpoints on the people you illustrate in "Paranoia" and "Going To Spain?" It seems you're kinder to one to than the other, even though both sound like people trying to escape and change their environment. MES: I'm just commenting on it is all. I mean everybody in England is just going to Spain. I'm just trying to reflect. I mean there's a soap opera over here about Spain. El Dorado (cackles). It's just like all these bloody boring retired English people sitting out in the sun bored to fuckin' death. QRM: So those songs aren't about people trying not to feel repressed? MES: I'm not saying yay or nay. QRM: What's that bit at the beginning of "Lost In Music?" MES: Well that's very much a comment on the European Community innit? Le monet is on the table. That's the line we're given here you see. If we join the common market, we'll get more money. Like the line was if we stick with the Yanks, we'll get the money. Never happens (laughs). QRM: What do you mean when you mention "...time of wolverines.." in "Service?" MES: Well it is the time of the Wolverines. I mean everybody's looking after there own arse, aren't they? I don't know what it's like in Georgia, but it's like that 'ere. QRM: What about this Bosnia thing? Both the US and Britain seem to.... MES: Well, they made a big mistake there cock, they sent in the Cheshire regiment which is the worst you could send in. I think they should send the Gerkers in and the Black Watch. They'll fuckin' sort it out in a week. I mean they've got the British on the TV "We deliberately didn't fire back, we aimed over their heads." They're just a bunch of fucking thugs with shotguns aren't they? If mean if your gonna go there you might as well do summat positive. I mean the British and the Americans are just going up to these murderers and going "You're a very very bad man." and they're all laughing and driving off and then there's all these charred babies all over the joint. And then they have this no fire's shit. QRM: You've been to Yugoslavia. What was it like? MES: Murderous. Horrible. You could feel it in the air. It's like basically you going from Georgia to Memphis and going like I want to kill everybody in Memphis. That's what it's like. It's not nationalism, it's fucking stupidity. It's daft. It's like me saying I want to kill everybody in fuckin' London. It's a joke. QRM: Do you think any of the observations you get to make on record would stand up in a different format? As stories, or spoken word pieces? MES: The spoken word is a bit hip now innit? QRM: How about book format? MES: I mean of course they would, I would hope so. I give lectures in Cambridge to the James Joyce society and all that. QRM: Really? How was that? MES: Very weird. QRM: What sorts of questions did they ask you? MES: Do you write things on beer mats? Yes (breaks into laughter). Have you read Finnegan's Wake? No. QRM: Do books influence any of your views? Do you read a lot? MES: Yeah I read all the time, compulsively. I'm into Jim Thompson, Raymond Chandler, Phillip K. Dick. QRM: When you're going on about the "The Curse" on the record, is there anything specific you could say about that? MES: works both ways. I'm not moaning about me position, it's more like I used to have this power to curse people. But I don't use it anymore. QRM: Who have you're victims been? MES: I'm not going to disclose that. QRM: I'd read that you intentionally trimmed down the band at one point. MES: Just for a while. We've got a five stroke six piece now. I just wanted to strip it down because you end up like a Motown artist with like eight fuckin trumpeters like. You lose the organic feel. QRM: Well then how do you feel about putting together something that's not so organic like "A Past Gone Mad?" That must have taken a bit to put together. MES: No it was easy. I've got a good engineer. Dave (Bush) the keyboard player is great. And we did use New Order's studio, it was ideal actually. It's really sort of small so you get the live feel of the band...the rhythm section. But we could also use a lot of machinery. And it was better than going to a massive like Peter Gabriel sort of studio. It was a nice surprise cuz we had the best of both. So we could sound like we recorded it in my front room but also we could put the techno shit over it. QRM: So will you not be playing any of the old songs, like "Lie Dream...?" Is that boring to do? MES: No, it's not boring. I'd like to play it, but I don't stop you see. I think it's important to keep doing new stuff. QRM: Since you mentioned New Order, do you have any opinion about them these days? MES: I think they're great actually. I mean I don't listen to their LPs or anything but it's like I mean we walked off Phonogram in October and I went to them and said look we've got no record deal and I've only got so much money and can we make an LP in your studio? And they just go "Yeah", where most British bands are very very competitive. I don't socialize with them or anything, but it's always like "It's okay Mark." You go to them and go, "I've got no money and I need a van or an amp" and "They'll go no problem. You don't get that a lot. I mean not these days. I mean there's all that bitchin' about each other. QRM: John Peel's got a big fascination for you guys, have you ever met? MES: I've met him about three times, spoke about one sentence to him each time. Everybody in Britain anyway sort of thinks I practically live with him. QRM: Well Mark, thanks for giving us some time on the phone. MES: No, no problem my friend. |\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/| - - - - - - ------- End of Forwarded Message - - - - - ------- End of Forwarded Message - - - - ------- End of Forwarded Message - - - ------- End of Forwarded Message - - ------- End of Forwarded Message - ------- End of Blind-Carbon-Copy ------- End of Forwarded Message ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Send postings to To subscribe or unsubscribe send mail to