Some bands revel in providing dull answers to the oft-dull process of a Q&A. Others revel in the opportunity to play with the boundaries and, metaphorically, drive sensibility out to a remote woodland and finish it off with a shotgun.
The delightful and talented Stained Glass Heroes are such a band, and the following interview has been left in its raw state to preserve the full ludicrous luminescence.
As such, I hope the facile nature of the questions is cancelled out by the ingenious fun of the answers.
Hi SGH! How are you? Where are you in the world right now? What you see? And what is good about that place?
We are ecstatic, we hope you are too.
We are at Talma mansions, Brixton where Pete, David and sometimes Al live. We are surrounded by pictures of topless pin-ups, Ferrari posters, David and Al are playing Subbuteo and Pete is wrestling a Cougar with a sheaf of barley in its mouth. It is a good place to be.
In my review of your fabulous song Insects, I was pretty taken with the schlock-rock-ish sound. It was menacing and fun all at once, and was all the more welcome due to its rarity. Is humour dead in rock music? Not funny-ha-ha humour, but something a bit more wry – like you?
Thank you for your kind words concerning our latest single. We are not sure what schlock-rock quite means, a search on google tells us that “Shlock Rock parodies popular secular songs, substituting new, Jewish religious-themed lyrics for the originals.” Is this what you meant? (Editor’s note: it wasn’t exactly – I was thinking more of ‘schlock’ to mean ‘kitsch’, but I think they understood)
Well we are not Jewish but we are glad that the wry humour you describe comes across in our music. We do have a lot of fun in the studio. There will always be humour in music as long as there are musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously. We consider Liars, Flaming Lips, Agaskodo Teliverek amongst others to have elements of humour in their songs.
What was the reaction to Insects like? What is the reaction to it in a world of fairly straight-faced rock ‘n’ roll ‘n’ indie?
We have been amazed by the reaction that ‘Insects‘ has received. We have always loved the track and it’s great that other people have connected with it in the same way. Straight faced rock and roll isn’t really our bag, man.
It seems to be a song that has a very specifically-intentioned feel – like the song emerged fully formed and blinking into the light – is this right?
No. It flapped around in the dark for quite some time. Like most of our songs it started life as a jam, but like an ugly maggot it transformed into a brilliant blue bottle.
How has the experience of being a new band been? What have you done that has exceeded expectations – and conversely, what have been the unforeseen down points? Is it tougher/better than expected?
It has been a lot of hard work. Very time consuming but fun. We choose to remain in control of all creative output. This includes everything from videos to artwork to planting 1000 hand painted golden insects around London to promote the single launch party.
The success of the launch party at Madame Jo Jo’s exceeded our expectations. We sadly had to turn people away from the event because the turn out exceeded the capacity of the venue. The down point was whilst recording the album we all caught gout.
How are you influenced – musically and otherwise? Do you look far back for inspiration or do you pool ideas and thoughts from within the group? What directions do you see your music going in?
Tag is influenced by 10cc. Pete comes from a small community in Leeds that speak their own dialect who’s god-head is Terence Trent D’Arby. Dave learnt to read and write aged 13. Al is obsessed with Damson Jam and Baby Bauhaus Lego. We all like music… apart from Tag. He loves it!
All the songs originate as jams, if one of us doesn’t like it then it goes no further than that. We are all inspired by Prog, Krautrock and the avant-garde. Individually we have completely different influences though. We see our music in the future maintaining more of the original rawness of the iimprovisations and we want to spend a longer timeshare period of time in time in our studio being more with the sounds.
If the confidence and clamour around the band keeps building, how ‘big’ would you like to become? Is this something that crosses your mind? Is the band’s size and status even an ambition at all, or a happy side-product?
We are not arrogant… except Pete, he expects us to be the biggest and bestest band in the world… actually so does Al. And Dave come to think of it. We would like to do music all the time, in order to do this you have to become quite big. Al wants a helicopter. Tag a two door saloon. Pete wants to buy his village a high definition Plasma TV and a kettle. Dave wants us all just to get along.
Finally, where would you like to head – what are your ambitions for the coming year?
We want as many people as possible to hear the album. We are all cuntingly happy with it.
And actually finally: If you could meet any musical hero, who would it be, what one question would you ask them, and what drink would you buy them?
Dave would like to meet Scott Walker and would ask him to produce our next album. Dave would buy him a Pilsner Urquell in the Golden Tiger. Al would like to meet Phillip Glass and would ask him if he would do a track with the band. He would buy him a glass of Phillip.
Pete would like to meet Arthur Lee and would ask to sit on a hillside with him. He would ask Arthur to recommend a nice rounded bitter from his local independent brewery. Tag would like to meet the rest of Stained Glass Heroes here tonight to do this interview but sadly he can not. He will buy us what we want.
Thank you Joe. Pete has been gored by the Cougar. Subbuteo score: Al 0 – Dave 0.