The Masked Man Interview.

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Jeemo
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The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Jeemo » 07 Jan 2014, 23:21

The Masked Man interview, unedited as it happened, I have changed a couple of spelling errors, apart from that, this is the story.......




Was music a feature in your house growing up? Did your parents listen to music, were they serious listeners or casual background listeners while doing something else.
What's the earliest memory of music that you have?

Yes, my mother was (and still is) a pianist, who plays at her local church. My late father loved classical music, as well. This makes me realise that my generation (I'm 48) was one of the last whose parents formed their tastes in the pre-rock 'n' roll era. As for the music playing in the house, aside from classical music, musicals played a big part. The soundtrack for The Sound Of Music was frequently on the turntable, for example. Both my parents were very musical and serious about music, and were probably disappointed that I fell for a rock and pop culture that largely left them cold (although in the 80s, my mother really liked 'It's A Sin' by Pet Shop Boys - that was unexpected!). That said, they did encourage my own musical ambitions. I was a poor violinist but a decent chorister. I am actually proud that I have sung Evensong in Chichester and Canterbury cathedrals (one special moment in Canterbury was when the minister praised us after the performance, inviting us back again), as well as performing in Norwegian concert halls in Bergen and Voss.

As for the first music I can remember, it would probably be church music. I attended a Presbyterian church in Haddington, East Lothian, from an early age (I moved to Scotland when I was 5); I suppose carols like 'In The Bleak Midwinter' left a mark more than other hymns. In secular terms, I remember a 7" single about Robin Hood, apparently unconnected to any movie franchise, which I did enjoy at the time. Given that I was born inside the traditional boundaries of Sherwood Forest, it seems appropriate enough!

Good questions, there
!

What was music played on in your house? Where was it situated? What was the first record you bought with your own money and as a present? Did you play it too your parents and what were their opinions?


Sorry about the delay here!

Music played in my house as a child would, I suppose, primarily be hymns and church music played by my mother on the piano. Also, there was a stereo system located within a curious cupboard-style unit within the lounge. They had a small collection of classical records and musical soundtracks (I've already mentioned The Sound Of Music). I was allowed to play the few records I had on there, though what the first one I bought was...that's unclear. It was probably one of the 'Top Of The Pops' albums of badly-recorded covers of current hits. My parents weren't into this stuff and basically indulged it as a harmless pastime that I would probably grow out of. Little did they know...

The first proper, named-artist record I bought with my own money was, and I'm pretty certain about this, 'SOS' by Abba. I even remember buying it from a record shop in North Berwick; it had dropped out of the charts, so was available for the bargain sum of 50p or thereabouts. In terms of LPs by proper artists, my parents bought me two Queen albums, A Night At The Opera and News Of The World. I was heavily into Queen, but by 1979, my tastes changed rapidly and I discarded these pomp rockers. I wasn't a punk, but new wave was far more amenable to my 14-year-old self. The first real album I bought was, perhaps randomly, Reality Effect by The Tourists. I also recall getting Tubeway Army's Replicas as a Christmas present (and being curiously upset at the use of a mild obscenity on one track). Early in 1980, my father made an offer to buy a single of my choice after he finished work in Edinburgh; I asked him for 'Underpass' by John Foxx, which remains one of my favourite records of all time. After that, I started building up my own record collection seriously.


So Queen are quickly passed over and new wave is the way forward. Which artists became your own. That you would buy everything released and defend to the end. What ended that love/obession.

How did you fund your music habit. Did you still play stuff on the longue or did you listen in your bedroom. If so on what equipment

Did you buy into the whole fashion thing as well as the music.


More good questions. I've heard it said that at 14, you start properly developing your musical taste, and that chimes very well with my experience. The first artist who became my own was definitely Gary Numan. I was already aware of Kraftwerk, and realised his electronic sound was clearly inspired by the Düsseldorf giants; but I liked the fact that his music also had a British new wave sensitivity. At the end of 1979 (I turned 14 in September of that year), he was my favourite artist. But sadly I was quite fickle here. In 1980, I started reading the music papers, principally NME, and they basically hated Numan (also, from 1981, his music declined badly, though he has turned it around in the last decade or so). But the NME (as well as the John Peel show) was turning me on to new acts and really defining tastes that I would hold onto; Gary Numan seemed like yesterday's man. Suddenly, in 1980, a whole load of artists became the music that I would defend to the hilt: The Cure, Magazine, Simple Minds, The Human League, Siouxsie & the Banshees, John Foxx, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark , The Comsat Angels...and, most of all, Joy Division. I would still regard Joy Division as my favourite band of all time. As you can see, post-punk and synthpop was now my main focus. I really identified with these scenes so much. And, in truth, I still listen to the music all of them made in 1980 this day - I think it all still sounds great (yes, Simple Minds' stadium rock period is regrettable, but it remains the case that they were fantastic from 1980-1982). One thing that strikes me now is how thoroughly British my tastes were; aside from Talking Heads and The B-52's, I had little interest in American music, though I did also listen to The Doors and The Velvet Underground as so many bands I liked cited them as influences.

As for funding, I was still relying on pocket money. But I learned that once singles exited the charts, I could snap them up from John Menzies for about 50p. This helped build up my collection. Also, visits to Edinburgh were helping here; you could get deals in the city's various shops. For example, the splendid debut (and sadly only) album by Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls could be purchased on release for just £2.99. There were ways to build a collection on a budget!

How I played the music? Yes, the one record player was still in the lounge. However, just as important was a Roberts transistor radio I inherited from my parents. Its lo-fi mono sound had initially allowed me to listen to Radio Luxembourg in the late 70s, listening underneath the sheets of my bed (as a point of interest, this Roberts radio is exactly the same model appearing on the sleeve of Teenage Fanclub's single, 'Radio'). But my evolving tastes meant that I was now listening more to John Peel as well as the early evening Radio 1 show that would feature more commercial 'alternative' music - Mike Read, Kid Jensen and Janice Long would at different times fill in this slot. So my bedroom played a big part in building up my taste.

Fashion really is an interesting question. My dress sense was very conservative, to say the least. As a shy teenager in a rural town, I actually found punk fashion really scary. Going back to visiting Edinburgh, I was drawn to the record shops, but Virgin Records felt very off-putting. In 1980, Virgin's megastore on Princes Street was yet to open, and they just had a small shop on a side-street. But there was always a gaggle of punks gathered on the pavement outside the shop, and I felt unsure if I could run the gauntlet. One day, I finally managed it - I walked into the shop and selected one single, which was 'Empire State Human' by The Human League. The pink-haired shop assistant gave me a smile of approval at my choice as she handed me my single. I suddenly felt ten feet tall - I guess you can call that a rite of passage! I was definitely aware that my fashion sense wasn't matched to my musical taste - I was keenly ashamed that my trousers were subtly flared....Moving ahead a bit, I will say this. In my university years in the mid-80s, I did start to adopt an 'indie look' with straight-leg trousers, long overcoats and gelled, short spiky hair. I still spike my hair today, actually. But in the early 80s it was all about the music; fashion was of no interest to me.

But let's go back to the early 80s. My Scottish upbringing ended in 1981, as I moved back to England, and fresh experiences were waiting for me.


So it's 1981. New wave is leading into 80's pop and electronic music is chart bound. You've mentioned the Human League and John Foxx. Where next? What about live gigs?.


A big change in my life occurred in 1981, as I moved back to England, settling in the quiet Sussex town of Crowborough. I was still using evening shows on Radio One and the NME to discover new music. I was now attending a sixth form college, and I was really noticing how tribal things were at that point. There were plenty of mods skulking about in their parkas (well, Brighton was nearby, after all...), quite a few metalheads with a plethora of patches and badges on their sleeveless denim jackets, and even a few old-style teddy boys following the likes of The Stray Cats and Matchbox. I gravitated towards towards a handful of students who liked similar music to me (the term 'post-punk' wasn't in common usage then) and we bonded musically. For some reason, Simple Minds were the most popular band with this group of people; as I result, the fact I spoke with a Scottish accent at this point (this has largely disappeared, though traces remain) probably helped with my credibility.

You're right that it was exciting the music I liked, which often seemed marginal, was suddenly becoming popular. I was definitely drawn to the electronic end of this new music, and by 1981 the likes of Depeche Mode, OMD and Soft Cell were suddenly having hits too, and were even breaking through in America. This felt like a real sea-change. While I was still enjoying very scratchy records on labels like Rough Trade, this new wave of glossy pop was also appealing to me. I realised this was perhaps a contradiction, but I also didn't want to narrow things down to a single style. I rejected the concept of genre-purism that drove mods, punks and metallers.

But life in a small town was hardly very exciting. There was one nightclub plus a handful of pubs in Crowborough, and no live music. I went back there a few weeks ago, and virtually nothing's changed; the place is preserved much as it was...and the nightclub's still there. Finally, in October 1981, I had the chance to attend my first live gig, at the age of 16. I saw U2 supported by The Comsat Angels at Brighton Top Rank club (a few people I knew hired a mini-van to take a party of about ten people down to the south coast for the night). It felt like an introduction to a new world, a truly fantastic night. I particularly wanted to see the support band, and the Comsats were absolutely blinding. But U2 in their early days were very exciting too; Bono's ability to connect with a crowd was obvious, and I wasn't surprised when they eventually made it as a massive stadium band (indeed I saw them again in a Cardiff stadium in 1992, but I'm jumping ahead here). I was very religious at this point, and I picked up on the spiritual references on their second album, October, which became a very special record for me.

1982 was a very good year now, the apogee of what had become known as 'new pop'. Again, the excitement of seeing cult bands become briefly mainstream was continuing. When The Associates even got on Top Of The Pops with 'Party Fears Two', it felt both exhilarating and somehow wrong - music as quixotic and absurd as this is not usual chart fare. I was also developing an interest in the burgeoning New York hip-hop scene. Although the genre leant more towards funk and hard rock samples as the decade went on, at first it was very electro-based, with Kraftwerk a clear and acknowledged influence. I starting buying all the Streetsounds Electro albums, which gathered together a host of hot NY cuts, usually ahead of their full UK release. It felt like an extension of my electronic music interests; besides, some of this stuff was far rawer than a lot of the British synth music I liked, and this appealed. I also attended my second gig, seeing The Cure at Brighton Dome; again I went with a party of friends to see probably the biggest band Sussex ever produced. Another great night, as The Cure's 4th album, Pornography was a particular favourite of mine at the time.

This takes me up to 1983, which sees another important moment in my life, and I started a university course, and suddenly had the chance to see far more live bands. But that will have to wait until next time!



When you got to uni did you move from home? What are you listening to music on. The music that you mention is more "rock" than you have been listening to. Is this a general trend? What about your religious background. Is this still part of your life. Live gigs, who are you seeing and who is memorable.


I did move from home, settling into a Hall of Residence at Reading University. I still had my Roberts transistor radio (funnily enough I still remember the first song I heard after switching it on in my new room once my parents had left - it was '68 Guns' by The Alarm). In time, I also had my first record player, plus a Walkman. As a result of the latter, I was buying a lot of cassettes

The question of whether I was listening to more 'rock' is an interesting one. Actually, that's not the full story - interestingly, most of my new friends in Reading listened to similar stuff, and 'literate guitar pop' (an underrated mid-80s style) was the key sound wafting around the halls. Obviously, The Smiths, but also The Go-Betweens, Lloyd Cole, Prefab Sprout, that kind of thing. Also, stuff at the artier end of the indie/alternative spectrum, such as Cocteau Twins (I became a big 4AD fetishist...), Kate Bush, The The and so on. I was still listening to synthpop, though this was a more private thing perhaps, and also discovering the pleasures of Goth (Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, The Mission....), which would have been frowned upon. Another influence I should mention is the fact that I was suddenly hanging around with female American exchange students (I even dated one of these students for several years), and their tastes definitely had an affect on me. Purple Rain by Prince was the big album with the Americans I knew, and it always brings back memories of that time. Maybe it's the perfect record to sum up my tastes at this point, as it contains elements of rock, soul/funk and synthpop/electro. Prince definitely wanted to transcend genre at this point.

Live music was finally entering my world in a big way. I have to say that the Ents committee at the Students Union knew what they were doing, and I got to see several bands that were big in my world. We had The Smiths on their first UK tour (not necessarily a great gig, as elements in the crowd misbehaved and spat at the band - but I can at least say I saw the best British band of the time, and they played a sublime version of 'What Difference Does It Make'), but also The Pogues (the most lively crowd I've ever seen - it was a case of pogo or get pogoed on), Prefab Sprout, The Woodentops, Violent Femmes (first American band I ever saw - really good too), Pale Fountains and many more. The strangest gig was a charity event arranged by the RAGS committee, who appeared to be just sticking pins into a list of bands offered by a publicist. As a result, I saw New Model Army supported by Del Amitri. The headline band played at deafening volume and shone a powerful flashlight into the crowd (which made it painful to look at the stage). It was oddly exciting, as the loud music had plenty of urgency; the gig was only open to students, so NMA's clog-wearing fanbase was absent (thankfully), but very few of the attendant crowd made it to the end. I was one of those!

To sum up, I had plenty of great musical experiences at Uni!



Uni has finished. Where are you living now? Back home or pastures new?

What are you listening to now? Lloyd Cole doesn't reach the heights of his debut. Prefab Sprout are patchy and Kate Bush isn't that prolific. Do you agree or have a different opinion. Do you still listen to earlier favourites or have you left them behind?

Have you started working?

Firstly, I am back in Sussex with my parents (but not for long), and I've started work in an office in Tunbridge Wells.

I do think you're being a little harsh about Prefab Sprout - I still reckon their first four albums are all very solid, though they get patchy after that. But in a wider sense, you do have a point. A lot of the artists I was listening to in the early and mid 80s had either given up or, worse, become stadium rock bores. A handful of bands, like New Order, The Cure and Depeche Mode kept the quality up in the late 80s, in my opinion, but they were the exceptions. So I was looking for new thrills. But I rarely discarded previously-loved music; even if it sounds dated, it holds memories that I treasure, reminding me of who I once was. I did discard Gary Numan, but I've actually come back to him in recent years. Funnily enough, he's playing on the stereo at the moment!

Thinking back, there was a change in my tastes, in that I was starting to demand sounds that were rawer and more exciting than the tasteful songcraft I embraced in the mid-80s. I remember buying the NME's 'C-86' cassette compilation, which was the state-of-the-art of UK indie in the year I left university. I wanted to like it, but too much of it was tame, badly-played and frankly underachieving. I took refuge in the noisier end of indie, starting to listen to discordant American bands like Sonic Youth, Throwing Muses, Pixies and Husker Du, as well as more interesting UK-based bands like Age Of Chance (who were actually on C-86), The Jesus And Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Happy Mondays.

At the same time, I was really receptive to the emerging dance culture inspired by the house music coming out of Chicago. Again, it was the rawness that appealed - early 12-inch singles by Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, Steve 'Silk' Hurley and Frankie Knuckles were harsh-sounding and often full of violent edits. Also, I liked that the UK was an early adopter here - no doubt these underground producers must have been bemused that their cheaply-pressed singles were being picked up by major British labels and were even making the UK top ten. Then acid house and Detroit techno arrived, and UK producers started emulating this sound, often adding an interesting commercial touch to the genre. Although I never attended an illegal rave - I think I like my home comforts a bit too much - I still found this whole scene to be very exciting. It felt illicit and new, and perhaps it was the kick up the arse music needed in the late 80s.

Other things were happening too. I was a serious 4AD fetishist at this point, collecting as much of the label's output as I could. I just loved the way it was packaged - those gorgeous sleeves! - and it felt like so much care had gone into every release. Looking back, I can see that sometimes the label strayed into style-over-substance territory, but there's also a lot of quality in records by Cocteau Twins, The Wolfgang Press and a couple of the aforementioned noisy American bands.

In 1989, I moved into my own flat, as my company relocated to Cardiff. This meant that I could finally watch more live bands as I was in a major city at last. In the early nineties, I was out a lot in the week, almost living a double life. I could easily be watching a rock band one night (usually at the University venue) and be at a dance club the next. I have a lot of memories of live gigs - these include Slowdive twice (I liked a lot of the shoegaze bands, but they were my favourites), and incredibly violent Sonic Youth gig (the only time I've felt scared at a concert - the moshpit was out-of-control), plus avant-garde US composer Glenn Branca, with an 'orchestra' of guitarists who played so loud I felt my insides starting to churn. That was weird.

You may have noticed that so far there's been surprisingly little metal content, which is odd given my current tastes. But this period also shows my first steps into this world. Partly because of the crew I was hanging out with, I started spending time in rock clubs, and I actually found myself enjoying it (partly because they sometimes played vintage punk...). However, my tastes were pretty specialist, almost limited exclusively to Californian stuff. I bought Metallica's self-titled 'Black Album', and also liked the artier end of this scene, including Jane's Addiction, Faith No More and Fishbone. This wouldn't lead to much in the immediate future, though, as you will shortly find out!



Most of the music you have been listening to has been of its time. Did you go backwards at all to the canon.

If so what impressions did you make?

Who did you like or hate?

Yes, although the post-punk agenda (which I definitely subscribed to in my youth) was all about embracing the future and not revering the past. I did feel that music that was pre-punk was an area that I struggled to embrace, which now seems rather too sweeping. You're definitely correct to note that I largely craved new music.

That said, even as a teenager, I was still interested in the music that fed directly into the post-punk that I was listening to. Primarily, this meant Velvet Underground, Stooges, Doors and, most importantly, Bowie. Yet I was largely incurious about the past throughout the 80s. I wasn't a Beatles fan at all (this has changed...), and even dating a folk music fan in the mid-80s didn't change my tastes much. She did introduce me to Richard Thompson (who I saw as a contemporary artist, as he was releasing good stuff at the time) and Nick Drake, but I drew the line at, say, Joan Baez. I also started listening to Leonard Cohen, partly because the likes of Nick Cave covered his material, and I found I liked the fact that a non-singer could still work due to the lyricism of his songs.

Eventually, during the 90s, I did discover a lot of the obvious canon - Beatles, Stones, Dylan - and realised why it was so revered. As for what I hated, I couldn't stand Jimi Hendrix for a long time, but at some point, it made sense, and I'm now a fan. Same with Led Zeppelin. But what I could never stand is the whole 'jam band' aesthetic represented by Grateful Dead - horrible, self-indulgent rubbish.

I've also come to appreciate some classic Motown - particularly Stevie Wonder and The Four Tops - but I wouldn't say it's my favourite music overall. Though 'Superstition' is one hell of a song....

And, as I turned to metal in the 21st century, suddenly there was a whole new world to discover overall. I started listening to Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, plus bands I'd ignored in the 80s, like Iron Maiden, Celtic Frost and Helloween. I even started revisiting the world of prog, and found that King Crimson is definitely my favourite band from this genre. ELP are absolutely dreadful, however...

Today, I feel like I feel I need to revisit the 50s more. There's definitely a sense of excitement in the new rock 'n' roll and jazz emerging, and I sense the decade has more appeal to me than the 60s. So, in conclusion, I feel I've made my peace with the past.


I have been avoiding the elephant in the room. Metal!

In my experience and of my friends growing up was that hard rock/metal was a formative passion and then you widen your horizons.

You came to metal the other way round. What brought you to this genre? Not that I'm criticising the path you took just that it is different from what I experienced

I was wondering when this was going to come up! As you say, it is a little odd that a genre that often is associated with youth only became my music of choice after I turned 40. There is a reason for this, I feel, and I'll try to explain.

In the mid-00s, just as I turned 40, I was struggling a little to maintain enthusiasm in music. Indie/alternative rock which had been my staple, was flagging a lot. Stuff like The Strokes and The Libertines was too scratchy and thin for my tastes. Even new bands I essentially liked, such as Bloc Party and Maximo Park seemed a little too generic. I enjoyed this stuff, but felt I'd heard it all before. Dance and rap music was also much less interesting than it had been, I thought. I still enjoyed the quirkier end of electronic pop, as represented by Röyksopp, Hot Chip, Goldfrapp and Ladytron, but frankly I needed new excitement.

The strange thing is that I had been subconsciously 'metal-curious' for quite some time. After all, I always enjoyed Motörhead and Iron Maiden singles in the 80s (I even bought a few of them...) and even purchased Metallica's Black Album when it was released in 1991 (I loved 'Enter Sandman'), alongside records by other Californian acts like Fishbone, Faith No More (both of whom I even saw live) and Jane's Addiction. Yet this never led to a wider appreciation of metal. It felt more like a passing fling, perhaps proof of a general open-mindedness. Because, basically, I still saw metal as being rather crass and obvious. Go back to my youth in East Lothian and East Sussex - metalheads were perceived as 'other' in those deeply tribal days, and my post-punk tastes turned me away from this strange group of people. Even in the mid-90s, when I discovered and enjoyed Paradise Lost, the Yorkshire band who essentially invented 'gothic metal', I convinced myself that this was because they reminded me of The Sisters Of Mercy (an admitted influence) rather than any horrid metal band.

So why I suddenly decide to embrace metal? Oddly enough, BCB is deserving of credit/blame. Or more precisely, the board's only Croatian poster, the long missing-in-action Nancy. I remember admitting in 2005 (and here it gets strange) that I liked a Swiss Eurovision Song Contest entry, and she commented that it sounded 'a bit Nightwishy' (God, I even remember her exact words...). I had heard of Nightwish, though had never heard their music. Some months later, I did a bit of research, and found that they were described as both a 'symphonic' and a 'gothic' metal band. Oh, and they'd just sacked their lead singer in very acrimonious fashion. Intrigued, I clicked on some YouTube clips, and found that I enjoyed them, partly because they were very different from any metal I'd heard before. One principal reason was sacked singer Tarja Turunen, a classically-trained lyric soprano, whose vocal range was amazing (even if her initially poor English diction meant it was often difficult to work out what she was actually singing; she has improved since). One day, a local record store in my new home of Peterborough had much of their back-catalogue available cheaply. I decided to invest, and on playing their albums, I realised two things: (a) this is absolutely ridiculous, florid music made by Finns who plainly don't understand rock 'n' roll, and (b) this is close to the most wonderful music I've heard. They're making all the wrong choices, according to my long-held ideas, and somehow it sounds so right. So perhaps they really are making the right choices.

Nightwish suddenly became my favourite new band. I couldn't remotely justify their aesthetic on any level, but I found I loved it. And so a new journey started. In retrospect Nightwish had to happen to reignite my passion in music. I started to search out similar bands, initially alighting on Dutch band Within Temptation (it seemed that continental Europe was the spiritual home of this kind of thing) and then spreading wider with, actually, more Dutch bands, plus bands from Norway, Germany, Austria and even Liechtenstein. I was quite specialist at first, being suspicious of metal bands that only featured male vocals (particularly if they used the dreaded 'cookie monster' death growls). Yet because some of these bands who had pretty-sounding female vocals also had male vocals with death growls, I got used to this style. Eventually I started listening to metal bands with only male vocals again (another Finnish band, Sonata Arctica, who come from Lapland, were the first one), and then widened my taste to include growlers. One of my favourite bands now, the Swedish group Arch Enemy, have a female growler as lead singer - she's great!

Today, I love metal more than any other genre. For one thing, it has proved it is now really diverse, with many different subgenres. These days, I'm particularly drawn to 'melodic death metal', which is Sweden's principal contribution to the genre (given that it was devised by three Gothenburg bands in the early 90s) and also post-metal. The latter is distinctly odd, as it seems to owe more to prog-rock and shoegaze bands (principally Slowdive) than, say, Black Sabbath.

One last point. Don't get me wrong, as your question was, I feel, fair enough (my experience is, after all, pretty strange), but it does seem to suggest that metal is somehow something that gets left behind once maturity arrives. However, in 2011, I attended one of my all-time favourite gigs - two great female-fronted metal bands from The Netherlands, Epica and ReVamp, at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. The crowd was really something to behold. There were teenagers there, but also grizzled old rockers with long grey hair who looked like they remembered the release of the first Black Sabbath album. In between, they were plenty of 30- and 40-somethings too. Often, at indie gigs in recent years, I've basically felt too old (i'm 48), but the wonderful thing here was that I felt totally at home. Surrounded by folk of all ages wearing t-shirts of my favourite metal bands, I felt that these were now my kind of people. I felt I belonged again. And it confirmed that the metal world isn't for fashionable people, but is open to anyone who feels like they want to be there.


So we are pretty much up to date. We have spoken about what you've liked over the years. Lets finish up with a rant. Tell me about music you hate or if you want to be specific any particular artists that nip your head even thinking about them


Sorry about the delay in replying to this!

Anyway, I've largely lost interest in thinking about music I don't like; I was much angrier in my younger days. I mean, back in my strident post-punk days, I found there were huge swathes of pre-punk 70s music I couldn't get a handle on. All that bland American music like The Eagles or The Allman Brothers band (plus their 80s counterparts like REO Speedwagon or Journey) was The Enemy to me. But now I can't really be bothered. It's basically inoffensive music; I'm never going to like this music much (although in retrospect 'Don't Stop Believing' is actually not a bad song) but I don't in my heart hate it. Similar with all the easy-listening stuff Googa goes on about. It seems like the polar opposite of what interests me (Moddie once complained that I only like 'attitudinal' music; not the whole story, but I understood what he meant) but I find his obsession with the lighter side of the 60s rather charming.

But as you asked for a rant, I'll give you a rant. Given that indie rock was a major of my listening in the 80s and 90s, my increasing annoyance with this style in the 00s was an interesting development. I never got into The Strokes, but they aren't my main subject of hate (their records sound like shit, but at least there are songs underneath the dreadful playing. However, as I was in the habit of checking out new bands live (Cardiff had a number of clubs that put on bands cheaply), I decided to see one new band I've seen NME rave about. As a result of that night, I witnessed what I truly believe to be the worst band in British music history. The Libertines were beyond wretched that night. They played like they'd never met before, and had picked up their instruments for the first time that afternoon. It was bizarrely rotten - underformed songs played by musicians who couldn't play. From C-86 through to riot grrl, I had become increasingly annoyed with indie's tolerance for incompetence, which was somehow more 'pure' and 'untainted'; the inference was that if you know one end of a guitar from another, you're already halfway to being Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Utter tommyrot, of course, and the main reason why indie is mostly unlistenable now. (Also, I do appreciate that most forms of metal actually require serious chops to play - most indie guitarists would fail the entrance exam.)

And it proved with the pathetic records this bunch of chancers eventually before they inevitably imploded. I just was so enraged when the press and radio actually couldn't see through that utter charlatan Doherty, and his contrived 'bohemian' image, and the pseudo-poetic twaddle that formed his lyrics. I never again believed anything the NME ever printed; it had ceased to be a critical organ and was now just part of the PR industry. A pox on their house



Nice one. I think that's us finished, unless you have anything else you would like to say?

Thank you for your answers. I really enjoyed this and hope you found the questions interesting.

Cheers J.
Image So Long Kid, Take A Bow.

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kath
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby kath » 08 Jan 2014, 00:58

i think this is really well-done, on both sides of the mic. fascinating stuff, andrew. (you had me crackin up about the pogues gig, a case of pogo or get pogoed on, mwhaha.) incredibly in-depth but still a fast, fun read for me, you nightwishy person.

(i sent questions to reap like, "why do you have a gweetar lodged up yer butt?" maybe we'll be the skimpy comic relief. ahem.)

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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 08 Jan 2014, 01:06

Celtic Frost, a shout-out to Nancy, and "Don't Stop Believing" (which I heard two weeks ago and was actually moved to tell my wife, "You know - this song ain't bad")

Excellent stuff.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

Betty Denim

Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Betty Denim » 08 Jan 2014, 11:17

Great stuff. Thanks both.

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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 08 Jan 2014, 12:03

Betty Denim wrote:Great stuff. Thanks both.


Seconded with much enthusiasm. Well done!
On the whole, I'd rather be in Wallenpaupack.

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T. Willy Rye
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby T. Willy Rye » 08 Jan 2014, 14:29

Really enjoyed that! Thanks!

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der nister
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby der nister » 08 Jan 2014, 15:01

Has anyone heard their accents?
Are they authentic?
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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funky_nomad
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby funky_nomad » 08 Jan 2014, 15:14

That's good stuff, particularly the Metal section.
Just a penitent man

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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 08 Jan 2014, 15:21

zphage wrote:Has anyone heard their accents?
Are they authentic?


:D
On the whole, I'd rather be in Wallenpaupack.

Bungo the Mungo

Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 08 Jan 2014, 15:25

Sea Of Tunes v2.0 wrote:
zphage wrote:Has anyone heard their accents?
Are they authentic?


:D


:?

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Jeemo
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Jeemo » 08 Jan 2014, 15:46

zphage wrote:Has anyone heard their accents?
Are they authentic?


Is that supposed to be funny? Or are you just being a twat?
Image So Long Kid, Take A Bow.

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der nister
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby der nister » 08 Jan 2014, 15:50

Jeemo wrote:
zphage wrote:Has anyone heard their accents?
Are they authentic?


Is that supposed to be funny? Or are you just being a twat?


http://bcb-board.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic ... 7&t=121624
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 08 Jan 2014, 15:51

zphage wrote:
Jeemo wrote:
zphage wrote:Has anyone heard their accents?
Are they authentic?


Is that supposed to be funny? Or are you just being a twat?


viewtopic.php?f=47&t=121624


I think I got the joke!
On the whole, I'd rather be in Wallenpaupack.

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Goat Boy
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Goat Boy » 08 Jan 2014, 15:53

Joke?

That's not a fucking joke!
Diamond Dog wrote:Everyone else hates us.

Fuck you all.

We won.


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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 08 Jan 2014, 15:57

Goat Boy wrote:Joke?

That's not a fucking joke!


Why not? A sly reference can be a joke, no?

Why the sudden anger? I heaped praise on the interview, and I stick by that. See above. And I can't imagine zphage having any untoward intention.

So there. Please prove me wrong before introducing the swearing words and all that.
On the whole, I'd rather be in Wallenpaupack.

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Goat Boy
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Goat Boy » 08 Jan 2014, 16:07

Genius! :D
Diamond Dog wrote:Everyone else hates us.

Fuck you all.

We won.


The Modernist wrote:Griff writes the best political posts.

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C
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby C » 08 Jan 2014, 22:36

Good lads

Yes, good lads

Andrew - I didn't realise you were a Deadhead

Nay, I didn't realise you were a Deadhead




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neville harp wrote:God bless you brother C x

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the masked man
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby the masked man » 08 Jan 2014, 23:23

Thanks to Jeemo for his questions; I really enjoyed this experience! And thanks for the positive responses too.

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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby fange » 09 Jan 2014, 06:27

Excellent work, both of you guys, I really enjoyed reading that.
I'm not sure i'll ever be a Nightwish fan, but I love reading about people's love of music, full stop.
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Re: The Masked Man Interview.

Postby Charlie O. » 11 Jan 2014, 17:26

I really enjoyed that, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that my tastes are so utterly different from Masked Man's! I'm the same age (born a month later), so it was like reading about myself in a parallel universe or something! :)
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