Friday, November 12, 2010

Donnie before he was Donnie

I stumbled across this the other day. Thought it should be up here for prosperity's sake. This is Brisbane through and through: Donnie interviewing me for a zine he was making about a year before he ended up joining the band. Not sure if he ever put that zine out so this might be the first time it's been put anywhere.

Especially weird seeing that this is - from memory - the only print interview I've ever done for No Anchor.

[PS: This is not the first time something like this has happened to me. I feel like most Brisbane band members usually run into each other in the city years before they start playing music together. Example: One night I was playing in Iron On and I asked the crowd if they were having a good time and then pointed at one girl in particular and said 'Are you having a good time?' and she was all 'It's okay, I guess.' Major burn. That ended up being Marieca Paige who later joined the band on drums. Small town.]

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: No Anchor
To: Die On Planes/Role Reversal Records/Mud Zine
Date: 20 Apr 2009, 09:54 PM
Subject: RE: hello

Hi Donovan

Guess what? This is the very first interview I've done for No Anchor. Alex does most of them.

Here's the answers....

M: No anchor. tell me about how it all began.

A: I knew Alex from shows. He was always the tall skinny guy standing up the front dancing, even if there were only 30 people there. I think we'd had a half-dozen conversations about any old shit until one night we were both at a fancy record label party of some sort. (He's a music writer and I used to play in pop band Iron On, so we'd both get invited to those things and you go because you get free drinks). Anyway, we ended up having a long conversation about The Melvins at this industry party and a few weeks later we got together to make some noise. I really didn’t think it was going to amount to anything at all and for a long time it didn’t.

M: What are you trying to achieve through this particular project?

At the beginning it was mainly about trying to find a way not to suck. There’s quite a few heavy two-piece bass/drum bands around (Big Business, Lightning Bolt, Death From Above 1979, Om) and we couldn’t play like any of them. So from the get-go, it’s been a process of trying to see what we can actually do, rather than what we want to do. That’s still happening. The beginnings of an aesthetic are starting to emerge but it still feels a little scattered and experimental to me.

M; Are you finding it at all difficult reaching a sympathetic audience playing the style of music that you do?

No, not really. People have been overly kind to us.

M: How does playing in a two piece compare to more member bands to you, do you find that you are able to satisfy your creative visions easier?

It’s not as much of a limitation as you’d think. When I light my amps up, it doesn’t feel that different onstage compared with bigger bands I’ve been in. We’re really loud. And if you think about it, when you go and see a rock show, most of what you hear is vocals, drums and bass anyway. In terms of creativity, it was only at the very beginning of the band that it felt difficult or unusual. Now it’s just what we do and like any band, some ideas work and some ideas don’t.

M: How do you feel about the general brisbane music community? this would include venues and supporting bodies.

My feelings about Brisbane change month to month. It’s just the nature of living in a smaller city that a lot of the most exciting, active people leave almost as a right of passage. So even when it’s all going great in terms of venues, bands, artists, friends, etc, it is only a matter of time before the wave will break and some of it disappears. On a happier note, the city is always in renewal and we can be a very creative and resourceful community. And being so small, I’ve found that the scene can be extremely cheerful as well, especially in underground circles. The venue situation in Brisbane right at the moment isn’t great but I’ve been through this bloom and burst scenario enough times to know that it’ll improve in the future.

M: Who pisses you off?

I’m not overly fond of Evan Dando. I think he should be stopped.

M: You have a new record out. Why should people buy it?

People should buy it because dogs have no use for it.

M: How important is the DIY attitude to you?

Not very important at all. The DIY attitude, in and of itself, bores me senseless these days. When I love an artist’s music, I try as hard as I can to trust them. They get to do whatever they want with their band, whatever it takes to get the art done. In return I want them to be as honest and open as they can be and to be completely undogmatic and ready to do whatever is necessary to make a small portion of my boring life more exciting and meaningful. I think it’s a pretty fair deal. And it’s the only deal I’m offering anyone else with regard to my own band. I mean, if you don’t trust us, why on earth are you listening to us?


- Ian

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