THE BEGINNING

Last month we interviewed London duo Summer Camp. They left these queries behind for Randy Randall of No Age, including why he’s so obsessed with Disney Land.

summercamp-leftovers

LAST MONTH WE INTERVIEWED SUMMER CAMP. THEY LEFT THESE QUERIES BEHIND FOR RANDY RANDALL OF NO AGE

Hey Randy. We’re huge fans of No Age, so, most importantly, what’s on the way? Are you working on a new record?

Well, we’re currently in the talking, dreaming, getting lost, beginning phases of what could be coming next. We’re taking a little time to clear our heads. There will be another record, but it’s going to be a little while. We’ve been talking with [fashion designer] Hedi Slimane about doing a sound installation for a photography show he has coming up, so that’s the first thing we’ll be working on next.

On ‘Everything In Between’ you were inspired to use samplers by UK post-rock heroes Disco Inferno. Can you tell us a bit more about that cos it sounds really interesting.

Yeah. Disco Inferno are an amazing band. They used sample technology in a way that we then did on ‘Everything In Between’, loading in these abstract sounds and layering them to create rhythm. Like, ‘Glitter’ is written around a series of four samples that sound like guitars but they’re these affected sample parts. It was inspired by Disco Inferno’s ‘Footprints In The Snow’, where there’s this sound that sounds like brushes on the snare drum, but it’s actually footprints in snow. Ian Crause from Disco Inferno is an amazing guy. I had a chance to meet him when I was last in London and we went for tea in Shoreditch.

We’re a duo too. When we disagree on something it can be pretty hard to resolve it. What happens when you guys totally disagree?

Errm, yeah, what do we do? We use our powers of persuasion. If we really disagree we talk it out. I think in a funny way when you’re a duo it’s more like a marriage, a friendship, a creative partnership and business partnership all rolled into one. Like, if you watch that Metallica documentary – because they are essentially a duo – it’s all about the idea of communicating. You need to put all the bullshit to one side and get to what it really is.

You guys have a reputation for being super nice guys. Do you think that’s been a big factor to your success or should we just give it up and start being assholes?

Haha. In response to that, ‘Fuck that! Who the fuck said we’re nice guys!?’. Nah. Being nice, yeah, why not? I mean, what does being an asshole get anybody, except for a lot of hurt feelings? It’s easy to be nice to people, and when you’re on the road you might meet a person for a couple of minutes and we might be having a shit day, or be tired, but we chose to be out there. When people are like, ‘Oh but I’m tired’, it’s like, ‘Well, what did you think you were going to be? You’re the one that booked all of these dates and went out on the road! It’s not their fault. They’ve worked all day and have come out and paid to see your show.’ So no, do not give up and become assholes.

We’ve heard you’re big fans of the Disney theme parks. Us too. What is it about them you like so much?

Oooh. Well, that’s more me. Dean, not so much, but I have issues. I like all theme parks, but especially Disney, and it’s for the same reason I like airports and hotel lobbies – it’s this simulacra; this conception that you can just go somewhere else by just walking through the door. It’s this Alice Through The Looking Glass thing. It’s the same thing with why people watch films, and Disney do it beyond just throwing a couple of rides out there. I mean, they have manufactured doorknobs!

You’re supporters of Seattle’s All Ages Music Project. When you were under age what gig did you really want to get into but were too young?

I remember at some point in the 90s there was this Brazilian tropicalia musician Tom Zé and I really wanted to see him when he was playing this Latin conga room thing, and me having only gone to punk shows, I didn’t really know what a club was. I just thought he’s a musician and I could go and see them. So I drive into town and everyone’s in white suits, and of course I didn’t get in, because I was under 21. That was a big one.

Every band has a music industry bullshit moment. Ours was when an A&R painstakingly explained the difference between an engineer and a producer to us. What’s yours?

Oh God. Hmmm. There’s almost too many to narrow it down to one. Fortunately the folks at Sub Pop don’t really fall into that category – they’re music industry without the ponytail. Like, we had one guy who was trying to court the band, I think, and his first approach was to ask us what drugs we did. ‘Well, we don’t really do any drugs.’ ‘Oh, okay.’ He had to reconsider his whole approach. It was a bit like, ‘Really? We rode our bikes to meet you at a vegan restaurant. What gave you the idea that we’d be pulling out drugs?’.

We love ATP. Who are you looking forward to seeing when you play the Les Savy Fav one in December? And who would play if you were curating?

Okay. Well, I’m excited to see Nisennenmondai who are three women from Japan who are incredible and play technical prog-rock that’s kinda like Can. And if we were to curate one… who would it be? Jonathan Richman would be on there. And I’d try to get each member of Damaged-era Black Flag there, in whatever respective solo groups they have, just in the hope that if they’re all there, y’know… it might come together. It would probably never happen but y’know, it’s the dream scenario.

We’ve heard you want to create your own venue/art gallery – can you tell us more about this?

Yeah, that’s something that Dean and I have been talking about, and it goes in and out of possibility to just never going to happen. The idea is that we create a space that we can do what we want with, like an art gallery, a skate shop, a music venue – just an overall spot where we’d like to hang out… A fry shop maybe, like a vegan snack bar. We’ll get to a point where we’ll start looking at properties and then we go somewhere on tour or start a new record and we put that idea away again. It’d be a lot of fun. I hope it does happen one day.

We love your collaboration with Altamont Apparel. Are you guys into fashion/designing? How do you feel about the fact more and more brands are looking to get involved with bands?

Yeah. We find fashion a real chance to be creative on another side of things. We’re trading these songs and this music, and it’s cool to be able to make these physical things. I just see fashion as another side of art and expression. As a punk you’re not supposed to care about fashion, but look at Malcolm Mclaren and The Sex Shop – it all was fashion. At the end of the day, if you’re wearing all black you’re still expressing it through the clothes you wear. Even anti fashion, it’s still a choice. Everyone chooses something.

You’ve done splits and collaborations with the likes of Zach Hill, Abe Vigoda and Infinite Body. Who would you most like to collaborate with next?

We’ve wanted to collaborate with Wayne Coyne and the guys from Flaming Lips. We met at a couple of festivals this last year and we’ve been talking about doing something. They’ve been releasing their own limited edition vinyls – like, they did one with Lightning Bolt – so we’ve been talking about that and it’s just a case of us having to send them something. We’re just stuck in logistics land, but it will happen. Wayne wrote me an email asking us to do it, so that’s a good sign.

Originally published in issue 32 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. October 2011.

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