SpaceHog

by Squid


HOGS---IN---SPAAAACE! Jonny and Anthony of Spacehog were kind enough to give their spare time to the oh-so-friendly Squid. Yes, Squid asks the driving, inquiring questions that the "National Inquisitioner" only wish they could ask. But first, let's check out the cutting inquiry by the 'Hogs themselves...
Anthony
You're called "Squid", right? "Squid..." like the sea beast, like a calamari (said with an Italian accent).
RAD
Yeah, like calamari, but I'm not fried.
Anthony
Right, that's nice. Where'd you get the name squid from?
RAD
Um, well I was born in the ocean.
Anthony
Oh, really!?!
Jonny
No, you weren't!
Anthony
Your Mum gave birth to you in the ocean?
RAD
Uh-huh, it was really beautiful.
Anthony
What - you remember it?
RAD
Yes, I do, in fact.
Anthony
That's incredible!
Jonny
I don't believe it. I don't believe that for a second.
Anthony
No, you can do it actually, y know. You can have birthing pools and stuff...but the sea, I mean that's kind of adventurous, man.
RAD
Yeah, well my parents were half-mermaid. Jonny & Anthony: ...Oh-a-a-a-o-oh, I see...
Anthony
Okay, keep up the medication...2 tablets daily, under the tongue, and, um, one electrocution-per week.
RAD
Okay, if you recommend it. (Voice): Hey, Squid, ask us some questions.
RAD
Okay. You guys ready for some questions?
Anthony
No, you don't have to ask us any questions if you don't want to.
RAD
Oh, but I think it would be interesting.
Anthony
OK, go on then.
RAD
So, well, where are you guys based right now? Are you in outer space?
Jonny
We are based in NYC.
Anthony
Which is not dissimilar from outer space. But we are resident aliens these days, you see.
RAD
You're resident aliens, in NYC?
Anthony
Yeah, because we got our visas, finally.
RAD
Oh, wow, congratulations.
Anthony
Yeah, thanks.
Jonny
Thank you.
Anthony
It was a bit to pull off, but we got them so we are not resident aliens in the city of dreams.... It's quite unusual, because we got signed to an American label, but we are actually an English band, and the band formed in NYC, you see. This is what I'm trying to tell you--it's a bit unusual, you see, 'cause like, most bands form--you know, like English bands tend to form in England. But as it happens, we all met in NYC and got this band together.
RAD
And you just all happened to be from England.
Anthony
This is the weird thing. Not only did we all happen to be from England, we all happen to be from the same town.
RAD
From Leeds?
Anthony
From Leeds, exactly. It's fuckin' bewildering how it all came about. And then within less than a year we got signed! If I can believe it myself! It's pretty weird.
RAD
I was listening to your tape as I was driving in my car today and you guys sound really good.
Anthony
Oh, we sound alright, yeah.
RAD
I noticed a lot of Bowie influence.
Anthony
Yeah, they're similar, I think. That's obvious. But my brother's voice, you know, has those kind of lilts now and again. I like Bowie--Bowie's really cool, if you ask me. He's lost it a little bit these days, but, you know, he's a genius to me. And if we sound like him, then I think we're doing alright.
RAD
What are some of your other influences, or musicians that you've admired and that you think have had an effect on what kind of music you make?
Jonny
All sorts, really. We all listen to loads of different things. I mean, we all go to raves and hang out and listen to techno music. A couple of us like jazz music and funk music from the 70's. I like contemporary guitar-oriented groups that are coming out of England and America. And we like all the classic stuff, you know, we like the Beatles, and Bowie, and The Bay City Rollers, and Dylan, and all that old stuff. So there's all sorts of things flying in there, as far as I'm concerned. You know, just whatever fits. We're not too stylized. It's like we're almost in danger of trying to take on too much, in a way.
RAD
Yeah. I noticed that your demo tape was quite eclectic.
Jonny
Definitely. Definitely. You know, we're not really content to stick with one thing.
Anthony
I don't see how it is possible to be a person growing up with television, magazines, the multi-media, and all of the rock-n-roll, that you possibly come up with something that's not influenced by all that? If anybody who's like totally doing Hootie and the Blowfish, to me--they must be totally like--shut off to everything that's going on in the world. You know, there are so many different things going on. I don't know how a person growing up in the last 20 years--how you could have one sound, and not be eclectic, you know. I don't know how to not be eclectic. I mean, I write songs, and one song sounds like a punk song, and one song sounds like a fuckin' rock monster, and one song sounds like something that the bloody Spinners did, so I think because of all that shit that's going into your head, you know. And when it comes out in any creative form, then it's bound to be--to me, anyway--eclectic.
RAD
Oh, exactly.
Anthony
I don't know. I tried not to be like that. But, uh, don't know how I got into that, but I did.
RAD
O. K. So--and being that your music is so eclectic, what type of following have you had? What kinds of people have been getting into your music?
Jonny
Well, people who live in New York, really, 'cause we've very rarely ventured outside of NYC. I think we've done one gig in New Jersey, and that, really, is the extent of our North American horizons right now. I think that the NY people that have come along, to some extent, aren't really representative of the people we hope to be reaching out for. It's a very trendy crowd, it's a very fashiony crowd, and you know, sort of like party people. I think party people like to go to live shows again. New York, you know--the disco's on the decline and rock 'n roll's back. And that's pretty much what's been going on. It does really well so far and we've had good attendances at shows. But, like I say, it's a glitzy sort of crowd, really. Weird.
RAD
O.K., so--what is your "spacey" influence? What's all this stuff about "Spacehogs," "Space is the Place?"
Anthony
Yeah, well I wrote those two songs, you see, and, I just said to my brother one day, "You what? I'm gonna write a bunch of songs that start with the word 'space' just for the hell of it." And I wrote a few others, but they wouldn't let me do them. I have friends in NY who've got this store called Liquid Sky, which primarily services the rave culture in NYC. And all these little kids are in their late teens, early 20's, who get all fucked up on these mad drugs, and go out and rave and dye their hair orange and put on these huge shoes and mad-like, spacey-looking designed T-shirts and stuff. I totally love all that stuff and I love the energy that comes out of that. But I'm really into playing rock 'n roll music, you see. So I wanted to get all that involved, and my friend Mary, who designed our logo, is friends with Kird from Deee-lite and all that crowd. They're all into that alien new age idea, like everybody's getting abducted, that aliens are not actually something from another planet but that aliens are people who are among us, who just by virtue of their state of mind makes them alien. Like, they don't quite fit in, in one way or another. I think that when you meet somebody like that, if you have that sense of it yourself, when you meet somebody, you know another alien, so to speak. So that's where it comes from, for me. It's not really a high falutin' idea about, "oh, let's go and give a comment about space books." It's really something we kind of live to some extent.

Ed note: Spacehog has been signed to Elektra and their new album should be out in the stores, but we have not received any confirmation. Their sound is Bowie-Ziggy Stardust, space, glam- rock and it really takes me back to the late 70's and early '80's. They will also be touring later this year or in 1996.
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