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...
- You're called "Squid", right? "Squid..." like the sea
beast, like a calamari (said with an Italian accent).
- Yeah, like calamari, but I'm not fried.
- Right, that's nice. Where'd you get the name squid
- Um, well I was born in the ocean.
- Oh, really!?!
- No, you weren't!
- Your Mum gave birth to you in the ocean?
- Uh-huh, it was really beautiful.
- What - you remember it?
- Yes, I do, in fact.
- That's incredible!
- I don't believe it. I don't believe that for a second.
- 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.
- Yeah, well my parents were half-mermaid.
Jonny & Anthony: ...Oh-a-a-a-o-oh, I see...
- Okay, keep up the medication...2 tablets daily, under
the tongue, and, um, one electrocution-per week.
- Okay, if you recommend it.
(Voice): Hey, Squid, ask us some questions.
- Okay. You guys ready for some questions?
- No, you don't have to ask us any questions if you don't
- Oh, but I think it would be interesting.
- OK, go on then.
- So, well, where are you guys based right now? Are you in
- We are based in NYC.
- Which is not dissimilar from outer space. But we are
resident aliens these days, you see.
- You're resident aliens, in NYC?
- Yeah, because we got our visas, finally.
- Oh, wow, congratulations.
- Yeah, thanks.
- Thank you.
- 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.
- And you just all happened to be from England.
- This is the weird thing. Not only did we all happen to
be from England, we all happen to be from the same
- From Leeds?
- 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.
- I was listening to your tape as I was driving in my car today
and you guys sound really good.
- Oh, we sound alright, yeah.
- I noticed a lot of Bowie influence.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Yeah. I noticed that your demo tape was quite eclectic.
- Definitely. Definitely. You know, we're not really
content to stick with one thing.
- 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,
- Oh, exactly.
- I don't know. I tried not to be like that. But, uh,
don't know how I got into that, but I did.
- 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?
- 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.
- O.K., so--what is your "spacey" influence? What's all this
stuff about "Spacehogs," "Space is the Place?"
- 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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