Archive for the 'Interviews' Category
We just got an e-mail in from Bob, who maintains a podcast at PodOmatic.
I’ve just shared part one of a radio show I recorded with Green when he was between leaving Rough Trade and signing for a major.
I hope this is some interest to you
I just started it up and enjoying the 1983 music! Sofar i haven’t heard Green speak a lot yet, but hey.. i’m not even halfway the podcast. As this is part one, i do expect another part soon. You can find this here: Scritti Politti (Green Gartside) Interview (Part one).
This interview is from a interesting period, between leaving Rough Trade and signing with a major company. The main part of the broadcast is music, lots of reggae passing along. It’s a bit of a shock thinking that this is recorded 31 years ago.
So, i’ll keep on listening to this interview. It’s actually really nice to listen to this young Green talking about writing songs for other people and the person who represents him in New York. It’s not an in depth interview, but it’s pleasant to listen to.
Anyways, have a listen yourself. Enjoy!
Here we are in the year 2012 with a new Scritti Politti line-up which is able to perform the classic songs in a superb way. They are a small group: drummer Rob Smoughton, Dicky Moore on guitar, Green on vocals and guitar and Rhodri Marsden on keyboards. Plus a computer, of course.
I felt it was about time for setting the record straight and finding out how these old songs were reconstructed for live gigs. So I asked keyboardplayer Rhodri a couple of questions. And guess what? He was happy to answer them!
Tell us a bit about the reconstruction of these old Scritti songs
Rhodri: I think it’s well documented that Green doesn’t enjoy listening to his old material! So what often happens is that I create a MIDI file with all the parts as I THINK they are. Green then works through it and corrects any mistakes I’ve made, and then creates / chooses all the sounds for the parts on his Mac. So by the end of that process we have a recreated Scritti song in Logic Pro which we then use to work from.
I see that you’re using laptops on stage, tell us about it
Rhodri: Actually, we’ve just slimmed down our setup massively in the last few days. Until recently we had four laptops onstage (very old ones, Powerbook G4s); one for live keyboard, one for live drums, two backups in case anything goes wrong. But the new MacBook Pro can handle everything, so that halves the number of computers onstage. Phew. I use a Nord Electro 2 keyboard to trigger my sounds and Rob uses an electronic drum kit, a Roland V-Kit. Green and Dicky both have amp simulators rather than real amps. So it’s really quiet onstage, which is lovely. You can hear all the detail.
Drummer Rob Smoughton is also playing samples on his electronic drumkit?
Rhodri: Yes, Andy (Houston, Green’s engineer) and I spent a lot of time creating virtual instruments for each song we play, using the sounds that Green’s been working on. One drumkit instrument per song for Rob, about ten for me! Some of the songs, like Wood Beez, are a real challenge to play, getting all the parts triggered from one keyboard.
Where do you draw the line between live-playing and laptop?
Rhodri: We started using backing tracks recently; firstly to get a fuller sound, secondly to keep the timing rock solid. Rob plays to a click in headphones, and the parts that we physically can’t play with four human beings come from the laptop – most of the time it’s just bass. Some songs there’ll be hardly anything pre-recorded (Skank Bloc Bologna only has that fast glockenspiel, for example); we play as much stuff live as we possibly can!
From fellow Scritti fan, Reason enthusiast Doug Rodriguez I received a link to an interview iZotope did with David Gamson. Thanks to Eric Hulsizer as well, who did the same thing. If you have something interesting to share, just send us the goodies: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well… we suddenly had a budget and were working with all the best musicians, in the best studios, with the best engineers. It was amazing. Green was pretty great about allowing experimentation in the studio, and since he was the one with the checkbook, he was running the sessions. If you could come up with some Rube Goldbergian way to record something, which I usually could, he was game. Those records were basically recording school for us. We got to play with all sorts of ways of doing things, at great expense I might add. Those records took a very long time to make.
For the more technical oriented fans among us, this is a very good read. And I must say I am of course a fan of Gamson’s work. For me Scritti without him is 50% Scritti. Miles Davis without a trumpet, that idea. I am also a fan of iZotope software. Ozone 3 David mentions in the interview I am using for years now on almost a daily basis like him.
I told this story a lot, but without people like Gamson I would probably never be aware that creating sound & working with – not in – the studio can open up new worlds. You want control over the machines, play with it and create something new; a slick total package which is unresistable.
Gamson is responsible for making me aware I can be an audio professional myself. Which I did. And yeah, I am so looking forward to the new tracks!
A new book out from Simon Reynolds: Totally Wired, a companion to the excellent Rip It Up and Start Again released in 2005. In Totally Wired there are a lot of interviews with many people important to the post-punk era, including Green Gartside.
On Sunday February 15th there is a panel discussion in The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road in London, featuring Tom Morley (Scritti Politti), Colin Newman (Wire), and Viv Albertine (Slits), moderated by Simon Reynolds. More information.
I like wordplay and clues more than straightforward narratives or confessionals. A sense of mystery.
(thanks Stephen Schwartz!)
Here’s a recent interview with David Gamson which was send to us.
David talks about Scritti, Roger Troutman and Meshell N’degeocello. It is from a ToddCast. Have a listen:
Last night Green performed two brand new songs at The Charles Hazlewood Show (BBC2) and chats a bit about how he wrote them. No official titles for those two new songs yet. First track has the working title ‘Unfrozen’ and the second ‘Forgiven’.
Sit back for 10 minutes and listen:
Last night Scritti Politti had a short, 3s ong acoustic session on Janice Long’s BBC radio 2 show. Dave, Dicky and Rhodri accompanied Green in a beautiful toned down rendition of Road to no Regret, Snow in Sun and After Six. Relexed interview, a really good listen this one. Some news on future plans: a collaboration with Alexis from Hot Chip (?), vague talks with Elvis Costello, something with a New York symphony orchestra. The plan is to buckle down and do some work (i second that!). In the beginning of June something for Friends of the Earth.
Akemi recorded ‘Summer Sonic special program’ on TV Asahi (CH10). Green’s interview is short, but funny.
Shai Productions has created this rather interesting interview with Green. Green drinking beer, Green buying a Martin, Green decorating objects with a Green pen and more.
Just in case you’re wondering what this is all about (yes, the Shai Productions’ website is another fine lesson for French wannabies), here you go:
With a name like that we swear it is a name of an old Italian DJ from 90’s who released thousand of mixes for Cote d’Azur DJ’s and Ibiza dancing Clubs. But we must go back to the70’s/80’s to find the name Scritti Politti. And must of all, far from Italy as the men behind this group is Welsh and named Green Gartside.
The group had is glory during is decline like Joy Division, Gang Of Four, and others who became cult groups or totally forgotten.
Wellknown but never known (appreciated by professional but ignored by the public except some hit singles). Scritti have tried a come back in 1999 but with total indifference. Not decouraged Gartside is back to is first love with White Bread Black Bear…
Green also did this when he was in Paris, May 2006. Oh boy I miss Paris… haven’t been there in 2 years…
I like it. Green seems to be relaxed (probably because the interview was taken at the pub ;)) and the questions are more interesting than the usual bla bla. Two thumbs up.
Go ahead and listen to the interview:
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Last evening on BBC 6 in Tom Robinson‘s show Tom interviewed Green and Snow In Sun and Robin Hood were played live accompanied by Dicky Moore on guitar and Alyssa … McLundough … (sorry, it’s quite hard to catch her surname, someone help out?) on bass. They talk about John Peel’s funeral, a Gamson produced Tony LeMans’ album, where Green did sing on – now I didn’t know that! At the end there is also some talk about the website, still not fully online, but hopefully people will find their way to bibbly-o-tek, cuz it’s the best!
While you listen you might wanna check out some links. Imomus talks a bit about White Bread Black Beer. He refers to Simon Reynolds epigraph on K-punk‘s analysis of Green’s voice and the meaning of his lyrics. Now at one point i might wanna add my 2 cents. Not now though.
The sveltering heat here in the Netherlands – and all over Europe – makes sitting behind one’s computer a bit less attractive, but this afternoon i did do so and captured the interview and session which was on WNYC last week on July 18th. Hopefully not all americans pronounce Screetti Poleetti the same way as the interviewer!
A picture taken during the session was posted on Flickr. Ernst in an earlier comment here on bibbly-o-tek unveiled the t-shirt is from DC Clothing – in case you’re wondering…
… and Green plays live! On BBC Radio 2 in the Jonathan Ross show there is friendly bantering between Green and Jonathan, who confesses to have been a fan ever since The ‘Sweetest’ Girl, giving a rather unfaithful rendition of the song. In the later part Green plays Snow In Sun and Robin Hood, only accompanied with guitar.
BBC Radio 2 Jonathan Ross (21 minutes, 19 mb)
There were some hiccups during capturing, but it’s only for a second or so twice.
Miriam Zendle of Digital Spy published an interview with Green today. A lot of the questions are obvious but a few I find interesting; Green’s view on MySpace and the Scritti website he seems to be working on.
Go ahead, read it!
On last night’s show the Weekender on BBC Radio 2 Green was interviewed by Matthew Right. You can listen again, but as these streams tend to dispappear into thin air, you’d better listen right here at bibbly-o-tek. It’s basically the same story rehashed, but it’s sure is nice to listen to Green’s voice. Which makes me think, in the old days, i used to wonder if his speaking voice would sound the same as his singing voice. Quite happy to say it doesn’t. :)
Tim Chipping pointed us to this very amusing interview he did with Green Gartside for the Channel 4 website. This proves ; if you ask the man interesting questions you get interesting answers !
Also, for the Dutchies, this interview on the VPRO 3voor12 website. There is an audio stream of the interview also, which is of course in English (just press the little speaker button, you’ll figure it out). The stream will be in our archives, soon, as well. Thanks to VPRO’s Erwin Blom for pointing this interview out to us.
We’re very happy we can publish the director’s cut of the interview with Green by Simon Reynolds, published in a shorter version in the Guardian.
by Simon Reynolds
â€œWe went to Marylebone Registry Office, because thatâ€™s where McCartney got married,â€ recalls Green Gartside of his wedding a couple of months ago. â€œWe chose the shortest service, just a couple of sentences, and we didnâ€™t really tell anyone, so we had one witness each. But this pudding of a teenager, with two different speech impediments, officiated, and he read the standard script that goes â€˜thank you all for coming, it means so much to Alice and Green that all their friends and family are hereâ€™. We couldnâ€™t really stop him as he lisped his way through it! But, no, it was a very lovely thing. I think I might even have had a tear in my eye.â€
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