Friday, September 5, 2014



Seeing the world in a lifetime scale is too narrow, right. How could a group of people in a certain place and period of time be objective? One can't just say that time is over or fully decide wether to let it go or make a rupture.

History never stops and the human nature is to go back in time and rethink, investigate. And who can make valuable predictions unless just temporary? One can call it post-modernism or whatever but I've always loved the sonorities of the electric guitar. I think I've been attracted by the infinite possibilities its manipulations offer quite early in the development of my artistic self. From the most sweet melody to the rough feedback or high volume rumbles through the amp, this instrument never fails to surprise me as a listener. Basically because it makes the bridge between the popular music I used to listen to while still a teenager and what I am now as an artist, it stands not as the holy phallus thing I could read here and there but as a sonic symbol of a big part of the 20th century, the glory rock-n-roll years and ahead when the musicians definitely emancipate themselves from the restraining position of being a band member to more personal output, the computer being welcome as a brand new source of experimentation at its inception.

Where I find another natural connection, the laptop as the continuation of the democratization of art in a good way, what punk movement has left to us in heritage. The computer is still an awkward tool, a new technology at its primitive stage, with many misfires and defects but which also offers another infinity of possibilities. I call it my hyper-orchestra, not some ego trip but an homage I pay to the tool itself. Well a good number of composers and sound activists still enjoy it and think the meeting of the two reflects something relevant of our times : Christian Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi, Richard Pinhas, Jim O' Rourke, Kevin Shields, Richard H. Kirk and loads of others.


Electric Guitar well 6 of my favourite female guitarists all from the punk/no wave scene where females were starting to state there case has been an integral part of bands, and i think taking it somewhere new.

Poison Ivy of the Cramps 

...just a great rock n roll guitarist, the essence of great rock n roll at its primal best ......

"Poison Ivy: Yeah, that's probably what made me aware of it or tuned me into it, because my favorite guitarist is Link Wray, and I guess the thing I like in what he does is what I wanna do, too. I just like hearing a lot of strings splashing all at once. And just the austerity and the starkness of how he plays, you know? The drama that's created by not overplaying."...

Alex Chilton produced the Cramps then went onto Like Flies On Sherbert taking some of the Cramps vibe with him.

Viv Albertine the Slits

Viv had guitar lessons from Keith Levine who told her "Viv I,m going to teach you how not to play guitar" anyway Viv says "I play him riffs I've made up, humming, buzzing and fizzing like a wasp trapped in a jam jar."

He says he wishes he could write things like that, he feels confined by his knowledge, and this -I think- was one of the great things from the whole punk rock explosion, allowing people to come at music from a completely different angle, so refreshing.

 Ana Da Silva from The Raincoats 
...nice to follow Viv Albertine with Ana..... Gina felt very inspired by seeing The Slits, as did I. That made Gina want to be in a band. I already played a little guitar so when people said "you didn't really have to play amazing to be in a band" I started thinking like we could do it. That's how we decided. Obviously, there were people I really liked watching but I didn't feel like I could do the same as them, like Patti Smith and Television.

I really liked those bands but I didn't particularly think I could be like them. I thought of the more English bands because they were rough and on the edges and they seemed to be a bit more raw and spontaneous. So that's what made me think I could do it... again coming at it totally new and making again real original music.

China Berg / Lucy Hamilton...

Mars again coming at music the same as the above artists Mark Cunningham Mars...

Then on the one hand you had the burgeoning punk scene which included a lot of boring rock bands and on the other this new bunch of very amateur groups looking for any sound that was different and cool. Mars started really in December 75 but we spent a year playing in a loft before we went public as China. Sometime in 77 we started sharing a rehearsal space with Teenage Jesus, the Cramps, and later DNA and the Contortions. So there was a lot of mixing and jamming and feelings in common, but we never decided to be a movement.


My own feelings were that the bands before us had stretched rock to its limits and that punk wasn't offering anything new musically, that there wasn't anything new possible in the rock formula so we could only try to break that down and fuck around with the most primitive raw elements of the guitars and electricity and rhythms, which led us to the noise thing. At the same time there was the soho scene with a bunch of other bands following a similar evolution but with a more conceptual outlook and even more of an art school background......she also did The Drowning Of Lucy Hamilton EP with Lydia Lunch.

Next will include all members they used to swap instruments a lot, much to to the annoyance of some audiences.... UT....Nina Canal, Jacqui Ham and Sally Young........ and again a similar story from these......

Every generation does.

There was a natural progression from the Velvet Underground to Mars, as there was from 60's rock to the Ramones. It was organic, but it was radical. It was stripping down to the essence, taking things further, taking things as far as they would go.....

Lydia Lunch Teenage Jesus And The Jerks

...well got to include Lydia!! And the slide guitar a very common "noise" in No Wave, blew my mind hearing the first Teenage Jesus records......also featured alongside Mars/Contortions/DNA on the No New York compilation....."I hated almost the entirety of punk rock. I don't think that no wave had anything to do with it.

Who wanted chords, all these progressions that had been used to death in rock? To play slide guitar I'd use a knife, a beer bottle... glass gave the best sound. To this day I still don't know a single chord on the guitar.

Pat Place Bush Tetras/Contortions.....

 ... last one : And again the use of the "slide guitar"  and a very similar story................. So how did you meet James? Just from being out, from the same scene? Mutual friends? - Yeah, hanging out at CBGB. I'd show up to see those bands, any of those bands. It would be on any given night... The Dead Boys, Blondie, Talking Heads. And then there would be Mars and DNA and those kind of bands, so it was just kind of across the board. One scene kind of jelling into the next. But anyway yes, James was hanging out at CB's, and we would see each other. Literally, he came up to me and said something like... "Hi, yeah. Like your hair... do you play an instrument?"

And he said,
"I'm starting a band. I was in this band with Lydia, you know." 
So I said,
"Oh yeah, yeah. I play bass... " 
And I really didn't play bass at all.
He said,
"Well, we're having this rehearsal," 

and it was at Lydia's old space on Delancey Street where she was living with um - Sumner Crane from Mars.

Anyway, it doesn't matter who she was living with. We had this rehearsal, and I showed up with this bass that I think I'd borrowed from someone, and it was pretty apparent that I couldn't play but he said,
"Well why don't you try guitar?"