quinta-feira, 2 de junho de 2011

Satansville Revisited with Swervedriver - An Interview with Adam Franklin

Depois de um tornado que literalmente consumiu este que vos escreve fazendo com que eu ficasse um pouco distante do TBTCI, eis que a volta eminente estaria prestes a ser executada e finalmente o TBTCI esta novamente a ativa e para comemorar em grande, digo grande mais muito grande estilo o TBTCI tem a honra de apresentar e conceder a todos uma historica entrevista com o grandioso Adam Franklin do seminal, espetacular, poderoso e prediletissimo de todos os tempos Swervedriver, sim isso mesmo, uma entrevista que perdurou para ser concebida em 1 ano de conversação, troca de emails, e finalmente Mr Adam Franklin nos concedeu esta que facilmente é uma das mais importantes entrevistas já realizadas pelo TBTCI.

Quanto ao Swervedriver o que dizer, o que acrescentar ao que já foi escrito, discutido e tudo mais, simplesmente a mais barulhenta das bandas da primeira fase da Scene, albuns absolutamente indispensaveis como Raise, Mezcal Head, Ejector Seat Reservation e 99th Dream, sem contar nos eps e b-sides tão abrassivos e poderosos quanto os albuns cheios, por essas e outras que hoje é um dia de comemoração no TBTCI, um marco absoluto na historia do blog e principalmente para este que vos escreve, afinal a idolatria minha em torno do Swervedriver é incondicional, amigos deliciem com Mr. Adam Franklin.

***** Interview with Adam Franklin (Swervedriver, Magnetic Morning, Toshack Highway and Bolts of Melody *****

Q. About the early years, when did Swervedriver starts?
Swervedriver formed in the winter of 1988-89 after the break-up of our previous band Shake Appeal. That band had been well known locally in Oxford and was once voted Best Band in Oxford in 1987 or something by readers of a local music paper but we had become bored with it. We were doing this Stooges/MC5 thing and felt like we were in a bit of a vacuum but by 1988 there was actually something else bubbling up that was a lot more interesting. There is some Shake Appeal footage in this new Oxford documentary film Anyone Can Play Guitar which also features Swervedriver as well as Radiohead, Supergrass and Ride: http://www.indiegogo.com/anyone-can-play-guitar

Q. Who are your influences/heroes?
Myself and Jimmy Hartridge were both really into the Glam Rock guitar bands of the early 70s like T.Rex and Slade. When the band formed we were big fans of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Husker Du - the more interesting guitar music that had been bubbling up - as well as old favourites The Stooges, MC5 and Jimi Hendrix. There was also some great music emerging from the UK at that time - it was an exciting time for underground guitar music.

Q. Tell us about the gigs, what´s the feeling to playing live?
We love playing live - this is where the songs literally come to life afterall. They sort of move around when played live - the recordings can be like photographs, they're just a record of how the band played the song that day but when played live, the songs are constantly evolving. There are parts or sounds that we don't ever play the same twice but generally we're pretty true to the recordings of course.

Q. In your opinion, what´s the best Swervedriver album, and the most emblematic song?
I don't know, they all have great moments but I don't ever listen to them - sometimes the odd song. For that reason the compilation album Juggernaut Rides 89-98 has the most high points in my opinion, for obvious reasons. Most emblematic song? Duel maybe? Son of Mustang Ford is killer isn't it? Although we were never crazy about that recording. Some of my favourite songs are probably the b-sides and obscurities like Maelstrom, 93 Million Miles From The Sun, Why Say Yeah, Scrawl & Scream - the songs that never that make the set! What else? These Times, The Other Jesus, The Birds, MM Abduction. I like most of them.

Q. How do you describe Swerve´s sounds?
It's all about power and melody I suppose. The songs might reach points of almost white noise in some parts but it's always layered over a strong tune.

Q. What´s your opinion about early shoegazing era? Do you feel Swerve´s are part of it?
Not really 'shoegazing', no but the whole era, of course. At the time there wasn't such a thing as a shoegazing era of course, because nobody had come up with a name for anything at that point - there was just a bunch of bands and everyone was doing their own thing whether it was Teenage Fanclub or Slowdive. There were a lot of great guitar bands coming out of the UK and the US - the more well known stuff like Sonic Youth or Spacemen 3 and then a lot of bands that made one record and then broke up and are now somewhat lost in the mists of time such as The Lavender Faction or The Loveblobs. I just think that in the late 80s/early 90s there were a lot of bands wanting to turn up the guitars and create something noisy and melodic.

Q. After break up, tell us about your projects: Toshack Highway and your solo albums?
In 1999 I recorded the Toshack Highway album which was me plugging keyboards into amps instead of guitars. I bought a Yamaha electric piano and an Italian Crumar synthesiser and started plugging them into my Vox AC30 and Marshall guitar amps and putting them through effects pedals just to see what would happen. The resulting album was half-instrumental and had a kind of 'soundtrack' vibe although Charlie Francis who recorded it with me immediately heard a late 70s Eno vibe which I hadn't picked up on. I'm really proud of that record! You should check out Harlem and Board The Bullet Train - someone said they thought the Lost In Translation soundtrack would have been even better if those songs had been on there.

I then moved to New York and there were some more releases under the name Toshack Highway which probably should have been released as 'Adam Franklin' records as they were more solo and lo-fi and sort of folky guitar affairs. Eventually people suggested I should release records under my own name and so in 2007 we finally released the first Adam Franklin album 'Bolts of Melody' but although my name was on the front it was very much a band record. This was followed in 2009 and 2010 by two more 'solo' albums Spent Bullets and I Could Sleep For A Thousand Years - the latest one is credited to Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody because Bolts of Melody has become the name for the band. I have some great guys in New York and London that I play with on this stuff. Check out Ramonesland, Two Dollar Dress and I Want You Right Now.

Q. Whats the concept behind Magnetic Morning?
Magnetic Morning is a collaboration between myself and Sam Fogarino, the drummer in Interpol. We met in New York and just decided to record some music together, with no concept as such but simply to see where it would end up. Sam had some strong ideas that he'd written on keyboards or guitar, some of which was quite abstract and I helped turn them into songs. An overall sound emerged and I then wrote some songs specifically for that also. We released an EP in 2007 and an album 'AM' in 2008 and we were really pleased with how it turned out - the live band was great too. I'd recommend Cold War Kids, Don't Go To Dreamstate and Indian Summer.

Q. About Swerve´s return, what´s the feeling to play with the guys again?
Well it's been great! Swervedriver is still as fast and loud and heavy as it ever was and the band has been very warmly received after being away for a long time which is truly amazing.

Q. About the future, what´s your plans? New solo records, maybe a Swerve´s new album, play in Brazil one day....
Been working on the next Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody album and it's gonna be pretty interesting I think as some of it actually started out with the intention of being a new Toshack Highway album, so there's more of that film soundtrack kind of sound mixed with rock'n'roll, I think. A new Swervedriver album? Maybe. But as far as Brazil is concerned - we'd love to! Where do we sign?

Q. Any parting words...
Thank you Renato - you have a great night!
Thanks Adam!!!!

Swervedriver - Son of a Mustang For / Sandblasted