Sunday, April 02, 2017

"We were just a train wreck"

Last week I posted about a writer who claims he could live without books (but not music) - and today I'm posting about a musician who declares "I fucking hate music".

Ben Graham of the Quietus spoke to Butthole Surfers guitarist Paul Leary about the band's history and in particular the creation of their fourth album Locust Abortion Technician, "the sound of a band operating on the edge of madness", for which the itinerant band randomly chose to relocate to the outskirts of Athens in Georgia.

It won't come as a surprise to anyone who saw them live (or has read the chapter on them in Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life, the most entertaining in an extremely enjoyable book) that they were "just a train wreck". Unique though they were in many ways, their "screaming absurdist noise catharsis" and extremist performance art inspired by punk, Dada and Fluxus connects them to some of the more intense, out-there manifestations of post-punk, particularly the freakish output of late 1970s San Francisco and the likes of Throbbing Gristle in the UK (both as detailed by Simon Reynolds in Rip It Up And Start Again).

The more I read about the infamous 1985 show at New York's Danceteria, the more I wish I'd been there. One to tell the grandchildren about. Or, on second thoughts, maybe not.

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