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dimanche 24 mars 2013

Album de la Semaine : Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin

Thee Oh Sees

Floating Coffin

Interview de John Dwyer de Thee Oh Sees, par Evan Minsker de Pitchfork

5-10-15-20 is where we talk to artists about the music they loved at five-year intervals throughout their lives. This time, we talk to 37-year-old Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer. The San Francisco band's new album, Putrifiers IIis out on September 11 via In the Red. Listen along to Dwyer's picks with this Spotify playlist.
"Donald Duck the Milkman"

My parents were raised in the hippie era and they always had a record collection and a player. My earliest memory of anything is a Playskool record player with the big wide plastic arm and the indestructible needle on it. I had a ton of those crazy little 45s that were yellow or red: "Donald Duck the Milkman", "Scarecrow Speaks", Mighty Mouse, Superman. I had those records up until I was a teenager, but they were all burned up in a fire. I still buy kids' records from the 1950s or 60s at yard sales when I see them. I was also totally obsessed with this [toy robot cassette player] when I was a kid called 2-XL. It had a song from Dracula that went, [sings] "Come a little closer, let me squeeze you tight, let me kiss your neck until I start to bite."
Van HalenDiver Down

This was right around the time MTV began, so I started to watch videos. I was obsessed with butt rock as a kid. I would go to roller skating rinks and listen to a lot of big rock'n'roll from the 70s and early-80s like Van Halen and Def Leppard, or even hair metal like Whitesnake. It was before I developed any true artistic leanings to my taste. I was big into this one rollerskating rink, USA Skates, in Providence, Rhode Island; that's where I kissed my first girl, got punched in the face for the first time, and saw older kids smoking weed for the first time. A lot of developmental moments went down at that place. 
AC/DCHighway to Hell

I was just about to crack into high school, waiting on driving, discovering drugs for the first time, pinching weed off my parents, getting interested in girls. I went to a school that was so far away from my buddies that I had to ride my bike 10 miles on the side of the highway to hang out with them. When I visit my folks now, I'm in disbelief that I rode my fucking bicycle on the side of the highway 10 miles-- stoned-- as a kid. 
By then, I had discovered AC/DC-- they were first ones that made me realize that it was not a far cry for me to potentially play music. AC/DC is really powerful, man. It moved me. It was strong, it was simple. It was just really easy to understand. It had balls. It was something special. There was a cassette shop near my parents' house that was run by this weird 20-something couple, and I went out and bought everything. It's funny, I started listening to those records again in the past couple of years-- I'll find the LPs somewhere cheap and buy them-- and they still kick ass. I've been to AC/DC Alley in Melbourne. It still holds a little candle for me.

I was living in a house with a bunch of other fuck-ups and had started playing music a little bit, like jamming. I worked in a sandwich shop where you're supposed be rude to the customers-- I ended up getting fired for being too rude. I painted houses. I worked as an assistant to this totally crazy 50-year-old woman who was a philosophy professor at Brown University. I sold acid. It was a point of my life where everything was fairly drug-centric. 
I learned about Krautrock and became obsessed with Can and Neu! and Gong. I had a big music-collector friend who was 10 years older than me who opened my horizons drastically. I basically owe anything I have now to him. Can would probably the first band I ever heard where I was like, "What the fuck is this?" I had already been into Pink Floyd, but I started really digging deeper at that age. Basically, we would take acid and my friend would be like, "Check this out." My brain was melted by this band that I didn't even understand and maybe didn't even sound good to me the first time I heard it. But I had to listen to it over and over again to wrap my head around it.

By then I had become a bit of a record nerd, so I was getting into contemporaries and people that were less huge. I'd come to San Francisco, and there were bands here that were kicking ass, like the Deep Throats. I started leaning more local. It was like a Renaissance time in San Francisco for me; I'd been here for about two years and was painting houses and I was starting to go out and see my friends' bands, like this guy Extreme Elvis, who lives in L.A. now.
It's basically an Elvis cover band-- but also mixed with GG Allin-- that were fantastic. They would get banned from every place that they played at. Phenomenal. In fact, you should go online and YouTube Extreme Elvis because it's fucking hilarious. I was at this show once where I had to call 911 because he broke a bottle on someone's face-- he wouldn't break character to tell me if it was a real deal or not, and then the dude stood up and it was a sugar bottle. But the dude's girlfriend was slapping him in the face and screaming, like melting down. It was a really intense show. That band was so intense that every other band "Elvis" did after that never came close.
The last time I saw him, he was in L.A., and he gave me his business card-- it was like a little picture of a kid with a rubber cowboy hat with a penis on top of it. He's doing fetish wear for toddlers. I was like, "What the fuck is wrong with you, man?" He's like, "This shit is selling like hot cakes! People are creepy, man." He's a true cretin, lunatic, and artist.
Sun Ra: "Interplanetary Music"

I had met Ty Segall by this point, he was really young then, like 19. I was considering starting up the label, [Castle Face]. I was in Coachwhips and flying back and forth between New York, and touring constantly-- but not as hard as I tour now.
I have a huge record collection, but around 30 I was starting to get into jazz and branching out more. Learning about Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Jack DeJohnette, Miles Davis, Hugh Masekela, African music, and music that was totally magical and alien to me, like soul. [Sun Ra] is perfect for anyone who is interested in anything twisted because the dude was possibly the most twisted of the bunch. He's even odd for jazz people. My favorite is "Interplanetary Music" [from We Travel the Space Ways]. That record is fantastic. That's probably my favorite era of his; it's still semi-traditional jazz but totally psychedelic and beautifully recorded. Really strange and live sounding. A lot of singing. It's before he went truly synthesizer and dark.
Los Dug Dug's: Smog

By then, I managed to get the label rolling a little bit and do enough shows and have cheap enough rent that I didn't have to work a job anymore, which was basically what I wanted my whole life. It took me 35 years to get there, but I was able to make art for a living. I'm pretty grateful for that.
I started to do record collector-ly stuff, buying reissues of things like George Brigman, fuzz rock stuff, and blown out, freaky Japanese stuff like Flower Travellin' Band. Noel von Harmonson, who's in Sic Alps and Comets on Fire, was making me mix CDs with a lot of South American psych that was really killer. He turned me onto this band from Mexico City, Los Dug Dug's, which is completely out of control; Smog is the great one to listen to if someone's going to get into that band. It's completely far-out, heavy psych-rock from the 70s. I heard that the main guy split from the band and went and took acid in the mountains and wrote that record while he was up in the mountains by himself. [laughs] He came back and taught it to the band, and it is by far their biggest triumph.

Line Up :
John Dwyer
Brigid Dawson
Petey Dammit
Mike Shoun
Lars Finberg
Label :
Castle Face Records
Tracklist :
  1. I Come From the Mountain - 4:30
  2. Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster - 3:32
  3. Floating Coffin - 2:21
  4. No Spell - 4:28
  5. Strawberries 1 + 2 - 5:47
  6. Maze Fancier - 3:16
  7. Night Crawler - 4:12
  8. Sweet Helicopter - 2:45
  9. Tunnel Time - 4:09
  10. Minotaur - 4:53

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