hello to Jon (bass), Andy(guitar, vocals) and Matt (drums), who have all come in for a quick chat at AV Deck...
-last night I was looking around on the internet for some more info about you, and your website is broken!
A - yeah it is
-when you gonna get it fixed?
A - were trying to get a new one done as we speak, weve got a temporary page up, my brother did it - a temporary page for it...
- when do you think its all gonna be up and running then?
A - fully, I have no idea and I wouldnt even take a stab at it
M - yeah, people on the internet well have you a full site, lots of colours, MP3s...
- so what's it gonna have on it then?
A - ohh I dunno, a more extensive biography, with lots of swearing in it,
M - dance moves
A - dance moves, yeah
M - movies, but not of us.
A - Ghostbusters.
M - some guys doing it somewhere, and hes either doing a really good job, or...
- or hes just down the pub?
A - well have a band name and that will be it!
- hey and youve got a Japanese fansite too!
A - yeah, that was too weird! It was like something wed made up or something, but we hadnt!
- totally totally legit? you have Japanese fans?!
A- absolutely - bareboy atsuki nagata, an absolutely straight down the line Japanese fan! We had about one fan in Wales when we got him as well. Bit strange - we had one fan in Cwmbran and one in
M - some in Brazil
A - some in Brazil?!
- howd you manage that?
A - no idea, I wouldnt even speculate about it
- so youve not been out there then?
A - no.. theres some Brazilian journalist went on about our album a lot to people and its really... its not funny, its great! (chuckles) Brilliant! I was gonna say its funny, but its not!
- its cool though
A - its amazing... all the things youve got to do in Brazil
- youll have to try wangle a tour out there..
M - and we havent even got a website for ourselves....
- so tell us a bit about your history - didnt you used to be called Best
A - we did, dark days. Terrible. We knew the name wasnt working cause he (points to Matt) came up with it, and you did come up with it - thats Matt by the way - but when we changed the name he denied ever having come up with it in the first place.
M - I never came up with it
A - precisely, you see. This is the problem we had. So thats when we knew the name had to change.
- so why mclusky?
M - we were walking down the road werent we?
A - yeah we were walking down the road, went shall we change the name of the band to mclusky? he said yeah! and that was it
- I saw one of your message boards, and its just full of Grange Hill posts
A - hehe, yeah. Yeah. That's fine. I think were linked from a couple of Grange Hill sites
M - are we really?
A - yeah - thats the business!
- so it was Mrs McLusky - or was it Andy McLusky from OMD?
A - er no. Mrs McLusky, not Andy McLusky from OMD.
M - he lives too close to home doesnt he
A - does he really?
M - he lives in Ebbw Vale I think.
A - isnt he a promoter now or something?
- doesnt he manage Atomic Kitten?
A - he does and he writes the songs!
M - WHAT?!
A - yeah, become an arch satan.
J - well hes nothing to do with us
A - nooo
- so how did you all meet?
M - me met... I met you met me.. I was making squash I think and selling windows, and I heard this guy talking about Reading and some crazy..
A - crazy incident at the Reading Festival
M - and I thought he might be alright cause everyone else is is rubbish, and he was talking about Reading, thought he might be okay so we started chatting and he found out I played the drums and he said well I write songs so he gave me a tape... this is WEIRD telling the story! the tape was good, then we had to find a bass player, but it wasnt Jon, it was somebody else and we played with them for a while, then he left he sort of... in weird circumstances
A - he left to go in a Welsh Language Pantomime is what he left to do
M - we love that, its my favourite thing to tell people
- is he still doing that?
J - nah.
A - Ive no idea
J - it was called (says name) for anybody listening in Welsh
A - can you listen in Welsh as well as speak in welsh?
M - while this was going on, Jon was still alive and around and doing stuff and I asked him to join the band once. And he said no. And then he ended up at the window place as well and I sat on a bench and asked him to join the band again, he said no. And then our bass player left and we saw him in a club somewhere
J - collecting glasses
M - and Andy pretty much just threatened him, throttled him and said youve got to join this band and he did
A - and the rest is boring!
- so youve already put out an album My Pain and Sadness is more Sadder and Painful than Yours cause Ive been selling a few via Mail Order
A - thank you
M - aha it was YOU!
- so how did that go? I know theres been a few singles before that
A - theres a couple of singles that were on that album, yeah, it went really well. It just got to the point where we were writing stuff and no-one really wanted to put it out for whatever reasons and thats irrelevant but we just wanted to get it all out there and yeah, it was great! We had a really good time with it. Apart from the advertising budget which was of course zero pounds. So no-one ever found out about it.
- so how did Too Pure come on board after that then?
A - we did One Live last year and did a live session, played this show with Mo Ho Bish O Pi, and Helen Love and that was taped and put out and the engineer who recorded it was playing it to people and he played it to Jason and he signed us on the back of that
- cool! and now your first Too Pure single has come out this week
A - it has
- plus the album is out in March next year which you recorded with Steve Albini
A - well March is a rumour
- so it might not?
A - well you never know, do you... when people say March.... our album was originally coming out... when was it coming out? June last year. Then it ended up coming out November 30th.
J - its a test
- well at least its finished now, cause Ive heard it....
A - ahh its totally ready, yeah!
- how was it working with Steve Albini?
A - it was great apart from the thumbscrews and the daily electrocutions... no, it was fine!
M - yeah, he was a nice guy
A - when he wasnt taking heroin he was very lucid.. sniggers. Of course he wasnt taking heroin. Yeah, he was completely normal, great. A consummate professional did everything really easily he was a delight to work with
- how did it work? I know with most albums he just gets you to sit and play and records it there and then
A - yeah, we did 21 songs in 9 days and theres 15 or 16 of them on the album
M - he was good - if we did two takes, hed tell us to have a rest then come back and do it again, dont keep trying to do it
A - 21 songs in 9 days sounds like we were running around in some kind of time frenzy - it was really relaxed, pretty much
- how long were you out there in total?
A - couple of weeks, we had a couple of days off in the middle sleeping, watching him visit record shops. that was Jon by the way.
- the quiet one
A - YEAH the quiet one. the silent partner.
J - yip.
A - it was brilliant, yeah.
- so what bands influence you?
M - well you mentioned Atomic Kitten before....
- oh obviously yes, it shines through...!
M - no the normal ones.. erm...
J - Rush
A - hehe, Yes. Yes, yes? Toyah, of course, Toyah..
J - Toyahs great
A - really now. really.
M - really, who really.
A - The Pixies,
- oooh Id hoped you were gonna mention them - you can tell on the new album - the Surfer Rosa - Steve Albini sound
A - its all the drums he did and everything.. theres a bit more coming in on this album. I know Ive heard literally thousands of interviews where people go well the old influences arent as appropriate but yknow. They are still appropriate. The new albums a lot harder, I think. There were a lot of flower waving songs on the first album. Well I say a lot, there were two.
- how many tracks were on it?
A - I dont remember
- there were a lot though
A - sixteen? seventeen?
- see! good value for money!
A - yeah, not long songs though, generally speaking. short.
- ohh I didnt finish asking you what bands
A - Husker Du, Fugazi, The Fall, Jesus Lizard, even though Ive only heard a couple of songs
M - everyone says were influenced by the Jesus Lizard
A - everyone says were influenced by the Jesus Lizard
M - and the Dead Kennedys first album
J - the first half of the first album
M - yeah, loads of stuff
J - all the good bands
A - Gang of Four. I think thats it. Thats the end of our influences.
- do you think theres a lot of bands that are going back to these bands as influences?
A - there probably is an influence from the Albini stuff like Shellac and Big Black and whatever but erm maybe they arent sufficiently advanced to be that aware of them yet. I dunno. There are a few. Oh I hate to use the word scene but on the scene in Wales but theres a few bands with that kind of ilk rather than these disgusting Britpop wannabes which was awful.
- which ones?
A - welsh ones? well theres too many to mention by name. They know who they are - the ones who wear hats indoors all that scene you know. Spend more money on their trainers than they do on their amps... awful
M - theyre influenced by their eyes more than their ears who are you influenced by? my eyes Im not influenced by my eyes.
J - no?
- thats cause youre concussed at the moment
M - Im still in hospital now!! Im imagining all of this!!
- so youre up for the best single at the Welsh Music Awards -
M - we didnt know about this until we read it on the bus
A - the way I see it without any disrespect to anybody, is we dont need the Welsh Music Awards.
- but its a bit of exposure
A - true, it is. And we aint got a problem with it. But I cant pretend to be wildly excited by the possibility.
- so who are you up against?
A - loads of other bands whove got a better chance of winning! Super Furries, Gorkys...
J - Teflon Monkey whoever they are
- theyre signed to the Super Furries label
A - its a guy singing with acoustic guitar
M - just like us then
J - its gonna be close! (laughs)
M - they might give you a trophy! Id really like a trophy! My dad got one for skittles! I could bring back this little shield! I dont know if its a shield.
A - or like an oscar
J - a rugby player
M - oh I dont want that. If its anything to do with Rugby I dont want that.
A - no we dont want it!
- Last night you played Upstairs at the Garage - how did it go?
A - it was fine! its a good place to play, apart from the mad hobbit loading youve got to do, crawling in these little tunnels, yeah it was good, we enjoyed it - weve had our own sound guy Steve for the last three dates and it makes a big difference that, if the guy on the desk knows what the hell is going on - it makes a huge difference and it was really good! And Im not getting quite as drunk for gigs now, so I can face days like today, unexpected interviews and live to 30. Top of my list of priorities! Im only one year away from that... so...
- okay, Im gonna make you talk now (Jon) - those goggles you wear - doesnt it get really hot?
J - yes. And it makes your eyes sore. You get condensation on the inside. on your eyes and the goggles. The only reason I ever wore the goggles was to keep my glasses on. That's the only reason I wore them. I ran out of contact lenses and I cant afford to get any more.
M & A - the goggles are gone
J - I headbutted Matts drumkit and they broke.
- oh no! the end of the goggles?
J - the end of the goggles.
M - weve got it on video
A - the end of the goggles has been captured on video.
- ohh you should put it on your website!
A - he starts slapping his head like that, and then the goggles smash up, its brilliant footage.
M - you cant remember any of it either can you
A - its up there with the Billy Idol video for Hot in the City
M - Ive never seen that - what happens in that?
A - he walks around corners looking bored
M - Billy Idol?
A - yeah
M - ohh I was thinking of Billy Joel.
J - Billy Ocean
A - whatever happened to Billy Ocean?
- so what are the next few months gonna bring then?
M - ohh its gonna be cold. Presents. Joy.
A - hopefully touring. Theres nothing concrete yet - we so wanna tour - every time we see Jason (Too Pure) we say Jason give us a tour and give us a tour give us a tour
- so are you working at the moment or are you being a full time musician?
A - that's a moot point. no.
M - I am!
A - but I need to be soon because money is important in your country. I need it for all sorts of things. No Im not, but Ill probably find some temp work as a member of the UN...
J - weve got some gigs before then
A - oh yeah
M - LA 2
A - were excited about this one
- when are you playing there?
A - 6th December supporting Zen Gorilla. Itll be the biggest show weve played - weve played Upstairs at the Garage twice. 4-500 people... LA 2 is about 1,000 people
- then youve got a single coming up before the album
A - yeah To Hell With Good Intentions yeah. There might be something approaching a push on that cause theres not that much swearing on it. its got a better chance.. were just looking forward to all that.. if were not touring by then Jason will be in trouble. Well be phoning him fifteen times a day going tour tour tour tour tour weve done that loads of times. We did hug him when we got back from the States and said tour
J - I was miles away there. I really was. What did you say?
A - Suffolk.
J - Steve Albini? I never hugged him.
A - Steve Albini did some cool dances for us. He does some clapping and knee action simultaneously
M - he dances to the really discordant bits of the melody - he didnt dance to the normal bits, just the weird bits.
- what, he just did that?
M - yeah, you know, that old Morecambe and Wise thing with the knees...
A, J & M - HE DID!!
J - and hes got a trampoline in his bedroom.
- so you made it to Steve Albinis bedroom...
A - noo he told us.
M - he can make different noises with his hands
A - yeah, that's an unimpressive talent in my book.
J - it impressed me.
- so we should listen out for it on the album
A - theres clapping on the album too which he managed to choreograph from the control room. It was easily the most surreal experience of my life. Apart from...
J - he forced us to do that
A - yeah, it was good.. great...
well thank you for popping in.......