What is rock n’ roll today? Or more correctly is there any rock attitude left in 2016? Is it about music, or maybe the way you dress or even talk and walk? The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s mastermind, Anton Newcombe, answered among other questions to this one. Solid one. Don’t wanna say anymore, the microphone to the ‘Man’….
You have been very busy in the last two years (U.K & European tour). How did you decide to record a new album? Tell us some things about this one.
I have been very busy for a long time. There are two new albums actually and this all came about before the last tour of Europe earlier this year…My French promoter said something to the effect that “naturally i will book you, because it will sell out but you are not really promoting an album” and I thought…you mean the last album, two eps and two singles plus a movie soundtrack since the last time I played don’t count?
I got insulted…so I started a single in French (‘Fingertips’) because I love recording in French you know, to stick it to all the people these days that really suck at singing beautifully in France…They are so serious, they puke up ugly chunks instead of working at it, finding a classic approach like in the old days or the classics…it can be done…Anyway, I nailed that but I was pumped up and kept writing very fast and wrote 45 songs, then split them into two albums.
Having listened to the opener ‘Good Mourning’ a melancholic veil coiled me. Could you please share some information about this track and the reason for its dedication to Hermann Oliver Vessey & Wolfgang Gotthardt Newcombe…
Well, my wife asked me to write a song for her to sing so I did. The dedication is to my sons…They own my copyright and music…but those two things are not related…meaning the somber nature of the music and my children that I love equally.
How did your collaboration with Emil Nikolaisen , Tess Parks and Katy Lane come up? Have you worked with these artists in the past again?
Katy is my wife, Tess I hit up on twitter after reading a review of her album….and Emil I have known for a number of years and I care about him deeply. I love his group.
Your sound of music is a mixture of garage, psychedelic rock as well as electronica. Which ones would you name the main influences for your music? Are there certain artists that have inspired you with their style?
To me it’s just music…I write music everyday…I enjoy music everyday…There are no rules….I love everything that follows the golden rule or knows how to break it correctly…Bend it slightly…I hate the machine thus I am for humanity. I hate the easy way, the lazy way….The modern way…The nothing that says nothing and does nothing for anyone but knows everything.
A tricky one now! Which one is the definition for rock n’ roll music for you?
It’s a spirit…sometimes people have this spirit for a song…but most people want fame…that’s not rock and roll…they want the money, the woman, the coke, the house…they don’t want the rock and roll….
Rock and roll is thinking about making out and ending up fucking….It’s not watching porno. Fuck the system, fuck the world.
A dive in the past: Back to your early days (mid 1990’s)… What have you missed most and why? In addition, have you regretted your love-hate relationship with The Dandy Warhols’ Courtney Taylor-Taylor back in the days?
Well after Nirvana…I remember when Sony bought 500 indie labels in one day…put them all out of business. Fuck the corporations….once kids sold 10,000,000 units from the outside….the kids became units. Everyone wanted to be a unit. A pair of air jordans or the latest iphone. A product. Fuck that. You have to make your own culture. This culture is death. It is planned obselesence that means you are obsolete. Have no illusions. The only future you have is the one you make…
You appeared/performed this year in Release festival in Athens. Tell us a few words about this experience of yours. Did you enjoy it? What is your opinion about the Greek audience?
I am very grateful about that experience and the people…I love Greece, sometimes it crosses my mind to move to an island and maybe build a house that earthquakes can’t kill. haha…wait for WW3 but I dunno, I want to come back, play more, make more friends.
A more personal question now. Anton, apart from BJM are you working on any new projects for the time being (solo or collaborations)? Regarding your label any interesting forthcoming release (apart from BJM) we should keep an eye for?
I work everyday so lets see: I have ‘Third World Pyramid’, then 3 singles, then the next album ‘Don’t Get Lost’ all coming this year, I am recording bands and working on a soundtrack…I am very busy..Our label has many releases on the way…but I hate being an advert.
Which three 2016 albums would you suggest we should listen to and why?
Everything you never listened to is new to you. Why stop at now? Albums are expensive people say but you know, you can buy an old phonograph and slowly collect odd records and learn to enjoy simple pleasures like our grand parents…with your friends…
sit and drink wine and listen to some great records…
it doesn’t take many…buy something new every so often..
Is there any scheduled tour for your new album? What are your future plans?
I headline desert daze on Sunday – in California then play South America for the first time in November… but I plan on playing as much as I can in the future, I don’t need another reason.
Finish this the way you like then. Last words on BJM…
FUCK WAR – FUCK these bastards who are dragging us into another BIG WAR.
Photo credits: Katy Lane
Dimitra Christaki – Christos Doukakis