Tuesday, 15 September 2009

It's 2002. It's Comet Gain.

It was ten years ago - TO THE DAY - that I started tasty fanzine. Initially, it was a printed fanzine, and that first one took two monts to put together and was 18 sheets of A4 held together with staples. I think it had a Morrissey live review in it.

I used to be quite proud of tasty, but then life got in the way and I handed it all over to my friend Shane around late 2005. He seems to have then passed it on to some people in London, because that's where most tasty gigs seem to be held. It's a bit weird seeing the name associated with stuff I'd ever really listen to, but it'd run its course for me.

Anyway, in a bout of nostalgia, I thought I'd pilfer the tasty archives for some old interviews I'd done with the indiepop heroes du jour. This could be rather embarrassing, of course, but to start with here's a short interview I did with Comet Gain on the release of their masterpiece, Realistes.

What or who are the Realistes? And are the people pictured on your new album sleeve realistes?

'Realistes' is an illusional concept, a mixture of dadaist rhetoric and situationist daydreamers, if baader-meinhof had no terror in mind only realization of dreams-come-true. An ethic of many things mixing film rebels, drunks, pop art poets, skinny wolves etc. It’s a cloak to wrap around any aspect you feel okay with....a loose coalition of things and possible manifestos all contradicting each other. If you take the situationist stance of society as the spectacle and the enemy of true love and freedom, then the only thing many can do either than resort to actual anarchy and terrorism is to transcend the spectacle.

There are many ways to do this and realistes is a word and a deed and a thought and an idea, and any idea that falls outside the logical status quo is subversive in some form. The actual word is loaded because we all think of reality as we know it here and now - comfortable within the spectacle- as the real reality. But it’s not and the more we approach society now and reality on a religious, spiritual and political level by actually seeing them as they REALLY are our current structures make absolutely NO sense and you have that 'oh shit! we're all living in some awful dream created by the few to contain the rampant dreams of the many. its all about perception, creativity, realization and then renewal.

The pictures are of people-they could be realistes .

Riot Grrrl legend and sometime Le Tigre stalwart, Kathleen Hanna has contributed to the album. How did working with her come about?

I've been friends with Kathleen for many years, since the first bikini kill tour of England -we all became buddies and played stuff. Me and Kathleen had a short lived band called Male Slut with one great song - ‘Tight Pants, Fat Butt' about the difference between English Boys and American girls... according to Kathleen. When we go to New York we stay with her and vice versa. We play with le Tigre and she was the perfect duet for that particular song (Ripped-Up Suit), although I'm not really sure what she’s singing its sounds like an explosion. God bless you Kathleen.

Comet Gain has just expanded again with the addition of Lefties drummer Chris Applegren. Is this a settled line-up or will you seek to work with more people in the future?

Why not? There are no rules as to who should be in a band or why. Comet Gain always has and will be a collective of friends around the world and I like to think this is my favourite so far.

Will the band will celebrating the Jubilee?

Oh yeah, the Jubilee really changes my life, its the most important day of the year for me and so relevant to EVERY thing I say and do. Where’s my shotgun?

How do your politics manifest themselves in your music?

If you get the music and films and government your generation deserves then the sooner those venal fucks controlling the puppet strings send us hurtling towards there dumb biblical e.n.d Then I'll be cheering. Although Gordon Brown’s Socialist Budget seems a shock, and a good one, and about the first sensible act of the century. I remain fucking MASSIVELY suspicious. The alternative is for people to actually think about the world and all the things I mentioned in question 1 and do something about it. Except it won't happen until people are educated in a global scale and perhaps the old hippy idea of acid in the water supply would be a good starting point. We need to evolve really quick or it'll be too late

And so is your music a channel for your frustrations too?

Yes... no a channel for communication and most communication is frustrated. If I didn't do it I'd probably get drunk a lot more.

Do you think that Comet Gain’s time is now?

We don't make records for any 'time' or some false pretensions of fame or acceptance. We are by and large as un-important to the world’s issues and artistic relevance as Madonna losing a toenail...if one person likes our record, and didn't before, then our time has come driving round that corner. Is that all bands care about?

Who gets the Comet Gain pulse racing nowadays?

Clinic, Butterflies of Love, Neon panda, Ray-k-Ray, Pattern, Tyde, Beachwood Sparks, Derek and Clive.

And what’s to come from Comet Gain?

More seven inchers, some compilation tracks some awful drunk shows, Swedish and American tours, cookery book, self help manuals, a video movie, a kiss on the cheek and a smile in the morning.


darvé said...

Nice forshadowing of the Indietr*cks 2008 show there, from, i presume, Mr Feck. 'Comet Gain is a collective' is something i think i've heard one too many times now. Still, Realistes remains a masterpiece doesn't it.

String Bean Jen said...

Good read (I missed the Indietracks 2008 melee). Thanks for digging it up from the Tasty archives.

I was just talking about passing on the name of something you started up and do to someone else. I could never do it! I see the Tasty gig and music reviews and it's difficult to understand that that was your baby. But I know who started it and if you've got more intriguing pieces like this, I'd love to read them.