“Seeing Yard Act was like watching a weird Ghost Of Christmas Future”

“Seeing Yard Act was like watching a weird Ghost Of Christmas Future”
“Seeing Yard Act was like watching a weird Ghost Of Christmas Future”

Eddie Argos of Art Brut spoke with ZikNation about his band’s new compilation and box set, the feuds and breakthroughs of the sordid indie years, his recent near-death experience, and how Yard Act is his Ghost Of Christmas Future.

Last month, the indie music veterans announced the compilation album “A Record Collection, Reduced to a Mixtape” and the five-CD box set “Yes, This Is My Singing Voice!” “.

“A lovely landmark,” said Argos ZikNation exits. “It’s been 20 years of Art Brut. I think our music has a bit of meaning right now. Screamy, indie music is in style again, isn’t it? »

The double-LP compilation collects key tracks from the band’s initial four-album run, from 2005’s debut album, “Bang Bang Rock & Roll,” to “Brilliant!” » from 2011’s Tragic!’, and their fifth album from 2018’s ‘Wham! Slam! Ugh! Let’s Rock Out! ”, as well as live tracks and rarities. Tracks including lead single “Formed A Band” and later favorites including “Emily Kane”, “Nag Nag Nag”, “Axl Rose” and a live version of “Modern Art”.

The box set, the first part of a complete two-box series, focuses on their 2003-2008 debut, collecting debut album and 2007 follow-up “It’s A Bit Complicated”, alongside bootlegs, B-sides, demos and alternatives. previously unreleased mixes and live recordings. The releases are expected to be accompanied by a tour of the UK and Germany in September and October.

“It’s nice to see how excited people are that we’re playing again,” Argos said of the band’s return. “There was a gap between the first set of records and ‘Wham!’ Slam! Ugh! Let’s go! “. In this breach, I was really sick, I almost died. I had diverticulitis. It’s horrible.

“I woke up after the operation and all the doctors were shaking my hand and hugging me. I said to my partner at the time, “They’re very nice.” ‘Oh yeah, they just saved your life.’

In this spirit of reflection, Argos declared ZikNation about past feuds, advice for The Hives, and their influence on sprechgesang.

Check out our full interview below.

ZikNation: Hello Eddie. Looking back to the 2000s for the compilation and box set, was “indie sleaze” a fair term for the scene?

Argos: “I stood next to it at the urinal, but I don’t think we were really part of it. I’m just getting out of this image. I’m at the bar across the road. It was quite career-oriented for a lot of these people but it was exciting to be part of a band. We were really weird. We would sing about forming a band or about modern art. I was obsessed with Jonathan Richman, we didn’t really fit together.

“We weren’t rock enough to be like the Libertines guys and we weren’t art school enough to be with the Franz Ferdinand guys, so we were kind of in the middle, trying to make friends with the Franz Ferdinand guys and running. far from the Libertines guys.

Did you consider yourselves to be provocateurs?

” Not really. I mean, I was a bit of a talker. I fought with quite a few groups. “Formed A Band” was our first single and it was only supposed to be a demo and then Rough Trade heard it. So we were relatively new when people started asking me about things. When I read the ZikNation and I was talking about it, without being there, I was the same – ‘Well, that’s crap, what’s the problem with that?’ I was grumpy about everything. So of course, when I was asked about the bands, I was honest.

“I didn’t have a laptop at the time – that thing with Kele (Okereke, the Bloc Party singer who hit Argos in retaliation for his comments about the band), I didn’t really understand that when something is on the Internet, anyone can read it. and come for you. So I said this thing about the Bloc Party and I got in trouble for it. I learned pretty quickly. I wrote a thing about it called “I’m Sorry for Being an Asshole” or something like that. Maybe it’s nicer to have friends who are part of a group even if you’re completely different from each other. But that’s just being an old man.

Has Emily Kane ever contacted you about the song you dedicated to her?

” Yeah. We still had mutual friends, me and Emily, and when the single came out our manager said, “You should contact her before it goes on the radio.” Very optimistic of him. So I got her number from a friend and she texted me.

She was already married. It’s magical though. This was before the Internet. I don’t see her very often, but she’s kind of come back into my life. That’s the power of rock’n’roll. We started playing it live and people were like, “My Emily Kane is Sarah So-and-so.” That’s why I write so autobiographically now, I think, because it’s such a nice feeling to have people come up to you and say, “Oh, let me tell you about this.” They think they know you. It’s very addictive.

And Axl Rose?

“He hasn’t made contact. It’s funny that my two heroes when I was younger were Morrissey and Axl Rose, and one is very left wing now and the other is very right wing and it’s not like you would think. I had to stop liking one and it’s not the one you think.

Do you still want a Top pops the comeback?

” Yes, of course. I miss watching him. Top pops it was a bit like Match of the dayespecially in the 90s. When one of your teams is in the Top 10, like Pulp is number two… If you had Top pops now and Yard Act was in progress Top pops, you’d say, “Yeah, one of my guys did it.” I miss it. Someone let me in, I think it was the Mystery Jets. They played a Christmas version of Top pops and in their snow globe, they had a photo of me. I entered this way.

What do you think of Yard Act?

“I saw them play last week. They had certainly seen (the Talking Heads live film) Stop making sense since the last time I saw them. It was like looking at a strange ghost from the future Christmas or something. They are the closest to us, I think.

Did you inspire the current sprechgesang trend?

“It’s been around for a while. I thought I was singing when I did it. I didn’t know I didn’t sing until I read a review. It’s nice to be 20 years ahead of our time.

What memories do you have of the storming of America?

“That was the real surprise. It was weird because depending on where we were in the world, people had a different idea of ​​us. In America we were like hipsters, in England we were an average indie band, a bit weird, in Germany we were intellectuals. In America we were on Conan O’Brien and we filmed a commercial for T-Mobile that they aired during the Grammys. IDLES continues on Conan O’Brien now and there’s a YouTube video the next day. It didn’t exist at the time we were doing it, so people didn’t really know about it.

“I came back from a two-month stay in America and I said: ‘I did all that’ and I looked like a crazy person, as if I was in the shed at the end of my garden inventing stuff. Daniel Radcliffe was a guest on (Conan) and he was a big fan of Art Brut. He said “I saw you in Reading, I was in disguise”. I would like to be his friend but obviously I can’t be because he is very famous.

How big was he there?

“We played Chicago 13 times in one year. At one point we were like a local band in Chicago. I would love to go into stores and people would be like, “Hey, Eddie!” “. It’s crazy when I think that we were Forkis the third best album of 2005. There’s Kanye West and Sufjan Stevens and then there’s us. I didn’t even know what Fork was. Everyone around me was really excited about it, and I was like, “Cool, so it’s like Drowned in sound or something?’ I didn’t really understand until we started going to America and seeing the effect it had.

You have already franchised your group. Do you have any advice for The Hives, who recently launched their own franchise campaign?

“Gong did it before us, but The Hives were very keen on their bands being tribute bands, whereas we encouraged ours to write their own songs. I just thought we had a really good name. There aren’t many good names left and Art Brut is a pretty good one. I wanted to share the name and what we are as opposed to our songs. Maybe The Hives could loosen the leash a little. Let their franchises write their own songs.

Some fear they are trying to become a superpower.

“As if he (Hives singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist) started an army? He is very charismatic.

What is Art Brut used for at the moment?

“I like the fact that we haven’t really changed. I like the fact that we work within the confines of a certain thing. It has to be autobiographical, it has to be these instruments. I don’t know if we’re standing for something different – maybe I’m staying in extended adolescence or something. And we will never leave. We are here forever. »

“A record collection reduced to a mixtape” and “Yes, that’s my singing voice!” » arrives July 4 via Demon Records and Edsel. The dates for Art Brut live shows in 2024 are below. Tickets are on sale now and available here.

SEPTEMBER
5 – Edinburgh – Voodoo
6 – Newcastle – Le Bosquet
25 – Mainz – Schön Schön
26 – Schorndorf – Manufacture
27 – Berlin – Lido
28 – Hamburg – Molotow
29 – Dresden – Beatpol
30 – Cologne – Gebäude 9

OCTOBER
25 – Birmingham – C&F
26 – London – Brixton Electric
27 – Brighton – Concorde 2
28 – Margate – Where else

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