The Banned Interview 2

The Banned Interview

Recently we did an interview for an American music magazine.  I’ll admit it was verbose and quite offensive, but nonetheless awesome.  The magazine then refused to publish it, attempting to instead publish a version so heavily edited, it didn’t even make sense.  I’m not enough of a c**t to name the magazine themselves, but I am going to publish the unedited version of said interview here for your perusal.  Hope you like:

Artist Name: Neon Highwire
Location: London, UK

Q: How did the project come into existence?

SM: I used to fence for Wales at a national level and was a true bad ass with swords.  I spent 4 years pirateering in the north sea, but alas my bounty was almost exclusively aquine and made for pungent bling.  One of the boats I commandeered had those other two losers on board who were all like “wah wah wah, please spare us, we are but humble losers and nowhere near as aces as you”.  So I was all like “why should I spare you, yo? I am a true bad ass with swords.”.  Rather than answer with feeble words, one of them bust out an awesome guitar solo using loads of jazz scales and pinched harmonics while the other rocked out on the keytar using the pitch bend like it ain’t no thing.  I was like “woah”.

As you’ve probably guessed, those two people turned out to be Luke & Jim.  We sailed around for a while entertaining fishermen with our electrojazzmetal before returning to shore because we needed showers and Jim fancied some cous cous which is illegal in most countries.  While on land we recorded the Luminescence EP with Steve Albini* in twenty seconds and then slowed it down to make the recording you can buy from Amazon today.  Like Spaceman by Babylon Zoo but in inverse.

*Not the Steve Albini most famous for producing Razorblade Suitcase by Bush, a different one.

LF:  That’s all true and I have paintings I did to prove it.

JD: We used to play together and/or separately in different guitar based bands in Bristol, then all ended up in London and realised we’d have to try and tolerate one another in the name of electro.

Q: Who are the members of the band if any and please tell us about it?

JD:  There’s three of us and a laptop which would have been classified as a weapon in the 1990s.  We all play all the instruments and all sing, although NOT necessarily at the same time.  The laptop is merely decorative.  We find a lot of people enjoy watching slideshows of family holidays whilst we perform.

SM: There’s me and two other guys who I like to call “The Help”.  After our many months on the sea, we had considered finding our niche by forming the biggest band in recorded history.  The plan was that every human on the planet was part of the band and we’d have an SMS opt out service if you no longer wanted to be a member.  The problems started when Barry Manilow had assumed that the band was merely a vessel for a vanity project idea of his playing trip-hop interpretations of Roy Orbison songs and stopped returning our calls when he found out how big the band was.  Bazza (as he’s known to his friends) gets very sensitive about being upstaged, that’s why he never joined the Beatles.  After an emergency band meeting at Chicken Cottage (aka C squared) which only Jim, Luke and myself (know to friends as StevieKing McAces) turned up to, we decided to operate as a pathetically small three piece.  However, hipsters love triangles.

LF:  Steve has shingles on his balls – that’s what gives keep him motivated.  I have a moustache.  Jim is also in the band.  He is small.

SM: His balls aren’t small though, they’re like space hoppers.

JD: That’s accurate.

Q: How would you describe your sound / genre?


LF: I can only describe it with dance.  I’m dancing in paint now, but you can’t see because you’re so lame.

SM: I’m dancing in Photoshop LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

JD: What they’re trying to say is we try to sound like a Bugged Out! night channeled through Sonic Youth’s pop phase.

Q: What formal training or previous experience do any of the members have?

JD: We’ve all played guitar for years and years.  I pretended to play the piano before that, but Bach always ended up sounding like Estranged by GnR.  We’ve all sung since we had vocal chords.  But let’s face it, with most of our songs you don’t actually need much talent/experience, pressing down one key on a synthesiser is about as hard as hitting Steve in the face.  Which is easy if you’ve spiked his Kia Ora.

SM: I reached grade nine in piano at the age of three.  Music has always run through my family, rather than breastfeeding my mother refused to give me anything but ivory for the first six months of my life.  Even now I can’t look at an elephant without a repressed rage seething through my very being.  One time I was at Bristol Zoo and I lost it, running through the elephant crib throwing their own faeces at them and screaming B*Witched song lyrics in Welsh.  I also play the spoons, it was the only way I could get through prison.  By prison I mean Bridgend Recreational Centre swimming pool with the wave machine on.  I was KING of those slides.

Q. Are you working w/ a producer on your upcoming album?

LF:  If by producer you mean prostitutes then yes.  If you mean Bill Oddie, then less so.  Basically I will be firing lasers at school kids until I get the kind of fear sound that I’m after.  Then I’ll add some reverb to make it sound all “OOOOH, I’M IN A FUCKING CAVE, YEAH?”

JD:  So far it just sounds like Pete Waterman produced it.

SM: We shortlisted a list of three hundred and seventy six different producers that we wanted to work with for our upcoming EP tentatively titled (by me) “Codename FastFast”.  It was tough to narrow it down to so few as often I like to make names up for my own amusement.  Yes, I laugh at my own jokes.  It’s a horrible habit and I think speaks volumes about the inward sickness of my being, but despite this, I do have blue eyes and occasionally people say “You have blue eyes”.  This one time, when I was waiting for the number 42 bus in Camberwell, the bus just drove right by the stop as though it was full and could take no more but I saw through the windows and there were many spare seats available.  Under normal circumstances, I’d have vomited into my own hand and cried as though in an alternative reality where national service was mandatory and consisted of 3 years as a contestant on Big Brother with no filming.  This time however something was different, it was the straw that snapped the pigeon’s Rubiks cube, as they say. I ran in the same direction as the bus as fast as my muscular, sensual legs could carry me.  As I approached, I saw the bus ahead stopped at the next stop allowing passengers to board.  Step by step my goal was pure and true.  20, 30, 40 miles per hour at least.  As I sprinted mere metres away from my goal the driver shut the doors with the intention of driving off, but standing at the bus stop with huge sympathy for my plight, Lindford Christie picked up the bus with his muscly arms and shook it as though a mere maraca until the driver had no choice but to allow the sweaty Welshman on the bus.  As I slapped my Osyter card against the reader, the driver said “You have blue eyes”.  It was then that I knew we’d found our producer.

JD:  We produce our own stuff.  This way we have infinite studio time, which is useful when it takes four hours to let Steve shout himself out so me and Luke can record the real vocals.  Then we auto tune some bits with a Bridgend accent and tell him it’s his vocal take.  This may sound convoluted but it’s a lot easier than telling him he sounds like Barry Manilow doing Raging Speedhorn covers.  He gets quite violent.  What we did on the last EP, which we are massively doing next time as well is take it to Simon Davey at The Exchange for mastering.  He did the last Boys Noize album.  And you know what that sounds like.  YES YOU DO.  He makes our sounds sound a lot more like we know what the fuck we are doing, and has the biggest speakers in the known universe, including Watford B&Q.

Q. Who would you say has been the biggest influence on the bands sound or that you have used as inspiration for your music?

LF:  When we were sailing off the coast off Greenland, using only the golden fleece we’d stolen in Mesopotamia for shelter, we came across an old, bearded wizard named Tyrone.  It was during our year long stay with him that we learned the ways of true musical creation.  Whilst bludgeoning seals to death with rocks and wearing only green flash trainers and bum bags we would listen to Rick Astley and George Benson records on a gramophone Tyrone salvaged from a nearby shipwreck.   In the evening we would fashion likenesses of Diana Ross from the skin of the seals we had killed in the day.  Usually by this time we had moved on to more Motown/Grunge records.  Jim would mostly listen to Megadeth as he always wanted to be a ginger.  Also I quite like Justice.

SM: Yeah alright, DAD.  My inspiration is every person who has ever wronged me.  Oh man, that’s quite a list.  I keep a room in my summer house (I made my millions short selling at the start of the recession) full of stacks of names of people who have wronged me.  Yes Mrs Drake who wouldn’t let me throw most of my horrible school dinner away in primary school, citing hypothetical starving children in Ethiopia as a reason for me eating more than I cared to.  Fuck you.  Yes Mrs Tether who told me off for pulling Nigel Llewellyn’s (I think it was him) chair away before he sat on it.  You didn’t see the shit he was giving me beforehand bitch, that was justice I was applying!  Sweet, unadulterated, inarguable justice!  I could go on, but I’m so mad right now I’ve destroyed the e ky making my txt a lot lss lgibl.

JD: We listen to all sorts of shit.  I’ve always loved dance music (the Prodigy Experience was my first ever CD.  Although my first tape was Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em by MC Hammer), but experiencing the Justice/Digitalism/Soulwax nexus in the depths of the Thekla in Bristol flicked a switch in my head, which pulled me away from flirting with using a few bleeps in the rock band I was playing in to wanting to make builds that make people’s brains melt out of their fingers, like neon spiderwebs made out of your thoughts.  That and the aeons of post rock we were listening to.  I don’t think we sound like either of these things, but they’re the start of what we do.  Biggest influence overall was/is 65daysofstatic for proving that beats and guitars were made by Buddha himself for being played together.

Q.What advice would you give to others starting out?

SM: Fuck off.  Don’t do a useless degree like Sociology or BA (Honsless) Tourism & Twat.  Don’t follow your ideals, do whatever’s easiest and laugh at others whenever possible.  Trust no-one.  Never give a promoter any money.  Sell out.  Act friendly to those you hate, spread untraceable rumours about them (e.g. their sexual health) whenever possible.  Don’t be an earnest singer / songwriter type with a whimsical nature and an acoustic guitar, I will seriously bludgeon your face with a hammer until even Alan Titchmarsh wouldn’t fuck you.  Never buy fair trade, FREE trade is fair.  Make your own clothes, or if short of time steal from washing lines.  Wipe burgers all over your body and visit vegan cafes in nothing but a pair of speedos in September.  Tell your parents you’re gay then orchestrate it so they catch you rutting a lady over twice your age.  Tell people you work as a consultant, when they press you for more, shake their hand, slipping a chilli pepper into it with the words “you’re next” scratched into the side of it.  Other than that, never think you’re too old to have fun on swings.

JD: You sound like Donald Rumsfeld on ketamine.  We keep advice like this simple – don’t be shit, don’t try and sound like Mika and you’ll probably get somewhere if you’re not averse to a hand job or two in the alley round the corner from the Burger King in Camden.  Fortunately Steve was doing this already.

LF:  Stop it!  It’s ours now and you can’t have it.  You are too young and you smell of yak’s milk.

Q. Where can people go to learn more about you and hear your music?

LF:  If you own a crash helmet and fishnets then you can come to one of our gigs.  If not then stick to cabbage soup and freeganism.  If you think you are up to the challenge, we’re playing at Club 229 with electro-mentalists Glass Diamond on 1st December.  It will hurt you in the mind.  For those who have the fear, then there is always the internet.

SM: Our website is which is a shit hot place to start. Then go to and “like it”, and “friend us”, and “follow” us. Then buy our debut EP and Bear At The Bus Stop single from iTunes or Amazon. If you listen to us on Spotify I will hate you though completely understand why you do it as Spotify fucking rules. I am so in love with Spotify I want it’s babies. I would then starve those babies and see how well the produce of its passion survives on zero income. I hate you, reader.

JD: For once I agree with both of them.

SM: Jim is wrong.

Q. If you could play anywhere in the world or with anyone you wanted where and who would it be with?

JD: Palace of Versailles, 1799. Let them eat BEATS. If the lack of electricity gets in the way of that, then just before Wyld Stallions at the San Dimas BOTB. In reality, at the moment I cannot think of anywhere better than the Coronet at 2am on NYE, just after Manilow and just before Boys Noize. I would crowd surf the shit out of that. And it’s only down the road from me so I could walk home.

LF: Cliff Richard. Afan Lido, Port Talbot. OBV

SM: I’d love to play with Piers Morgan. I’d love him to stand on stage in front of me feigning bashfulness as he looks out to a sea of knowing, smiling faces. As he basks in the misinterpreted excitement of the masses, producing a substandard witticism periodically to attempt to identify with those he hates most, I’d bludgeon the back of his head with my PRS guitar (great guitars, well made, I love them) until I saw brain pouring out the cracks of its chalky mulch. I wouldn’t finish him with the first blow, my first would be just hard enough to stun him, causing him to turn around to face me in pained confusion and not until his soulless, empty eyes connected with mine would I bring the beautiful wooded weight of the finely carved Paul Reed Smith crashing down on his head to finish the job. Meatloaf knew where it was at. If Piers wasn’t available, Jeremy Kyle, Alan Titchmarsh or Noel Edmunds would be acceptable substitutes.

Q. What has been your greatest experience so far either individually or as a whole?

SM: A journey from Cardiff to London Victoria on the Megabus when it broke down. The driver didn’t speak English and evidently didn’t have enough training to do anything other than drive the bus and soil himself as the latter function kicked into operation. Absolutely disgusting you’d think, but there was something about the eerie calm of how little I cared about the wellbeing of this man that dropped my heartbeat down to such incredible levels it was as though time had stood still. They should put ketamine in the school milk they give to children in primary schools. Then the little shits wouldn’t be misbehaving. BAM PROBLEM SOLVED, VOTE SM.

LF: We were once attacked by 9 left-handed tigers in the Kashmiri mountains. Luckily we are all experts in anti-feline martial arts and armed only with machine guns and heavy artillery we managed to massacre them from a range of barely 100 metres. I made a pair of speedos out of one of their faces, but they were a bit itchy so I sold them on Gumtree to a nun. Apart from that, I’d say playing 93 Feet East with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs was top banana – and that’s not the kind of terminology I tend to band about too lightly.

SM: I, however, use the phrase top banana with abandon.

JD: You would. I’m the same as Luke, sharing a stage with TEED, with a capacity Saturday night crowd at 93 FE in front of us, hearing the beats WE FUCKING MADE tearing through the Funktion One soundsystem almost made me release then and there. Perfect gig.

Q. Do you have any upcoming events or news you would like to tell our readers about?

LF: I already said about that because I am a plug whore.

SM: The best kind of whore, other than top banana whores, naturlich. My toenails have been getting a bit long and I snagged one on a new pair of socks the other day which was a shame as now they’ve got a tiny hole in them which will inevitably get bigger over time. I’ll probably cut them within the next five days after a shower so they’re a bit softer, but haven’t settled on the exact date yet as I’m a little bit crazy lol! I’ve also been talking to a friend of mine who’s doing a PhD in robotics about whether I can get a bionic eye installed in my butt cheek. Apparently the technology already exists, but it’s merely the matter of funding which is the problem. In order to save up the cash I’ve started responding to gumtree ads trying to get people to send me shit without paying for it. Some say that’s immoral, but then that’s what they said about Jesus, and some people think he’s better than cola and Mentoes. QED.

JD: If Steve hasn’t lost his tiny little mind by then, we’re playing the 229 Club on 1 December 2010. If Steve has lost his painfully fragile grip on reality, me and Luke will play and Steve will dance. We’ve had his parts automated and his mic turned down for months anyway.

Q. Where do you see yourselves or hope to be in about 5 years?

LF: As long as I’m not in Cwmbran I’ll be pretty happy, although there is a BANGIN Argos there to be fair. Ideally I’d like to be in some supermodels. I’m not fussy though – ordinary models will do. I ain’t no vegan.

SM: Doing your mum while your dad and uncle watch.

JD: Still playing, maybe even getting paid for it. Enough to keep me in new synthesisers and Tenants Super will suffice. If we haven’t played Japan by then (and I count singing a cappella in one of their temples), we will be FAILURES. Big, fat, weeping piles of failure.

SM: Sexy failures, mind. The best kind!

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