The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Press Nerve #27 - August 08, 1986
Published: Nerve #27 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) August 08, 1986 Credit: Helen Lee Source:
Interview w/Conspirator: Pat Fish Item added: 2023-09-08

the joy of BUTCHERY


A marvelous thing, the English language. A root word, get this, created solely for a British pop musician named Pat Fish, singer, songwriter and coguitarist of Jazz Butcher Conspiracy (as they will henceforth be known).

Wow. Gestural, articulate, and insightful are good, too. What's in a name?

“Indeed. It's only a name, like Pat Fish is only a name/' The conspiracy arises from the creative collaboration that is “more than just the four people on stage." Through a “convoluted series of accidents, including a brief association with David j (ex Bauhaus, now in Love & Rockets), the final line-up includes Max (guitar), Mr. Jones (drums) Felix (bass).

“We are fully aware of the absurdity of all this"

Several years back, Pat promptly shed his academic skin after realizing, “I was living out other people's ambitions rather than my own." Studying Aristotle and Kant at Oxford U was “a real waste of time," and, getting together with David J in '83, the other man about Northhamptonshire (“it was a little ridiculous: we were wearing the same clothes, liked the same music, read the same books, even the obscure ones"), they set out to make some music and “have fun doing it." Another rock band is born. But this time, it's a bunch of • cracked philosophers who wrestle with the morality of suicide and other Big Questions — the existential crisis encapsulated in a three minute pop song.

“I don't trust people with beards."

But Tom Waits only has a scruff so he's okay, as are the Weather Prophets, the Pogues, and the Jesus And Mary Chain. Although his pals The Woodentops are “a bit smoother than they ought to be," Pat concedes, “fair enough, they want to make some money." The heart's still mending, though, from the shock he got from

the pages of Interview: “I'm thinking, yeah, it's true; all Andy Warhol cares about is making money. I turn the page and there's Louis Reed on his stupid little beachbox thin#." Exit personal God.

But their fantastic pop song, ' H uman Jungle,' with its 'Walk on the Wild Side' bass line, a go-go lyric (“I know all about your house, I know all about your mouth") and marzipan cool is pure Lou. The Velvets are the thing. They're cute* beyond belief, so sweet."

“We're not quite the ones for the 'plug the product' department"

No, they aren't, so the honors are mine. Their first domestic release, the juicy, quirky Bloody Nonsense is a compilation of three British albums— a situation that Pat finds embarrassing. “British fans ask, 'what are they putting out this crap for again?' And I sympathize:" Their next album, recorded several months ago, will be released in October. Called Distressed Gentle Folk , the cover art is Pat's collage of solitary icons such as Judy Garland, Brian Wilson, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka. “There are also some animals, like a cat in some kind of test machine— it's obviously not going to come out of it alive."

It's unnerving: the punk ethos (“we do what we want") meets Aztec Camera pop sensibility and out-intellectualizes Lloyd Cole on the way. Forget Leonard Cohen, it's the twisted brilliance of Hunter S. Thompson.

Pat's taking a breather (how normally can you breathe with a record company rep. on one side and Mike Dyer's power winder on the other?). They'll be taking on the “biblethumping fundamentalists who burn pop records" (ie, Americans) this month, playing in venues of “small bits of cardboard and toothpicks."

Godsend and godspeed. Look no further, as Pat insists, “the flesh and blood is all there is." Bloodsuckers, Imagemakers, step aside, because the conspiracy is coming to town.

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