The Jazz Butcher
KCMU Interview Red Dots In The Butcher's Basement (Seattle, WA, USA)
Credit: Mucker MC
Red Dots In The Butcher's Basement
Cult Of The Basement
If things seemed weird back in February 1989, when we made this baby, the Weird were going shopping on bikes. In a farmhouse in the dead of winter, in personal circumstances too bizarre and complex to relate, we set about making our "commercial suicide" album. For the first time, I felt, we had made an album that really sounded like us. This record does have personality. One of my favourites, this.
( www.amazon.com )
( www.amazon.com )
Cult Of The Basement the Jazz Butcher's seventh and most recent album, ranks among his most adventurous. Like the ones before it, the album contains far more than meets the eye. When Pat Fish , the always interesting and entertaining man who is the Jazz Butcher, visited Seattle, it was story-time. A tragic illness, a looney French artist, and three bizarre men from Vienna, we got it all.
PF: Over the years, we've had the food album, the bus album, the drink album, and now, ladies and gentlemen, we have the death album. This is the death album. It was all recorded in the middle of the night. We went nocturnal in the first twenty four hours of recording, from 6pm to 6am, middle of the winter, farmhouse middle of the English countryside. There were a lot of curious concepts going off there. For example, there was this thing involving the jackal-headed dead. It was a kind of ancient Egyptian death cult thing whereby the bathroom at the studio became "the chamber". You can sort of picture a sort of Howard Cater thing: "I-I-I'm entering the chamber now." I actually recorded that little 12 string bit (at the start of Turtle Bait in "the chamber".
MMC: Were there secret ceremonies associated with this cult?
For those of you who aren't familiar with our policies at KCMU, a "red dot" is a song we cannot play on the air because it includes some type of naughty word.
Or concept or cigarette. Damn!
Last summer (1989) just before we came over here- was a very weird time. Kizzy was suddenly hit with a brain tumor. We spent a lot of time in our friend Harry's apartment (a basement), and things got really twisted. People were going quite mad. We went to America and did the tour with Richard Formby taking Kizzy's place. When we got back to England, we went straight into the studio. We were still completely mad, and this kind of basement vibe was still there. It was a little instrumental called Schweinhund. It was supposed to be a kind of Argentine-Paraguayan thing. Schweinhund, kinda sexy. Eventually we realized that what we were really talking about was the basement (so we renamed it The Basement) I don't remember who originally had the idea, but we thought we could do little, different versions of it (on the L.P.) The version on side two before Girl-Go is supposed to be the Syphillitic Argentinian Palm Court Orchestra version, and then there's the accordion version called-never mind, I'm English.
Yes, I understand.
Well it all makes perfect sense, if you start at the top and go through to the end, honest. It does. It's like Sex And Travel. It's a movie, and its flirting with the dark shit. Damn, red dot. Its our goth (as in Gothic) album, and we're happy with it.
Kizzy O'Callaghan ....
Kizzy's far too sick to tour with us now. He might die at any minute. He's very positive in his head, but any minute he might go into a coma and croak. And that's how it is. On this tour we've got a 21 year old wunderkind named Julian Poole taking his place. We met Julian through the The Blue Aeroplanes. Alex Lee , one of their guitarists, does some great stuff on our new LP. When we were recording, he kept saying, "Oh, I've got this friend who's better than me!" That was Julian, and it's mad really. Julian is miles away the youngest of our group.
Your albums have-from time to time-included some rather unusual names among the credits, and I'm sometimes not sure if its you or someone else.