Angry Ape Interview
Interview with Angry Ape Online Magazine 2004.
01. Hi Simon, how are things?
I is good thank you, and ya self. .
02. Can you describe Yellotone for those who are unfamiliar with your music?
Yellotone is just the tunes I've making electronically since 98. It's a loose canoe of stuff that I guess reflects who I is and what I like. But, I don't try to think about that much, I just make the tunes.
03. You've just released your debut album 'Tar File Junction', tell us about it and what inspirations were behind it?
Tar file junction isn't a real place, merely an elegant faÃ§ade for a lot of ideas I've had and brought together. Some Ideas date back in circles as far as 98, most were from last year. I took these and fleshed them out a bit. Some of the tunes have specific meanings behind them whilst others are just there cause I like the way they sound.
04. 'Tar File Junction' features a lot of diversity - do you intentionally not restrict yourself to one particular sound or do songs just progress that way?
One of the best things about electronic music is that each time you start a new tune it's a blank thing and you can do anything you like, its not limited to what chords you know on a guitar for example. I like lots of different styles and get inspired by a whole gang of different things but I try not to think and just do whatever I feel like at the time. Although when it comes to putting an album together, I'm conscious also of the need for tunes to fit well next to each other.
05. The album contains a number of live instruments such as double bass, drums and piano - do you feel it's important to incorporate 'real' instruments?
Sometimes. It depends on the tune. It can make a difference on occasions. On sinking spring farm, I originally wrote the piano part on a keyboard but didn't like the way it sounded so I re-recorded on me friend's piano for the desired effect. Most of the time its just cause they are composed like that at the time - I have something I like and start jamming over the top on guitar for example or I think that's what will go well but I'm sure I could survive without them.
06. Do you think that by not including real instrumentation a lot of electronica can come across as soulless?
No not really. Being soulless is more to do with a lack of good ideas and good tunes rather than the sounds used.
07. Who are your favourite non-electronic artists at the minute?
The thing I've listening to most in the last week or so is Smile by Brian Wilson that's really lush. On a rock tip I really like Q and not U - they are on Dischord, Fugazi's label and are real good live, though I haven't heard their latest album yet. Also Mogwai's last record, David bowie's low album, some MF Doom and John Coltrane. Diplo and Prince have been rocking the car stereo. I've also got to mention my man Buddy Peace. Check his mix for Warp- that's amazing,
08. A bit off topic, but be honest if you had to choose one of these minging foods what would it be? Haggis or Black Pudding...
My friend Bill informs me that haggis is lovely but I couldn't possibly comment.
09. There's a number of reviews which describe you as 'folktronic' or 'indie electronic', what do you make of that?
Hmm. I guess people feel the need to say such things, writing well about music is a pretty hard task. In some ways some of the tunes I make are indie rock but others aren't at all so whatever's babes. I don't really think about those titles really, future releases will change that as well I reckon.
10. Most electronic artists make their music on a home computer, so how do you take your music to a live show? And when is your next live event?
Miles Davis used to go on about how performing for him was about presenting the music as it is with little interaction with the crowd. This may work if you've got half a dozen amazing musicians on stage but for me as I'm me own I prefer to add a bit of flaming lips style exuberance to a live show. Besides I reckon I'd get bored doing nothing on stage, so I play tunes off me laptop adding effects and mutating the sound as I play but I also play guitar, a lot ,keyboard or harmonica as and when depending on the song. I also like to have visuals and sometime dancers as well if possible...
Next live gigs are: Wed 27th October Phonica Record Store Poland Street.
Wed 3rd November , Sonic in Norwich with Buddy peace
Sat 6th November Alt Ctr Party @ the telegraph Brixton London.
Sun 14th November at the Sidewinder, St James St, Brighton with Buddy peace
11. What is this 'Live At The Potter's Wheel' CDR album you released?
Before I was signed, I use to just give CDs to me mates for fun and after working on the tar file junction for a while I was conscious that they hadn't got anything for ages. So I wanted to give out something especially as it was coming up to Christmas. After finishing the album I also kind of felt like I'd been let off the leash having spent a while concentrating on getting a few tunes recorded and sounding how I wanted to. So I ended up making about 30 tunes really spontaneously in a couple of months not really thinking about what I was doing. I took 14 of these and gave them out as live at the potter's wheel, selling 50 or so to pay for the cost of the getting them pressed up.
12. Why do you think AI has become such a cult label and does it bother you that someone might only buy your music to complete their AI collection?
As long as people investigate then that's cool.
13. You're involved with a site - www.kissmymintcondition.co.uk, can you tell us about it and how did you get involved?
Kissmymintcondition is a place for me and some of me mates to have some stunts on. There's stuff about me tunes, the comic, Cricket Stubble and other bits that will go up in time. There was a website an age ago that we had but that fizzled into nothingness. Some of it then went on the wheels instead of hooves (wheelsinsteadofhooves.co.uk) site but as the wheels nights became bigger and more streamlined having other content on there didn't seem right.
14. What can we expect next from Yellotone?
I want to do some more gigs in places far and wide. Maybe a remix or two plus I've always got lots of different tunes ready to go so...
15. What the hell is 'Geen Mayo'?!
Geen mayo is dutch for no mayonnaise. It comes from going to Amsterdam on holiday back in the day and going into burger king post fun bags and ordering a whopper- "Geen Mayo". It's the only Dutch you need.
Though the word "geen" has also become mutilated into an all-encompassing term.
Alright geen ?
16. Thankyou for your time Simon!
Thanks for having me,,,,