Forfrysning i Bodø and karaoke in South Korea
Interview with Leslie Hadlock
taken from the Norwegian e-zine
The original answers in English.
PULS har snakket med noen av Motorpsychos hardcorefans - også kalt Psychonauts, motsatsen til
de legendariske Deadheads'ene som fulgte Grateful Dead verden rundt i årvis før Jerry Garcia
kalte det en dag i forkant av Europa-turnéen som starter om drøye to uker. I går presenterte
vi Anders Hustveit fra Oslo. I dag er vi kommet til Leslie fra USA og Nederland.
MOTORPSYCHONAUTS: #2: hardcore heads
name: Leslie Hadlock
residence: originally from the USA, men har de siste sju åra stort sett bodd i Nederland.
occupation: translator and author
When did you discover MP, what was it that turned you on to
them, did it happen at once, or was it something that took some time to
develop? Was it one song? If so, which one?
I was listening to a real grab-bag of sounds in the summer of '93. Die
Kreuzen, Zeni Geva, Neurosis, Varttina, Dogpile, L7, Edith Piaf, God
Bullies, Voivod, Hank Williams, and so on. Then one afternoon I heard
something that would turn out to shape the course of my life in some
unspecified, subtle ways, as well as with unmistakeable
hit-you-over-the-head force. It was The Box. Demon Box.
In a musty, dark attic my then-boyfriend put on Demon Box. This kind of
record comes along only a little more frequently than the proverbial blue
moon. I was enraptured by the stunning diversity: finally, a record that
matched just about every thing I was feeling, experiencing, dreaming and
dreading. It was a sonic kaleidescope. With Demon Box, Motorpsycho
alternately reached out to grab hold of me with fierce passion, backed off
only to shyly return with tentative friendliness, hid in the closet at night
with a sick scary leer, and took me for a wild journey across new aural
landscapes with carefree abandon. I listened to it all summer. And then with
an expired visa I had to go back to the States only to come back a few
months later and endure a miserable breakup. To avoid a long painful story,
at least I rightfully got custody of Motorpsycho.
If I had to pinpoint one song, though, then it would have to be Junior.
Ironically that's the one that hooked me that first listening session and
then nursed me through the hideous double whammy of a nasty breakup and
being back in the States where nobody, I mean NOBODY had ever heard of the
band, let alone carried any of their records.
Have you discovered any other artists/bands because of MP's
music or by something the band said in an interview, etc?
One of the things I think has sustained my affection and admiration for MP's
music is their own wonderfully varied tastes and outspoken love of so many
different types of music. Isn't it funny when a band alleges, ‘No, we don't
sound like so-and-so, we've got our own sound; in fact, we don't listen to
any music lest it somehow influence us!' Not surprisingly, these bands sound
like!rubbish. But getting back to the Motors, there are a number of
parallels between my own tastes and past phases of discovery and those of
certain members, but the only time I specifically searched out an artist was
after hearing them (Bent) mention Nick Drake. Actually, a few weeks before
reading the interview with Bent, my friend Jefta said I should check out Mr
Drake's music. So it wasn't solely a Motortip... ;-)
MP have done just about everything within the loose boundaries
of the rock concept and have also been outside of the fences at least once
or twice. In what direction do you hope to see the band go?
Anywhere they like, as long as it's not away!
Name your three favorite MP-releases (including EPs)!
Oh no, I hate this type of question! It's really difficult to say, since
certain moods have me reaching for one record quicker than another perhaps.
Okay, for the sake of fun I'll try:
Another Ugly EP, Timothy’s Monster, Manmower EP
This is the only way to get a little bit of everything, eg bombastic
metal, shrieking and subdued vocals, delicate melodies, thoughtful
intriguing lyrics, amazing arrangements, comedy, full on rock roots, trippy
loopiness, epic grandeur, and the like.
What is your opinion on bootlegging?
Well. First the good news. I think it is so wonderful, when the days are
long and the nights are longer, and there's no gig in sight, and I've just
come off a fantastic time spent on the road, night after night a concert
generating some magic, or I've been languishing in a drought, nothing on the
horizon, the last show a faint but beautiful memory, so I put on a recording
of a show and suddenly I'm there, I can see it, the lights, the stage, the
audience, then the sound washes over, this massive comforting and exciting
feeling replaces whatever I was feeling before and it's really like having
some friends over, it's just the best. And sometimes a show was so intense I
basically had an out-of-the-body experience, totally swept away, more a
matter of being it than being there, thus having a chance to sit and listen
closely to the same gig offers a totally different experience, and sometimes
with surprising reactions.
Now. The bad news. I don't understand how anyone could be so truly lame as
to try to make money off a band's music by selling bootlegs, or try to
sabotage them by hustling purloined copies of unreleased songs to various
illegal channels of distribution or the Internet or radio stations or
whatever. That really offends me. It also doesn't make sense why anyone
would pay money for this stuff, come on now. That isn't a very clever way of
expressing your affinity with their music. I had a bad experience where
someone I thought was a friend stole some recordings of gigs I had acquired
for my own personal enjoyment, recorded solely for personal enjoyment, and
copied them. Now as far as I know they aren't up for sale on e-bay or
circulating in any shops, but it just made me realise how if I'm not
careful, I could end up being part of the problem. So what should I do, hide
these precious recordings in a vault, stopping by to visit occasionally
under cover of darkness, gloating over them but never daring to listen?
That's silly. But it's not as silly or stupid as people who hope to turn a
profit by stealing someone else's creative efforts and artistry.
How many times (approximately will do, but if you have the
correct number please list) have you seen MP live, and how many concerts are
you planning to see this tour? Name the show you remember with the most
pleasure, maybe you have had some bad experiences as well?
My journals detailing all the gigs I've experienced since 1994 are in
storage as I roam from town to town trying to find a permanent place to live
here (all housing offers welcome!) so at the moment I can't remember the
exact figure but I can say that I've enjoyed more than 60 Motorpsycho gigs.
After I hit the 50 mark it was so incredibly amazingly mad I guess I started
to lose count or perhaps wasn't being as obsessive. But they're all
documented, rest assured. I've traveled by bicycle, trains, coaches, planes
and automobiles to see MP in the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Germany,
Norway, Italy and Austria. This year I hope to see them in Norway all the
way on down to Greece, checking out France and Switzerland for the first
time. But to me it's funny, all these years and I've still never been to
Berlin. And it's not likely going to happen this year, either. I've been to
Tromsø, but I've never been to Berlin.
To try and pinpoint one favorite gig is impossible, there have been so many
amazing times! So for the sake of brevity I'll just say Tivoli, Utrecht in
1996, because that was right after I had just barely managed to escape the
monsoon season, malaria plague, 20th century schizoid roommate and
oppressive working conditions in South Korea. For nearly six months, I had
been stuck in a small southern coastal city where hotel disco lounge
karaoke-ing was the only form of 'entertainment', and I almost wept with joy
when a student showed me how to use the Internet in a hole-in-the-wall cyber
cafe and I found the Unoff and then saw the tour dates. I immediately
planned my escape and less than 24 hours after stepping off the plane I was
in heaven, total rapture, enjoying their set (they were opening for Dead
Moon). What a homecoming.
Unfortunately, I've had some unpleasant moments, though never so bad that an
entire gig was ruined. The past few years I've noticed an increasing number
of curious blabbermouths at gigs who come up toward the front and stand
around for a few minutes before loudly launching into a detailed description
of what they had for dinner or when their next exam is, really obnoxious. Or
stagedivers, so far only seen sporadically but nevertheless, I hate
stagediving at MP gigs! But I know all this has been brought up and fiercely
debated, so without going off on a tangent or sounding like some uptight gig
police officer, let me add that the best is when everyone around me is
grooving in their own way, dancing around and singing along or freaking out
in blissed out euphoria, that's the greatest, I would rather have that than
stock-still Stepford audiences clinically studying the band with detached
interest, not even tapping their feet every now and then. How can you
experience a motorgig without at least tapping your foot?! I don't want to
meet you, you frighten me!
What do you think of the other bands that are playing at the
Stickman Festival on 13 October 2001 in Hamburg, Germany? TSOOL, Fireside,
Isolation Years and 35007.
Eindhoven, supersludge psychedelic rock city! 35007 went through some
changes after singer Ewoud's departure. The first time I saw them I thought
he was way over the top and even out of place at times, but now having seen
them recently in Germany without him, I must say I miss his presence and
vocals. The band remains a very intriguing live act, with brilliant visual
projections accompanying the stupefyingly loud and textured instrumental
mindwarps. I'm curious to see what they're up to now, it should be a really
excellent show. Fireside on the other hand disappointed me severely this
year in Amsterdam. I was playing 'Elite' a lot, and looked forward to
checking it out live. Well, I could have stayed home, it was a totally
inconsistent, mishmash of a gig. I don't often think that a record should
actually be played in track order, but the show was all over the place, and
it didn't sound good in my ears hearing the shuffling from one extreme to
another with no compelling bridges. But maybe a lot of touring has meant
they can capture the lovely subtleties of Elite, then again maybe not. I'm
curious. TSOOL were supposed to support last Spring and couldn't make it,
but back then I wasn't too sad, I had gotten used to Motorpsycho on their
own after years of either being the support or having support(s). Then I
heard TSOOL and thought: this is a band I want to check out live. So,
another one to look forward to. I know nothing about the music of Isolation
Years, guess I should do my homework. Incidentally, I finally saw Favez last
month, yaaah! Rockin'. And Reiziger, but the sound was terribly patchy and
they played to about 10 people, it wasn't anything memorable. Their time
will come, though. My point is, the Stickfolks usually don't go wrong! It's
going to be a wonderful festival!
Are there any other bands/artists that you have the same
relation to as MP?
Great question, this is so funny: earlier this year I did some reviews and
translations for a Belgian guy named Wouter's new Sophia site
and it felt like I was committing adultery!! Ha ha, great. No, seriously. Back around the time
I was getting heavily into MP (summer of '94, back in Holland, starving for them after my all
is loneliness time in the States) I discovered the God Machine, and that band also played a
pivotal role in getting me through some dreary times, and also sounded wonderful when things
were looking up! Then the untimely death of their bass player put an end to the band, but
founder Robin Proper-Shepard came back with Sophia, and has gone on to make ridiculously
gorgeous music in that incarnation. After realising how important his music has been to me,
and how much it helped me, I wanted to somehow give something back, hence my contributions to
the site. And I did go to several Sophia shows this spring, in Holland and Germany. But I
didn't follow them to Norway, even though I secretly wanted to. I thought, no, it's like when
I was little and my mom gave me the choice between taking horseback riding lessons or learning
how to ski. You can't do both, she said. It's too expensive and too dangerous. Mom's wisdom
could easily apply here, too, I guess.
Have MP influenced you to do something that has changed your
life in some way or another?
Perhaps not directly, but they have provided an uncanny and comforting
soundtrack all through the turbulent and bizarre, wonderful and horrible,
fantastic and nightmarish twisting and turning path of my life starting from
age 23 to the present. For example, I remember having just turned 26 when
Blissard came out, singing along to 'Greener', 'all of 26 omnipotent with
nervous tics the etheral cynic with too much to defend I don't want to play
that game however different, it's always the same how could it mean anything
if I force it , tear it, numb with greed?', or driving in my car when I
lived in the psycho-less States blasting 'A Shrug and a Fistful,' and
forever peppering my day-to-day speech with motorisms 'the train was delayed
for ages; you know, "like always"!' or 'no, it wasn't so great so i decided
to "leave it like that" and just went home.'
MP is well known for putting out collector's items, limited
editions etc. Some say this is wrong because the fans aren't able to buy
everything, while others consider this to be one of the great things about
MP. Your opinion?
I wonder why some think this is wrong. Is it the whole 'I've got more toys
than you' playground mentality? If so, that was tiresome in primary school,
and it's tiresome in the framework of MP collectors, too. How boring if
everything was all neatly released in mass identical batches. MP is a quirky
band, and quirky merchandising and releases suit them, I think. Personally
it seems I spend all my money on travelling so I don't know the pain and
frustration of chasing down that limited edition lime vinyl 7", but I wish
those who are doing so all the luck in the world.
Cover art. Kim Hiorthoy does most of the work on MP's releases
and he does a great job most people would say. What's your favorite, and are
there any you don't like at all?
The triple EP collection for Angels and Daemons is fabulous! All the sweet
little scribbly critters and doodles, it's really wonderful. And the ducky
inside Blissard, excellent!
I admire all the work he's done for MP, definitely. And if I succumb to the
nerve tattoo urge, it's not going to be Bent who's providing the graphic
Define your view of MP with five words.
Adventure, inspiration, beauty, courage, expression.
At last (a bonus question): if you won a prize and got to put
together a setlist for a concert with Motorpsycho, how would that look?
Let's say 3 hours at most.
Oh no! Not this question. It reminds me of all the wild rumors going around
surrounding the Effenaar welcoming MP to their 10th performance, and how if
we all emailed, faxed or wrote our top 10 requests in blood then the band
would compile the big top-10 set!! Needless to say it didn't happen. I
actually drew up a list, but I didn't submit it! And I saved it, but it's
somewhere with the concert report journals. (Hint: President Block,
Trapdoor, Mad Sun, Greener, Junior, Watersound, Flick Of The Wrist,
Super/Wheel, Nathan Daniel's Tune From Hawaii and of course Lighthouse
Girl). I thought of creating a serious list, and then decided, let's change
it to I won a prize and got to perform a set with Motorpsycho. It's a
lifelong ambition of mine. This is just a sampling of what you would be
Sister Confusion, Vegas lounge lizard-style, we've got slicked back
Brylcreemed hair, blue sequined suits, and lots of Liberace jewelry. Sung in
grammatically incorrect Dutch. "Zusje in-de-war slaapt naast mijn voordeur,
zij wacht er kloppend aan mijn deur, wat wil je nu van mij? Hoe kan de blind
de blind begeleidt?"
Flick of the Wrist, reggae version. White rastas on parade. Steel drums,
ukulele, plonky bass. "Annudah fleek ub dah reest, ya mon," extended really,
really annoying instrumental part.
Wearing Yr Smell, nu-metal stagedive frenzy. A couple of us are in
coveralls and Slipknot masks, the rest are sporting polyester jogging suits
or tank tops with basketball shorts and knee socks. We're all jumping up and
down, totally aggro: "Can't! U! See! I'm! Not! Dead! Yet! But! I'm! Working!
On! It!" and, "I'm! Still! Wearing! Your! Fucking! Smell!"
Vortex Surfer, upside-down and speeded up to mach 5, that's right: 'true
norwegian black metal', complete with howling wolves, arctic storm effects,
and corpse paint. With backing choir assembled from Satan's minions busy
working on their beer bellies in Elm Street.
Bluegrass version of Kill Some Day, with Martin Hagfors helping out, of
course. "I swair tah gawd! I'm jest fixin' tah up and kill some day!"
Instead of the usual Who covers of either 'Heaven and Hell' or 'Young Man's
Blues', finally it's time for Pictures of Lily. No, I'm really serious
here; I know it will be amazing!
Lynrd Skynrd did more than just Workin' for MCA. As a tribute to my
Southern belle roots, we'll do What's Your Name?, changing the cities from
Boise and Omaha, etc. to places like Ås or Bodø. No, wait, I almost forgot.
In commemoration of my almost freezing to death there last spring, Bodø has
a very special place in the set. Creedence's Lodi. reworked. I sang it in
the car after I narrowly escaped a crionic fate. Trying to figure out if I
had any circulation in my feet, I wailed: "Looks like my plans fell through,
oh lord, stuck in Bodø, again. Oh lord, I'm stuck in Bodø again."
Well, this could go on all night, obviously, i'll stop now.
You've read what Leslie from USA / Nederland answerde to our questions.
Visit PULS tomorrow too, then you'll see what Akane from Japan says.
MOTORPSYCHO 2001: Snart klare til avreise