[media stories: 2001: english]

Leslie Psychonaut:
Forfrysning i Bodø and karaoke in South Korea

Interview with Leslie Hadlock
taken from the Norwegian e-zine
PULS, 2001-08-28.
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.

variation of the MP logo

MOTORPSYCHONAUTS: #2: hardcore heads

name: Leslie Hadlock
age: 31
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.

  Geb in 2001

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.

Snah in 2001  

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.
Go figure.
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!

  Bent in 2001

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 (http://direct.at.sophia) 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 inspiration!

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 treated to:
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.

Stig Aasheim

MOTORPSYCHO 2001: Snart klare til avreise

MOTORPSYCHO 2001: Snart klare til avreise