Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The folks at STAINED STRATUMS asked me to interview JAY REATARD for VOGUE magazine. I was told that i wouldn't need to write any questions beforehand. They were wrong. I didn't really have anything to say to the guy. It was about 6:00 in the morning, my phone cut out, and I had to had to get to work. This stunted conversation was heavily edited and paraphrased so it would be fit for publication in VOGUE.

r- hi jay, this is RILEY TITMANNUS FLEMMINGTON III calling from australia. I’m doing the VOGUE interview.

j- Oh hi, yeah yeah…

r- How you doing?

j- good man, just working on some recordings.

r- What are you up to?

j- I’m recording a record for this band The Barbaras right now.

r- Okay cool, your engineering…I guess.

j- yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Taking a little break here from things.

r- nice man. Nice. So you don’t get very much time to do that sort of stuff (recording other bands) anymore?

J- Umm no. Yeah, yeah it’s like I usually I don’t have much time to spend on other people’s projects, but umm, these guys kind of play as my back up band so, just making some time to help them make their record for in the red before we leave to come to Australia, so…

r- so you have a completely different back up band now?

j- Umm, no they used to be in this band called the Boston Chinks, but that band kind of split up now so they play in this band The Barbaras now which I think is a little better anyway.

r- Cool, cool cool. so how do you feel about the up coming tour?

j- I’m pretty excited. I’ve never been there so I don’t know what to expect. But I think it’ll be a good time. I dunno, I’m not looking forward to fucking flying on a plane for twenty something hours, but…

r- You don’t enjoy flying?

j- Umm, I don’t mind it, but like eight hours and fucking ready to kill somebody so… (laughter)

r- Oh well man, you’ve got some flight to look forward to there.

j- Yeah.

r- Yeah, your going to want to knock yourself out beforehand.

j- It’s a good day of flying.

r- Yeah, it’s a pretty negative experience.

j- man I don’t know if it’s going to be autumn or what?

r- Dude, it’s going to be really hot, so y’know bring some shorts.

j- Oh really, it’s going to be summertime there right?

r- It’s going to be oppressive. I don’t know what your used to, but yeah, it’ll be pretty disgusting. Nice and humid…

j- (laughter) Yeah, that sounds like memphis, like fucking umm, like maybe 105 degrees and really humid.

r- So you obviously still live in Memphis then?

j- Well when I’m home from tour I have a house here. So I come home to unwind, work on recordings and things…

r- I guess the side projects you had prior to this album doing as well as it has, are they still going? Or do you find that when your not on tour with this record, you want to unwind by not playing music at all?

j- It’s like when I get home, I have time to do nothing but concentrate on doing more solo stuff. But every band I just had to quit. So band I was playing in I felt like I was holding them back if I kept playing with them. So I quit so they could get other members. Some of the other bands I was more involved in, you know like the song writing process and everything; I just ended the band. There was just no reason to carry on, you know? (Jay can be heard coughing up phlegm).

r- Right. So is there a new album coming out soon? I know you did Terror Visions and that was a bit of a departure for you. Musically you know? What was the reasoning behind that. Or is Terror Visions a completely separate entity?

j- Yeah, it was a completely separate thing. You know, just a really shitty electronic punk band with a couple of friends that was just fun to do. I don’t know, I just kind of have this motivation to put out as much stuff as I can as fast as I can before people stop caring.

r- Yeah.

J- I’m not worried about the quality of things. I just try to put it out there you know.

r- It sounds like it’s worked so far. You know, you are highly prolific. But how do you feel about this last record (blood visions), above all the other records you’ve done, attracting the most interest?

j- well…

r- I mean do you think the lost sounds could have perhaps reached this level?

j- (jay can be heard coughing up phlegm) Well I guess I always kind of felt like I was creatively being held back by having to compromise what I wanted to do by playing with other people. So it made sense to me that I got around that problem. Now I can fully realise what I want to do and people are paying attention so….

r- Well it sounds like your onto something there. It sounds like your onto something.

j- You know I always wanted to have more pop influences in all the bands I was in, but some people I think were very uncomfortable with jumping out of whatever genre we were involved in and pop music was just not something they were interested in. So I finally felt that I could write 4 chord songs that aren’t too pretentious and I guess it kind of makes sense to people when its like that. I dunno, I guess it’s kind of hard to listen to 15 minute prog keyboard jams, so..

r- Yeah, but dare I say blood visions still has some of those influences. You know, influences from previous bands.

j- Well it’s impossible not to sound like yourself.

The phone started cutting out here. Here was the last word from jay that should make the interview somewhere.

j- You know man, I’m at home 24/7, working on music and drinking soda.

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