Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Talibam! Interview

Interview with avant-jazz dudes Talibam!


Jazz is pretty scary. Unless you are some freak child-prodigy in a Richard Powers novel or the son of that guy from the Fast Show who used to say ‘nice’ a lot it is unlikely that you will experience that much jazz in your quotidian existence as you evolve through the elementary pre-pubescent guitar music phase, the ensuing weed-induced dalliances with hip hop, the ecstasy and cocaine fuelled love affair with dance music and then some big post-20’s mess of all that stuff rolled together and soaked in booze while you try to have as much fun as you did when you were you were younger and then failing and getting depressed about it all week as your body struggles to bounce back and recover like it once did. All of these things kind of prod jazz into a corner where it gets forgotten about. Maybe someone somewhere along the line gave you a copy of Kind Of Blue or A Love Supreme but when they are racked up on the shelf next to Peep Show you are, let’s face it, going to go for Captain Corrigan every time. All of this waylaying and forestalling builds jazz up to be a big scary unknown mass of complex, unintelligible music involving guys wailing in darkened basements and collapsing with cheeks like water bombs from exhaustion and heroin abuse. This is a shame because there is plenty of jazz around that is a million miles away from either the basement boogaloos or the yawnathon cataloguers in roll necks, sipping brandy on Radio 3. Try Sun Ra, Albert Ayler or Ornette Coleman for a start or even better just try Talibam! who are basically jazz musicians playing rock music that sounds like really loud unhinged jazz. Or maybe they are nothing like that at all. Either way it makes you feel like you are in the eye of a storm that you could happily stand in forever.

Listening to your music makes me feel like I am attached to the blades of a really loud helicopter that is going really fast until it goes through a sonic boom. And then it carries on going while I’m still spinning endlessly up above. How would you describe it?
Mat Mottel (synths): It is not so much a sound rather more an adherence to a principle of the Harmoniacal.

It sounds like you just made that up.
Kev Shea (drums): We did.
Mat: It is a combination of Harmelodics and the maniacal. We just have little snippets, little moments, and crazed epiphanies. All of these are malleable and could go this way or that. We have never played the same set twice, elements of it may be the same but no two shows are alike.
Kev: This doesn’t mean we totally improvise though. It isn’t total chaos. We have songs and even the elements that are improvised have parameters within which we operate to an extent.
Mat: It is not a giant game of search and seek.

Erm, ok. Are you staunchly anti-Al Qaeda?
Mat: The name was just the headline of the New York Post the day they began bombing Afghanistan.
Kev: We just look for good environments, compassionate people, good wine and enjoy questioning why people might make a statement or choose not to make a statement, why one thing represents three and the other represents four, just a questioning of cliché and recycled phrase.

Avant Jams

Talibam! Have released something like 7 records in the last 12 months. You are probably best going here: http://www.myspace.com/talibam according to them “this just kind of happened”.

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