Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Queen Of Swords Interview

Interview with great new project from Trencher guy Liam Sparkes and John who sells records in Selectadisc (I still call it that, fuck you).

Queen Of Swords

Liam Sparkes has played in more London DIY bands than you can shake a whole bushel of branches at. From Harry Stab and Human Bomb to Drumize with Eye from the Boredoms and DJ Scotch Egg. He is probably best known as the stupidly quick, asthmatic drummer guy in casio-grindcore pioneers Trencher. And for being out of it on LSD 99% of the time. Which must make inventing things like casio-grindcore about as easy as waking up in the morning and breathing. Despite constant mentions in these pages we have never featured Trencher for some reason. You should definitely go see them before you croak. They are great. They also seem to play everywhere every week so it shouldn’t even be too big an effort.

Anyway, to make up for never bothering to feature Trencher in the past here is a rundown on the latest in Liam’s long line of musical projects: Queen Of Swords. I actually put on the bands first ever show and, as it just seemed like a bit of fun for Liam and his fellow record store clerk buddy John Macedo, had no real sense of expectation. The ensuing mess of laptop-skewed Zombi atmospherics and skittish Tarantula Hawk rhythms pretty much made everyone in the room drop their beers and leave after the last note as they figured they must have just witnessed the headline act. The last bit is a bit of lie. But a few people did drop their drinks ‘cos it was so loud and looked real shocked.

VICE: How did the idea for doing a laptop/drums duo come about?
John Macedo (laptop/effects): I’ve known Liam for years and I was doing a remix of a Trencher B-Side when he gave me some drums he’d recorded to do something with. I put a few synths through distortion pedals and Granular synthesis patches and that was that. The idea was to have the two of us as core members and other people collaborating with us here and there. We’ve had Mark from Trencher and John from Palehorse playing with us live so we’ve played as a duo, trio, quartet and quintet. We wanna do Queen Of Swords Big Band as well. And a Drum Orchestra and a Synthesizer Orchestra.

It sounds a bit like the Imperial Battle Cruiser taking off with a metronome having an epileptic fit in the background.
John: I wanted to incorporate early electronic and ‘classic’ analogue synthesizer
sounds as well as Max, MSP and computer processing but
in a more rock context. I just wanted it sound like a bunch of shit I’m into like Morton Subotnick, Burning Witch, Gasp, Can, Bastard Noise, Basic Channel.
Liam Sparkes (drums): I think we just had an aim to make apocalyptic, overwhelming sound or an ode to classic sci-fi soundtracks we like. Just not something boring. Something like the sounds of a bubbling cauldron.

What is your favourite sword?
Liam: A Wilkinson sword
John: He uses it to make his moustache look nice.

You have just started tattooing Liam, what’s the best thing
you have tattoo'd on someone so far?
Liam: Caricature of Vincent Price saying 'go fuck y'self'. Also an ice-cream wearing sunglasses.

Queen Of Swords debut 12” is forthcoming on EyesOfSound.


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