As with everything in Vice v6n10 the record reviews section took the form of an interview. Here they are.
How We Became
VICE: Who are "we" paleface? And what is it exactly you think that you’ve "become"?
Jeremy Warmsley: The album is vaguely about growing up and the title was inspired by a children's book by Ted Hughes called "How The Whale Became". It’s all these jolly little fairy-tail-metaphor creation myths for loads of animals. So it made sense to thieve the title.
You attended a posh boys school in Wimbledon that has spat out people like Patrick Wolf and Marcus Mumford. What is it about comfy SW19 that turns out such plaintive soul searching?
Tom Vek was at Kings too. Erm, I don't have a good answer. Maybe it was all those hymns they made us sing?
Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno
Pink Lady Lemonade, You’re From Outer Space
VICE: Your sleeves are always make me feel like I have done a shedload of DMT. Makoto Kawabata (guitars): How do you go about whacking those together?
It varies case by case but usually I come up with the idea for the artwork. For this record our friend Pikachu did the sleeve but there is only ever one important thing: it is striking!
I think I am going bald. You guys all have really long hair. What you do if you started going bald? Long around the sides? Combover?
I have no idea about anything in future let alone hair. Nobody knows if they will be alive even in just the next moment so I don't think about future or the past, only the present.
Where can I get a hold of one of those Hawiian shirts you guys are all wearing on the back of the album?
That photo was taken at a hot spring in Okayama on our last tour of Western Japan in 2007. We were loving that kind of stupid fake atmosphere. I do not know where they came from though.
VICE: There are loads more of you in the band now. What happened. Were you getting lonely?
Chris (guitars & vocals): It’s hard to have a rock band without a bass player so we went and got one of those. One group I can think of did it just fine, and they're the one we get most compared to now.
I give up. What would constitute a knife making the jump to being religious as opposed to just a plain old knife?
I suppose Abraham's knife would have been rather religious. The name isn't as imaginative as your question, I am afraid. It's just something I saw on the list of items the FAA doesn't want Americans to bring onto airplanes.
In The Red
Vice: What’s with the Drager reference in your band name. Hasn’t that ben done to death? Fucked up did a Vivain Girls song on their last LP like a year ago. Get with the program.
Cassie Ramone (guitars & vocals): Frankie, our ex-drummer thought of it. Katy and I had never even heard of Henry Darger until then. It was the only name we came up with that didn’t sound dumb.
Would you have still called gone for same name if you had been three boys?
Kickball Katy (bass & vocals): But then we would be boys. Gross.
Through all the fuzz you guys have some real girl group harmonies going on. Which girl groups float your boats?
Cassie: My favorite girl group is the Shangri-Las. I know everyone says that but I listen to them all the time. So yeah. Them
Katy: My favorite is The Shirelles beacuse New Jersey rules.
Acid Or Blood
Vice: What the hell is a 'Racebannon'? It sounds like a bucking bronco or a muscle car or something.
James Baumen (guitars): Ohh, I like that. I wish it was a muscle car. Chrome and black with red pinstripes and a screaming small block engine. Yeah, that might be more fun. We're from Indiana and we like fast cars there. Actually, it's a raging force of fire and blood determined to deliver the rock to any soul willing to accept it. It was born 12 years ago and refuses to be brought down.
What is with all the fear, sexual diseases and terrifying song titles? They all have names like “Candida & Parasites”. I wouldn’t want to take “Candida & Parasites” home to my mum.
We are disturbed individuals and I guess we don't mind letting people know that. I’ve always wanted the band to be like when you’re watching a scary movie and you have to cover your eyes during a really disgusting bit but you can't help but peek through yourr hand so you don't actually miss anything.
Death Sentence: Panda!
Upset The Rhythm
You guys use a clarinet in a rock band. What are you? Coconuts?
Chris (drums): The clarinet is a symbol of juxtaposition. On one hand, it is small, light weight
and seemingly poses no major threat. But, when book-ended by the human spirit and a chain of vicious analog and digital agents: triumph!
Why would you ever want to give a Panda a death sentence?
The context of the name is not to imply the delivery of a death sentence to
a panda. That's ridiculous, who would ever do that and why? The panda IS, in fact, the death sentence. As in: "when that panda gets it's hands on you, you're going to die". Street justice.
Your lyrics are pretty off the wall. What the hell are you going on about on this record?
I was thinking a lot about spies, double agents, government agents, corporate executives, assassins, mafia men, and the women who love and support them as well as moral double standards and a girl from my grade school and politicians. I put myself through all of these people or all of these people through myself.
Have you ever been mugged? I got mugged yesterday. It sucked.
I was once in Galveston, Texas with Tom Carter, Shawn McMillen and Heather Murray. We were walking late at night back from the beach to their new apartment past a big, dark old Victorian house and we heard this weird noise. We lingered for a moment trying to figure out what it was when two guys jumped from out of nowhere with ski masks on and some kind of weapon glinting in the moonlight. One of them said "what's up bitch?" and started lunging at us. We ran and started screaming thinking all the time they would grab one of us as we ran frantically losing shoes and getting feet cut down the street. When we finally made it in to safety we immediately got in the car and drove to Houston. That certainly crosses my mind often when walking around late at night.
VICE: This whole record is only 13 minutes long. Come on, you did that on purpose right?
Shaun Hencher (vocals): Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. It is very real. The majority of appartement blocks in Manhattan are built without a 13th floor. In Sikhism the number 13 is considered a special number as “Tera” in Punjabi means “yours” as in “I am ours, O Lord”.
Right…is it true that your guitar player is proficient in yogic flying?
Yes. Yogic flying was practiced in a golden dome in the centre of the council estate Henry grew up in but in order to lear how to fly you had to take a course at a stately home in Kent with a bunch of Indian Siddahs.
Vice: You make all of your music and play every night on your own. Don’t you ever get lonely?
Pablo Diaz-Reixa: Yes. It is horrible. It makes me sad. I have a friend who will be playing the bass guitar but on a computer on stage with me now though so it will all be ok soon I think.
Your record sounds like it’s the soundtrack to a carnival in a rainforest on Jupiter. It’s pretty intense. Do you ever intend to make a less excited record? I dunno, like a Café Del Mar chillout thing or something.
Maybe yes, I like all that Baleric sounding stuff so it might be fun. Just for home though. It would be too boring live.
What’s an El Guincho when it’s at home?
It is a rare an endangered bird that you find on the Canary Islands. They can be quite vicious. There aren’t many left but the ones that are still around can peck out your eyes. They are tough birds.