Monday, August 1, 2011

Roseanne Barrr: INTERVIEW!

Psyched to bring you an interview from London's noisemakers Roseanne Barrr, who've answered some questions for Gilded Gutter where we get talking about sex, murder and swimming costumes...

Introduce yourselves! Who's in Roseanne Barrr and what do you play?

Patrick: I play the bass and sing.
Sophie: It's just us two and I play drums and sing.

Are you self taught musicians - or are you trained in any way?

P: All self taught. I come from quite a musical family though but was always the youngest child that listened to things that were loud and screechy.
S: I had precisely three drum lessons and then decided to leave the bass drum and hi hat out of it. I would quite like some more drum lessons now, just to improve technique and fancy things that I don't know how to do. I managed grade one piano when I was 11, I think Patrick actually had drum and saxophone lessons no?
P: Drum lessons when I was teenager actually yeah, though I've never been a drummer in a band. Never saxophone though. I wish.

Do you think it's a help or hindrance to be taught 'how to play'?

P: It can be both. As much as I couldn't give a shit about playing correctly, being "bad at playing" can be a bullshit posture people assume for kudos and also a bullshit tag hung on bands or musicians as a means of belittling them. I just want to ignore any voice of authority.
S: I think initially it can be useful as it could bypass hours of trying to work out things on your own, I don't care either way if people can play or not, I know friends who would love to unlearn what they have to play in a different way which makes it even more apparent that it doesn't matter. I think practice is more important than lessons, I guess it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Do you prefer playing or recording?

P: Both make me feel a bit sick with nerves.
S: Definitely playing shows, recording can be stressful as even though you think you are getting what you want when recording after you listen back it may be tons different, I think getting how you want to sound is really hard, particularly if you don't have much money to record. The whole finality of recording freaks me out, I think if I had weeks to get it right (mostly the sound and feeling) I would find it more enjoyable.

How would you describe London's music scene currently, feel free to talk about anything; practice spaces, venues, direction music may be going in...

P: I don't really know if there is anything to say about music scenes in the present tense. People just want to proselytize or self mythologise, or invent more compelling histories.
S: I think more people are being proactive in putting on shows but it can be tough financially. Although I have played the Birds Nest in Deptford multiple times, it still is great as there is no hire fee, and the venue pays bands, I think that is pretty unusual in London. I am into shows in different spaces, Big Takeover are good for that and recently we have been playing at social centres such as Lambeth Women's project. I don't think I could comment on any music scene as I think there are many and it's only relevant to the people who are in them. As a rule scenes and specific groups make me feel a bit uncomfortable.

If you could change anything about London's music scene what would it be?

P: I would want to somehow stop money being so crippling. If everyone could record, play, practice freely. More collectively run/DIY venues.
S: I agree with Patrick, it's also nice when some places have some regularity, the Rat Star squat in Camberwell was fun last summer, we both live in South London, so any place you can pop down to and see bands is good (but kind of rare).

What are your favourite spots if any to get records in the UK?

P: Ebay. Rat Records. In the post.
S: I am going through a long phase of not really buying records.
P: Actually buying records, tapes or whatever is really good at shows off of distros or bands themselves.

Which records made an impression on you that influenced the work in Roseanne Barrr?

P: Pretty on the Inside. Taking The Rough With The Smooch. Bad Moon Rising.
S: I don't think any, not to say we are so different but I don't really think like that. People have said we sound like the song Death Valley 69 and DNA which is nice but we don't talk much about sounding like something or other. Saying that I would love it if we sounded like a mix of Patty Waters and Throbbing Gristle.

I love the abrasive and aggressive attitude in your songs - can you expound on the noise focused sound and what inspires it?

P: We just get really noisy when the two of us together, if we aren't playing music we're usually both just yelling. We both like to write songs about sex and being criminal.
S: A lot is driven by sex and lust and anger. We have been going for a few years now and that has encompassed lots of different bits of our lives which no doubt come out in the songs. To begin with it felt pretty cathartic and really physical making music and I think that's why it started pretty loud and yelly. We are both fans of the grotesque and being brash and loud and unashamed. That and thinking about death and murder, like the idea that we would all murder if we could get away with it and didn't conscience and ethics didn't play a part.

Can you tell us a little bit about 'A Thiefs Journal', it's a great track!!

P: It's a murderous sex fantasy that ends with us singing from Genet.
S: Its about a one night stand and Thief's Journal by Genet, about sex marks and a sex revenge murder.

I love that you guys dress up on stage with wigs, make up et al, not enough people do it -- what inspires the outfits and what does it bring to your performance on stage?

P: I think it's inspired by Valley of the Dolls, Rosemary's Baby, Bette Davis...
S: Again the grotesque is good, I wish I would go further with it but to be honest I still wanna look a smite nice which always disappoints me. I used to wear swimming costumes to play in which was really practical, but I peaked with a kind of nude outfit with electric al tapoe crosses in places and I don't think I can come back from that.

What's the weirdest thing you've seen at a show?

P: I went to see Goblin play once. The whole experience was weird, but good weird.
S: A full on tantrum by a singer after playing which involved beating fists against the floor.

Any new bands you'd like to rave about - records playing at home we've got to know about?!!

P: Satellites of Love are dreamy and have a tape out. Gropetown and Fem Bitch Nation.
S: I like Satellites of Love more and more, we are going on tour with them soon in September.

What's the future for Roseanne Barrr? Feel free to mention any other projects you may be working on if you like...

P: We are going to have an LP out by the end of the year. Touring with Satellites of Love and Woolf. More wigs.
S: West coast tour next year, some fan portraits, touring with both Roseanne Barrr and Woolf, both of whom I'm in so probably getting pretty tired with bigger and bigger arms

'I'm full of dust and guitars' - Syd Barrett, if you were cracked open what would be inside?

P: Vomit.
S: Shit.

Roseanne Barrr Bandcamp
Roseanne Barrr Facebook

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