England - Full Moon 84 - 08/12/03
I'm Being Good
Andrew Clare answers the questions
For you who don't know this great English band, I'm Being
Good has making one of the best noisy and eerie music coming from the U.K. in a long time...
trust me on this please!!! One could say that I'm Being Good is U.K.'s best answer to Polvo's bent
and multi-tonal noises... agree with me on this please!!! (I'm Being Good might have slightly more
evil sound - though Andrew calls it pop music). I'm Being Good has been at it since the 1994 and
has shared stages and toured with such bands as Trumans Water, Oxes, Pram, Dianogah, Storm And
Stress, Mogwai, Noxagt, Zu and North of America to name a few. They've had their records and songs
on compilations put out by Infinite Chug (a label
run by singer and guitarist Andrew Clare), Kill Rock Stars, Destroy All Music, Slampt and Fisheye.
Current members are Andrew Clare (guitar/voice/throat), David Ewan Campell (drums/guitar) and
Tom Barnes (bass/drums). Andrew answered the questions and thanks to him for keeping them 'cause
I had deleted them from my computer and also for updating the answers. Andrew is also Design &
Illustration Editor at Careless Talk Costs Lives
, which is edited by the great Everett True and Steve Gullick. It's the best English
music magazine today just in case you didn't know that!
Luna Kafé: Ok, let's with the beginning, who are you, what do you do in I'm
Being Good, how long have you been playing together and what are your musical backrounds (former
bands, side projects etc. etc.)?
Andrew Clare: "I'm Andrew Clare, I sing and play the guitar and a few other bits & bobs,
primarily I don't drum. Also, I am the tweaker. Uh, I'm going to answer on behalf of the rest of
the band, too, because they don't seem to be particularly forthcoming with their answers... We've
been playing together for about 8 years or something like that, but that was just Dave & me with
a drum machine. This is kind of the first and really only 'real' band I've been in although I've
had brief stints in Lure-Luxx, Floorjacker, McNorton 4, Nitro Puppy, and The 13 Ghosts. Side
projects (some of which are almost proper bands) include: Small Things, Bald Mermaid, Nook, Golden
Arches, and some others. Also right now I'm heavily involved with 2 other main projects which are
Clarence Palmer (improv 3-5 piece) and Pine Forest (acoustic guitar duo with Iain Paxon (Midland
Hotel). Dave has also been in most of the above bands. The rest of the band except me are also in
a band called 100 Pets. Plus Dave is in Litmus and Runt and Jussi is in Baron Samedi. Sorry, that's
too much information."
"Small Things have re-formed, Sam left to pursue 100 Pets, Dave left Runt, Litmus became Quiet
Islander, Jussi dropped out due to ear problems, Tom joined on bass. Clarence Palmer split up."
L.K.: For me Sub Plot is a huge step from Poisonous Life, which reminded
me more of some Japanese noise-bands and also something like Dawson or Dog Faced Hermans and I
think you do that soft-really-loud-soft-thing much better on Sub Plot. How are these records
different for you?
Andrew: "They give shape to the void that exists between the completion of one, and the
release of the other. They measure the shifts in our perspectives, and concept of our place in
music, both culturally and in terms of heirarchy, the gradual seasoning of our aesthetic, and of
our technical capabilities. Ultimately they form two points from which a course can be plotted
toward further material, though this path may prove to be more deltoid than linear. Funny you
should mention Dawson; I'm playing in an improv trio with Jer Reid tonight."
"It seems I have a 'wanker' button and it got pressed just before I answered this question. Right
now we're working on new stuff. It's my intention that all the songs should be brief. Even the
slow ones. Slow short songs. Fast short songs. Slow fast songs."
Luna Kafé: You say that Sub Plot is much darker and more evil than
everything you've done before, was that something that you were feeling at the time?
Andrew: "On the first record we're just playing around. By the second one we're not playing
around any more."
"I'm not sure there's anything evil about it though."
L.K.: What was touring with Trumans Water like was that like your wildest dream to
Andrew: "It was the best touring experience any of us have had to date. Those guys know
what they're doing."
L.K.: Are they a strange bunch?
Andrew: "They're the nicest people you could ever hope to meet and a true inspiration,
both in their music and their conduct."
"This is still the case."
L.K.: Do you categorize music in any way or do you think categorizing is pointless?
The All Music Guide-website calls you jazz, which makes some sense, but there's a whole lot more
to your music.
Andrew: "It gives people the confidence that they know what they're buying into. We wouldn't
mind being catergorized if the catergorizer actually used their fucking ears. We all like jazz in
one form or another but I don't think that's even remotely what we're about. Neither are we or
have we ever been post rock, math rock, noise rock, or any of the other genres that have bee
lazily thrown at us to see if they stick. It's always seemed obvious to me that we're a pop group."
"I stand by this: We are a pop group."
L.K.: Name five records that you think everyone should have.
"I decided I didn't want to answer this question after all."
L.K.: Both of your records are recorded in various places, was that to get different
sounds or vibes for the songs or were there any other reasons?
Andrew: "It was for the following reasons only, and in the following order...:
"This doesn't look like changeing anytime soon."
L.K.: Which bands/musicians do you consider inspirationally great?
Andrew: "Derek bailey, Morton feldman, Sonic Youth, Trumans Water, Polvo, Sun City Girls,
U.S. Maple, this is going to turn into a pretty long list again and that's only me. I have no
idea about the rest of the band. I know Sam's really into Will Oldham. Dave seems to see good in
"It's probably time to start thinking about crossing Sonic Youth off that list. I'd like to add
Che Shizu instead."
L.K.: Most English bands that I see records by in recordstores over here are mostly
very annoying Radiohead- and Jeff Buckley-imitation bands, though there's some interesting stuff
like Quickspace, Ligament, Billie Mahonie and Broadcast, what do you think of the English music
Andrew: "I could handle the rhythmical/structural linearity if there was some kind of
harmonic/melodic development going on but mostly it seems repetitive, lazy, and very uninteresting.
Radiohead have a gift for melody and ostensibly they appear to be making some kind of an effort
to push their music in a new direction but they seem to lack any of the interpersonal dynamic
that would make them more interesting as a group."
"I was being kind."
L.K.: Is it hard to run a small label like Infinite Chug? (What are the best and the
worst things about it?)
Andrew: "It's impossible. The best thing is you get your records out there. The worst thing
is that you have to do it yourself. And no-one wants them."
"I gave up."
L.K.: How's the musical enviroment in Brighton, any bands worth checking out?
Andrew: "See question 1's answer."
"Update: Phil Collins 3, Cat On Form, Quiet Islander. Don't believe the hype: British Sea Power,
80's B-line Matchbox Disaster. Every now and again you see this headline in the national press:
"BRIGHTON ROCKS". You should probably believe the exact opposite of everything
you read in such articles."
L.K.: What are you listening to these last days?
Andrew: "Today I dug out Confusion is Sex and I'm just listening to that over and
over. It's the first time I've listened to it in like 10 years or something. It sounds totally
fucking amazing. The rest of the time I'm listening to Morton Feldman almost constantly."
"Today: Julie Doiron's Heart and Crime, Richard Youngs' May, Morton Feldman's For
Samuel Beckett, Che-Shizu's A Journey."
L.K.: Are there any plans of touring around Europe or any other continents?
Andrew: "If we can make it work we'll go back over to Europe again next year. Also we really
really wanna get to the states. Things are getting tougher and tougher for us in terms of money
and publicity; we really thought we'd gather a little success from Sub Plot and be able to
tour a little more but the lack of response has been completely defeating."
"I'm feeling a little more optimistic now we're writing shorter songs."
Copyright © 2003 Benni