Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lichfield Interrogates on Facebook

Keeping this short and sweet but have finally got round to launching the official Lichfield Interrogates Facebook page. Also have a few more things in the pipeline before Christmas, so I'll keep you posted. 

Lichfield Interrogates on Facebook

Lichfield Interrogates on Twitter

Many thanks. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Johnny Dean

Johnny Dean is the former frontman of 1990s indie-poppers Menswe@r, who famously appeared on the cover of the Melody Maker prior to releasing a note of music. The band scored five UK Top 30 hits and released two albums before splitting in 1998. He is now making music as Fxxk Explosion, a glam-tinged electro-pop project that released its first EP, In the Beginning, in summer 2017. He has taken part in numerous autism awareness campaigns since his diagnosis with Pervasive Development Disorder in 2009. I caught up with Johnny to talk about Britpop, the 90s music press, raising autism awareness, the reality of the music industry and his current music project. 




Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about what life in a successful chart band would be like? If so, how did they compare with the reality?

I didn’t really expect Menswe@r to be successful. It was a whirlwind. Everything happened very quickly. From the point of deciding to form a band to being signed to being cover stars to having hit singles. I didn’t expect all that to happen. But it did. So I guess it was nothing like I thought it would be like, because it happened far too easily. But that came at a cost. It wasn’t all plain sailing. This seemingly effortless rise put a fair few noses out of joint. And that caused us plenty of problems once the dust had settled. 

What goes up has gotta come down. And we crashed in spectacular fashion, which is what people remember. The British love to see people fail, I think. At the same time they seem to love the underdog bite back. It’s OK to do well after you’ve had a good kicking first. We are a confused and often cruel people.

I guess it was exciting. Which was the intention, I think. We were just kids really. I think people forget that.

What were your thoughts on other so-called Britpop bands? Whose music has aged the most gracefully? Is there anything that sounds particular woeful today? 

Ah. The “B” word. I don’t think an awful lot about those bands at all. Not anymore. And indeed, not very much at the time. I guess it all depends what your definition of the “B” word is? Because everybody seems to have their own. 

I think Suede still sound good. That’s all I can really say about it. A great deal of it leaves me cold. Now, as well as then.

I’m not going to start slagging other bands off. That isn’t a position I want to take. It’s undignified and ugly. It’s not my job. I’ll let critics do that. They get paid for it. Well…they used to.

What stopped Hay Tiempo! getting a UK release? 

No record deal. That simple. We left London Records. We weren’t dropped. We spent ridiculous amounts of money making that record and they hated it. Their position was that we could put it out with them, but they wouldn’t promote it. So, we left and took the record with us, which was a bit silly really. Nobody wanted to sign us by that point. Especially with that record. That whole episode was a bit…ill-advised. It’s a regret of mine now that I didn’t call it a day after Being Brave made top ten. And try something else. Because everything pretty much turned into shit from then on. But at that point the fucks I could give were very much in low numbers. Practically barren.

How did you feel about the music press’ treatment of Menswe@r? Did you make any specific journalist enemies? Are there any feuds that continue to this day?  

Well the whole thing was pretty much down to them. The press. They hyped us to the heavens and then criticised us for being hyped. It’s a frustrating position to find yourself in. A lot of it seemed to be down to feuding journalists and feuding publications. A lot of that kind of thing was happening at the time. It was very political. And of course, just about everybody involved was on drugs.  

There were a couple of journalists I thought were cast iron dickheads. But the feeling was mutual. You can’t be friends with everyone, unless you’re being dishonest. I bear no person ill will particularly. Nobody in the press in any case. It would be pointless.


                                                     
  Menswe@r, Stardust

You have often expressed a great deal of affection for mainstream 80s pop and rock, much of which was mocked relentlessly by the music media and certain Mancunian songwriters during the 90s. However, acts like Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush and Tears for Fears are revered in indie circles now. Were you surprised to see such acts being reappraised? Why would you say they received such sneering treatment in the first place? 

I just think the 80s were the decade where pop music peaked. The earlier half was so incredibly varied and rich with three-minute, bona fide bangers. The British indie movement of the 90s (or Britpop if you like) was so hung up on trying to appear cool. Its collective head was jammed right up its arse. 

The amount of shade I would catch for openly liking Japan and Duran Duran was idiotic. This was before being uncool was perceived as cool. It was all very affected. People gabbing on like they were born wearing a Smiths t-shirt and quoting Leonard Cohen. It was bullshit. Like those fucking album lists people post on Facebook. It’s a bit infantile, isn’t it? That you would consider yourself somehow superior because of your musical predilections? I’ll take a gated snare over that claptrap any day of the week. 

But yes. It’s more acceptable now. I was ahead of my time. Haha! I’m not at all surprised that the 80s have been reappraised. Good songs are good songs.

Some people have suggested that the death of Princess Diana, with a bit of help from Be Here Now, killed Britpop – is this something that you would agree with? Would you say there were other specific factors involved in the decline of British indie-rock in the late nineties? 

I don’t think Diana dying had anything to do with it. At all. I don’t see a connection that wouldn’t be extremely tenuous. Or Be Here Now, quite frankly. The scene was dead before both of those things happened as far as I was concerned. I would say around 96, just about the time everything peaked, that was it. 

As soon as something takes hold in the public consciousness it’s over. The scene setters have moved on or died or are in rehab. Popularity killed Britpop. Success. But…if anything could be blamed, or indeed congratulated, for killing it then as someone who was in the thick of it, I would have to point my trusty index at cocaine and heroin.

How were the Menswe@r reunion shows? Are further dates definitely ruled out? Do you ever listen back to your old material?

Not really a reunion. As I was the only original member. More of a fuckabout. The whole idea, for me personally, was to mark twenty years. And have fun. Nothing was really organised. Shows were added if people wanted to see it. There was no grandiose scheme. It was a laugh. The only ulterior motive was to ease me back into music. There will not be any more dates. I don’t see the point or foresee a demand. I think revisionism has well and truly done for Menswe@r.

I don’t listen to old Menswe@r stuff at all. I did, as a refresher for those shows, but otherwise never. 

Can you tell us about the work you have done for the National Autistic Society

Just little things. Like awareness. The odd talk. Handing a petition into number ten. Advice. Nothing major. I’m stepping back a little from it all because there’s a lot of noise coming from certain areas that I don’t really deem helpful or healthy. It seems to be turning into a who can shout the loudest thing. That’s not my bag. The internet has enough arguments. 

I think the best way for me to communicate any ideas I have about my autism (mine because everybody’s is different) is through my music. The In the Beginning EP tackles it, in places.

What was the inspiration for Fxxk Explosion? Are you working towards an album? 

The inspiration? I’m not sure I was inspired. Motivated maybe? Definitely compelled. Mainly by death, disease, the End of Times, you know? The little things. I had a back log of stuff building up for roughly sixteen years. In my head. Constipated with melodies. Fxxk Explosion is a creative enema as well as my way of dealing with my impending demise.

I’m not sure about an album. I heard the album was dead. I’m only releasing digitally. An album would be fair enough if I was putting out physical product. But I’m not, as yet. I think four or five songs at a time is nice. There’s more chance of people listening to them all.



                                                             Fxxk Explosion, In the Beginning EP

What are you listening to in 2017? Does any of it involve contemporary British guitar music? 

I pretty much stopped listening to contemporary guitar music in 2006. Mainly because I felt it had reached its limit. It had got to the point where it wasn’t just eating itself anymore. It was eating its own shit as well, ad infinitum. I don’t have the time. I guess I got bored of it. As well as many of the people who make it.

I basically listen to Absolute 80s and a bit of EDM. They fulfil my requirements. I don’t feel the need to be informed on new guitar music anymore. It’s not so much an age thing as a comfort thing. I know what I like. I don’t write about music so there’s no need. I make it. For me there’s a difference. It would still come out of me even if I never heard another note of someone else’s music. It just…is.

Thanks, Johnny!

You can follow Johnny on Twitter here


Click here to visit the Fxxk Explosion website.  



MORE LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: 

Simon Reynolds, arguably the world's finest music writer

Author, writer and musician Sean Bw Parker

Everything Everything frontman Jonathan Higgs

Hacienda legend, DJ and writer Dave Haslam


Repeater Books' author and writer Carl Neville

Shadow Fire Minister Chris Williamson MP

Cult BBC Tees broadcaster Bob Fischer



Monday, October 23, 2017

Sean Bw Parker announces new Brighton 'Stammering and Creativity' talk

Musician, writer and author Sean Bw Parker is taking his 'Stammering and Creativity' talk to Brighton on November 24. Doors will open 6pm at the Community Base on Queens Road, with the talk starting at 6.30pm. The event is based on Parker's TED talk, footage of which has become one of the most-viewed videos on the topic of stammering. 

The event is free-of-charge, and questions from the audience encouraged throughout. Reasonably-priced drinks will be available, though only 100 places are available, so book now to avoid disappointment. Read my recent interview with Sean Bw Parker below. 


LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Sean Bw Parker

Sean Bw Parker is a writer and musician who has released several solo albums as well as collaborative works and albums by others via his label, Seraglio Point Productions. After spending a decade in Istanbul, he returned to England in 2014. His written work has been published by Time Out, Cosmopolitan and USA Today to give just a few examples, and he was formerly a director of the arts venue SeaFiSh in Bognor Regis. He has presented a TED talk called ‘Stammering and Creativity’ at the Kadir Has University in Istanbul. The talk has since become one of the most-watched videos on the topic of stammering.  ‘Stammering and Creativity’ will be toured around the UK shortly. 
  • What can we expect from the ‘Stammering and Creativity’ tour? 
It’ll be an extended version of the TED talk I was asked to give at the Kadir Has University conference in 2013, with Q&A encouraged throughout. This became one of the most viewed videos on the subject online. It revolves around my personal experience in that mature acceptance of the condition is key to harmonising it into your life, beyond more basic or subjective assumptions of a ‘cure’. It’s laced with glitz and humour too, as most things in life should be I think.

Stammering is something we do, and can be modified, so discussion of its being a disability is vibrant and ongoing. This tour is an attempt to educate, entertain and inform, like the BBC were once meant to do.
  • Can you tell us about your decade living in Istanbul? What were the most memorable moments? 
I met a group of Turkish people just after I’d finished my MA in fine art at the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham in 2004, and was working as a chef in Kingston-Upon-Thames, pondering my future. They went home to Istanbul, and I missed them so much – one in particular – that I decided to take a holiday there.

I actually thought Turkey was part of the European Union, but realised my mistake after a few months living and writing there, and found the fine was too much for my limited resources, so decided to keep working until I was rumbled in 2014 after an altercation with a friends’ neighbour, and was deported after two nights being kept in a cell next to about 100 Syrian freedom fighters in ‘transit’. That was on top of being in a bomb explosion in Bakirkoy, being attacked by a pack of dogs in the middle of the night in Besiktas, glassed by a fellow teacher, taking down a street self-mutilator (broken bottles down a naked chest) and being mugged twice in Taksim – all explored in ‘Salt in the Milk – Ten Years in Istanbul’.
  • How would you describe the character of Anthony H. Wolfstadt from your books to a newcomer? 
Wolfstadt is a young(ish) relic of the Empire, who looks at the East through ‘orientalist eyes’. He does whatever he wants, is a proud alcoholic, and criticises the natives of wherever he is living with what he likes to think is wit and panache. He is loosely based in Richard E. Grant’s ‘Withnail’, and the cover of my second book ‘Genuflecting Before the Pork-Barrel Demagogues’ suggests the appearance of Nigel Havers.

He is every middle-class Englisher’s licentious dark side, struggling to drag himself into the 21st century, until deciding not to bother. I voiced some of his stories on the ‘Ninja Lit’ album in 2015, with music by the genius Ettuspadix.
  • You’ve interviewed a wide range of well-known figures. Who is your most memorable interviewee? Who else is on your wish list? 
The most memorable would be David Stubbs, being as he is The Finest Living English Writer. That was full of wit, wisdom and observational brilliance. Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds was pretty memorable for his evident lack of patience with my questions, leading God Is In The TV to label the post ‘tetchy seed’. I regret asking Ed Harcourt if he minded being referred to as posh, as he disregarded the question, but as he later put it ‘you asked, I answered, that’s it’.

David Bowie would have been on the wish-list if I hadn’t fabricated an interview on a lonely, drunken inner-Wolfstadt moment a couple of years ago, leading to my grovelling apology and justifiable sacking from God Is In The TV. This was before the announcement of ‘The Next Day’, when everyone including The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne thought he might have died already. Would love to speak to Russell Brand or Stephen Fry, from the living.
  • Can you tell us the story of your label, Seraglio Point Productions? 
I was examining an old map of Istanbul in my bedsit in Norbiton as I was contemplating flying out there, and amongst the very difficult Turkish names was the more tongueable Seraglio Point, the name for the promontory on which old Stamboul was built. I later realised it was also shorthand for the harem that successive Sultans would keep in Topkapi Palace, built there.

I signed a distribution contract with Believe Digital in the early 10s to release my band Scorpio Rising’s recordings, and my own solo stuff, and set up Seraglio as the label vehicle for doing so – then realised we could get my favourite fellow artists work out there under the same umbrella. I started using it to promote the shows I would organise under it too, and books, and here we are seven years later. The Seraglio Point Productions facebook group makes me smile on a daily basis.
  • You been part of several bands and recorded as a solo artist – of which musical moments are you most proud? 
Song-wise, ‘Skin Match Version’ by Scorpio Rising is still my favourite, due to its very live, in the moment nature, and the first time I’d successfully used stream of consciousness/cut-up method in a lyric. Regarding albums, this year’s ‘A New Jerusalem’ is my favourite as it sounds very complete to me, journey-like, from Will Blake to Scorpio Rising to Ettuspadix. 2014 single ‘Bananafingers’ is the most popular with the public, still being played all over the East and the USA.

The video documentary Dutch Gumbo is a bit long, but tells a story and most bits are covered in there. The most memorable show was with SPB (Sean Parker Band) at the French Days Festival in Gezi Park, Taksim in 2011. A couple of years later I was tear gassed along with about 3000 fellow injured in the Gezi riots, most losing eyes due to rubber bullets fired by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s police.
  • What are your thoughts on the current UK political climate? How much do you feel UK life changed whilst you were away? 
A contributing reason of my self-exile was Tony Blair’s Alan Partridge-esque ‘modernisation’ of Britain. Though I like most sane people voted him in in 1997, he immediately introduced tuition fees just as I was returning to university, and was busy finding excuses to invade Iraq as I left.

For years it seemed you couldn’t tell the difference between party and policy, and Jeremy Corbyn has refreshingly changed that, returning the debate to humanistic ideals, when all I can see in the south east is people scowling suspiciously at each other. Daily life seems a constant struggle for everyone I know under 40 to get by, on top of being vocally hamstrung by an increasingly virulent political correctness.
  • What is the current situation with SeaFiSh? Will it return? 
I will always be proud of being ‘ideas man’ and co-founder of Seafish, it was my CBGBs and Hacienda all rolled into ten months in Bognor Regis. It was incredible being able to put on Eat Static, The Members, Attila the Stockbroker, Deborah Rose and Speech Painter to name a few, before Arun District Council made it impossible to continue.

My agnosticism was called sharply into question by an actual poltergeist, who/which we dubbed Pete, Pete the Poltergeist. For months I was only able to sporadically sleep in my own room, the amount it banged about. I’m a rationalist, and could honestly find no explanation for clearly human consciousness-originated actions, from multiple sources, clocks and pint glasses flying from shelves, a cacophony of physical doors slamming  – neither rats nor pigeons, nor the age of the building. It started when I had the carpet pulled up, interestingly, but when it subsided the real trouble started.

The Fish ended really sadly in around Christmas 2016, and I see no scope for any return, on my part anyway – it would be good to see Bognor have a great cultural venue again, but it certainly won’t be with me heading it up.
  • What are you currently watching, reading and/or listening to? 
Books that I have open are The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde and the Essential History of Art, but the truth is I’m far more enamoured with my friends’ facebook updates than either, and of course the attendant political theory/conspiracy theory (delete as you wish) links that often go with them. I’m editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’, final part of a series of south coast-originated poetry and prose, so that takes up a lot of my eye/brain time at the moment.

As a younger man I had a list of albums that I had to listen to if I got the chance. Online made that possible a few years ago, so now listening is a daily voyage of discovery from friends’ recommendations - to mixed results. The problem is so little of it sticks – but that’s probably because I don’t have the emotional and mental plasticity of of a fourteen year old brain anymore. The new Antidote songs are incredible, as is Stage Van H’s new traditional Greek-inspired work, and can’t wait to hear David Devant and His Spirit Wife’s ‘Sublime’ album.
  • What are you currently working on aside from preparing the tour? 
Apart from editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’ as mentioned above, I’m releasing my own ‘A Cacophony of Indifference’ album, both before the end of 2017, and planning a sixth book for publication next year. As artist liaison for Brighton’s Real Music Club we’re organising a Crayola Lantern show after a successful Zofff one at the Prince Albert last month, and I’m continuing to contribute to the Liverpool-based Getintothis, now the UK’s premier must-read music and culture site.

We’re opening a Hove Skeptics at the Pub group, further to the work I do for the Worthing chapter – which will see guest speaker spots from (RATM number one chap) Jon Morter and artist (and son of Lucien) David Macadam Freud next year – and the Seraglio Open Stage at the Brunswick in Hove continues the first of every month, after the brilliant WildeFest 2017 in October.

Thanks, Sean!

Lichfield Interrogates: Simon Reynolds

Lichfield Interrogates: Future of the Left

Lichfield Interrogates: Everything Everything

Lichfield Interrogates: Dave Haslam



Monday, October 16, 2017

LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Sean Bw Parker

Sean Bw Parker is a writer and musician who has released several solo albums as well as collaborative works and albums by others via his label, Seraglio Point Productions. After spending a decade in Istanbul, he returned to England in 2014. His written work has been published by Time Out, Cosmopolitan and USA Today to give just a few examples, and he was formerly a director of the arts venue SeaFiSh in Bognor Regis. He has presented a TED talk called ‘Stammering and Creativity’ at the Kadir Has University in Istanbul. The talk has since become one of the most-watched videos on the topic of stammering.  ‘Stammering and Creativity’ will be toured around the UK shortly. 
  • What can we expect from the ‘Stammering and Creativity’ tour? 
It’ll be an extended version of the TED talk I was asked to give at the Kadir Has University conference in 2013, with Q&A encouraged throughout. This became one of the most viewed videos on the subject online. It revolves around my personal experience in that mature acceptance of the condition is key to harmonising it into your life, beyond more basic or subjective assumptions of a ‘cure’. It’s laced with glitz and humour too, as most things in life should be I think.

Stammering is something we do, and can be modified, so discussion of its being a disability is vibrant and ongoing. This tour is an attempt to educate, entertain and inform, like the BBC were once meant to do.
  • Can you tell us about your decade living in Istanbul? What were the most memorable moments? 
I met a group of Turkish people just after I’d finished my MA in fine art at the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham in 2004, and was working as a chef in Kingston-Upon-Thames, pondering my future. They went home to Istanbul, and I missed them so much – one in particular – that I decided to take a holiday there. 

I actually thought Turkey was part of the European Union, but realised my mistake after a few months living and writing there, and found the fine was too much for my limited resources, so decided to keep working until I was rumbled in 2014 after an altercation with a friends’ neighbour, and was deported after two nights being kept in a cell next to about 100 Syrian freedom fighters in ‘transit’. That was on top of being in a bomb explosion in Bakirkoy, being attacked by a pack of dogs in the middle of the night in Besiktas, glassed by a fellow teacher, taking down a street self-mutilator (broken bottles down a naked chest) and being mugged twice in Taksim – all explored in ‘Salt in the Milk – Ten Years in Istanbul’.
  • How would you describe the character of Anthony H. Wolfstadt from your books to a newcomer? 
Wolfstadt is a young(ish) relic of the Empire, who looks at the East through ‘orientalist eyes’. He does whatever he wants, is a proud alcoholic, and criticises the natives of wherever he is living with what he likes to think is wit and panache. He is loosely based in Richard E. Grant’s ‘Withnail’, and the cover of my second book ‘Genuflecting Before the Pork-Barrel Demagogues’ suggests the appearance of Nigel Havers. 

He is every middle-class Englisher’s licentious dark side, struggling to drag himself into the 21st century, until deciding not to bother. I voiced some of his stories on the ‘Ninja Lit’ album in 2015, with music by the genius Ettuspadix.
  • You’ve interviewed a wide range of well-known figures. Who is your most memorable interviewee? Who else is on your wish list? 
The most memorable would be David Stubbs, being as he is The Finest Living English Writer. That was full of wit, wisdom and observational brilliance. Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds was pretty memorable for his evident lack of patience with my questions, leading God Is In The TV to label the post ‘tetchy seed’. I regret asking Ed Harcourt if he minded being referred to as posh, as he disregarded the question, but as he later put it ‘you asked, I answered, that’s it’. 

David Bowie would have been on the wish-list if I hadn’t fabricated an interview on a lonely, drunken inner-Wolfstadt moment a couple of years ago, leading to my grovelling apology and justifiable sacking from God Is In The TV. This was before the announcement of ‘The Next Day’, when everyone including The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne thought he might have died already. Would love to speak to Russell Brand or Stephen Fry, from the living.
  • Can you tell us the story of your label, Seraglio Point Productions? 
I was examining an old map of Istanbul in my bedsit in Norbiton as I was contemplating flying out there, and amongst the very difficult Turkish names was the more tongueable Seraglio Point, the name for the promontory on which old Stamboul was built. I later realised it was also shorthand for the harem that successive Sultans would keep in Topkapi Palace, built there. 

I signed a distribution contract with Believe Digital in the early 10s to release my band Scorpio Rising’s recordings, and my own solo stuff, and set up Seraglio as the label vehicle for doing so – then realised we could get my favourite fellow artists work out there under the same umbrella. I started using it to promote the shows I would organise under it too, and books, and here we are seven years later. The Seraglio Point Productions facebook group makes me smile on a daily basis.
  • You been part of several bands and recorded as a solo artist – of which musical moments are you most proud? 
Song-wise, ‘Skin Match Version’ by Scorpio Rising is still my favourite, due to its very live, in the moment nature, and the first time I’d successfully used stream of consciousness/cut-up method in a lyric. Regarding albums, this year’s ‘A New Jerusalem’ is my favourite as it sounds very complete to me, journey-like, from Will Blake to Scorpio Rising to Ettuspadix. 2014 single ‘Bananafingers’ is the most popular with the public, still being played all over the East and the USA. 

The video documentary Dutch Gumbo is a bit long, but tells a story and most bits are covered in there. The most memorable show was with SPB (Sean Parker Band) at the French Days Festival in Gezi Park, Taksim in 2011. A couple of years later I was tear gassed along with about 3000 fellow injured in the Gezi riots, most losing eyes due to rubber bullets fired by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s police.
  • What are your thoughts on the current UK political climate? How much do you feel UK life changed whilst you were away? 
A contributing reason of my self-exile was Tony Blair’s Alan Partridge-esque ‘modernisation’ of Britain. Though I like most sane people voted him in in 1997, he immediately introduced tuition fees just as I was returning to university, and was busy finding excuses to invade Iraq as I left. 

For years it seemed you couldn’t tell the difference between party and policy, and Jeremy Corbyn has refreshingly changed that, returning the debate to humanistic ideals, when all I can see in the south east is people scowling suspiciously at each other. Daily life seems a constant struggle for everyone I know under 40 to get by, on top of being vocally hamstrung by an increasingly virulent political correctness.
  • What is the current situation with SeaFiSh? Will it return? 
I will always be proud of being ‘ideas man’ and co-founder of Seafish, it was my CBGBs and Hacienda all rolled into ten months in Bognor Regis. It was incredible being able to put on Eat Static, The Members, Attila the Stockbroker, Deborah Rose and Speech Painter to name a few, before Arun District Council made it impossible to continue. 

My agnosticism was called sharply into question by an actual poltergeist, who/which we dubbed Pete, Pete the Poltergeist. For months I was only able to sporadically sleep in my own room, the amount it banged about. I’m a rationalist, and could honestly find no explanation for clearly human consciousness-originated actions, from multiple sources, clocks and pint glasses flying from shelves, a cacophony of physical doors slamming  – neither rats nor pigeons, nor the age of the building. It started when I had the carpet pulled up, interestingly, but when it subsided the real trouble started. 

The Fish ended really sadly in around Christmas 2016, and I see no scope for any return, on my part anyway – it would be good to see Bognor have a great cultural venue again, but it certainly won’t be with me heading it up.
  • What are you currently watching, reading and/or listening to? 
Books that I have open are The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde and the Essential History of Art, but the truth is I’m far more enamoured with my friends’ facebook updates than either, and of course the attendant political theory/conspiracy theory (delete as you wish) links that often go with them. I’m editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’, final part of a series of south coast-originated poetry and prose, so that takes up a lot of my eye/brain time at the moment.

As a younger man I had a list of albums that I had to listen to if I got the chance. Online made that possible a few years ago, so now listening is a daily voyage of discovery from friends’ recommendations - to mixed results. The problem is so little of it sticks – but that’s probably because I don’t have the emotional and mental plasticity of of a fourteen year old brain anymore. The new Antidote songs are incredible, as is Stage Van H’s new traditional Greek-inspired work, and can’t wait to hear David Devant and His Spirit Wife’s ‘Sublime’ album.
  • What are you currently working on aside from preparing the tour? 
Apart from editing ‘Empire of the Mind 3’ as mentioned above, I’m releasing my own ‘A Cacophony of Indifference’ album, both before the end of 2017, and planning a sixth book for publication next year. As artist liaison for Brighton’s Real Music Club we’re organising a Crayola Lantern show after a successful Zofff one at the Prince Albert last month, and I’m continuing to contribute to the Liverpool-based Getintothis, now the UK’s premier must-read music and culture site. 

We’re opening a Hove Skeptics at the Pub group, further to the work I do for the Worthing chapter – which will see guest speaker spots from (RATM number one chap) Jon Morter and artist (and son of Lucien) David Macadam Freud next year – and the Seraglio Open Stage at the Brunswick in Hove continues the first of every month, after the brilliant WildeFest 2017 in October. 

Thanks, Sean!

Lichfield Interrogates: Simon Reynolds

Lichfield Interrogates: Future of the Left

Lichfield Interrogates: Everything Everything

Lichfield Interrogates: Dave Haslam

Sunday, September 24, 2017

LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Simon Reynolds

Simon Reynolds is one of the most celebrated writers and critics in the music world and the author of some of its most fervently acclaimed and notable books, including Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984, Bring The Noise: 20 Years of writing about Hip Rock and Hip-Hop, Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture, Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past and last year's Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century. Known for his innovative and distinctive blend of cultural and music criticism, he began his long career at the Melody Maker in the 1980s and moved to the U.S. in the 1994, when he is said to have first coined the term "post-rock". In a huge coup for Lichfield Interrogates, I caught up with Simon to discuss glam, contemporary hip-hop, poptimism, the past's current grip on the musical present, life in the US and Trump. 




Image courtesy of Adriana Bianchedi

What are your main musical and cultural memories of the early seventies and the glam rock era? 

They’re really all from Top of the Pops, I think. Where I lived, in Berkhamsted in west Hertfordshire, I don’t think you saw that much in the way of people dressing like David Bowie. I guess some of the basic fashion things filtered through – I remember seeing platform boots and hot pants, certainly. It was mostly TV, I think. That’s why I started the book with references to television and specifically Top of the Pops performances that I remembered. And they crop up throughout the book. That was how I experienced pop music. I didn’t listen to the radio until quite a bit later. One of the things about these glam TV memories is that Top of the Pops was a context that was very variable – you had the really middle-of-the-road performers, you had novelty singles, singles by comedians, you had sort of generic pop groups, then you’d have hairy groups like Hawkwind on there. Then suddenly you’d have weird teenage-oriented groups all covered in spangles. 

One of the things I didn’t actually discuss in the book but was in an early draft, was how Top of the Pops had certain visual special effects – I think one of them was called howlround - things that probably now look really cheap but at the time looked mind-blowing. For instance, the whole screen would go this metallic purple, and Marc Bolan would become this sort of purple haze figure. They would use these effects a lot, specifically on glam groups. They seemed to know it wouldn’t really work on the Brotherhood of Man or Tony Orlando – the MOR groups would be filmed flat, but T-Rex and The Sweet would get all these plastic-fantastic effects on them where suddenly the screen would go all trippy. That had a pretty big impression on me as a child. It seemed like a really suitable effect to use on these bands, with it being very psychedelic but also plastic and artificial-looking, with a cheap sci-fi feel. They would also use it on people like Gary Glitter to fit their sort of trashy, bubblegum sound. That’s really the main thing I remember from that era, seeing these bands swathed with those special effects on Top of the Pops. 




The Sweet, Blockbuster, Top of the Pops, 1973

Do you think that glam has been unfairly ridiculed and been turned into a caricature over the years? 

Well, it’s difficult to say because I operate in a rarefied area of rock criticism, and in those circles ridiculing glam is not something that would have occurred for a long time. Me and my friends at Melody Maker including David Stubbs and Paul Oldfield, we had rediscovered glam in the mid-1980s when were doing the fanzine Monitor. They seemed amazing to us, particularly Gary Glitter’s music. For someone like Bob Stanley or someone with that sort of sensibility, the idea that glam is ridiculous has not been an idea ever – Bob was one of the first people I met that would talk about how amazing David Essex records were. So, in those rarefied British music critic circles, glam rock has always had a lot of cred. However, you don’t need to go too far beyond that little world to encounter people dismissing the whole era. There was an issue of The Face in the eighties, an issue dedicated to the Seventies called “The decade that taste forgot”. That was the general view of the seventies, as a benighted era before the 1980s itself, when you had style magazines and when groups all looked sharply-dressed and there was the true birth of the video as an art form. Of course it’s the Eighties that now look like a decade that taste forgot, just as dated and absurd. 

People looked back on the seventies as this era of daft hair, platform boots, ridiculously wide lapels and a sartorial lack of taste on an epic level. There was a general cliché of the seventies that said Bowie, T-Rex and Roxy Music were the only ones that deserved to be considered “cool”, with the rest being written off. Some journalist came up with a cliché I was determined not to use – “bricklayers in Bacofoil” – one of the clichés about Gary Glitter and The Sweet is that they were these beefy blokes that weren’t in the least bit androgynous but were trying to copy Bowie whilst wrapped up in silver foil. There were variations like “plumbers in Bacofoil”, “hodcarriers in Bacofoil” and various other derogatory terms, but if you actually look at Glitter’s performances, they’re pretty strange and excessive, and The Sweet looked hilarious whilst having a great deal of fun, essentially mocking glamour more than trying to be glamorous. Even Slade looked pretty remarkable and the music was just fantastic. 

Even back during the 1970s, there were a few serious rock critics who were saying “this Gary Glitter phenomenon is pretty fucking strange” -  that there was something mind-blowing about the tackiness of it. Tackiness taken into this almost extreme performance art area.  So even in the seventies there were a few critics taking all this stuff pretty seriously. With The Sweet, critics would acknowledge that they were a pretty good hard rock band underneath all the bubblegum. If I’d been around then as a critic, I would hope I’d have been amongst this minority of people that thought glam may have lacked substance in a conventional album kind of sense but it had all these other things going for it. 

Would you agree glam’s influence stretches way beyond rock (OutKast, Prince)? Has its reputation improved over the years? 

I don’t really know to be honest. Prince was certainly aware of Bowie’s work and I think you can hear T-Rex in there. I think black music has its own tradition of fabulousness, whether it’s Little Richard’s pomp and how he wore a jacket with tiny mirrors, which is said to have influenced Gary Glitter, or Sun Ra Arkestra’s robes and costumes. I think a lot of black music had its own separate tradition of image excess. OutKast  - the influence of glam is probably in there, but if you think about the way Earth, Wind and Fire and Parliament and Funkadelic dressed, the black entertainment of the era fully embraced the 1970s norms of extremely wide lapels, bell-bottoms and spangly man-made fabrics. 

That sort of razzle dazzle is probably an innate base-level part of the black music tradition, and we don’t need to give glam too much credit for it. Labelle supposedly got some ideas for their outfits from glam, and Chic were very taken with the Roxy elegance, but I think it’s the norm in black music to look extremely glamourous and dazzling. If you think about it, there aren’t that many black performers that do the dress-down thing. I suppose if you look at Bill Withers with his cardigans and the early days of rap with its hoodies and sneakers, it’s the opposite of Diana Ross and other mainstream black pop, but generally speaking, black music tends to go fully towards razzle dazzle. So I don’t think it needed to be influenced by glam. 

Which contemporary artists have the most in common with glam rock?

Lady Gaga is very overt about having a glam influence – she has made a point of referencing Warhol, Bowie, Klaus Nomi and Leigh Bowery and other extreme clothing figures. Kesha is another one – glitter is a huge part of her image. When I interviewed her, she talked a lot about Marc Bolan, she’s worked with Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop, and her stage performance is very theatrical with lots of props, including a dancing phallus. In the last part of Shock and Awe, a section called Aftershocks, I see all sorts of echoes of glam in a lot of contemporary artists who have songs around fame and stardom. A lot of glam was self-reflexive and you get the same thing with Kanye West, Drake and many other rappers and R&B performers where their own fame or rise to fame is the subject matter of the music itself. I thought this was interesting and possibly a form of decadence in a way. 



Kesha, Take it Off

What were your thoughts on Blackstar? 

I thought it was great – I thought The Next Day was good too, though there seemed to be a bit of timidity in the sound, some of it was clearly mixed and produced in the hope of getting on the radio, but Blackstar is just completely full-blown, undaunted self-expression from someone who has got nothing to lose and has just decided to try and do something really different. You can hear traces of old interests like jazz and drum ‘n’ bass but it doesn’t really sound like anything he’d done before. I must admit it’s not a record that’s easy to integrate into everyday life. 

I think I heard it after his death – I couldn’t rank it alongside other records from last year so I put it into a category on its own on my blog when I did my faves of the year in December. It is hard to objectively assess it because of the effect of his death and hard to say where it ranks compared to his other masterpieces. But there was no holding back in the artwork or videos. The project was possibly a strange thing to be doing when you’re about to shuffle off this mortal coil – most people in that situation would probably spend all their time with loved ones -  but perhaps Bowie felt that he belonged to the whole world and wanted to make a final, ambitious artistic statement. 



David Bowie, Lazarus

What are you currently listening to? Do you listen to more contemporary music than old music? 

Like most people, it’s probably a mix of both. There was a period over 2016 where I was obsessed with playing The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell – I’m not really sure why. But mostly I listen to the radio here in LA, especially the rap stations. Some of the tunes turned out to be on many people’s albums of the year, but I can’t seem to get into the mind-frame of listening to the whole record by YG, for instance. 

There are so many records I listen to once. Schoolboy Q had a great single, but I just haven’t had a chance to go back to the album. From 2016, records I have gone back to repeatedly included Let’s Eat Grandma’s – I was amazed to see how that hadn’t appeared in any magazine’s best of lists, and eMMplekz, an amazing spacey-techno-grime-dubstep record – a kind of “ghost music” version of Sleaford Mods that didn’t get mentioned anywhere. It seems odd how people can go off into completely different paths – very few people listen to the same things. I look at lists from FACT or The Quietus and most of the things I’ve never even heard of, let alone actually heard. 




Let's Eat Grandma, Eat Shiitake Mushrooms

Records by SchoolboyQ, Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown and Kanye West have been ecstatically-received over the last few years. Would you say we are living in a golden age for hip-hop?

I’m not sure – it seems like it’s a pretty good age. Every year since I’ve moved here, the radio has seemed to have a lot of “bangers” on it. There’s a certain LA sound that includes local stuff and things from Atlanta. The composite of those sounds is fantastic – people like Rae Sremmurd, Future, Migos, Travis Scott, Schoolboy Q. Clearly the greatest and most popular song of last year - judging by what I heard on the radio - would have been Low Life by Future and The Weeknd. It was played once an hour for most of 2016 on the radio here. I’ve never once tired of listening to it. But “Low Life” didn’t appear on a single magazine list or critics’s list of the best tracks of 2016. Either the music critics are out of touch or the radio listeners like me in LA are completely in their own delusional zone. It’s very odd – there’s a huge gulf between what the critics are calling the best rap records and what the punters seem to like. Rap’s probably one of the only genres where I turn on the radio and hear something and I think “yes, we’re in the present – maybe even the future”. 



Future feat. The Weeknd, Low Life

It seems like hip-hop has gone really interesting sonically again in recent years. I love the way 2010s hip-hop seamlessly shifts back and forth between rapping and singing - I suppose Drake pioneered that. The other thing I really like is the way that you hear sort of whooping and choking noises behind the main vocal in a lot of modern rap records or just sounds of unclassifiable emotion like exultant or vaguely disturbing effects. I’m not sure who did it first but tracks that do that quite substantially are Bad and Boujee by Migos and Panda by Designer. It’s more the commercial end of rap than the “credible” side of it that’s been keeping me interested recently. 




Migos ft Lil Uzi Vert, Bad and Boujee 


Is rock dead? 

It certainly seems to have died as a major force in the charts – it doesn’t seem like it’s terribly vital as an art form that’s going anywhere or has the ear of a mass audience. You still have groups doing interesting things – the most recent Radiohead album was good, but they’ve been around forever, you can’t really deduce the vitality of rock from Radiohead knocking out a pretty good record. There are probably quite a few people doing interesting things – I listened to a Finnish psychedelic metal group called Oranssi Pazuzu and thought they were pretty amazing. But groups like that operate in such a marginal cordoned-off zone. I think rock has long since been like jazz was. In the 1980s, you still got interesting players and new directions, but jazz was already well on its way to being an old person’s museum culture or minority interest. I think rock’s now well down that path. You can see it on the festival bills that have (that horrible term) “legacy acts” from the era where rock was more central. I wouldn’t say it was “dead”, but it’s probably somewhere in-between middle-age and old age, and its best days are behind it. 




Oranssi Pazuzu - Lahja

What are your thoughts on contemporary dance music? I feel like we have seen a nadir when it comes to mainstream electronic pop music over the last couple of years, and I couldn’t wait to see the back of tropical house. What are your thoughts? 

I haven’t heard much from mainstream or marginal dance music that really makes me feel like it’s got much of a new direction in it. Looking at various lists, it seems that there has been a lot of quality, intelligently-made yet banging techno but that’s not really enough in 2017 to really get me paying attention. 

What do you think about the reputation of pop? Has it improved with the likes of Charli XCX, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé now being seen as credible songwriters? 

Yes, I think recently we’ve seen a lot of serious artistic statements being made and written about endlessly with think pieces and highly serious, intense analyses of things like Lemonade and the Solange record for instance. You could say pop has become the new rock, with a somewhat didactic, improving, rather worthy form of writing being produced around it, in exactly the same way critics would have written about Bruce Springsteen or U2, using a language and a tone that makes you feel like you’re in school basically. The other thing I noticed was that, amongst the people some of us call “poptimists”, is that they saw 2016 as the worst year for pop music ever. 

Drake’s “One Dance” was divisive – I think you need to hear that song in a car to appreciate it better, it just sounds great in that context, the beat sounds huge. It tickles me that he has taken things from London pirate radio culture like funky house and made them work as global pop. I never got tired of that song. It amuses me that people who were waving the banner for pop five or six years ago are now seeing it as being at an absolute nadir, when I don’t think the quality has dropped. I see what you are saying about the slowness of the charts but in terms of actual content it doesn’t seem like pop music has declined that much from 2011-2012 to me. 

The charts haven’t really been exciting since Top of the Pops was something to watch or since the early 2000s when you had Timbaland coming through or newish pop stars like Britney Spears and Girls Aloud. I wasn’t in the UK then but from what I did see on MTV, it seemed like there was a lot of great pop and rap in the mix. But I still don’t think there has been a marked decline. I didn’t mind those Justin Bieber songs at all though I know people find them annoying.  



Drake feat Wizkid and Kyla, One Dance 

Do you think the past’s grip on the present has weakened at all since you penned Retromania? 

Things don’t seem to be as extreme in terms of Retromania as they were when I wrote the book. In the charts, there’s a lot of flashy, contemporary-sounding pop music that doesn’t have a retro element. There are certain figures with nostalgic sounds like Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor and Adele, but the old doesn’t seem as dominant as it was at the time I wrote Retromania, which was 2010 when I finished it. I think the re-issue mania, the bands reforming, the legacy acts, the festivals dominated by acts from other eras and digging up of things that didn’t deserve to be dug up by reissue labels – all that is still there.  The hipster retro aesthetic thing of flicking through the past and piecing together of old sounds is still going on, but it doesn’t feel as prominent, both in the mainstream and in the underground (which can seem almost exaggeratingly futuristic – there isn’t a retro element to people like Arca at all). 

There are quite a lot of retro-tinged things I find enjoyable, and a few futuristic things I admire from a distance but don’t ever have a desire to listen to them, which puts me in quite an odd position. I ought to be loudly in favour of someone like Arca, but in practice I don’t find the music that easy to listen to or enjoyable, whereas something that’s in a retro style might be much more pleasing to the ears, even though I disapprove it – it’s a tricky one. Ariel Pink is a winner for me, even though if I was being strict, I should disapprove of what he does because it’s so bound up with pastiche. 

How does life in the US compare to life in the UK? 

I haven’t lived for any length of time in Britain for many years, so it’s difficult to say. When I go back for any length of time it’s always a great deal of fun, because I’m seeing people I haven’t seen, whizzing around and it’s not like living a normal life there. If I was in the UK full-time, I might find it a bit depressing, I don’t know. Emigrating wasn’t an easy or a hard decision to make – it’s just what happened. I married an American and it was easier for me to work in the US for various reasons. Before long, you realise you’ve spent almost 25 years in a country that’s not your homeland. Initially especially it was very exciting to move – I was living in New York at first, where there’s always something going on or someone coming through town like bands and deejays. As well as this stream of visitors, New York has its own rich traditions of music, art, writing that are constantly going on, just never flag. Tons of cultural energy. LA is exciting in different ways. I do feel a little unplugged from the UK culture that formed me, but I don’t even know if a lot of it is there anymore, such as the music press for instance. 



Image courtesy of Adriana Bianchedi


Finally, no interview with anyone living in the US in 2017 would be complete without a Trump question, so I thought I would ask about your reaction to his election victory. 

As you might expect, just horrified disbelief. It’s a scary moment when truth and facts don’t seem to matter at all, and the media will carry on writing diatribes and exposes that have zero purchase or effect on the people who support Trump. They are just immune to it, have closed their eyes and have made their decision. They have made their emotional investment in this figure and nothing at all is going to dislodge him from their affections until he starts betraying the things he has promised to do for them. So, it’s just unbelievable. 

The thing that is probably the most interesting or revealing to me is this ineffectuality of words. In the year-and-a-half before the election, there was a feast of brilliant analyses, beautifully-written, high-minded rhetoric, editorials, New Yorker articles and well-researched investigations into Trump’s past. A downpour of eloquence that still goes on, to the point where it feels exhausting keeping up with it. We’re in a golden age of investigative journalism. But all those passionate and beautifully written denunciations of Trump before the election had no effect at all on the result. You have a guy elected who is the absolute polar opposite of the previous President. Obama was very skilled with language, could talk like a book, was erudite, eloquent, could string together a series of connected thoughts, and was deeply involved in formulating policy and knowing his shit inside out. He is replaced by a guy who thinks in Tweets, who is talking about something completely different within three sentences  - sometimes within a single sentence - and has the vocabulary of an eight-year-old. 

The people who voted for Trump clearly voted for an inarticulate, irrational, non-thinking, non-linear and anti-intellectual person as a deliberate choice. Especially anti-intellectual. They hated Obama for the very reasons that he is great – his ability to communicate, his eloquence, his oratory, his great clarity of mind and instead picked someone who was impulsive and inarticulate even before you get to his arbitrary, ill-chosen policies and values. He doesn’t have any fixed principles. 

As a thinker and a speaker, Trump is so vastly Obama’s inferior, and that and his mental mediocrity was what was attractive to his fans. Also his emotional immaturity. People talk about EQ as well as IQ – emotional intelligence. This is a person who isn’t wise, who is unskilled in language and thought, who blurts out his emotions. They deliberately picked this immature and impulsive brat. What struck me is how it was very much a revolt of the ignorant, picking someone made in their image. It’s a revolt against expertise and clear rational thought itself. 

Thanks, Simon! 

You can buy Shock and Awe here. 




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

LICHFIELD INTERROGATES: Everything Everything's Jonathan Higgs

I first interviewed Everything Everything way back in 2009 around a year before their debut Man Alive, catching up with bassist Jeremy Pritchard for a chat in the weeks leading up to their second record, 2013's Arc. We did skip an era in terms of interviews last time round (2015's Get to Heaven helped the four-piece cement their status as one of the biggest and most inventive alternative rock/art pop bands in the UK), but it's a pleasure to have once again talked to frontman Jonathan Higgs about their forthcoming record, A Fever Dream, which is set for release on August 18th and has been preceded by the releases of Can't Do, the title track and Desire.  



You’ve now been around for almost a decade and seen a host of high-profile bands come and go over the years. What do you think has been the key to your longevity?

A combination of factors; we didn't start with a Big Bang, each record has been better and better received as we went, so there's never been a big pining for 'the old stuff', people really want the latest thing the most. Also we try to have a progressive mindset, we keep pushing ourselves and I think that keeps fans interested rather than getting comfy and bored. 

Two years is widely regarded as a pretty swift turnaround between albums in the modern climate. When did you start writing the album? How long were you in the studio?

We wrote it during the touring of Get to Heaven, we never really downed tools to be honest. We were in the studio for about a month all in. 

What kind of lyrical themes can we expect on A Fever Dream? Get to Heaven dealt with various political issues, is that the case this time round? 

Yes and no, the current world is so seeped in 'political opinions' and there are reams written every minute about every global consequence of every new catastrophic development in the blah blah blah I didn't think it was worth adding one more bleating voice into it. I'd rather take a step back and look at the human to human state of us, how a normal person is feeling in amongst all this fire and brimstone and uncertainty. The big things are the backdrop now rather than the focus, nobody gives a crap what I think about Brexit and Trump - everyone has something to say on that stuff, I want to say something else. 

Do you still retain a great deal of control over your videos and artwork? 

Yep we all think about it way too much. We've worked with some other directors on videos this time around and it's felt good.


'Can't Do'

What have you been listening to since Get to Heaven? Which recent albums, if any, have had a substantial impact on you? 

I'm really excited by the Blackpool grime scene, BGMedia and all the related artists. Hard to describe without sounding like I'm joking but look it up!

What is your attitude towards streaming? Do you think it has helped or hindered you? 

It's meant simultaneously that we make very little money from sales but are exposed to vastly more people. Is that a win? Yes and no, we've seen bands with lots of streams have to split up because they can't actually afford to be in a band anymore. If you are good live then you're ok, if you aren't you're kinda screwed. It's no surprise you see so many old bands getting back together and doing nostalgia tours. 

How did you arrive at the album title? 

I wanted to encapsulate a feeling I've been having, that I think a lot of people have been having, that of uncertainty and a surreal, dark fear of the unknown that's settled over everything in the last couple of years. Not a nightmare, a very strange dream. 

Is A Fever Dream darker or lighter in tone than its predecessor? 

Somewhat lighter in that there is hope here and there. GTH was a kind of warning album, and to go there again would be too much - everyone knows what has happened, what we are staring down the barrel of, why make an album telling everyone that? We know it's shit! Let's make something that talks about me and you and what to do next. 

Has the songwriting process become any tougher over the years? Does your eclecticism and experimentalism mean new ideas are always flowing? Do ever suffer from creative blocks? 

Yeah sometimes I do, when you write alone you just don't do it if you don't feel like it, but writing with Alex means there are times when one of us is fizzing with ideas and the other is empty. That's how I wrote the chorus for Can't Do, literally started to sing about how I didn't know what to sing on the track.

What can expect from the forthcoming live shows? Are there any songs you’ve found particularly painful to retire or rest to make way for new ones?

No it's a pleasure to retire songs! Playing new stuff is always exciting, the old songs aren't going anywhere, they are maturing like a fine cheese, little minging half-eaten Babybels stuffed back into their wax. The new live shows are super intense, Ivory Tower is a highlight, it's red raw.


'A Fever Dream'

Thanks, Jonathan!

You can follow Everything Everything on Twitter here, on Facebook here and pre-order A Fever Dream here



EDIT: EE have this week unveiled the second official single from A Fever Dream, Desire. Watch and listen above.