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Old 25th Jul 2005, 21:40   #11
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Mention of Luke Haines in The Guardian.
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Old 5th Aug 2005, 10:56   #12
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Just got this email from The Luke Haines Dossier:

Quote:
Hello,

No Dialogue with Cunts: The Auteurs Live at the LSE '99 is going to be available as a free download over the month of August.

Tracklisting:
1; baader meinhof
2; Meet me at the airport
3; Burn warehouse burn/ there's gonna be an accident
4; Back on the farm
5; Baader meinhof 2
6; Unsolved child murder
7; 1967
8; The rubettes
9; Bootboys
10; Your gang our gang
11; How could I be wrong
12; Buddha
13; After murder park
14; Light aircraft on fire
15; Lenny valentino
16; Future generation

Get the first track from http://www.lukehaines.co.uk/etc/

Regards,

The Luke Haines Dossier
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Old 5th Aug 2005, 11:19   #13
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Oooh! Cool.
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 17:08   #14
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How are you finding the live tracks thus far?
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 17:21   #15
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Er... I haven't listened to them yet. I checked The Dossier at the weekend and they're only up to the first two tracks, both Baader Meinhof, which I'm not as big a fan of as you are, Blixa. So I'm going to wait until they get to the songs I like more before giving them a rattle.
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Old 17th Aug 2005, 0:21   #16
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Part one of a recent interview with Haines:

Quote:
Paul Morley has made it virtually impossible to begin a piece of writing on Luke Haines. Those of you who already own a copy of the excellent 63-track compendium 'Luke Haines Is Dead' (all lovingly selected by the man himself to cover his various guises) will have already poured over the sleevenotes, in which celebrated journalist and ubiquitous broadcaster Paul Morley brings us '63 Ways To Begin An Essay On Luke Haines'. Playful and impressive, it renews your respect for a writer you only too readily picture assessing the cutural significance of the Tellytubbies on some retarded nostalgia show on Channel 4 these days.

"I think Morley is slowly going mad," chuckles Haines, "You can now turn any of those programmes and count thirty seconds and Paul Morley turns up on them. You can imagine that he really thinks about it, that he wakes up screaming in the night thinking about what he's going to say about the fucking Kenwood toaster. He's losing the fucking plot: that's why I got him to write those sleeve notes, before he ends up in Bedlam."

There's another reason why he picked Morley. It's all too typical of The Auteurs singer.

"I sort of know Paul. There is a convoluted history between Paul Morley and myself so I thought that it would be good to get him to do the sleeve notes. I knew that he would be quite spikey because he's very friendly with someone who I used to play with in the band, who I fell out with big time - so I knew that he would be pumped full of 'Luke Haines, what a fucking egotistical bastard he is!' Which was good. It's all a bit love/hate..."

So does Haines enjoy the reputation of being grumpy and cantankerous?

"I suppose I can be cantankerous but as for grumpy... As a word it has been reappropriated, it doesn't have real meaning anymore. It now just seems to be the word for anyone who doesn't act like a gay children's TV presenter. Surely I'm far from grumpy."

In the notes Morley gets carried away at points, though still retaining a keen sense of fun, he asks "...what kind of world do we live in where Haines is not considered a living, or at least undead, legend as improperly perceptive as Joe Orton, as psychotically sensitive as Chris Morris, as terribly treasured as Morrissey, as truly lost and found as Ray Davies, as cultishly grand as Roy Harper, as playfully vicious as Peter Cook, as abrasively miserable as Spike Milligan, as blunt bitter and twisted as Colin Wilson?"

Faint praise of course...

"Hmm. I'm not particularly part of the Morrissey Greek Chorus of approval, or indeed Chris Morris for that matter. I think that Chris Morris kind of lucked out a bit. A few of the things that he did were kind of funny. The only thing that I thought he did that was really funny was the paedophile one. The rest of it is a bit public school for my liking and he also has an idiot brother, so no, I'm not that big on Chris Morris. Tom Morris [Artistic director at the Battersea Art Centre] is the idiot brother who gets thrown the scrap-ends of what Chris Morris turns down."

But Peter Cook though?

"Peter Cook is nice [to be compared with]. He wanted to be a rock star, y'know, so maybe I just want to be a fucking comedian."

I meet Haines in a pub on Parkway, Camden. I've spotted him in these parts on countless occasions, though he's moved out now, a mile or so away, up on one of the hills. You get the sense he can Lord over the borough from this exalted position and sneer in comfort without getting too soiled. Dressed head to foot in white and topped off with a straw boater, he looks like the evil twin of the man from Del Monte; he's the man who likes to say "no". Haines is gracious though, and a true gent, and not nearly as intimidating as I'd imagined quaking on the bus ride over. So, did he ever want to be a rock star?

"I think that you kind of start out with a foolish idea that you might want to be, but then it dawned on me pretty quickly that all the people that I liked weren't, and there wasn't much of a chance that I was ever going to be, because I was far too willful. In retrospect the best thing I've ever done is not become a rockstar. One thing that you can never level at me is that I've become a fucking popstar: I would never have it, popstars are beneath me."

You were nearly a popstar with Black Box Recorder?

"Well, we [by this he means himself and John Moore] were in the background really. And in the midst of BBR's top twenty success, I was really pleased that Sarah [Nixey] was the front woman. It meant she could be the one talking to some Radio 1 DJ about crisps or whatever. The reason that record existed was because John and I felt an obligation to Sarah to kind of make her into a popstar, albeit briefly. In spite of all the ice maiden stuff she puts on, in her heart and soul she is a pop kid, really. We'd dragged her through this absolute non pop record and it was only fair that we give her something back to allow for her fifteen minutes of pop stardom. We did it for her, really; we were quite happy."

So you don't expect to do anything like that again?

"Everything that I write for ten minutes will probably crack the lower end of the charts but if it doesn't, I don't lose that much sleep over it."

You lose a bit of sleep though I sense...

"No, not any more. No, absolutely not. I'm 37-years-old. I couldn't give a toss. I stake out my ground quite well and I envisage that more and more people will be coming to it to pay homage, but we may not necessarily make it into the pop charts regularly."

How much is 'Future Generations' taking the piss, and how much do you actually mean?

"Of course there is a sort of buried truth, I mean, more a grain of truth. Obviously if you are doing stuff that is any good then more people will come round to it eventually. Anyone who has ever been any good in the field of rock and roll has eventually found a very large audience; whether it's in twenty, thirty or fifty years time is not my concern. It was just a prediction of what is going to happen and I'm clearly right about it."

Do you really believe that? Do you believe the cream will rise as it were?

"Yeah, I do. That's terrible, isn't it? it makes me sound like some sort of evangelical Glenn Hoddle or something. I do think that pioneers get shafted somewhere along the way, but eventually everything comes good."

What was the idea behind 'Luke Haines is Dead'? I mean, you're clearly not actually dead.

"I just thought it would bolster my own sort of reputation if I faked my own death. I couldn't really take it much further than that, although I could probably start to sell as many records as Nick Drake does. Or Jeff Buckley. At least I show willingness on the dying front, even though I have no actual intention of popping off just yet. And it just rounded off all the EMI stuff: to put a full stop to that and clear out the vaults, because otherwise someone else might get there first."

So you're drawing a line under what you've done so far but clearly you intend to carry on.

"Yes. There's a solo album coming out hopefully next year which is going to be called 'Off My Rocker at the High School Bop'. It's sort of ten popart, reportage postcards but it's very pop (laughs)... it's pop where I've rediscovered guitars again. Which could be good or bad; I think it's good. And there's a couple of new songs on there that I've been playing live. There is a song that's kind of about the Glitter Band called 'Bad Reputation' and a song about Jonathan King on there which we may or may not get released. The song is called 'The Walton Hop' which is where Jonathan King went perusing for young boys. It's the old Walton Playhouse, which was converted into a Hop in about the mid-seventies. Walton-on-Thames was where I came from so there is a connection there; it's just a little story song about what went on there. Fun for all the family."

There's a peculiar Englishness to your material. Is it because you wish to concentrate on what you know as such?

"I kind of want to delve into fairly unfashionable, unchartered waters. I don't think that anyone has ever written a song about the decadence of the facsist right wing in the 1930's ['The Mitford Sisters']. Maybe it's the most pointless song ever written but it kind of interests me. That was always the point for me, to just highlight those things because I thought that they were interesting. You know, I'm not going to be writing about champagne supernovas (Laughs). There's none of that round my way."

You're also quite interested in writing about terrorism. Will there be more of that?

"I'm not so interested in the al-Qaeda stuff; perhaps I'm just writing purely from an historical point of view. I don't really see it as terrorism as such, more a kind of death cult. A fundamentalist death cult is a whole different thing, whereas I always thought that the Baader Meinhof was...

"I heard this stuff on the nine o'clock news as I was being made to go to bed, stuff about these West German terrorists bringing this country to its knees, turning it into a surveillance state and this sort of somehow stayed with me. I wanted to do something that wasn't politically correct, not for the sake of it, but just to go with the iconic idea of the Baader Meinhof gang and in turn to make a kind of deranged, schlocky soundtrack album to go with the iconic idea of terrorism. I mean, that sounds a bit Bobby Gillespie but I think that it was done with a bit more humour than his ridiculous middle-aged call to arms."

He changed the name of 'Bomb the Pentagon' after if got bombed. That's funny.

"Well yeah (snorts) real revolutionaries wouldn't do that. He's a sweet man sometimes."

You sold a few records in France, right?

"Well, it helped that the band was called 'The Auteurs' and the album was called 'New Wave' (laughs), and they got rather obsessed in the 'Nouvelle Vague' element in all of that. I'd obviously been aware of the Auteur theory and for nouvelle vague I'd call the album 'New Wave' because I thought it was funny, not accounting for the Gallic lack of humour. Every few albums they kind of like me and then they call for me to be guillotined in between as some sort of Francophile traitor. I never was a Francophile but there seems to be this idea amongst the French that I was. I don't know, what can you say, they're a rum old bunch God love 'em…"
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Old 18th Aug 2005, 16:50   #17
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Super, thanks Blixa!
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Old 24th Aug 2005, 16:34   #18
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Second part of the interview:

Quote:
So Luke Haines was nearly a rockstar. In 1993 his band were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, and the story goes that Suede only just beat the Auteurs to the glittering prize. Commercially Suede went on to sell a lot of records, while the Auteurs became more a specialist interest. If I were say... Paul Morley on 'I Love 1993', I might say Luke Haines is the picture in Brett Anderson's attic, the unbearable truth that festers as The Tears singer hankers for more public approval, but I'm not, so I won't. In reality, though The Auteurs were occasionally referred to as 'the Dark Suede' but it's a mystery why they're so often mentioned in the same breath. Nobody is more perplexed than Haines himself.

"I think it might be true of the people who have never bought any of our records," he sneers. "we might have sold a couple when that man was being the most famous man in Britain for half an hour."

Brett Anderson still wants to be a rockstar.

"And he kind of is, isn't he? I'm not resenting [Suede's] success; I think he was really good at it. I'm just saying that in some ways its retarded. I have a soft spot for those boys though, they're nice lads."

So what music floats Luke Haines' boat now? Predictably he's dismissive, though his reasoning is, as ever, logical, and his arguements cogent.

"I like as much music as I did when I started - I don't take a lot of notice. But from my ivory tower..." he cackles, "it looks like it's all gone very young again. It may have always been like this, but bands are all kind of 15-years-old these days and, if I was to take an interest, well, it would be... a bit... wrong." He makes a face not unlike Frank Booth in Blue Velvet when he utters this last sentence.

"I have to say that I've heard it all before. I don't wish to be painting myself as old as Moses, but I heard that band Interpol for the first time a few months ago and I couldn't believe it. It's not influenced by Joy Division, it fucking is Joy Division. I mean, they had some of the same lyrics. Come on! Write your own fucking songs! Let's forget about the irony of postmodernism, write your own bloody record. I know, I'll go and buy 'Unknown Pleasures' - I'll tell you what - I had it twenty years ago. Whatever. Not interested. Americans doing Joy Division, what's that?"

The Idea of getting into music just to be a carbon copy of someone else seems incredibly perverse.

"It's this strange kind of poster mentality, isn't it? These fifteen year olds put up a poster of say, Kurt Cobain or Ian Curtis and then... form a band. It is really missing the point. I wanted to be an artist when I was a school and to all intents and purposes that's what I've done, and that's what you should do - go and make your own piece of art. It's quite simple: have an imagination. If I was a good painter or a good visual artist I would work in that medium but that's not my medium."

Do you think that music is as worthy an artform as visual art?

"Well yes, much more so than visual arts. Music has much more credibility - visual arts are at the moment a bit of a joke. The visual arts haven't improved since Duchamp really. Rock music hasn't moved much since 1979."

That's possibly down to the music industry. If you're always following trends and going for the same fodder because somebody else has managed to flog it, things aren't likely to progress are they?

"Art and commerce have never made great bedfellows: now, there is too much music; it is too available."

There used to be an element of personality in contemporary pop, but from the Hit Factory onwards all individuality has been strangled and squeezed out, and now we have a situation where pop music Is 100% machine driven.

"It all is. I don't think that there is much distinction between your pop-automaton and your NME new band, because they are still going to be signed to a major record label who are going to want the hit single straight away. That is much more prevalent now than when I started. We were allowed a few goes. In my case, millions of goes, haha! And that's the way it should be. The whole point of the music industry is to waste money."

Perhaps too much money was wasted on Britpop, and people got their fingers burned.

"The goal posts have moved. With Blur and Oasis, it was the first time any of those bands were starting to have real chart success. Suede really upped the anti and the whole bullshit of the Blur/Oasis thing was the idea that this was something new and different, that these were guitar bands who were exciting, when really they were just light entertainment. They had to go light entertainment to get to that point of selling shitloads of records. To me it didn't look like any kind of real battle, it just looked like Freddie and the Dreamers vs Herman's Hermits. You know, they should be on at teatime at the London Palladium. More derivative stuff. Write your own record!"

Oasis destroyed so much.

"We had a man here who proudly claimed he never read a book. Shut up, moron. I don't mind his bluff northern demeanor at times, but you know, what's that line... 'Slowly walking down the hall / faster than a cannonball'? How did he get away with that? Hahaha. If we still had the stocks, that man would be in them."

On 'Definitely Maybe' they were like 'toniiiight, I'm a rock and roll starrrr!'. That's 'Stars in Your Eyes' that is. So, stupidity and ignorance annoys you then?

"Yeah. I think that there's a War On Intelligence that's been waged for the last... it seems really prevalent now. I'm shocked when I turn on the TV what little people seem to know about anything. There seems to be an historical ignorance of anything that happened any more than two years ago. What are they teaching the young people at school?"

It's difficult finding new bands that are any good.

"I think partly why I received my grumpy reputation is that I couldn't be bothered with finding new bands that I liked, from the year dot. Possibly if I was a journalist and I was being paid for it, I could find something nice or even helpful to say, but I'm just a fucking punter."

It's quite nice to be able to write about who you want to write about, rather than having to follow criteria, and fit in with a whole agenda; Where you have to like the six bands that are going to be on the cover that year.

"Sort of like the Hitler Youth, but not as good."

Or stylish.
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Old 24th Aug 2005, 16:38   #19
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Anyone who has a pop at Oasis is doing fine in my book. The 'cannon ball' line kind of knocked my interest in that lot - who I only leaned towards because Creation signed them - from the off. Emporer's New Clothes, that's them.
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Old 22nd Sep 2005, 14:57   #20
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Default Re: The Greatest Genius Who Ever Lived 2: Luke Haines

Another interview, http://www.terapija.net/english.asp?ID=1254
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