There was a time when me and Tom Cullinan
were like that (no! not like "that", just friends). Th’Faith
Healers would gig at the drop of a hat, and were to be found in
Norwich more often that many local bands. Foolishly, he even let
me stay at his house once (something he claims to have no recollection
of) as long as I didn’t steal any plectrums. I hold him responsible
for my inability to play the guitar. Then came Quickspace Supersport,
riding a scuffed Germanic groove. Eventually they realised the world
couldn’t be bothered to take the time to say the name properly,
so he stands before you today as part of Quickspace. We were reunited
for a pint shortly after the release of Precious Falling
on their cute little Kitty Kitty Corporation label.
Is what you’re doing with Quickspace
a realisation of what you were trying to achieve with Th’Faith Healers?
Tom: No. (off to a flying
start here, then) Shall I elaborate? I haven’t done an interview
for ages you know. You’ll run out of tape by the time I answer this
question. No it’s not a realisation; it’s a different thing. Do
you think it’s a different thing?
I think some of it was going that
way, so I just wondered.
See – you know better than me.
It’s alright. We could go back to
that one later I suppose, after some easy ones.
Why did you shave "Supersport"
off the end of the name?
It wasn’t really supposed to be
included all the time anyway. In my experience bands always have
their names shortened, but obviously when you go overboard and do
something like "Quickspace Supersport" everyone
takes great care to do the whole thing, so we had to shave it off
ourselves. Also it was a timely manoeuvre because half the band
left, and we couldn’t think of another...thing (suffix!)
to put on the end. I was thinking "Quickspace Direct Debit"
would be quite good.
A couple of tracks on Precious Falling
use tape manipulation – surely you can’t do that live.
You could play the tape, and play
along with it, but yeah it’d be more or less like turning up to
a gig and playing your record.
Have you considered the pretentious
rock band route (turntables)?
Are you going to now?
Can or Faust – who’s best?
I’m not really up on Faust, I only
know that Sunshine Girl thing, so I’d have to say Can, but
just because I don’t know Faust. Who knows Faust?
Nina: No, I don’t know Faust.
Sean: Well, I’ve heard most of Faust’s output but Can win
hands down, I feel. There’s more records and more... it’s just a
better group. They’re not that similar really.
T: They are – they’re both krautrock. Like us.
N: Yeah, just like us.
S: I think Faust, in a way, were a lot more experimental
in their recorded output. I never saw them live but I’ve heard some
quite wild reports of Faust shows, and I’ve read a bit of the history
What’s the connection between Kitty
Kitty and Domino?
T: Laurence Bell. We were
considering being on Domino at one point, but not very seriously.
S: No, we always wanted to do our own thing but we’d come
up against a bit of a brick wall, moneywise. We recorded the first
album, but then speaking to our distribution company, who were fully
supportive and bunged us a few quid to help us record the first
album. At the same time we thought well we’ve got tours to do, we’ve
got recording schedules to do, and we’ve still got a record label
to look after as well. Laurence was a bit oblivious to start with
that we weren’t going to sign to Domino – not that we’d led him
down the garden path or anything – but we still wanted him involved.
He’s very good and very keen, very excited about Quickspace, and
he wanted to be involved. We wanted to keep him involved and the
only way that he could be involved really was if he came in on Kitty
Kitty. But we’ve kept it pretty separate – we have his input and
stuff – but the label’s been pretty much run by ourselves. Laurence
has helped us out with licensing and things like that, he’s better
T: He’s Kitty Kitty International
really, isn’t he? And we’re Kitty Kitty UK or something like
S: We’re licensing this record
to Domino for Europe, excluding the UK, because we’ve gone through
Vital’s international set up, we’ve been through Southern’s international
For a label our size it’s a bit of a battle to get any attention
and licensing has always been the end for our records abroad. We
want someone taking care of it that knows the territory, so for
the US, for Japan, for the rest of Europe, individual licensing
deals are the way to go. And it’s fucking hard work, but I’m delighted
that they’re going to be releasing this record.
You don’t seem to play live very much.
T: We’ve been recording recently,
stuck up on a farm, recording. The drummer left and we weren’t really
in a hurry to find a new one. Our old drummer had done the album
and then he’d gone, so we just didn’t play for a while until we
found a new drummer (who’s playing pool over there).
So you’re set to become the full-on
Not full-on touring, no. it’s not
the way. We’re not a three weeks of England, two months of Germany
touring type band. You can’t really do that and keep putting your
own records out.
S: And also recording other bands on the label as well, because
a lot of time is spent in the studio doing other things.
T: You soon realise that endless touring is not a lifestyle
– well, it is a lifestyle – but it’s not really one that
you should want and be healthy of mind. I think a few gigs are enough,
and we travel around. What happens when you travel around is that
you don’t get an awful lot of people coming to the shows, but I
suppose that if we toured more then more people would come out.
Oh god, this is going round and round and round.
S: We haven’t really been able to do that, because the push
is coming from us, and though we believe whole-heartedly in what
we’re doing, in a business environment it’s difficult to push in
the right way when you’re talking about stuff you’re involved in
T: We’ve been accused a lot of being lo-fi and just kind
of bunging out our own records, and this is Sean saying no, that’s
not the case, we’re not just bunging out records – we’re trying
to do it properly. You might even see an ad in the NME or
something, you know?
I’d have to start reading the
S: Nah, you could just look
at the ads and throw it away.
You once gave me a Velvet Underground
record because you said I should get into them, and I’m still not.
What went wrong?
T: I don’t know what’s gone
wrong. You just don’t like ‘em I suppose. Can I have it back? I
must’ve had two, because I’ve still got one.
You gave me some Animals singles
Were they scratched? No?
Good lord, I must’ve really liked you once.
Would you care to categorise your music
for our reader?
File under pop, file under Stereolab.
Shh! We’re post rock, aren’t we? Or no? That’s good, we’ve
escaped that one. Post rock is Ganger and Fridge, Trans Am?
They’re a bit more rock than post
I don’t understand really. Tortoise?
I file that under jazz myself.
S: File under ‘queer folk’.
T: You can’t get away from that one can you? You’ve got a
one track mind. Sean wanted to call the album Queer Folk.
The new material with the tapes and
stuff sounds like a departure from the first records, rather than
a progression. Discuss.
The original idea was to separate
the two and have a side thing called Quasi-Pfaff (also a track
on the first album), which was gonna deal with tape loops and
samples and all that. It’s kind of merged into one I suppose due
to lack of material. That don’t made sense does it, it’s a double
Isn’t it a financial nightmare
doing a double album?
Yeah, it’s an absolute financial
nightmare that the vinyl’s going to cost the same as the CD. It’s
ridiculous – it should be more.
I think you’ll probably find it
will be more.
S: Well it should be the
same, they’re both being sold at the same dealer price to shops.
T: So we’ve gone to all this trouble on the vinyl because
we really like vinyl and all that, but really we’d ask everyone
to buy CDs to make our money back, thank you very much.
S: It’s a sign of the times. People are still going to be
buying more CDs than vinyl, but we’ll still keep chucking it out.
Nearly finished. Anyone got any jokes?
S: That one about the bloke
in the bar playing piano?
T: It’s a bit long though, isn’t it? But you could do that
S: Well A bloke walks into a bar, gets himself
a drink, and then sees a piano in the corner of the room. He goes
to the barman "Do you mind if I have a go at playing the
piano?" and the barman says "Alright then, but
just make it the one." So he goes up there and he plays
this brilliant tune. As soon as he starts playing all the people
in the bar are amazed. He’s doing all the stuff and showing off,
brilliant chords, all these arpeggio’s and everything. And he stops
and goes to the barman "thankyou" and starts to
leave. The barman says "No no, carry on, that’s a really
good song – did you write it yourself?" He said "Yeah,
I write all my own songs. That one’s called ‘Slap my tits and eat
my pussy’" and the barman goes "Oh right, do another,
but if I was you I wouldn’t announce them."
So he plays even better and everyone’s just going berserk, and
the barman goes over again "What was that one?" "‘I’m
gonna fuck you up the arse, bitch!’" he replied. This happens
throughout the night, the barman goes up and hears all these disgusting
song titles. Near the end of the night the bar’s rammed, and the
guy has to have a break, so he has a quick drink and goes for a
quick piss. He comes out of the toilet and this woman comes up to
him and says "Excuse me, do you know your cock’s hanging
out and you’re pissing all over your leg?" and he goes
"Know it? I wrote it!"