Rising Sun, February 2000 issue
interview with Andy N
1. How are things and whats happening at the moment ?
Ben- Things are well. we're in the midst of wrapping up the recording of our upcoming EP and we're also appearing on a soon
to be released compilation with Sonic Youth, Bevis Frond, and the Minutemen. The EP's titled "Fantastic Flavors"- it's a
collection of avant-garde children's songs and will most likely be released on the Constinople label. Last I was told, the
compilation was in mastering and should be out a tentative mid-year. "Frequency of the Devil" will be our named
2. Can you tell us a little about the history of your music. What
started you off etc, etc...
Ben- There's not too much to say, really. Kaleidepy started as a side project. I wasn't happy with my full time group
situation and decided it was time to start over. Luckily, I had already begun the process. I've known these folks since
3. For those who do not know, Who is in the current line up of
Ben- Kaleidepy currently consists of myself (Ben Glover- vocals, bass), Miranda Robbins (keyboard, violin, vocals, etc.), Laurence
Smythe (guitar), and Brink (programming, samples).
4. Who are you influenced by, music wise ? What have you been
listening to lately ?
Laurence- Perhaps the question is who are we not influenced by? I'm sure the list is shorter, we make good effort not to
impose any limitations on what influences us- good or bad. A top 40 piece of garbage has just as much right to influence us
as anything timeless. What can I hear in the music? Pink Floyd (1967), the Residents, Sonic Youth, the Beatles, various
Asian pop groups, David Bowie- although it wouldn't be fair to limit this to only music. Film and books play just as
important of a role. Lately, we've been playing a lot of Magnetic Fields and Kahimi Karie, I can't say much of anything else
other than what we've owned for some time.
5. What are your plans music wise ? Have you got any more
releases forthcoming ?
Ben- After the EP is finished, I must say we have a fairly good idea what's going on the full length. Yes, we're probably
getting ahead of ourselves, but I have to say both are completely different records. The EP is a concept, whereas the full
length is more of what we are as a whole.
6. What are your concerts like ? Do you prefer creating music in
the studio or playing it live ?
Ben- With our current line-up situation, we're in more of a studio situation. A lot of what we record is hard to pull off
live ala Sgt. Pepper's, so it's a matter of learning and restructuring the material. In order to do this, we plan to expand
our live act with more people in order to fill out the sound more. We're looking forward to having something solid live say
within the next few months. I've also been moonlighting on guitar for this avant-garde trucker concept and we've had our
hands full with a lot of shows.
7. How do you come up with a song ? Do you all decide
together or does somebody come in with a specific idea in mind ?
Laurence- There's not much of formula in the way the songs are constructed. It's pretty much up to whomever originated the
idea to where things go, really. For us, it is better we don't get comfortable with one specific pattern in order to keep
things from getting stale. Initially, Ben has written and arranged the lion's share of the material, but has been very
generous in giving room to the rest of our ideas.
8. When you're not doing music, what do you do ?
Ben- Between earning a living, recording, and our various side projects, there's isn't much time left. Most of us are
involved in multi-media art. Miranda will have a piece auctioning this summer, along with Rauschenberg and a handful of
other renowned artists. Though, I'll admit fairly most of other things we do are rather ordinary. I just finished reading
Phantom Tollbooth for the sixth time.
9. I know a lot of musicians don't like to categorize their own
music, but if possible, could you describe your sound / or style ?
Laurence- As trying as it can be for even the most belligerent critic to do such, I must admit it is a difficult task for
even us. We are more influenced by the sense of sincerity and purity in art rather than individual movements or a specific
artist. However, for every person that has listened to our music, each has gotten or heard something that is personal.
Kitchen sink, shall I say? We don't really impose any restrictions, and what has resulted is such a melange of nearly all
mediums, it would be difficult to pin the sound to something other than to each song. Very eclectic. Eccentric nevertheless.
10. What has been your strangest, best / worst experience of been
in a band ? Has it been everything you expected or as the case
may have proved, not ?
Ben- Upon our first attempt of trying out drummers, I played with one particular fellow- he kept a groove with us for say a
minimal four beats, left to go get cigarettes and never returned. He was spotted a few weeks later by someone we know,
apparently fine. We hear he's been going through some personal grief and we wish him the best. To this day, his kit sits at
our friend's house.
Expectation wise, we've never been one's to overdramatize a need to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or whatever, and I
think it's proved worthwhile. Rather than wasting time trying to get fifteen minutes, we've found it more rewarding to take
our time and enjoy where we are now. Not that we're suggesting to avoid success, but that success is inevitable if it isn't
11. Are you into any British bands ?
Ben- Oh, but Laurence is very British!
Laurence- Indeed, I moved to the States when I was three.
Ben- I would say my collection of Beatles, Pink Floyd (especially Barrett era), Bowie, and Brian Eno make quite a
substantial chunk of my library. I can't say I am aware of anything in recent years that has caught my ear, however I am
sure there is
something I have missed or haven't realized to the origin of author. The British psychedelic movement and the whole British
Invasion altogether have made a substantial effect and influence on Kaleidepy.
12. Whats the state of the US Indie scene at the moment ? I know
over here, after a spell when it looked like things could get better,
we get swamped with stuff with Boyzone, Bewitched, Spice Girls
and whatever which leave me feeling quite ill, and quite probably
set the course of music back by about 1o years, shall we say ?
Ben- I would have to say very stagnant. With the exception of Elephant Six, that is. Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples in Stereo,
and Olivia Tremor Control, not to mention the rest of that whole lot, have put some rather fine records in recent years, I
Laurence- In regards to such pop groups, I am not overly concerned, as I remember watching the lot of them in the 80's sink
into pretty meandering careers thereafter. It's a cycle they've created, and I'd have to say it's safe to assume a similar
fate for this bunch.
13. Anyway, cheers for taking the time and trouble to write to me. I
hope everything is going okay and who knows, I may see you
perform live someday , if I ever win the lottery over here. I do want
to come to the states and see some of these great bands that I will
never see otherwise ?
Laurence- We don't have any attachment to the States, so don't look at things too pessimistically. I don't see why not, I
know anyone that would pass touring outside of here.
I am sorry for the delay sending these questions to you. All I ask is
you send them back to me as soon as possible. What is the best
way of getting hold of some of your releases, because I know for a
fact it is proving very, very hard to get hold off them over here if >not impossible.
Laurence- Overseas distribution can be very expensive, hence so many groups are on completely different labels country to
country. The best way at this moment would be to visit the web site at www.altern.org/kaleidepy . We're fairly reasonable
and do our best to accommodate international requests.
Any help you can give is welcome.
Cheers for now and I look forward to hearing from you real soon !!!
Andy N xxx
Yes, thank your for your time. -the cast of Kaleidepy