Defiantly against the grain, one of Liverpool’s most cherished and captivating bands a.P.A.t.t. talks to Getintothis about their new records, sexually provocative film project, Liverpool’s creative spirit and why they’re all for Tom Cruise coming round for tea.
1. Getintothis: So, you’ve just come back from a European tour taking in France, Germany and Switzerland. How did that go down?
General MIDI: View our trials and tribulations and a short video diary here.
2. Let’s cut to the chase – a.P.A.t.T. has been been doing this music thing for a fair few years now. You’ve said in previous interviews you’re making music for yourselves but there surely comes a time when gratification from a wider audience comes a calling?
General MIDI: We obviously relish in the fact that more and more people like a.P.A.t.T. now but we truly hold it with great pride that, within this music and art we create, it’s the journey that’s the best bit and we would not want to be stopped doing something simply because we could receive negative feedback.
It works best for the music this way and that makes those who join the gang join the gang with gusto!
3. The reason why Getintothis digs a.P.A.t.T. so much is that while many people are so caught up in trying to waffle on about your non-genre approach, they seem to forget that you’re ultimately a pop group with strong melodies with the added bonus of a top notch live performance. You’re basically a multi-limbed Lady Gaga from Liverpool, right? Imagine what kind of production costs you could run up with her budget…
General MIDI: Given a quarter of the chance would bedazzle!
If we are heading out in all directions correctly, we certainly will be stopping off at planet POP, yes!
4. Twitter, you’re on it, what do you think? Any favourite tweeters?
General MIDI: It’s the dullest of the web sites to frequent, let’s be honest; Mashable is good if you are a tech spod I guess.
a.P.A.t.T.: The Face of a Crow
5. It’s election year. Will you be voting and how important is the politics game in a.P.A.t.T.’s world?
General MIDI: Tricky one. Being non-politial as a band (singing about about love for instance) is, in turn, being highly political.
You’re choosing to ignore a standpoint and being heavily open to critique about non-political action, complacent, dumb.
That being said, politics is pretty dull stuff to sing about all the time and quite narrow-minded creatively.
So we offer links and drop hints here and there about things we are interested in (political and non-political), this way we avoid soap box tactics and get to concentrate on the work. As for voting??? Sheesh?
6. a.P.A.t.T. are holding a celebrity dinner party, who are the first five guests (dead or alive) you post invites to?
General MIDI: We have gone for five very obvious people here but we wanted a nice meal, rather a night with Steven Segal or something.
Paul McCartney, William Burroughs, Derren Brown, David Lynch, Tom Cruise.
Tom Cruise dinner parties would be fun.
7. This whole democratic, non-hierachy ethics thing you’ve got going down I find somewhat baffling, even Greenpeace hippies REM are a Michael Stipe dictatorship really, who’s the secret Napoleonic leader pulling a.P.A.t.T.’s strings? What happens when you simply can’t agree on a structure/idea, do you abandon ship?
General MIDI: We have never really had that. If someone feels really passionate about something, you kind of have to give them the space to try it. Try it, try the other, record it, try it live. The winning ‘concept’ is the one that works …easy.
We are not doctors or nuclear engineers so we can take risks without anyone dying… luckily.
8. Despite the cynicism, Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year was a success, how do you think 2009 shaped up and what’s your thoughts on the creative spirit in Liverpool as we start a new decade? Who/what artistically excites you in Liverpool?
General MIDI: There really is an amazing creative spirit in Liverpool at the moment.
All manner of people are doing fantastic things. Bands are taking more risks and sounding better for it. Venues like The Kazimier and The Bluecoat are taking risks with some wonderful acts and making it possible to hold some of our more special events.
Not to mention we have just recently started a collaborative label/ club night/network called POSTMUSIC.
It’s all about the creative spirit you’re talking about. Snoop here and here.
9. As well as being pretty handy in the music department, a.P.A.t.T. is reasonably adept at the ‘branding’ game – tell us a little about the whole Post Music platform you guys are associated with.
General MIDI: POSTMUSIC has started through many years of collaborating with different friends. It is a group of friends who like wonderful music, exquisite art and fun.
We spend our time running a label, club night and a social/analogous network. We’re about D.I.Y. community, unity, experimentation and exploration. Unfunded, over the last few months a film entitled ‘POSTMUSIC Cinema Sessions’ has been made. We plan to release it mid-year.
Featuring the best alternative acts playing live from a derelict Cinema that is steeped in a history of the macabre, dead in the heart of Liverpool.
Originally established during the CD-R boom in early 2000, stretched between Liverpool and East London to facilitate the release of heavily alternative D.I.Y. music, but now focusing on DVD, vinyl, download, digital code redemption.
Artists we have worked with in the past, present & future: are Indica Ritual, a.P.A.t.T., The International, DJ Scotch Egg, Hot Club de Paris, Shitmat, Pit er Pat, Stignoise, Icy Demons, Barbieshop, Mugstar, Riuven, Gay Against You, Bob Log III, Cowtown, Horacio Pollard, Monobrow, Barberos, Vialka, Chops, Jason Forester, Zombina & the Skeletones, Tattie Toes, Action Beat.
Icy Demons and friends at The Kazimier.
10. I watched the beautiful horror flick Antichrist the other weekend. Having digested scenes concerning genital mutilation and psychological terror, it left me thinking about my irrational phoebias, like ice-skating, what are yours?
General MIDI: Cheesy wot wots.
11. You, along with 40-odd musicians, took over the Bluecoat for Terry Riley’s In C extravanganza. Tell us a bit about that? Any plans for something similarly extravagant this year?
General MIDI: Yes, something like we have never tried before. I suggest you make a hole in your diary for Walker Art Gallery March 20. It’s all very hush hush.
12. I have a terrible habit of ordering all my records A-Z, it’s hopelessly annoying and tedious, what bad habits/disorders do a.P.A.t.T. have?
General MIDI: Affection, caring, love…
13. I loved your Christmas hit Snowin, it was most profound. But the snow and ice is getting me down now. How important is the lyrical process to a.P.A.t.T.?
General MIDI: It is all down the the heart of the piece. Some songs don’t require lyrics, some don’t deserve lyrics, sometimes it’s fun to use very inappropriate lyrics, etc. It all depends.
14. What records from the last 12 months struck a chord, which contemporary bands do you listen to/inspire a.P.A.t.T.?
General MIDI: Dirty Projectors and Sax Ruins.
15. It’s quite obvious that you’re all sporty types. Which football team(s) do you support?
General MIDI: What the fuck is football for? Latent desires, that’s what.
Dirty Projectors: Stillness Is The Move
16. Looking ahead, your third long-player Ogadimma is due out on Leeds-based Chinchilla Tone Recordings soon, how does it depart from your previous two, what can we expect?
General MIDI: More focused, shorter, punchier songs. We have ‘Ogadimma‘ and another 12″ called ‘Paul the Record‘ on Upset the Rhythm records. They have a very similar approach in format and tone to each other. Quite ‘fun’ releases. These will easily be our most recent releases.
We have finished ‘a.P.A.t.T. the Movie’ also. It’s just being treated at the moment so we hope to have that on the cinemas before the year is out. Story line is like this:
“After a brutal display on the set of a soft-core film, a child is conceived through dire cirsumstance. An unsympathetic father leaves the mother to fend for herself and the child turns against its own mother. A series of dream-like sequences are played out and the story manifests itself as bongo.”
17. When you decide to take a quick detour musically, and embark on your hip-hop record, which artists will you be inviting to ‘guest’. Think carefully, they will be reading.
General MIDI: Paul Mc Can’tly, William Burroos, Darren Brawn, Davis Lynch, Tim Cruise.
18. Finally, anything else to declare?
General MIDI: Only our love and Join us.
Village Idiot: Live from Sayers by a.P.A.t.T.
a.P.A.t.T at Latitude Getintothis review