La semana que viene, los magníficos Wire vuelven a tocar en España después de sus espectaculares conciertos de hace un lustro. Hace unos días tuve el placer de entrevistar vía email a Colin Newman y Graham Lewis. Se publicó en el Metrópoli de ayer.
A continuación, reproduzco la entrevista completa original en inglés.
How do you evaluate these two years of touring? Are the Spanish concerts the final ones? What future plans do you have after that?
C- When we decided to go on in 2006 playing live was very much part of the equation. Of course the live scene is extremely healthy right now and in many ways the live event is more central to the "industry" right now than "albums" are but this is only partly why we like to play live. Wire has developed into a really strong live band. In the 70's & 80's we had our moments on stage but performance was never as central to the band as it is now.
We were supposed to come to Spain last year but it didn't work out for various reasons. We are easing into the development of the next cycle of material so I think there will be less live shows after October but we are always open to an interesting trip :)
G - Actually it's almost exactly 18 months since we began playing the present material and developing the present "live set". There is always a certain amount of trepidation before a new phase of live performance... This time that was increased by Bruce's absence (after his 2004 resignation) and the subsequent augmentation of the group with guitarist Margaret Fiedler McGinnis.
I feel we've gone from strength to strength live...playing more shows in this period than at any other comparable one, since the late 70s. We are coming to the end of this arc of work which included the recording and releasing of "Read & Burn 03" and the full length album "Object 47" between 2007-9. We've started planning the recording of the next album with writing underway for completion and release in 2010.
As Colin said we would have certainly visited Spain before now if it had been within our power...
I think you’re playing live more than ever. ¿Has it became more important than recording for you? Is it a necessary thing to do in order to survive as professional musicians these days?
C - Very astute David! In a word yes but still we wouldn't do it unless we enjoyed it. There is a certain intensity around touring which can become nightmarish & claustrophobic if circumstances are not good. I'm obviously speaking from experience here! I think we've really grown as a band these past 2 years and have visited some fantastic places and played to an awful lot of people AND we've been f*cking great on many occasions! What's not to like?
G - I agree pretty much with what Colin says but with the addition that development in communicative technologies and home recording have made aspects of recording process more convenient, particularly, for a group such as ours whose members live in different countries.
Have the “Object 47” songs evolved very much during the tour?
G- Inevitably there is evolution. Particularly when you start with a sonic analogue of a song to start with. There are always gradual shifts in tempo as set develops and grows. However, it's older material which evolves or devolves most!
C - Wire have always excelled at seeking out the simplest and most effective way to do almost anything. Our live sets are always built around the things we can construct the most effective analogue for. So some things we play live sound quite similar to the album and others quite different. Evolution, yes towards the end of effectiveness in performance.
I’ve seen you’re playing stuff from all your career, but can we say you also try to represent now a wider scope of sounds? During the “Send” tour you seemed to focus in a kind of wild in-your-face guitar sound…
C - These sets are very different. The "Send" set was developed as a kind of "rude awakening to Wire's continued existence". We don't need to make the same point twice. Now we try to project something which has all the power but also light and shade, myriad hues. It very much about Wire, about animating the spirit of the band on stage.
G- "Send" was a set of fast tempos,little melody, no songs, no prisoners and maximum sonic assault ALL the time... it refused to acknowledge indifference! It sounded like ONE HUGE GUITAR ON STEROIDS! This present set has wider horizons and greater emotional depth plus that aggression! ;)
Why did you choose Margaret Fiedler as your touring guitar player? Did you like her work with Laika and Moonshake? How are you feeling when playing with her?
C- We thought about playing live as a 3 piece for about 3 nanoseconds but frankly Wire has always been a 4 piece on stage. I've personally known Margaret for years. Yes Malka (Spiegel, su pareja y compañera de grupo en Githead) & I got the the 1st Laika album when it came out and their cover of "German Shepherds" is one of THE best Wire covers ever. However it was the fact that she had done 18 months on the road as a guitarist with Polly Harvey that drew us to her. We needed someone who could walk the delicate line of being part of it but not in it. She does it perfectly.
G- Margaret has adapted perfectly to the Wire way of playing. I think she's done a remarkable job... although I know she experienced sheer terror when we played the first few shows!
Can you reveal why did Bruce decide to leave the band?
C- Unfortunately not. He resigned by e.mail and declined to explain anything. It was his prerogative to leave but also ours to go on without him.
G- As Colin says only Bruce, maybe, knows why exactly... there were a lot of problems around the group at that time. With that as a background and other personal matters to resolve... he resigned...
When listening to “Object 47”, sometimes reminds me more of Githead than Wire. Do you think is there an influence of your other band? What is the opinion of Graham and Robert about Githead?
C- Oops! Unintentional, the two bands are quite separate. Normally people say it's the other way round which is really infuriating for members of Githead. Nobody wants to to be in some bloke from Wire's "side project" (well nobody in Githead anyhow!). However this is an issue that is unlikely to go away and I'm very alive to that at least in recorded material. From the Githead side the natural evolution of the band has taken the new album (Landing - out November) in a direction where actually Malka does most of the vocals. the writing has always been different to Wire. For both projects I've been really pushing towards moving away from the "cut & paste" methodology and much more towards getting as much of the stylistic signatures that are unique to each band on the records. I have no idea what Rob & Graham think about Githead, you should ask them!
G- I haven't clue what Robert thinks... and I've yet to see Githead live... so reserve my judgement. .. it's a dilemma for Colin singing in both groups with such a recognizable voice and similar line-up, it used to occur when he made solo records too
Are you still trying new material in your live shows or you’re not longer doing that?
C- We don't reveal the contents of our sets in advance.. There is a basic spine but we've put various pieces in and out of the set over these last two years. It might happen over the coming months that we are trailing stuff from the next album but we aren't there yet..
G- As Colin says we're not quite yet at the point of trailing new material...
I’ve seen some comparisons between Wire and Animal Collective. In fact, they also liked to play entire concerts with in-edit stuff (it seems they’re not doing it these days). Can you see them as a kind of followers of the Wire spirit? Do you see a Wire influence over other current bands?
C - Blimey that's a pretty massive compliment! They are a "generational definer" and they built it over a long time, two reasons to admire them! I think personally that every band that gets somewhere interesting kind of plots their own path. I feel more like where Wire belong is in a "tradition" of having a longer term viewpoint, a wider cultural perspective and a less narrowly defined ideas of success (talent helps too :) In that way we kind of connect in all kinds of interesting ways. Anyone who has been "influenced by" Wire (or any other "significant" band) in the sense that they have listened to the records way too many times in order to somehow reproduce their energy or spirit can't really be taken seriously.
In the last years, a few bands from your generation (Gang Of Four, Magazine, The Slits) are coming back just to play live, sometimes to play just one album. What’s your opinion about that? Would you accept, for example, to do a “Pink Flag” show?
C - Well, we did do the "Pink Flag" thing in 2003... As for the rest, you can't totally call it nostalgia as I'm sure there are plenty of people in their audiences who won't have been born in the 70's however they also don't do anything new as far as I can see. It's an advantage we have, people like the old stuff but also the new "One Of Us" very often gets one of the biggest cheers in our current shows. It's very gratifying to be in that situation but it's not like we haven't worked for that. Very often putting ourselves in uncomfortable & difficult situations when we could have taken the easy option.
G- We played "Pink Flag" (Wire's first LP) as one half of an evening with the then "new" "Send" as the second half at the Barbican Arts Centre, in London. We collaborated with Jake and Dinos Chapman for the Pink Flag performance, they made a video stage set, and for "Send" the extraordinary e.s.Devlin designed a fantastic set. I should mention collaborator Tom Gidley, who kept the film side of both sets on course, and Letti Collins who choreographed a suitably absurd finale for "Pink Flag" which featured 8 pink clad aerobic dancers stepping... it was great fun.
Canción del día: "Surf Solar" (Fuck Buttons)
Frase del día: "La felicidad es un accidente" (Woody Allen)