Anglo-Dutch experimental rock band The Legendary Pink Dots are gracing the UK with two live dates in April 2014. This here DJ/reviewer was particularly taken with their last studio album ‘The Gethsemane Option’ as were much of the press who showered it with praise. John E Smoke set out on a mission to enter the wild and fruitful garden of The Legendary Pink Dots to find out a little more. Edward Ka-Spel awaited….
Thank you for the opportunity for a bit of a natter with us at Rivetheads/Dark 3rd Radio. How are the Pink Dots today? Feeling Legendary?
Mythological more like it. A relic from some bygone age when power-mad surgeons ripped out children’s tonsils caring little about the consequences. You got it, I’m recovering from tonsillitis even though said tonsils have been missing for decades.
Legendary Pink Dots formed back in 1980. Your career is quite frankly awe inspiring and perhaps bewildering in scope and scale. As hard as it is to imagine, for someone who has never heard the Legendary Pink Dots, would you suggest they start with you most recent album or would you point them elsewhere in your back catalogue?
Tough one. Latest album is as good a place as any as that’s how we sound right now…and the Dots remains an evolving entity.
The title ‘The Gethsemane Option’ and the songs within bring to mind skewed biblical themes, also perhaps perceptible in the album artwork. Would you care to enlighten us to the themes of the album? And please tell us about the concept behind the artwork.
Artwork conceived by an artist friend (Vera) in Russia who listened intently to the music and drew her own conclusions.Personally I find explaining the deeper meaning of an album akin to pulling the wings off a butterfly. Better to form your own interpretation.
Your music over the years has spanned many styles and themes including psychedelic rock, industrial, synth-pop, avant-garde and so on. It must be gratifying to be able to plunder such a range of sounds under the umbrella of one band and perhaps liberating too?
It’s liberating.A lot of wild wonderful music has been made over the centuries…I guess my starting point was psychedelic music which I hope we are able to expand upon.
When it comes to recording a new album, do you have a particular direction in mind, or perhaps aware subconsciously of a direction it might take?
It’s always a subconscious thing, but we tend to record fast and it means a certain consistency as well as an inner sense to the whole creation.
It’s the weather.
I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing you live, describe a typical LPD show, if there is such a thing. What can your audiences expect of your two UK dates?
Depends on the mood we’re in.I’d just be careful if it looks like we’re in a friendly mood.
Perhaps unusually I came to learn of the Legendary Pink Dots through your collaborations with cEvin Key under The Tear Garden banner. Do you class this project as still being active? Can we expect any new studio material from The Tear Garden?
Very active…recordings planned for later this year.
What is next for The Legendary Pink Dots when you leave our grey and murky shores?
A few more Euro shows plus a couple of obscure vinyl releases concerning the 10 beings who rule The World.
Thank you muchly for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
A pleasure. Considering the illness I’m emerging from, best I share as little as possible right now.
11.04.14 NEWCASTLE The Star and Shadow Cinema
12.04.14 LONDON Elektrowerkz