Interview at the London Astoria (around 1996)


OK. You guys just did a live show and you guys have a lot of energy and the crowd sometimes seems to lag. Is that a problem?
Julian: No. We're kind of used to that really. That's kind of a given really. I don't know as long as you're making a couple people happy. It sounds kind of gauche, but as long as you see a couple people into it, then that's good enough for me.
Patrick: We're used to slight crowds in general.

Playing the Astoria is that one of your bigger shows?
Patrick: Yeah.

How do you guys get ready for a show like that?
Patrick: Well, the best thing about it was seeing our name up on the thing I think it's on Oxford Street and seeing our name up on the thing. I don't know, you just always assume that you're going to be a failure you know, especially in England.

Tell me a little bit about how you guys started?
Patrick: We were all sort of in a degeneracy really. Just sort of like degenerates stick together. Just stuck together and made music cos we're all really into that, as a way out. It's an escape through music, you know, it's better than anything.

How long have you been playing together? When did you guys start?
Patrick: 4 years ago.
Julian: 92. We just started off in a bedroom for ages.

Like a four-track?
Julian: Yeah, four-track and a drum machine.

What were some of the earlier tunes?
Julian:Well all that stuff was spat out on the first album really. It was like to proceed any further we had to get that out of us. I think so anyways. I mean we just recorded so many songs. I mean so many that we've never ever recorded properly.

What's the recording process?
Patrick: It changes every time. Sometimes it's the lyrics first, sometimes it's the music first.
Julian: It also depends on who's been writing the main core of it. You see, if Patrick's written in exclusively, then it's always, I think, a very songy kind of song. The melody's always very strong. But, if it's like me or Alex, then it's guitar manic based.
Patrick: Different partnerships.
Julian: We all write in different partnerships. Then we just come together to rehearse...

What does the name Strangelove have to do with the band?
Patrick: Well, it's two words put together that shouldn't be put together and we're five people that shouldn't be put together. I think.

Where did you guys come out of? What city?
Patrick: Bristol. Which is really, really, really nasty place to come from. Oh god, don't get me started. It's just a service station on the side of the road.

What were the bands that you were listening to that kind of made you want to be in a band?
Patrick: Birthday Party. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are my favourite band. And I also like everything really.
Julian: All my early influences are really embarassing. You know, like Black Sabbath that kind of thing.
Patrick: We don't allow him to bring any of his influences into the band whatsoever.

You guys are on a tour now. Hopefully things will get bigger and better and you'll get a chance to tour America. Either of you been to America?
Patrick: No.
Julian: I have personally. Not with the band.
Patrick: Julian's wife's an American.
Julian: Yeah, I married an American. So, whenever I wasn't doing anything here, I'd go over there.

Where were you going?
Julian: California. Los Angeles.

Any goals regarding America? What do you want to do?
Patrick: I want to go to that bit that lots of people have told me where it's just fields and fields and fields and one straight road somewhere. Where's that?
Julian: Well, it's just central isn't it? Idaho.
Patrick: I want to go over there and walk it. I want to walk it, I don't want to drive it, I want to walk it. I want to go there because I want to get away from England. It's rotten here. It's going to explode pretty soon.

Is that one of the reasons you got into a band in the first place, to get out?
Patrick: No, not really. I think if you need express yourself and it's in you.

What do you think about America?
Patrick: I believe that the people of America are good people. I believe that you could dig Strangelove. (Falls into laughter "oh I'm terrible at this...") Well, that's good enough.

Dig?
Patrick: Yeah, dig. Dig Strangelove.

What's in store for America, when Strangelove come to America?
Patrick: "It's music that's thought provoking and textural. It's not music to jump out to the pub to. It's music that can really mean something to you. It can become very special. It can become a part of your life, like records used to be."