Thursday, September 22, 2011

5MMM Interview - October 1992

Here's an interview we did before our Governor Hindmarsh gig.

See if you can guess who is who....


This also solves the mystery of the name of the band who supported us.......Oblivious!

Studio recordings - November 1991

As promised, here's some more material.....a studio session we did with our sometime soundman/manager Peter, who managed to wrangle some free studio time over two nights at a studio he had some association with.

I don't remember much about the session, other than Peter and his assistant were shocked at how quiet I had my guitar amp! I had a Roland JC-120 at the time, and I was after a clean sound. I found that if I turned the volume up to high the sound started to distort.

We kept this recording to ourselves as we felt it sounded a bit lackluster and didn't capture our "live" sound. Listening to it now, I can see what we were thinking, but it doesn't sound to bad.

This recording features two songs from demo's I've posted previously, Haunt and This Peaceful Place. The latter sounds almost identical to the demo version, while the latter is again pretty similar, although I played my Rickenbacker on this version rather than my stratocaster.

This recording also features two songs which I considered to be two of our best songs: Led and Said August. However, they aren't necessarily the best representations of the songs. It was a very early version of Said August, and has a poor mix - the guitar solo at the end is barely audible! And Led has a few skips in it for some reason.

It also features another track Sunday, a song we played at our first few gigs, but which was discarded as we wrote new and better songs.

01. This Peaceful Place
02. Sunday
03. Haunt
04. Led
05. Said August

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The End

So why pull the plug?

The short answer: I stopped enjoying it. I realised I enjoyed my day job more than I enjoyed the band. And when that's the case, you know somethings wrong! Actually, I still work in the same "industry. And calling it work is a bit of a misnomer, as it's more like a hobby. And a hobby that brings in enough money to support a family is a blessing!! In contrast, to quote Sonic Youth, all the band did was "burn a hole in my pocket".

As for why I stopped enjoying it......that's a longer answer.

The reasons, in no particular order:

1) Wayne. I couldn't stand him in the end. Giving him the microphone was the last straw! I started to feel like the band was only there to serve Wayne's ego. And while he could come up with great basslines to songs I bought in, as well as great song ideas of his own, he could also come up with rubbish - and it would be impossible to convince him that this was the case.

2) Andrew. I don't think I've ever met anyone so insecure before, and it was usually up to me to reassure/cajole him. And he was sometimes a bit of a loose canon. I became an amateur psychologist from from dealing with Andrew, and I've put much of my learning to good use throughout the intervening years! But in the end it just wore me down.

3) The music. I had a vision of what I wanted the band to sound like and evolve into. When I first heard Radiohead's OK Computer a few years later I was livid - that's what I was trying to do!! OK, we probably wouldn't have done it as well as they did it, but that was the vision. My favorite band at the time was Sonic Youth. They were everything Lucid Ocean weren't: unique, chaotic and anarchic. Lucid Ocean were just another band, and were always going to be just another band - and I didn't see the point in that!

4) Creativity. I felt that the band wasn't able to get the best out of the ideas I bought in. And I took personally at the time - you're not fucking trying hard enough! But hindsight is a wonderful thing! I later realised that part of the problem was actually my inability to express what I wanted. And even later I realised that the main problem was that I couldn't properly translate the ideas in my head onto my guitar. My thoughts in this regard are best summed up by the lyrics to Wilco's The Late Greats - if anyone ever asks me which song I wish I'd written myself, this is it - or at least the lyrics.

The first thing I did after leaving the band was cut my hair short! This had two purposes: renewal, and insurance against me changing my mind. I figured that they wouldn't want me back with short hair! I felt the rest of the band were more obsessed with image than music. This was probably unfair, but it's a pretty good indication of my disillusionment with the band.

The band eventually found another guitarist and started gigging, but I don't know how they went - I couldn't have been less interested. I know they recorded a demo, but I haven't heard it. After they started gigging again, someone I'd never met came up to me in a bar and said he had seen the "new" band recently, and that he felt they were much better when I was in the band! Vindication! Or maybe he just wanted me to buy him a beer!

I did meet Wayne, Mark and the guitarist in a bar about two years later, and they had just kicked Andrew   out! Apparently his behavior continued to degenerate, and they had finally had enough.

The next time I met Wayne was at a friends wedding! It turns out my friends wife went to school with Wayne and his partner Theresa. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon? What bullshit! In Adelaide, I'm sure you can link any two people in at most three degrees!

Wayne and Mark later formed a techno band Superphatass, with also featured Peter, Lucid Ocean's sometime sound guy/manager. I saw the CD in a second hand store for $2 last year so I bought it. Not exactly my cuppa tea, but quite good for what it is.

So that brings things to a close - almost. I thought I might dig up the best versions I can find of some of our better songs - so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's still living.....just!

S'pose I better finish this fucker off!

We played three more gigs after recording the demo.

The first, as previously mentioned, was upstairs at Control nightclub. I knocked back a few lagers that night, and was reasonably sozzled by the time I took the stage. This was a fair indicator of my disillusionment with the band at this time, as I had always previously avoided drinking before a show in order to play at my best. As a consequence I fluffed quite a few notes, or so I thought - we recorded the show on a ghetto blaster, and when I listened to the recording later I was surprised at how well I played, and how good the band sounded.

In the previous few months we had discussed incorporating backing vocals into our songs. Both bassist Wayne and myself had a go, and although neither of us sounded too flash, we agreed that Wayne should take on the responsibility. Which turned out to another source of disillusionment for me. The problem was that giving Wayne a microphone on stage gave him license to spew verbal diarrohea in between songs, totally destroying any atmosphere or mystique the music strove to create. And when he commenced his inane ramblings in between songs at this show, my frustration (and inebriation) led me to yell out "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" - an exhortation clearly audible on the recording! Although I expect it didn't even register with the self immersed one! Another indication of my disillusionment was that I didn't record a diary entry for this gig, or any of the remaining gigs!

Our next gig was the release party for our demo at the Governor Hindmarsh hotel, a fantastic venue where I've seen many great bands over the years, including The Go-Betweens just months before Grant McLennan's unfortunate death. Our performance was nothing special, but it was great to catch up with many people that had supported the band, and to see some former members, including guitarist DavidWe were also supported by a band whose name escapes me now, but who featured someone else who has featured several times in this diary - guitarist Tony.

My last gig was the last gig of our residency downstairs at Control - and thank goodness for that!

Our next gig was to be at a festival of local bands. Although the thought of this gig excited me, my increasing disillusionment with the band eventually led me to pull the plug......but that's a bedtime story for another night!