This nOde last updated September 19th, 2003 and is permanently morphing…
(3 Cauac (Rain) / 7 Ch’en (Black) – 159/260 – 18.104.22.168.19)
Possibly the strangest frontperson for any band in existence today. he is either seriously demented (and spot on) or pulling off the greatest act in the history of contemporary music. the following are excerpts from various sources in interviews regarding his bands The Makeup and The Nation Of Ulysses.
aka David Candy
- track _Listen To The Music_ MP3 off of _Play Power_ on Jetset (2001)
Does the Makeup have a mafia?
The Makeup is not averse to physical force, but we’re really happy that rock and roll has become peaceful and urbane.
How do you get people to dance?
We pay them. You have to convince the punks that really they’ve got nothing to lose. Dancing? I don’t know. I’m going to start crying.
ATN: Maybe you could talk about how you see this album as being different from its predecessors, or how making it was different from making the others.
Ian Svenonius: As usual we gave our producer a lot of control. We like the idea of a strong producer, a strong father figure producer.
ATN: What about the Frankenstein imagery? Are you a fan of the book? The old movie? Where does Frankenstein come from?
Ian Svenonius: The whole idea of Frankenstein as the creator. We always use a lot of baby imagery. The baby is a metaphor of creation — creating something, harnessing our power, the power that a group has over the individual. That’s all a part of our adulation, our exaltation of the community over the individual. That’s always been one of our major themes — a dismissal of the capitalist individual idea. That exaltation of the individual in capitalist society, which is pro-consumer — define yourself by what you own, define yourself against the community. That’s why we’ve always been at odds with the rock ‘n’ roll tradition, and that’s why we’ve always been fascinated by gospel music. Because this is all a part of our role here. So anyway, the Frankenstein myth or the baby idea fits in perfectly because we create stuff, or whatever. But a lot of people misinterpret that, they think that I’m some sort of anti-abortion advocate or something.
“We have to keep it interesting for us and for the audience. One of the earmarks of capitalism is creating new ideas for consumption, and artists are encouraged to do the same. We are not posturing gangsters, but revolutionaries. When we dress up it’s not a gesture to the old days, it’s just tactics for self-empowerment now.”
“Live, I have broken my leg onstage, also my arm and smashed my head open several times. Now my violence is projected towards my enemies.”
“It’s all very predetermined. First you write your essay, with your thesis, and then you start your band, and you have to have your name before you start, so the band grows into the name”.
“television is more sort of uh…adept at communicating cool mediums… you know? things that are basically really banal, hence soap operas… things like that… that being said, the camera isn’t truth…. i just want people out there to know, that we don’t really look like this… the idea that this is… it’s not three dimensional… you have to take dimensions into account. so anyway, i don’t know if the Makeup… I don’t know if we’re ready for prime time.. we’re more of a hot medium…”
“The thing about the blues is… that it is a self-consciously satanic form…”
“we’re a HOT medium… a RED HOT medium…”
You had an album called _13-Point Program To Destroy America_… do you still want to destroy America?
I: Of course…
– from a video interview
How are your knees?
Ian: “My knees? (laughing) No, no, no, I’ve all new moves, man. It’s the hips and the arched back. Yeah, it’s more simian and less baptismal really.”
How has the tour been so far?
I: “We’ve had a lot of different digestive experiences.”
Could you see yourselves on a major label?
I: “I don’t know, you know, “major label”, that’s one of those terms like drugs. It’s something I’ve never really understood. I mean basically, you know, we only want to be involved with things, people that we like, things that create things that we like. If you mean the Sony corporation (pointing out my dictaphone) I don’t know the last time they put out a good record, so I wouldn’t really trust the way they approach making a record, you know what I mean? (his face getting closer and closer to the dictaphone) To me they just make odious filth, but I don’t want to use the term “major label”, I mean what’s that? People have to start thinking about the terms they use, because if you’re going to talk about major and minor labels, all you’re thinking about is petty bourgeois and major bourgeois and as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing essentially noble about either capitalist venture, you know what I mean?”
Your whole image seems very important.
IAN: Of course it is. The way we look onstage is to minimize this association with our individual personalities, to exhalt the higher ideology and the meaning of the band. But also to create an aesthetic appearance of unity on stage. Our record covers of course, we love beauty. Just because you’re an ideologist doesn’t mean you can’t love beauty. We’re very aesthetically concerned people.
Rave and Techno – Music Of The Working Class
“We’re not interested in countering it. It makes sense to me that techno, rave and dance music should go over in the face of rock and roll because it’s democratic for everybody to express themselves. Whereas a lot of rock and roll isn’t even entertaining at all let alone allowing people the voice for expression. That’s what the Make Up has come to remedy. We want to be at once entertaining and inclusive in terms of using the Gospel form to sort of breathe life into the old frankenstein monster. Rock and roll is the broad based marketing trend. Because rock and roll overtook theatre it kind of swallowed everything.”
“Gospel music seems the most immediate, the most passionate and bendable form. We want to revitalize rock’n’roll and make it a communicative thing, rather than an alienatingtheme; the rise of dance music seems to be because rock bands seem to be increasingly dropping the ball in terms of making their music relevant to anyone but themselves; people listening to music feel resentment if they are not included because everyone wants to be able to create because they are implicitly involved in the relationship.”