22 November 1986 – Sounds

Sounds Confusing

In Spacemen 3 Ricky Kildare finds a rock ‘n’ roll band in the best traditions of the 13th Floor Elevators, the Velvets and the Stooges, who make a “staggering melodic screech”

“It’s that moment, that orgasmic peak in a song where everything comes together and it’s just all over the top with confusion. It’s a sound, a taste and a smell. It’s all one solid thing, a feeling – the concept of confusion.”

We’re heading somewhere into the darker regions of abstract city here, so I’ll let you in on the big one.

Spacemen 3 are a rock ‘n’ roll band in the best traditions of the 13th Floor Elevators, The Velvets (cf ‘Sister Ray’) and The Stooges. In other words, they make a glorious, mind-enveloping wall of noise, tinged with a healthy streak of… erm… psychedelia.

I imagine this is quite a feat of will coming from a place called Rugby.

“No, it’s brilliant in Rugby, it alienates us from all this,” says guitarist Sonic, casting a hand around a tiny Soho coffee bar to indicate the capital at large. This give vocalist and guitar No. 2 Jason a chance to speak.

“There’s too much going on down here to take in. And you need lots of money too.”

But don’t people hate you in Rugby?

“Yeah,” says Sonic, jumping back into the fray. “But how did you know?”

Oh, something to do with the prophet being hated in his own city.

“Yeah, they begrudge us our comparative success; the fact that we’ve got an album (‘The Sound Of Confusion’) and a single (‘Walkin’ With Jesus’) out. They hate us because we use drugs and they hate to see someone who uses drugs go out there and do something.”

And just how would you describe it, this something?

“We’re just trying to show people that there is a primitive enjoyment which you can get out of music, and any three people can form a band and get on stage and do it.

“There’s nothing clever or technical or musical about what we do. It’s quite the opposite of that. What we play is actually quite minimal, and purposefully so, just to show that you can get this primitive enjoyment easily.”

Oh, such modesty from one who makes this staggering, melodic screech. Still, I know what he means,

“We spent £800 making out album, and there’s all these people spending a fortune making records which aren’t even enjoyable. For all the money they spend, they don’t gain any more excitement.”

I know, it’s an economic equation that doesn’t work. So what’s your answer?

“Eight hundred pounds equals orgasm!”

Spacemen 3, your time is coming.

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