Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Homosexuals



Tethering psych-rock melodies and dub production to way too many chords, The Homosexuals were a little ahead of the curve for punk rock's first wave. During its original inception--lasting from 1977 to 1983--the band willfully subverted any chance at larger success by performing in no-rent squats, releasing limited-press records on obscure labels, and sometimes feeding their audiences mushroom tea. Still, due largely to a couple of well-researched compilation records, the music of The Homosexuals has survived--and even found an audience of admirers. Lead singer Bruno Wizard has revived the band as a live act in recent years, spontaneously forming new versions of the group from assorted well-wishers, friends, and similar-minded musicians. Wizard is a rather loquacious fellow, so much so that his recently adopted bandmates--a few of whom perform in the Brooklyn band Apache Beat--e-mailed The A.V. Club an advance warning that our conversation might carry on for a while. They were correct. Wizard was kind enough to discuss writing, the whereabouts of his ex-bandmates, and The Homosexuals' first recordings in more than 20 years for roughly 1.25 hours.

(3:05) Discussing life after the original incarnation of The Homosexuals broke up

Bruno Wizard: I'd never listened to my music for 20 years because I was busy working in other ways--making contact with creative conscious networks of people. In 1986, I actually closed the door to the studio in my head as a writer because it was too frustrating. I thought, "I can't carry on working like that, I need to write in another way, let me go and find people, and by building networks with them and helping them find their path they'll become my living, breathing songs, poems, sculptures."

(7:15) Discussing the late '70s and the beginning of punk music, then discussing how he met Apache Beat

BW: By the time punk started happening in '76, I thought, "Let's see how long it takes [the government] to destabilize this revolutionary energy of a generation." I was there for the whole thing and it took six months. By summer of '77 it was all over. But that didn't mean that the energy of those punk visionaries--the real visionaries never called themselves punk. The only people who attached the word punk to themselves were the atavists--and I include practically everybody in that. Anyway, what was the question?

The A.V. Club: How did you get hooked up with the guys in Apache Beat, who are now your backing band?

BW: I started playing with this band Imaginary Icons and we did a show at The Cake Shop. Then I met this young bass player called Mike from a band called Apache Beat and he was the best fucking bass player I had seen since Jim, the original bass player in The Homosexuals. He said, "If ever you need a band I can put it together with people that love the music and they're great players." Two days after that, I got a chance to do a really great gig and the drummer from Imaginary Icons couldn't make it. I rang Mike up and he said to come round to his studio.

(16:32) Discussing the origin of new song "Don't Touch My Hair"

BW: I had been in a tranny sort of electroclub. This track came on and I got up and started dancing. I'm always singing things over other people's music and I just started singing, "Don't touch my hair…" Within 10 seconds I had all these young trannies dancing 'round me, you know, doing this sort of formation dancing and I thought, "I've got a No. 1 record on my hands here." I went straight home and wrote out four pages of lyrics. But it's a very serious song, it's about the death of a girl in a disco when she takes ecstasy.

(26:45) Discussing how The Homosexuals can still be The Homosexuals sans any other original members

BW: The moment Anton [the original guitarist for The Homosexuals] joined the band we started writing "Hearts In Exile," "Neutron Lover," all of those things that people know and associate with The Homosexuals. But I chose Anton. I brought him into the band, I chose the name, and The Homosexuals was always a writing vehicle for me and the idea was that I would bring people in and out… but that's not to denigrate or take away the massive input that Jim had originally as a bass player. I'm actually working with Anton again after a 20-year break.

(42:40) Discussing "the scene," jamming, and the fate of said jams.

BW: As far as I was concerned, there wasn't really a scene. I was so busy just getting on, doing what I had to do survive. But as I was surviving I was making music. We used to jam for like 18 to 20 hours. Different people would come by and play. By 1982, I had this suitcase stolen with about 60-hours of music that Anton and I did with various people. Anton was, like, crying and I said, "You know what, we've been carrying it around, what was it but a load of tape with noises on it? If it was really that important we would have done something with it."

(1:12:54) Discussing the story Wizard wrote across all of the copies of the new Love Guns? release

BW: Yes, well it's a limited edition. I really wanted to keep it personal, so I said, "Look, I want to write a story. I'll number each one individually and then I'll write a story freestyle across the whole thing. I don't know what it's going to be, I'm not going to copy something I've already written, it will just be my little gift of love, my little gift to these people. When they get their copy it will be a unique copy and they'll know that I sat down and wrote that for them." --Aaron Leitko

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008