Rhythm (February '04)
OUR FAVOURITE DRUMMERS TELL US WHAT'S GOING ON
Budgie and long-term musical partner Siouxsie are back as The Creatures with a Japanese-flavoured album.
The new Creatures album, Hai!, sees you playing with Leonard Eto of Kodo fame.
"Each album Siouxsie and I do as The Creatures is a bit of an adventure. You expose yourself and take away your defenses, you have no security net. Leonard was surprised to hear his drums featured so heavily in the mix as part of the songs. What usually happens with these types of collaborations is they become an East-meets-West world music type thing- they're not really crafted into songs or a vehicle to carry a lyrical idea."
Has there ever been a gameplan with The Creatures?
"It was more like having a break from The Banshees, but also to put ourselves in a situation that was unfamiliar. Most studios are pretty similar and it's difficult to set up a unique atmosphere. With The Creatures we went on almost field recording trips because we didn't have all the paraphernalia that goes with a four piece band."
You and Siouxsie have a unique musical and personal relationship.
"We're symbiotic. We enjoy each other's tastes in music and literature and other influences, but we're also as different as chalk and cheese. The old adage about drummers is that you'll always find us talking to each other at the back of the room somewhere. Siouxsie is very private and speaks her mind and shoots from the hip, whereas I suppose I'm more diplomatic. We're very opposite and maybe that's kept us musically interested."
What gear did you use on the album?
"Leonard brought in his huge traditional Japanese drums (daiko). And he had a taiko set up with his own customised tuning device. There was an early O70s Ludwig kit so we tuned it my way and put Ambassador heads on it. Back in France we've been setting up a home studio which revolves around a Mackie DAB digital desk recording onto Logic Audio on a Macintosh. All the overdubs- marimbas, percussion- and all the vocals were recorded back at home in France."
Will it find an audience?
"The audience has to find it, I suppose. People who know The Creatures will know that the premise was drums and vocals, so in a sense this is a return to the first EP. But lyrically, vocally, technically and ideas-wise we've come a long way." PR
Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.