The Aquarian Weekly (4.21.99)
THE AQUARIAN WEEKLY - April 21-28, 1999 - Issue No. 977
Today's Budgie... Now in Techno-Color
by Laura D
Anima Animus, the Creatures' third full-length album, bears a title spouting a psychology lesson for the week: Carl Jung theorized that humans deny many personal attributes and bury them into the unconscious because they deem them "inappropriate." One experiences his anima or her animus by projecting it upon an outside figure. Then one is drawn to that individual because the psyche misses those apsects of the personality lost to the unconscious mind and longs for them desperately.
This concept is best illustrated in "Prettiest Thing" where SIouxsie weaves the tale of a vivid out-of-body experience. On "Don't Go To Sleep Without Me," she implores the object of her affection, "Don't go and leave me here." Could it be that Siouxsie's finally getting maudlin on us? On "2nd Floor," The Creatures have traded in the world music influence that pervaded Boomerang in favor of "the machine" and related apparati as it makes the listener feel as though he or she is encapsulated in a spinning top. "Exterminating Angel," with it's sweeping crescendo and immediacy, clutches and utilizes nearly every sense, while "I Was Me" conveys an overt sexuality and yearning on Siouxsie's part.
Though Feast and Boomerang were very much products of their recording environments --Hawaii and the south of Spain, respectively-- Anima Animus was recorded in an agricultural region of South France, where The Creatures call home. The material shows great contrast to that environment by being "device-oriented." As they were embarking on the last leg of their European tour in Brussels, I caught up with Budgie just in time to get sufficiently chatted up.
What do you do in preparation for the tour, and how long before its start do you begin preparing?
Budgie: "The preparation was a lot of talking: Are we going to tour or not? We met up with a new agent--everyone is new-- we've got no management now. We look after our own affairs. We're working very closely with one of the guys from Hydrogen Dukebox, a dance music label. They were great fans of the band, and we we're really fans of each other, I suppose. We've got a sense of mischievous fun that we had been lacking, but now we've found our black humour again. We really only had two weeks to prepare for the tour, there was a lot of technical stuff involved. I had to teach myself a big learning curve of samplers and concern myself with the bones of it, the construction work of it. I triggered up marimbas from the drum kit, and I even get out and play acoustic guitar when they let me! We wanted to keep away from the traditional guitar, bass, and drums set up for obvious reasons-- having gone down that path before. It was important for us to find a new voice."
What is it that you set out to do with the new album? What was the main thrust behind it?
"It was to find a spirit; passion, really. I feel that we've very much found our voice with this album. And being in our home, I can now set my drums up in a room; I've never realy had that luxury before always living in apartments. Suddenly, we were able to make music any time, day or night, free of the restrictions of a studio and time."
That's extremely beneficial, since ideas can't necessarily wait until you can get somewhere to put them down or flesh them out.
"Yes, and that enables us to turn a CD out in no time, without the worry of vying for a chart position or that the songs have to be part of the next album. We can do things for the fun of it, but also remain aware of where the state of music lies today. It's up to the people who care to give music its integrity back.
The feel of Anima Animus is cacophonous, the drum sound, enormous, especially in 'Take Mine', 'Turn It On' and 'Disconnected', and that really inspired us. We're suckers for dance remixes, and always have been. So we employed the latest production techniques with assistance from producers Warne Livesey and Steve Levine. We were operating from two different poles of thinking on this album as in 'Don't Go To Sleep,' literally a four-track demo, which was recorded as it was written, to '2nd Floor', a two-note keyboard/synthesizer line with chopped up drum parts. We didn't want to resrtict ourselves, and because of that I think we've come up with an album of extremes whose ideas would have probably been channeled into the next Banshees' project, had we had one."
Since you have been playing out for nearly 20 years, how do you feel that the audience has changed over the years? Because, just in attending shows over the past10 years, I find some drastic changes.
"I was shocked, for instance, when I went to see Prince at Wembley Arena and observed it to be such a family affair, normally associated with football...I always got the impression that music was a kind of rebellious youth-type thing; I mean the crowds at our shows, I don't think would be comfortable hanging out at those big shows where everyone's getting on; they're at our shows because it's something they're doing because their parents don't want them to. I think it's healthier that they're not thumbing down. I've thankfully seen audiences that won't be talked down to."
Well, your audiences are generally a pretty cerebral bunch.
"And beautiful as well-- we always get such good-looking people --beautifully dressed and with perfect make-up, and we spend all day sweating in a tour bus!"
Because you're so well-travelled, what do you consider to be the most spectacular place you'e visited?
"The places that really jolt you are the places where you experience the most culture shock, like the first time we visited Japan with the Banshees. Visiting Morrocco was like stepping back into biblical times. You can find that moment of magic in the most unusal places. I think Prague is a beautiful city and Brussels.
But what's most important to me is getting back in touch with people, not haging out in the hotel room, then playing, then vanishining; but rather communicating, getting to know the town and the people who inhabit it, seeing it in a different light and getting another perspective. You put a lot out and you need something to come back, or else you become a bit of a shell. I feel fortunate that people are so warm and supportive, and I like sharing what they have to offer."