Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Music Questionnaire. No 1- Mark Spybey

It's fitting that the first subject of the Bagrec Music Questionaire is Mark Spybey, as he's a musician I've known for some 33 years. We became friends in our early teens (Mark was the best friend of my cousin), listening to prog-rock and German electronic music in the mid 70's. Mark was the drummer in our first group- the "spacerock" trio "Solaris", which mutated into my punk band "Drop". In the mid 80s we worked together again in the Television/Fall influenced band "The Euphoria Case" before I moved to London. Since then we have collaborated sporadically.
Moving further up North, Mark worked with the Newcastle experimental band :Zoviet*France:, before moving to Canada. In Canada he worked on a number of projects, the most important being Dead Voices On Air- a solo project for samples and toys, which is still going and has released 8 CDs on the Invisible label. A box set of DVOA is to be released shortly. A fervent colloborator, Spybey was a member of Can guitarist Michael Karoli's "Sorfortkontakt!" and has toured the USA with Michael Karoli and Damo Suzuki. He has also worked with Faust, Genesis.P.Orridge, The Teargarden, I Am Spoonbender, James Plotkin, Niels van Hoorn, Mick Harris, Martin Atkins, Jarboe from The Swans and Not Breathing amongst others, appearing on over 40 releases. Now living in England again, his current project is Reformed Faction with Andy Eardley and Robin ("Rapoon") Storey- all three are former members of :Zoviet*France.

The Questionaire-

Who are you?

Mark Spybey

Where are you based?


What instruments do you play?

Drums. I actually make music with anything.

What is your current or most recent project?

Reformed Faction.

Name a record that had a big effect on you in your youth-

Can - Tago Mago.

What was the last record/CD you played-

Third Ear Band, Alchemy.

List three records or CDs by artists other than yourself we should all hear-

I would NEVER list anything by myself. That would be repugnant.
1. This Heat – Health and Efficiency
2. Can – Tago Mago
3. The Fall – Hex Induction Hour

Describe a live performance that had a big effect on you-

Can, at Redcar Coatham Bowl, 1976. We were too young to be there. We sat in the front row. Michael Karoil’s amp was smoking. Jaki Leibezeit started by playing his drums solo for a while (just a beat, nowt flash) and Holger spoke into a telephone saying, “Hallo.”

Your favourite live venue-

Tons. Off the top of my head, Moritzbastei in Liepzig. A hollowed out cave, ex-place of student GDR revolution.

What's the strangest place you've performed in/at?

Underneath the arches (another Cave) of the Brooklyn Bridge (NYC)

Tell me about your worst experience as a performer-

Tons! When my beloved Godzilla toy was stolen at Masquerade, Atlanta GA 1996. My gear was also going nuts.

Tell me about a great experience as a performer-

Los Angeles, Spaceland 1998. Appearing for the first time with Michael Karoli and Damo Suzuki. Wonderful friends; Tommy and Kathy, a great gig with sublime hosts and cEvin Key from Download/Skinny Puppy mixing me, beating Adrian Sherwood at his own game.

Is improvisation important to you?

Yes. It’s the heartbeat.

Name three heroes or heroines-

1. Derek Jarman
2. Joseph Beuys
3. Michael Karoli

What is your favourite city?


A couple of favourite books-

Franz Kafka – Metamorphosis and Other Stories
Rothmans Football Yearbook

A couple of favourite films-

Werner Herzog – Fitzcarraldo
Wim Wenders – Wings of Desire

What makes you laugh?

Absurd, biting, sarcastic, black humour

A favourite website?

Met Office

Is there a pop song you feel sentimental about, and can you name it?

Buzzcocks – Love You More

Thanks Mark

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