Dear Paul, hope you are keeping well and thank you very much for this interview. I liked listening to your Hey Colossus record so I am very happy indeed to be interviewing you. Here are my questions:
I know Hey Colossus is a noisy rock group with a lot of people in it but I don’t know too much more, could you tell me things like how many people are in it, how long have you been together and what does everybody do? Also, I was wondering because there are so many of you do you all get on well?
Hello Peter. We currently have 7 people playing in the band, each member uglier than the last. The group has been together for about 10 years I believe, but I've not been in it for that long. Some of the founder members are very old and need a lot of help with basic tasks such as tuning a guitar.
|Hey Colossus - Picture courtesy of Rusty Sheriff|
In terms of what we do - we have four guitarists, two of which sing, one of whom dances, a drummer with a thick neck, and two men with pedals and noisy boxes, one of whom sings a bit, the other preferring to grow his hair into afro's and talk lovingly of the stars and the planets. We do get on very well and I sometimes wonder - How?
Do you like being in a rock band and what do you like and not like about it? I’ve been on stage a few times myself with the band here at the Gate and the songs that I sing are Monster Mash and Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick, do you like being on stage, do you get a lot of people who come to see you and do you get nervous at all? Also, do you ever smash up your instruments like The Who did? I would like to see a band do this.
Being in a rock band can be fun. There are times when you can get to turn your amps up really loud and jiggle about dancing on a stage and you get rewarded with free beer and sometimes money. There isn't much to dislike about it apart from being in a van for a long time with older men who have smelly wind coming from their bottoms - AND THERE'S NO WAY OUT OF THE VAN PETER!
We don't really get many people coming to see us, but it doesn't matter does it? As long as one person is having fun then it's all worth it. On the odd occasions when more than one person is looking like they are having fun in the crowd then it's time to party! We don't tell each other, but I reckon some of us are nervous on stage. It's part of the fun of playing, when you take the nervousness and magically turn it into energy. Or sometimes it goes wrong and the nervousness comes out in the form of horrible smells.
I have smashed a guitar on stage with another band I was in, and it seemed like fun at the time until the poor owner of the club came up to me afterwards to tell me that he'd just spent all his money on getting the stage nice and new and that I'd ruined it and that he didn't have any more money to fix it. It was selfish thing to do and I felt terrible.
It's always worth remembering other people's feelings. Although it was also a lot of fun, so nevermind!
Do you have a lot of girls coming to see your band and do you like girls or are you married? I like girls but I’ve never had a girlfriend though I would like to find one so I could take her out for meals or maybe I could go to one of your concerts with her and then maybe get married. Do you think being in a band is a good way to meet women?
Girls don't come to our shows, really. And you can't blame them - we all look like drunken librarians, apart from the drummer who looks like a sober binman. Being in a band is probably a good way to make special friends with ladies, but not if you're in this band.
When I was listening to the Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo record I liked it very much but I couldn't really make out some of the words because the voices were a bit too growly - do you think this matters and what sort of things are the songs about?
That's an interesting question. I'm not sure if it does matter if you can hear the words very well. It would probably matter if we wrote words that we thought should be heard really well. Actually, this LP that has just come out has the clearest vocals and words on any Hey Colossus record, so maybe we're getting better at writing songs. Or worse. I'm not sure!
The songs are generally about absurd people and situations. The world can be rather grey sometimes, like a cucumber sandwich. Our songs are a like a sprinkle of pepper, or a dollop of lovely mustard. And then you just put the cucumber in the bin and eat the pepper and mustard on a bit of bread.
I like all sorts of music but I especially like music from the 60's and 70's like The Kinks and The Rolling Stones and The Who. Do you like all types of music or just noisy music and could you tell me about other bands that you think people might like if they like your band?
It would be very boring if all we listened to was noisy music. There's lot's of different, amazing things that the world has thrown up and we all like lot's of strange and lovely things. And the 60's and 70's were a very good time for rock music, so I agree with you on that.
It sometimes seems a bit silly to be making rock music these days, but we're cantankerous old buggers!
Here's some youtube links for some things that we like - maybe you can listen to them and tell us whether you like them?
Faust - "Jennifer"
German Oak - "Raid over Dusseldorf"
King Tubby - "Laser Rock"
Bobadin - "Mother that Curses People"
And that's all the questions that I have, I hope you like them but if you can think of anything else you would like to say then that's okay, do you have anything you want to ask me?
|To Paul from Pete.|
Thank you very much for doing this interview and I hope you are well.
You too, Peter. Life is good!
So that's our interview, I hope everybody enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed it - I especially liked him talking about the farting in the van because that made me laugh and made me think of Wayne who also lives in my house who farts a lot, Wayne is alright but he does lots of smelly farts. I also thought it was interesting about smashing the guitar and I think Paul was right to feel a bit bad about smashing the guitar on the new stage but I think I'd still have a go at smashing one if I got the chance. As for the songs that Paul sent along I liked them all very much; the Faust song I liked especially because it reminded me of Donovan except it is a bit more weirder than Donovan, I would definitely like to listen to Faust a bit more. German Oak I liked too and I thought it was a bit like The Shadows who did Apache who I like a lot. I thought it was interesting that Paul sent the King Tubby song because I wasn't expecting him to like reggae, I like reggae very much and we play a lot of reggae here at the Gate because everybody here likes it a lot too. The Phil Minton video I thought was very funny indeed and it reminded me of throat singing, I learnt all about throat singing for another review that I did and I had a go at it with my friend Francis and I think I was okay at it but francis was a bit more better. As for the Bobadin song, I really liked too because i've never heard anything like that in my life before and I thought it was very good to listen to because it is funny and weird and would like to thank Paul for sending it and all the others too, they were all very nice to listen to and I think other people who read this will find them interesting too. To finish up I would like to thank Paul again for everything and also thank you Lauren for organising things - I have had a smashing time doing this and it has made me feel very good.