Восстать из пепла поп-музыки: интервью с Криспианом Миллсом

Ранее Kula Shaker возглавляли сцены Гластонбери, разбавляя своими фирменными индийскими мотивами хит-парады Оазиса и Блер, а теперь, наконец, они прервали несколько лет тишины новым отличным альбомом и мировым туром. Об этом и многом другом нам рассказал вокалист группы Криспиан Миллс.

Мы застали Криспиана в Москве, накануне их первого концерта в России.

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Published in: on 06/03/2016 at 22:22  Comments Off on Восстать из пепла поп-музыки: интервью с Криспианом Миллсом  
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Пока ты не сыграл вживую, дело не закончено. Интервью с Kula Shaker

20 лет назад, в 1996 году Kula Shaker выпустили альбом “K”, который стал культовой пластинкой брит-попа и был продан тиражом в 2 миллиона копий. Пятый альбом “K2.0”, по словам лидера группы Криспиана Миллса, вобрал в себе лучшее из всех экспериментов со стилями, которые совершала группа: от психоделического звучания “K” до фолковых элементов в предыдущем альбоме группы “Piligrims Progress”.


За время 20-минутного интервью с Криспианом, подхватившем простуду, Мэттью Шерн смог обсудить новый альбом, его предпочтение аналоговому оборудованию и причины, по которым известные группы должны больше рисковать.

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Published in: on 01/03/2016 at 17:21  Leave a Comment  
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Published in: on 23/02/2016 at 22:22  Leave a Comment  
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Interview: The Rebirth of Kula Shaker

An interview with Crispian Mills and Paul Winterhart from the band Kula Shaker about the new album K2.0 on RockShot Magazine

Kula Shaker

Kula Shaker

Has it really been 20 years since Kula Shaker released their debut album, K? At the time it was the fastest selling debut since Oasis’s Definitely Maybe, and went on to shift more than 1m copies. Follow up albums performed well and solidified a hardcore fan base, but ultimately failed to match the band’s initial commercial success.

Always excelling as a live band, they recently reformed and are currently touring throughout February and March, including a sold-out show at the Roundhouse in London. I recently met with lead singer Crispian Mills and drummer Paul Winterhart in west London where they were rehearsing their new album, K2.0. (more…)

Kula Shaker Interview

It’s been 20 years since Kula Shaker dropped ‘K’ back in 1996, an album that was tuned into the britpop zeitgeist, selling 2 million copies. Something that is referenced in the title of their fifth album, ‘K2.0′, something which Kula Shaker front man Crispian Mills describes as a highlights of the various styles they have done to date, from the psychedelic sound of ‘K’, to the folksier elements of their last album 2010′s ‘Pilgrims Progress’. Over our 20 minute conversation with Crispian, who was then suffering with a bad cold, in addition to chatting about the new album, we touched on his preference for analog equipment and why he thinks it would be more interesting of successful bands should took more risks.

Why did you decide to call the record ‘K2.0′?

Crispian Mills: Well because it’s 20 years since ‘K’, and ‘K’ was our first album and our career defining album, and I think 20 years is a good time to look back and see where you’ve come and where you’re going. It’s actually sprung out of an joke where we were thinking of calling an album ‘K2′ , and putting the mountain on the front of the album cover, K2 is on the album cover now, in illustrated form on the back. But ‘K2.0′ looks like K20 and seems to make sense in this age of software updates and built in obsolescence.

I haven’t heard the album yet, but what you’ve released so far seems a bit less stripped back compared to your previous album. How would you describe the sound of the record?

Crispian Mills: 2010′s ‘Pilgrims Progress’ was an album we’re very proud of, and it was a great pleasure to make, and we felt like we were finally in control of the recording process. Recording a rock band is not easy, its difficult thing to get right, it’s very hard to capture energy and atmosphere and it takes a lot of experience and we have had some good results in the past, but on the whole we always felt like we were still learning, and still wrestling with the medium. So ‘Pilgrims Progress’ came together with the sounds, and the music led the way. And it was much more folksy, and the songs had a lot more focus. I think on this album ‘K2.0′, its highlights of what we have done to date, so there are elements of ‘Pilgrims Progress’, but there is highlights from ‘K’ and other albums we have made like ‘Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts’, and things like that.

On your Facebook page you have posted up pictures of analogue mixing desks, do you have a preference for analog over digital?

Crispian Mills: Yes I do, a lot of people who have a lot of experience in a studio, have said rock n roll sounds better when it goes through valves and analog gears. I’m not entirely sure why it does, but it’s one of those mysteries of nature, and if you can get your hands on a nice pre amp, and things like that, it can help the sound of your band. There are a lot of people who say they don’t know the difference between digital plug ins and pre-amps, but when you put it together and the different layers of sound, the end result is better.

Yeah I’ve been reading John Fogerty’s autobiography, in it he describes how analog tape is preferable because saturates better than digital.

Crispian Mills: Yes exactly, this the thing with saturation, and the sound breaking up is very attractive, and this is the sound of rock n roll, it’s the sound of being right on the edge. You can do it with digital, but you have to do it afterwards as an effect, and you have to cheat, and its became something of a cosmetic contrivance. There are bands out there are using Pro Tools and Logic and doing great things with it, but even people like Mark Ronson, or whatever. They chop their beats on the computer, but you bet your ass he’s got a lot of valve gear, so his band and instruments, his vocals are all sounding like they’ve got that saturation, they’ve got that warmth.

I can remember chatting with a musician who reckoned the best thing they ever heard was vinyl through tube amps.

Crispian Mills: There’s a fantastic mastering facility in Taunton, one of the best ears in the business, John Dent who used to be based in London, but now he’s got his own studio in Taunton. Sometimes to really rub salt in the wound, he’ll play an album he mastered, like Bob Marley or something, on vinyl through his valve gear, and you’ll just hear that space and sound, and then he’ll play what it sounds like on digital, and you’ll just want to walk outside and shoot yourself, it’s just another universe. We’ve lost a lot and you can understand why people like Neil Young were complaining when they brought CD’s in, because we’ve lost some of the sonic range now, but hey, were coping.

Is that the guy who runs Loud Mastering?

Crispian Mills: Yeah that it.

He’s mastered PJ Harvey’s last record and those King Crimson reissues.

Crispian Mills: He’s a legend, especially a west country legend, so anybody working west of Swindon knows John Dent.

You recently dabbled in film making (2010′s ‘A Fantastic Fear of Everything’), is that something you have wanted to pursue further.

Crispian Mills: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve always been involved in film in one way or another, ‘Fantastic Fear’ was the first film that I got made, but I’ve been writing films for years and years and years, films in development they say, which kind of like is like they’ve been chained in up in a dungeon. Films take a long, long time, I’m sure I’ll make another film at some point , and It’ll get released from the dungeon.

I think the downside with working in film is the whole politics surrounding the business.

Crispian Mills: Yes absolutely, script development takes a long time. The first draft of the script is the first step on a long road to what you end up shooting, but raising money for a film is horrific. If you’re raising money independently, you have to create a patchwork quilt of different investment, it takes a lot of time and people let you down, people waste your time as well, and you need to find a road through the jungle. It’s a miracle any film gets made, and it’s a miracle that the film is any good at the end of it. There’s so many twists and turns and the pressure to compromise.

Douglas Adams once described the film making process as like trying to cook a burger on a barbecue with two people blowing on it.

Crispian Mills: (laughs) Yeah, I know it. Especially of your a writer and you’re used to writing alone and you’re creating a whole universe, you know where you’re in charge and you’re a part of a team, and there’s more than two people blowing on the burger, there’s hundreds, from the weather, to the amount of time you’ve got left, the amount of time you get, to interference from executives. Some people work well in a team and take the best of that environment, but it takes a long time. I think that was Stanley Kubrick’s only real regret about his career, is that he wished they didn’t take so bloody long to make.

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your career in music?

Crispian Mills: Never really played it like a career, I’ve just been a little too idealistic, maybe even naïve to exploit music in that way. Music is very close to my heart and I always wanted to make music for the right reasons, and I always didn’t like people who were focussed on their career that they never put a foot wrong, it’s so calculated. People like Madonna, for instance, you can appreciate they are good and respect them for that, but I didn’t like this calculated approach to a career in the arts. I prefer people who do it for slightly pure reasons, the reason I left the band in late 1999 because I was losing my soul, and the reason is I wasn’t happy, or feeling the love or the joy and I wanted to give it a break. Through the ten years in Kula Shaker, we have taken back that power and being master of your own fate.

I know success can destroy bands and things get expected of them, and they forget the whole purpose of why they doing it.

Crispian Mills: What you talking about is easy, because it happens to very young people, who don’t know who they are yet. And they don’t have the experience, and they’ve it happens to be people that have never been through that before, your being exploited. You’re going into a high pressure business, if you’re insecure (and most artists are insecure) then the success makes you more insecure, ironically it doesn’t give you a sense of being grounded, it makes you think “why is this happening, I don’t understand why this is happening.” It all gets a bit neurotic, you just need to take some time out, and not worry about your career too much and have a life.

Your second album ‘Peasant Pigs and Astronauts’ had quite a troubled genesis, wasn’t there quite a lot of scrapped recordings?

Crispian Mills: There wasn’t lots of scrapped records, it just went on a long time, and we got sued by our manager in the middle of it, and somebody else was ripping us off, and we couldn’t find the right producer, and it goes on like that. It turned out really good, it wasn’t very commercial, it was like a psychedelic magnum opus, a grandiose, rock opera, I think more pop bands should do outrageous follow ups when they have a big hit, the world would be a bit more interesting. It was a very long process, and a very expensive process, no one would tell us how much it cost until the very end when we fell off our chair. I think I did fall off my chair.

Some bands I’ve encountered have said when they got money from labels, they thought it was a fluke, and just took the money and run.

Crispian Mills: We always said that most bands spend their money on cars and drugs and living the good life, and we just spent it on our album, and we spent all our money and we got something out of it and we also gave something to our fans. It wasn’t the commercial success at the same level of ‘K’, it sold about 300,000, which was considered a bit of a failure after ‘K’s 2million, in the UK. The truth is that the album created the real hardcore fan base that has stayed with us for years, and even more so than ‘K’.

One last question, you’re going on tour soon, what’s the thing you like best about touring?

Crispian Mills: That’s what we are as a live band, before we are recording artist and people who make albums. Even before song writing, we are a live band. Playing live it’s the consummation of the writing and the recording. The process isn’t complete until you’ve played it live.

Words by Matthew Shearn.

K2.0 is out the 12th of Febuary via Strange Folk

Kula Shaker are playing the following dates this month.

Feb 13th Pavillion theatre, Worthing
Feb 15th O2 ABC, Glasgow
Feb 16th O2 Ritz Manchester
Feb 17th Roundhouse,London

via Kula Shaker Interview – Figure8Magazine

INTERVIEW: CRISPIAN MILLS – (KULA SHAKER) TALKS ABOUT NEW ALBUM K 2.0

Kula Shaker have finally emerged from the silence and mark their return with a new album a series of special live dates throughout the UK & Beyond. On 12 February 2016 the band will release their 5th studio album on the Strangefolk label. Titled ‘K 2.0’. Kula Shaker front-man Crispian Mills recently had a chat with Mark Millar to talk about it.

 

Hi, what have you been up to lately?

C.Mills: We are finalising the new record by sorting out the artwork and videos. We are taking a lot of pleasure in doing it. This album took us a bit by surprise because nobody realised it had been 20 years since we started. Somebody mentioned it to us and it was a bit if a shock. It seemed like the perfect time to do a record and we all felt like there had been a calling. There had been an awakening in the force, so we went for it. It was a bit of of a mad dash but the songs turned out astonishingly well and the whole thing had a life of its own, which was a pleasure.
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Published in: on 20/01/2016 at 22:45  Leave a Comment  
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Audrey Evans and Alonza Bevan of Tumblewild Discuss Their Evocative New Album, When the World Had Four Corners

by Gregory Weinkauf

via http://www.huffingtonpost.com

What do you get when you mix a founding member of chart-topping women’s choral group Mediaeval Baebes with a founding member of chart-topping psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker? It’s amazing, and you can hear the results on When the World Had Four Corners, the brilliant, brand-new album, just released, by Tumblewild. The group, currently a duo and set to expand, consists of married couple Audrey Evans and Alonza Bevan, she of lyrics and lead vocals, he of bass, guitar, keys, etc.

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Alonza and I have met — once, in L.A. — when Alonza was touring with Aqualung (following his work with Johnny Marr and the Healers), and he had just picked up a tiny baby grand piano for the child Audrey and he were expecting. A few years later, that’s their Lewis on their new album’s cover, posing before the barn-turned-studio the couple have converted to record, among other things, the latest Kula Shaker album, and of course Tumblewild’s When the World Had Four Corners. I congratulate them on both the boy and the album, and ask about “Revenge,” their new single and video. Audrey picks up the other line and orchestrates.

“Well, I can talk about the video,” she says to Alonza, “and you can talk about the song, yeah?”

“I wanted to do a nice, dark, dirty blues number, really,” reflects Alonza, “and Audrey came up with a great lyric. We constructed it in the studio — played everything ourselves on that one. We wanted to chuck some un-bluesy intstruments into the blues soup, like the Indian tamboura, and stuff like that. And even the approach to the drums was kind of a bit more voodoo-tribal, as opposed to the blues thing. Musically it was just a big play on the blues, but mixing up a nice soup.”

Audrey chimes in on the visuals: “Well, we live not far — we’re lucky — it’s not far from an old steam train line. It’s run by amateurs, so they just do it for fun. And you can pretty much go there and look at whatever you want: you can look at trains, you can get on a train — so we turned up there. We had some Scottish friends over, and our friend Scott had a camera, and we just did it there and then.”

In one day. Not bad! Alonza laughs: “We got a lot of freebies on that one. Normally it costs quite a lot to get a steam train in a video.”

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Audrey Evans & Alonza Bevan are Tumblewild

Audrey and Alonza name-check Bonnie and Clyde as creative inspirations, which prompts Audrey to share some of her methodology:

“All the songs we do, I can’t sing about myself. Every song — it’s not a scene — but it is inspired by something: by a photograph, or by a book I have read, or by fairy tales. And this one was kind of inspired by Dial M for Murder — you know, the Hitchcock film. So it’s got that, but then you add the bluesy kind of thing to it, so there’s a theme to it, a kind of revenge theme.

They both laugh, and Alonza riffs on “Hell hath no fury…” Then Audrey continues:

“But also, the album is kind of influenced by the move we made, from London to this remote village in the middle of the woods, and kind of discovering our surroundings, and living a different life.”

“We feel a bit like outlaws here — now that we’ve left London,” adds Alonza. I ask if they fade in, or stick out.

“We are ‘les Anglais,'” he concedes. ‘Oh: les Anglais.’ They knew — we hadn’t been here more than a day, and we bumped into someone in another village, a few villages away, and we were chatting, and he said, ‘Oh, you’re the English.’ And word had already spread. People around here are super-friendly. That was remarkable, coming from London.”

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Fueling up with Tumblewild

Does Alonza, being Welsh, take umbrage to being called “English”?

“It’s funny for me,” he declares, “because I was brought up in England, but my parents were both Welsh — and particularly my father, was very nationalist-Welsh, like they all are, really — and just had a huge contempt for the English. It was a real dilemma for me, growing up, you know, within that English culture, while also having — they killed our king, you see.”

I express condolences.

“It’s a funny, schizophrenic thing,” continues Alonza. “As Audrey says, I’m only ‘Welsh-ish.’ When I try to tell her I’m Welsh, she explains that I’m ‘Welsh-ish.'”

“Yeah, a little bit of Welsh,” laughs Audrey, returning to their change in environs. “It was amusing to come to the country — we had that kind of romantic ideal of like, oh, lovely walks, meadows — but we didn’t think of, you know, basic things, like plumbing and heating.”

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“Heating’s a problem,” admits Alonza. “Nothing to do with the album, but yeah, it’s true: They don’t have buttons here, or like a little dial you turn up when it gets cold, you just turn it, and it gets warmer? You kind of have to cut wood. You have to work for your warmth.”

The work has paid off. When the World Had Four Corners is terrific, already one of the great albums this year. We discuss a few tracks, and I ask if that’s Lewis’ baby-baby grand on the delicate “Elevator Girl.”

“No, that would be cool, wouldn’t it?” responds Alonza. “It’s actually very out-of-tune, that piano. That’s a little glockenspiel — it’s something that Audrey rescued from an old school. It’s sad, a lot of the music education of the early years is changing, so they’re chucking out all those old little Fisher Price bells, and glockenspiels, and things like that — but they sound great, they record great.” He cites a Serge Gainsbourg inspiration (Hammond organ, et al) — and lo! there’s “Bonnie and Clyde” again. Consistent, these two.

Audrey brings the backstory: “It’s inspired by a Robert Frank photograph called ‘Elevator Girl.’ This girl, that’s her job — that’s all she does, she’s pushing buttons, and no one sees her. That photo takes that kind of loneliness, and it spoke to me — so I decided to write a song about it.”

Detailing another: “‘Lucinda’ — that song was inspired by a book called Water for Elephants (by Sara Gruen) — they did a film afterwards — and it’s a story about a fat lady in the circus, and the man telling the story — and that spoke to me — how they used to ‘red-light’ people: they used to chuck them off the train!”

Audrey shares her appreciation for Edward Hopper, then turns to a haunting, standout track. “‘Sweet Bones’ is actually ‘The Grasshopper and the Ant,'” she says, and asks if I know what it is. (Pleasingly, I do: Aesop’s fable.) “It’s my favorite of Aesop’s fables, and it used to terrify me as a kid! I thought, ‘I really want to be an ant! But I know that I’m a grasshopper at heart.’ Actually, I think I married a grasshopper.”

The two share a good chuckle. I ask how Alonza and Audrey — the bass-man and the Baebe — manage to merge their estimable talents.

“We have very different musical tastes, to start with,” explains Audrey. “And being husband and wife, it’s weird to work with your husband. I just want to laugh all the time, or I just want to throw hissy-fits — it’s one or the other. But sometimes for me it just works. And I think the will of both of us wanting to do something, and enjoying each other’s company, and respecting each other — like each other’s paths, where we come from.” She laughs, “But like, when you started bringing the Hammond organ out–“

Alonza rejoins, amused, “You hated it. You hated everything. Anything new I would try, you hated it.”

Audrey clarifies: “No! I want to keep things all simplistic — like, fewer instruments — I’m a big fan of letting a song breathe. So those were kind of our fighting points: Alonza always wanted to add another thing on. But then, it just worked: we do enjoying doing stuff together. And we do have a mutual love of blues music, or traditional kind of American folk music. And so for that it jelled, it kind of worked.”

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“Kind of” is an understatement. When the World Had Four Corners is rich and rewarding, an album of gems. We close with Audrey and Alonza weighing in on the art form itself:

“I’m a huge music fan,” notes Audrey. “I think I prefer even listening to music to singing or playing myself. But I just can’t see my life without music. I guess it’s like a natural progression — I like other things: I love photography, and there’s other art forms I love. But music — I was bathed in it, I guess, from an early age.”

“Music, it’s true,” enthuses Alonza, “of all the art forms, it’s the one that spoke to me the most — the one that kind of moved you the most — I guess when you’re younger it’s something that you just connect with — more than you would with a piece of art, or even the movies or something. It becomes a soundtrack to your life. It’s what you project onto the world.”

Photos courtesy of Tumblewild

When the World Had Four Corners download

When the World Had Four Corners CDs

Tumblewild official website

Behind the scenes of A Fantastic Fear of Everything with Simon Pegg and Crispian Mills

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything – Exclusive Interview

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything – Exclusive Interview With Simon Pegg, Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell – Video Dailymotion – MyMovies_International.

Simon Pegg, Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell discuss ‘A Fantastic Fear Of Everything’

Simon Pegg: ‘I Started To Believe All Of Crispian’s Moon Mumbo’

With A Fantastic Fear of Everything in cinemas today, we got the chance to have a chat with none other than Simon Pegg.

We found out why the Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Star Trek and Mission Impossible star ended up leading the low budget British film, which marks the directorial debut of Kula Shaker frontman Crispian Mills. Pegg plays Jack, a struggling, paranoid writer who has to overcome his fear of launderettes to wash his filthy clothing for an important meeting. Amara Karan, recently seen in All In Good Time, co-stars, along with Paul Freeman and Clare Higgins.

Crispian, son of Hayley Mills and Roy Boulting, works from a short story written by Bruce Robinson, director of Withnail & I, with animated sequences from video director Chris Hopewell.

We joined a small table of press types in London the other week to have a rather informal chat with the amiable and sweary Pegg, finding out that he still gets starstruck.

Read the interview

Filmbeat also caught up with Pegg and Mills – watch their interview

Chris Hopewell and Crispian Mills interview: A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, Simon Pegg, phobias and more

Ahead of the UK release of A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, Michael met with directors Chris Hopewell and Crispian Mills to chat about its making… (more…)

Simon Pegg and Crispian Mills: ‘Musicians throw TVs. Actors just disappear’

Simon Pegg and Crispian Mills: ‘Musicians throw TVs. Actors just disappear’ | Film | The Guardian.

In an ideal world, Simon Pegg would physically assault his audience. “People need to be poked in the face,” he announces, gripped suddenly by a passion so intense it causes him to surface from the fog of jetlag and shove aside his walnut and avocado salad. (He only recently returned to the UK from shooting Star Trek 2 in Los Angeles, and admits to needing help with key nouns and adjectives.) “Maybe not a poke in the face,” he continues after a second’s thought. “But the ribs, at least. I like the idea of confounding audiences to a degree, challenging their expectations. We are given what we expect so much now. There’s this desperate fear of upsetting anyone. All we get in the cinema are 3D fireworks displays. But interaction is more important than passive watching; that’s just a waste of the art form. My attitude goes back to Howard Barker’s book Arguments for a Theatre, and his insistence that it should be painful and awkward and difficult for the audience.” (more…)

Interview by Press Association

Interview by HeyUGuys

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything Directors Crispian Mills And Chris Hopewell On Fantasy, Fear And … Everything

Our review won’t be out until tomorrow, but let me tell you this: A Fantastic Fear Of Everything is a weird movie. It has everything from Victorian killers to insecure hedgehogs, so when I was offered the opportunity to speak to writer-director Crispian Mills and co-director Chris Hopewell, my main goal was to find out just what this film was and where it had come from. (more…)

A Fantastic Fear of Everything interview: Crispian Mills & Chris Hopewell

Crispian Mills on A Fantastic Fear of Everything – interview

Source: The List (Issue 697)
Date: 22 May 2012
Written by: Paul Gallagher

Received wisdom might suggest that rock stars who try their hands at filmmaking are essentially looking for another way to massage their inflated egos (Madonna’s W.E. anyone?). So the fact that Crispian Mills, lead singer of 90s Britpop sensations Kula Shaker, has written and directed a film – this month’s dark comedy A Fantastic Fear of Everything, starring Simon Pegg – could understandably be greeted with a fair degree of eye-rolling. Yet considering Mills’ film-saturated family tree – he’s the son of actress Hayley Mills and director Roy Boulting – it’s arguably more surprising that he didn’t venture into films sooner. ‘I wrote my first script when I was 10,’ he admits. The verdict? ‘Precocious and awful!’ (more…)

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