interpreters interview
(November 1997)

Doing battle with the Magic Robot interview machine this time are the three stylish slimline silhouettes---Herschel (bass), Patsy (guitar) and Branko (drums)---that make up the Interpreters. Their sound is one of The Jam and The Who doing battle with The Monkees, i.e. tunes, tunes, tunes, intensity and speed, their movement is that of the 60's beat bands, i.e. restrained bopping, and their interview technique is scatty, i.e. scatty.

We reviewed the album on import in the last issue of Robots... and, despite what they say below, there's still no release of it here yet. They have had a track out on Fierce Panda though, "Shout". It's marvellous and shares with all their material an authentic retro sound that's not about emulating their heroes so much as being contemporary with them.

Remember, all questions are from Smash Hits or are related to Clint Eastwood.

P: These two guys.
H: Yeah, each other...or, more than music y'know, great movies...
Me: So no musical influences then?
H: Well yeah, but it changes every day. We've got all the classics: Prince, Otis Reading, Fleetwood Mac...
B: Aybody who reads this now---we don't sound like any of them! What we're into sounds nothing like what we say.
H: Yeah, we're into Slash, Cradle of Filth and the Wildhearts and...who is that? [he's reading this week's Kerrang]

Current drug laws
P: Here?
Me: Or in the States. Is there much difference in attitude?
P: Don't they give out heroin to drug addicts in England?
H: Methadone.
B: I don't do that many drugs.
P: Once you can die for your country you should be able to drink liquor.
H: Alcohol. The limit should be raised to 25...
Me: A bit of a liberal are you?
H: We're much more into prohibition, that's punk rock isn't it? Having some weird old warehouse and setting up a sleazy store. Yeah, I think alcohol---no, everything---should be made illegal.

Favourite flavour crisps
H: It was when we were recording the record when I started getting into crisps. But, back to the prohibition thing, my favourite flavour is...rum. Yeah really, thick spongelike crisps, fermented for 3 months to get round prohibition.
P: Yeah, Jaffa Cake liqeurs.
H: That would be hot

What's the tour been like?
H: Well, we only came over here to do two dates, but then we thought "fuck it, let's book a whole UK tour" and we've only just finished a US tour, so it's like non-stop. It's almost over now, we met some crazy people...
P: You sound so sad.
H: I am sad...
Me: Have you played with anyone that impressed you?
P: Honestly? No, here or in the States. There's no-one fantastic, but it's been fun. We got into a little trouble and had some fun, the way Rock'n'Roll [you could tell he gave it capital letters] should be.
Me: And how bit are you in the States?
H: About the same height as now!
Me: Ha aha haha...
H: The album's doing really well, we're getting incredible that a Dokken shirt?
Me: What? [He points at my Donkey t-shirt] No, Donkey [I reveal the full bad-ass donkey, complete with afro and six-shooter]
H: That's a cool fucking shirt man. What's it say there?
Me: "Bub me not, dude" [we talk about Donkey for a long time]
H: Cool...So yeah, the video for "Shout" is number 2 on the MTV chart at the moment. The album's out over here in March or something.

What makes your day?
P: A nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea with 6 sugars...
B: ...and digestive biscuits...
H: Is that what makes your day? You have to smuggle them into the States.
B: ...and porno.
Me: Well obviously.
B: No, I mean porno makes my day!

Best kind of pet bird?
P: That's a really bad question cos when I was a child I actually had 3 finches and they all escaped, so I guess I'd turn the question around and say: not finch.

What would you do with a few dollars more?
H: First I would fire our record company and give someone like the sound guy from here a job. Then I would have dinner with the President and the head of the U.N. and prohibit alcohol all over the world---I think that would do a lot for the wars---and finally, I would buy everyone a finch in a cage. And I'd take a photograph of this band.
P: A finch?
H: Yeah, and I'd send you [me] a case of Froot Loops every month.
Me: I'm touched.
H: Well, you gotta take care of your people, man.
Me: Thanks, just one last question: why do you all wear snorkel jackets?
H: Uniform.
Me: Do you ever zip 'em all up together?
H: Not in public.
Me: When I was a kid, everyone had jackets like that and we used to zip our jacket up to the next bloke's and get like a big tunnel going.
H: WOW MAN, THAT'S WILD!!! You should make pornography!

See what I mean? Even though this interview was severely edited, there's still almost nothing about the band in it...Apparently they're from the US. They formed at a party after getting pissed and leaping out of a window. The songs came quickly and they were soon on the road. They're called Interpreters because they can all speak several languages.

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