it takes two: scramble
(July 2004)

Scramble. A bit like Scrabble. (Bear with me.) Stick your hand in the bag, grab a load of mismatched samples, a broken mic and an electronic toy. Put them on your rack. Wait. Think. Consider what you've done before and arrange as much as you can from the rack so that it overlaps a tiny piece of that. Voila. Scramble. No two tracks sound alike. They are Andy and Neil.

Andy: This is more of an order than a question. In words, try and pin down the essence of what makes a duo from your perspective in Scramble.

Neil: Throughout our history of making music we have continually bounced ideas off of each other. Some have come about easily, some hard and some not getting beyond the concept stage. This has enabled us to improve and improve and improve our understanding of each other. Its better being in a duo because in bands with more there is normally a leader who writes the songs and makes all the key decisions, whereas in a duo we keep each other on our toes. Definitely a case of too many cooks spoils the benf (sic).

Neil: what's your favourite duo? It doesn't have to be musical. It can be any two people. Whether they have anything to do with each other or not.

Andy: It's me and you nigger, closely followed by Derek Acorah and his spirit guide, Sam. I get a lot of joy and many other benefits from working in our duo. Our duo enriches my life considerably.

Andy: Do you think ghosts are real entities that can affect us, or some of us, in our reality?

Neil: Ghosts do exist but its people who manifest them by feeling a particular way. The ghost has no choice about it, that's why you get malevolent ones, because they want to be left alone.

SCRAMBLE: ANDY & NEILNeil: Are the outlandish amount of coincidences we experience a higher force trying to tell us something or just...



Andy: There's been loads of timely, specific messages aimed at us. So many, that it makes it little chance that our 'coincidences' are just pure chance. Maybe we're overlooking the nature of chance; maybe pure chance is not random. I reckon there's an intelligence behind the messages, and the possibility that, if we do have spirit guides, they are working together and entering other realities (i.e. ours.) They affect us more and more as time goes by, so if we eat enough mushrooms we should eventually see them.

Andy: Do you think Derren Brown is an actual psychic mascarading as hypnotist-cum-jedi, like, in a counter-analagous way to how Mystic Meg, the low-budget hypnotist, mascarading as a psychic?

Neil: Derren, as I like to call him, is a very very clever man. I have no idea what he is though. He's good at what he does and that's what matters. It's a much more intelligent way of entertaining than that Blaine man, to whom he is often compared. Whether it is a hoax or not is immaterial. Its just entertainment.

Andy: If you could cross any three animals to create hybrid progeny, what would they be?

Neil: As you know I have given the subject of cross species breeding a lot of thought. Lionel Richie was the first person to cross a crab, a pig and a swan. He called it Crabo. I would likely do the same but with a goat, a snake and a man. In honour of the band Goatsnake. Plus the whole goat/Satan thing will make it one evil mama. I could create an Anaconda, spider and dolphin cross to counter the sinistery of Goatsnake. She would be called Arabella.

Neil: If you could become a ghost that looks like Albert Steptoe, who would you haunt?

Andy: I would either haunt the Queen or the Devil and try to possess them. Possession is the best way to haunt. If I got the Queen, I would start a band called Born Again Angels In Paradise and only play pubs called Farmers Arms. I would sign myself to Epic and when I got massive, I would change the band name to Perfect Royal Terror On Earth and then give away all my possessions and become an aborigine. I would live in the outback and make regular trips to Sydney to buy copies of Guitar Legends and if I appeared therein, I would commit suicide. If I failed to possess her, I would just settle for her corgies and bark at her, lividly and continuously for the rest of my dog years.

If I got the Devil I would start a band called Lucifer's Eucharist on Planet Fear. In this band I would enlist the brilliant Rusty Lee on drums, the prowessful Dave Benson Phillips on Horns and the innocent virgin Richard Branson, who would just parade around the stage looking like the goat that he does but with the outrageous attitude of 50 Cents, also flying about the audience on ropes like David Copperfield. The band would be fully acoustic with no electrical technology other than solar powered amps and kettles. All the band equipment would be carted around by goats and sheep and Ghurkha Sherpas and there would be an exact lunar month between gigs. I would keep a keen eye on Guitar Legends mag and ascend into heaven apologetically when I appear within.

Andy: If you had insight into something that you thought would be nice shared, could you be bothered putting energy in to spread the thought? If not, why not? If yes, a full answer to why would be nice (for the purposes of this question your telepathic powers are nullified.)

Neil: I would share it but not all at once. If it made people happy then I would share it in bits. With my music I like to see people react well to it and that gives me the happiest feeling I have ever felt. This leads to making better music for a better reaction and it escalates more and more.

Neil: if you could make someone live forever and also make them invisible who would it be?

Andy: For the purposes of this question I'll agree that death is the end of life. So, it would be my late dog, Bongi. He could live forever and sneak into fields with sheep in. He was half sheep dog and instinctively knew the score with sheep. When he got loose, he'd live dangerously under the snoop of gun toting farmers in the name of instinct. The farmer would have to be Mr Miagi to shoot him. Bongi would also be able to get in shops and butchers, which I know he'd like. I don't think he'd notice that he was invisible, he didn't even know he was a dog, I think he just thought he's was a nose and whiskers. I'm pretty sure he didn't believe his tail was his. Maybe dog's tails are easier to poseess than their brains? I wouldn't want him to live forever forever, just forever in dog years which is about 100 human years. He would get bored and reckless like the highlander.

Andy: Giving reasons, would you rather have antlers or horns? (for the purposes of this question read: shedding or non-shedding hair-based-weaponary-extensions repectively)

Neil: Horns as weaponry. I would shed them nearly every night when it is time for love and regrow them in the morning for battle.

Neil: if you could have X-Men powers, what would they be?

Andy: That's a difficult one; I was thinking I'd like to have a mutant mind that was permanently mushed or something like a magic finger that could silence crying babies, or something akin to Magneto's powers, only that I could repel metal instead of attracting it. But, on a more useful note, I'd probably just settle on the ability to play musically tight for the rest of my life regardless of hallucination.

SCRAMBLE: DYING ALIVE ARTWORKAndy: When Skynet goes live, would you have it in you to kill in the name of revolution?

Neil: I could quite easily bring myself to kill, even now, before Skynet kills folk. I would prefer a gun because I'm a bit of a soft arse when it comes to ripping out people's guts. Who would I be killing though? Wouldn't it be better to not kill people because they can help in the war against Skynet.

Neil: what is the biggest fire you ever lit and what did you use?

Andy: It was the great fire of Moses gate Country Park. We were young and only thought about the favourable consequences of seeing the fire brigade come out. It was country parkland. We started it with brown carpet that we got out the local factory's skip, and matches, that we regularly sneaked out of our homes in inconspicuous amounts. It was a standard 'grass fire' of grass/shrub land and was roughly the size of......say, a third of a football pitch. The smoke made it look the part and the brigade came out about 45 minutes after it becoming unstamp-it-outable.

Andy: If you had the ability to take a TV channel off air which would it be?

Neil: Hard choice between the BBC and E4. both purely because of the tat they show. One thing in E4's favour is that they don't waste out money on puppets like Shane Richie.

Neil: Do you prefer flange, chorus or phase, McPhasey?

Andy: There's so many types of these effects about. Some choruses treading on delay turf and some flanges impinging on the homelands of phase and wah. I have no inane preference but, out of the four, I have never come across a more flexible effect than phase. As you know, we've phased individual instruments in a mix and then phased the whole fucking lot of it. So if I had to take one to a desert island it would have to be phase.

Andy: Do you think we will ever see room-temperature super-conductors in our live times?

Neil: Not on your Nellie!

Neil: Who do you prefer Dolph Lundgren or Jean-Claude Van Damme? And why, goddammit?

Andy: I prefer Dolph Lundgren because he's a marginally worse actor than Van Damme. He's also taller and scarier, and, by the looks of his face, he's probably had a harder life than Van Damme. I also like dolphins, especially the phasers in their minds they use to stun fish with.

Andy: Have you ever seen a complete Herbie fil'm from start to end, and if so, why?

Neil: I was young and stupider. I don't think I could change the telly either.

Neil: Why is there a new moisturiser that has Creatine in it?

Andy: I suppose it's to extend the company's product range. Companies these days are servants to their range - see how Top Trumps have gone shit barr the Goldie Looking Chain ones?. A decision must have been made to market this product as a superior moisturiser over competitors on the biochemical fact that that creatine promotes cell hydration. Whether the creatine in their moisturiser turns into living skin cells AND acts to super-hydrate the skin cells to 'improve' appearance is a fact unknown to me. I predict that it's a mechanically useless addition, unless the creatine absorption system was designed by James Jamieson.

Andy: What is the most important effect of your current job on your life, and what is the worst?

Neil: The best thing about it is that I get to work with some genuinely nice people and use the internet. Because it is so bad it makes me enjoy the time on my own and with friends even more than normal

Neil: Are you going to Steph's tonight?

Andy: No

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