- An Interview with Author Mark Fisher Jammerzine Exclusive 52:52
When a band, or any kind of artist for that matter, has such a positively fervent following, as XTC does, the music and stories surrounding that band or artist can elevate to a kind of mythical status. There is certainly mythology surrounding XTC that has fermented for decades with followers and fans of all ages, ethnicities, and beliefs all captivated with the music in their own special ways.
And now we have author Mark Fisher chronicling some of those stories from those who knew the band personally as well as those who know the music. This is an inciteful book about an inciteful band. And now we get a perspective of XTC from a well-versed author who is also a fan (having run the original XTC newsletter, Limelight).
‘What Do You Call That Noise?’ will be released on March 4 (links below).
About Mark Fisher & ‘What Do You Call That Noise?”
From Mark Fisher, the editor of ‘The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls’, comes a new musical exploration of one of the most essential pop groups of the 20th century. ‘What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book’ is a compelling 228-page book that involves some of the world’s leading musicians and keenest fans of XTC. Here, they come together to discuss what makes this Swindon band so very special and the extent of the impact of their music worldwide.
Every member of XTC also makes an appearance. Andy Partridge speaks about mixing, Dave Gregory on arranging and Barry Andrews on the piano. The book also features interviews with XTC drummers Pete Phipps, Pat Mastelotto, Ian Gregory, Prairie Prince, Dave Mattacks and Chuck Sabo.
“Every XTC album that got ignored gave the band a real power jolt. It was like being the Duracell bunny and getting a fresh set of batteries in your back. It made us want to strive harder,” says XTC frontman Andy Partridge.
“Weirdly, it does feel like the band is being appreciated now. We’ve become a historical artifact that’s more important than when it was a pot in Cro-Magnon times. As a museum exhibit it’s become priceless, but as a Neanderthal pot, nobody wanted to bother pissing in it. It makes me feel valued – as long as I don’t go into national treasure territory!”
Fisher also offers an in-depth review of Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers playing live for the first time in 36 years as TC&I. during their recent Swindon Arts Centre residency, a performance named on BBC Radio 6 Music’s Marc Riley show as one of the gigs of 2018.
Contributing musicians include:
- Rick Buckler: The Jam
- Chris Difford: Squeeze
- Debbi Peterson: The Bangles
- Dennis Locorriere: Dr. Hook
- Steve Conte: New York Dolls
- Steven Page: Barenaked Ladies
- Chris Butler: The Waitresses
- Tracey Bryn: Voice of the Beehive
- Jason Falkner: Jellyfish
- Andrew Falkous: Future of the Left
- Peter Gabriel
- Mike Keneally: Frank Zappa
Plus Anton Barbeau, Todd Bernhardt, Chris Braide, Mikey Erg, Anne McCue, Jim Moray, Erich Sellheim, Rosie Vela, Mark Vidler, and David Yazbek, as well as members of Fassine, Big Big Train, bis, Cosmic Rough Riders, Odds, Tin Spirits, Palm Ghosts and many more…
2018 marked the 40-year anniversary of XTC’s first studio album ‘White Music’. While XTC was founded in 1972, it wasn’t until 1979 that XTC had their first UK chart single. Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge continued their partnership until the group’s dissolution in 2006.
Lately there has been renewed interest in XTC, in part due to the release of eye-opening XTC documentary ‘This Is Pop’ about the band’s history and legacy, which looks at XTC and their journey from mercurial pop outsiders to full-blown national treasures and one of Britain’s most influential yet unsung bands.
“The song is a little machine. If you take apart the machine, it’s not a clock anymore and you can’t tell the time by it.”
– Andy Partridge
“Music… I couldn’t imagine life without it. It’s always there.”
– Dave Gregory
“I was always quite envious of XTC because they weren’t put in the same pigeonhole as punk bands. They were regarded as a bit more arty than that. We always had to fight off this flag, being under the banner of punk… XTC never seemed to fall into that trap. They had that freedom.”
– Rick Buckler ( The Jam)
“Seeing them on TV was like being in a tribe. Together I thought we might rule the world… Yes, I stole from them. I’m sure I was not the only one. The wit did woo mee. I fell head over heels for the clever wordplay, the charge of the story and the sentimental Britishness of it all.”
– Chris Difford (Squeeze)
“XTC’s music has always been there in my consciousness. I think about it a lot when I’m making records… They come across as an everyday group of people and that’s very much what Barenaked Ladies were about too – living as ordinary a life as you can in a bizarre lifestyle like rock’n’roll.”
– Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies)
“I remember when I first heard Making Plans for Nigel on the radio… I absolutely loved the song, especially the drum part… Terry’s drumming was so rhythmic. I was very much influenced by him. In fact, I would drum along to XTC songs to warm up. It was very inspiring to me!”
– Debbi Peterson (The Bangles)