Saturday, June 13, 2009

10 Questions

Greetings! Posting a day late due to a snafu which absorbed my time yesterhence.
(It just wasn't in the cods I guess.) Anyway, we're back and in a very fishy situation today. Believe me!

Today's guest reminds me of a friend I had, from Germany, who visited us several years ago out west. It seems just prior to his visit he'd caught the fishing bug. A bad case, too. He was obsessed. Had to fish every day. While I like fishing-somewhat, I've just never got the point. Nor the enjoyment. Let's not start with the whole "day in nature" aspects either. I get that. It just bores me. Stiff. To tears.

All this as prelude to introducing our (beloved) guest today. A man who LOVES fish and is rather obsessed by 'em, too. (I've no idea whether he enjoys the catching of fish like my friend previously mentioned.) I wonder if he's a Pisces?

It's Todd Dillingham !

Here's a bit of Bio' on our psychedelic friend:

The link between the classic Canterbury Scene of the '70s and the D.I.Y. psychedelic pop scene of the '90s, Todd Dillingham is a one-of-a-kind artist.

Equally capable of writing concise, catchy little pop songs, twisted psychedelic explorations, and sprawling prog rock improvisations, the North London resident is like a one-man combination of XTC, Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians, and the Bevis Frond.

Remarkably, for a one-man band who plays almost all of the instruments on his records, Dillingham came late to music, not recording his first songs until he was already into his thirties.

His first album was a limited-edition self-released cassette, 1989's Stalking the Wily Chub, with a homemade cover designed by his brother, music journalist and psychedelic poster artist Mick Dillingham. (Dillingham has something of an obsession with fish, which regularly appear in his album titles and cover art.) Brother Mick took an even more active role in Dillingham's next project, the Bizarrdavarks, a trio featuring the brothers and Bevis Frond mastermind Nick Saloman that placed two tracks on 1990's Woronzoid, a double-album compilation on Saloman's Woronzow label. Saloman and Mick Dillingham also appeared on Dillingham's next recording project, the Saloman-produced Art Into Dust, which was supposed to appear on Woronzow in 1990 but was shelved, eventually appearing on the Voiceprint label in late 1992 with the addition of one later track, a nearly half-hour jam on Pink Floyd's classic "Interstellar Overdrive."

Dillingham's association with Voiceprint, a label associated with the '70s Canterbury Scene spearheaded by the Soft Machine and Hatfield and the North, began in 1991, when Caravan LEGEND Richard Sinclair invited Dillingham to record an album with himself, drummer Andy Ward (Camel), and reedman Jimmy Hastings (Caravan, Soft Machine, National Health). The resulting Wilde Canterbury Dream received rapturous reviews among prog rock diehards, but Dillingham's next two releases were a pair of more immediately accessible psychedelic pop EPs in the style of XTC's Dukes of Stratosphear side project: the Norwegian release A Dash of Haddock (1993), and the German release Arthur Woodcote (Is His Name) (1994).

Dillingham's next two albums, both released in 1994, re-emphasized the prog side of his musical personality, although the live Radio Session included a few '60s-style freakbeat rave-ups as well. Vast Empty Spaces (produced by Peter Gilesof the legendary Giles, Giles, and Fripp) marked a reunion with Ward, with Curved Air's Mike Wedgewood and Anthony Alridge of the jazzy and eccentric Skaboosh! contributing bass and violin, respectively. With the exception of occasional extended improvisatory workouts, Dillingham then retreated from progressive epics into a marginally simpler and considerably poppier form of psychedelic pop. The self-released Astral Whelks, which included contributions not only from Ward but Ward's Chrysathemums bandmate, Yukio Yung, was the first evidence of this new focus, but it was 1995's Sgt. Kipper, with its priceless cover portraits of Dillingham, Yung, and Ward in Sgt.Pepper-style satin outfits, that delivered Dillingham's most consistently poppy and groovy set of tunes. (AMG)

Alright let's pull in that line and see what we've hooked:

1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."

Mindblowing, effect-ridden tunes meant for acid listening for ultimate pleasure.

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

The guitar as nothing beats a killer backwards guitar solo.

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour(tied)

4. You can go back in time and sit in on one famous album's recording session, what album do you want to witness being made and why that one?
it has to be sgt pepper to see the fab 4 at their artistic peak and watch sir george martin at the mixing desk..

5. What song or album that wouldn't fall into the classic "psych" definition is, nevertheless, psychedelic to you?

Many but i shall choose The Dreaming by Kate Bush which in my humble opinion is the greatest lp by a female singer/songwriter ever..perfect songs and awesome production in the psych vein

6. Is there an advantage in being the pioneers (60s psychedelic bands), or being the continuing explorers armed with the knowledge of those pioneers work (the modern psychedelic bands)? Why?

I can see no real advantage as great psych will always be great psych whatever the era.

7. Who do you think are some of the best makers of psychedelic music right now?

The Pillbugs
Dog Age
I dig my own stuff too, but thats a bit narcissistic lol

8. Why the obsession with fish?

Well when i was younger i used to play on a spectrum 128k and one of the games i could play on it was match fishing... the names of the fish in this game remained in my head and somehow had to find a release before i was driven O fishly mad...So the fish got placed on various releases.. the title astral whelks was of couse a play on the lp astral weeks...i just thought whelks sounded better..

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

1.strawberry fields forever/beatles
2.lucy in the sky(mono mix)/beatles
3.i am the walrus/beatles
4.dear boy/paul and linda mccartney
5.tomorrow never knows/beatles
6.changing woman/buffy sainte marie
7.itchycoo park/small faces
8.vacuum cleaner/tintern abbey
9.1983 a merman i should be/jimi hendrix
10.moons/r stevie moore

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.
Todd: i would love to know your top 10 psych songs from the period 1966-1971

-valis: Today, the list would look like this, (tomorrow it'll be different. Heck, in two hours it'll be different!):

1. The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows
2. 13th Floor Elevators - Slip Inside This House
3. Tomorrow - Real Life, Permanent Dream
4. The Pretty Things - Baron Saturday
5. Our Plastic Dream - A Little Bit Of Shangri-La
6. The Easybeats - Peculiar Hole In The Sky
7. Traffic - Paper Sun
8. The Pink Floyd - Lucifer Sam
9. Snow - Caterpillar
10. The Beatles - Glass Onion

Thanks Mick.., for all the fish!


Chris said...

Another smashing interview. Very glad to see the R. Steevie Moore mention and vid. Any plans to interview Mr. Moore?

Anonymous said...

I endorse this artist lol

jay strange said...

and theres loads of free todd songs etc available here

Cliff said...

Yeh Todd's another English eccentic and music needs more music eccentrics. Whilst I waas reading the interview I couldn't help but wonder if Todd thought he was working with Nick 'Salmon' as opposed to Saloman! (bad I know but I couldn't resist.

Never knew Todd played with Andy Ward from Camel, who happens too be one of my fave drummers, see what you can learn round these parts.

Love your song list Valis and am already wondering what it reads like by now?

Merci for that link Monsieur Strange.

Anonymous said...

hey cliff

nick salmon and andy sword(fish)

love todd :)