Saturday 20 October 2012

Interview with Tony from Black Insect Laughter

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Tony who runs the superb blog spot – Black Insect Laughter. Since he kindly interviewed me, I am returning the favour.

Black Insect Laughter is a blog that features in the same sort of great music that we promote. But with a few more nods to other styles of music. Unless his welcome note tells you to stay away!!!

Tony has been running BIL since 2010 and has built a comprehensive and superb blog that is part of my daily reading. Plus Tony is a talented musician in his own right. He makes his own music under the name Zeppheroin who I have featured just recently.

Now lets get down with the man behind the insect and the laughter.

Q1 – Hi Tony. How’s it going dude. Said I would get you back. Thanks for interviewing me. It’s nice to be asked the questions for a change. Anyway what made you start Black Insect Laughter and why that name.

Hi Steve, doing well at the moment. I had been thinking about doing a blog for a while but was having trouble in deciding a style - then I came across the now closed “VeinsDriedOut” - the posts were like blokes down the pub shouting about music they liked - I thought “I can do that!” Not only did they take me down the dark side into Sludge and other noisy worlds, it was their encouragement and friendliness that made me start.

The name came from a phrase I found in the William Burroughs book “Naked Lunch” which stuck with me for years.

Q2 – I became a fan of your blog when browsing another blog. You were linked on there. Then you contacted me to say hello about a few weeks later. I dig the work you do. Love your note about the genres you don’t like. Very welcoming and straight to the point. Did that come about as you were getting lots of stuff you don’t like.

Thanks, I dig your work as well. For a start, I find it hard to give a proper review about music I do not like or understand and surely if you send a blog a submission, you would at least see if they are into your genre! I love to get stuff I have never heard before but not when I have put in big, bold letters to fuck off!

Q3 – Your blog and outlook is a bit like mine. Always focus on the positive side of things. Was that an easy decision to make.

That was no problem at all - right at the start I decided only to post about music that turned me on. There is enough shit music being produced, when a band has decided to try and change that I am not going to discourage them. The majority of submissions are really good - if a record does have some minor flaws (only my opinion of course), I will focus on the good stuff. Stuff that still rocks but could be better are given the wonderful phrase “not quite my sort of thing but make your own mind up”! Shit bands get binned. 

Q4 – Do you find the blog easy to run. Does it affect your personal life in a big way. Mine does at times but I do listen to some brilliant music.

It can be hard at times - and sometimes a thankless task - being such an old bastard, I have a wife and daughter who for some reason think that they should be more important than music! Luckily I am able to cyber-shirk and do a lot of posts at work. Every couple of days I stop listening to new music and play the albums I love but it can be addictive to get a CD in the post or links to music that is new to your ears.

Q5 – Which blogs influenced you in the early days. Sludge Swamp, StonerRobixxx, AngryChairs etc... - Or did you follow your own path.

A lot of now dead blogs set the tone - Sludge Swamp, Lucid Media, VeinsDriedOut, Apes With Guns but really, I just tried to produce a blog that I would want to read.

Q6 – What have been your favourite records you have posted over the last few years or so.

As I only try to post records I like, this is really hard but I have had some brilliant stuff sent in to review which would have to include Towers - The Field, Tom Blacklung & The Smokestacks - Curious Concoction, Cosmonauts Day - Paths of The Restless, The United Sons of Toil - When The Revolution Comes, The Fucking Hotlights - The Royal Torture Society ........ records right up to the present day (which I can see is question 12!)

Q7 – I have the same view as yourself that we need as many blogs that we can to spread the word. Have you had dealings with other blogs apart from Sludgelord of course. I have dealt with a few and the atmosphere for blogging is a friendly and welcoming one.

On the whole I have found most blogs are only too happy to chat, exchange links, views etc especially as our music is pretty much underground, we are all on the same wavelength.

Naked Lunch cover art

Q8 – You are also a talented musician under the name of Zeppheroin. How did that come about. Some great insane ideas you have on your latest album. Has the praise for your music been good or bad.

Hey, thanks. I have been in various bands which have fallen by the wayside purely because members have moved to different parts of the country. Zeppheroin wasa chance to create music by myself without any other input - for better or worse! Playing such a niche genre has always produced negative comments which do not bother me in the slightest but for my latest album I have been really pleased by all the good reviews. (a crisp £5.00 note to you for your review!)

Q9 – What are your current fave blogs. 

Yours of course - I have a daily read of Elementary Revolt, Church of the Riff, Beard Rock, Poofter’s Froth Wyoming, Temple of Perdition (thanks for the tip off), Music Approved By A Banana, Brain On Fire but there are a lot more I check depending on how my day is going.

Q10 – You’re a one man operation. Have you ever been tempted to recruit anyone to help you to run the blog.

I have but it has always been a question of someone I would trust to have the same impeccable taste in music as me + knows his way around a computer. By the time you get this, ZoSo))) from VeinsDriedOut should be on board. I contributed to the next blog he ran with Claypool (ThroatBurnedOut - also fucked by google) so I know we work well together. I think as him as the angry, music loving younger brother from somewhere up North that I never had!

Q11- With you venturing into interview territory who can we expect to feature on your blog. Anyone we know. Or are you keeping your cards close to your chest.

Interviews that I am waiting to be completed depending on how busy the bands are: Joe 4, Uncle Touchy, Denezin. Interviews that have been agreed on but I have not sent out questions yet are: Millions, Throatruiner Records, Amury Sauve - producer for Direwolves, Comity etc. After that, who knows?

Q12 – What have been your top 5 records of 2012. (You asked me so now I am asking you!!!)

Why would you ask such a horrible question? Shame on you Steve! This list changes week by week but at the moment they are:

Millions - Failure Tactics
Uncle Touchy - Everything You Wanted to Know About Violence
Eagle Twin - The Feather Tipped The Serpent Scale
Direwolves - From Myself, to Banish
Make - Trephine

Q13 – What are the future plans for BIL and Zeppheroin.

I will carry on blogging as before but with a new team member, who knows? As for Zeppheroin, earlier on this year I saw Sleep and Yob for the 1st time and I had an almost religious experience! Music so loud and so slow - fuck me, it made me question what I was doing musically - I am now trying to see what happens when you play hardcore/noise rock at the speed of “Dopesmoker” - it is still the same genre or does it turn into Sludge? I have no idea at the moment but am having a blast finding out.

Q14 – Last Question. If you could get rid of a musician from existence who would it be. Mine would be Justin Bieber, Simon Cowell, Bullet For My Valentine … Well you get the picture. 

Just getting rid of music reality tv shows would suit me!

Well Tony. Thanks for your time. Keep up the excellent work. Would love to do some work with your great blog in the future. 

Thanks for bothering to find out about my blog and keep up the excellent work yourself. Something together would be cool.