Melody Maker, 1996?
Are you happy for “Near Life Experience“ to be described as a blues album?
“I would never describe it that way. I understand there are bluesy elements in it, but that’s just because rock evolved from blues. I just don’t see it.”
The title is pretty funny, but it’s damned dark, too.
“Last year was a rough year for us. Part of that was Arthur (drums) and Sean (bass) leaving. It wasn’t acrimonious — just surprising.”
How did you come to use Rodan’s rhythm section?
“We knew them, and what they did was special; they had really unique ways of playing.”
Is there anything that ties the songs on the album together?
“There are a lot of references to bathrooms and boats.”
On “Bitten”, you use brass for the first time ever. Why?
“I’m a trumpet freak. If we could have a trumpeter play with us all the time, I’d love that. I love stuff like Dog-Faced Hermans.”
Is “Half Life” about an actual dream?
“Yeah, it’s about this stage where I was having these really bizarre dreams every night. In one I was in jail and I was wading through all this shit because the bathroom was overflowing.”