Scream and Scream Again.
I'm just hanging around the Whitechapel area of London (not far from the music venue- The Whitechapel Factory). I am meeting Chris Savill and Sean Hewson of Monster Movie. I lovingly refer to them as the 2 singing ogres and another critic has called them "hideous boymen." They are nice boys, friendly and chatty...
MFM: Hi Chris and Sean, may I call you Chris?
Christian: Hello, you can call me whatever you like.
MFM: I really enjoy ALL LOST, it is the only album I own by Monster Movie. I purchased ALL LOST from Amazon.com, I did not download!
Sean: Thanks, we tried quite hard to make it good. We thought we should grow up and actually try to do something well. Although if you listen to some of my keyboard playing you wouldn’t think so.
Christian: Cheers for buying the album.
MFM: I really enjoy your more ethereal sounding ‘ice-village’ sounds. You have many pieces which bring to mind a magical town lit with only Christmas lights.
Sean: We go there in our heads sometimes. It would be good if we could do an album of that stuff but we keep writing pop songs. I always think we’re quite experimental, but when I hear our records we just sound like Take That without Gary Barlow.
Christian: I think your description sounds better than the record itself.
MFM: Tell me how do you feel about Kate Bush? Do you know her? Or have you ever sat and gazed at her big house way up high in the South Hams? Do you think Jack the Ripper was of royalty?
Sean: I like some of Kate Bush’s stuff, she’s not an important artist for me, a Greatest Hits would satisfy me. I don’t care who Jack The Ripper was, but I do like From Hell by Alan Moore though.
Christian: I remember hearing 'Wuthering Heights' for the first time. My mum was in the hairdressers and it came on the radio and I thought 'wow what's this?'. I was only about 8. It is one of my first pop music memories. However, it wasn't a catalyst to me stalking her. Don't know about Jack the Ripper. I think he was left handed though (Like me).
MFM: I would expect that Monster Movie would be getting offers for Film and T.V.? Is this happening?
Sean: I think we had music on MTV once. My Dad thought we were on CSI. We weren’t. It’s nice to know that my own father can’t even be bothered to familiarise himself with our albums.
Christian: Nothing like that happens.
MFM: If you had access to a time machine where would you go?
Sean: I imagine both of us would go to a point just before we decided to accept jobs working in Software Support and kill ourselves. I don’t care what time I live in, it’s always going to be the wrong time. If that wasn’t the case people wouldn’t talk about time machines.
Christian: I'd find a nice quiet time, hit the pause button and take a nap. Time machines have a pause button, right?
MFM: I owned one years ago, it did not have a pause feature. I sold it for a very large sum of money, however I still have the blueprint if I ever decide to build another. Time machines are quite dangerous, depending. As far as purchasing music, what have you guys acquired lately? What are among your favourites?
Sean: I think Camera Obscura’s last album is the best one this year. I have also enjoyed A Place To Bury Strangers, British Sea Power, Interpol, Patrick Wolf, The Legends, Klaxons, The Horrors, Broadcast, Scott Walker. My favourites are Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Nick Drake, Big Star, Eno, The Only Ones, Richard Youngs, Current 93, Neu!, Soft Cell, the Jesus & Mary Chain. Those are the ones I rip off the most.
Christian: I'd like to be able to say I've purchased some high brow stuff, but the purchased list on my iPod tells a different story. Recent purchases include. 'Male stripper' by Man 2 Man meets Man Parish, 'Better off alone' by Alice Deejay, 'Tarzan boy' by Baltimora, 'What is love?' by Haddaway...and other stuff like that. My defence is that I was making a CD for a friend as a christmas "gift". Sean told me to listen to The Legends and that was excellent. I downloaded the Radiohead album and liked some of it. My favourite song at the moment is 'Melancholy rose' by Marc Almond.
MFM: What comes to mind when you think of Texas?
Sean: I can’t think about Texas without thinking about that awful band. I really don’t like bands where you can hear how much the singer loves themselves in their voice. Like Annie Lennox, Mick Hucknell, Bono etc.
Christian: 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', one of my favourite films. I've got some good friends in Austin. My wife really like to watch the Dallas repeats on TV. She likes the clothes.
MFM: Are you still close with Rachel Goswell? (the lead singer of their former band SLOWDIVE)
Christian: No, I'm not close with Rachel. I talk to her occasionally by email, but that's about it.
MFM: Are you a fan of the old 4ad bands of the 80’s? Do you think music will ever re-capture the magic of late 80’s underground music, you being the exception?
Sean: I’m not a massive fan. I just liked the obvious bands like the Cocteau Twins and Pixies. There’s always good music around, but maybe the press, radio and TV has changed. The end of the ‘80s was good though, we’d get the music papers (Melody Maker etc) and there’d be people like My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr and World Domination Enterprises on the cover, total freaks with holes in their clothes. I even saw Swans on TV once. But you can find anything on the internet so I don’t feel I’m being deprived.
Christian: I loved 'The Cocteau Twins' and 'The Pixies' but the rest of it didn't really do much for me. There was good stuff in the late 80s, but there's good stuff all the time. I don't think the late 80s was anymore special than any other time.
MFM: Your band name MONSTER MOVIE is quite evocative. Especially for me being a horror fan, I think of HAMMER HORROR (which in fact Kate Bush paid homage to).
Sean: I love Hammer Horror but we took the name from a Can album. In Hammer Horror films everything looks brilliant: The settings, the clothes, the ladies. I used to live near Bray studios, where they filmed some of them, and I used to go running in the woods around there looking for Christopher Lee. I think he was in Middle Earth at the time.
Christian: I like horror films. I'd like to see a movie called 'Bugs' again. I saw it about 25 years ago and never seen it since about some bugs that could create fire, I think they was an earthquake and they came up from that? It might well be crap, but at the time it seemed great. (Christian is referring to the 1975 William Castle produced, Bug)
MFM: What does MONSTER MOVIE want to say to the world through my blog? (not that anyone reads it much)
Sean: We don’t believe in numbers or names.
Christian: Do what thou wilt.
MFM: (this interview took place Christmas 2007) The conservatives of America have done a fairly good job of 'demonizing' and perverting the name of Jesus Christ. What do you think of them? What do you think of Jesus? And what do you say to those good-hearted intelligent people that still wish to study Christianity in spite of this?
Sean: For every person there is an opinion or ‘a belief’. If someone tells me not to like someone or something, I don’t believe them. They always have an agenda, and the agenda is not their belief in a god. If someone is conservative they will read The Bible in a conservative way, if they are liberal they will read it in a liberal way. People window shop for religions that agree with what they already think. They are too cowardly or inarticulate to put forward their own views. I personally don’t believe in invisible gods in the sky, and I don’t need a book to tell me what is right or wrong.
Christian: I'm a pagan.
MFM: So there it is! Thank you Monster Movie I love you both very much.
bye - bye 2008