NOISE MAGAZINE #14 (France)
GIVE ME A WOMAN
by Francoise Massacre
Woman: nothing but the story of bad boys. The Brooklyn-based quartet just gave birth to their first LP – one dipped into a wild darkness not heard for too long. Carrying eight tracks, as nauseating and muddy as death, a melting pot of swampy blues, post-punk and noise, Woman’s album whores between the brothels of the Lower East Side of the early 90’s (Cop Shoot Cop, Chrome Cranks, Unsane, Swans), and the wetlands of Australia (Birthday Party, Lubricated Goat). "Femme, je vous aime."
BWS: Brett W. Schultz - Vox, guitar
KGB: Kristian Brenchley - Guitar, vox
SB: Skeleton Boy - Bass
1- Classic Q : I’ve first heard about Woman from a friend who knows a friend who has a friend… and now I’d like to get first hand information about you, your background, history until this first full-length record, when and how did you come to form the band?
BWS: Back in August of 2003, Kristian and I were introduced by a man we refer to as The Spiritual Father of Woman. (Editor's note: the spiritual father of the Woman). I had just arrived to New York and the weather was disgusting. Kristian and I played pretty well together but burned through a succession of bass players and drummers until, finally, we landed Skeleton Boy and Alex – a.k.a. The Lizard.
SB: I had spent the early 90’s kicking around the Lower East Side, following Jon Spencer and the Chrome Cranks around. Eventually running into these guys, I promptly lied my way into the band, after which we bashed out a series of shambolic gigs including two tours of the West Coast. We mixed up a few new songs and finally decided things were sounding sufficiently ugly enough to inflict upon the masses.
2- “Flipper on too much LSD!” Stephen DePace, Flipper. // “Woman sucked. I think the whole band was on heroin” - Some asshole from Cleveland. // “Woman. Now that's a good name. I can't believe no one's ever thought of that before” Pete Townshend, The Who. // Why didn’t you publish this famous one on your myspace page : “Woman? I wanted them to play at my 52nd birthday party, but they asked too much money” Nick Cave.
BWS: We're really trying to shake that whole "birthday party" thing.
3- I’m 'quoting' Nick Cave 'cause your music captures the darkest side of the Australian swamp rock/noise scene from Birthday Party, The Scientists, Beasts Of Bourbon to Lubricated Goat or even Bird Blobs… Is this among your main influences/inspiration sources? You’ve been on the bill with a bunch of those Australian bands too. What’s your connection with them? Kristian is basically from Australia, right?
KGB: Thank you, in fact I am Australian but have but have been living in NYC since 2001. As for those Australian influences, stuff like The Birthday Party is in our blood down there. Same goes for AC/DC. So, I can't pick up the guitar without a little of that coming out! But we don't try to sound a certain way, I think once you start with that you're doomed to failure. As for the Bird Blobs, I've known Tim for 15 years and he lives in NYC now. So we have been playing on the same bills all that time. [Tim and I] took what we had in Melbourne in the '90's and moved it over here.
4- The album seems to have been recorded live (or in live conditions), the sound is very raw, very dirty, very lively too. Can you tell me more about the recording, the way you build the songs?
SB: It had to be done live to really get the blood flowing. Anything else would have been too sterile. The album was recorded by Martin Bisi at the legendary B.C. Studios down in Brooklyn. (Editor's note: this former collaborator of Brian Eno and Bill Laswell has recorded and produced Sonic Youth, The Swans, John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Helmet, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, White Zombie, Alice Donut and Boredoms, to name a few.)
KGB: His studio has such an incredible history . . . it’s a massive ex-artillery storage facility from America's war with Britain. Martin's been there since '79 and he will tell you things like Brian Eno threw a chair here, or Lydia Lunch sang here. The record was recorded live with the vocals overdubbed and some extra guitar. He captured what we had in mind plus even more.
SB: With his track record, we figured Bisi would understand or at least humor us – but as it was, he was really enthusiastic and didn't bat an eye, even helping us pick between different blunt objects when we were bashing his metal staircase for extra percussion on a certain song.
5- Woman’s sound fits quite well on Bang! Records’ catalogue. Did the label find you or did you find the label?
SB: Head honcho Juan Iturrarte tracked us down after getting an earful of a few early demos that we had. We were already fans of Bang! and all of their releases so we were more than happy to help continue their bad reputation.
6- Is there a chance to see you anytime soon in Europe?
KGB: Hopefully late 2010. We can't wait . . .