Dimitris Antonopoulos had a very interesting conversation with Brian Richie of Violent Femmes.
The "microphone" to them:
Dimitris Antonopoulos: First of all, it’s a privilege Brian.. So, how
are you doing these days really? Are you workin' on a new project/record
Brian Richie: Hi Dimitris, I am working on a lot of
different musical projects. One is a neo-surf band called "The Break"
which is with three former members of Midnight Oil, Rob Hirst, Jim
Moginie and Martin Rotsey. We are preparing our second album for
worldwide release by Sony Records. It's a very heavy, psychedelic
surf-rock sound which is fun. Those guys are the best rock musicians in
Australia so I'm in good company.
DA: Let’s talk about Mona Foma! Tell me the news..
MONA FOMA stands for Museum of Old and New Art Festival of Music and
Art. I am Artistic Director. We do every fantastic thing from Nick Cave,
PJ Harvey, Phillip Glass, all the way through to modern opera, ballet,
sound installations. Music played by animals and protest marches. It's
great to organize that every year.
DA: Any memories from Greece..? We're (still!) in love with the Violent Femmes here you know!
Of course there are many great memories from Greece. One of the high
points of my entire musical life was playing wild bouzouki to the crowd
at Lycabettus. It was such great energy. I loved also the social aspect
of being there including partying, drinking ouzo and coffee, just
Can you tell me an 'inside story' from the making of your first legendary
record with Violent Femmes? It’s one of my fav ever by the way..
The recording studio was at a resort. We were trying to record "Prove
My Love" and a golf cart drove by with a couple of chefs with their
chef's hats on holding a big pig with an apple in its mouth. We could
not complete the take. Another interesting thing about that album is
that the studio went out of business and destroyed the multi-track
tapes. We could not retrieve them to remix when everybody did that kind
of thing for CD's.
DA: What's the last (new) record/band you heard? What about the new bands/artists? Is there something interesting really Brian?
I hear interesting music all the time but I prefer live music.
Recordings are more interesting if they're from dead people. They can't
do gigs anymore.
DA: You are best known as a musician, thanks to
Violent Femmes and all those brilliant records..! Fair enough.. Do you
think really that there’s a kinda legacy for the new generation of rock
& roll..? Looking back..?
BR: Rock and roll is such a limited
art form that it's inevitable that there are diminishing returns. On the
other hand every few years someone comes along and makes it new again.
Young people want to hear old ideas from new people. They are fans, not
DA: What is Rock & Roll nowadays really Brian..?
Rock and roll is anytime some young kid grabs a guitar and has an
orgasm because of playing three chords in a certain order and singing
about his or her problems. It's a very innocent thing, that's why it
DA: I would love to know about the recording of 'Blister In The Sun'. The feeling.. the atmosphere if you wish Brian.
I don't remember recording it. It was the song we always used to start
our sets and we thought we'd use it to start the album as well. At the
time we didn't think it was better than any of the other songs, but we
knew it was catchy.
DA: Can you tell me your 5 fav albums ever?
BR: I suppose that would be something like:
Velvet Underground and Nico
The Madcap Laughs -Syd Barrett
Pink Moon-Nick Drake
And for the end.. Let’s get a trip with a time machine (!) for a while
Brian.. So, we can go (for 24 hours only) @ the first gig of Velvet
Underground or @ Monterey Pop Festival of '67 with Hendrix on
BR: I'm pretty sure Hendrix would be more fun than Velvet Underground as a live act............ sorry John, Lou and Mo!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Dimitris Antonopoulos.