Pere Ubu

interview: David Thomas

PERE UBU is unique and is still here (thankfully), preparing a new album. I spoke with David Thomas both for this fact and for one of the greatest songs of all time.
Pere Ubu


During the 'new' America in the 70s, during the days of CBGB, a new sound was coming from the heart of New York, using names that have definetely defined an era. During the same period a band, unlike any you might find anywhere (!) on earth, came from Cleveland to surpass all the 'narrow' borders of Rock & Roll forever. PERE UBU is unique and is still here (thankfully), preparing a new album. I spoke with David Thomas both for this fact and for one of the greatest songs of all time.

1. First of all I am a long time fan of Pere Ubu, David! So, are you workin' for a new studio album maybe for 2011?

The follow up album to Pere Ubu's "Long Live Pere Ubu!" is called “Lady from Shanghai” as a working title. We don't have a projected release date - too early for that. We are posting download audio of the demos for the album as we go along at hearpen.com, the download audio site for Ubu Projex and related bands. There is a finished Rocket from the Tombs album called “Bar Fly” which should be released this year but the actual date has yet to be agreed. As well there are monthly releases on hearpen.com from Pere Ubu, David Thomas and two pale boys, etc. - mostly exceptional live shows but sometimes studio recordings as well.

2. I really enjoy 'London Texas'. How do you feel really about this album?

I like it. Why wouldn't I? Great show and great version of the band.

3. David was there one incident that soured you on Pere Ubu music journey (for so long..!). What kept you going..?
 
Soured me? Why would I be soured on Pere Ubu? I have kept going with Pere Ubu because it is a great band. Every version has had unique strengths and unique personalities. The people have been great to work with and continue to be great to work with. I am especially pleased with the versatility of the current line up which is really the longest lived version of the band ever.

4. What do you think really David about an amazing cover of 'Final Solution' by Peter Murphy? Have you ever heard Peter’s version? Can you tell us the 'inside story', some of your memories maybe from such a masterpiece?
 
I have heard the Peter Murphy version of course. It's good. Final Solution was clearly influenced musically as well as lyrically by the Blue Cheer version of Summertime Blues. You can sing the words of Final Solution to the tune of Summertime Blues. The scansion is exact. I remember listening to Summertime Blues in Tim Wright's living room. He had two huge Voice Of The Theater speaker cabinets. I had the idea of reducing the song to its absolute minimum - a throb followed by an explosion of nothing but noise. I went to rehearsal and only Craig was there so I pounded out a rhythm on a speaker and sang the tune. I think the first performance of it was at a poetry reading Peter was doing at the Public Library downtown, out in the garden. He asked me to come up and I pounded on the podium at the proper moments as I recited it. As for what it's about? It's about being a kid and being able to stand apart and see the weirdness of it and recognizing that the 'angst' you are experiencing, in the end, is sort of funny.
 
5. Three names, for just three words.. So, Patti Smith, Ramones, Television.
 
Ok, and what? (Three words)

6. Captain Beefheart, RIP. So sad. Was one of a kind. Any comment David?
 
No.

7. I really love Sarah Jane Morris and she’s a good friend too, and a wonderful artist of course! Any memories? Working with Sarah?
 
Sarah was a joy to work with. Open-minded, quick, perceptive. She reeled off the vocals, which are very difficult in many ways. She has great vibrancy. Also a lovely son, a big fave in Pere Ubu.
 
8. Can you mention David your favourite band or your favourite artist maybe for 2010?
 
Nobody comes to mind. But I don't think in these terms and I don't pay attention to what anyone else is doing.

9. And last but not least! Any comment for the Greek fans here?
 
It's cold here.

Thank you very much! Dimitris Antonopoulos

David Thomas
www.ubuprojex.net
www.hearpen.com



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