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Brian Richie (Violent Femmes): I liked playing wild bouzouki to the crowd at Lycabettus

Dimitris Antonopoulos had a very interesting conversation with Brian Richie of Violent Femmes.
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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 maybe?
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..

BR:  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!

BR: 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 hanging out.

DA: 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..

BR: 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?

BR:  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 historians.

DA: What is Rock & Roll nowadays really Brian..?

BR:  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 lives on.

DA: I would love to know about the recording of 'Blister In The Sun'. The feeling.. the atmosphere if you wish Brian.

BR: 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:
Marquee Moon-Television
Velvet Underground and Nico
The Madcap Laughs -Syd Barrett
Pink Moon-Nick Drake
Pink Flag-Wire

DA: 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 stage..Your choice?

BR:  I'm pretty sure Hendrix would be more fun than Velvet Underground as a live act............ sorry John, Lou and Mo!

Ciao bR
THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Dimitris Antonopoulos.

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