THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE INTERVIEW WITH ANTON NEWCOMBE
By OZGUR COKYUCE
ANTON ALFRED NEWCOMBE……A singer-songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist and founder, lead singer, guitarist, and head of the amazing band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
It’s a great pleasure for me having the chance to do this great interview with my friend Anton.
GLOBE: Anton, The Brian Jonestown Massacre
released its 13th studion album called “My Bloody Underground”. You’re
touring Europe in July and Australia during August, right? How are
the tours going compared to the previous tours? It seems like the
feedback gets better and better with every new album?
ANTON: Actually, I knew that people would not understand this album so much as it is more about a mood than songs. We made videos for each of the nineteen songs on the album and ep...I'm just experimenting with my friends, with sound and with languages. I'm working on five albums and really want to explore different language as a way of saying thank you with my actions to cultures that I respect and love or see something of my own spirit in.
I'm happy that we keep growing in popularity as well asartistically. We are not a radio or tv band and that is ok. I don't give a shit about pop, I mean it's fine. It's business, but at the same time we sell out concerts, make t-shirts and records and make jobs and travel.
I am thankful and want that to grow for as long as I have energy to create.
a bit about the early
days. Were there any names thought for the band other than “The
Brian Jonestown Massacre”? Any songs from those days that haven't
seen the light of the day yet or to be re-recorded?
ANTON: Our first name was blur. Then i saw in a magazine that this band from England stole our title. So we did some acid and made up a new name. I recorded over a hundered things that I have not shared. This stuff is all in San Francisco with this guy and his studio. I don't care so much as i am thinking about the future.
I also want to point out that I do not advocate drug use to other people, and I am respectful when I am a guest in other countries. I just never felt the need to lie like it would make me more money. I am honest and share my life. So keep that in mind please.
3 - PUNK GLOBE: Which bands -- can we say -- had most influence on the general sound amd melodies of The BJM? This may give an idea also to new listeners who made a great mistake of not knowing your band before.
ANTON: Well I love so many things. I think California punk...old stuff, Sixties music, Eastern music, Echo and the Bunnymen....basically everything except heavy metatl and '70's bullshit rock.
I hate it.i've never even heard all of Led Zeppelin and all of this stuff. I don't have the time to type out everything i listen to. I have like 36,000 albums and I would rather fuck my wife and make up my own music than to talk with guys about music you know...
GLOBE: When did you start music? Was it your plan or
thought to be a singer or be in a band when you were young?
ANTON: I started writing music after I saw these garage bands in my home town. Before that, I never felt it was possible to do this stuff...then at parties I saw that these people were assholes and stupid, so i got the courage to try. Then I remember a voice like God in my head saying, "Smart boys do not play guitar..."
So I guess I am a rebel....
5 - PUNK GLOBE: Some people say,you are a genius for your talent...and a loser for being true in this f.u. world.... In different interviews, you said,
'People will [see it and] wake up.'
'It isn't about my fame. I am not the light. I hold the torch so others might see.'
'My greatest weapon is that I'm underestimated by everybody.
'It's easy for people to dismiss what I'm saying, what I'm doing or what I can do. That's the greatest power.
'Maybe the real losers are the ones who don’t even see the light, who don’t even recognize that someone holds the torch, who are not aware of anything.'"
ANTON: I think it is for each person to decide what their life should be about. Some people also step outside of that like Ataturk and change cultures. I dunno, I try the best i can to create a world that i would like and can live in. I also believe that the true things in life are done in silence. I just do it.
I would be happy if other people tried to change things and i could just live in a tree or something...but i also see that if i don't work, i don't eat, my son doesn't eat...and my wife doesn't eat.
don't want to be the
person at the side of the world road,
a broken car, waiting for help...as Porsches and other cars go
I'll walk if i have to. It's in my blood to never give up until i die.
6 - PUNK GLOBE: Nearly 10 years years has passed since the events of September 11 in the U.S. What are your thoughts and feelings about what happened in New York and Washington? What has changed?
ANTON: I think it's bullshit.
hate all of this oil
war and excuses. The oil is for sale.
The Arabs are not going to build a pirate ship and attack America.
This has done nothing except make defense contractors and the traitors in my government rich.
It has also made me and my son unwelcome in many places in this world just because the colour of my eyes and skin. My sister is half Omanni, and she could care less about God or the Koran. That's her way. i just love her as my sister and want her to be happy.
the same time, I am
fucking pissed at how many people have
killed in iraq over oil.
I want it to stop. And even if my government says I am wrong, I will say I don't want to except your idea of right.
We do not need this bullshit. I think everyone needs to see these photos of dead people and what their money is doing. Shame on everyone for being too busy to at least look at the facts.
Now don't get me wrong. I would defend my country against anyone. Man. Woman. Beast or child...but I don't see that this is the situation so I moved out of America and live in Germany and Iceland now.
I can't live in the culture.
Not anymore. I don't look at the world in an us against them way.
I don't care how people live in Afganistan.
If they want to live with tribal law, go for it. But I also know we make so much off of oil and opium that it's a joke.
If Israel and the us attack Iran, and use bunker busting small nukes, that will affect Turkey and everyone. I think it's stupid and i don't want to see it.
sick of these
people and the way they
think it is ok to lay waste to a bunch of people now. I'm not talking
about Tatars, or Armenians...I'm talking about depleted uranium and
smart bombs....This is the bullshit of our time....
7 - PUNK GLOBE: When we think about The U.S.A 30 years ago and when we think about today, doesn’t U.S.A and of course the world needs the existence of true bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre more than ever? For telling the youth what’s going on, giving them the spirit to not only get angry but to question everything?
ANTON: We all need to be informed about what is going on to be able to make decisions. When I find out little pieces of truth...I want to scream and toss fire at the face of power but I also respect soldiers, police and government.
I think I would like to see those people respect themselves as well.
I am waiting, and until the day I die, I swear to live more free and to learn.
8 - PUNK GLOBE: Now, as you are still continue touring, how do you compare the crowds at shows in the 2000s to the crowds in the early 90s? (Your observations about new generation meeting the old generation in your audience?)
ANTON: Our first show had 600 x 2 for two sets, so...I dunno. I love to play.
9 - PUNK GLOBE: Anton, you collaborated with different musisicans and bands throughout your life. But, if you were to create your all time dream band, who would be the members of this heroic army?
ANTON: Shhhhhhhhhhh. . . I am working on the idea of a new group called 'The Serious Matter.' It is going to be a day camp for talented people.
You will see. It's going to be great, really.
10 - PUNK GLOBE: What were you listening to in late '70s and '80s, and what are you listening to nowadays? Are there any unknown bands you’re into at the moment or you could recommend us to check out?
ANTON : I have a youtube page
I make playlists of wierd shit all the time.
11 - PUNK GLOBE: Do you know any Turkish bands or have you ever listened to Turkish music?
ANTON : I like classical Turkish music. Stuff from the Ottoman Empire and the days of the Sultans. There are a lot of very old records on French lables.
12 - PUNK GLOBE: As far as we know, you’re able to play a lot of instruments. What is the last instrument you bought?
ANTON: I've bought a couple of electric acoustic guitars to work on two of my next records.
13 - PUNK GLOBE: The Brian Jonestown Massacre is one of the very rare bands in the music history that has its sound compared to a lot of old bands and at the same time it sounds very unique (including the lyrics) which will surely make The BJM one of the most special and unforgettable bands of all time. What has been your main inspiration?
ANTON: I like taking my bad feelings and recycling them. It makes me feel great to be hated too.
14 - PUNK GLOBE: Anton, any Last words for Punk Globe readers???
ANTON: Keep yourself free -- no matter what. Be wise . . . It 's ok to be afraid...it is not ok to give up or to betray.
***People can watch videos for the 19 songs in the new album if they contact the website
(www. brianjonestownmassacre. com) and follow the link given to the videos. As also said in the beginning of the interview, The Brian Jonestown Massacre will be touring Europe and then Sydney during the summer, so we warn everybody not to miss it!!
*Punk Globe would like to wish the best to The Brian Jonestown Massacre and thank Anton Newcombe for taking the time to do this great interview....2008
(Contributions to the artwork by Gokhan Tuncisler)