Interview:
Being 747

Being The Best

Talk about blowing our socks off, Being 747’s brilliant 2006 album “Health & Safety” did more than that, making both my and Nick’s heads spin round, “Exorcist” style before turning us into slobbering idiots with fresh faced looks of wonder that would have walked away with first prize in a gurning competition. To be fair, we always look a bit like that anyway, so just imagine that and multiply it by 95.

Given this, you can imagine our excitement when the main man behind the project, enigmatic frontman Dave Cooke, agreed to answer some questions about Atomicduster’s new found favourite band, especially when you’re met with answers about talking to soup cans…

AD: How does it feel do get “Album of the Year” acclaim from Atomicduster?

DC: Tremendous! It's great to get some acclaim. Are you holding an award ceremony?

AD: Hmm…Sadly I doubt we’re quite “big” enough to hold an “awards ceremony”, but hey, you never know, I guess I could clear out the garage and invite my mum and a few neighbours round as the audience...So, what do you think is the best thing about Being 747?

DC: The best thing about Being 747 is that we're totally devoid of style, and therefore we have total musical freedom.

AD: What’s the most important thing to Being 747 when you’re writing a new song?

DC: The most important thing is to be able to stomp my feet (my wife doesn't understand) and have enough time and space to be able to reach the moment of inspiration.. It takes me at least an hour before I can shut out the outside world.

AD: What’s your favourite track on “Health & Safety” and why?

DC: Its hard to pick out a favourite. I like to listen to the stuff that we don't play live that much like 'My Years Alone', which we'd only played through a couple of times before recording it, and it came out sounding so lush and soulful.

AD: Your songs have the most wondrous lyrics – a particular favourite of mine is “Mictrolite”. How do you get your inspiration for tracks like THAT?

DC: The lyrics come from a random word generation process that's similar to reheating a particularly chunky soup, letting it remind you of something and then telling the soup what it reminds you of and then asking it to elaborate further. In other words – I sing random words, until i realise what I’m singing about. Once I know what I’m singing about (often its what I'd been thinking about weeks before), I can write some more lyrics - which then takes the tune off in an unexpected direction. This way the tune writes the words, and then the words write the tune, and so on.

AD: Are you flattered by the comparisons with The Fall or does it piss you off? (Apologies if it’s the latter ‘cause even I compared you to them when you put “DIY Prescriptions” out!)

DC: It doesn't piss us off as 'DIY Prescriptions' is the most blatantly Fall inspired track that I’ve ever heard. We're big Mark E Smith fans, and Steve and Paul will break into Fall riffs at any opportunity.

AD: How did you start out as a band

DC: I'd known Steve and Paul for a while from doing gigs with the (Scaramanga) Six, and we'd been fans of each other’s songwriting, and so after I left Landspeed Loungers it was only a matter of time before we did something together. I started Being747 as a name for my solo act, but as we did more stuff together it became the twisted sound of my brain being fed through a Scaramangalizer (now available as a Cubase plugin). It took a while to settle into the musical arrangement. It was easier for Steve, but Paul hadn't played drums for a while, and I had to get used to playing electric guitar again.

AD: If you could change one thing from the history of music, what would it be?

DC: I'd change it so that so that I'd get the credit for inventing everything - blues, swing, soul, rock, punk. Everything - even euro pop, happy house and techno. That would be the one thing that I'd change.

AD: What’s your idea of a PERFECT day?

DC: After three cups of strong coffee I spend the day writing killer tunes, pausing briefly for a dip in the sea at a secluded bohemian bay, and then emerge to be greeted with a warm towel and a particularly appetizing fish dish. Neil Young and Frank Black have both left messages on my mobile saying that they really like the new album and it fully deserved to win the Grammy.

AD: What’s next for the band?

DC: The next thing (and it has been for quite a while) is our natural history concept show - 'Ameoba to Zebra' The entire history of life on planet earth presented through the medium of pop!


Well readers, as I’m sure you can tell just from this interview, Being 747 are a very special band indeed and if you haven’t scaled the heady heights of “Health & Safety” yet, you really ought to sort yourself out. Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts – no, in fact, leave them off. It’s more fun that way.


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