Lotus Eaters

Where Are They Now?

Most people will remember “The First Picture Of You” and those of us that have never relied solely on Radio One and the Top 40 may well also be able to recall “You Don’t Need Someone New”. That was nearly twenty years ago, so what are The Lotus Eaters doing now, and what’s been going on in the interim? Jem Kelly and Peter Coyle were more than happy to keep Atomicduster up to date…

JK: Much water has passed under the bridge since we decided to suspend our musical collaboration in 1985. I went on to reform The Wild Swans, releasing “Bringing Home the Ashes” on Sire Records. After that I went back into education. I’m currently in the final year of a PhD looking at how repeater technologies are used to represent memory in multimedia theatre.

PC: After 1985 I threw myself even further into music. So much so that I nearly got completely lost. I released several solo albums that were off the scale called selfish, a slap in the face for public taste, I’d sacrifice eight orgasms with Shirley mclaine just to be there. I then fell in love with dance music circa 1988 and released lots of dance music under the name 8 productions with band names such as the “Donny and Marie Handbag Revolution” and “Marina Van Rooy” and “Connie Lush”. Put together some great club nights and toured the country with them. Wrote some songs for The Lightning Seeds and Thomas Lang etc. Had a rest. Went to Edinburgh university for a change. Then back in to the fray of music.

AD: Were there any artists from around the time you had your hits that you have stayed in touch with? Dinner parties with A Flock Of Seagulls perhaps?

It was funny but the other night I was playing at a book launch for Paul Du Noyer and we all came out the woodwork. There was Cast, Space, Pete Wylie, Ian McNabb, Garry Christian, there were loads there. See most musicians from time to time and we always laugh at how hard it is to try and sell a few records.

JK: Still in touch with Stephen Singleton, ex ABC, and, of course Paul Simpson and Ian Broudie of Care /The Lightening Seeds.

AD: Of all the current popular musicians, who would you most like to work with and why?

David Sylvian’s ability to express the emotions and environments he perceives through his lyrics commands my respect. To work with him would be amazing. Alison Goldfrapp is a miracle, isn’t she?

PC: David Sylvian is a real artist. Brian eno…Lauryn hill…bjork…fatboy slim…Darren Emerson…most classical musicians…there are quite a few actually. The only reason why I would like to work with anyone is because they are brilliant oh and the fact they sell far more records than I have even dreamed about.

AD: Which other ones make you grind your teeth and pull clumps of your hair out?

Pap pop that seeks to hit the jugular of the lager swigging, Breezer glugging masses.

PC: Pop idol pop rival pop reality pop pop pop…just jealous cos people buy their records not mine

AD: What are your happiest and fondest memories of the early days?

First hearing Peter’s amazingly delicate voice and ethereal melodies translating to a timeless recording. In fact, his singing still sends shivers down my spine.

PC: Being able to read French novels in the back of the tour bus and seeing all those beautiful places and tasting pasta, pasta, pasta and pasta and staying in Florence

AD: Most bands aspire to be “as big as The Beatles” when they start out. Was that ever one of your goals?

To be honest I was very ambitious. I wanted to aspire to the talent of the Stones, David Bowie and Peter Gabriel. I still aspire. It is not life itself but it is still a dream of mine.

JK: We used to say that we wanted to do the impossible: make pop music that lasts. With certain of our songs, “First Picture Of You”, “It Hurts” and, latterly, “Can Your Kisses Fly” and “Stay Free”, we’ve accomplished that.

AD: What are your ambitions now?

To continue writing and releasing great songs together and to get those songs to the people. In early August we played to 2 000 dedicated fans in Manila: they loved it and so did we.

PC: To make music that connects with people. To make music that helps people to get through the day. To remind people how magical music is. To sell more than five records.

AD: If you had a time machine that could take you back to 1983, what would you change? Would there be anything you’d try to prevent happening?

My hairdo, my wardrobe. I would try to stop my total isolation.

JK: I wish we’d have stuck with Nigel Gray as our producer: he captured the essence of The Lotus Eaters’ sound in a way no one else quite managed.

AD: How would you sum up, in ten words, the career of The Lotus Eaters?

Shining beacon of English music bursts, scatters…and is rekindled.

PC: Why use 10 when it can be said in one? – REAL.

Are you listening Gareth Gates? We want some REAL music back in our charts and what better way to start than to have those Lotus boys back. Thanks to Jem and Peter for spending some time with Atomicduster.

Tone E



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