Interview:
Sumo

I Know What You Did Last, Sumo

I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned football. Leicester City still rooted to the foot of the Premiership (and now, at the time of writing, relegated), and it turns out Dan Raven from Sumo is a bloody Wolves fan. Great. That’s just what I need after we’d sold the only player (Dean Sturridge) able to hit an elephant with a ping pong ball to our orange wearing Midlands rivals and watched as he clocked up the goals week in week out, putting them in prime position for automatic promotion. What? Gold you say? Is it bollocks! Even so, the voice of this dynamic duo seems to be in sympathetic mode and the extent of the ridicule has so far only culminated in “Yeah, Sturridge… Thanks for that”, so I quickly delve into my other questions before it can get any worse.

AD: So, how’s the recording going?

DR: It’s going fine. We’re having an absolute blast working with Charlie Francis – he’s a complete lunatic. We’ve recorded a song called “Brass Monkey” which sounds like the detonation of an H-bomb. We’ve also been working on a very emotive song titled “Spark It Up”, which is all about weed and love, and love of weed.

AD: I think we can all relate to that sentiment. Anyway, it occurred to us at Atomicduster (and probably most of the folk reading this) that we know absolutely bugger all about you, barring your exceptionally brilliant debut single “Unseeded”. Can you give us a brief synopsis of what you’re all about?

DR: We’re interested in making records with a certain kind of subtlety to them - bass, riffs and melodies being at the forefront as opposed to flowery keyboard lines. The prototype for that vision was “Unseeded”. We thought it was both urgent and beautiful, and, well…it worked for us anyway. It’s got a real rock ‘n’ roll quality, and it would be nice to take the power back from all those homogenous acts like Ian Van Dahl and Alice Deejay. Can you tell the difference between those two? Because I can’t. We’re trying to use the industry and to break it at the same time. Then again, as concerned as we are, we’re all cogs in the machine. Whether we can fuck it up’s the thing. I think, with the stuff we do, we stand a good chance of alienating people, but I don’t think we should just sit by and watch while people like Will Young have number one hits with a song that just happens to be an old Westlife track…

AD: Talking about that whole Pop Idol thing, with the current popularity of reality game shows and crap manufactured boy/girl bands, would you say that the general public is getting more and more stupid or is there another explanation?

DR: I don’t think the public are stupid. I just think that if you advertise Walls’ sausages on TV every day, people will buy Walls’ sausages. Gareth Gates and Will Young have had six months of press and the whole Pop Idol thing was promoted to the point of saturation. It doesn’t take a genius to work out why theses records became the fastest selling in history. And of course the media industry is more than willing to cough out bullshit for its own financial gain.

AD: I know – it’s worrying. Almost as worrying is a track you have called “Midget Sex Pills”. Er…what?

DR: (laughs) That’s to do with Robin Finch, who designed the cover to “Unseeded”. He was telling me this story about how he went away for a couple of days and ended up having a “Bad Lieutenant weekend”. He was given some drugs, and afterwards he just found himself outside in the middle of nowhere. He was gone for about three days, and when he came back were “Shit man. He gave me these midget sex pills” and I thought “We’ve gotta write a song about that”!

AD: You said he designed the artwork. Is there a message behind it?

DR: Yeah. It’s about the way British culture is heading – the way that we seem to be giving guns to monkeys.

AD: How much of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle do you lead?

DR: Er…not at all. We’re too busy at the moment to be honest. Staying up late’s about the most rock ‘n’ roll thing we do, but even that’s just for the recording. We’ve had no time for much drinking either, but we’re hoping to change all that soon.

AD: So are you saying that you’d be more likely to go back to your hotel room for a sleep rather than to smash it up?

DR: Ha ha. We’d be more likely to smash it up out of frustration as opposed to any “rock ritual”. Like I said, we’re trying to change all that, so you might be seeing some nasty pictures of us in the Sun soon.

AD: So what is your ultimate dream?

DR: To be shot in the face in a midget brothel.

AD: Er…right…o…k then (At this point in my notes the words “odd cureball” appear to have been scribbled down. I have no idea what the goggins that’s supposed to mean so I move swiftly on…actually I have no idea what “goggins” means either). So, where do you think you fit in, in the world of showbiz?

DR: Well I think there’s an obvious gap in the market for us to play with people’s psyches. I suppose that’s what all these Pop Idol bands do as well to an extent, but in the worst possible way. Now you’ve got all these ludicrous American Rock bands coming through who are just as bad.

AD: Surely you don’t mean the Strokes? They’re great.

DR: No, I like the Strokes. I like that raw sound and I think it owes a lot to the Stooges. I’m talking about these bands who are put together entirely for their own monetary benefit. Bands like the Strokes, Hives and Daft Punk are our saviours really. I just think the kids are bored to tears being told who they should be listening to nowadays.

AD: Finally, if you could have anybody else’s job in the world, whose would it be?

DR: Funny you should ask that, as we were looking through the Guardian earlier on today and there’s an advert in there for the position of Nuclear Weapons Regulator! I’m not convinced that’s one you should be able to advertise publicly really, but there you go, that’s the job I’D want!

And I left the interview feeling sure that he was the correct man for the position. Let’s face it, the first thing he’d blow to smithereens would be bands like Five, Steps and…oh…er..hang on a minute….


Interview and Transcript by Tone E

 

web site

 
 
 
 
 
 

© Copyright 2000/7 Atomicduster - all rights reserved