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IN THROUGH THE BACK DOOR WITH GARETH SAGER BY LEE 14/06/09

Gareth Sager, luminary of the blisteringly influential bands The Pop Group and Rip Rig & Panic, has just released his latest solo album, “Slack Slack Music” on Creeping Bent Records – featuring drummer Ian Holford and guest vocalist Davy Henderson, both formerly of the Nectarine No 9, a phenomenal band who never quite got the recognition they deserved, and who Gareth was briefly involved with.

The album is a solid mass of raw grit – oozing with energy and aggression.

The interview incorporates Gareth’s unusual style of email – which somehow lures the reader into the crux of what he’s on about. Later on he unfortunately puts paid to rest hopes that were raised just a couple of months ago.....

Lee - “ Slack Slack Music" is a much more lo-fi, grungey production than "The Last Second Of Normal Time". What were the inspirations behind this new album, and how long did the process of creating the album take?
 
Gareth  - AMUSINGLY....SLACK SLACK...WAS RECORDED...IN..A MUCH...MORE,,HI-FI ...STUDIO...THAN LAST   SECOND OF NORMAL TIME..

I  WANTED,,,TO MAKE...AN ALBUM...THAT HAD AN ENERGY...YOU...NEVER..HEAR...FROM...ANYONE PAST THEIR TWENTY FIRST YEAR

..APART FROM  MAYBE IN IMPROVISED JAZZ......AND IN IAN HOLFORD....I HAD FOUND...A DRUMMER WHO WAS..UP TO THE JOB...

AS THEY SAY.....THE MUSIC RIDES ON THE HORSE ..THAT IT..BEATS,,

IT   ACTUALLY...TOOK...A LONG TIME...AS I...WAS RECORDING..IN DEAD...TIME.......SO ..MONTHS..AND MONTHS..WOULD ...GO BY BETWEEN SESSIONS.........BUT.. IM .REALLY..PLEASED WITH,,,,IT 

I  FINALLY CAUGHT SOMETHING IVE BEEN AFTER  FOREVER....[FIRST OUT THE BLOCKS ...DONT STOP TIL YOU DROP.. STUFF]  .....WITH THE HELP..OF THE PRODUCER...HOWARD GREY.

Lee - Will you be featuring the Nectarine No 9 members as part of your live show?

Gareth  - YEA ....IAN...IS TOTALLY..ESSENTIAL....TO THE WHOLE...THING.....HIS TWO STICKS...OF DYNAMITE..IGNITE..THE WHOLE..THING

AND LIVE,,ON BASS,,,,WE ARE PLAYING WITH..DAN CONNELLY..WHO..HAS WORKED WITH...NN9....
 
Lee - You seem much more confident of pushing your vocals to the forefront with this album. Has anything or anyone been specific in this shift of emphasis?
 
Gareth  - THIS  IS TRUE..!!.... I WAS IN   BALI,, ,..AND I STARTED SINGING... WITH   ..THE HOUSE..BAND AT THE HOTEL I WAS STAYING AT....

[THEY WERE KOREAN.]...AND   I JUST THOUGHT IM GOING TO DO THIS ON MY NEXT WORK....SO THANKS TO THEM....

Lee - When you played live with the Nectarine No 9, you always positioned yourself onstage so that the audience wouldn't see your face. Was this to play down your involvement in the band as a renowned post-punk guitarist?
 
Gareth  - IT WAS  ...GREAT.. TO PLAY WITH..THE NN9.....BUT I AM AN  OLD SCHOOL GREASEPAINT FOOL...AND IF..I GET IN THE LIMELIGHT...I WANT TO START DANCING..AND TAKING...OVER THE SHOW....AND THE NN9,,,,WERE A TIGHT,,FAMILY,,,AND I WAS,,THE CRAZY,,,UNCLE,,THEY INVITED TO THE PARTY,,,AS LONG..AS

HE PROMISES NOT TO,,,, EMBARRASS THE FAMILY TOO MUCH....

Lee - Did you originally have Davy Henderson in mind whilst writing "Her Saucepan Is Rouge", "Dollar Hungry" and "Not Since The Accident"? What special qualities does he bring to the tracks? 

Gareth  - I HAVE BEEN TALKING WITH DAVY  ABOUT  HIM SINGING SOME OF MY SONGS FOR   A LONG TIME....BUT   I ALWAYS THOUGHT..IT WOULD,,,,BE ..MY MORE MELODIC...MOODY STUFF.......BUT  I DID THIS BUNCH ...OF SUPER  SOLAR ENERGY SONGS...AND KNEW..A WHOLE ALBUM ..OF MY VOICE WOULD BE TOO MUCH..

...I ALWAYS LIKE...VARIETY...OF SINGERS ..ON ALBUMS...I DID IT IN RIP RIG..THERE WAS ME ..NEHEH...ARI UP. AND ...ANDI OLIVER..

[ MASSIVE ATTACK  DID IT ALOT MORE SUCCESSFULLY THAN ME,,,MIND]......

 .I JUST THOUGHT HE WOULD BE GOOD ON THOSE ONES...AND SO HE IS !!

Lee - The Pop Group and Rip Rig & Panic left musical legacies that are still being explored today. Do you feel yourself taking ideas back from some of the acts inspired by your earlier works?

Gareth  - I JUST DO WHAT I DO.. ..
 
Lee - At the "On/Off" documentary premiere, Mark Stewart announced that he had spoken with you about future Pop Group festival appearances. How are these progressing? Will these feature all the original band members? Will there be new Pop Group material?
 
Gareth  - I   DONT...REALLY...THINK...IM VERY KEEN...ON DOING....ANYMORE,,,POP GROUP STUFF.....I MEET WITH BRUCE SMITH [THE DRUMMER....IN NEW YORK  LAST...YEAR...TO DISCUSS IT....IT SEEMED A BIT DESPERATE....I CANT SEE IT BEING MUCH FUN..
 
Lee - You featured heavily in the documentary - did you have any reservations about the past being recounted so extensively?
 
Gareth  - THE DIRECTOR....OF THE DOCU...SOLD..IT TO ME THAT IT WAS..A POP GROUP DOCU...THAT MOVES THROUGH..TO MARKS..CAREER.....AFTERWARDS.....

...BUT THE...GUY IS MARKS..MATE......AND IT JUST BECOME THE ..MARK ..STEWART...SHOW....

...VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE...TO DO WITH THE POP GROUP..DIDNT WANT TO BE INTERVEIWED.[DICK O' DELL....GEOFF TRAVIS]..AS MARK HAS PISSED THEM OFF IN THE PAST....

......SO YEAH I....DONT THINK IT TELLS THE STORY VERY WELL......

Lee - What are your current musical recommendations?
 
Gareth  - YEAH I JUST RECORDED....A SOLO PIANO ALBUM...AT ....ABBEY ROAD...!!!!..IN THROUGH THE BACK DOOR OF COURSE....
 
Lee - Anything to add?

Gareth  - IM SURE ..I WOULD..HAVE TALKED A... LOAD.... MORE SHIT...IF ...IT...HAD....A PHONE INTERVIEW......

At the time of writing live dates are still to be announced, but further info can be obtained from http://www.myspace.com/garethsager

Thanks to Gareth for agreeing to participate with Mudkiss.

Lee McFadden 14/06/09