5:02 PM GMT 17/05/2013
Today The Fall release Ersatz G.B. - possibly their twenty-eighth album. It's prime stuff, blending astringent rhythm and riff with the kind of shrapnel and depth charges for the mind that Fall watchers demand. Here Fall autocrat Mark E Smith, keyboardist Elena Poulou and guitarist Pete Greenway chew over longevity, the internet and getting the job done.
MOJO: Ersatz G.B. is here...
Mark E Smith: I'm very pleased with it. It fits. The title? It's just summat I thought of. I tell you what, though, I did a load of vocals in that place called Toe Rag [Liam Watson's studio in Hackney]. In the middle of bloody nowhere. F**king hell. They've all this old '50s shit there, you have to wait for it to warm up. It's crackers, like Joe Meek s**t, but for real!
It was partially recorded at the Funkhaus in Berlin - home of the old East German state broadcaster...
Elena Poulou: The three boys (Kieron Melling (drums), Pete Greenway (guitar) and Dave Spurr (bass) went there - it's probably the only purpose-built massive studio in Germany. Then we went to Metropolis in London. I did a lot of keyboard layers on this one, in an atmospheric, melodic way. I tried to keep it simple and not use anything digital, but analogue instead. I've had my keyboard since I was 15 and I still find new sounds, whereas on modern keyboards the sounds are all very much preset.
What's this song Greenway? Is it about Pete?
Pete Greenway: It's kind of about me. Mark's got this character of what Greenway should be. He's sort of a gangster type who doesn't take any shit and that's the way he would like my reputation to be, really - a nasty guy. And he must have a CD player in his hotel room... Quite far from the truth, to be honest, but it always makes us laugh when we play it live.
You're not keen on the internet, are you Mark?
MES: I can never understand computers. It's a very middle-class thing. People put all their fucking financial details bleeding (*tone of withering contempt*) online and then they f**king moan about it. It's like leaving your fucking chequebook in the street, signed... and it's the same with porta-phones. It's like Tweeter. Why have these people got the time to f**king talk on these things?! It is funny though. You always thought people are daft but you give 'em the benefit of the doubt, but they are as f**king daft as you thought.
And always there are live dates...
MES: Seem to be doing alright, touch wood. Of course, all the groups are coming out of the woodwork. They've all got to play now 'cos of downloading! I blame U2 and all them f**kers, going, (*adopts hyper-reasonable, positive voice*) 'Oh yeah, music's for everybody, for nothing.' Cheeky bastards.
Interview by: Ian Harrison
Ersatz G.B. is out now on Cherry Red and is reviewed in the current issue of MOJO. The Fall are touring the UK now.
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 2:56 PM GMT 14/11/2011