Sunday, February 12, 2012

5 Minutes With David J

David J, is a British alternative rock musician. As well as being an accomplished solo musician he was the bassist for the gothic rock band Bauhaus and Love and Rockets. He has also appeared on releases by Porno for Pyros and Jane's Addiction.

Q1. What was the first record that you owned that really had a life changing effect on you?

DJ : T Rex - 'Hot Love'. It came out in 1971 when I was 14 and hit me like a lightening bolt. I was in a hospital ward when I first heard it on the radio. I had a badly broken leg and torn cartilage, the result of a vicious two legged flying tackle in a soccer match. That music made the pain go away. The effect was only intensified when I saw Marc Bolan and his band on Top Of The Pops. From that moment on I was obsessed!

David J "Candy on the Cross"

Q2. You describe 'Not Long For This World' as an ‘accidental concept’ album about the Grim Reaper. You raised funds to finish this project via Kickstarter (over one and a half times the original goal). I loved the ‘pitch’ video you made for this-do you think the online community has created a viable future for funding all creative endeavors in this way?

DJ : Yes. People really like the sense of involvement and personal contact that results from that kind of patronage.
It also encourages the artists to be creative in the way that they garner that support. We're all in this together, let's make magic happen!

Q3. The album has a very ‘filmic’ quality and lyrically contains a lot of dark humor, particularly ‘Dress Sexy At My Funeral’. When did you start piecing together these songs into a concept and could you see this being turned into a film narrative?

DJ : The genesis for the album was a two night stand that I played at a wonderful little subterranean theater called The Cavern in LA.
I came up with the idea of having a theme for the shows which was 'Bouquets, Wreaths and Laurels' ( The title of an old song of mine ) The set was divided into three sections. 'Bouquets': Love songs, 'Wreaths': Death songs and 'Laurels': Songs of glory. Following the shows I recorded some of the death songs and gradually realized that I had a little concept album on my hands. ( The Cavern shows were filmed and a DVD will be released later in the year. )

I know what you mean about the album being 'filmic' but I would prefer that those movies just play in the listener's imagination.

David J. and Rene Halkett - Nothing

Q4. The limited pieces of original art hand-made art that you created to commemorate tracks of the album are fantastic. What is the medium that you created them in and have you always had a parallel life as a visual artist?

DJ : They are basically collage pieces based around a kind of painted rorschach. I did them all at the same time. Moving from one piece to another. They were created very quickly. In a couple of days. Yes, I've always made visual art. Until music took over ( Hello Marc! ) I wanted to be a painter.

Bauhaus - Ziggy Stardust : Old Grey Whistle Test.

Q5. I met you in the tiny dressing room of a very sweaty club in Leeds in late summer 1980, with your cohorts in your first band (and you were all very friendly towards me, despite possible post gig dehydration). At that time did you imagine that a long career of creativity lay ahead of you and what advice would the David J of today give to your younger self if you could beam back in time?

DJ : From as far back as I can remember I knew that I would be some kind of artist.

I would tap that rather intense young chap on the shoulder and advise him to loosen up and not sweat the small stuff.

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