Lou and Andy and being ‘prolific’…


I couldn’t give a fuck..no, I really couldn’t. People call me prolific but I’m not really. I just got the new MuZiK KluB Cd’s delivered for next months release..number 44. Hang on that’s nearly four years I’ve been doing this; doesn’t make me prolific though, all I’m doing is sharing it…for a price. That price makes it quite unavailable to a lot of people. That’s the way I want it though, you can download for free and I give enough free stuff away in a year too. People have chastised me for this ‘elitist pricing’. I don’t care. If you can’t afford it and don’t want to pay £20 then don’t buy it. BTW. It’s still £20 4 years later so it’s actually dropped in price. Truth is, I steadily sold more so I never needed to put the price up, as my costs went up I covered that cost. That’s art for the people…people!

So what do you do? You get up and go to work and do a job for most of the day? Yep, probably. I do this you know. I start writing songs at about 7AM, in bed. I like to write lyrics first thing in the morning before my mind has been tampered with. I don’t listen to the radio anymore and try and stay away from TV. All that stuff is designed to misinform you, give you a reality that doesn’t exist and keep you in a state of fear. The other day my Missus was watching something called ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ and how we laughed as they told us the rice we had been eating (for thousands of years) is laced with arsenic. Christ, how did I make it this far? Mummy, I’m scared, the rice might kill me.

I love this story about Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, I don’t know if I got it right but it goes something like this… Andy asks Lou how many songs he’s written today and Lou says something like 5 and Andy says: “God, you’re so lazy, go and write me a song, call it Vicious but make it vicious like a Flower.” You get the idea. So how many songs should you write a day? How many can you write a day…if you’re getting paid. How many did Bacharach and David write in a day in the famous Brill building in New York. I met his publisher, he told me, it was an unbelievably high number.

So if I write one song a day, that’s not hard to do is it? Pick up a guitar, write a song with a plectrum, a pen and a piece of paper. That’s 30 songs a month. Shit! Suddenly I’m not so prolific after all, I’ve become a lazy- arse like Lou and the MuZiK KluB is a slacker.

Next months MuZiK KluB is a corker. There’s something about working in three’s. It sort of free’s you up. One to get started, one to get into and one to get bored by. This is part three and it’s the best one and it’s a double CD release again as I’m going to release another CD of unreleased demo’s too. Sorry, just being a slacker.

Tomorrow, according to Victoria Segal at Q Magazine, it’s officially Flamethrower rock day. That’s what she calls our particular brand of music concerning the six by seven Beggars Arkive re-release and Greatest Hits. It’s coming out tomorrow and BBC 6 music are gonna play us on the Breakfast show. Beggars are working hard to get us ‘album of the day’on 6 music, so when you hear us tomorrow, write to them and tell em you love us and it might just happen. Don’t forget, people power is what made this release happen in the first place. People power keeps the MuZiK KluB going. It’s you who are prolific, not me.

I love you all. Power to the people and art for arts sake and money for Gods sake.




    1. Sorry about that Rob. It’s probably cause you don’t get the emails that I get or have to deal with people’s attitudes towards art, commerce and selling music. Just trying to be honest.

  1. It’s basically saying ‘why should I conform to what people think is a standard’ when, in the past, artists were a lot more prolific than the industry would allow them to be. Notice how much stuff comes out after they are dead.

    1. I got the feeling you were kicking against the pricks, but in quite a scatter gun way…
      I know what you do is both ‘work’, and also ‘art’, that sometimes you work within self imposed limits and also (I think) that you try to incorporate a similar work ethic approach to any production worker, with the objective of producing a cd a month…
      People sometimes forget the old adage ‘time is money’, or at least can’t relate it to the time it takes you to produce one of your cd’s from creating the music to posting the finished item out… For me, £20 is an expense, and that’s why I don’t always hit the buy button at the start of the month,
      But I do get it.

      1. I totally understand that because at the end of every month I don’t expect anyone to hit the buy button. I should be allowed to do it without people saying I’m asking too much though. Or should I? I suppose all I can do is have an idea and pursue it and if it works it works, if it doesn’t, I try something else. Let me have the odd rant, it’s not easy. I’ve been frustrated this month reading about how my band was supposedly 20 years ahead of its time and overlooked. I shouldn’t read it I know but I have to because I’m managing the bands affairs. Sometimes I come close to moving on and doing something else with my life because I convince myself that this isn’t working and my middle name should be ‘niche’. Then I have a rant and carry on. One day the day will come when I don’t have a rant and I simply disappear from here. It’s come close so many times but for some reason I carry on. That reason is because there are still just enough people making it possible but let me tell you, it’s borderline and I hate it that people say, ‘you should have been bigger’ or ‘you shouldn’t charge £20’. Why? Imagine being a carpenter or working in IT or whatever and someone keeps telling you that you should have been bigger but then also that some of the chairs you are making are overpriced but you are also giving some away. Sometimes I get fed up too. We had a rehearsal yesterday, everybody is sick to death of reading the same shit, so much so that we are all going to stop reading it. It’s hard to avoid though and people just come up to you and say it in your face anyway and you have to say thanks. Shit, I better stop ranting again.

  2. Hey Chris, bit late to this but hope you read.
    I am glad you’re managing to make it through MuzikKlub but for me it’s not a model that makes me want to hit buy. To start with, I should probably say that I can’t relate to waking up at 7 am with lyrics in my head, simply because that’s not how my mind works, I’m analytical, I’m good at troubleshooting, and it’s actually a puzzle to me as to why I’ve always enjoyed music as I’m really not that creative at all!
    Something came up in my Twitter stream this week, from an author moaning about so many other people wanting to be writers, people that are readers only seem to be rarer breed and are like unicorns! I’m perfectly happy being a unicorn to writers and musicians, and please don’t ignore us unicorns!

    I’ve known band Grails for a while, but it’s only recently that I’ve started digging into Emil Amos’s back catalogue with other bands as well as his solo stuff under the name Holy Sons. He’s another incredibly prolific artist.I’m actually in awe of how prolific guys like he and you can be!
    But he releases probably one solo album a year, even though he’s got 1000+ songs under his belt.
    And I can’t help but draw parallels! ( just got the Optical Sounds zine today, that brought another one, 70s film music, although I think that while you were listening to John Carpenter’s soundtracks, Emil was tracking down soft-porn stuff from that same era 😀 )

    I think you realise you’ve split fans in some ways with MuzikKlub, but I don’t know whether the financial aspect is really what you should focus on . Sometimes I struggle to keep up with new music, and there’s simply no artist I’m going to keep up with with one release a month.

    I hinted at it above, there’s the name thing. That’s probably divided fans more than any marketing models.
    I have to say I also got a little bit annoyed with the recent DiS interview in which you said “Love And Peace And Sympathy is probably a better album than The Closer You Get but no one wants to know about that record.” – I like it very very much, but nah 😉 I can understand why you’d go for the latest LP with proper distribution, and to me musically it fits the Six By Seven mould, but reading the article, it felt a little disrespectful to other guys who were part of the band earlier.

    But I agree it’s sad how 04: was overlooked, and since you mentioned “Always Waiting For” – one of my fav songs too, I really hope you play it in Notts next w-e!
    I think I actually like Left Luggage even better than 04 – anyone who likes Always should love Here Comes the Sun too for a starter. And while it makes sense The Closer You Get didn;t need a remaster , 04 is the one album that would definitely benefit from a new mix, what came out was very much a victim of the ‘loudness wars’ of that time I’m afraid.(I’m probably not using the proper tech terms here. Just load Audacity and open a few songs,any songs, and then anything from 04, you’ll see what I mean.

    Much longer rant that I’d expected, but the gist of it is that I’d rather hear a proper album a year, one I can be confident you feel is your best stuff, rather than so many releases more often than I can keep up with. And you’d make me a very happy girl if “Always Waiting For” is on the setlist next week 🙂

    1. Cool email Flo. If I didn’t do the Muzik KluB there would be nothing, not even a gig or a yearly release because I’d be doing something different with my life. How do you know there isn’t another Here Comes The Sun within the Muzik KluB releases? I need to make money to survive. You have to make art without compromise and making one album every now and then, to make it with the only the best stuff, is that what it’s all about? That’s compromising. It’s only the industry that does that and it’s only a recent thing. The great thing with how I do it is you can have both. You can ignore Muzik KluB and wait for an album. These days you can usually hear the album before having to buy it. Never used to be like that. I would never go back and rework or remaster an album, it’s pointless and I always destroy the tapes / files anyway after release. :04 sounds good with compression because that’s how it was made, it would sound crap without it I think. Just been getting into Grails! Great stuff. If we weren’t playing Always Waiting For… we will now. Thanks Flo.x

      1. Also Flo. Why is it being disrespectful to other band members if I say that I think one album is better than the other? Are you being disrespectful to the mastering engineer of 04 by saying it needs remastering? I don’t think so, it’s your opinion. Can’t I say I prefer or think something is better? Saying your football team played better last week than this week, is that being disrespectful to the players and manager? I don’t get why you would be annoyed by me saying that?

        Also, ask yourself this: what is an album? Why is it an album? Where does it come from? How can I make an album of the best songs? Who decides that? How many songs? Why?

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