Monday, January 16, 2012

Pheaturing Johny Brown From Band of Holy Joy

Hello, welcome to a Monday entry of the Phile, and Happy Martin Luther King Day. Do people really say that?  People are still talking about the New Hampshire primary election that took place. New Hampshire voters gathered to decide which middle-aged white guy looked best in a pair of pleated Dockers. The New Hampshire primary is a tough one for the candidates who don't do well because this is the night when many of them realize, “I served all those people pancakes for nothing.” Newt Gingrich thinks he's the man for the job. He got an important endorsement from Sarah Palin's husband, Todd. He has the all-important “snowmobilers who wear sunglasses indoors” demographic.  After Iowa and New Hampshire, Mitt Romney is now two-for-two. After his performance last night, Rick Perry’s campaign merchandise is now two-for-one.  While campaigning the other day, Jon Huntsman said he was “ready to rock and roll.” Not to be outdone, Mitt Romney said he was ready to “easy listen.”  Did you hear about this? There’s a TV where you change the channel by talking. I’m not sure it works. When I yelled “Shit!” during a football game, the TV put on “Jersey Shore.” Beyoncé and Jay-Z were spotted left the hospital with their brand new baby. And get this... Beyoncé says they may even start working on their next child. Or as they call it, “the remix.”  There’s talk that MySpace is planning to launch its own Web TV service. And if you think that’s exciting, then you must work for MySpace.  A new study found that last year, America’s obesity rate actually went down. Yeah, the study was conducted by that one researcher: guy who hasn’t been to the mall in a year. I feel sorry for that guy, I love the mall.  So, Tebow lost on Saturday and thousands of Broncos fans were upset. Then he did something that made thousands of women upset. Take a look.

Alright, at the Disney park where I work at, Disney's Hollywood Studios we have a parade called Pixar's Countdown to Fun and there's one character in that parade that fascinates me everyday. It's Boo from Monsters Inc. Take a look at it and I'll explain.

It's a person in a costume that is a person in a costume. Weird, right? Okay, it's Martin Luther King Day and I am so happy there's an MLK inspirational poster out there. 

Actually, that might not be a bad thing. Okay, moving on... So, thousand of years ago Mayans predicted the world will end this year in 2012. Those Mayans were pretty smart, and said some crazy things that kinda made sense. Well, I found a modern day Mayan who will give us some insight and a thought of the day. So, please welcome to the Phile... 

This is so stupid. I don't know if he looks like Iggy Pop, or someone at a Grateful Dead concert. Anyway, Marvin, give us some Mayan talk.

Marvin the Modern Day Mayan: Nya b’a’n tu’n tchub’ key toj b’e, ku’n nlay ch’iyl twey.

Me: What the hell does that mean? In English, please?

Marvin the Modern Day Mayan: It’s not good that you sit on the road because you will no longer grow.

Me: Thanks, Marvin. Marvin the Modern Day Mayan everybody. 

And now from the home office in Phulfortha City, New York, here is this week's...

Peverett Phile Top 10 List List?! What the hell? I'll fix that. Why didn't anybody correct me on this last time?

That's better. Okay, the catergory for this week is...
Top Ten Signs The Economy Is Improving
10. Indian Chief and Construction Worker finally leave YMCA. 
9. The bank executives and U.S. Marshals who show up to evict you from your home are all driving new cards. 
8. CEOs are playing regular golf instead of mini-golf. 
7. The 99% has now become the 98.93852869136937%. 
6. Average new worker at McDonald's now has just a bachelor's degree, not an MBA. 
5. Gallagher is using those big watermelons again. 
4. Average American now only needs three jobs to make ends meet. 
3. The only sector experiencing net job losses is Republican presidential candidates
2. Matt Damon bought a zoo. 
And the number one sign the economy is improving...
1. Fox News says it isn't. 

The 10th artist to be pheatured in The Peverett Phile Art Gallery is Thomas "Teeg" Ketchen and this is one of his pieces.

Thomas will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer for the band Band of Holy Joy formed in New Cross, London. They have a new album out called "How To Kill A Butterfly". They will be next appearing at The Social in London, England on February 24th. Why can't they be playing at The Social in Orlando? Anyway, please welcome to the Phile... Johny Brown.

Me: Hello, sir, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Johny: Good, very good, sat listening to the football on the radio. Newcastle United FC. Hatem Ben Arfa, has just scored a wonder goal.

Me: Okay, you guys are The Band of Holy Joy, and then changed to Holy Joy, and now you're back to The Band of Holy Joy, am I right?

Johny: Band of Holy Joy It is now!

Me: Where did the band name originally come from, and why did you change it?

Johny: We stole a bass drum from the rehearsal hall of a temperance society somewhere in the back end of town. The bass drum had the name The Band of Holy Joy embossed on the skin in the front of the drum so we kept the name for ourselves too. I don't know who's idea it was to shorten the name but it wasn't mine, It was a pretty stupid idea thinking about it now, I'm glad it's back to Band of Holy Joy

Me: I have to compliment you, the design and CD case for the new album "How To Kill A Butterfly" is the best I've seen in ages. Thanks for sending me a copy, guys. It's cool when bands send me stuff. Normally I have to buyt their music off from iTunes. Anyway, who came up with the whole design and who did the artwork?

Johny: Inga Tillere who does all our visuals designed and put together the artwork. The photos were taken by her father Janis Tillere.

Me: Has all your stuff been released so beautifully like this? It's not in a usual CD case, it looks more like a DVD size. It's great.

Johny: Thank you! I still like buying CD's and I feel it's a bit of a discredited art form. I think it's really important to put something beautiful together still. It's got that paperback book vibe. I mean, an MP3 its just not a tangible thing is it. The glass of Madeira port I'm drinking right now mind, definitely IS tangible

Me: Alright, you guys had a lot of band members over the years, right? Who is currently in the band now?

Johny: Aye, too many probably! Been straight for quite a while now though Andy Astle on guitar, Chris Brierley on violin, Bill Lewington on the drums, Inga Tillere on visuals, James S. Finn on bass and electronic things and myself Johny Brown on vocals, it's been this way for a good five years now, and I think its the most settled and best we've ever been. Newcastle have just won it in the last minute of extra time. Guitereizz lofted one into the top corner. Get in.

Me: I know the band originally broke up in 1993, but when did the band first form?

Johny: You're talking to veterans here, Jay, 1984. We've put good time in.

Me: What caused the break up and how did you all get back together again?

Johny: Hold on, just got to ring my father and talk about the match - result - back in a moment... Aye, I'm not sure what caused the break up first time around, Jay, drink, drugs, ego, treachery, ambition... all that young afflicted band as soap opera shit I guess, and burn out from just touring all the time, and ideas running out and all that. It was love of the music that brought it back, and a much better understanding of drink and drugs and ego...

Me: You're guys are based in England, right? What part? I used to live in London and Oxford. I was actually born in Balham.

Johny: I know Balham really well, I lived in west Norwood for a while when I first moved to London. I've got some good pals in Oxford. The Cowley Road, mad little road full of rastas and reggae clubs that is. Where you living now, Jay?

Me: I am living in Florida. Are you all from England? Isn't Charing Cross where Carter USM from that part as well?

Johny: Inga is from Latvia, a town called Ogre. The rest of us are all English. Bill is pure cockney, I'm a geordie. Carter are kind of Brixton, I think Jim Bob is from Crystal Palace. It is New Cross Gate, you are thinking of. Where I lived for a long while, and where Band of Holy Joy was formed.

Me: When I lived in England I used to love "The South Bank Show", Johny. Tell the readers of the Phile what the show is. It is still on in England, right?

Johny: It's a popular culture show, which started out pretty high end and serious, and gave very devoted appraisals to the cutting edge artists, writers and musicians of the day, I guess we'd be talking Steven Berkoff, David Bowie, Brian Eno, David Hockney that kind of dude, and Melvym Bragg was this really smooth erudite cat. It was always a highbrow but populist show which entertained but always educated you. And I know to make it on there gave you a great credibility. It was a hip and long running show. And then they featured the Darkness on there...
And everything changed

Me: I remember Melvyn Bragg.

Johny: Melvyn's the cat, a smooth talking Lancastrian.

Me: Anyway, I am asking you about the show because didn't "The South Bank Show" do a whole episode on The Band of Holy Joy?

Johny: Ha, no, we've never been that credible, we got this inferior version of the show hanging on our arses, it was called "South of Watford" and was presented by some guy called Hugh Laurie

Me: How did that come about? I mean, the show featured musicians like Clapton and McCartney and people like Gene Hackman and Sir Laurence Olivier. How did you guys get your own episode?

Johny: Clapton, McCartney, we shit em!

Me: When were you on that show? I moved to Florida in 1984 so might've missed it. You were on that show, right? Otherwise I just wasted 5 questions. LOL.

Johny: What part of Florida you in, Jay? I've got some good mates out there.

Me: By Clermont, just outside Orlando. You guys finally toured America in 2008, what too you guys so long to get here?

Johny: I don't know, money I guess. I love America, and have been to New York loads, doing press for the band, DJing, hanging out, I love the place, I think cos there was so many of us we just never made it out until then. Thank God we got there though. Had a great time. We're kind of planning a West Coast tour next year, Seattle, Tacoma, San Fran etc... really, really hope it comes off.

Me: Also, you recently played the Glastonbury Music Festival. How was that experience? Was that the biggest show you guys ever did?

Johny: Glastonbury was alright... bit boring to tell the truth... it's a bit of a supermarket consumer experience... it's certainly no Burning Man or Green Man even... It's full of straight fuckers who normally you'd do anything to avoid. I will put good money on Take That being the headliners next year, I like these hardcore free festivals in Europe that go on for ten days and anything, anything, anything goes.

Me: What has been your favorite show you played?

Played a show in Vilnius Lithuania once, where we'd helped them gain liberation from the Russians, and for a while we were real folk heroes, got to play their opera house, and had many crying women children and men in the audience. That was a good show.

Me: You also played Greece a lot, I believe. Not many bands I interviewed have played there I don't think. Is Holy Joy big in Greece?

Johny: Yes. Greece loves the Joy and the Joy loves Greece. What a place man, they all smoke in the bars and cafe's and clubs still, and the clubs don't start til midnight, and the men and the women are beautiful and the drink just flows and anarchy is always just around the corner and you can kind of feel the old order crumbling and a new world pouring through the cracks. The place is alive. I love it there. Love the people. There is some great music being made in Thessaloniki right now, bands like Minor Mine, New Battles, Your Hand in Mine, and a great electronic artist called Spyweirdos

Me: Alright, let's talk about your new album that I mentioned, "How To Kill A Butterfly". That's a great album, guys. Where did the name come from?

Johny: Thank you. The name is culled from the pages of a book called "The Observers Book of Butterflies" you must know it from your early days in England, Jay, there was a whole series of them. Inga was going to use this chapter headline for an art show she was doing and I said no, we're having that, we MUST have that for the next album title. It just fitted so well with the themes of the songs on there, most of them being about nature, and fragility and cruelty and hope and what have you...

Me: Have you ever killed a butterfly for real? I have I have to admit.

Johny: Ah, but I bet that was back in your youth. Jay. I too admit to a few incidents of creature cruelty back in the day.

Me: No, it was about ten years ago. Anyway, most of the songs on it have such long titles... like for example, "Between a Nightingales Song and Now", "Sadness Ignorance and Longing" and my favorite "A Clear Night, a Shooting Star, a Song for Boo". Who comes up with such song titles?

Johny: I'm guilty of those too.

Me: And who is Boo?

Johny: Boo is one of my best friends, she is a practitioner of alternative medicines, a really good one, a visionary, who almost changed the way our NHS thought and operated. She really came down with a severe case of cancer which she has battled all the way. The song is for her, a hymn and a general declaration of love.

Me: I really enjoyed the whole album. Who does the song writing? I am betting it's a real group effort.

Johny: I'm the lryic man. The rest of the band collaborate on the music. They've all got different tastes and styles to bring. Chris is from a classical and film soundtrack background, Andy from a real rock heritage, James is like young art house, Bill is pure punk and Northern Soul, Inga is disco and electronic. Basically I love all that shit and more. I love my hip hop, listening to a geordie hip hop band right now called Dialect. Great stuff and listening to some Rembettika too which is the Greek music of the thieves the pimps the drug dealers and the whores. Music is till the best. And no one beats the Stooges.

Me: You guys have been compared to Pogues and Dexy's Midnight Runners... but I cannot hear that. Who do you compare your music to?

Johny: I can't for the life of me hear it either, and I'm not too enamoured of it n'all , lazy fucking journalism, someone posted it on Wikkipedia and it stuck. And do you see that Last.FM... the bands that we get compared too on there! Totally, totally not us... Man, once you get branded on these places that's it! E-music! Have you seen who we are compared to on their site. Fucking sucks! And try to get through to them and get them to change it. No way pal! I'm not sure who our influences are exactly. We get together once a week and make sound and somehow it works. I tell you who influences me though, a Scottish actor called Tam Dean Burn, Bela Tarr films, that great series called the Wire, and a radio station over here in London

Me: I read your influences are also Jacques Brel and Bertolt Brecht... I have no idea who those guys are. I take it they are French though.

Johny: Brel was Belgian but lived in Paris, the French still love and cherish him and you can hear him on most jukeboxes when you walk into a Parisian cafe. Parisian cafe's are great places too, go into any one of those at a lunch time and everyone is having a crafty glass of wine or a quick beer and really taking their time over these huge plates of food. I love it. Cheap as chips too... London it's a snatched crappy sandwich from like Pret a Mingey and an overpriced coffee that makes your head rattle. Like total uncivilisation. Brecht was German but decamped to Los Angeles I think.

Me: I have to mention this... you have a radio show called Radio Joy. Is that on the internet ir a real radio station?

Johny: We have two shows. One called Mining For Gold which goes out every Friday night at 11-30 on that's been running ten years now. And another called Radio Joy at which used to transmit through the Holy Joy website on a Sunday, but someone stole some vital equipment from the roof and we have ceased broadcasting for a while

Me: On Radio Joy, what kinda music do you play or is it talk radio?

Johny: Soundscapes mainly. But also music we love. And we do lots of shows where we have writers that we know write stories specially and we put music to the stories. Try and put the listener into another world and disorientate the senses a bit. Anti-radio almost.

Me: Johny, thanks so much for being on the Phile, and when your next release comes out, please come back. Do you have a website or anything you'd like to plug?

Johny: Jay, thanks for having us on the Phile, well appreciated. We'll definitely keep you up to speed. Check out a band called The Tramadols, and also can I recommend The Bitter Springs, you can catch us at these two places. and

Me: All the best, and don't break up again. You guys are way to good. Okay?

Johny: Thank you. Go good, Jay, all the best.

Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Johny for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with Florida singer Kathleen Taylor and then on Sunday it's blues guitarist Buddy Whittington. And then on Monday it's musician Ian Narcisi. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

No comments: