Interview from Kate Simpson – Modern Muse (Feb ’07)
KS: I’ve just finishing listening to Carpet Bomb, interesting title and artwork, what was the idea behind this?
JW: I guess it’s an interesting contrast of words, an oxymoron maybe. I’ve later learned it was a term for targeted flatulence, but it wasn’t enough to make me change it. Plus the artwork had already been done
KS: The first track Fear Your Gods seems to touch on lots of themes, is it meant to be anti-war or anti-religion?
JW: Actually none of those. It lots of stuff. Mostly about mindless consumption of anything, our need to find some purpose in our lives with a bizarre mix of religion, plasma televisions and SUV’s. I’m sorry, getting a bit heavy. Excuse me. I think that’s what it’s about.
KS: Do you write on your own and bring completed songs to the band or is it more a collaborative effort?
JW: I generally have the basic structure and arrangement, then bring it rehearsal, where it gets greatly improved. Or there is ” yeah it’s OK, maybe not one of your better ones”, which of course is a euphemism for “that’s crap”.
KS: Happy is a fun song, is this written from personal experience?
JW: This is pretty much about medication to make you feel emotionally better, and how treatment sometimes comes down to economics.
KS: Do you think one day you will shock your fellow band members and write an uplifting love song? Something cheery maybe?
JW: What do you mean? Fly is an uplifting song. OK, it may have started out as a song about someone contemplating jumping off a building but then it becomes inspirational uplifting anthem I think.
KS: I must have missed that one
JW: It’s track ten.
KS: OK I lied; I thought I got to the end. The track Car Crash, I wondered if you are trying to say a bit more than the obvious with this song? I did like the Fender Rhodes in this one. It’s creepy.
JW: Car Crash is pretty much straightforward. It always strikes me how humans have the tendency to derive some primal satisfaction out of other people’s misfortune. And this is worked in with themes of comfort in the arms of strangers some how. Maybe a bit ambitious. Does it work like that for you?
KS: Um, it made me drive a bit slower.
KS: How long did it take to record the album, it sort of feels as though it was recorded over a period of time?
JW: Correct, it ended up taking about three years, and was recorded in various studios. It took a bit longer as I wasn’t really happy with a couple of tracks, so they were replaced with new ones.
KS: Track eight, Sunshine sounds like a throw away sing-along but then some of the lyrics seem a bit out of place?
JW: The idea with this one was to create a lightweight almost surf inspired sixties style song with just a hint of sarcasm. In Australia, overseas issues are pretty much off the radar for a lot of the population. In particular, the apathy towards the war in Iraq is pretty disturbing. Actually, I don’t think I’ve been too successful with the hidden message. Anyway, it’s a nice sing-along!
KS: How will you approach the troubled “second album”?.
JW: I might just see how the first one goes.