2017 was a full year here in Bristol. Around work and living, I conducted 140 interviews, with 125 individuals to create what I hope is a fitting testimony to one of the three bands I consider the ur-text and Holy Trinity at the root of my current tastes and musical interests: SWANS.
The book comes out on Jawbone Press on June 26 in U.S./U.K. (though, of course, can be ordered internationally from any decent bookseller.)
I think it often looks like an odd hobby to possess. One way to describe it is that I find it genuinely enthralling hearing other people’s stories and I enjoy conversation – so spending my nights/weekends listening…It’s fun! The challenge comes more from transcription: one hour interview equals two hours transcription, two hours interview equals four hours transcription – at one point Jarboe joined me on the phone for a gloriously enjoyable five hours, awesome (ordinarily I would rein things in at two hours out of simple courtesy: a desire not to treat people like fruit in a vice.) The usual desk-bound challenges arise: persistent back issues (six months of visiting an osteopath in amidst it all), repetitive strains in wrists and hands from typing, sore eyes from staring into laptops until well into the night, sore head and dietary over-consumption from simple tiredness…What makes up for it is the human communication of energy: there’s something transferred – excitement, enthusiasm, enlightenment – when an individual grants you an insight into their world and times. I would come off the phone line buzzed. I’m hoping that enthusiasm comes through in the final work and words.