Saturday, September 5, 2009

Those Factors Behind

Something I got asked by a close friend a few nights ago was why I am doing everything that I do. Neeedless to say, it's a question I have addressed myself plenty of the times over the years too, but it's one that rarely comes from either anybody around me or from somebody who may actually give a fuck about my response. The stock answer to the latter, although partly cemented in truth, is that I do everything to ultimately please myself. And by this I don't simply mean that all the music I either put my name to or help to realise exists solely for the purpose of pleasing me. Without wishing to bore you with all of the details behind a release, I do honestly personally enjoy the whole process of seeing something through from beginning to end, and playing a creative part in it. When I released all these singles back in the '90s, for example, I truly felt like I was a real part of them through my physically assembling them to order. Not only did I print the covers and inserts myself but I'd also spend hours sweating it out putting everything together before attending to the orders and promos and suchlike. The satisfaction from this has never waned since, regardless of how inconvenient things may be when weighed next to all of those other huge demands life throws our way. Yes, spending time slaving over a few orders with old jiffy bags and parcel tape may not be 'fun', but I do derive a certain modicum of pleasure in getting these same said packages sent out to people who may well then, in turn, appreciate them. A simple pleasure, perhaps, but enhanced much further by my being active in the previous proceedings.

Returning to the original question, however, and answering it without the need for those crutches afforded by being physically involved, I'd say that I'm very much interested in relationships. With Theme, the group I'm presently involved in with Stuart Carter, this concern is draped in metaphor and allegory (at least for me, in my writing...Stuart may well derive something completely different from what we do). I'm interested in those bridges between the subjective and the objective, the 'artist' and the listener, the areas I'm exploring and their 'context' or 'meaning' and their perception, and so on. With my labels, I'm essentially interested in the same thing. Relationships, in this instance, between artists I feel are doing something interesting and people who may be interested in their work. Once more, there are a number of levels attached to this, though. And, of course, I'm pleasing myself along the way.

Next time somebody asks me why I am doing everything I do, whether music, releasing records or (occasionally) writing, I have a new stock answer. It all boils down to relationships. And I firmly believe this is what I have strived for since first publishing my Grim Humour fanzine in 1983. I don't care so much about noumena or phenomena. I am far more interested in those areas that join them...

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