Wire on WikiLeaks and not fitting in


Written by Joe Gamp
13 Monday 13th December 2010

They played their instruments better than any member of The Damned, and because of their unabashed difference, were loathed by their peers. But hey, 25 years on from Pink Flag – to this day Wire are doing their own thing, pushing the envelope with every release and packing out every show they play – its official that the other bands got it wrong there. Wire are still creating wearingly truthful, artistically minded music that spans all manners of the weird and wonderful. Most recently their new album, Red Barked Tree.

Possibly pulled apart by the rock/art press countless times, their music and lives analyzed repeatedly, DP decides to go in with some ‘light-hearted banter’:

You’re about to release your umpteenth slice of art-infused noise,  Red Barked Tree. Should people listen to music just for music’s sake? Does the circumstantial stuff matter?

Colin: “Fuck the album’s leaked!” (slams down the phone)“We were at a young age when the 60’s boom happened…the Beatles broke up when I was at school but I didn’t have a fucking clue what they were speaking about, I just liked the music”

Graham: “It’s a bizarre concept to think about where things come from. All I had was a transistor radio. I could pick up 6 pirate stations – it was the first time I heard all this Hendrix and that, it came from the sky! I had no idea what it all meant, but I wanted it to do it again! You associate music with art rather than commerce; emotional connections are what people are motivated by to find out more. That’s the basis of our music.”

For me, things became more important in wider contexts as I grew up. You were described as being idiosyncratic during the punk-era and were despised for it. Surely that’s more punk than anything.

Colin: “You could have argued that for sure. There was just loads of sped-up pub rock. It was shit”

Graham: “If we’re idiosyncratic, where’s the rest of ‘em? I think we’re pretty ‘normal’ in our approach to our work. We were interested in normal stuff then and we are now. The thing that joins the two is change, just like us, naturally. It’s idiosyncratic to be exactly the same and not move forward I think.”

With change in mind, what are your opinions on the current WikiLeaks revelation? Are we moving ‘forward’?

Colin: “Some of it’s good, some is bad but we wont know the consequences until they happen. We live in such uncertainty – you’re not gonna get your fees paid for if you vote Lib Dem. Their voters didn’t know they were voting Tory! The same thing here really; I doubt he could have read ALL those cables.”

Graham: “The conversation between my friends is  - “is this guy a rapist or not?” That’s what everyone’s interested in. Its about emotions again – ‘what do we think of this guy and why is he doing this?’ – if we had the answers to this, it would answer the others too. Sometimes people know the answers but they should just shut the fuck up. His emotional connection is the most interesting thing, and what will happen to him.”

Colin: “If he had dished dirt on Putin, he’d be dead already!” (Raucous laughter).

Red Barked Tree is out January 11

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