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Old 07.17.2008, 10:36 PM   #1
Chris Lawrence
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Howdy folks, was unpacking ancient boxes of shit and came across this zine, "Filler!" #7 from December 1997. It has a brief little interview w/ Steve in it, and a quick Google search turned up no transcript of it, so.. back in the box it goes! Ha! Ha! Just kidding. Pretty funny eh? ...yes. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this riveting interview jam-packed with all kinds of outdated information.

--

It's been a couple of years since Sonic Youth's Washing Machine and their appearance headlining Lollapalooza. In the intervening years, the gross commercialization of what passes for most "alternative" music has given much of contemporary rock music a black eye, and the influential New York quartet has been conscipuous by its absence. Until these past few months...

With the release of a pair of improvisational instrumental EPs under the imprint of their own new label SYR, Sonic Youth has once again demonstrated a single-minded determination to do its own thing. Recorded by Wharton Tiers at Steve's House of Soul (the band's new 16-track studio), the new recordings provide a blueprint for what to expect on their new Geffen album Hits of Sunshine, which should hit the racks early next Spring. And with another pair of EPs in the can and ready for release, it looks like it'll be a busy and exciting year for both the band and their legion of fans.

Particularly industrious has been drummer Steve Shelley. When he's not keeping time for Sonic Youth, he's moonlighting with Two Dollar Guitar and Cat Power. He's also busy running his own record label Smells Like Records, which has proved to be more than just a hobby or boutique item. Along with Scat and Flying Nun, Smells Like has quickly become one of my favorite labels, demanding a listen to every single release, which so far has practically guaranteed quality. Besides past releases by Blonde Redhead, Dump and Cat Power, the label continues going from strength-to-strength with new releases by Two Dollar Guitar and the amazing debut by The Clears. I pummeled Steve with a few rapid-fire questions this past month. (Dave Fisher)

Who gets on Smells Like? Do you accept unsolicited demos?

I rarely work with people who send tapes in, but it has happened, like with Blue Tile Lounge from Australia. I prefer to know the artist a little before spending a lot of time on their work, so usually we are acquainted somehow.

How'd you score The Clears?

I saw them last New Year's in Memphis. They were so awesome that I was sure they would not want to get involved with my little label. Later they sent a tape and we went from there.

What's up with the new Two Dollar Guitar album?

We are actually working on two upcoming albums. One is all instrumentals and the other made up of the new songs we've been working on lately.

Do you plan on doing any more work with Crucifucks, Dim Stars or Raincoats?

Hell no. Do you plan on going back to high school? Actually, I'd work with the Raincoats again if the timing and situation was right. Richard Hell and the Dim Stars played one show together for a benefit for WFMU. Richard was so excited and jumping around the stage so much that he hardly hit the strings of his bass guitar.

Lastly, can we expect to hear some of Sonic Youth's improvisational EP work on the new album?

Yeah, but it's still in post-production and too early to say. We have a lot of material, a lot of first takes. The album definitely has something shared with the EPs, they've all been worked on in the same period of time. It's probably closest to the Ciccone Youth CD, without the over-the-top humor.
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Old 07.17.2008, 10:48 PM   #2
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"Do you plan on going back to high school?" Ha ha. Thanks, Chris.
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Old 07.17.2008, 11:07 PM   #3
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Nice find. It's sad that discoveries like this are getting rarer and rarer. The internet knows too much.
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Old 07.24.2008, 11:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lawrence
Lastly, can we expect to hear some of Sonic Youth's improvisational EP work on the new album?

Yeah, but it's still in post-production and too early to say. We have a lot of material, a lot of first takes. The album definitely has something shared with the EPs, they've all been worked on in the same period of time. It's probably closest to the Ciccone Youth CD, without the over-the-top humor.


It's weird... Nobody has reacted to this part of the interview...
edit : shit, i didn't look at the date... anyway, do you think ATL is close to Ciccone Youth???
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Old 07.24.2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by to.w
It's weird... Nobody has reacted to this part of the interview... IMO, that's graet news!!!

What's great NEWS?
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Old 07.24.2008, 11:44 AM   #6
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Anyway, I never knew that the working title for ATL was HITS OF SUNSHINE.
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Old 07.24.2008, 10:44 PM   #7
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Yeah, I enjoyed that tidbit (that and "HAM RADIO" were the working titles I remember, though "Ham Radio" may have been a bit of a joke), and one of very few references to Steve's name for the Murray Street studio (predominantly referred to as Echo Canyon, which was Lee's name for it). I think the only reference to Kim's preferred name for the studio is in SYR5, and I can't even remember what Thurston's was.. Second Home?

The quote about ATL being "close" to Ciccone Youth is remarkably bizarre.
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Old 07.25.2008, 07:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lawrence

The quote about ATL being "close" to Ciccone Youth is remarkably bizarre.

Super bizarre. Can't imagine what he meant, if he was even serious. Perhaps there's tons of beatbox/spoken word/pop covers recorded at the start of the sessions that remain unreleased! Ha. They could put it out today as Miley Youth.
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Old 07.28.2008, 05:04 AM   #9
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No need to start a new thread for this.
Here's a 3 part video interview with Steve (2006).
I don't think it's been posted before.

http://www.starpulse.com/Music/Sonic...sic+Interviews
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Old 07.28.2008, 05:21 AM   #10
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Yay Tokolosh, how you been? Haven't seen you around here quite a while.
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Old 07.28.2008, 05:34 AM   #11
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I'm doing fine, thanks.
Been busy, that's all.
Hope things are going well with you too.
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