Interview with Andi Sex Gang by Kris Prudhomme
Andi Sex Interview by Kris Prudhomme 1-13-2014
- Hello Andi, to start off, how have you been?
I am bored with rock n’ roll, it has become obsolete.. shoot down
those fuckers who live in the past..there is no time for self
indulgent fantasies now, there is no room in this House for self
aggrandisement! We are at war for the hearts and minds of all!!”
I am fine thank you and I hope all is good in your garden too.
- I just recently finished watching Bastard Art, the film chronicling your life starting from the very beginning of your musical career to the present, I have to say I was surprised to learn that you were a squatter at one point, which brings to mind the question, did you ever cross paths with future founders of the Crass-associated Dial House?(aka Penny Rimbaud or Eve Libertine etc) I know you were involved in the punk scene starting out and had a few bands, I imagine like most acts at the time it helped give you the nerve to keep fighting in a music scene that could be fickle at times?
No, as far as I remember, I did not cross paths with those two. I
was involved in a totally different circle of people altogether and
that squatting group were hardcore militants. A mish mash of
individuals, ex bikers, extreme left wing party activists, and a
couple of guys who had past affiliate connections with the IRA. This
group I was involved in employed extreme direct action and when
necessary extreme violent force and that didn’t sit too well the other
organised squatting groups. In our defence we were fighting against
State institutions that employed violent methods at the drop of a hat
and such action as far as we were concerned, invited an equal
reaction. That was the way things were then, it was a way of life for
us..survival. The question you’ve got to ask yourself is this, you
either take it up the arse and do nothing or you fight back.
As for my nerve and resolve, well that had always been with me since I
was a child. My later experience with militant politics gave me good
insight as to dealing with forces that had superior power and
unlimited means at their disposal. So challenging a fatted and corrupt
music industry that abused it’s position and power, was really not a
problem. They were ‘soft as shite’ as we say in old Blighty, but as
for dealing with fickle tastes, well I really wasn’t qualified and
didn’t know how to deal with that. The only thing that is constant is
the fire that burns inside and you must stay close and true to it,
regardless of fickle tastes and changing attitudes. You’ve just got to
see it through.
- I’ve seen from your work over the years that you like applying yourselves at different mediums and have done spoken word, do you usually prefer more stream of consciousness or something more pointed and with themes?
Whatever takes my fancy at the time really, but actually it’s the
snapshot of expression that dictates the flow of where I go with
something and I never question the direction of that flow, I just
follow my instinct. You can never control the desire to be conscious
or subconscious, it just happens and however it turns out at any given
time..well, just follow it!
I love doing spoken word with music, there is a different freedom to
it than say rehearsing and recording with a band, it is much more
direct and spontaneous. However, some music pieces should to be done
with your trusted companions.
- After another viewing of the film, it seems that working with staff and management from various labels over the years, including Cleopatra, has left a sour taste in your mouth as well as in the mouths of several of your contemporaries, I suppose it’s no surprise then that a lot of bands want to self release? The main complaint I’ve heard is that bands usually end up in a situation where they have to wrestle away the rights to their own music and then there’s the second struggle to see dime one from any sales made on their music, evidenced by your anecdotes on bad deals dealt to you, what’s your take on this?
Around the late 1980’s, I obtained the rights to all my earlier
material and from that point onwards kept the rights to my new
material, licensing my music to record labels rather than selling
outright. Those moves were the best thing I could have done for
financial independence. I still got ripped off afterwards of course by
labels that I licensed to (with the exception of Cherry Red and
Jungle..as far as I know), but at least owning the ‘family silver’
made everything simpler legally.
With Cleopatra, problem I had with Brian Perera, who owns the label,
was in the way he marketed.. I thought it lacked dignity and taste.
Making fast bucks started to dominate his original ethic and love of
music. Also getting some little minion to write an interview piece for
a mag under my fucking name! It got worse. After I licensed some of my
work to Triple X (his main rival) he did everything to make life
difficult for me, including blocking a distribution deal for my own
releases with the company who distributed Cleopatra. It was all agreed
and ready to sign and then he made his move. After that, so far I was
concerned it was total fucking war. So I sent him a message, a pair of
crutches delivered to his door and hunted him at every opportunity that
availed itself to me. What can I say, I’m not very good at turning the
However, now it is a very different situation for musicians including
myself. Now the internet is the big record store and it doesn’t
discriminate. I say go the self release route..online/hard copy or
both whatever it takes, whatever is available within your means and
reach..keep your costs to a minimum and get your Art out there! One
can argue, ‘yeah easy enough for you to say, you’ve got a reputation
and an audience’.. not when I started I didn’t.. but, before you do
any of that, if you are starting out..first question you ask yourself
is this.. ‘do I believe in my own music?’ Because if you don’t, no-one
else will. It all starts with the music..and that has to be a relevant
expression of yourself. Without that original ingredient, nothing else
- Alright, I’ve gotten a few fan questions from people who’d like to hear from you, “Dancingmoonlight” on vampirefreaks wants to know what inspired you musically and in other mediums and what projects are you working on for future release at the moment?
Hello Dancingmoonlight. As a small child I was musically inspired
by some of the all time greats, Edith Piaf, Johnny Cash, Leonard
Cohen, The Kinks. My mother’s record collection was just about the
most important education I could have had at the time. Then through
time, I made my own discoveries, T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Eno,
Sex Pistols, early Ants, Joy Division, PIL. to name but a few.
However, it doesn’t end there..I am constantly coming across
stuff..old and new that inspires.
oh yeah..and I love the way Tom Waits makes records, there is such a
sense of freedom to his whole feel and sound.
In other mediums as far as Painters go, Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Marc
Chagale, Picasso..to name but a few. The medium of film has also been
a great influence on me. I like Nick Roeg, Ken Loach, Jean Cocteau,
Luis Bunuel, Jan Svankmajer, Werner Herzog, Bernardo Bertolucci..to
name but a few.
New releases? I have just completed a new solo album, however I need
to remix some tracks on that which I shall do when I return from
Japan. The next album is already written, but no scheduled start date
as yet for recording on that one. I also am working on a follow up to
my Dracula audio book cd. I’ve chosen ‘Jeckyll and Hyde‘..such a
- From “DeadBettie” also on vampirefreaks.com, she would like to know what is your favorite book?
Hey DeadBettie.. George Orwell‘s 1984 without a doubt. There are
other great books I have enjoyed over the years such as ‘Perfume‘, ‘A
Greek Anthology‘, ‘Dracula‘ ‘Frankenstein‘ and ‘Jeckyll & Hyde‘ of
course, and everything by Charles Dickens. However, 1984 for me still
sits at the very top of that great mountain of literature as an all
important piece of work. It is poetic in it’s ‘newspeak’ way and
forever modern in that sense. It is brutal in a way that was never
before conceived or expressed.. and most importantly, it was truly
- Lastly out of the fan questions, Franki from Houston, TX wants to know if you have any tours coming up soon or new music coming out and also, what bands have you been listening to lately that have you caught your eyes and ears?
Hi Franki from Houston. Yes, there are a couple of live shows
coming up. Next week we’re playing 2 shows in Tokyo, then in May we’re
doing a ‘Celebration of 30 years of art attack‘ in the UK and a couple
of European shows. As mentioned above, there are new releases planned
Lately, I have been listening to Nurse with Wound, Agnes Burnelle, the
Tiger Lilies new album and early PIL..as always.
- Ok, I know in recent years you have done work with the likes of Lucas Lanthier from the Deadfly Ensemble and Cinema Strange, considering there has been a resurgence in acts that echo the sound and sensibilities of the early post punk scene leading into goth rock (early 80’s before it went hard rock) and deathrock , does it make easier to form collaborations when you see these younger artists coming to understand the musical influences that shaped your formative years? i.e. they know what you’re talking about when you reference certain bands or sounds so you don’t have to explain it to them as much combined with what things that you’ve developed.
Collaborations in themselves mean nothing unless there is a strong
enough reason to do it. With Lucas, he felt like a fellow comrade in
the spiritual and artistic sense, so we were very like minded in that
regard, so it figured that we would share similar cultural tastes.
True enough though, there was very little if any explanation needed
for referencing sounds, ideas, pieces., and it is always good to get a
younger generations’ perspective..everyone brings to the party.. you
know what I mean? I have often learnt from younger people, I have
children and I learn from them.. all the time! It doesn’t matter how
many lives you’ve lived you never cease to learn. There are so many
things that are still as yet unseen to me..what I’m saying is..it’s a
never ending story of discovery.
- I have to ask you as a sort of elder statesman of dark music, you see some bands worrying more about a look or style before focusing on content and substance , is it better to have a definite stage presence even if this includes strong visual representation as long as there is a “soul” to the music or is it more important to worry about content above all before even considering what someone is going to see when you perform? It’s well known that you enjoy theatrics and have a dynamic stage presence but the lyrics still bite which adds weight.
The music and lyrics dominate the representation of the whole
visual presence onstage, The performance is totally dictated by the
Without soul in one’s music there is no point to it. It will just be
another shallow, superficial piece and all the make up in the world
cannot hide that. You cannot lie with music, that’s the beauty of it.
It’s the most potent of all art forms and possibly the most expressive
too and that’s why it is important to expand the boundaries of that
beautifully expressive art form, further than ever before..we need
that..the world needs that. Music must never stagnate, it’s a fluid
energy. It is a never ending journey of exploration and whatever we
do, it’s never enough. Always search out new horizons.
- Lastly, is there anything else in regards to your music and the younger generation that you would like to impart to steer them towards their own path in music?
If you have a vision, then stay true to that vision and see it