Never has one artist been so afflicted by the downfall of record labels and distributors. Since leaving Death In June in the period following NADA! Patrick Leagas’s work as Six Comm and Mother Destruction has been beset by the fall of Red Rhino and Rough Trade, resulting in his vast back catalog remaining out of print and only sporadic releases maintaining any sense of continued presence on the music scene. After a lengthy hiatus Patrick Leagas has returned to the fold with his first new works in years: a double CD set including Headless and Let The Moon Speak.
Compulsion online was fortunate to receive an advance copy of the first disc Headless, and on the basis of this Patrick was contacted and an interview conducted by Mike Shankland to discuss the re-emergence of Six Comm.
Headless is largely drawn from a lush backdrop of percussion, particularly of the hand held variety. Patrick’s voice is rich and textured, brooding at times like Scott Walker on Tilt. It’s mixed with an assortment of effects and sounds to create a rich atmosphere. Eastern sounds feature prominently on Headless, lending easy comparisons with the work of Muslimgauze. Eastern wails and plucked guitar strings create a strange atmosphere on ‘Deb Ruoy Redluo hs Ruoy Revo Airetsytl pu’. Headless is by far more song based than the work of the late Bryn Jones, even though it avoids the traditional verse-chorus structure. It’s an impassioned piece of work. Thunderous percussion drives ‘Death of a Lion…Zenda Bashen > Manda Bashen!’ with its fervent refrain: “I’ll waste your soul”; Patrick’s response to today’s dumbed down culture. The spoken vocal entwined with sinister whispering of ‘Drah – Lu Rad’ recalls Death in June and reinvokes Six Comm’s “Bullet in the Bush worth bird in the hand” whilst demanding Bin Laden reveal himself. The spoken vocals of ’15 Years…The Endless, Dream Illusion’ offset against harmonic and looped breathing, over hand drums and Eastern pipes reveals itself to be a heady trip into interzone territory before segueing into a hazy atmospheric piece with flickering shards of sound as Leagas ruminates on illusory perception.
Patrick Leagas’ background in eco-terrorism, mountaineering and traverser of Eastern lands is documented in the interview that follows and Headless reveals itself to be an adventurous sound excursion drawing upon his experiences. It’s experimental but accessible and far removed from his previous work with Death in June and prior incarnations of Six Comm. Headless may well signal a new sense of direction but those familiar with his previous work as Six Comm or Mother Destruction should proceed with caution as the palette of sounds is markedly different to what you may expect. After a self-imposed hiatus from music, it’ll be interesting to watch the response to this new revitalized and reinvigorated Six Comm.
The following interview was conducted via email by Compulsion online contributor Mike Shankland. Our thanks go to Mike and Patrick.
What has prompted you to resurrect Six Comm in 2004?
To resurrect something implies that it was alive in the first place, something that I might dispute but later… I have had contractual obligations to both the Alice in… and the Trisol labels in Germany, going back several years now. The label owners have been very gracious and patient as I should have sent them recordings a couple of years ago. Due to personal and work circumstances, music not being my full time occupation, I have only been able to progress with recording in any spare time outside of my job and family life. Sometimes weeks or months have gone by and I have been unable to put any time aside for recording at all. Over the last years I have been slowly putting together material for three or four different albums with the double album Headless (disc one) and Let The Moon Speak (disc two) being the first completed.
I am also now working on tracks for other artists, which are also long overdue.
For several reasons 2004 became the correct time, and it feels right to me just now to delve into the nonsensical world of music once again. To boldly or baldly in my case explore the nether regions of sound. However I am not making any great plans or gestures regarding my particular type of noize biscuits amongst the hundreds of other underground releases out there but like a grain of sand in the great Erg, a drop in the ocean, a turd in the great sewer of life, I shall endeavour to produce a little work now and then.
What has happened to the Six Comm back catalogue? Is the compilation Re-coil on the German based Paragoric label still available? Are any of the Six Comm LPs such as Fruits of Yggdrassil and Content With Blood going to be released in their entirety?
All deleted and metal masters destroyed a decade or more ago. I also closed the old Monomarks label address at that time as it was necessary to totally close any avenue of interest from out there. After being caught up in the liquidation of Red Rhino in 1987 and then again in 1990 when Rough Trade went bust, I guess Mr Lucky had just had enough. Having lost all the income from the original releases up to and including Mother Destruction’s Seething, somewhat made me lose the microscopic bit of faith remaining in any aspect of the music business.
Regarding the back catalogue – I am not going to reissue it. Now that I am contemplating a continued Six Comm profile, it’s possible that I may re-release some of the material originally on Kenaz (the very old label) and other work on Second Wind, my new label. However I think it will be some time before I am able to do this. It is going to be very difficult rebuilding a profile from obscurity once again, but that’s fine I have no illusions about this. I now do music purely for the love of it, whereas before I was in a position where I had to survive partly on income from music. If I could paint well or carve or write, then I would do that instead. Music is my only artistic outlet and I feel at the moment that I have come to terms with many things in my life. Headless is an explanation, if only to myself, of a short and eventful period in my life and now I can move on to another place. I hope that other people may find the atmosphere of the album accessible at times, even if the content is not that evident which is intentional.
Regarding the back catalogue – I am releasing very soon, a compilation from old material plus some unreleased tracks from To Burn That Cries (1987) and other cancelled releases. Actually To Burn That Cries was released as a cassette version back then but has not been available on CD.
I would really rather spend any resources I have on putting out new material rather than work from the past, which may be best left in the past. Re-coil I really don’t know it has been deleted I imagine. There is not a lot of demand for that stuff, I should think.
The new release Headless seems to contain virtually no neo- pagan and runic references compared with most of your previous albums, Have you ended your involvement in the Pagan Mysteries that were so evident with Mother Destruction?
Headless is now a double album but certainly on the main CD 1 there are no Runic references… this is a different time and place This is the point to where I come back to my comment as to whether Six Comm existed at all! The entire Six Comm catalogue came from no more than 7-8 weeks studio work, one small UK concert attended by 50 people and a couple of interviews. That’s it really!! It may seem like there was a lot happening but that was only because of the aforementioned problems with royalty loses, which really strung everything out over a long period and prevented me from recording further or doing live work. I had about 6 to 8 2-inch master tapes full of unmixed rough and unreleased material which never saw the light of day – still in my attic. There was no way forward as I remained in debt for years afterwards. I did not realise that I had built up such strong underground following during that time as I was so preoccupied. so therefore as I was saying, my interests most prevalent at the time of those recordings was basically Northern Mythology but not only that. I think you can still find other references both lyrically and musically if you care to look.
Mother Destruction is really a different matter altogether. I purely constructed the music for Amodali/MD, the subject matter and lyrics were solely hers. I do not pretend to have a great insight to her writings at all. She is light years ahead of me in matters of magick/Paganism. Six Comm is not Mother Destruction! Though I caused the confusion by my own hand.
The material on the second disc, Let The Moon Speak, has a different mixture of ideas and meanings again. I am lucky or unlucky enough not to have found one place and subject to inhabit within art/music – apart from miserabilism. I am interested in everything, or should I say all and everything. The music may also change to reflect this, one work might be entirely different from the next but I think that like most artists, my overall sound is easy to recognise.
One or two tracks from Headless indicate the influences of Gurdjieff or even Colin Wilson. The notion that humanity and the rest of nature being soaked in some sort of organic slumber is mentioned in ‘To Dream, the Machine God’ and ‘Re-enter the Second Sleep’. Are these areas that you are exploring now?
The first three let’s say grown-up books that I read as a youngster, perhaps at the age of 10 -13 were Wilfred Thesiger’s ‘Arabian Sands’, Heinrich Harriers ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ and Ouspensky’s ‘In Search of the Miraculous’. All three books belonged to my brother, who being 10 years older then me, had a motley collection of weird and wonderful things including old Satanic books, very old bibles, stolen from the churches he used to sleep in as a dare, along with the altar wine and gowns, bones, and a myriad of Nazi regalia in which I often paraded both at home and in public. I recently read in a Death in June chat room, Douglas describing how he had bought his first German regalia. My indoctrination to the world at war was that my brother used to dress me up complete with German steel helmet, rifle and bayonet, both real (no ammunition for me, I might add) and make me attack him. Starting the 40 yards or so down the end of the garden, I had to run, jump and crawl while he shot at me with a .22 air rifle. I can tell you that my school holidays seemed very long if not exciting. My parents used to think this quite normal and the neighbours did not seem to notice either how times have changed since the sixties. Later when my brother joined the army I could only look forward to his leave with the anticipation of joy and dread entwined. I endured the battle run again and again over the years and on one occasion my sister intervened as I turned blue in a rather gripping commando neck hold, knife at my ribs. Boys will be boys.
Today this would be termed as some form of child abuse and they would be correct. My father used to say it won’t do him any harm! I have remained with a bizarre sense of terror and fun, being unable to distinguish the difference between them. I am able to deal with really bad dangerous situations with ease and candour but I am totally fucking useless at normal day to day life, especially any kind of social interaction, apart from with my kids that is. Lucky for them upbringing is not genetic, well not completely.
‘Arabian Sands’ struck a very deep chord within me, I am not exactly sure why. I suppose that the fact that I was born in Cyrenaica, Libya, and that my brother was constantly telling me that I would be returned to the Arabs at a certain age, instigated that to survive I should only associate myself with matters outside of my otherwise normal English upbringing.
For those that don’t know, Wilfred Thesiger was the last great true British explorer. Born at the end of the 1800’s he largely withdrew from the ‘progressive’ Western world and immersed himself in the realm of the true nomadic arabs, amongst others.
‘Arab’ being now a generic term, when in fact not many Arabs are true Arabs. Find out for yourself folks, if you are interested. The relationship between Wilfred and the characters Bin Kabina, Bin Ghabaisha and others is particularly romantic Boys own stuff the gentleman and savage thrown together and finding common ground (or not). Very Beau Gest. The relationship / bond between men in great adversity was a calling for me. From this book and others I created a whole universe for myself. I have always only had one great friend at a time during my childhood and into my later life. My great childhood friend was Richard Butler who at one point also became a member of Death in June. We had many adventures together culminating in being arrested at the age of 16, on the evening we were planning to steal rifles and ammunition from our local Army cadet depot. (‘If’ the film very nearly became reality.) I seemed to spend half of my life hiding under hedges, totally camouflaged crawling through the middle of sleeping Army units on exercise, just to see if I could. Richard and I also became the best cat burglars in our territory but we only ever broke into Government / council type buildings, never peoples homes. It wasn’t about possessions or stealing it was the buzz of climbing drainpipes, traversing rooftops, slipping through skylights just to make off, whooping with delight, with a full size skeleton of the teaching aid type or some other ridiculous and useless item. All this and being from a strange family that frequently delved into seances at the weekend, gave me a colourful background and I truly believe in destiny and the consequential forming of Death in June and many subsequent events and meetings in my life. Though to what end I cannot see and do not like to think about. Incidentally both Richard and I ended up in court over our little misdemeanours. I think that we were the first weirdo punk rocker types that had been seen in court in Basingstoke and I remember that I could not stop laughing when the charges were being read out. That did not go down very well nor did my odd shoes – one steal toed jackboot and the other a winkle picker complete with studs and about twice a long as my foot. As I remember Richard looked very much like Johnny Rotten at the time and was sometimes mistaken for him. I’m sure that they thought we were mental cases.
I think that a lot of people I have crossed paths with feel extremely disassociated with this, our society in this time, and I am sure it has always been so for many people. Watching the sky out of my little studio room is far more satisfying than any of the normal garbage most people feed on. Or are fed on- reality TV, internet porn, mind reducing computer games. As soon as our kids have left school and are on a path to something, I plan to get off again. I would like to go back to Afghanistan for a little while but even that place is not what it was 15 years ago (thank the gods). For the weather and lifestyle in the near future but I will go either North to the Northern states or Canada or if I have no assets, as will be the case, to Siberia, cold, cheap and harsh and if you get fed up with life just leave the door open for 5 minutes on a winters day. That’s the best way to go, like an old toothless stinking Elk. Not hooked up to some life enhancing drug machine, squeezing out every second of life. Never be afraid of dying it’s easy, it’s just hard to live. Who the fuck knows what the future brings there may be none at all!
Back to the books… ‘Seven Years in Tibet’, Hollywood killed that one so I won’t go there. Ouspenky’s ‘In Search of’…. Though as a kid I could read the words, the meaning of the work was beyond my world understanding. However I realised that here was something hidden and somehow of relevance but I would need to come back to it years later. I think it was actually David Tibet (of Current Ninety Three) who lent me my next Gurdjieff book, during the NADA! period. I think it was Speeth Friedlanders ‘Seeker of the Truth’ basically a short concise history of his work and life, a good place for anyone wanting to know Mr Gurdjieff to begin. Much of Ouspenky’s and Gurdjieff’s work is entwined, with Ouspenky being the more intellectual and Gurdjieff the more practical/magickal being (not so sure that that is so, upon reflection). Like Crowley and a lot of the other contemporaries from those times you have to take all that you read with a pinch of salt and healthy scepticism concerning their adventures, and so called powers. They all seem touched by the hand of megalomania control freakiness, but who isn’t? Read for yourselves folks.
Organic slumber yes but not being part of it or knowingly not participating in it, can be self-destructive. It’s possible to set yourself so far outside of the mechanicalness (as Gurdjieff and Ouspenky describe) of life that you become totally disembodied from the normal things that may otherwise be of benefit in life. In my instance, I have the preponderance to go my own way to such an extent that I become totally self-destructive. It can be an infuriating existence. For a while I spent my time traveling in Morocco, the Western Sahara, North East Africa and 3 journeys into the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan and a small entry by accident into Iran via the Afghan region of Herat. Each time I was away I seemed to return back to some disaster either personally or in business.
There is always something to pay back in life. No gain without pain is correct. On my travels I met a lot of colourful characters, drug dealers, priests, mercenaries, Sufis, adventurers and a couple of pretty well known journalists – one of which was murdered in the Afghan shortly afterwards – religious fanatics including one with whom I had to share transport for a week who talked about how he, as a good Moslem, should really kill me at the first opportunity, and this was long long before Mr Bin Laden had such a profile. He was always smiling at me, which made it much worse. However I did have the chance to witness some events that I would otherwise only see in the National Geographic, such as such fantastic scenery especially in the Kush, it just didn’t look real in certain light conditions, the colours almost look computer generated. I have met a real Sufi living in poverty but who nevertheless spoke my language far better than I, and who had a greater understanding of the world than we could ever conceive. Best of all I have seen a couple of Tribal events including Howling dervishes, not of the whirling middle east tourist agency kind, who performed for themselves and not for dollars. I have eaten things that even Talik, my companion and interpreter, would not eat. All in all, in a short space of time I have certainly had some life experience (but I also wish I had stayed at home, could have been just as interesting). I doubt I will ever have the money or opportunity to experience life such as I did in what are when added together only a few months of my life. So, yes I think that reading and becoming interested in a particular type of philosophy can be an aid in life but even Gurdjieff and Ouspenky created only snippets of truth that have guided me a little at times. However I have not turned into a wonderful person. I’m still very fucked up, especially in the Oscar Wilde sense of “each man kills the things he loves”.
In the last 10 years or so my life has be one of trying to create a home and semblance of normality for our 2 daughters here just north of Liverpool. Apart from some touring as Mother Destruction between 1994 to 98, across Europe, I have not been able to have the life I had before. I have found it so difficult being in one place, that, a great part of my old self is perhaps not dead but dormant. I know that Amodali feels the same but it’s only normal when you have kids, to put a huge part of yourself aside for them. It’s my one great work. I have brilliant, unspoilt and happy kids. We both plan to activate our personal being, after having to be around for kids these last years. Our paths will separate in good time. So perhaps I could say that the last 13 years have been somewhat of a ‘great sleep’ in many ways but in this dream I know when it will be time to awake into the second phase. I have some physically extreme and mentally challenging things that I want to do as soon as our kids have left school in 2 or so years from now.
Ahhh, the organic slumber been around a long time and now merging with the cyber slumber to create an evermore meaningless multiversal soup of piss. We all no doubt think that we float upon this soup of piss in our very own coracle of independent thought, don’t we? I do. But we are fooling ourselves. We all fell in and drowned long ago – only you didn’t notice as the soup became your very favourite type of soup, mine is leek and asparagus, what’s yours?… so as you /we are drowning you could only drink, and you couldn’t stop – you filled your gut your lungs your brain until you became the very soup itself … well that was the starter what’s for main course? what’s for dessert? … you greedy pigs! Switch on the fucking reality TV, download some porn, don’t stop to think, over your shoulder, under your bed, I’m the little one that fucks up your head.
The rhythmic structures of Headless are more complex and ‘eastern’ sounding than evident in previous work with one or two tracks reminding one of Muslimgauze especially ’15 Years The Endless Dream Illusion’ and the aforementioned ‘Re-enter The Second Sleep’? Are future Six Comm releases going to be moving in this direction?
It’s nice of you to say that they are more complex but its only simple stuff really. In some tracks I play the percussion parts or other parts without hearing the main track so the timing becomes impossible to keep exactly, or at all … sometimes something called entrainment happens that’s when two or more otherwise different rhythms or structures at a time sync up to create something almost listenable. This is what used to and still does happen in tribal music played by real people, not musicians, who always fuck it up and make things sound stiff and unnatural. I don’t really care if it sounds good or not, I am creating a piece of art for myself, that’s the same for all underground artists I hope. It’s a headless way of recording and I wanted a very loose feel in the tracks. I always equate my work with painting its like when you step into some small art shop and see something interesting on the wall from someone like Dave Grimbleby and say, that’s really strange, there’s something compelling and different about it but you don’t buy it as it does not fit in with the rest of your decor.
That’s what my releases are like. I get some good comments and reviews from individuals but its never going to really sell. That’s great, I like that, I’m glad I do not fit in to the other genres that people think I am associated with. I am not going to move in any direction particularly. Godscite my next main album sounds very different from Headless. That way I am not trying to continue creating and selling the same myth again and again to people. It’s obvious that people will mention Muslimgauze as a reference because of the Eastern or Near Eastern flavour. I have only ever heard one Muslimgauze CD and that was Fedayeen recently sent to me by a guy who runs a small label in Russia. I did not even know that he (Bryn Jones, the late Muslimgauze creator) lived in Manchester the next town from here. I only know what I have picked up from the likes of The Wire magazine about such artists. Isn’t he dead? Probably has got as many virgins and camels as he can handle right now, lucky son of a blacksmith.
How is the collaboration with Kirlian Camera progressing?
Actually I really fucked up on that and it has not happened yet. It’s not a collaboration, I am recording my own versions of my favourite Kirlian Camera tracks to be released by his own label at sometime in the future. I had sometime ago started recording the tracks as very hard electronic pieces, but after a while I deleted that in favour of a more organic approach. I like Kirlian Camera and Angelo has been writing to me on and off for hundreds of years.
Can you explain more about your involvement with the next While Angels Watch CD? I understand that you performed with Dev from While Angels Watch in the mid 1980s and that Dev played on an early Six Comm release?
I am merely adding some parts to his tracks, which will then be sent to Matt Howden to complete and mix with Dev at a later date. I can’t really say that much about it at the moment as to this date I have only received two tracks to work on. I guess that the overall feel will be similar to his last album but I think that there may be more electronic elements to it than before. It’s really best talking to Dev about it, at this stage, as anything I say may be complete nonsense.
In some earlier Six Comm tracks such as ‘Sonnefelte’ and ‘A Nothing Life’ you berated the Church a great deal. Do you still feel that the Church has promoted mass ignorance?
What can I say there have been many changes since I wrote those tracks back in the mid 80’s. Most of the Church structures have suffered greatly in the last 2 decades particularly the Catholic Church, which is obviously having to pay out millions to the generations of people that it has screwed up and abused. Alas they are always clever enough to find another 3rd world area where they can exploit peoples fears, poverty and isolation just like the tobacco industry. They sell the cancer sticks and other shit; the church sells them salvation. There’s a lot of money in death and suffering, god bless em!
I recently saw on a TV documentary about the Church and contraception about how a Catholic Bishop, forget the scumbags name, was telling his staff in Africa how the material from which condoms are made is porous enough to let the Aids virus pass through. So basically saying that not that you should use contraception anyway, but if you do it will not prevent you from becoming infected. Anyway, just another fine example of Vatican vomit.
As the God old USA and Islam seem to be intent on mutual destruction and taking us with them, a little bit of suffering here and there does not really matter, does it? May the Pope, Mr Bush and all his little poison penguins burn on the end of Saladins spear – then he in turn at the end of Odin’s spear and spongebob shall rule the world. The end. Amen.
I remember years ago hearing that you were interested in the work of the Survivalist scientist Michael Roll who is presenting a secular and non-religious case for the life after death. Is this still a subject that you are focusing on?
Yes I did exchange a couple of letters with him before the age of the internet. Is he still alive or dead? If he ‘s dead then he’s probably shouting “I told you so”, at the top of his voice, only no-one can hear because ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” is turned up too loud. I wrote to him about some family experiences I was aware of when I was a kid, nothing really involving me but I was around at the time. Anyhow I subsequently found out that most of the materialist medium were like many other mediums- complete frauds. That is not to say that there are some genuine people out there. My personal beliefs have always gone round in circles. I have seen enough people lose their lives at close quarters, to hope that there is not another life afterwards. It’s all too convenient, all this progression through various stages of enlightenment etc etc I really don’t care at the moment. I can tell you that several people who have died in my company (including my father, when I was a kid) have expressed at the last moment a relief and feeling that they were passing on to another place. In fact my father said “its ok, they are waiting for me.”
But me thinks that its only the neurones blasting away and the chemicals pumping through the body at great times of trauma that are fooling the brain into a dream / comfort state. Or is it? I don’t want another life personally. One is enough and I do not want to come back as a lemon meringue pie or some other sort of hideous confection. But who knows in this multidimensional web of weirdness.
Which countries are showing interest in your work at present? Any chance of live dates in Europe or in Britain?
None at the moment because the album has not been released at the time of this interview. In any case, you and Tony from Compulsion online are the only 2 people to have received a promo copy at this point. Its difficult thinking of performances at the moment because as I said, it’s not my profession. I have to complete the Kirlian Camera tracks then largely complete the next album for Trinity before I can contemplate thinking of ‘live’ work. I was in fact meant to be working with While Angels Watch at a concert in Scotland some time ago, but a change in my job circumstances put a stop to that. I will be doing my first show (perhaps) in London (which will be limited to 66 people only) then Rome in 2006. This company will also be the agent for my label releases and deal with my mail order.
Six Comm’s work has been hard to place in any genre and it’s not easy to identify which other artists (if any) have influenced you. Is there anyone you have listened to on a regular basis over the years?
How dare you!!! I thought that I was a dark wave pop industrialist crooning harbringer of doom! I can’t really think of any. I think that everyone is influenced by everything to some extent. I am ashamed to say that I do not really listen to music. I just do not have the time. I can whistle all the songs from Kylie Minogue, Avril Lavigne, Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chilli Peppers etc etc that blasts from my daughters room. I have not been to a concert for about 10 years, apart form my own. I think that I just get off on atmospheres from the things that I am interested in.
In the past I have spent a lot of my time in wilderness environments or recently, even just sitting down at the coast 300 metres from here is more of an influence. Since I was a boy I have been subjected to a vast collection of music from my father, older brothers and sisters which has included ethnic, classical, pop, Beatles, etc etc. From punk I always like the more unusual in the likes of Wire etc. There has obviously been a vast array of left field music over the past 20 years, which passes into TV Documentary soundtracks, so even if you do not buy music it all goes through your head at some point. The only music I have heard from the genre that I am supposed to belong to is Death in June because Douglas always sends me his releases, which I really like anyway. A few releases from Kirlian Camera. The one release I have heard in the whole Neo Folk (whatever that is) scene is the While Angels Watch album. I recently heard Seiben’s album which is pure nectar, but I don’t sound like any of them.
A friend of mine used to send me compilation cassettes of various left fields bands including Coil in the Coil/Marc Almond era whenever that was. Coil are fantastic but I have not heard any of their music for many years. I am not sure whether anything I do is similar in some way to any particular group, most people say not. Also I think that it’s very much down to the instruments and equipment that people have. I still only have the one main keyboard from 1986, which acts as my main midi keys and sound creator. I spend a lot of time having to create something out of very little but this is the first album I have totally recorded at home on a PC set up.
I play a lot of percussion and various little instruments including Shanai’s and little near eastern string boxes. Combining these with some great software instruments I have been able to create something almost near to what I envisaged. I only have a real basic set up, so I am quite happy with the results so far. The material I am recording now is sounding better again and over this year I shall be putting some effort into putting together a decent little studio on my little silver god machine powerbook, as the only chance for me to record at the moment is in the evenings in the hotels I inhabit 5 days a week. My job takes me away from home during the week – it’s like being on tour constantly but without the alcohol.
You appeared at the November 2003 Death In June London concert to perform ‘The Calling’ on stage? I know that you recorded this track when you were with Death In June and also again on Six Comm’s album Content With Blood. Could you explain what caused you to write ‘The Calling?’
We were planning to do other songs perhaps but since I only knew about the concert a week or so before we did not have the time to plan any thing other than that one. I can’t really remember why I wrote those exact lyrics, it’s a pretty simple few lines to write. It’s easy for anyone to understand, no hidden meanings based around a simple loop and 2 notes. A 2 year old could do it today on their virtual pacifiers. There are certain lines within the song, which have taken on an extra meaning for me, really after the song was written.
A good friend of mine once described how he felt a calling back to his home and family where there was a lot of problems due to an invasion by another country. I do not recall him using the actual word ‘calling’ but it has become over the years the embodiment of the song for me. The album Headless is dedicated to him: Talik, David A and Ben.
Are you pleased with the NADA! LP 20th anniversary performance with Douglas P as Death In June on 23rd April 2005? Did the set need much preparation after so many years?
Surprisingly it all seemed very natural. Considering it has been twenty years, a whole life time for some of the audience I was not expecting to be on stage for quite the whole set. However I have been told that it came across quite well. John Murphy really helped a lot by making me feel at home, he’s a great asset to Death In June. I hope Douglas appreciates how hard it is to find someone to work with for a long period of time – I never managed it. As for the preparation, I had booked a couple of days rehearsals at the original studio where we recorded NADA! but unfortunately Douglas was extremely ill with food poisoning so much so that he was literally almost unconscious on the rehearsal room floor. So apart from a few hours on the first day there was not much in the way of preparation. That’s just the way things go. We did the best we could and it’s a wonder that Douglas managed the concert at all, a lot of people would have cancelled. Guess all that time on the Eastern front has hardened his constitution somewhat.
Will there be a website specifically for Six Comm launched in the future?
It’s pretty ironic that the first band in the world to use the word COMM in its name is the only band, artist, hamster you name it, to never have a web site. Guess that’s the best way to leave it. I certainly will never have the time to put a site together and to be perfectly honest I can’t think why I would want to. There is enough nonsense on the web as it is. I have been thinking of putting some visuals etc on the net but it will not be under the Six Comm moniker.