The Brian Jonestown Massacre release ‘+ -‘ EP TODAY – 10th Nov ’14

 

BJM

The BJM‘s new EP, ‘+-‘ (that’s right: plus minus), is out today – and it’s a cracker. While we’re pretty sure that Anton (Newcombe, the front man and sole consistent member of what has eventually become more of a musical collective and general concept) was just trying to fuck with music writers everywhere when he decided on the internet-unfriendly name for the record, his latest offering shows few other signs of messing about.

+- is a return to the classic, timelessly awesome style that saw the BJM establish themselves as the figurehead for ‘real’, guitar driven, psychedelic rock music way back in 1990. Anton and co have largely eschewed the changing trends and passing fashions of the hits list ever since and the release of their latest full album, Revelations, earlier this year stands as a testimony to their enduring popularity with an admittedly niche but definitely devoted audience.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre for FAULT Issue 11

The Brian Jonestown Massacre, as featured in FAULT Issue 11

The +- EP has since been released off the back of a highly successful European tour, which cemented Anton’s undisputed position as the ‘Granddaddy of Psych’, and exhibits both the trademark tones and wide-reaching diversity of the BJM at their best. A key influence for the likes of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Horrors, Tame Impala, the Black Angels and many more, a simple call to action for on-the-fence readers is that all-too-clichéd come-on: “You’ve tried the rest, why not sample the best?”*

*Ed: OK, so we may have overplayed our hand a bit there because there’s no real ‘best’ out of those bands. But the BJM, and this EP in particular, are pretty damn good.

10” – Tracklisting:
 
SIDE A 
1. Heat
2. Everything Was Very Simple
SIDE B 
1. Reconstruction
Have a listen to ‘Heat’ below:
The digital download version contains an extra track called ‘Leave It Alone’.

FAULT Online interviews Bo Ningen

On first hearing the second album from Bo NingenLine the Wall – it’s safe to say we were in awe. They’ve been round the block for a few years now but are only just starting to make a bigger name for themselves, setting off on their first UK headline tour on 4th October. The four guys have played previously with bands such as TOY and The Horrors so you can already guess they’re likely to be trippy and equipped with some faint-enducingly cool pedals.

Noise artists from the Far East have always been famous for their broken and pulsating tracks – from Merzbow to Otomo Yoshihide. They are perfectly in-tune with taking specific aspects of sound and increasing them to ear-bleeding extremes. This talent isn’t lacking in Bo Ningen, but rather than capitalise on that, they have chosen to go down a very different route, where overdriven guitar effects reminiscent of Sonic Youth’s Swimsuit Issue have been thrown together with the essence of early 70s heavy rock in what appears to be an attempt to create their own genre.

FAULT caught up with Bo Ningen towards the end of the tour to see if these Japanese, long-haired, heavy-psych playing breakthroughs of the underground London music scene lived up to the hype of the recordings. We sat down with Taigen (bass and vocals), Yuki (guitar), Kohhei (guitar) and Monchan (drums) to ask a few questions about the new album.

FAULT: What’s the story behind the name Bo Ningen [Stick Man]?

Taigen: From the front I look 3D but if I turn to the side I look 2D and the phrase two-dimensional human being reminded us of a stick man drawing. The rest of the band and I are all skinny so we thought Bo Ningen sounded kind of nice in both Japanese and English.

You’ve been touring for nearly a month now non-stop, have you had enough of playing yet?

Yuki: No, we’re tired, but this is the first time we’ve done a proper headline tour and the more we get tired, personally I feel like I can do more, I want to do more.

What’s been the stand out gig of the tour?

Y: I’d say Bristol. It was the vibes, everyone was just on fire, like we were playing in London. London’s obviously our big home and when we go play somewhere else it’s a different city with different people but there it was the same level of energy and excitement in the audience.

 

Have there been any nightmares?

Y: We had one, the strangest guy I’ve ever met when I’ve been in a band. It was in Cardiff at SWN festival. It was a really nice town and there were nice vibes, everything was perfect apart from that guy. He came to the show and was just going really insane, he kept pulling out my cables, coming up to me during the songs and messing with my guitar. I got really annoyed so I just kicked him a couple of times in the stomach.

You like to go for it onstage, have you ever gone too hard?

Y: I got like four or five stitches in my head. It was a London gig some while ago, I was doing a sort of crowd surf thing and someone threw me into the floor. It was kind of like an insane party so there were lots of bits of glass all over the floor and I just sort of banged my head basically and that was it. Yeah, that was horrible!

Do you get different crowds coming to your gigs than when you first started out?

T: Definitely, it totally depends where we play as well. Every single place has got different vibes, a different location, different sound and our set list is always different as well, we do change it. We kind of decide our set list just before the set to not only adapt but to think about spaces and people.

What was the influence and meaning behind the artwork for ‘Line the Wall’?

K: It’s lines, fraying and like flowing to whatever places. I just came up with the image from the title and the songs. I started working on the artwork for this one after we’d finished all of the mastering and stuff. I had a title and I had a recording so I just had to think about it.

Does art influence your music?

K: I think it’s not one way from art to music, it’s both ways. I mean it’s all the same thing with us, it’s not just listening to us or seeing us but seeing our artwork and our videos too, it has to be together.

What did you try to do differently with Line the wall?

T: The first album I would say is more straightforward than what we did in Line. I did the mixing by myself back then and didn’t tweak too much; I quite liked the sound we recorded so we kept it really live. For the second album we wanted to consider the sort of stuff you can only do in the production side of the recording: mixing, cutting, definitely more overlaps, more layers.

Your songs are quite complicated; do you have a set method of writing?

T: We start with just jamming, four of us playing together in a rehearsal studio or sometimes someone will bring ideas for riffs and we build it up together. We also have to play a song live to try it out, otherwise we won’t know if it’s going to work. Some songs we hadn’t tried out in the UK ‘til the start of this tour.

Have you got any gigs lined up after the tour?

T: None confirmed. We’re sorting that out. We’ve just released our second album so we want to go anywhere we’ve either been or haven’t been and play our new set and this new album. We should make more songs, keep playing shows. We had a month off after recording the album because we had to focus on the production side, mixing, mastering and like designing so that was enough.

Line the Wall is out now on Stolen Recordings.

Words by Rebecca Hopkins
Photography by Sarah Aylward

FAULT Issue 9 launched – now available to pre-order

We are pleased to announce that FAULT Magazine Issue 9 – The Regeneration Issue – is now available

FAULT Winter cover stars Ali Lohan and Jackson Rathbone

FAULT Magazine – The Regeneration Issue  – proudly presents exclusive shoots and interviews with:

Ali Lohan

Jackson Rathbone

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Kasabian

Michael Steger

The Horrors

Mayra Veronica

The Golden Filter

Leven Rambin

Lynn Collins

Will Poulter

Plus a FAULTless selection of the best Film, Fashion, Music & Art from 2011.

This is your FAULT