Newcastle four-piece the Psychedelic Breakfast have just released “…In Uncle Sam’s Basement Emporium”, their debut LP. Recorded entirely live, the boys (and girl) take you on an interesting fifty minute ride through their little world, which involves drugs, Buddahs, and some more drugs. DiS caught up with them for a chat.
Why did you decide to record your whole album live?
We're renowned for our live performances so Martyn Mcfadden (label manager) suggested recording it as we play it. Although capturing that magic is difficult we thought ‘Fuck it! Let’s do it!’ In the end we did it one take, it's raw but this is just the start of it.
What's the Newcastle music scene like? How do you feel you fit in?
It's an underrated scene which suffers from a lack of decent venues. The unis are great but to hire they cost a fortune and the promoters when using bands for support slots just use the same bands time and time again. If you want to play anywhere decent you go further which is a shame because they are some really good bands in Newcastle…
Last year Drowned in Sound interviewed the Liverpool band Mazuma Fly, who claimed all bands that smoke dope should be shot. With song titles like "Always tripping, always stoned", what's your opinion on the matter? Are drugs an important part of your creativity?
Nick Grimes: When I started taking drugs, I started writing in a completely different way-a better way. Drugs open ya mind, anyone who says differently hasn't tried them or is a sad fuck who can't handle them, I don't mean take drugs every night but occasional use can only aid creativity.
David Welsh: In reply to Mazuma Fly, WHY?.
Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics?
Grimes: Everything and anything. Whatever inspires me at the time, plants, animals, artists etc. Sometimes this, sometimes that, you just got to listen and form your own opinion, I never write about lovey dovey shit like everyone else, I find it dull and unimaginative, it's just a feeling you get the feeling that's all.
What's it like sharing a house together? Especially for Gemma, living with four men?
Welsh: It's inspiring because you get to know your band inside out and become more like a family than a band.
Grimes: When you're on tour, it's completely the norm if someone goes mad or in a huff, your used to living with them so it's easy to understand the highs and lows.
What's your live experience like?
A tremendous experience you will have to see for yourself.
'Memory Lapse' expresses a fear of the distant future. Despite your self-proclaimed hedonism, are you scared of what comes in the later years of life?
Grimes: On the contrary I can't wait for later years, the way life has been going it just gets better and better. I imagine in the 10 years the music we come up will exceed my wildest dreams. ‘Memory Lapse’ simply states a regret for the way the majority of the world deals with things, with the lyric "I let them go" I am detaching myself from the label of human being. I am not like the rest of the world, I don't agree with the majority so why let those thing bother me.
Have any more plans for acoustic eps?
Grimes: Most of the things I write are written on acoustic guitar. Acoustic vibes run through us all- same as every other genre of music. It just so happens some venues only do acoustic gigs so we will accommodate them gladly. At the moment we are doing our own acoustic night in Newcastle called Pyramid Theory which is a night of mellow acoustic tomfoolery featuring artists, poets, jugglers any kind of crazy shit.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Grimes: To see everything there is to see! We want to play music in every corner of the world, which at present doesn't seem such a dream. Adam Offord our manager has got us radio play on 43 radio stations worldwide including Japan, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, a couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by the University of Tasmania. The thing is no matter what happens we will play music whether it's in front of 10 or 10,000 it makes no difference. I'm currently learning Sitar from an Indian Guru, in his wise words "If music runs through the blood, everything else falls into place".
For more info, check out www.thebreakfast.co.uk