Musique Epave interview

Our first question is: tell us something about your childhood. Were you given any musical education in your childhood?

VR: Yeah. First of all, I was bought a guitar when I was very, very small, and my friend in school was having guitar lessons and he asked me to go with him to his guitar lesson just to watch. And the teacher was a very old German lady, and she looked at me and asked me to play the guitar and see what I could do. So I played my little tunes and from then on she told me I should go for lessons to her and she would never take any money from me. And she taught me for 12 years; she's dead now. Yes, so I had lessons. I also had classical training on the piano for quite a while, but the piano is not really my instrument. The guitar is my favorite instrument.

Bruce, the same question: were you given any musical education in your childhood?

BM: No, no musical education. My father, he was a drummer and a string bass player. The reason I started playing was my father made me use some of my money to buy a drum kit because he thought it would be a good way of me earning extra money. And I sort of wanted to play the drums because I thought on the stage, playing the drums, I would get more girlfriends.

VR: And this has not happened.

BM: No, it hasn't happened!


VR: ...and it deserves an important reply. The independent label is a very important part of the New Wave movement. It's probably the most important part and it's probably all that is left of the original movement. Its significance is that the whole point of the New Wave movement was that at that point the music business was stale; [it] was in the hands of businessmen. And to make a record you had to do all kinds of stupid... copy, imitate groups which had previously proven to have sold records. Now, when the New Wave happened you had small independent labels who managed to just press, say, 2000 records and make it pay; just so they didn't lose money. The important thing about that is that the music, new music, new ideas, new musicians, would be given a chance to be heard by audiences that would never have had the chance to hear them. So the independent label scene is probably the most important part of the New Wave movement. And the biggest independent labels in England are probably Rough Trade and Factory Records. We play for and do records for Factory Records and it's very, very good. I'll never, ever... We have many offers to go with the major labels but we'll never, ever sign to a major label. I'll always stay with an independent label because of the freedom we have.


BM: ...independent label is very important. I have a theory, and that is that the most important music is always coming from the next generation of musicians, like the young musicians who've only just learnt how to play, because they bring an energy and a vitality and a different way of doing things to the music. And those sort of people, they wouldn't get to the majors; an independent label is the platform. It's the way those sort of young people express their music to their own generation. And from there it builds and builds and it moves from country to country. I think it's probably the most exciting thing over the last 10 years, the most exciting manifestation [...].

Thank you.