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Lotus Eaters - Interview Part 2

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 6 / 9 / 2010

Lotus Eaters - Interview Part 2


In the second part of our three part interview with Liverpool-based 80's new wave band the Lotus Eaters Anthony Strutt talks to singer Peter Coyle and guitarist Jem Kelly about the making of their debut album, 'No Sense of Sin'

PB: The first album, 'No Sense of Sin', was recorded in 1984. JK: We started recording it in 1983 and I think it was released in 1984, PB: How long did it take to get that bunch of songs together? JK: That bunch of songs were all written during the first three weeks after we met. We did four songs for the radio session for John Peel and in those first three weeks also wrote everything else. The problem was finding a producer. We found a producer who was the right producer, Nigel Gray, and then we decided to go for another because we thought we could improve on the sound. All Nigel did, however, was record the band and that was all that we needed. We didn't know that at the time because we were only twenty. No one can tell you and no one can advise you on anything at that stage. PC: He didn't get it right for 'Can You Keep a Secret?' though, did he? JK: No, that's right, and that's what we questioned. We had a line of producers after that including Bob Sargeant and John Cale. PB: How did you get on with Cale? JK: He is such a great person. PC: It was funny. He came over and we set up in the studio and we played through our song. We thought he was just getting the levels right and then he said, "Great, that's it,", and we thought he was just messing, but then he said, "Let's go for lunch," so we went for lunch down the Kings Road. JK: What I thought was strange was that he waited until everybody had sat down. He passed the menus around and he waited until the first person had ordered and then he went off. PC: We tried to get David Byrne, but he wanted a lot of money so we went with the Fun Boy Three instead which was a shame. PB: The original sound of the band was quite commercial. I would imagine at the time that 'Smash Hits' must of loved you guys. You were both young and good looking, not that you are not now. JK: Thank you (Laughs). PB: In the early 1980s bands were sold on their good looks. You were on 'Top of the Pops' which must have been great for you. JK: Actually, you don't know the first thing about it. It was fucking bad. PC: It was something that we had dreamed about. We had seen David Bowie and Marc Bolan on it, so we went in there thinking this is what our whole life has been devoted too and then the producer stuck two blonde girls next to us and told me to mime. I was like "What?" It's such a sham. I said, "If I have to mime, then I'm not using a microphone." I was one of the first to do that and to say "Look, I am not mining and I want to sing live." The two blonde girls were in front of the band and nothing to do with us. This was for 'The First Picture of You'. With that video I wanted to do something like black and white porn. The first video edit we got of that we couldn't put out because it had that element, but luckly it got heavily edited so it was acceptable. The problem with us was that people thought that we were very pop. but we were far from it. I was saying what Morrissey said after us, but he was a lot more clever with the press people, I would say that I read books,but never what they were. Morrissey would say he read books and then tell them which ones. We didn't really know how to work the media and that is what the world is made on, so often got branded as a thrashy pop act or as wimps. We never really to be honest expected 'The First Picture of You' to be a hit. JK: We were reading Anais Nin and stuff like that, and on the other side, Henry Miller. No one asked us what we were reading, I remember doing a cover of 'No. 1' magazine, with fucking cuddly toyss. I was like what the fuck are we doing with these cuddly toys. If we had been four years older, we would have told them to fuck off. PC: We should of had management to protect us. We were naive. We just thought of the music. I would have worn a tin of baked beans if people would have listened to the music. JK: By the time we did 'It Hurts' we were getting into that game. One of our favourites actresses is Louise Brooks. We were the first band that I know to intercut silent movie footage into our own video for that. PC: It Hurts' sounds much different to 'The First Picture of You'. For our second single, we wanted 'German Girl' and the A and R man said, "You are joking. You can't." We just loved the music. We are not business minded. We just write the songs.

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Lotus Eaters - Interview Part 2

Lotus Eaters - Interview Part 2

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Interview Part 3 (2010)
Lotus Eaters - Interview Part 3
In the third and final part of his interview with 80's new wave act the Lotus Eaters, Anthony Strutt speaks to them about their reformation in the mid 90s and plans for the future
Interview Part 1 (2010)
Interview with Jem Kelly (2002)

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