Sunday, March 11, 2007

Merz revisited

Back in 1999, at the time of the original release of Merz's debut album, we interviewed Conrad in two bits for a local website and a local listings magazine. Both Liverpool Hoopla and Ink have fallen off the internet for a bit, so, since it's timely here's the interview - both halves reunited for the very first time:

How far have your travels influenced your music?

Pretty much, actually, the main reason I travelled was music, essentially. A lot of the travel was music related, a music adventure.

What was the most inspirational place?

I kept going back to Africa over five years, I went to 18 countries. I think it ssuch an inspirational place because the origins of rock and roll is in the African blues. Its the birthplace of rock and roll.

How do you describe yourself in your passport?

I didn't know I did. Is that true? It must say musician. It must. There was a time when I was signing on i always put Managing Director - I was on the Enterprise Allowance scheme. It helped you get cheaper insurance. Insurance companies think musicians are going to get wrecked and write off their hire cars; putting 'managing director' got you cheaper insurance.

What other acts do you rate?

I rate Mouse on Mars, a duo from Dusseldorf, also Pollym Harvey and Beth Orton, Ian Brown, Asian Dub Foundation...

Do you see yourself fitting in with the whole Brits/Radio One/Music Industry scene?

Not the way it is at the moment, not for sure. I was pleased Beth Orton and Beck won, they're both really good artists - very true artists. If I can be succesful like that, I'd be chuffed.

You played Liverpool with Suede - how did that go?

I didn't, actually - I had to go to a family wedding, so this will be my first Liverpool gig. I'm looking forward to it - my co-producer comes from Liverpool, and he's always been trying to get me to play there. So hopefully he'll bring his posse down.

What was your first record?

A Scottish Bagpipe Band record

There's a lot of bagpipe things in your biography - didn't you have some sort of instrument that was all pipe and no bag? What sort of noise does that make?

Yeah, that was my first instrument - it sort of squeaks. The bags make a whine, but this just squeaks.

Most embarrassing record in your collection?

Stackridge. Do you know them? No, you're too cool. Put 'Stackridge' - if they know them, they'll know how uncool that is.

Worst hairstyle?

I've had many. A mullet. I was thinking of Bono. There was a brief period when the mullet was cool - Bono, Jim Kerr...

Most embarrassing moment?

I'd have to think... I don't think I can answer that. Maybe thats the answer - if something really embarrassing had happened to me, I'd remember it, wouldn't I?

If you had a gun, who should be worried?

Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher. [This was at a time when Robbie had challenged Liam to a public scrap]

Liam's turned down the fight. He says its undignified and not rock and roll.

Good on him.

Whats your favourite fantasy?

Liam Gallagher beating the shit out of Robbie Williams

What cartoon character do you most identify with?

Cartoon character? Thats not something I've ever identified with... Who was that little cartoon character that advertised seven-up? Fido Dido. People say I look like him because my eyes are close together. And I've got spikey hair like him.