Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 21:30:22 GMT
I recently borrowed my oldest son's dormant Facebook account (teens no longer gather there, I'm told, preferring something called Instagram and... YouTube?) to take a peek at the TC&I group, to which Colin Moulding contributes quite regularly. Some captivating tidbits in places: CM answers many fans' questions about XTC, albums and individual songs, instruments, arrangements, recording sessions, the touring days, other musicians and projects... Every Sunday, he posts three favourite songs. Cool stuff, all told; but the interest level appears to be sagging somewhat: newer members are repeating questions answered months ago, and it's only a matter of time before CM begins to weary of this mode of interaction. (He seems embarrassed by the fawning adulation that AP always craved on The Twit.) Meanwhile, Terry has wisely stayed away from FB, though he has his Thursday Top Three (Songs) posted by an intermediary.
Thinking that some of Messrs Moulding and Chambers' words might be of interest to some -- as well as dispel some myths and misconceptions --, I am posting a few below. Perhaps those who frequent the FB group regularly can add some more when fancy strikes?
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 21:31:31 GMT
Q: Hi Colin Moulding. Could you talk about the lean years of XTC a bit. I read an article somewhere that you and Dave were tasked with finding abandoned rental cars to make some extra money. True? It must have been incredibly frustrating saddled with a contract that did not allow you to recoup costs. Did you ever get to the point that you were seriously considering a career or band change? Regards.
A: Any money we made in the mid eighties with Skylarking and O&L went to pay off our legal costs in the dispute with our ex manager. Which amounted to over a quarter of a million pound, So even as late as 1989, both Dave and I did some rental car relaying. We were teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as any savings we might have had the legal team snaffled to keep 'council' going . In a way we had to keep going otherwise the whole lot of us would have gone under.....so in one way it was instrumental in keeping us together...and the music of course!!....c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 21:40:51 GMT
Q: Hi Colin . Sorry if this has been covered but I was listening to Apple Venus last week and it struck me that it in no way sounds like a band that who have run out of ideas and it contains some of the most beautiful music you created. Without comparing you to The Beatles as I know you've covered that, the album makes me feel like Abbey Road does, that there was still amazing music being created. My question is, did you (and the other members) go into those albums thinking that they were the last you would make or did you feel there would be more XTC music? Thanks
A: I wondered whether it would be , especially after Gregsy left. The dynamic in the band changed certainly , as it does in these situations. I think Andy had made up his mind that it would be the last. I just wish that he had told me , as I was still writing for the fictitious next.... after that it just kind of faded away.....c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 21:51:26 GMT
Comment: It's interesting that Colin as a member of the band felt XTC faded away too, as that is what it felt like as a fan. There was no grand announcement, and after the extended sabbatical after going on strike, the release of the AV albums in short succession made it feel like there was more to come.
Andy's take at the time was that Colin did not keep in touch and he did not even have his number. Was that the case?
A: My Christ , where do these statements come from?...I gave him all my contact details in a letter when I moved, as I didn't have any internet for a while, it insured that he could get hold of me at anytime.....on the contrary , it was me who didn't hear a dickie bird...c
Comment: This is very interesting, Colin. I even sent in the question about XTC’s future to Andy on Mark Radcliffe’s Radio Two show (around 2005). He maintained the future was uncertain because you had moved away and not passed on any forwarding address or number. He wouldn’t say the band was over, just in cold storage. Your take on it sheds a whole new light on the situation!
A: just goes to show...where XTC are concerned , there are always two sides to the story..... and three in some cases...all the best...c
Comment: I hope I did not offend you there, I did not mean to. I was basing my question on the same Mark Radcliffe interview mentioned by... I have a recording of it somewhere but I have not listened to it in ages. It certainly was the talk of the old Idea forum at the time. I appreciate your perspective of the situation. Thank you for sharing.
Comment: Colin Moulding my take on this is that Andy has done you a disservice. As an avid XTC fan my assumption from the meagre evidence at our disposal was that you had walked away from the band. The fallout over Fuzzy Warbles added to this assumption. Seeing it all in a different light now!
A: well FW didn't bother me, if that's what he wanted, then crack on, but it wasn't something that I was looking for.... and it certainly wouldn't have induced me to walk out....He wasn't writing in the usual way.....so I began thinking that something was up.....then estrangement , then other things kicked in..c....
P.S. I found a corroborating post in a Steve Hoffman Music Forum thread re: the Mark Radcliffe radio interview: Is XTC's Colin Moulding really done with music? I won't copy it here, but it's the sixth post from the top, signed 'mdekoning' and dated 2010-09-10.
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 21:57:11 GMT
Q: Dear Colin: Without extensive discussion of any problems in your private situations respectively in the yeras since XTC ceased production, do you feel there is any future in a musical relationship with any other members of XTC besides Terry, looking at it from a pragmatic point of view?
A: Don't hold your breath K... Terry is relatively untainted from all what's gone on... so no problem with us still being buddies. cheers..c
Q: Colin Moulding, do you have any relationship with Dave Gregory?
A: No...i haven't spoken in person to Dave or Andy in quite a few years. Andy I have emailed, but that's mainly about business. c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:01:45 GMT
Q: Colin i really would love a Colin XTC t shirt, i might be wrong but have only seen Making Plans for Nigel (still can't decide if red suits me!) I think a lot of your singles artwork would make a great t shirt especially The Meeting Place, so any plans in the future for this to happen, and as we are on the subject how much input did you hav on the design of the sleeves?
A: Not much.. except our three in a row houses, which I explicitly wanted, and so got -- Andy was very dictatotrial over the artwork. of course I've made suggestions and they have been used but Andy, especially as time went on, thought this to be his domain only and any input was not invited. What was him and what was Design Clinic has never been explained to me... I know that they ran with things when we were out of the country... so I guess they would have something to say... so I am an open fog of knowledge. cheers..c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:05:40 GMT
Q: I read somewhere that the phase on the stereo output was accidentally inverted by Todd Rundgren during the final mixdown. Maybe Colin Moulding can confirm this! Hahaha. This can cause the mix to sound 'thin' and causes all sorts of problems when listened to in mono. I picked up a 'corrected polarity' copy from Burning Shed and it definitely sounds different with a fuller lower end and a clearer high range. The dynamic range seems to be increased.
A: I too have played the two, one after the other, and I would prefer to keep my opinions to myself for fear of causing any consternation within the XTC sphere... but the differences are nowhere near as wide as people are saying...that's all..cheers..c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:08:55 GMT
Q: Funny question for our Colin - I won't go into detail or provide much context, but I've recently/suddenly got havily into both ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. There were bands I strongly disliked, and yet now I'm obsessed. (To clarify, with ABBA, I now own nearly all of their work. I only have Mac's Tusk and Rumours.) Quite a contrast in songwriting approach and production between the two bands, ABBA being a perfectly crafted, down-to-the-molecule scene, and FM far looser in all respects. Anyway, the simple question - where do each of these bands sit in our ear-space?
A: I play both at home...FM, because I got so enamoured with the documentary, and the in fighting etc etc and ABBA, in particular, because they were good record makers. I like listening on headphones for any lines that I've missed!...yes D, took the words out of my mouth.. those two shine for me too... cheers..c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:15:06 GMT
Comment: Maybe it's just a case of as we mature and our tastes change we just appreciate great songwriting, wherever it comes from and not so concerned with what's 'cool', I've always loved Abba, The Name of the Game and S.O.S. are my faves!
Comment: Cheers Colin, I think on those two songs it's the classical flourishes combined with that fantastic pop sensibility also those amazing harmonies, they just could create the most wonderful sound!
A: yes indeed... JS Bach in there certainly.. and it sounds European..c
Comment: Colin Moulding Yes, stole from the best they did.. and I think Elvis Costello stole from Abba with those piano flourishes on Oliver's Army!!
A: yes.. he pretty much admitted it didn't he..c
Comment: Oh, and at one point, Pete Townshend was said to be so obsessed with S.O.S., and thought it was the greatest piece of music he'd ever heard.
A: well those arpeggios are pretty damn good... like JS Bach or something...a good song too...and decorated beautifully..c
P.S. Posted this exchange because I'm a big ABBA fan myself
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:29:46 GMT
Q: Yay, it's almost Colin's birthday! So my question for Colin Moulding is, whats at the top of your birthday wish list?
A: Hi D --- Well I haven the 'Ivorus' bass guitar to try out shortly, and im really excited that it might just arrive before my birthday. So fun for all the family really or not, as the case may be. ....Then it's around to the pub for a few flagons of ale with my good lady..thanks for your question D...all the best..c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:33:26 GMT
Q: Colin Custom job for you?
A: yes Dennis is making it. 'Novo guitars' have their 'guinea pig'....I have the 'Fano' already and I think the Ivorus will build on that ...c
Q: Colin How cool is that...will there be an Ivorus Signature series, perhaps?
A: Im hoping. ....Certainly the Fano is my 'Go to' bass at the moment ....it's all over the AV/wasp star stuff...and of course I played it at the gigs...so im hoping the 'Ivorus' will be a standard model at Dennis' 'Novo Guitars'..c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:36:04 GMT
Q: Another question for Colin. I heard "Blame The Weather" the other night on the wonderful "Rag & Bone Buffet" compilation and was 'blown away'. Great song. Was it ever put forward as a single, or even an album track? When I read Neville Farmer's book you mention in it that "Blame The Weather" was influenced by "Message Of Love" by The Pretenders. I love early Pretenders material so was intrigued by this. I can hear some similarities. Is it the guitar section roughly two minutes into the song that was the influence? The video here also cuts to a cloud scene. Also I'm guessing Dave played piano on "Blame The Weather". Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
A: Just the emptiness of the track I think Steve was the influence....No it was a late stage track , that is why I think it was overlooked, , but I think by the time it was recorded people had made up their minds about what should go on and it was still missing a middle eight--yes , it should have gone on, and yes Dave played the piano . ..cheers Steve ..c
Post by Terra Incognita on Aug 3, 2019 22:42:21 GMT
Q: The wonderful Barry Cain / Flexipop magazine - Issue 5, 1980.
This photoshoot looked like a lot fun Uncle Colin Moulding ? Any memories of this one you could share with us C?
A: ..don't remember too much about it ..other than.....we were at this time acquiring quite a reputation for going all over the place, (but perhaps not where we should have been) our videos were pure ham so this wasn't hard to do..Virgins?...I think our balls had certainly dropped by now...cheers Mark..c
Comment: Thank you Colin. You certainly rocked those safari combat suits C - as you say it was very much in keeping with your videos 😎
A: Like something out of 'Journeys End' Mark ...unfortunately the' journeys' never seemed to have an end (touring)..but hey , I've been very lucky so no complaints really..all the best..c