Thanks so much to Andrew Burnett for the interview! Please check his current project CLS Kunstwerk here. Also be sure to not miss “Forever, Until Victory!”, a compilation of all Close Lobsters singles!
++ “Forever, Until Victory!” is the new compilation that will be out soon on Fire Records. Care to tell me a bit about this? What will be included? And when will we be able to buy it?
All the singles and all the b-sides are there. Newly remastered. It is scheduled for release on 6.10.09 by Fire Records of London. Fingers crossed!
++ The name for this compilation comes from what Che Guevara wrote to Fidel Castro. Do you have any particular view about Cuba and it’s regime, or you just liked the title?
The phrase itself has a wonderful spirit of determination to it but can also be viewed in an ironic fashion when used in the context of close lobsters. Che Guevara was a prince among men.
++ According to legend, the band’s name was derived from their inability to decide between two prospective names: The Close and The Lobsters. Is this really true? If so, who proposed these names? It seems it wasn’t easy to pick up a name..
Myself and Steward were behind this accomodation/amalgamation – me close, him lobsters. close lobsters.
++ How did the band come together? Where from Glasgow where you all from and how did you all meet? Were you all fans of the same kind of music?
We met when we were at school, all involved in punk rock and its post-punk aftermaths – the real punk rock, not the one where people took it literally and uncritically, not the popular perception of leather jackets, mohawks, spitting and touristy attractions etc. So we were destined in a way to do it given our collective belief in the spirit of punk rock. The late 70s was magical for music.
++ You were part of the C86 tape. How did it happen? Did the NME call you? How did that work out? What do you feel in retrospect about that tape which gave name to this “genre” and being on it?
I can only assume by accident. A good friend Jon Hunter, trumpet player with the June Brides took us under his wing and promoted the band in London for a while. I’m sure it was his influence that helped bring about the inclusion on C86.
++ How did you end up signing to Fire Records? Did you send them a demo perhaps?
They approached us with a record deal. We signed. Some people rob you with a fountain said Bob Dylan.
++ Are there still unreleased songs from you waiting to see the light of the day?
Possibly but in a very different form. House music floats my boat these days. Electronic music.
++ You toured all around the USA. How did that happen? What would you say is different between touring here compared to the UK? What was the best meal you had here by the way? Any anecdotes you’d like to share from this tour?
We signed a agency deal with a company in New York and they let us loose on the mid west and the north eastern seaboard. Actually we had a licensing deal in the US with a record company in California which meant that our records were very much more available in the US than in the UK. All meals in the US are good – large and good.
++ Any particular gigs you remember the most?
Iowa, New York and Chicago. All very good.
++ You released two fantastic albums and many many singles. If you were to choose some songs you are really proud of, which ones would you choose? and why?
I Kiss the Flower in Bloom and Got Apprehension. They are the closest to what I wanted at the time.
++ You are still making music as CLS Kunstwerk which is quite different from The Close Lobsters. How did this band come together? And, I don’t know, give yourself some shameless free publicity! tell us more about it
CLS Kunstwerk came about as a vehicle for me to start making music again. One gets tired and jaded in life without the means to produce something of an artistic nature. A release is imminent and should be track called Cosmic War.
++ Do you still follow guitar pop music? Did you have any favourites back then? How do you feel about the Wedding Present’s cover of “Let’s Make Some Plans”? you like it?
No, not really. I like Radiohead but sometimes find them a little morose. One of favourite groups back then was the G-Betweens. The Wedding Present’s cover was very good indeed.
++ And between the Close Lobsters and CLS Kunstwerk were you involved with any other bands?
++ Are you still in touch with the other Close Lobsters members? What do you all dedicate your time to nowadays?
Sometimes. Mostly they are dedicated to their children and wives and alcohol. In that order.
++ A couple of random questions, what’s a foxhead? which are the “Skyscrapers of St. Mirin”? do you believe in saints?
Foxhead was a way of communicate the word F-head and getting through the censors. In the 1980s there was no such thing as mainstream indie music and the mainstream charts were truly dreadful. The censors and the majors dominated. It was the effects after these years that opened things up. The skyscrapers of st. Mirin are those space cadets I grew up with in Paisley Scotland.
++ And most importantly, does Andrew Burnett likes eating lobster?
Yes, had it once and liked it very much. Its a bit sickly if you take tooo much of it. Like many things.
++ Anything else you’d like to say to all Close Lobsters fans out there?
Forever, Until Victory!