Thanks again to Carl Bedward and Karl Moseley for another interview, this time about their first band Leopold Bloom. Please check the interview with them about their band Where Gardens Fall and listen to some more tunes, from both bands on their myspace.
++ Thanks again Carl and Karl for being up for another interview! How are things now in Birmingham? Any special plans for Christmas? Here in Miami what’s common is that people have pork for dinner, what’s the tradition in your town?
Karl: Nice to speak to you Roque. I’m looking forward to a meat-free Christmas. So, I’ve got salad to look forward to
Carl: Salad. We def wont be spending Xmas lunchtogether!!!
++ Let’s talk music now, who were Leopold Bloom? And when did you start as a band?
Karl: Leopold Bloom (LB) consisted of myself (Vocals), Carl B.(Guitar), Ian Hough (Bass) and an assortment of drummers. We formed LB, and I might be a year or two out, in 1983/4. I was kinda scratching around as to the first time me and Carl actually picked up a guitar and why we did it. I know everyone gives a typical cliched answer to this, you know “blah blah after seeing so and so at the…etc”, all I remember is playing these massive instrumental pieces on awful cheap guitars and through a single amp, which I remember, having to be glued back together at some point. Our first purchase, not surprisingly, was a guitar tuner
Carl: I first got a (terrible) guitar back in 1980 but couldn’t figure it out so didn’t bother with it until years later and was just as bad then !!!!
++ Was this your first band or where you involved with any other bands before?
Karl: This was our first band.
++ Why did you choose the name Leopold Bloom?
Karl: As you probably know, Leopold Bloom was the centralfigure in the book‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce.
I am sure Carl chose the name and not me…I still thinkit’s of a pretentious name .Though there was a band call Josef K (quite liked them!)
Carl: I honestly don’t recall being responsible for the name but who knows!!
++ On Stephen Cudgels blog he mentions you released at least one song on a compilation? Which compilation and which song was that? Was there any other releases?
Carl: ‘The Convert’ was released on a compilation album released by rhythm recording studios in Leamington Spa entitled ‘The Rhythm method’. the song ‘Myself Willing’ was also released on a compilation album but I have no memory of who/why/where etc I dont even have a copy…maybe Stephen Cudgel could help with this one???
Karl: Likewise, I have no memory of this release.
++ What are the names of those 7 tracks included in your 2 demos? When were they recorded? And will there be a chance for some more of these songs to show up on myspace? Oh! And which is your favourite Leopold Bloom song?
Carl: They were ‘The Convert’ ‘Myself Willing’ ‘Wicked Winter’ (2nd demo)‘Hands & Eyes’ ‘In & Out’ ‘The Contradiction’ ‘Birthplace’(1st demo)
My favourite would prob be either ‘Underwater’ (unrecorded)or ‘The Convert’
Karl: Personally I like the ‘The Convert’ best. With the last note
of this we became Where Gardens Fall.
++ Was there any chance to get a record deal? At least the 2 songs I’ve got the chance to hear, are quite good!
Carl: There was never any record company interest but there were quite a few good songs that were never recorded in a proper studio as we didn’t have the money but these songs gave us a springboardto write the songs we did later with Where Gardens Fall.
++ How about gigging as Leopold Bloom? Any good anecdotes?
Carl: We used to play a local ‘Heavy Rock’ pub called ‘The coach & horses’ in a town called West Bromwich near to where we lived. It was an out and out rock pub which was totally at odds with what we were doing at the time we didnt endear ourselves to the locals very much especially when we did a 10 minute plus version of the Velvet Underground ‘Waiting for the Man’ improvised as ‘Waiting for the bar to close’ at the end of our set as bands had to keep playing until the bar closed.
Karl: I remember the first gig clearly. We played at Rowley Regis Sixth Form College and the set-list included: They Walked in Line, Ice Age and Shadowplay, all by Joy Division and our own songs, The First Man, Do You Remember, Free the Spirit and Going Away. The second gig was at some Roman Catholic community centre…we really shouldn’t have been allowed to play there
++ You mentioned me that it was with “The Convert” song that you saw it was about time to fold Leopold Bloom and start Where Gardens Fall. This song has a very dark vibe though, unlike most of Where Gardens Fall stuff. Where did the inspiration came for it?
Karl: This song was about a woman in pure ‘existential’ crisis. Her religion and her children had left her with no feelings at all. I suppose ‘you never to old to learn’ refrain comes across as very cynical?
++ The other song on myspace, is “Myself Willing”, which is much more of a guitar pop tune, much more upbeat than “The Convert”. I really enjoy this track! What’s the story behind it?
Karl: ‘Myself Willing’, for a change, now seems a lot more optimistic in it’s lyric. I remember that I really wanted to move from this damp ridden flat that should have been condemned years ago but when push came to shove, I had grown very attached to my environment and found that even living in a hovel had its pluses in relation to creativity. I lived in a nice high storey council flat during Where Gardens Fall period. Hence, the quality of the music was a lot better!
++ Also on Stephen’s blog he mentions that you were such a good showman, that you would do a few sort of Morrissey moves crossed with a bit of Michael Stipe! Any comments?
Karl: Certainly dont remember this…but there again
++ Alright, so what was for you the biggest highlight of being in Leopold Bloom?
Karl: This is perhaps the easiest question of all…just playing live and people enjoying it. WGF, tome wasvery grandiose, as near to a work of art that I have got…
++ You mentioned that you were influenced more from books than from music. So I’m wondering what are you reading nowadays? And if you have some sort of favourite book or author? Or a top five?
Karl: Top Five books…
Ulysses by James Joyce
To the LightHouse by Virginia Woolf
Madame Bovary by Flaubert
Ariel by Sylvia Path
And everthing ever written by Ian McEwan (sorry cheated there!)
At the moment I’m reading Graham Swift’s Memoirs but really looking forward to reading a book called ‘Me Cheeta’, check it out onAmazon…
++ Thanks again for this, a second interview! Anything else you’d like to add?
Carl: Leopold Bloom was our first band hence we just recruited ‘mates’ even if they were actually worse players than we were (and we were pretty bad)….that didn’t really workandas time went onso we learnt from that and approached Where Gardens Fall differently which was a much better experience musically.
Leopold Bloom – The Convert