Third time lucky! Carl Green, the man behind The Whirlpool Guest House, Shandy Wildtyme and The Close-Ups, has just released a new album! This time he is going solo and calling himself Head of Light Entertainment. So let’s hear a bit about his new work, alright? And please check more tunes on his myspace and buy his new record on CDBaby.
++ Hi Carl, thanks again for another interview. You just released a new album and it’s called “I Am Liberated”. I know there’s a song on the album with the same title, but, does this title carry another meaning?
It does, yes- a musical liberation. It’s the feeling of being free of obligation- to other band members, to my public (should such an entity exist!), and indeed the music scene at large. I’m no longer bewitched or seduced by all that stuff. Quite the opposite actually. I now do exactly what I please. And there’s another kind of liberation at work too- the one of getting older. Age has granted me perspective and with that I can see more clearly than I ever did when I was young.
++ The new album is quite nice. Every song has it’s own mood, it’s own personality. It’s like 11 short stories put together. But I wonder what you think about it, what could the old fans of your music expect? Is there any similarities you think to your other bands?
There are similarities of course- it’s still left field pop music made by a bitter and twisted outsider! The real difference is in approach and subject matter. I’ve things to say and view points to express and I’m doing it directly now, not trying to be overly clever or flowery about things. Also, I’ve stripped the sound right back to guitar, keys and voice so my words take centre stage. Drums and bass are out, used occasionally to emphasize a point or enhance a mood. If that makes the album seem strange and frugal, then good- I’ve achieved my aim.
++ What does the name Head of Light Entertainment means?
Ha ha, I knew you’d ask that! It’s me and my delusions of grandeur. Me imagining myself as a shadowy controller of popular culture, stalking the corridors of pop power. Scary!
++ How long did the album take to shape up and to be recorded? Were there any bumps in the way?
It was recorded over the course of a year- September 2008 to July 2009. The songs came easily and quickly and there’s a lot more where they came from. I’m bursting with ideas right now and it’s been a while since I felt this fruitful! In Spring I begin work on the follow up and I’m raring to go.
++ You did play everything on the record! Do you prefer it that way?
Not quite everything. Me and Neil (the album’s co-producer and engineer) shared the keyboard bits and “unusual” sounds.
I do prefer doing things myself- typical of a loner really. I play the guitar in my own particular way and I wanted to carry that unstylish style over onto other instrumentation.
++ I notice you have some gigs planned out! I thought you didn’t like gigging. Or will this gigs be something totally different to the usual fare?
I’m a fickle sod aren’t I? I don’t like gigging as part of a band but I do enjoy the liberation of being solo and spontaneous on stage. I often change parts, even whole sections, of songs, whilst performing. On a whim, for fun, to see what happens…I am liberated! I couldn’t do this with a band, nor would I want to try.
++ You have this song called “Lady Godiva’s Horse”, and there’s been many songs written about Lady Godiva before, but I’m wondering if your inspiration comes from the old story, the legend. And if so, what other legends do you like? Do you like mythology?
I’m not sure there’s been any songs written about her horse before! No, the song doesn’t deal with the legend, it’s more a musical daydream about being uninhibited and wanting to shock. I’m not a natural exhibitionist but I’d like to give it a go, see how it felt for a day!
++ And also, why dedicate a song to Agyness Deyn? Is she your new muse maybe? :p
Not at all, and the song isn’t about Agyness per se. It’s about the freakish ideals women are subjected to in the 21st century, how it makes them feel and what it does to their self worth. Fashion models, female pop and movie stars, are held up as modern godesses, ikons of impossible perfection, and the media relentlessly taunts and dares women to try and emulate them. Is it any wonder so many women today have eating disorders and low self esteem? It’s a terrible state of affairs.
++ You also wrote a song, “The Face of a Girl”, that has that lovely line “Do you see a whole new world? when you see the face of a girl”. Yes, girls are so so so pretty! And I have had many endless discussions with friends wondering what’s the most important feature in a girl’s face, I’d go for the nose I think, smile will come second. What about you?
It’s the eyes for me, but it’s a subtle combination of features and movement that define the beauty of a female face.
++ You dedicate the CD to pop misfits and lovers everywhere. I love that. I want to hear from you what is a pop misfit though
A pop misfit is someone who has what it takes, but for whom there are no takers.
++ So in the near future, what can we expect from Head of Light Entertainment?
My fondest regards…
++ Christmas is around the corner, are there any preparations being done? maybe a big party? What would you like to get from Santa this year?
I’d like Santa to get me, full stop. I’d like a lot of people in general to “get me”, full stop.
++ One last question, as it’s lunch time here and I can’t decide what to have today, what’s Carl Green’s favourite food? And can you cook it?!
Spicey things all the way! I make a rather tasty chilli-con-carne, lots of mushrooms, peppers and chillis. Good food should always bring on a good sweat I believe!
++ Thanks again so much Carl, anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, thank you Roque for your interest in my music past and present. It’s comforting to know that there are people out there on a similar off-kilter pop wavelength. Merry Christmas!