From the Funky Mofo archives: A year ago we asked John Parish for our first interview, which he kindly agreed to give out, thus becoming Funky Mofo’s Godfather! Here’s how 2004 went for him!
Funky Mofo: You ended 2004 with a new line-up! Please tell us about these new musicians and how you ended up working with them.
John Parish: The new line-up is me on vocals & guitar, Marta Collica on keyboards & vocals, Giorgia Poli on bass & vocals, Jean-Marc Butty on drums.
Marta is from Catania, Sicily. I met her about 18 months ago when I was producing an album for Sicilian artist Cesare Basile (‘Gran Calaverra Elettrica’). She was singing a little on the album – I liked her voice and approach and also the music she was writing herself – she has two projects, her own ‘PRETTY & UNSAFE’, and ‘SEPIATONE’ with Hugo Race who are about to release their second album.
Giorgia is from Salo in the north of Italy. She was playing bass on an album I produced in Rome at the beginning of last year (‘TUTTO L’AMORE CHE MI MANCA’ by NADA). Marta was also involved in that session and that was when the three of us first idly talked about playing together.
So we needed a drummer…
Jean-Marc is from Annecy, France, but lives in Paris. Yes, rehearsals are a logistic exercise… I met Jean-Marc about 13 years ago when he was playing in Marc Moreland‘s ENSENADA JOYRIDE – a band which I joined for their six month stint in the UK in 1991. Jean-Marc also played with me in ‘To Bring You My Love’ era PJ HARVEY.
FM: You also ended the year with several live performances. How did they go? Will you be on the road in 2005?
JP: Pretty good I think – they were certainly well received. We’re playing two shows next weekend (opening for Giant Sand) in Bologna and Verona. We’ll certainly be playing more shows when the new album comes out…
FM: There are rumours that you’ve just finished an album. Is it similar to your last album or have you taken a different musical direction? Could we have a sneak peak at a few track titles?
JP: Well it’s not finished yet – but not too far off. We’ve been recording in the north of Italy, in Bristol and in Copenhagen. It’s certainly different to the last record – completely different band for a start… Also this record is mainly songs with words! I guess it’s still recognisably me though… Mmn a few track titles… ‘Boxers’, ‘The Last Thing I Heard Her Say’, ‘Even Redder Than That’, ‘Trick Pilot’.
FM: What albums lived in your CD player throughout the last year?
JP: New ones included WILCO‘s ‘A Ghost Is Born’, MARTA’s ‘Pretty & Unsafe’, CHARLEMAGNEMARK LANEGAN‘s ‘Bubblegum’. I also always travel with ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’ by ENO, ‘Marquee Moon’ by TELEVISION, ‘Electric Warrior’ by T.REX and at least a couple things by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART and GIANT SAND/HOWE GELB. (self-titled) and
FM: Are there any artists/albums we should look out for in 2005?
JP: Mmn… You tell me… A lot of my favourite things are not British, so probably won’t even get released here… You should look out for Ceasare Basile’s new album. It’ll be out later this year on Mescal (Italian label) but you’ll probably need to find it over the web. Scout Niblett is always well worth checking out – she should have a new album later this year.
FM: How would you sum up 2004 in general?
JP: Well… Bush was actually legitimately elected US president and it ended with the biggest natural disaster in history, so globally pretty bad. Culturally we seem to be sinking ever lower. We’re involved in an unjust war. Tony Blair’s Labour Party appears to be our only political option, so nationally pretty bad. Despite that, I generally enjoyed 2004. I liked the music I was making and the people I was making it with and had more time than usual to hang out with my wife and kids.