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Sneaker Pimps

Interview von: Matthias Rauch mit Joe Wilson, am: 27.09.2002 ]

Mit "Becoming X" haben sich die Sneaker Pimps mit einem Riesenknall in der hiesigen Musiklandschaft und speziell im Trip-Hop Umfeld etabliert. Damals war hauptsächlich Sängerin Kelli Dayton für die Vergleiche mit Bands wie Massive Attack, Portishead oder Tricky verantwortlich, aber diese Tage sind längst Vergangenheit und die Sneaker Pimps sind zu neuen und eigenständigeren Ufern aufgebrochen. Ihr drittes Album "Bloodsport" ist eine der Überraschungen dieses Jahres und auch live sind die Jungs mehr als überzeugend. Ich befragte Bassist/Gitarrist Joe Wilson zu seinen Plänen, Zielen und künstlerischen Vorlieben.


Musicscan: Tell our readers a little bit about who is currently in the band and how you guys started and met each other back in the day.

Sneaker Pimps: The band is currently David on drums, Chris on vocals and guitars, Liam on keyboards and me on bass, guitars and some backing vocals. Liam and Chris write the music and then the four of us do the production. Liam and Chris met because Liam was going out with Chris' sister. Me, Dave and Liam where then at art school together.

Musicscan: It seems like there is plenty of tension and friction within the band, especially on tour. How do you deal with that and would you say that it is a crucial part of Sneaker Pimps?

Sneaker Pimps: The tension is pretty superficial, but I find touring very difficult because I can be a miserable sod, and touring just makes me drink too much and do stupid things. I have no excuse, touring is a luxury and being in a group is a privilege not a divine right. The conflict used to be useful to the band but I think we are pretty harmonious now. If you get pissed off then you just hide away for a bit until you have grown up a bit.

Musicscan: Are you satisfied with "Bloodsport" or are there some things that you would have done differently in retrospect?

Sneaker Pimps: We are never entirely satisfied with a record once we have finished, but art is knowing about when to stop. If we had the chance the record would never be finished, it would be like the Sistine chapel but unfinished.

Musicscan: What are you trying to portray with your lyrics? Would you say you also incorporate political aspects in your lyrics or are they of a rather personal nature?

Sneaker Pimps: The lyrics are about the social arrangements, and codes that people live by and generate. But then again the social should always be political.

Musicscan: I read about an installation you are doing for the Glasgow Museum of Contemporary Art. Could you tell me a little more about it? Do you often take on similar projects?

Sneaker Pimps: Myself and Liam did an installation in the CCA in Glasgow. It was about personal and private space colliding and my paranoia. We also used to run a "concept" club in the ICA in London. We do as much art as we can or make films for other peoples (and our own) backdrops or design sleeves for other peoples records. Sylvester Stallone also paints, so why can't we?

Musicscan: You also show video pieces during your shows. What is your connection to art and would you say you have an intellectual and artsy approach towards your music? Is the visual aspect solely there to enhance the music or do you consider it an artistic piece in itself?

Sneaker Pimps: The films on stage only survive with the music. I don't think they are films that stand alone, or that they should. Music is just another art form, you can't separate "music" from art. As for "intellectualism" if that is needed to make the artwork then the art isn't worth much. Having said that I suppose it is all a bit arty, like woody Allen when he stopped being funny.

Musicscan: Liam is a father now. How does having a family correspond with playing in a band?

Sneaker Pimps: Liam is a father now, that is true. It just means he doesn't go on tour with us, it doesn't change the way we work in the studio.

Musicscan: Do you feel any urge to settle down and enjoy a "normal" life with "regular" working hours instead of constant touring and the rock n roll lifestyle?

Sneaker Pimps: I don't know what I desire. I don't want a regular life with regular hours and I don't want rock n roll. I want something else; something divorced from earthly delights. Neil Tennant always looks like he has a nice life. That'll do me.

Musicscan: Do you ever think about how a decision like that will influence your life? Is that an issue at all?

Sneaker Pimps: I know that a lot of my life has been decided through virtually random decisions I have been in the right places (and wrong) at the right times. There is no plan. I have ambition to even have anything resembling a plan.

Musicscan: Would you say you are happy with where you are in your life right now? Is this what you dreamed of?

Sneaker Pimps: I had no dreams or ambitions to fulfil. I fell into being in band. Other people in the band have the dreams and desires of tigers. It's all right where I am right now I guess. I am not out killing people in a civil war and have my health etc. so mustn't grumble.

Musicscan: What were your most important goals at age 16-18?

Sneaker Pimps: I wanted to be an astronaut, pretty much up to about last week. Now I want to be a lion tamer. My big goal when I was 16-18 was basically to be a Marxist revolutionary. I failed, but am still keen on the 16-year-old I was.

Musicscan: What can we expect from Sneaker Pimps in the near future?

Sneaker Pimps: You can expect a new album.

  Sneaker Pimps Site
  V2 Records