Interview: Goldie Lookin Chain
Published on October 11th, 2011 | Jonny Abrams
Newport’s premier purveyors of explicit yet frequently hilarious rhyming schemes are back with Blue Waffle, their latest instalment of ingenious taste-testing and the first Goldie Lookin Chain album to be named after a medical condition pertaining to female genitalia.
Rocksucker caught up with Rhys from the band last Thursday, National Poetry Day no less, at the foolhardy juncture of ‘just before lunch’…
Happy National Poetry day, apparently! As steeped in rhyming as you guys are, do you have a favourite poem?
I like “If” [by Rudyard Kipling]. It’s a banger.
What about a GLC lyric that you might consider to be particularly poetic?
There are so many! Poetry doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme – it just has to come from the heart. So anything that’s heartfelt. Go forth and be good to others! Be happy all the time, drink booze, be free, my friend! That could be poetry.
Very sage-like. Now, I haven’t been fortunate enough to get hold of a copy of the album yet, so all I’ve had to go off are the minute-long clips on the Blue Waffle microsite.
To be honest, that’s enough. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know. You’ve saved yourself about half an hour, there. But if you like it and you want to hear more, you know – 17th October, pop down your local HMV and buy yourself a copy. You might even save HMV in the process.
Do people even do that anymore? Pop down to their local HMV that is, not buy your records…
Some people. Most people just download stuff illegally. Sorry, I’m just in a coffee shop at the moment. I’ll pop outside, sometimes it breaks up in here. Eggsy, get us a coffee! Get me a croissant as well! Lush. Right, can you hear me?
Loud and cl…
I had to get out the house. My missus went nuts this morning. She started cleaning the house and doing all this stuff. We live in a relatively old house and, in the ’70s, they put panels over the old doors – these old doors are beautiful – so I took one of the panels off, ’cause she was like “take it off, take it off!” So I took it off, went upstairs for two minutes and, when I came back, she started painting it. There are nails coming out of it and holes in it and stuff like…I’m like, you’re so supposed to…I mean, you can’t…oh, fucking hell. And there was paint all over the floor. I had to get out.
Does she do that thing where she keeps sighing and looking furious as if to say, “Come on then, help!”?
She’ll go, “You never help me,” then I’ll help her and she’ll say, “You’ve done it all wrong!” And I’m like, “But…but I’m helping you…that’s why I never help you. I can’t do things right.” God bless her, she’s wonderful but she’s got no patience. You’ve got to learn patience. It was drummed into me – you can’t have that Knight Rider car now, wait ’til Christmas. Sorry, what were you saying?
Erm…what does your missus think of the title of the new album?
It’s weird because obviously we’ve done like fifteen albums, or something, and you get to a certain stage where you’re like, “Well, we could just call the album Keith.” We were thinking for so long of things to call it – we were going to call it Aural Leisure and a bunch of other things, but nothing was ‘kicking it live’, as they say. So I was thinking, why not just call it something outrageous? Something that doesn’t mean much to so many, but means so much to so few. We were actually contacted by the guy who runs the Blue Waffle website – it’s one of those websites that becomes an internet phenomenon [Rocksucker says: DON’T look it up if you’re at work or plan to eat anything for the next month or so] and he was like, “Dudes, awesome stuff! Can you put a shout-out to me on the album cover?” and I was like, “Er, it’s already gone off to be printed, unfortunately.” It’s a tribute to the internet, really.
Were there any rival would-be album titles pertaining to matters of sheer filth?
Well, Maggot from the band drew my attention to two things. One of them is lemonparty.org [Rocksucker says: you are again strongly advised NOT to seek out this Pandora’s box of a link, especially if you’re at work or plan on going anywhere even close to a lemon ever again] – it’s one of those things where you type it in and wonder what it is, if it’s some kind of party with lemons. But it’s not, and it’s a bit of a shocker. And the other one…have you heard of Goatse? Goatse was a man who liked to pull his bumcheeks apart and put giant things up his bottom. Apparently the 2012 Olympics logo is a Goatse.
As soon as that logo was unveiled, some wag on a website remarked upon its striking resemblance to Lisa Simpson…er, ‘performing’…well, suffice it to say, I’ve never been able to see anything else when I see it. Which is a lot, because it’s everywhere.
Yeah, once you get something in your mind, that’s it: game over. I think that whoever designed it is laughing to himself. Whenever he drives by it, he goes, “(Snigger) It’s a Goatse!” Or alternatively, The Simpsons doing each other.
The press blurb on the Blue Waffle microsite says: “Blue Waffle will be out on October 17th and the Fresh Princes of Newport are shaking like dogs with excitement.” Did someone remove the word ‘shitting’ from this sentence, by any chance?
I think that there was an edit made by the people who are in charge. The dogs could be shaking because they’re happy, or maybe they’re just dehydrated or something. But yeah, I think it might have been related to passing faeces.
I read somewhere that this new album was inspired by “life on the road”…
Yeah, we’ve done a bit this year. It’s been great fun. Life on the road is where things happen. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” We’ve never been to Vegas but, if we did, I should imagine it would be quite messy and we probably wouldn’t be able to talk it about it with anyone except ourselves. Or, alternatively, things would happen that we’d never be able to talk about again.
The last track on the album is called “Older Ladies”. What is the eldest age you would deem acceptable?
Well, Felicity Kendal – I have no clue how old she is [Rocksucker says: 65] but my god she’s fit. She did Strictly Come Dancing a few years ago and there was a picture of her in the paper doing a yogic squat, and you could see what we describe as ‘the little lemon’. That’s why we got confused with ‘lemon party’, you see. She’s mega fit. If there was ever a chance of having a crack at her, I think the whole band would be lined up in a queue. She’s a first class example of the female kind.
The first track is called “K Hole”. Do you remember your first K hole? (As we go through the K hole…)
I do. I went to a nightclub and had something slipped into my drink. It turned out that I lost seven hours of my life and it was really, really…’different’ to anything that’s ever happened to me before or since. If you go to a nightclub, drink out of bottles and keep them to yourself because these kids at nightclubs, especially in the old days of rave, they put things in people’s drinks because they seemed to think it was amusing. You travel literally through time and space.
That must have been rather disconcerting, given that you weren’t expecting it…
Basically, what happened was that I went into the nightclub and then, suddenly, I was back at my house. I was like, “Woah, what the fuck?” It was really weird. I properly went into a K hole and it’s not something that I ever want to get stuck in ever again. Seriously, be protective of your alcoholic beverages.
See, people think you guys are just smut merchants but that’s some excellent practical advice right there.
Be good, do your homework, be good to your parents. And, if someone like Steve Jobs dies, don’t bother Tweeting him – he doesn’t own the internet and it doesn’t go straight to heaven. If you love someone, Tweet them before they die. Today, not tomorrow.
Re: “Biscuit” – if you could dunk your biscuit in one well-known person’s tea, whose would it be? And what kind of biscuit?
Custard cream or a bourbon. Although I do like a good Hobnob, you can get biscuits that are similar to Hobnobs for half the price. And the person would be Mila Kunis, or whatever her name is. She was in That ’70s Show. She was a right bitch in that but that doesn’t matter, does it?
She also does the voice of Meg in Family Guy.
Oh right. I dunno, I’m not a big Family Guy fan. There is a saying in France that’s something like: “in the dark, even the prettiest woman looks like a goat.” Make of that what you will.
Re: “My Mate Carl” – is Carl a real person?
Carl is a real person but his name’s not Carl. The name has been changed to protect the guilty. He was a very close friend of mine. He’s one of these people, right…he told me that his dad taught Phil Collins how to drum and that his dad also worked for the leader of Formula 1, testing all the cars. He’s one of those people who tells you lots and lots of different things and, although you believe some of them, after a while you start going, “Hang on a minute…nah.” But it’s fascinating – so many lies. The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. Hitler taught me that. You know what, I met someone the other day whose surname is Hitler! Absolutely crazy. I was like, “Wow,” and he said (in German accent), “Yes, for years it was a very good time.” I was like, “Okay, I’ve got to go.” He was just some guy on the street. Said he was in Hitler Youth. I was like, “Fucking hell! See you later, mate.”
Hmmm…not as cool as Sonic Youth but quite the conversation piece nevertheless.
Yeah. It just goes to show: we’re only one step away from anyone, you know?
Any more TV presenting in the pipeline?
At the moment we’re working on a radio show for BBC Radio Wales. They’ve just announced 20% cutbacks. I thought it was a discount: 20% off the BBC. Hopefully we’ll still have a radio show, ’cause it’s the rugby World Cup. Also, I’m working on a TV show about learning Welsh.
Do you still keep in touch with Super Furry Animals?
I went to see Gruff Rhys play in Cardiff last night. It was amazing. He’s crazy – you’ll ask him a question, like “how’s it going?”, then there’ll be a big pause…then he just goes (impersonating Gruff quite accurately, it has to be said), “Erm…yeah…er…spaceman.” I saw him the other day at this farmer’s market in Cardiff I sometimes go to – they do a curry there that I sometimes get when I’m hung over – and I thought, you know what, I’m in a bit of a rush, so I just swerved round him, you know? I didn’t have twenty-five minutes to ask him three questions! He is awesome though. The whole of Super Furry Animals are amazing. When I saw him playing the gig last night, I was like, “My god, I can’t wait ’til Super Furry Animals come back and do a tour.” They’ve got to do it soon.
Do you happen to know if they’re working on a new album?
I think they’re taking a massive sabbatical, just chilling out and doing their own things right now.
I’m interviewing Scroobius Pip tomorrow and, since I like to encourage banter between my interviewees, do you have any questions for him?
(Sings) “I smashed my balls on the handlebar” – was that song by him?
(Sings) “I smashed my balls on the handlebar.” Something about riding a bike with no seat? Ask him if that song was by him.
Hmmm. Onto the template questions: which journalistic clichés or buzzwords are you most tired of seeing and hearing as descriptions of your music?
I don’t know. I don’t really read that sort of stuff. I’m too busy creating, man. (Suddenly adopting London ‘street’ patois) Yo, I’m a creator and that, youknowahmean? I’m a planter, youknowahmean? I don’t reap the rewards of the trees, I just plant the trees and all that. Innit, youknowahmean? Brap.
I respect that.
Yeah, I dunno…I’m not very good at that reading stuff. What fascinates me is words they use in redtop newspapers, like ‘snubbed’. No-one says that. No-one says ‘snubbed’ or ‘hubby’.
Have you ever ‘scooped’ a ‘gong’?
‘Scooped a gong’- what sort of lingo is this? Look, I just said ‘lingo’ – I’ve fallen into their trap!
Who’s your ‘fave celeb’?
The whole cast of Geordie Shore. I’m just in awe of them. They’re the best thing in the world.
Are there any up-and-coming and/or obscure artists you’d like to recommend or give a shout out to?
I’m in a band called Britpop Chipshop myself so I always feel an affinity with fellow musical frites.
I wrote a song called “I Like Chips” recently: “I like chips/You like chips/Let’s get together/And eat chips.”
Write about you see, and all that.
Exactly: “say what you see, say what you see!”
Finally, if I asked you right now to name your top three albums of all time, off the top of your head, which would you go for?
Anything by Al Bowlly, a crooner from the years 1927-41. Absolutely fantastic. At the moment, I’m really digging The KLF’s Chill Out album, which is an awesome piece of work. And a third one…it’s tough to say…but I really like Summer of Hate by Crocodiles.
Rhys, thank you.
Blue Waffle will be released on 17th October on 1983 Records. For more information and a list of live dates, including a 4th November show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom (click here to buy tickets), please visit www.youknowsit.co.uk