Anthony Reynolds

Interview: Anthony Reynolds

Published on September 28th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Anthony Reynolds, formerly of Jack and Jacques, recently released A World of Colin Wilson, a musical tribute to the titular writer featuring recordings of the man himself reading his own work, so Rocksucker fired him over some questions to find out a little bit more about the project…

Which of Colin Wilson’s works are your particular favourites, and how would you say they’ve infused themselves into your (sub)consciousness ever since?

Adrift in Soho – helped me live in London for the first few months at a deeper level

The Outsider – Introduced to me to other writers and realms of thought I’d previously been unable to put a name too…

The Misfits – gave me the horn

Dreaming to Some Purpose – an extraordinarily rich and somehow quiet life wonderfully recounted…

His life really – a man sticking to his Guns whatever the climate/weather…

Are these recent recordings of Colin reading his own texts? If so, did you get to spend much time with him, and how was that? 

I recorded Colin back in 2002- 2004. At his house. I spent a few days with him, we went for walks and he drove me to the station in his jag while telling me a digested version of Joyce’s Ulysses….at some points it was so comfortable I would be sat opposite him reading while he was on the phone…Given a change in our ages, we would have been mates.  I appreciated his reserve and he liked my slightly. boisterous energy…it was a good balance…

Has he given you much feedback on the album? If so, what does he think of it? Have you been able to visit him since his recent stroke?

I heard from his wife and she commented that they were struck by the ‘density’ of it…they were very glad to ‘have it in their hands’ but really, it’s a minor thing in his life, I’m sure…Colin himself is in recovery, I believe…

Are you allowed to share any stories he might have told you about his encounters with the likes of Albert Camus, Arthur Miller, Henry Miller and other such “men of genius”?

I can’t recall any details. I remember he had only an hour with Miller and wanted to get his…philosophy across in that time as much as possible….he talked intensely non stop..Miller said ‘Gad! You sure can talk’…There was nothing salacious though..Colin was/is a very straight chap in some ways..Old school..It’s all in Dreaming to Some Purpose

What do you mean exactly when you say of Colin “he allowed us access to heaven without needing to be on God’s guest list”?

I guess in a way, he was showing us a way to be Gods ourselves, without religion or drugs.

How did Martin Carr come to get involved with the project? How much input did he have? Are you a fan of his?

Martin lives around the corner…I’d known him in London a bit..back in the late ’90s..can’t remember why…I bumped into him a few times…he contributed to three tracks. I gave him sound files of Colin that I’d recorded, he chose the ones he liked. I then improvised some parts in his studio – me playing piano, guitar, vocalising…he then mixed these together adding his own instruments to Colin’s Voice. He then sent me a rough mix and i made suggestions ‘make this like Fela Kuti freak out’ which he then did so…I’ve only heard a tiny amount of his work – I don’t listen to contemporary music much – but I like what I’ve heard. In fact I’ve sung on one song of his, “I Don’t Think I’ll Make It”, which I’ll release late this year as part of my …with Flowers EP.

I’m certainly a fan of the man, not that I can pin him down very often or as much as I’d like…

Do you know yet what your next project(s) will be?

Two EPs this year, album next.  Currently working on A Small Spit of Land, a musical about my growing up in the Ghetto. Writing a memoir: Waving and Drowning. I’d like to do a book of photography if anyone wants to finance it…

If you could ever meet Simon ‘Arch Cunt’ C****l in person, what would you say to him? (We’re loathe to give him the time of day but we equally delight in people of genuine artistic integrity positioning themselves firmly in opposition to him…)

In my heavy drinking years I would have maybe just spat at him – a gesture from the middle ages(?) much underused these days. I was also a fan of the glass of wine in the face, something I learnt from my mother. But I’m in anger management at present and silence is a friend. The sad truth is, if I met him we’d probably get on, us both being being arch cunts in our own field…

Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming artists that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?

Miles Davis, Morton Feldman, Fra Lippo Lippi

Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, with just the entire back catalogues of five different musical artists for company, whose would you choose?

I DO spend my days in Solitary confinement….I’d rather just have the music in my head I think…

Anthony Reynolds, thank you.

Anthony Reynolds - A World Of Colin Wilson

A World of Colin Wilson is out now on Rocket Girl Records. For more information, please visit www.anthonyreynolds.net and www.colinwilsonworld.co.uk

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.