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BORED AT WORK – a series of interviews

Posted: November 1st, 2005, by Chris S

In my job I work sporadically. I occasionally work really hard. I then take a well deserved break and email people. These emails exchanges are often profound, really. On Friday we did one of those crappy Myspace 20 questions things and I want to share the mundanity of it all with everyone.

The people are:

ROBERT CLULEY – ‘Bob’ works in some cushy office in Leicester in a job his Mum got him training graduates to do something or other. He is singer and mainman behind The Fabulous Foxes.

GARETH HARDWICK – Works for the Dept For Agriculture in some map logging role. I think. He is also my housemate and makes music as a solo artiste and in the amusingly named Bologna Pony. The night before this he vomited in the hallway of the house I share with him after busting into my room at 4.30 am in his pants. Amazingly, he made it to work at 8am.

MATTHEW NEWNHAM – Works for Experian and knows everything about you. He runs Gringo Records. He is my neighbour and colleague in the Damn You! empire.

IAN SCANLON – Is busy curing cancer in Surrey. He is a member of Hey Colossus, Black Horse and Econoline. He is a grumpy old man.

CHRIS SUMMERLIN – Is me. And I work for Nottingham City Council.

I stole the questions from another website, spelling is the interviewees own.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

RC: At the minute, after a fruitless night on opposite ends of a sofa with a girl, it’s definitely half empty.
GH: half full
MN: I am working. No time to answer questions.
IS: Half empty, and what’s left is sour! That certainly used to be the case, over the past two years though, it has become half full, and the best bit is left.
CS: As I realise the only thing that is for certain is my own death I begrudgingly accept the glass is half empty

Of what?

RC: Guiness, red wine, lust and hope.
GH: at the minute, water
IS: Today I am thinking about mortality the glass is half full of the rest of my life. I reckon I am just about halfway through.
CS: Cum

What makes you angry?

RC: Mainly, stupidity, which is ironic because my flatmate is the most stupid perosn I’ve ever met. Although thinking about it, Ben makes me angrier than anyone so it makes sense. Other than Ben, public transport, pikeys, people in cars who shout things or throw things, jobsworths, bad manners (eg you hold a door open for someone and they don’t say thank you), when you’re walking behind someone in town and they suddenly stop right in front of you, that really gets my goat. You could pretty much categorise everything that makes me angry as “other people”.
GH: noisy neighbours, dogshit on the pavement outside my house
IS: Wasting time.
CS: Internet message boards and the stupid supposed ethical and moral rules that are somehow enforced by a mythical higher power. You can say you hated a band so much you wanted them to drown but I can’t tell you that if I ever meet you I’ll kick your face onto the backside of your head and somehow one thing is allowed and the other is evidence to get me barred from the ‘community’ concerned. The internet has somehow given the right for people to be personally offensive about everyone’s artistic endeavours, even if the artist never wanted anyone’s opinion anyway. To quote Neil Johnson “the internet needs to walk into a pub in Arnold sometime and start talking about what’s right and wrong”

What makes you laugh?

RC: Jokes, other peoples’ misfortune, Homer Simpson. Stupidity. My friends. My stupid friends. The life of Will Green.
GH: dumber and dumberest with Noddy Holder
IS: bitterly, some of the things people tell me; heartily some of the other things people tell me
CS: The Simpsons. My friends. Trading Places with Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy. Other people’s misfortune. Bad taste jokes.

Who’s your favourite singer?

RC: Bob Dylan of course!
GH: DC Berman
IS: Neil Young/ Stevie Wonder
CS: Will Oldham/Captain Beefheart

And what’s your favourite line from a song?

RC:I haven’t a clue.
GH: ‘In 1984, i was hospitalised for approaching perfection’
IS: “Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands”
Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder
CS: At the moment it is
“I would rather live in a trash can
Than see you happy with another man”
I’m sure it will change but it does tend to flit from one Silver Jews song to another.

Which song do you wish you had written?

RC: For the wrong reasons Smells Like Teen Spirit, Creep, Song Two. For the right reasons It Takes a Lot to Laugh it Takes a Train to Cry by Dylan or The Hour That the Ship Comes In.
GH: The Artificial Arch Pine Song by Stars of the Lid
IS: Helpless by Neil Young or Queen of the savages by the Magnetic fields or
http://www.mamarocks.com/how_great_thou_art.htm just for the chorus
CS: I think Come In by Palace Brothers would be it, either that or Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles by Beefheart.

What could you not live without?

RC: I don’t feel I can answer this truthfully. I had to go two weeks with only £4.30 to my name once, that taught me that I can’t live very happily without money and food, or at least money for food. Other than that, the hope that one day I won’t work in a rubbish office job keeps me going, if I didn’t have that I don’t think it would be living. Looking forward to bank holidays and days off by the sea, with friends, beers, food, cricket on the beach, a test match on tv, a beer festival in the evening with some proper English folk music, a smoke, a stroll to get ice cream and a king sized double bed.
GH: Oxygen, food & water
IS: the few people I actually like
CS: The love and affection of a good woman.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

RC: I used to have loads of little adages that people told me and I’d try to stick to but it’s not really worked out for the best, so now I go with Evelyn Waugh who said that advice is something a wise man doesn’t need it and fool doesn’t listen to.
GH: Most things aren’t worth worrying about
IS: Go for it, take good care of your gums
CS: Don’t shit where you eat.

What makes you tick?

RC: What motives me? I’m not sure.
GH: Good company & good music
IS: Hate and just occasionally love.
CS: Heels

If you weren’t you, who would you be?

RC: I’d like to be someone who is naturally good enough at a sport to be a top level professional without having to try. Preferably, this sport would be cricket or golf for the gentle-paced lifestyle and travelling, or football or basketball for the chicks. Not rugby though, it’s for gays.
GH: No idea
IS: Superman or one of Girls Aloud
CS: Robert Crumb

What would you kill for?

RC: That’s a loaded question, kill what? I’d kill a spider for a girl but I wouldn’t kill another person, unless the girl was really hot.
IS: Food, shelter, survival, conveniance
CS: My children or my wife if I was married or I was a father. I am neither so: nothing.

What is your favourite work of art?

RC: I like the early works of Palozzi. The ones where he just cut out pictures before he got into making patterns and junk sculptures.
GH: Vir heroicus sublimins by Barnett Newman
IS: gravity’s rainbow by Thomas Pynchon or the rabbit books by John Updike.. if we’re talking visual art..hmmm composition VII by Kandinsky or seurat’s The circus, or maybe Picasso’s Guernica
CS: The white horse sculpture in the window of the first floor flat above the E. Ploton shop on the A1 road into Highbury in London. I would maybe kill for that, actually. Or I would certainly pay a lot of my money to own it.

What is the best drug?

RC: I don’t know. A free one. No, in fact the best drug is the one you can’t quite get. When I was younger we’d go round someone’s house for a smoke, and the excitement trying to get hold of some gear was such that when youc ouldn’t get any you’d swear blind that you’d missed out on the best drug. If that makes sense.
IS: Penicillin, an oldie but a goodie.. newer ones like herceptin and Sorafenib are doing good
CS: Love. Actually, that’s a lie. I’d say cocaine seems to do the job it’s supposed to do with most efficiency but I don’t have much experience in the field.

How would you like to be remembered?

RC: Just being remembered would be nice. But really being thought of as the thinking man’s punk rocker is what I’d like.
GH: A good guy
IS: By my grandchildren as a good chap
CS: Fondly

What is your earliest memory?

RC: Timescales get pretty messed up when I reminisce so I’m not sure if it’s my earliest memory but I can remember some birthday parties with cakes made to look like hedgehogs, family Christmas before my Auntie died (something which somewhat trumatised my family I think) and school.
GH: falling asleep on the living room sofa after playschool
IS: Clear memory, My brother opening the door of our house in Hereford in 1981 and the snow being up to my shoulder coincidentally that was just after I got my glasses which explains why up ’til the age of 5 I have no visual memories just sensations of it being dark or bright and sounds I remember being terrified by one sound, that was war of the worlds by Jeff wayne NO
CS: I think my Mum telling the teachers at nursery that I had a crush on a girl playing on the trampoline called Charlotte. I’m sure I remember something earlier but I can’t place it.

Who would you have paint your portrait?

RC: I have no idea.
GH: Would anyone want to?
IS: My grandchildren (eventually), nowadays my nieces and nephews
CS: Crumb / Don Van Vliet

Favourite comic strip?

RC: Life in Hell.
GH: Modern Toss
IS: The Watchmen
CS: Anything by Crumb

What’s your favourite fairytale?

RC: The tortoise and the hare.
GH: Any Brothers Grimm
IS: Its a Wonderful Life
CS: Little Red Riding Hood

And favourite joke?

RC: At the minute: A penguin walks into a bar, orders a pint and says to the barman “I’m meeting my brother in here, has he been in yet?” The barman responds, “I don’t know, what does he look like?”
GH: When is bedtime at the Neverland ranch? When the big hand touches the little hand.
IS: chris summerlin
CS: The priest and the fucker fish

What is your biggest regret?

RC: I have three joint ones. Firstly, not playing cricket in my youth. Secondly, wasting years being a wimp. I have a supportive family who’d have been happy for me to have a go doing something I loved but for some reason I’ve drifted doing things I didn’t mind. Three, Josie Faulkner.
GH: Going to university
IS: Being too interested in being a “proper” rock careerist to either pay attention to being good at chemistry, or practicing/ gigging enough to be any good t music/ also not actually getting involved in the DIY scene when i was young enough to really get stuck in and tour/ go to europe and not have to worry about “real” life/ jobs.
CS: That I am not living in Australia right now.

Has your heart ever been broken?

RC: Sadly, yes it has. By girls and family.
GH: Yes
IS: yes on a number of occasions but never irrevocably
CS: comprehensively

Where was your best-received gig?

RC: That I played? Leicester.
GH: Q-Arts Derby, June 2005
IS: econoline groningen the Vera, Jet Johnson Brighton Freebutt , cash cow the laurel tree camden, hey colossus Brighton freebutt, Last of the real hardmen bardens!
CS: Wolves Of Greece, Radio One

What would your last meal consist of?

RC: Meat and plenty of it. For a drink, possibly human blood and LSD.
GH: Bangers and mash
IS: I would be allowed to cook it and it would be roasted squash, goat’s cheese, and forest mushroom rissotto with rocket salad
CS: Brie and mushroom parcels with sweet chilli sauce.
Steak with some sort of mustard sauce and loads of chips.
Apple Strudel with ice cream exactly like my old neighbour Polish Katie made.
A pint of beer.

OK, you’re facing the firing squad. Any last requests?

RC: A pardon. Or that a vampire would bite me, that way I’d become an immortal undead, spending nights rocking out in goth clubs and partying. Having to kill and drink blood would be a downside but if I stuck to pikeys, hippies and goths I think I’d be doing the world a favour in an odd way.
GH: Can I go now?
IS: Can I shoot a few people first. I have a list.
CS: That they don’t shoot me. Failing that, I would like Ron Asheton to play the opening riff to TV Eye by The Stooges really loud through a wall of amps as the process takes place.

Chris S

Chris lives for the rock and can often be seen stumbling drunkenly on (and off) stages far and wide. Other hobbies include wearing jumpers, arsing about with Photoshop and trying to beat the world record for the number of offensive comments made in any 24 hour period. He has been married twice but his heart really belongs to his guitars. All 436 of them.


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