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Seriously Groovy Records

“London’s top indie record label” (so it says here) was started in 1995 and is made up of five sections – the following descriptions of which are theirs, not mine… Saucer Records (otherwordly sci-fi guitar-techno music), Sofa Records (comfy indie), Soda Records (super chilled alternative fizzy pop), Spheric Records (progressive dance) and Infur Records (serious alternative indie guitar). Dodgy musical descriptions aside, the collection of imprints maintain a steady stream of releases of impressive quality and range. There’s a lot more information available at www.seriouslygroovy.com, however for now I quiz three of Seriously Groovy’s acts in a stunning three-way question-and-answer session.

Describe your own music in up to ten words.
ECONOLINE: A perfect sum of our stupid but sometimes pretty ideas.
EMETREX: We try to make songs that swirl.
MOTHER GOOSE: What a mess! Did I hear melodies, great melodies?

How do you feel about the internet and the effect it is having on bands and independent music?
ECONOLINE: The internet is good except when it’s bad (then it’s bad). It’s a very good communications tool, it makes it simple to be in touch with people in different ends of the country or even continent, so arranging gigs and tours is alot easier. We’re popping over to Italy soon which has largely been arranged by email. Also our website has sound clips and MP3’s so people can hear us to see if they are into it. Which can be a good or a bad thing I guess. And there’s pornography and how to make bombs on it too.
EMETREX: It’s hard for me to knock the internet because it’s helped us so much, but I think it’s over-rated. I think a lot of bands took advantage of it when it was ne, but now EVERY band, every solo artist, every guy with a Casio and ProTools is on the web – it’s overwhelming.
MOTHER GOOSE: E-mail is a very useful tool for me. Instead of taking long distance calls around the world it makes everything easier and faster. But it can never replace personal contacts, talking face-to-face, you know. Also interviews done via e-mail are different to ordinary ones. There’s no spontaneity at all. Sometimes it can be good, becuase you have time to think what you really want to say, but there’s no space for happenstances or accidents. The internet itself is like a huge library, so there’s always a problem with getting your information to the right places. You can’t trust that somebody will find your homepage by accident, and even if that happens there’s no guarantee they’ll ever come back again. Making good looking and informative homepages is professional work. Software prices are too high and they are not easy enough to do by yourself. I may be antiquated, but I think the internet can never take the place of printed matter, because the amount of information you are able to get just by pushing a button is so enormous.

What’s your perfect dream gig? (Location, other bands playing, audience etc).
ECONOLINE: A tough one. Probably Motorpsycho with us opening and we’d do it in front of lots of crazy norwegians north of the arctic circle in 24 hour daylight and just play ’til we dropped, and my mum would have to be there.
EMETREX: I’d love to play a show with Ricki Lee Jones and Daniel Johnston, probably at some theatre-style place. That would be so amazing!
MOTHER GOOSE: 1972 Can line-up, Joy Division, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Mother Goose playing at the Vera Club, Groeningen. Lots of old hippies, punks and skateboarders dancing polka on the dancefloor. And a bottle of Jaegermeister for everyone backstage!

Who’s the hardest person in your band? Do you have band fights much?
ECONOLINE: Yeah, we argue and bitch, just the other day I pulled a gun on Rowan, and shot his ass when he laughed at me for singing off key. We don’t touch Valentina though (our new italian drummer) just in case we end up sleeping with the fishes. So I guess she’s the scariest.
EMETREX: The hardest person is me, by far. And yes, I have fights with myself all the time. Dave occasionally tries to break it up.
MOTHER GOOSE: I think it’s Anti, he’s the person who keeps our music going forward, always ready to try new ways to make things. He also writes the lyrics and most of the melodies. Still, Mother Goose is a result of our co-operation, we all have an effect on the result. I think we are quite an equal band. There’s rarely fights, but mostly between Anti and Eija, they are a couple so it’s more natural to them, you know! Maybe we should fight more, it could create something new. We have very good and warm relations though.

What’s the ‘grand plan’ for your band? Are you aiming for anything like fame, fortune, artistic acceptance etc?
EMETREX: Nothing other than to be able to keep doing it.
MOTHER GOOSE: We have played for almost ten years now, so if there was a grand plan I don’t remember it! In the future we’d like to play more good gigs and release more different and exciting records (original, eh?) We have a very good label now, they are more like friends to us, so it’s very easy to work with them, we enjoy it. I’d like to play more abroad. It’s very bracing for us, here in Finland there is not enough of an audience for the kind of music we play. I’d like to see us become so famous that we can continue this until we are too old to remember the name of our first album!

What other things do you fill your time with, except for making sweet sweet music?
ECONOLINE: Eat, sleep, go to the shops, listen to The Archers on Radion 4, read books, talk to people about the weather, go to the pub, watch TV, try and have relationships with people you know all the rest of life. I also help Reynolds (rock band of note) book shows, and make some other sweet music with Jet Johnson, and hold down a full time job too.
EMETREX: I like to ride my bike and chase Molly around. Dave likes to kayak with Amy and drink wine. We’re really not sure what Ben and Mike do.
MOTHER GOOSE: We all have jobs, families, friends and hobbies. There’s life outside Mother Goose! Most of our time goes on the band, but you have to have time for a few pints sometimes! We have rehearsals maybe twice a week. Soon we are going into the studio, then to do some gigs in Finland.

Thanks to Ian Scanlon (Econoline), Rick Lescault (Emetrex) and Kare (Mother Goose) for their question-answering skills. You can hear what each band sounds like at www.seriouslygroovy.com, but for now I’ll leave you with more crystal-clear descriptions from the website… Econoline – ‘fuzzy edged guitar wastelands’; Emetrex – ‘sweet’n’lo soundscape trippers’; Mother Goose – ‘pop-fidelity artcore noise’. Can’t get much more lucid than that, eh ?