Tuesday, 14 July 2009

This is L.A.

I'm sitting in bed at the Riot Hyatt feeling like my stomach and head are gonna twist out my ear after a night out at The Rainbow bar and grill.
I feel so rock n roll right now. I can't even tell you.

The Plane that Rocked

The plane that rocked

So here I am flying over Godthab in Greenland on my way to L.A.
Godthab, Greenland. Home of the Vikings. Very inhospitable, cold, icy home.
And only a semi-permanent home upon excursions for pillage from Scandinavian shores.
It’s interesting the idea of launching and leaving for a better place when things get rough. Or looking for new horizons. It takes a lot of guts I think. It’s not just running away, its braving the unknown. Leaving known boundaries, rules, territory.
Can you imagine being in a time when there were still places on earth unexplored? What a rush! What a nerve. What a great hope.

I feel the same kind of jealousy for the joy of exploration and discovery when watching “The Boat that Rocked” and thinking about radio - I just saw there film here on the plane. Bringing rock to the masses, introducing people to Hendrix to people for the first time, whilst he was alive I can only imagine what that was like. Presenting radio back in 1966 wasn’t like it is now. At that point it was before the conventions and mainstays of radio existed, when every show was still a discovery, and every piece of vinyl that arrived in your letterbox a potential new treasure. When Djs were the listeners connection with music and new releases, when presenters had the ability to change the outlook of music totally, introduce new bands and new types of music – even import music like the blues, and through the presenters understanding and connection to it, thousands of new converts then came to the altar of rock n roll.
Nowadays, there are so many bands, so many demos, so many new tapes. Legends like John Peel managed to make their way through all or most of what was sent to them, but if you are a presenter with a very full time job too, it’s unrealistic to do that.
But the cynicism is what is more annoying – my cynicism to new arrivals in my letterbox, compared with my total admiration for old masters, and my fervent wish that I could play listeners music that would change their lives the way that the original radio presenters did at the dawn of rock n roll.
Rock n roll should be rebellious, now however radio is mostly inside the law. Especially in rock – and its ironic that the only pirate radio stations these days are pretty much jungle or reggae. It said at the end of “The boat that rocked” that there’s something like 299 stations in the UK now that play rock and pop 24/7. None of those I should think are pushing the boundaries and breaking the law like music radio did in the early days. I would love to be able to push the envelope with my shows more – but what is there to do that hasn’t been done already – Howard Stern took most things as far as they could go, and in reality his kind of shock jock is more about the jock than the music, and what I really love is being able to play people music that I love that they end up loving too.
A discovery. A new continent. Although I get the feeling that if Rock n roll was the Continent, Metal was a state, and nowadays I just got the crumbs.
That’s not to belittle the new bands out there that I love – Wolf, Grand Magus, Municipal Waste, Cauldron etc.
But when you compare the first spin of those records to the first hearing of Sabbath…ever.
Or the first time the blues was played on UK shores.
You can’t really say its on the same level.
Its like I was down on Greenland in the cold, and those moments at the beginning of the airwaves were at 10363m, like this plane is now.

It’s a great film though!

Saturday, 11 July 2009



Keeping secrets and telling lies

I have never been one to keep my mouth shut. I have a big gob. I’m a radio presenter it comes with the territory. I kissed the blarney stone at age 8, and I’ve never looked back, I always talk back. It’s not just saying things out loud though; it’s an openness that I can’t do without. I have to get things off my chest, I find it very hard to hold my cards close, and I find it hurts to keep secrets.
I am such a big mouth I say too much sometimes – my father’s one big piece of advice to me before I went to University was
“Talita, why don’t you try and keep a bit of mystery about you? Try not to tell everyone everything straight away”
(In fact he had a similar piece of advice for me the first year I presented on Download radio for BBC 6, but keeping schtum isn’t a good plan when presenting on the radio).

When I say keep secrets, I don’t mean ones like a surprise birthday party, I mean things I’m not sure even I wanted to know in the first place. Events that you end up being party to, that you would have preferred to have avoided. Bad news. Even when keeping secrets as a favour to someone, in order to help them out I think sometimes it’s a heavy burden. It’s difficult to weigh up the pros and cons of keeping things hidden, especially when its goes against your essential nature.
You have to ask yourself why. Why am I doing this if I would rather just be honest? From my perspective keeping quiet is a trial.
Someone once said “the truth will out”. Is that always for the best?
I don’t know. Some things are better left unsaid.
And is it the same thing – keeping secrets and telling lies?
If you avoid the truth is it the same as being dishonest. I dunno. In my heart it feels the same, and in my mind it affects me the same.
As a favour though, all you can do is remind yourself of why you keep that person’s secrets and why you value them, and why some things are better left unsaid.
But oh! For the simple life!

I however am no saint. I am a loud mouth, as I’ve mentioned, loud and proud. And proud of my indiscretions, idiocies, idiosyncrasies and stupidity. Everyone ends up knowing my business. I tend to tell everyone about my fails.
Some people think this kind of approach is crazy, but I just think there’s humour in everything, and a smile is well worth it.
Talking of taboos, secrets and lies…
Although I understand “what goes on tour, stays on tour” etc. Do you really think that it does stay caught in time, caught in a bus or at a festival out there on tour? Action and consequence. There’s a ripple effect that’s undeniable.
I often think of guys on tour in comparison to sailors –a girl in every port. I can understand that impulse as a guy. Sew your wild oats.
I think girls can have that kind of impulse too, for sure. But there are a lot less girls who are sailors, and a lot less girls on tour than guys.
So as a girl who is on tour sometimes, works festivals, sees things how do you separate what you see and experience from your own opinion of men in general? And who do you blame when guys cheat? And are you meant to just shut your eyes to it or should you invoke the creed of sisterhood and say “hoes before bros” and tell your sistas.
It’s easy to become jaded, and think that all men act like that and therefore all men are scum. I see a lot of things I have to try and forget in order to still have faith in the essential good character of people and in order to not get involved in what isn’t my business due to my big gob.
Luckily I have been blessed with a very bad memory. I can’t remember shit. I put this down to too much going on in my life, and not enough time to properly store memories correctly. According to M. Scott Peck (I’m still reading that same book!) we never forget anything really, it just slips in to our unconscious mind and we can’t recall it.
But ignorance is clearly bliss.

Municipal Waste are gonna fuck you up

When kids chant at shows “Municipal Waste are gonna fuck you up” over and over from the end of Born to Party, I always smile. I like the irony. Like an invading force’s marching song, at the precipice of leaving the barracks, leaving the country, entering new territory. “Municipal Waste are gonna fuck you up”. The Swedes shout it, the Germans shout it, and kids in clubs shout it when born to party gets played on the dance floor. And I smile. It is unclear what side the kids are on. Are they part of the invading force doing the fucking up? Are they the ones that are going to be fucked up? Have they already been fucked up and are advocating it as a good thing? Maybe they have been fucked up by the ‘Waste and are chanting it as a warning. Maybe they are just chanting it. In fact, I’m sure that it’s the latter. However, some of those kids out there, some people that hear that track have actually been fucked up with the ‘Waste – I don’t know if that constitutes Municipal Waste being responsible as in “Municipal Waste have fucked me up” but it is damn near it. Everyone seems to want to get fucked up with the Waste.
I’ve never worked with a band that seems to have so many friends everywhere. Partly through hard touring, partly from the fact that people party with the Waste and then are friends for life. I think it’s a great thing, as a band to engender the kind of feeling that comes with a festival party ambience. To break down the 4th wall that divides audience from band, to welcome people into the family – to get fucked up together.
However, I’ve seen this open armed approach backfire, not only from constant stage invasions which invariably leads to equipment being trashed especially pedals and a halt to proceedings due to technical difficulties, but also from the assumption that that’s all there is to the ‘Waste – when there is undeniably more there than just a spirit (spirits).
Anyway, irrespective of time moving on and the new album being called Massive Aggressive and not The Art of Partying anymore, the Waste still like to party, and I knew that when Ryan and Tony came to London for a week of press it was going to be full on. Because its not just drinking and hanging out its doing bucket loads of interviews and taking care of business, especially now that people are realising there’s more to the Waste than just the fact that they’re gonna fuck you up.
And it is a fact, I can vouch for that.
So we had a listening party at the Crobar to celebrate the new album. It was a nice hot summer day and the bar was packed. This was the 4th London party I’d arranged for the Waste – this one had no beer bongs, but it had a lot of laughter and hugs and was an all round good time.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

26th September - Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet

So 26th September i leave for Nepal, then Bhutan and Tibet. I have now paid 1/2 of the trip. 3 months to go.

How exciting!!
I'll turn 29 in the Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. Entering my 30th year in one the of the highest places on Earth. Yes!