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  1.  
    Are you planning to play any songs from "Magic, Murder and the Weather?"

    Howard Devoto: Yes and that's going to be one of the things that's going to be quite interesting to look at because they've never been played live. The last time we played was towards the end of 1980 and the next thing that happened for us was writing and recording that album and then not existing anymore, so we never toured with it.

    I'm guessing you won't play any songs from "Jerky Versions of the Dream." Is that out of bounds?

    HD: That's something else. This is Magazine!

    You played on that as well didn't you?

    Dave Formula: And Barry did a bit.

    I have to ask something that has bugged me for a long time. Have you ever heard "New Year's Day" by U2? Because it sounds to me like they ripped off "A Song from Under the Floorboards."

    (much chuckling)

    DF: They're all at it!

    HD: Which album was it on?

    I'm not sure. Maybe "War."

    HD: I only started listening to them with "Achtung Baby," an album I love, so I couldn't say.

    DF: That song came on in the car I was travelling in.

    HD: It would have been a tribute, I'm sure.

    DF: Of course it would. I heard this song with some musicians I was working with and asked them who it was because it sounded like Magazine and it was Radiohead. That was "The Benz."

    They love Magazine.

    HD: Sorry about this, I don't usually eat during interviews.

    I thought you were going to say you don't usuially eat!

    HD: Its been a bit of a stretch today. The last interview as you probably know went on a bit longer than expected.

    Do you plan to write any new songs?

    HD: Can't say!

    DF: Maybe unlikely...

    So you don't have any ideas that might be useful in that direction?

    HD: No more use for ideas. Besides people don't want to hear that new rubbish stuff! They want the old ones don't they?

    I like to hear new songs, but having never seen Magazine because I was fifteen when I first heard "Shot By Both Sides" on the Radio One Request Show and that was four years after the split. Ideally I'd like to hear every song off every album, but you won't have time to do all of them!

    HD: That's unlikely.

    DF: There will be some of the very favourite stuff in there, there's got to be and I think as Howard said we will take stuff from "Magic, Murder and the Weather" so it should be an interesting collection of songs.

    I've never known anyone else to say this but one band who sometimes remind me of Magazine, maybe more in the keyboards than anything else, is Madness. It's strange because both bands' names start with the letters 'MA.' "Model Worker" could be a Madness song musically if not lyrically, as could "Parade."

    DF: Interesting. I think a lot of people missed it but there is a lot of humour in Magazine.

    "Philadelphia" is very funny.

    DF: So there's a connection with the cheeky chappies. Mike Barson's a great player, I really liked his playing. Mr Nieve was good as well.
  2.  
    [MA] Live and Play Live

    Do you have any plans to release any live recordings? I know there's the Russell Club gig in Manchester that you took a couple of B-sides from, and I have a bootleg of a great German TV appearance that would make a fine live album. I know you're putting out a presumably remastered CD of Peel sessions.

    DF: That's in October, yes, and the "Play" album is coming out as well, the live album from Australia, remastered. Not long ago around the time I was being asked if this could possibly be a goer with Magazine, this guy got in touch with me from Canada saying he had bootlegs of Magazine from around the world and offered me copies of them. I'd got two or three of them already but there was about eight or nine and there was one that I was particularly glad to get which was the first time we played in New York at the Hurrah Club, which I hadn't heard before. There was another one from Australia. We played some big gigs with XTC, big municipal three thousand seater type venues. Then we played some smaller shows on our own and its from one of these and its a really excellent recording. It sounds like it was taken off the desk and was a half decent job.

    Do you think you might release that?

    DF: We're just toying with various ideas. There's a strong possibility that we might record at least one of these shows that are coming up.

    Are any bonus tracks going to be added to "Play?"

    DF: A guy from Australia got in touch with me last week and was asking that very question, because it was from a TV show and he's got a video of it and there are two or three other tracks, but we didn't mix those. We got the twenty-four track tapes from Australia and remastered those, but those tracks weren't in there so probably not.

    Presumably the Peel sessions have been remastered because in the box set they sound very much pre-high bit rate!

    DF: Yeah, that was just a straight copy from the tapes.

    Are there any other sessions from other radio shows?

    DF: There's a BBC 'In Concert' session. I don't think it got released.

    HD: It was the Paris Theatre. It did get released by Windsong.

    I didn't know that.

    DF: I didn't know that either. That's the only live thing I don't like that's been recorded.

    HD: But how do you know you don't like it?

    DF: Because I've heard a bootleg.
  3.  
    Tracklisting for the In Concert disc as follows:

    Definitive Gaze / Great Beautician... / Give Me Everything / My Tulpa / Back To Nature / Shot By Both Sides

    (Recorded Nov '78 and released in 1993)

    Worth checking out.
  4.  
    [MA] Hell and the Meaning of Life

    Do you still know the meaning of life and does it still not help you a bit?

    HD: I think I've found a few ways to help myself.

    Is "Song From Under the Floorboards" autobiographical?

    HD: Nothing quite that straightforward.

    It could be taken as rather depressive lyrically...

    HD: Some sadness there!

    That's one of several Magazine songs where you mention Hell. There's also "The Book" (This man is at the gate of Hell) and "Sweetheart Contract" (I've been putting myself through Hell waiting for Hell to begin) and "Parade" (We've been praying for some bright and clever Hell) and "You Never Knew Me" (You are Hell).

    HD: Wow, you're doing better than I could!

    Well I listen to Magazine a lot and have been doing so for years.

    HD: Thank you!

    I guess since I use that as a pen name I notice it more readily. What fuels that interest in Hell?

    HD: If there's a Hell it's here and with us now. It's not some other place we will go to once we're flung off this mortal coil. Doesn't everybody get to feel it occasionally.

    I guess so.

    HD: You must have had a few tough times...

    More in teenage years when I couldn't control my life so much.

    HD: Well you grew up and grew out of it.

    You've got to have fun as much of the time as you can and make sure you don't end up in a warzone! If you get sick you might say that you feel like Hell!

    HD: So is it a bit of a misnomer then, your name?

    I started using that name because of my favourite PJ Harvey song "Taut" (music written by John Parish) which is the most malevolent sounding thing she's done by a long way. I saw her eight times on the "Uh Huh Her" tour and part of that was down to feeling that I'd been totally possessed by that song at the Manchester gig and having to see the band again in Leeds. It's her most intense song, especially live. There's a character in the song called Billy but his surname is never revealed. I thought he'd probably be called Hell as it seemed to describe his demeanour. Synchronously very soon after that another favourite band of mine killing Joke release an album called "Hosannas from the Basements of Hell" so B. Hell reoccurred there.

    DF: And now you've started counting the Hells in Magazine songs.

    I guess I could have counted something else, like the references to American capitalism going wrong or the weather.

    HD: Or skin.

    DF: We've all worn it!
  5.  
    [MA] The Air Pours Out of the Enemy

    Has anyone ever approached you to use "Feed the Enemy" or "The Thin Air" in a film, because they seem like perfect songs to use on a soundtrack?

    Howard Devoto: I'm not aware of it, not those two.

    So have other songs ended up on film soundtracks?

    Dave Formula: Recently there was a film being made in Liverpool and they want to use "The Light Pours Out of Me."

    Is "The Light Pours Out of Me" about death?

    HD: I wouldn't say so particularly. There are much better songs about death if you want them.

    I have that assosciation as I was listening to that song when our family dog was run over and killed, so it always reminds me of that day in the late eighties.

    DF: What was the dog called?

    Wilbur. He just got out of the garden and ran into the road and got hit by a car.

    HD: I know what you mean. I mean, "Jerks out of me like blood." As much as I can cast my mind back there, I wouldn't have said so, not in any upfront way.

    I was listening to that song on the way here and the line that sprung out at me was, "The conspiracy of silence ought to revolutionise my thoughts." What were you thinking of when you wrote that?

    HD: Its almost two cliches playing with each other; a conspiracy of silence and thought being revolutionised. That particular phrase goes back so far in my life. That phrase goes back years before Magazine actually! So the origin of that specific phrase is utterly lost to me.
  6.  
    [MA] The Man at the Centre

    In the booklet of the "Real Life" reissue you mention that "Motorcade" was inspired by a South American dictator. Do you remember which one?

    HD: No, it was all a long, long time ago. He went around throwing money out of the window at people, his subjects. So many people have thought it was about Kennedy and it just wasn't. It's the combination of the "Shooting into the null and void" and the word "Motorcade" itself that somehow just got completely wrapped up in the name John F. Kennedy.

    DF: I think a lot of people thought it was knoll and void, as in grassy.

    Do any examples of lyrics come to mind where what you meant when you wrote them originally completely shifts context and a new meaning appears at a later date?

    HD: In the past when people have asked me what a song meant, I'd say, "I try to make them mean as much as I can."

    That's a great quote!

    HD: Thank you. I've said it several times in my career already. But in a way its kind of true. With an awful lot of the songs there is no simple literal meaning and there are a Hell of a lot of thoughts about the songs by other people that I like. In that case its not surprising that different aspects of meaning would emerge at different times, and even indeed for myself. It's not unlike, even when you write something, when there is something very important to be written, give it to somebody else to read because the apparent precision of the written wprd people can take different ways. Something you thought was clear you suddenly see could be taken another way - and you thought it was as clear as Hell! There's that word again.

    DF: All is clear.
  7.  
    [MA] Secondhand Apocalypse

    The cover of "Secondhand Daylight" has intrigued me. Do you think it could be a vision of the future? I always think it's a politicians head on that pole.

    Dave Formula: Any particular politician in mind?

    Not really. What's the story behind that picture?

    Howard Devoto: I saw it on the cover of a little magazine that was put out by a group of RCA students. The title of the magazine was "The Geek" and it had a little bit of a close up of that same image on the cover. I guess it was a combination of the title and the visual that at first caught my eye. I don't know.

    DF: Around that time there was also the film "Apocalypse Now" and that head on a stick always reminded me of some of the images from "Apocalypse Now."

    HD: Oh yes! There always was that synchronicity with the film around that time. Some people also said that about the "Real Life" sleeve and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," believe it or not.

    I always thought that picture represented the band.

    HD: But there are only four faces.

    Well, maybe John McGeoch is missing because he died too young.

    HD: You think too much!
  8.  
    Have you moved in with Howie and Dave, Billy?

    ; )
  9.  
    Do you ask because you're frightened?

    I am
    Lucifer Over Lincolnshire
    but they Never Knew Me
  10.  
    No, I ask because that's an awful lot of questions you've managed to ask them.

    I would hate to think you have them locked in your cellar. I've got tickets to see them.
  11.  
    Magazine are free
    Well they are for me
    You have to pay Keith!
    Head on like a house on fire...!
    JC?
    Jaz Coleman
    Jesus Christ
    but how does Julian Cope?

    Keep on truckin'
    If ya don't like truckin' tough luck!
  12.  
    I don't mind paying to see Magazine. They deserve a belated pay day!

    BTW You missed John Cleese, who at his peak was possibly as funny as Jaz and Julian.
  13.  
    I think John Cleese was funnier.
    Certainly better than that Brand bloke who shocks OAPs with bad words.

    Jaz likes a black joke, but at the heart of every joke is often more truth than most serious news.

    That's why Private Eye is a better read than The Grauniad.

    Good to see the internet can still take the subject completely off topic and no matter what topic it is I can always bring it round to Killing Joke! I have my KJ Tshirt on today

    WE DO NOT NEED TO KNOW THAT
    KINDLY LEAVE THE MSG BD.
  14.  
    [MA] Strange Things from the Eighties

    It seems a lot of things going on then (EIGHTIES) are coming back now. Now it's the USA and Britain invading Afghanistan and it looks like another Cold War is beginning.

    DF: We were saying before that we've spent a lot of time with each other since the Sunday just gone and it's odd that all this has gone off this week. We've not spent this amount of time together for a long time, so it's odd this atmosphere has been around of financial crisis.

    Do you think there might be some kind of psychic unconscious element that you're tapping into there?

    DF: Strange things happen when Magazine are together!

    And "Strange Thing" is a Buzzcocks song...

    HD: With Martin Hannet?

    Yeah. I'm sure the last person I interviewed for Flux, Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV, would have some ideas about music connecting with a psychic sixth sense or whatever you want to call it.

    HD: How is he/she?

    Well it was quite a while ago, before Lady Jaye died so I couldn't really say. Going back to something you said earlier about Bob Dylan and Christianity, you sounded disapproving of Christianity in your tone of voice. Is that so?

    HD: I seem to become more atheistic with age. I'm pleased that books like "God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchins are being written and having quite an impact.
  15.  
    Here's the latest Magazine press release about Noko:

    OFFICIAL > PRESS RELEASE
    Monday. 17th of November 2008 Magazine : 2009
    Noko / Ipso Facto / Devoto

    Magazine are pleased to end the rumours, right here and right now,regarding just who is going to walk in the not inconsiderable size9s of John McGeoch and step up to become the guitarist for theMagazine shows in February 2009. After due diligence, and no small amount of fine tuning, it is now right and proper to announce that Noko will be that man. Noko’s previous with Magazine related projects include being theother half to Howard Devoto in Luxuria, who released two albumsbetween 1988 and 1990 - ‘Unanswerable Lust’ and ‘Beast Box’. Thelatter co-produced by Dave Formula. Prior to that Noko replacedBarry Adamson on bass, and then played guitar with John Doyle andBuzzcock Pete Shelley, in the amusingly named The Pete Shelley Group. With Magazine, McGeoch played a Yamaha SG1000 + MXR flanger+ a few other bits. Noko is substantially duplicating this equipmentset-up, enabling him to create and re-create much of Magazine’soriginal dynamic with a flick of his fringe and a switch. Trust us, he’s the man for the job. Next up, it can be revealed that Ipso Facto have been invited to open the shows with a short set of their own making and later will join Magazine on background vocals for several numbers. Back in the day, Magazine offered the traditional support slot to up- and -coming left field acts on the cusp of a breakthrough. Cue Bauhaus and Simple Minds ... Ipso Facto are ripe and ready to carry the mantle.

    www.myspace.com/magazineofficial
  16.  
    >>With Magazine, McGeoch played a Yamaha SG1000 + MXR flanger+ a few other bits. Noko is substantially duplicating this equipmentset-up, enabling him to create and re-create much of Magazine’soriginal dynamic with a flick of his fringe and a switch.<<


    But will the flanger be on a stick?

    M
  17.  
    Dunno but they have added a Glasgow gig!