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  1.  
    I spoke to Colin today and he told me that it was only one song on Ideal Copy that he didn't play on, but I do remember visiting the studio in Berlin and the atmosphere was very uneasy....
  2.  
    It's a great shame that Bruce has left the group. Read & Burn 03 though was an awesome EP and had almost no Bruce on at all, so I can't imagine Object 47 being anything less than awesome too. Also, even with the problems involved in the recording of The Ideal Copy, the finished product was still top drawer stuff and there's no hint at all on the recording of any unease - It's all interesting stuff to consider though, and knowing of the unease will now give the tracks on TIC a slightly different sound to my ears when I next listen to them.
  3.  
    I'll miss Bruce's contributions to Wire very much. I hope that he's okay and pursuing the things that interest him.
  4.  
    Bespoke audio visual publishers Touch have made a track of Bruce's available for download on their site here. Scroll down to the cassette Meridians 2 and you'll find his track Children, from 1983, that uses recordings of his parents relating unsettling incidents from their childhoods, shrouded in Bruce's uneasy atmospheres. Touch co-founder Jon Wozencraft is person responsible for the design of Object 47.
  5.  
    Cool! I've always been curious about that track. Thanks, Fergus.
  6.  
    You're welcome... and that should read Wozencroft, not Wozencraft (sorry Jon !). There's another more recent track on Bruce's on Touch 25, called Sliding Off The World, which combines spoken word and electronics to great effect - relating an incident from Bruce's childhood. A particularly fine example of his approach I think, very affecting. Simple, short, direct, disarming.

    A few years prior to this Bruce did some really excellent sound design for London Orbital, a film by Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair - well worth checking out. Bruce's sounds are a perfect compliment to the film's drifting, open-ended structure.
  7.  
    I'm a guy heading into my 40s and Bruce is, as far as I'm aware, the only living (active) musician I would buy new music by who is older than my mum! (Providing the birth dates in the book are correct of course!)

    In that context, I can seriously believe the man just "got tired of the thing". The guy still had a hand in making a whole lot of interesting noises, and I for one hope it hasn't stopped.
  8.  
    EELS IN LUNGS, A MYSTERY

    Gosh, there's so much mystery about this one... I was at a friend's house last year and he had this slightly older copy of Mojo or Uncut, I think (one of those expensive Brit mags I'd never actually pay for) and I was delighted to note that this particular issue featured Her Highness - Morrissey of Salford and of course, Wire. The Wire bit mentioned that "rumour" about Bruce leaving but didn't confirm anything I don't think. So for me it's weird to hear that Bruce left a while back and only getting an official confirmation of his resignation just recently. How do you keep a secret for that long and so well?

    IS IT TOO LATE TO CHANGE MY MIND?

    My first reaction to reading (here, no less) that Bruce was indeed out was one of disappointment. Of course, I say that even though I've always had trouble spotting Bruce's contributions to most Wire pieces. I guess I don't understand the working process. (I'm never there!) Graham's lyric's and bass are easy to hear. And Colin's melodic sense is well known. Occasionally, I assume the oddest noises (Public Place?) are Bruce's but really, I don't really know. Sooo, what am I so disappointed about? Do I even know what I'm missing?

    EVERYBODY LOVES A...

    As someone who's intimately familiar with the records and virtually invisible to the personnel involved I can only guess what the reasons are... can it be that Bruce has grown weary of the new version of Wire that has Colin setting the tone and organizing the finished products in a way that doesn't reflect his musical sensibilities? ("Piano Tuner - Keep Strumming Those Guitars") Could it be just simply the economics of going on the road and coming back with no money? ("Spent") Health concerns? ("The Point of Collapse") General unhappiness about Life? ("You Might Be Called")

    PUSH

    Of course, I don't actually require answers to these questions! What I would really like to know is that if Bruce is no longer doing Wire, then what on Earth does he actually have planned? I say this as a massive fan of all the Wire solo work and I'd love to hear that there's a new disc on the way and some words about the approach he's taking to sound these days... And I would like Bruce himself to know that I don't want to hear anything about Bruce quitting music or anything silly like that! Some good news please! Quitting Wire is fine. I understand that the Wire thing has to be inconsistent to exist. I hope Margaret is having fun thrashing with Colin and Graham. But I would like to hear something interesting about Bruce Gilbert recording. Maybe something cool -- like a collaboration with Haswell and Hecker or remixing Kylie... you get the idea! Something!
  9.  
    "Do I even know what I'm missing?"

    The funny thing is that people make assumptions all the time about Wire content. I've learned over the past few years that, bar Rob's drumming (which in itself is often heavily reworked by Colin), there's very little in any Wire that's obviously by one member or the other. Even the lyrics are sometimes a mish-mash—some of the R&B stuff that people attributed to Colin was actually Bruce's, for example.
  10.  
    CAN IT BE? AND IS IT TRUE?

    Now that Google is officially a verb... Just look at what I googled...

    Apparently, Page Hamilton (ex-Band of Susans) was solicited for Bruce's spot in the new version of Wire.
    Not sure how his style would work in a Wire context but maybe it's the machine-like precision of his playing that Colin and Graham find attractive. Can you imagine someone else interfering with the yin-yang interaction of Klive Nice and Sven?

    The following is an excerpt from a recent interview:

    You’ve always been one to keep yourself busy, as you mentioned earlier with all your current projects. What else have you been working on?

    Well next week I begin working on another album for Totimoshi. I did his last album. And I just did the guitar tracks for a Wire song. I actually just sent them the track last night. Their guitar player Bruce Gilbert left after 30 years recently and Colin and Graham unanimously asked me to be their guitar player. But it took me two months to figure out whether it would be possible to do both bands, one that is based in Europe and one that is based in L.A. The new album is fantastic. Wire is one of my top five bands and it was an absolute honor to be asked to play with them. You can imagine how I felt when I got the call from David Bowie and so imagine years later getting a call from Wire too. I feel so fortunate.

    Read it for yourself here:
    http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/interviews/interviews/helmets_page_hamilton_im_thinking_of_2_more_albums_as_in_2_years_ill_be_fifty.html
  11.  
    Not seen this before...."..i've got a torch!"

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xorixEBQOCY&feature=related
  12.  
    There is a collaboration with The Hafler Trio in the works,
    this information from the h3o page on brainwashed:

    BRUCE GILBERT / H3O
    project is is 50% done, and is, even though we peons say it ourselves, amazing.
    this is to be released when done by Korm Plastics, that noble institution. working title is «idiots»

    http://www.brainwashed.com/h3o/pipeline.html

    will give you updated status on this project as and when...

    adj
  13.  
    In the letters section of the September 2008 issue of The Wire:

    In his review of Wire's Object 47, (Soundcheck, The Wire 294) Sam Davies points out (rightly in my opinion) that the group are no longer ahead of the curve, adding that there sound is mushy and indistinct. He goes so far (too far, I think) as to question the brilliance of their earlier albums. What he neglects to mention is the obvious difference in the new Wire: the absence of ever underrated guitarist Bruce Gilbert. Oddly, when Robert Grey left, they played as Wir, insisting that all four members were needed for the band to be Wire. Obviously, the policy has changed.

    While not a songwriter, Gilbert's distinct sounds added the edge to Wire that Davies is missing (as am I). Of course, some may prefer their Wire without Gilbert's edge, and I certainly have no argument with those who are enjoying the new material, but my hope is that those who miss Gilbert's contributions will more greatly appreciate his contribution to this important band.

    Michael Flaherty, Chicago, USA.
  14.  
    According to Colin, dropping the 'e' was pretty much Bruce's idea, hence it not being done this time round. As for the edge, it's pretty clear that people generally don't know what each Wire member (bar Rob) is responsible for anyway. Colin noted that when Margaret first started playing with the band, she's learned some parts she assumed were Bruce's, and they were in fact Colin's.

    I'd say what has changed post-Bruce is the way Wire sounds in terms of balance. It's pretty clear the 'rhythm section' has been pushed and the guitars somewhat sidelined by comparison. But that's pretty logical given that Send and R&B1/2 were all about in-your-face guitars.
  15.  
    So Bruce hasn't been a factor since 2004? There seems to be a lot of room in their music now.
  16.  
    60 Seconds, my tribute to Bruce on the occasion of his 60th birthday in 2006, is now available to hear/download on my Myspace page. It's as the title suggests, 60 seconds long, and was made from edits of Bruce's solo work, Dome, Wire, and a 2003 Radio 3 interview. It uses stereo separation and panning, so listening in stereo is recommended, on decent playback speakers or headphones. Mastering level a bit low, so a volume boost is recommended.
    • CommentAuthoradj says...
    • (CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008 edited)
     
    Personally I think the literal "who played what" approach to dissecting what makes a band sound a certain way
    is missing the point to an extent, a band dynamic is a complex and mysterious process, as much to do with
    personality as played parts. From my own experience in bands I've seen that who is there (or isn't) also makes
    a difference to what other members will bring to the table, in terms of material... It can be frustrating and liberating
    in equal measure. Brings to mind also the King Crimson track 'Trio', on which I think Bill Bruford gets a writing
    credit as he chose to NOT to play anything throughout the improvisation, as a good case in point.
  17.  
    very good point, adj. i can definitely see these kinds of dynamics playing a great role in wire's sound. with a band i was in once, one of the members ended up not being included in any of our recordings, neither his playing nor his ideas, but if he hadn't been present during the creative process it would've sounded very different.
  18.  
    "I'll miss Bruce's contributions to Wire very much. I hope that he's okay and pursuing the things that interest him."

    Bruce is in good form and pursuing a number things in the coming months:

    Florian Hecker has invited him to make a piece for a large computer-controlled sound diffusion system for the Seville Biennale in December. Chris Watson and others will also be making work for this system. There's a solo album in the works for Mego, and a seven inch for Touch.
  19.  
    'There's a solo album in the works for Mego...'

    Not to be too pedantic, but, it's actually going to be on Editions Mego, the current manifestation of the label,
    not the historical Mego label as was... thought might be worth pointing out so people look for future info
    here:
    http://www.editionsmego.com/
    and not here:
    http://www.mego.at/