Interview: Eddie Argos of Art Brut
Wed, 13 Jun 2007 15:30:18
Art Brut Videos
Eddie Argos: frontman, art connoisseur, pop-enthusiast, perennial teenager and all around nice guy. Originally perceived as a "joke band" by some, Art Brut quickly became indie critics' darlings with their debut album, Bang Bang Rock & Roll, and are now venturing into the murky waters of album number two with It's a Bit Complicated.
In the midst of their worldwide summer tour, ARTISTdirect caught up with the Art Brut talk-singer to chat about what merits a good pop song, winning karaoke selections and how to cure a hangover.
On the new album, you crib titles of famous pop songs for your song titles. You've also said that you're obsessed with pop music. What is your own definition of "pop"?
I love pop. I love the history of pop music, but it's popular songs really, isn't it? Guns N' Roses, that's pop music, isn't? And the Shangri-Las, that's pop music. I mean how do you draw a line through those things? I don't know. I just don't know how to describe it.
There seems to be a theme on the new album of an extended adolescence. Songs like "Nag Nag Nag Nag" seem to be about making life decisions at 25, rather than 19. Do you think that our generation is growing up a little later than they should be?
Yeah! I was writing about that when I wrote "Nag Nag Nag Nag." Because, I think right about the age of 17—maybe even younger—I stopped listening to anyone's advice, like my parents and teachers, or even when I got older, my friends and colleagues at work. I just started listening to records instead. I started listening to the New York Dolls instead of my parents. And I've been doing that for about ten years now, so it's no wonder I'm stuck. I don't know how many other people have done that. I mean, it must be the same; we've done the same thing. We haven't taken on board any other advice apart from things from records. That's why I ended up like this. I have the same emotions I do now as when I was 17. I think what happens is some people just hide it. You know, you get a job and things change and you say "I can't talk about this feeling anymore." But, I think everyone feels it still. Everyone thinks about their first girlfriend—it can't just be me!
Why did you choose the title "It's a Bit Complicated" for this album? What's the complicated bit?
When we sat down to write the first one, it was just songs we had been playing live. It was already written when we recorded it. But we sort of sat down and tried to write songs… which was a bit complicated. But not too complicated. We got over it. So, the music is more complicated; we've got some trumpets and things like that.
It does seem a bit more polished...
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