The Untitled Interview #135: Starring Eddie Argos (Art Brut)

It’s been many a year since I first heard the now-familiar, angstily angular proclamations from the wonderfully whinging (and covertly poppy!) Art Brut. Having successfully formed a band, had weekends both good and bad, and recently released their fourth record, mouthpiece Eddie Argos has finally broken into song.

Argos historically has left nothing out with his songwriting, covering grammar school crushes and drunken equipment failure with a grinning, charming candor. I had the pleasure of catching up with Eddie on the eve of the band’s most recent US tour (to say I was excited about their show here Wednesday night might be a slight understatement), and not even our dodgy connection and my phone’s less-than-suitableness as as interview device could hide that charm of Mister Eddie Argos. Read on for his take on all things
Art Brut, tea, and the Bay City Rollers, and don’t dare miss their show at the Black Cat Wednesday evening.

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you?
Eddie Argos: Good, good, we just landed in New York about an hour and a half ago. I’m just acquainting myself to the new timezone.

FL: What was the last song you listened to?
EA: The last song I listened to was...I’ve been on the plane, I fell asleep actually, and the Telegraph single’s collection was playing, and I pressed repeat meaning to repeat the entire album, but I think I just might have repeated one song accidentally, I might have listened to it about a hundred times on repeat. I feel asleep for like three hours, which is quite a long time on a flight.

FL: Playing music is:
EA: Awesome fun. I can’t understand why anybody’s not in a band…I’m quite excited really when I get onstage. I’d go mental if I didn’t have a band to be in, I think I’d keep all my things pent up inside and go mad, so yeah, playing music is awesome. I think everyone should do it. I’m surprised that people that don’t play in bands don’t go mad.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
EA: Probably a Jonathan Richman record, I think, because he’s got quite a funny voice. I think I heard him singing on something, I don’t know what, I can’t remember now, I’ve got so many Jonathan Richman records I’ve lost track, but I think I heard him and I was like, “Cool, I can do that.” Either him or Half Japanese, I think, one of those two.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
EA: I have to pick the Stones. [After informing Eddie that some people pick an outside answer] You can’t say neither, you have to have a proper answer.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this month, or of ever):
EA: Well right now…I probably don’t even like 5 albums right now…let’s say ever. My favorite albums ever are…this isn’t in any sort of order. The Yummy Fur – Sex Works. Sort of drunk rock music. The Oliver Twist Manifesto by Luke Haines, he was the singer in The Auteurs. That’s kinda cool. I also like any Jonathan Richman album, I would say. Half Japanese, one of the Japanese imports. I’m really bad at choosing…

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
EA: Airheads. I probably saw it when I was about 16, and I think it might be why I’m in a band. I own Airheads on DVD, that’s how much I like that film. I don’t think anyone owns in on DVD. Check it out. It’s a good film, very funny.

FL: What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
EA: I probably think about tea. I like to have a cup of tea really before my mind works. So I think about where I am and how I’m going to get some tea. In America when you ask for tea, they don’t give you milk and they put lemon in it. I’m always pretty much thinking about tea, especially when I wake up first thing in the morning, it’s probably one of my first thoughts. Where can I get some tea from?

FL: Little-known Art Brut fact?
EA: Um…we’re all so honest…one second, I’ll ask. [referring to Ian: “Ian, what’s a little-known Art Brut fact?”]. Just finding out. Nope. He doesn’t know anything. Ian’s the youngest in Art Brut. Can I say that? Maybe that’s another fact. Jasper’s new. People tend to forget. We see posters with our old guitarist, and I feel bad for Jasper. Though he has been in the band for about seven years now.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
EA: Wow. I like Amoeba a lot, in Los Angeles, but I know that’s quite a clichéd answer isn’t it? I have like a weird stigma, I walk into record shops and completely forget what music I like. I get so overwhelmed with the selection that my mind sort of goes blank. Then I remember that I like Half Japanese, because they’ve got quite a lot of records. That’s why I’ve got so many Half Japanese records, because they’re the only band I can remember. No, it’s just overwhelming because there’s so much choice. You end up leaving and you get home and realize there was something else you should have got.

FL: Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
EA: I don’t really listen to advice. Someone should advise me to listen to advice perhaps. None of it sunk in. Or I chose not to listen to it.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
EA: My friend Tom had this really good name for a band, and I kind of want to use it. You know the band the Bay City Rollers? He wanted to form a tribute band called Basically Rollers, which I quite like. So I think I’d like to be in Basically Rollers just to use the name, really. “S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night.” I just think Basically Rollers is a really good tribute band name. I would be in the Basically Rollers.

FL: Friend-submitted question. Please discuss your dance moves, and whether or not you have moves for any of them.
EA: My band told me, and my girlfriend told me, you know those great big things they have at like second-hand car dealerships, they’re full of air and their arms wave at you? Apparently that’s how I dance. I don’t have a name for it, but whatever those things are called, that’s probably where I got all of my moves.

FL: Best song ever written?
EA: Best song ever written? “Roadrunner” maybe? By Jonathan Richman I think? I do love that song. “Roadrunner, roadrunner.” That or maybe “Dirty Water” by The Standelles. Or…I dunno…The Kinks. I dunno. I think probably “Roadrunner.” I had a big debate with my girlfriend, I can either have Ghostbusters the film or “Roadrunner.” I could only get to hear one or see one ever again. I chose “Roadrunner” over Ghostbusters. So “Roadrunner” must be the best song in the world for me to do that.

Lost Weekend (Art Brut from Brilliant! Tragic!)


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