Monday, September 26, 2011

The Untitled Interview #162: Starring Pete Fowler

Art and music frequently collide, but every now and again, they seem to belong together. Case in point: the partnership between my favorite architects of Welsh spacefluffery, Super Furry Animals, and their longtime artisan of incredible fantasmagorical otherworlds, Pete Fowler, that's been nigh on perfect for years now. The world Fowler creates is heavy on the fantasy, whimsy, and daydreamery, brightly-colored and larger than life (in the way that you tend to start wishing that world was the real world). I for one would love to be a part of his technicolor vignettes, even for just a day.

The man, the myth, the artiste has kindly answered some of my burning questions, and has provided us with a wealth of answers. I trust you'll enjoy them as much as I do. Check out Pete's official site for all things Fowler, as he's always up to something! Read on for Pete's thoughts on the Stones, the Furries, and the fine art of the Welsh insult.
Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you?
Pete Fowler: I'm good thanks, just had an amazing burger at Byron and a drink at my local on the way home. It's Saturday night and I'm here doing this interview with TV on waiting for a film to start.

FL: What was the last song you listened to?
PF: The Horrors - "I Can See Through You." It was the last song that played just before I left my studio as I was painting for this show later this month. Really love their new LP.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
PF: I have more Stones records than Beatles but I can't really choose, but since you're asking I'd say the Stones though the post-Beatles solo LPs hold a lot more water then the Stones' solo efforts!

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this month, or of ever):
PF: This month is easier to list!

The Horrors - Skying
J D Emmanuel - Trance Formation 1-Anceint Minimal Meditations
Harald Grosskopf - Synthesist
The Amazing Births - Younger Moon
Quantum Jump - Mixing

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
PF: It HAS to be Spinal Tap. Don't think I've ever watched that without enjoying it and the DVD extras are as good as the movie. I also loved Gruff Rhys' Separado recently, what a movie and what a journey. All held together and navigated by music.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?
PF: I can be a bit of a worrier so trying to view the half empty as half full! You got to be aware of the emptiness to appreciate the fullness.

FL: What bands are most conducive to making great works of art whilst listening to?
PF: Well, for me, it depends on my mood or the piece of artwork, though I don't select particular music to work to that often and usually listen to the radio. When I'm painting it's quite different, I like quite 'warm' music and lots of space to think and drift. I suppose stuff like J D Emmanuel or Oneohtrix Point Never to The Advisory Circle.

FL: You seem to do a fair bit of djing. What are some of your favorite records to take along on such occasions?
PF: I used to play a lot of psychedelic rock but for the last few years it ranges from disco debris, smooth AOR yacht rock, cosmic electronic old and new, to what ever floats my boat or the particular boat I'm planning to float.

FL: What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
PF: Can I hit the snooze alarm?

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
PF: Tough one! The internet is pretty good (sorry) but I love visiting stores as much as I can. Rough Trade in east London is a great one, covering so much music and great staff that would have to be my local store to support and recommend.

FL: It’s probably something like having a favorite child, but is there any particular character you’ve created that you love a smidge more than all the rest?
PF: Not really, I've been asked that before and named a few but I can honestly say that it's probably the last one I've created. My recent fave is Fitch. A fictional character I draw for Caught By The River that I have a lot of fun drawing and thinking about what he gets up to on the river bank and beyond with his dog Piscator.

FL: Last record you bought?
PF: J D Emmanuel - Trance Formation 1-Anceint Minimal Meditations. He's a Texan new age/electronic minimal/cosmic musician that I guess would fit into the 'outsider' genre but he's recently been rediscovered and lauded by modern day electronic heads and I love his
music.

FL: Shaken or stirred?
PF: Stirred of course!

FL: Little-known Pete Fowler fact?
PF: I used to live on an island of 60 people making and repairing boats.

FL: Your boots were made for:
PF: Shuffling!

FL: What’s a good Welsh insult I can start calling people?
PF: Mochyn brwnt - dirty pig!

FL: Is there any band around that you’d really be tickled to work with? And what band, historically-speaking, would you most have wanted to create for in their heyday?
PF: The list could go on and on. I've been so lucky to work with SFA and Gruff for so long I couldn't really ask for more, it's been an amazing run of artwork and capers but I suppose there are a few if I could travel back in time. Maybe a 1970's Beach Boys LP or a Dennis Wilson disco 12", that would be insane but we are talking fantasy stuff here! Neil Young would be pretty special too, I'm a long time fan.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
PF: Probably Lieutenant Pigeon or Giorgio Moroder.

FL: Mine is probably obvious, but which record of the Super Furries is your favorite? PF: Another tough one, so many great LPs but Phantom Power I'd have to say. One of my favourite covers too.

FL: Best song ever written?
PF: Todd Rundgren - "I Saw The Light."

m4a: The Piccolo Snare (Super Furry Animals from Phantom Power)

[Pete Fowler by Pete Fowler]

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