The Untitled Interview #200: Starring The Cult of Dom Keller

I thought long and hard and then some about who to have star in this, the 200th iteration of The Untitled Interview. But a realization finally dawned on me, friends, that there was really only one band that should be involved. It's quite obvious, really. The Cult of Dom Keller topped my Best of 2013 list, and it's entirely possible they'll do it again this year. Nottingham's finest (and definitely one of the UK's finest) psych rock contortionists do all sorts of magical things to my brain that I can't even comprehend, and if you're at all into psych rock you'll probably want to check them out immediately.

Read on for answers from Jason, Neil, and Ryan to see what makes the Cult tick (Sartre! The Monkees! Victorian parks!). You might wish to do so whilst listening to their jaw-dropping opus The Second Bardo (out now on Cardinal Fuzz) to further enhance the experience.

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you?

Ryan: Hell is other people but I'm doing fine.

Jason: I am!

Neil: Ok, ta.

FL: What was the last song you listened to?

Ryan: Currently listening to The Fall in the car. Last song was "Cruiser's Creek."

Jason: "We Don't Care" from the first MGMT record (when they were still called The Management).

Neil: The last album I listened to was "The Terror" by The Flaming Lips. It's a kind of all-or-nothing listening experience.

FL: Playing music is:

Ryan: Play music or go mental.

Jason: The only reason we're not all in seperate padded cells (instead we're all in the same one).

Neil: A necessary therapy.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?

Ryan: I was a massive 60s freak (Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, Zeppelin), then the 13th Floor Elevators' first album and the Pebbles (60s garage compilation) series changed everything and connected with me in way music hadn't before.

Jason: Michael Jackson's Thriller. I was about five at the time though.

Neil: The Beach Boys - 20 Golden Greats, It was my bathtime music as a child.

FL: Beatles or Stones?

Ryan: The Stones. No, The Beatles. Can't do it. White album, Revolver, Rubber soul, Beggar's Banquet, Exile on Main Street, Let it would be like a real bad father having to choose between his kids.

Jason: The Beatles from Monday to Thursday, The Stones from Friday to Sunday.

Neil: If I had to choose, then I'd go with the Beatles, but I love the Stones, so my answer has to be Wednesday.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever):

Ryan: Mmm.... Well this changes every day but right now...
Stooges - The Stooges
13th Floor Elevators - Psychedelic Sounds of
Chrome - Half Machine Lip Moves
Brian Jonestown Massacre - My Bloody Underground
The Doors - Strange Days

Jason: (of the mood I'm currently in)
Flaming Lips - The Terror
The Amps - Pacer
Royal Trux - Sweet Sixteen
The Moles - Flashbacks and Dream Sequences
Neil Young - On The Beach

Neil: In the car / on the phone this week =
Flaming Lips - The Terror
Scott Walker - 4
Tom Waits - Bone Machine
The Warlocks - Heavy Deavy Skull Lover
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

FL: Favorite music-related film?

Ryan: The Blues Brothers.

Jason: They're almost always awful, so er..The Monkees Head, maybe? "Porpoise Song" is one of the greatest psychedelic songs of all time, just as the concept for Head is the most amazing concept, especially as the intention was to utterly destroy the myth of The Monkees. Fantastic.

"Wanting to feel,
To know what is real,
Living is a lie.
The porpoise is waiting, goodbye, goodbye"

Neil: This is too hard to answer, will go with A Requiem for a Dream.

FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?

Ryan: Liars, Flaming Lips, and Indian Jewellery. BJM continue to create great music.

Jason: The Vacant Lots, Black Bombaim, Reverends and Flash Hits! all deserve a listen. I've been listening to Flash Hits' newest demos and that band are CRIMINALLY overlooked. Damien Taylor (Flash Hits/Asteroid #4/Sounds of Kaleidoscope) is a seriously talented and all-round great guy too. Oh and Cloudland Canyon for mind-bending trancy greatness..and Cheval Sombre for the most beautiful songs...Duncan McKnight from The Virgin Tongues' new group The Seldom Seen also really needs listening to. I'm sure I'll kick myself in a minute when I remember another 20 great bands I should have mentioned. There's a LOT of great music happening right now, hiding in the corners of your eyes. Dual Split, also. Phenomenal stuff.

Neil: The Lumerians, Lola Colt and Indian Jewelry.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?

Ryan: Half full of emptiness.

Jason: What's in the glass?

Neil: Today it's half full.

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?

Ryan: Well done. I made another day.

Jason: that would depend strongly on where I am, but lately it's "I really need to tidy up and stop living like a hobo."

Neil: How do I feel today.

FL: Little-known Cult of Dom Keller fact?

Ryan: On an Amazonian exhibition when I was 18 I lost my fingers in a freak accident in piranha-infested waters. I had to have an emergency transplant. The only fingers available for transplant were those of a Great Peruvian silverback ape so now my left hand is actually almost all monkey. Everyday I look down at my hand and thank that monkey because now my fingers can do things on the guitar mere mortals can't.

Jason: Ryan's monkey hand.

Neil: Ryan is an alien from the future, with a monkey's claw? All of our songs are named by strangers.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:

Ryan: I'll answer this when I get back from my US road trip at the end of the month as I have a list of record stores on my itinerary.

Jason: Joe's Record Paradise in Silver Spring, Maryland...or Amoeba in SF...

Neil: Don't have one.

Jason: will someone please buy Neil a record player...

FL: Your boots were made for:

Ryan: Someone else to die in.

Jason: clown feet.

Neil: Me.

FL: Shaken or stirred?

Ryan: Shirred.

Jason: Always shaken as violently as possible. ...well unless we're talking about which case; stirred as violently as possible.

Neil: Shaken.

FL: Favorite venue (either to play or to visit)?

Ryan: I really loved the power station when we played Austin Psych Fest in 2011.

Jason: Madame Moustache in Brussels. Great venue, great people.

Neil: Locally, it's The Chameleon, it's got a great sound system and sound man; a very intimate venue run by a local eccentric. I'd have to agree with Ryan for best venue ever. APF4 at the Austin Power Station was something else.

FL: Best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Ryan: Try not to die and you'll live longer.

Jason: "Don't try too hard." (Neil Hagerty & Jennifer Herrema)

Neil: Look both ways when you cross the road.

FL: What's your favorite spot/place/city/wherever in Nottingham?

Ryan: Home.

Jason: Our rehearsal space/church/tinnitus factory.

Neil: Any of the Victorian parks.

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be?

Ryan: A successful solo artist haha.

Jason: ...a total recluse.

Neil: Something else creative.

FL: Heaven's Gate had matching tracksuits and Nikes, Branch Davidians had David Koresh...what is the Cult of Dom Keller's cult staple?

Ryan: Conspiracies and madness.

Jason: Eyes and ears.

Neil: Mental health issues.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?

Ryan: Alice Cooper would be fun.

Jason: I'll be in that Alice Cooper tribute band with Ryan. Dennis Dunaway wrote the greatest
bass lines ever. Neil do you want to join?

Neil: I was going to say Love, but now I'm going with Alice Cooper!

FL: Best song ever written?

Ryan: This is like asking me what my favourite cheese is and that's impossible to answer.

Jason: "Helter Skelter" by the Beatles.

Neil: "Broken Arrow" by Buffalo Springfield.

[posted 8.14.14]


  1. For U.S. brothers & sisters looking for TCODK & Cardinal Fuzz, 'The Second Bardo' is available via Sunrise Ocean Bender Records /


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