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Interview with Marty at Facebook Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 November 2010

A really nice way to do an interview, put together by Roch Parisien Rocon Communications

You can see the original at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150311266820434&id=208757673971

(Transcript) Facebook Interview #27: Marty Willson-Piper of The Church (November 07, 2010)

by Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 3:42pm

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

For this edition of "The Facebook Interviews", I’m chatting with MARTY WILLSON-PIPER, guitarist for Australia's THE CHURCH, in the wake of the band's recent induction into the ARIA (Australian music industry) Hall of Fame.

 

THE CHURCH have long straddled several musical worlds, which is what makes the long-running band's music so consistently interesting and satisfying. The atmosphere of those worlds generally includes some heady mixture of harmonic/melodic pop jangle fused to dreamy, enigmatic textures and lyrics usually identified as multi-faceted variations of the term "psychedelia".

 

Marty and I will be chatting about 30 years, 23 albums, several anniversary reissues, and one Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (featuring one of the most memorable acceptance speeches of all time!). Later this month, Marty and his bandmates Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Tim Powles will be crossing Australia for “An Intimate Space” 30th Anniversary Acoustic Tour, performing one song from each album over the last 30 years in reverse chronological order. The band has already taken this tour around the USA earlier in the year to rapturous response.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Ok friends, we're ready to start...thanks for joining us everybody...and welcome Marty! Let's start out with a couple of questions I Iike to warm up with... What was your first single and/or album that you bought as a youth with your own money? And what was the first concert you attended?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Luckily for me, I had an elder brother who had lots of hip sounds, but the first single I bought was The Monkees “Alternate Title” (AKA “Randy Scouse Git”) with “Forget That Girl” on the B-side. My first album on a budget label was Donovan's Marble Arch release; my first full-price album was “Happy Together” by The Turtles.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

What song did you first hear on the radio that made you go: "wow, I want to do this?" And who would you consider your most influential performer at a formative stage?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Tricky…well, I'm not sure if anyone saw "The Boat That Rocked" but I was one of those under the covers with the radio listening after I went to bed...secretly. So all those ‘60s classics…I remember hearing “See Emily Play” by Pink Floyd, “Itchycoo Park” by The Small Faces and I bought both of these. “Lady Madonna”, “Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks, “Flowers In the Rain” by The Move. I liked the blend between pop and trippy…anything catchy and weird.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Some of our visitor questions also serve as good warm-ups:

Stefan Horlitz asks:

How and where did you actually first learn how to play the guitar?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

My elder brother was in a cabaret band called The Hiltons. They played all the workingmen’s clubs in the north of England. I loved music anyway, but got used to seeing guitars in the house. I had a cheap acoustic first, but then I got a Rickenbacker electric and a Strat for my 14th birthday, and never looked back. I used to go along to Hiltons rehearsals and play along with them in the shadows, not plugged in…they never actually let me plug in, haha!!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

You started out as a busker...what's the most important thing you took away from that experience that stays with you to this day?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Rhythm…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

If you could get a message back through time to that young busker, or the fresh-scrubbed kid we see in those early 1981 Church videos, what would it be?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

I'd say keep sleeping rough in European cities, sticking with this is going to work for you one day.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Brian Hutton asks:

What is your favourite song written by Marty Willson-Piper?

...and Neale James Tickle asks:

Which is your fave album by The Church?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

You can't favour your children…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

So Marty, this interview session was inspired by The Church being inducted into the ARIA (Australian recording industry) Hall of Fame last weekend, marking a 30-year career. How did that make you feel, and what were you thinking up there on the stage receiving this award?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well I'm originally from the Liverpool area (grew up there as a teenager) so that was strange to gain this accolade in another land…

 

 Ultimately, it's just an award; a great chord sequence is far more important. A great lyric, a guitar tone, a good jam are all more important. Acclaim is not necessary; it's just kind of nice to be appreciated in some small way. Be happy, people, like you and we are. Don't be sad when they don't get it. What's important is that you do what you want the way you want to do it. To me, to be appreciated in Australia when I grew up in Liverpool and Manchester is indeed strange. I don't live here anymore…I haven't for over 20 years. There were some dark days when only a few core fans cared about The Church. We carried on, regardless of acclaim. Now I carry on because of the music we make. Not money or acclaim. We are glad to be alive and creative. Thank you for the award…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

I found an interview clip from the '80s where you stated that you considered yourself an "internationalist", that you don't recognize borders, and that patriotism is "the biggest pile of rubbish"...have you mellowed at all on this?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

No.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Could you have imagined 30 years, when you were starting out?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

No one in a band can. No one can imagine longevity in anything really, especially these days.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Steve Kilbey gave what is now widely regarded as one of the all-time great ad-lib award acceptance speeches...your review?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

He does that sometimes...

 

Parisien's Rocon Communications

You had the best line of the whole ceremony though...following Steve's monologue, when you said: "We've worked so hard to be aloof and enigmatic...all ruined in 15 minutes, after 30 years."

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Perhaps we are in role reversal mode!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Frank Donnelly asks:

Do you miss being aloof? ;-)

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Strangely, I never actually wanted to be a loofer. I always found them scratchy…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Rod MacQuarrie asks:

Where is former Church drummer Richard Ploog and what is he doing?

[Note from Roch: I, too, was wondering why he wasn't at the ARIA induction ceremony...]

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Last I heard is that Richard lives in Canberra. Tim has been our drummer for 17 years and gracefully thanked Richard for his contribution to the band. Nick Ward was also not there, and funnily enough, also lives in Canberra. JD was not there either. They were all major contributors to the band. We really can't have all the drummers, can we now??

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

The celebratory mood from the awards was dampened with news that James Freud, the lead vocalist of your co-inductees The Models, took his own life this week. How well did you guys know James, and his music, and what was your reaction to the news?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Very sad. I'm friends with Barton from The Models, and he is devastated. I didn't know James well but I met him a couple of times and he was always a rather nice man, I thought. Terribly tragic, terrible for his family and friends. I’m very, very sad about it…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

It was especially poignant given that James had written two books detailing his battle with substance abuse, that from what I understand have helped many others...Overcoming substance abuse is a challenge that the Church camp has faced as well, in the past. There must be some element of "but for the grace of god" that was felt here...?

...and Donna Schorer also asks:

How did alcohol and/or drug use have an effect on the band as a whole?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Yes there have been addiction problems in the church as well...as with many other bands. Some get through it somehow....others don't. It's a knife edge and easy to fall the wrong way. If you fall the right way and there's somebody there to pick you up, you are one lucky dude.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Carl Braden asks:

What's it like working with a "clean" / never "straight" Kilbey?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

I always found myself able to create with Steve whatever "state" he was in. Except once, I was in New York and he was in NSW and we just couldn't get a connection...

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Donna is clearly out to stir up trouble...her other question is: Over the years, have the band members had personality or other conflicts with each other? If so, how were they resolved?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Privately sister...privately...

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

For your 30th anniversary year, you guys seem more active than ever. ARIA Hall of Fame. Your own label. New compilation album. Deluxe Edition reissue series. 30th Anniversary tour...take us through some of this whirlwind activity, from inside the "eye of the storm"…

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well as the guy that wrote the 5,000-word sleeve notes and took the pic for the EMI compilation, as well as being at the helm with Tiare organising the tours, etc...it's gusty in here! Tim set up a lot of the ARIA stuff as I wasn't in OZ until a week before, so that took some of the pressure off. But being in and looking after the band is a task I wouldn't wish upon anyone I liked.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

You're launching the Oz stage of the "Intimate" acoustic tour...why the decision to take it down a notch for anniversary year?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Good question…we didn't want it to be a bombastic back slapping self-aggrandizing load of meaningless blustering nonsense.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

I find the simplicity and clarity that this format brings to many of your classic songs quite refreshing and revealing. Is that how its working for the band as well?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well, yes and no. It's a wonderful thing to be able to have an alternate way to present what you do. But simplicity is hard to pull off. It's a challenge on one's musicianship to play this naked. You can't hide behind the power, you have to have finesse and sensitivity as well as the ability to let go in a format that is usually more conducive to quiet drinks. It's not as simple as it looks.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

In stark contrast to "taking it down a notch", Georgia Makitalo asks: I have always surmised that you were perhaps a heavy metal guitarist who walked into the wrong studio...Who were your biggest guitar influences? Did you always start out with that heavy rock sound? Did you ever consider going down that metal path? Did the band always "accept" this part of your style?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

You are surely confusing my leopard skin jacket, my young man's tight trousers and half-grown-out perm with my tone, my style, my playing, my choice of notes, choice of guitars and my choice of amplification. They do say the eyes are the whores of the senses...

 

That being said, fave guitarists for me exist in all areas: George Harrison/Robert Fripp/Roy Buchanan/Terje Rypdal/Paul Kossoff/Jimmy Page/Richard Thompson/Tom Verlaine/Rory Gallagher/Bill Nelson/Hendrix/Keef…my list would have 200 names.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

So critics have struggled over the years trying to define The Church's music, and I'm sure you guys take a certain amount of pleasure in that. So here's the scenario: you're stranded in an obscure foreign land where they have never heard your music. In order to get back home, you must provide the official from the Ministry of Culture with a concise description/definition that is plausible to him, of the kind of music you play, so he will stamp your passport. What do you offer?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

I would use [German Krautrock band] CAN as an example…I would say “disparate musicians and personalities create originality that is essential to keep alive...now let me back in, or your daughter will die of boredom.”

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Noted Rolling Stone writer David Fricke stated “At its most compelling, the band scrambles the real and the surreal with ease, rattling its stately guitarchitecture with howling north-wind echo and the troubled undertow of Kilbey’s enigmatic lyrics. It’s like being in the middle of a recurring but constantly evolving dream where only the faces remain the same.” Can you live with that? ...And live up to that?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Yes of course...it's true!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Marty, sort me out on this...right from fairly early on in the band's development...”Séance” on, say, there seemed to be a clear distinction between singles and albums for you, yes? Albums became vehicles for exploring a much larger canvas, not thematic necessarily, but more than just a collection of songs. Was this a very deliberate thing that you would actually discuss, or did it just evolve that way?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Hmm, interesting question. I think as Steve wrote most of the songs early on he was finding himself. I don't think he expected the band to be such an important vehicle in his own development. We started to see the vision as a whole rather than being directed by his. We became one. In this, we found that Steve wrote some pretty catchy songs by himself…having been a Bowie/T.Rex fan, he had that in him. But for other songs he wrote, we turned into album songs together. We always had the two sides.

 

But a moody piece was easily turned into something worthy by the group because we could easily realise something even if it was a vague idea. Take “Is This Where You Live”…although Steve had all the bits, it took a certain band to realise it. Another bunch of musicians may not have been able to. “Unguarded Moment” and “Is This Where You Live” made complete sense to us, although they were miles apart. Then, of course, we wrote “You Took” and “An Interlude” together on “The Blurred Crusade”. So we were excited about the deeper aspects of the band pretty early on. Steve just kept on writing singles…still did in 1989. We wrote “Metropolis” together, but really that was the closest we have had to a hit for 20 years. We are on another path now, and exploration interests us far more than catchy ditties.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Your latest and 23rd album, 2009's “Untitled #23”, was awarded an unprecedented 5-star review by Rolling Stone Australia...not bad for “geezers”...

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Hmm…is a geezer, by definition, older? Leonard Cohen's age didn't stop him being great. I hear a lot of crap by the young and the old. Age is irrelevant. Go Bob Dylan; go Johnny Cash!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Violette Dessureault asks:

Do you ever regret not making it as big as you might have been justified in being, or do you believe things happen the way they’re supposed to?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

I don't think about it really. I just try and make it as good as it can be. Lots of bands were big for 10 minutes…that must be the worst thing of all. There's very few who get to be in charge of their own destiny and get better…to endure. We are slaves only to our own desires. Even successful bands often can't claim that...I couldn't live with that, mansion or no mansion.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Speaking of commercial success, "Under the Milky Way" was, of course, your most successful song in the US...yet even that song was not "typical" and had many more layers of subtlety than most American hit singles of the day. Why do you think that song connected at that time, and any thoughts on why that was the only Church single to break through to a mass audience that way?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

If we knew why, we'd all be millionaires and then we'd all be bored. The stars aligned, cool song. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Steve maintains very much a love-hate relationship with your first Oz hit single "Unguarded Moment"...how are you getting along with that song these days? For that matter, have you ever, past or present, felt that any one particular song had become an albatross in any way, that you wish you could retire it? (Btw, I love how you guys have turned that song inside out as a moody acoustic ballad in recent years...it reveals considerable layers of depth previously hidden by the shiny pop drive.)

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well, songs can become dated. “Unguarded Moment” started to sound dated to us…something about the rhythm and the mood. It's like a sixties song, however great, still sounds sixties. We didn't want to be trapped in an era. So we lost a lot of fans trying to develop. I was talking to Nick Seymour at the Crowded House gig last night about fans wanting to hear only old material. Imagine if The Beatles had just stuck with “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. Fans must get over this and grow with you. Songs need to be rested. Somehow “Milky Way” maintains its integrity and standing in our set. We did drop it for one tour of the US. Our agent had a heart attack at the thought, and we no longer are with him. He may have been right, but WE must decide what we do not the biz or the audience…otherwise, we are nothing.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

There is not one review or article written about the Church that does not include somewhere the term “psych” or “psychedelia”. What does this word mean to you in 2010 in context of The Church’s body of work...

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well, frankly, on our recent records I don't really hear it. “Symphonic”, sometimes perhaps. Live, we jam so I guess that word gets used in describing that aspect of the band. We are almost more progressive than psychedelic...almost. Steve likes to call us Space Rock, I like to call us Art Rock. A lot of my fave bands are Art Rock…John Foxx's Ultravox, early Roxy Music, early Eno vocal albums, middle-period Pink Floyd albums, Kevin Ayers, Cockney Rebel, Caravan, Robert Wyatt, Wire...more recently, Mars Volta…the list is long.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

The covers album “Box of Birds” from 1999 paid homage to influences...or at least songs and artists you guys like a lot. Were you to do a “Box of Birds 2”, 10 years later now, what are some of the songs/artists that you might add to the honour roll?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well, I must add CAN to any list of influences of mine. I love the ‘70s German groups; Tiare and I recently went to see Michael Rother from Neu! in Stockholm. I have been listening to various Amon Duul 2 albums all day, these never bore me. One day the other week, I listened to Henry Cow all day. I love that kind of stuff although I never really made that kind of music…I just like it. Still, I also love Badfinger, and “Day After Day” was one of the songs that didn't make it to “Box Of Birds”...we found our 10 and that was that. I saw Alex Harvey live a couple of times and I love his albums. Same with Mott The Hoople…Bowie, talk about great Art Rock albums…"Low" and “Heroes”. Wow! I also love King Crimson. Total Art Rock. So my “Box Of Birds 2” might be a little more progressive than the other lads choices, but as I said, I’m in love with The Kinks and The Small Faces as much as I am with Mars Volta!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Tell us a bit about your "In Deep Music Archive" project... (folks, for full details, link here: http://www.myspace.com/indeepmusicarchiveuk )

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well first of all, I am a genre free zone. I collect everything. I hear good and bad in everything. I collect artwork too, so I have great cover art on bad albums and am interested in the rise and fall of eras. I encourage people to give me their records, 7-inch/12-inch, CD's, cassettes, vinyl, 8-tracks...and they do, because they see them lovingly alphabetised and listened to. Leave me your records in your will. I would like my collection to one day be run by the State as a cultural icon…an archive. I am working on a website with John Cole in Texas where we list, discuss and fall in love with music. Records, books, videos…it will always be growing and will take years to even have anywhere near the content I desire.

 

But I will build it slowly, from my first Monkees single to the last book i just bought (and am reading) about Ella Fitzgerald. You get the idea from the pics on the myspace page, but the website is being built. Adding the content is a huge job for a busy guy. I hope people will get involved. I hope to have a blog called “Wednesday's Child” (All my family were born on a Wednesday), where I write it for the week and post and then I can answer some questions every Wednesday. That's the plan. In the meantime, I need more records. There are thousands I am after, old and new in all formats. Also music books, old annuals, biographies, magazines, reference books. Anything music related. I also like old record players and radios...don't get me started – then there's the film and my "other" book collections...!!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Let's catch up now with some more visitor questions!

Pamela Ryman Moir asks:

I'd like to know more about if and when, The Church will release its next album (new material)

...and Sue Campbell asks:

From what's been written so far, what will the next church album sound more like?

…and Frank Donnelly asks:

Do you have any feeling for what direction the next Church album may take before you go to work on it- or is it all completely spontaneous?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

We have already begun writing songs for the next Church album. We will continue to do so, and record into next year. There is never a plan to sound like anything, that's too limiting. Each sonic journey demands its own special attention and treatment. Spontaneity "R" us…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Angus Self asks:

Why there has never been an official Church live album? There are some great bootlegs but nothing official which I feel is a great shame for such a hugely talented band that when experienced live brings a whole new dimension to their sound.

...and Rhonda Schuldt asks:

Would love a live album from the acoustic tour. Any chance?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

I love bootlegs of my fave bands, even if they are dodgy recordings. Unfortunately, with The Church I feel that whatever happens live rarely translates to tape. I don't know why. There are always amazing parts, of course, but I find a whole concert unsatisfying. Maybe one day…but there's a magic in the air at our gigs that doesn't seem to get recorded.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Marty, you could contrast these...

Wiild Chiild asks: What is your favourite memory of The Church on tour?

...and Ernst Kok asks:

You've done quite a number of solo-shows all over the world throughout the years; can you share a favorite recollection?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Seeing the world was always high on my agenda. The first time I saw America was as part of The Church. Driving in to New York as part of a band…wow! There are lots of fave memories of course, limited time here to think of them all. Best part about touring is that I never get bored. Book stores and record stores always keep me occupied. I also like to see the sights, the museums and galleries so there isn't "A" happy memory but lots of great exhibitions and things I never would have been able to see if I hadn't been in a band. That kept me very happy for years, and still does. I had 20 minutes to see Bosch at the Prado in Madrid, but made sure I did...it inspired me. Munch in Oslo. Van Gogh in Amsterdam. Amoeba Records in San Francisco and LA. University book stores in Boston and Chicago. Art films and the Guggenheim in NYC. These are all happy memories. As for solo, it’s the same as far as the gigs go – they depend on the audience as much as the performance.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Marty, how do you know when a new song wants to be a Church song, or a MWP solo song?

...and from there, Brian Hutton asks:

Is there a new MWP album in the pipeline?

...and Stefan Horlitz asks:

Can we expect a new solo album/project this decade?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

A Church song is one that is written when we are all together. I tend to write most songs as part of projects or bands that I’m involved in (All About Eve was like that). The Church, Noctorum with Dare (new one coming). I have a new Swedish project that is 10 songs in, which will be finished next year.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Lloyd Shawn Epperly asks:

What did you think of Charlie Sexton's cover of "I Can't Cry"? Have other artists covered your songs? And will the "Seeing Stars" album be available again at some point?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Charlie did a great moody version of the song; I did the more pop version. I have written songs that got on albums by Aimee Mann and Jules Shear, Grace Slick and Linda Perry, Brix Smith and others I have forgotten. I wrote a song with Susanna Hoffs that I liked a lot, but it didn't make her album. As for “Seeing Stars”, well, if there was a demand I suppose…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Violette Dessureault asks:

What's your process for finding inspiration? Do you just sit down and bang it out, or do you have to put yourself in a certain mind-space?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

It's a strange thing. It's like looking at the back of your head. It’s about being ready with your hands, ready to catch it. But never let it know you are waiting.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Rod MacQuarrie asks:

You've said you're a gypsy. Is there any place you can truly call home?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Hmm, I have lots of homes. New York, Somerset, Penzance, Bristol, Stockholm, Liverpool, Sydney, California, Aberystwyth, Mexico, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Berlin...I guess I'd need to be Bono to keep a house in each place!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Andrew Godber asks:

Marty, pleeese tell me how you finger AmSus7 UTMWT

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well, Peter [Koppes] is the one who knows this stuff best...but it's an Am shape with your fourth finger on the second string of the third fret.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Marty, you mention Peter...For a guitar tandem to survive playing together for 30 years, there has to be a real bond and chemistry there. Describe/define your musical relationship with Peter Koppes...

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well I think it's about not analysing it really. You either effortlessly slip around each other or you don't. We do.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

As new songs develop, how do you figure out with Peter who plays what? There’s no “process” to it, then?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

No, not really…we invent our own parts and whoever comes up with something first the other comes up with something to complement it. Same with the bass.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Geoff Wilson asks:

Marty, please discuss this phrase: "guitar thieves". Is there one you've lost that you really miss?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Yeah, well, someone nicked my favourite guitar in NYC in 1989-ish. What can I say...you almost wouldn't mind, if they got out of it what I did. In the meantime…please give it back! I'm still waiting. Serial No. EB 157 Mid-sixties Rose Morris Rick 12-string, Red Sunburst finish…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Speaking of guitars, I took in your solo set at SXSW in Austin last March.. what`s the deal with your acoustic guitar being held together with duct tape...? ;-)

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Ha ha, yeah, well...the bridge seemed to be coming away from the body so I tried to keep it temporarily in place till I could have someone look at it. When I finally did, it seemed like it was going to hold and I started to like the dampening the tape gave the guitar. These guitars can be brittle and the tape helped the sound to be sparkling yet warm. That's a hard thing to get out of a 12-string acoustic. Anyway, i didn't want to change that, so I left it.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Sue Campbell asks:

What other band/musician/album has grabbed your attention lately?

...and Anna Miranda asks:

Are there any new bands that you like?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

AVI Buffalo, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez solo albums…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Anna Miranda asks:

Did you like UK rock from the ‘90s? Manchester bands like Inspiral Carpets, Charlatans, etc., or bands like Suede?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

 Oh yeah, of course. I loved “The Drowners” EP and bought all the Suede records. I saw them in LA once but not with Bernard Butler. Not sure what went wrong with them, but something did. Their first record is so great. I bought “The Only One I Know” and had all The Dead Dead Good Charlatans stuff, first Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets too, but for some reason I liked them less. I saw them play somewhere as well…Australia I think. Not sure what happened to all these bands…they shone brightly and faded quickly.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Kate Away asks:

What is your favourite style of film or cinematography?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Well, last night I saw Michelangelo Antonioni's “L'Avventura” with Monica Vitti from 1960. A wonderful, groundbreaking film. Last week I saw Fassbinder's 1980 “Lili Marlene” at the cinema. I love this kind of stuff. But I still like Star Trek too, ha ha!!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Kate Away asks:

Marty can you tell us about your printmaking?

 

Marty Willson-Piper

You mean my drawings? Well I draw them, painstakingly, and then we print them on special paper. But the essence of them is that they have to come alive. That's tricky. Plus, they take forever.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Holly Jane Ainley asks:

Any trips/gigs planned for Perth?

...and Pamela Ryman Moir asks:

Are there any US tour date planned for next year?

...and Mary Shafik Finn asks:

Are you guys ever gonna come to Dallas TX?

...(Marty, others ask about Scotland, Europe...Alaska...South Africa...the far side of the moon...they want you everywhere!)

 

Marty Willson-Piper

We do have plans to go to Perth and the US next year. We are trying to come to US for some special shows in February. I’ll keep you posted. Also Perth sometime mid-year, maybe. Texas is proving to be a little trickier, but we are certainly trying to get there. Tiare and I recently played at SXSW in Austin where we saw the great Smokey Robinson.

 

As for Europe, I have been discussing Italy, England, Mallorca, France, mainland Spain and Greece with promoters as well as trying to include Scotland, Holland, Germany if possible…anywhere, really. But to get this band up and running from Oz costs thousands and thousands of dollars before we start, and the fees are not the same as in the USA or Oz. Just airfares would be huge. The band is much more of a cult band in Europe. It's always on the agenda, but it's always a nightmare to make it work without losing money – the one thing a band like us cannot allow to happen.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

http://www.thechurchband.com/ for more information on the Church, tour dates, etc....

Thanks to Marty for being so generous with his time...and thank you all for hanging in with us and participating! I've put up a message thread at the top of the page for your comments and feedback...g'day and g'night!

 

Marty Willson-Piper

Love to all, and thanks for the questions! MWP

 

***************************************************

Browse transcripts for previous Facebook Interviews here:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=104735619580753

 

For more information on The Facebook Interviews:

http://www.suzemuse.com/2010/02/music-journalist-finds-clever-use-for-faceboook-comments/

http://humanfacebook.com/2010/09/03/a-completely-random-friend/

 

For more information on The Church:

www.thechurchband.com

www.myspace.com/thechurchbandofficial

 

Follow The Church here on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/pages/The-Church-Band/20594731045

 

***************************************************

Visitor comments:

Kate Away

I was very interested to read how you go to so many exhibitions and films; maybe you will write comment on films at your archive site or have a film and exhibition blog and tell us what you are seeing…that would be great. It’s often the unexpected that is the best when travelling. I understand better now how if you let the audience or the business direct the band, you are nothing. Yes, it’s really crucial to be able to explore freely in every way in all mediums. This was an excellent afternoon thanks!

 

Donna Schorer

This was by far the BEST interview I have ever witnessed! Thank you so much, Roch and Marty, for conducting this with exquisite finesse, and allowing the fans to be a part of it. Ironically, I've just started reading Keith Richards' autobiography and had been yearning for more insight about the Church and Marty. This was just perfect!! I hope the comments stay up...I suspect I shall be re-reading them for some time...it is inspiring to know that people like Marty exist in this sometimes insane world...thank you again - forever grateful!

 

Wiild Chiild

What a great way to conduct an interview, being able to be a part of it was brilliant! I really enjoyed learning about the world according to MWP & he was uber-generous with his time. Thanks to all involved :-)

 

Bill Morton

Great online interview Mr. Roch Parisien! Nice moderating and we certainly learned something about an enigmatic band, even those of us who heard “Unguarded Moment” when it first came out all those years ago. But what's with 2 ex members of the band living in Canberra of all places..?

 

Lisa Pennington

That was great! Wonderful moderation - thanks! Was able to find out so many things in so little time (well it did go longer than planned right?) Thanks Marty for your generosity - you rock!

 

Violette Dessureault

Roch, what a great idea!! :) And many, many thanks to MWP for being so generous with his time! What a great guy!

 

Georgia Makitalo

Wow wow wow!! That was FUN!!!!!...and Marty is one incredible man and one gifted artist. He was INCREDIBLY generous with his time. Wow!

 

 Sue Campbell

Thank you RPR Communications for this! It was very refreshing…Like I said earlier: "Give this man his own Radio show!"

 

Holly Jane Ainley

What a fantastic interview, thanks Marty for your answer regarding Perth – as a "new" fan great to hear as I haven't seen you live yet xx Thank you Roch ♥

 

Dawn Novak

This is one of the more interesting interviews I have read in a long time. The questions were valid and the answers were so cohesively expressed...a muso that truly loves his music and art and that is one of the true gifts of life...more than money can EVER be....very refreshing to read...thank you for helping me keep the faith! xx

 

Pamela Ryman Moir

Interesting – thanks!

 

Holly Jordan

Thank you for doing this. Marty, your knowledge and enthusiasm are wonderful and inspiring!

 

Brian Hutton

Excellent, good to know there are still artists with integrity and creativity out there skirting the horizons.

 

Paul O'Callaghan

The Church, a great Australian band originally from Sydney. Only last weekend, they were inducted into the ARIA (Australian Record Indusry Association) Hall of Fame! My favorite "Church" songs are "The Unguarded Moment" form 1981 and "Maybe These Boys" form 1985. Congratulations guys on your elevation to "Legendary Aussie Band" status…well deserved!!

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