???Lted by GeoCities Home Page Generator--> TISM interview Area 7, InPress

Ska'd for Life, InPress, 31/10/01

Members of Area-7 piled into a phonebox to ring through to Inpress in the hope of promoting their new CD. Unfortunately TISM had moved into the editor's office and answered the phone...

TISM: You have been loosely connected with ska music and I don't want to pigeon hole you in this manner because I know journalists come up with these convenient labels.

Area-7: So do record companies.

TISM: I see, yeah. So, would you classify yourselves as a ska band?

Area-7: I think we've transcended the ska genre and we're quite clearly in the sellout genre.

TISM: Excellent. Now, what's your opinion of a band called Real Big Fish?

Area-7: Great bands and good friends...

TISM: And what about Less Than Jake?

Area-7: Great band, but not so friendly guys.

TISM: A ha! I think we may have tapped a rich vein here. Can you elucidate on that, can you tell us why they're not such nice guys?

Area-7: I don't want to generalize because not all the guys were the same, but a couple of the guys in the band weren't really overly friendly to anybody really on the tour except for the other American bands when we toured with them.

TISM: Now the reason I isolated those two bands is because I've never heard of them. I'm only familiar with R&B. Are you familiar with R&B guys?

Area-7: Yeah, that's that David guy, Destiny's Child.
- That's where you do that thing with your voice: whoaoaoa!
- Co-ordinated dance moves.

TISM: Do you get attractive girls backstage at your shows?

Area-7: Yes, but they are normally from the record company and have boyfriends!

TISM: Do you talk to them, or are you just interested in objectifying them for sexual gratification?

Area-7: Definitely the thingamajiggy with the objectifying.

TISM: Now, I'll ask you some more serious questions now. _Individuality_, the opening riff was, in my opinion, slightly reminiscent of _We're Not Gonna Take It_ by Twisted Sister.

Area-7: We tried to dress it up a bit, but we don't give a shit...

TISM: Now Dougal, let me quote you a couple of lines here: "Everyday is just another struggle, I can't be happy any more/Everyone's moved on and I've lost my way." Now my question to you Dougal is, did a Christian brother have sex with you when you were young?

Area-7: Yeah, I was really hoping for a Christian sister but they had them in short supply.

TISM: So is it fair to say chaps, that you were going through that difficult phase after the initial flush of success...

Area-7: So is that the flush of failure, is it?

TISM: Yes. Much like Radiohead with Kid A, where you confront society and decide to make a more challenging record, is that what you were doing there?

Area-7: I don't think we think that much, do we guys?
-I dunno, Dougal tries to be challenging and I just try to sell us out as quickly as we possibly can.
-I think an honest answer to that question is that we came back from a hard tour (48 shows in 50 odd days) and we were still in debt so we figured that we were well within our rights to write a song about life and being in struggle.

TISM: So, are you actually happy at the moment?

Area-7: No.
-Well, I am.

TISM: Fellas... I think it's wonderful to be interviewing you because TISM have been going for sixteen years now and in the extremely short space of time you've eclipsed everything we've ever done. You've sold more records, you've become more successful, you've generated more interest and yet somehow you don't sound like you're in a real rock band, somehow you just sound like ordinary people. Have you ever met anyone in a rock band who actually believes the myth of rock bands?

Area-7: I met Phil Jamieson once.
-Yes and I met Bardot once.

TISM: And did he believe the myth?

Area-7: I think so. He didn't really talk to me.

TISM: You know the people reading this, the people reading Inpress here. People who think being in a rock band's gonna solve all their problems, now if you're in TISM that obviously doesn't solve all your problems. Now, I would of thought being in Area-7 means that all your problems are solved, that life is fine, that success and girls have come your way, is that true?

Area-7: Definitely not true.
-Can I answer the question you asked before?

TISM: Yep.

Area-7: (Silence)

TISM: I think Stevo's dropped out, perhaps that was symbolic lads. I noticed that Stevo's the only one who looks a bit angry on the cover, but I won't go into that. Now he was going to talk about Lash. Do you guys have any opinion about Lash?

Area-7: Let's just say we prefer to see bands that kind of write all their own material.

TISM: You guys have been going for eight years or something, yeah?

Area-7: Eight years, yep.

TISM: And you guys still have real jobs.

Area-7: Yeah, definitely. We need to, there's seven of us, you know.

TISM: Can you explain the process to people who don't understand what the industry is like. I noted with interest before, you did a year's touring and you still ended up in debt. Now I've got two questions there, I reckon I know the answer but the readers of Inpress mightn't. First of all, how do you do a year's touring when you've got full time jobs or real jobs?

Area-7: You basically quit them.
-Put the dates forward for your boss after the annual leave when he said no you quit that job and then you start a new job at the end of the
-You get your annual leave up front basically.

TISM: How can you spend all your time touring, leaving jobs, generating that money and ending up in debt?

Area-7: Because when we tour we tour the whole country. Not just the East Coast - we go to Queensland and Perth all the time and it blows out all the profits in every other city, basically.

TISM: So, who's making the money in the Area-7 corporation?

Area-7: The shareholders.
-We have a responsibility to our shareholders.

TISM: Do I detect a note of cynical caution here? Like, um, there are no shareholders in the Area-7... how much does your manager make boys>?

Area-7: Too much.
-Seventy percent. The record company makes eighty percent and I don't know how that works out but it does.

TISM: It seems to me that Area-7 are a deeply unhappy band...

Area-7: Well we _Can't Be Happy_ anymore (track 3 on the album Say It To My Face)
-I think there could be a song title in there.

TISM: There could well be.

Area-7: Have you heard about the new rival band to TISM?

TISM: Mmm...

Area-7: They're called VTS, they're called Voluntary Tourette Syndrome. I don't know if you've heard of them.

TISM: I'm not familiar with their work.

Area-7: Perhaps you've heard their track _Sperm Nostalgia_?

TISM: What's disturbing here is that if someone wasn't to meet Area-7 they would say that they were a happy band, playing happy music, placidly going along, enjoying their career and enjoying their life. But the readers of Inpress now know different, is that right?

Area-7: In the lonely room we cry the tears of a clown.
-You know with us, we're always smilling and dancing around. We just have to whinge when we're in the middle of interviews. It's out one chance to vent our anger. We're always smiling for the fans.

TISM: Cos what we really wanna see is you guys supporting us. You bastards - we've been here for fifteen years and you leap to the top. We want a poster, TISM in big letters, then Area-7 in little letters at the bottom.

Area-7: Yep, I'm in for that, I like it.

TISM: You guys might be in debt, but after this interview you guys are fucked.

Area-7: Lucky we've got day jobs.

TISM: You know, this Inpress interview's gonna go for about two paragraphs once the lawyers... it's gonna go "Hi, how are you? How are you? The end."

Area-7: Hi, how are you? The world sucks, the end.

TISM: Now I'd like to ask, and I know this is going to be a touch cliched and probably the ropeheads who are reading this at Inpress, using the word reading quite lightly, probably going to expect it, but I would like to talk just very briefly about Kylie Minogue. I would like to ask, I've actually never seen how another band writes their music, like I know, in TISM we have discussion like - does that middle eight sound good enough? Does that chord sound alright? And I know that before you were mentioning about the chords, the diminishing chords at the start of one of your songs. Now, do you think Kylie has this discussion about her music with the people who write her music?

Area-7: No, I think she has discussions about how much body she can show legally on television.
-Can I just say, I think she does have that discussion, and she probably has it with Natalie Imbruglia.

TISM: If you could name the criticism that most irks you about your band, what would that criticism be?

Area-7: Go on Stevo, you've been waiting twenty years to say this.
-I just like the whole thing that you're in a seven piece band, which requires a fair degree of musicality in itself, to get a balance in your songwriting and your performance so that it all sounds ok and goes together. Yet people can criticise the band for not being original or, you know, not being worthy for whatever fucken reason that is, and that sucks when you've got the likes of N'Sync and fucking Britney Spears. And without wanting to put some other well known bands down it irks me that people can use samples of other people's music continually, and that's a legitimate form of music, yet if you write your own music it's not.

TISM: Stevo, let me see if I've got you right here. People criticise Area-7 for being too enslaved in the whole genre of ska music, of not performing their own original sounds, of following in a too rigorous fashion the musical form that has been around for too long. And it irks you because other bands seem to be using other people's sounds and using techniques that are similarly unoriginal and yet they don't seem to cop the same criticism. Would that be a way of saying what you just said?

Area-7: Absolutely.
-I think it's wrong that anyone's accused of being unoriginal these days because no-one's original.
-That's right.
-It's acceptable for bands to say "we are influenced by rock'n'roll" or "we are influenced by R&B" or by whatever forms of music, but you can't be influenced by ska and yet that's just another valid form of roots music, yet no one seems to like that. There's my chip on the shoulder, bleeding heart.

TISM: Well, I was just about to say, isn't it interesting when rock bands get together, we whinge like old RSL people complaining about poofs. I'm sure every rock band's got this whinge. I know in TISM we've been consumed for years by a similar whinge about no one taking us seriously. I'm sure Thom Yorke and the boys from Radiohead get together and start whingeing and whining about the people don't get their band on the right level. I in fact read Powderfinger's interview and they were whingeing and whining about how bad their reviews are. I mean, what a bunch of old women rock bands are turning out to be.

Area-7: Anyone who's had the share of the band room at the front bar of the Espy Hotel knows what it's like to be in the trenches.

TISM: Now, do you actually recall any reviews that particularly come to mind, fellas, you know, were there any lines. I mean I can recall a review of a TISM album which said "pass the bog roll". Now, are there any lines that stick out for you, the ones that you've put up on your wall?

Area-7: Or put on a t-shirt even. Ummm... no.
-There's a lot of journalists which Stevo's singled out, maybe you could list them all now Stevo.
-I can name two. But, actually, one's made amends by actually apologizing to us so i don't really want slag him. But I just don't like it when, not so much on recording stuff, but I find it quite strange when people are doing a live show and they don't get it right. They'll say something to the effect of, what was that one that guy said... oh, they'll misquote the number of people there, or they neglect the fact that people had a good time, but they're telling you how you should arrange and play your music - and I always think that's a bit weird.

TISM: Excellent. Now Chucky, we know, cos we've got seven people in our band, seven people are a recipe for disaster in terms of, I think a book could be written about the psychology of bands. Now Chucky, of the other six members of Area-7, who would be the one that you would least confide secrets in?

Area-7: Maybe Dougal cos he's always trying to find weaknesses so that he can try and root me. If I open up an emotional weakness to Dougal he's gonna try and take advantage of me.

TISM: Now I can tell that you three guys are obviously the members of Area-7 that they've nominated to do this interview because you are obviously bright boys that can string sentences together, so the other four members I think, all three of you must agree, are deeply ignorant and stupid people.

Area-7: Yep, we have the brains of the group.
-The word that comes to mind is pricks.
-Dumb as dogshit, they are.

TISM: Would you go so far as to say those four members are interchangeable?

Area-7: Replaceable, basically, replaceable. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that so is Dougal, but he's just doing this interview because he wanted to suck up to you.
-Can I use the word irrelevant?

TISM: Can we fuel rumours of an Area-7 split?

Area-7: Oh, why not.

Area 7 at Chaos Music
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