JESSE BUDD from FLIPRON
1. Who are you?
Jesse Budd. Songwriter, singer & instrumentalist with Flipron. Married with one son. Keen drinker of wine. Collector of books, musical instruments & inexpensive taxidermy.
2. No, really, who are you?
The italics make this a really searching question! -“Shub-Niggurath, Goat of a Thousand Young” is what some people have said. I disagree, but I really don’t know. Underneath all my personal conceptions, underneath the numerous different people who I might think I am depending on what mood I’m in – who is that person? This is a question I ponder from time to time, occasionally even with a degree of rigour, but generally I just wallow happily in the
innumerable fatty layers of my 30-something complacence, slowly becoming more stupid…..
3. What are you up to at the moment?
Promoting our album, rehearsing, performing, writing, changing nappies, holding down a day job, not sleeping enough, not reading enough, not spending enough time with my family. So not changing enough nappies, in fact!
4. What three rules would make up your manifesto?
Ezra Pound’s dictum was “Make it new”. Mine would be “Make it good”. Just because something is new, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has value, but if you really do your darn’dest (sp?) to make something as good as you can possibly make it, & I mean really seeking a way to communicate, really listening to what your work is demanding, then you’re far more likely to produce original work, something that is speaking with its own voice, & it will have real value, even if few people can see it. (….& we can’t all expect to invent Punk or something…) That is probably the only dictum of my manifesto. Everything else should come naturally from that. I would add that taking your work seriously is fine but it’s unwise to take yourself as seriously as I seem to have just done – I’m just asking for a kicking, aren’t I?!
5. If you were the dictator of a modern industrial country, what would
you abolish? What laws would you implement?
I’d abolish exams for children under 13. It’s not fair on the little blighters. I’d raise taxes massively, especially for the rich. As a result there would be fantastic public services run by well paid, well trained, exuberantly happy staff & my dictatees would have all they need to live happily, with little incentive for gaining personal wealth & would slowly become less selfish as a result. This attitude would spread to neighbouring states, & thence to the world, where peace would reign forever more. Now you’ve asked me that question, it seems glaringly apparent that the leaders of the world should ask me for my advice on how to run things. I’d be happy to oblige.
6. What are your lyrics about?
I would hope that they mean different things to different listeners. I don’t start out writing a song about anything. Generally a melody appears in my head, I listen to it & wait for the words to follow.
That’s when I discover what I think the song is about, but I’m not necessarily right.
7. What is your opinion on the contemporary music scene? What do you
I like that it’s considered OK to like a wide variety of musical styles. When I was in my early teens, if you liked AC/DC, you weren’t allowed to like the Specials. I still like both. I like bands that make an effort. I dislike the dull music of complaint that seems to be passing for indie in the past couple of years. It’s like a kind of processed cheese. It is so
monstrously boring. This might be personified by a line from a Coldplay song: “Oh no, what’s this? A spider web! & I’m caught in the middle!” So tediously sixth form! Is that it? Should that be earning him
millions? That sort of ill thought out, easily found imagery just makes me want to bang my head against a moving bus. Dull dull dull.
8. What distinguishes you from your peers?
I am probably older than other people in ‘new’ bands. It’s quite embarrassing. I am also probably shorter. This is not
embarrassing. I am the correct size for a modern human musician. Larger musicians seem to me unnaturally large, like economy turky drumsticks or the giant Jeeps that mothers in Hampstead use to ferry their progeny from home to school & back. I am also one of the few people I know that regularly reads poems. I don’t mean ‘The Nations Favourite Poems’ or coffee table compilations of that ilk. I mean slim volumes of astonishing writing by people who are & have devoted their lives writing amazing poems. People like Kenneth Patchen, Lorca, Anne Sexton, Georg Trakl, Lee Harwood, Henri Michaux. A large number of others. Amazing poets. The volumes do not have to be slim, but they fit better in a pocket.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I have no idea. Our street is to be demolished for redevelopment, but they can’t yet tell us whether we’ll be kicked out in three months or three years. As a result I have no idea where I’ll be living or working in six months time, let alone 5 years.
10. Any regrets?
I regret countless things. I regret a number of things very, very deeply. I don’t trust anyone who says that they have no regrets. For starters, they’re lying. Secondly, this implies that they have never stopped to consider anything other than the most immediate consequences of what they are doing. Regretting is good. It’s part of learning. & as Mrs. Cooper, my primary school teacher once said to me: “Learning can be fun!”