MATT D CHEETHAM from Hicks Milligan Prophecy
1. Who are you?
Matt D Cheetham, singer, dancer and iceberg sculptor with Hicks Milligan-Prophecy.
2. No, really, who are you?
Ohhh – YOU. YOU is the title of my debut novel. Thanks for mentioning it.
The book, which is a dark, surreal, comedy won’t be released until 2005, but
further information/special advanced copies are available from www.hm-p.com
3. What are you up to at the moment?
I have just returned from stuffing armadillos down my pants at the Love Festival in Norberg, where we performed on the main stage in front of
several thousand screaming Swedes. It was a great experience and, hopefully,
with a Scandinavian tour now in the offing, the first of many overseas dates. The festival, and the five days I spent in Stockholm afterwards,
proved the perfect opportunity for me to continue work on my new novel, as well as develop ideas for some new songs. Urban environments tend to
stimulate my creative juices more than other types of locations, but I found
that Stockholm did so in a very different way to London, which was interesting. Now back in Blighty, we have just released our debut E.P. ‘The
Transatlantic Iceberg’ and will be playing several UK gigs over the coming months. I can’t wait to get back on stage.
4. What three rules would make up your manifesto?
Firstly, companies are not allowed to trade in human misery – whether this be arms, baby milk or sportswear. Secondly, stiffer sentences for corporate
crime – I’d rather have my video stolen than my pension. Thirdly, to ban hot
milk, the most disgusting substance known to man – just the smell of it makes me puke.
5. If you were the dictator of a modern industrial country, what would
you abolish? What laws would you implement?
I would abolish modern industrial countries and replace them with out of town supermarkets. I’d abolish street crime by abolishing streets. I would
selectively implement the law of gravity – if too many people have it they take it for granted. Hang on – you’re seriously offering me this chance of
power? Well, in addition to those mentioned in my manifesto, I’d abolish the
monarchy, and the House of Lords. I would also implement a law banning parents from smacking children – if you smack an adult it’s assault, if you
smack a child it’s discipline!? So when is this going to happen? I didn’t know this magazine was so powerful.
6. What are your lyrics about?
About six foot two, and on everything from hardcore political issues to social satire. ‘Sunshine State Massacre’ is about the Bush family
eliminating swathes of the black vote in Florida to steal power. ‘9/11/73’ is about the brutal Pinochet regime in Chile and the pivotal role of the
Whitehouse and several US multinationals, most notably Pepsi, in the whole despicable affair. ‘Gap Kids Make Cracking Crack Whores’ is about the
juxtaposition of the Fashion Industry’s ‘Heroin Chic’ child models with third world child labour and exploitation. ‘King Herod’s Baby Milk’ is
inspired by the Nestle boycott (see www.babymilkaction.org)- Paul Bearer, who co-writes all the lyrics, lives in Croydon so regularly has to see a
sign proclaiming ‘Welcome to East Croydon – Home of Nestle UK’. Contrastingly other songs of ours focus on the ‘dumbing down’ of the mass
media and its impact on society, such as ‘Pro-Celebrity Prostitution’, ‘The Man Who Ate Japan’ or ‘Monkey See, Monkey Lifestyle’.
7. What is your opinion on the contemporary music scene? What do you
I like bands that have personality onstage (preferably off it as well) and strong songs, lyrics and general outlook. Obviously these days too much of
the music industry is geared towards whichever image/style/songwriter/producer is trendy and controlling everything via
publicists and press officers. It seems self-evident that people who are actually interesting in themselves are likely to develop a more long-term
fanbase and career, but things are increasingly run by accountant types with
a lot less imagination as to what they sign. There’s actually plenty of people in power who don’t even appear to like music – which explains a lot
of their signings…. Myself I’d recommend/be most likely to be listening to
Kaito, Le Tigre, Joy Division, Jose Gonzales and S. Rock Levinson.
8. What distinguishes you from your peers?
I have a distinguishing mark on my left buttock in the shape of Belgium. And
a birthmark on my inner thigh – the shape of things to come.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
As a dictator of a modern industrial country. Or an out of town supermarket.
10. Any regrets?
‘I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention…’