banner image

:: Spotlight :: Machine Gun Fellatio - Not On The Rocks

By: Evan Alexander

Vibrant personalities make a sometimes rather droll existence interesting. Injections of sex, colour, humour and a willingness to not take it all too seriously are all factors that have contributed to the ongoing success Machine Gun Fellatio. It’s the Monday afternoon following the Federal election and between mouthfuls of toast, a somewhat dejected Pinky Beecroft took time out with Evan Alexander to shed some light on the various processes behind MGF’s new long-player “On Ice”.

What did you get up to on the weekend Pinky?

Oh drowning my sorrows really.

Oh mate, what are you drowning?

Oh you know, there was an election on Saturday night.

Three more years of the coalition, eh?

Yeah, I spent a lot of time talking to my travel agent about moving offshore. Spent a lot of time getting really violently out of it. I’m just so disappointed by my fellow Australians, a bunch of narrow minded c**ts.

wrote an article about the election; what parties had what systems in place and who had what policies for contemporary music. Some scary s**t man. We’re talking nothing; the coalition had at least apportioned some money for touring, but that was organised by the Australia Council anyway.

Great.

So…

Great

Obviously not a selling point for elections. What are you going to do?

I don’t know what we do here. I think somebody’s got to die. Just not sure who yet. One of them has to die.

On to happier things, you’re new album comes out on Sunday?

Aaahhh, yes that’s right.

An interesting choice, not many albums come out on a Sunday?

Yes, I queried that with somebody and just got looked at, you know. I think it’s the day that the week starts. That’s what I got told. No that’s why it’s coming out on a Sunday. Because no-one else brings out records on Sundays. We released ‘Bring it On’ on the day the Sydney Olympics started, which was possibly the dumbest date to release a recording in the history of releasing records; particularly because we were in Sydney at the time. We’re not known for our…aaahhh…brilliance at picking the day of release. The record company was fairly adamant that there was no way we were going to release it this year, but we kinda f**ked that up for them.

thing I noticed about the album is that the songwriting credits are all over the shop. Everybody gets a turn in pairs, or 3’s or 4’s..or 5’s and 6’s. What’s the story there?

It’s because basically if I don’t give them credits they cry, they whinge.

Do you have a set system in place?

Yeah, it’s all about blowjobs. Whoever I get blowjobs from I give songwriting credits to.

Oh ok, working out your percentages to see who gets money from APRA, and APRA’s cool with that?

Yeah they're fine. I’ve discussed it with them. Umm, its a lot more of a band record this one, much more of a collaborative effort. Everyone pitched in and I’m happy with that. The last album…sorry, I’m having a piece of toast…the last album me and Love Shark did the bulk of the writing. It got done really quickly but it wasn’t really a band project, where as this one, this is interesting, the drummer actually got his s**t together. I buggered off to Melbourne after we made the last record, and just wasn’t around much. Other people took it upon themselves to do things in my absence, which is great.

Definitely, what were you doing down in Melbourne?

Living.

Fair enough; when you write songs as a band is it usually two or more people writing a section together, or is ]it all of the parties bringing in their own sections and piecing them together Lennon McCartney style?

How did they write?

As far as I know in the early ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ days they sat down together with guitars. But I think for the main part they both brought in their own sections and pasted parts together.

Mostly (barely decipherable under the chewing of toast) that’s how it works with us - the section thing - 'Positive Song’ is a really good example. I started it with Loveshark. Loveshark and I tend to sit round in his f**ked up house. He had that riff, nah nah nah, and I loved it. So we go that happening, usually whilst he’s recording it the way he wants to record it, I will write lyrics.

On the spot.

Yeah, well the thing about Shark is that he’ll just shove a mic in your face, and he’ll be like, “go”, and you’ll be like..”well I haven’t …can I at least hear it once” and he’s like “no, go, go, cmon go, go”. So I wrote the lyrics and melody and then came up with a bit of a change. We got it to pretty much how we wanted it, really liked it, and gave it to our bass player 3K[Short] whose also pretty much our main producer. He took it and turned it upside down, put the time changes in it, and a whole lot of other stuff, f**ked with it and made it less …straight. He had these weird vocal melodies for the end which he heard in his head and he got KK in who wailed over the top of the outro, so that’s how that’s how that works. That becomes co-written by shark, me, him and her….sometimes you give somebody points just to stay away.

Was the production on “On Ice” something you all collectively shot for? Did you have an idea for the album before you went in?

I think the credit’s got to be given to 3K. He just has a sound. He’s responsible for the way we sound to a large extent because any song, before it gets finished, no matter who it’s by, will at some point be given to him to do things with, whatever he feels like. Sometimes he just doesn’t do much but a lot of times he just completely turns the whole thing upside down on it’s head and you just go, “wow, that’s really kinda weird”, he’s the mad scientist of the band. If it was left to me everything would be acoustic half the time, because that’s how I write, on piano. I’m not very good at sitting down for two weeks and figuring out what the snare should sound like.

I hear you man…

Yeah, I’m not very good at that, it drives me mental.

Yeah, you’d rather go down to Melbourne and do some living…

Exactly.

What’s your favourite song on the album?

Positive Song probably. I love the sentiment behind it. A lot of times the lyrics you write are rubbish and you just don’t nail it on the day. I felt that day that it was exactly what I wanted to say at the time. The other song is a mellow one up the back of the album, ‘These Days’. Again I was trying to write about something specific and the words came out. It felt good.

I’m down with ‘Troublemaker’…

Yeah, cheers. Brian the drummer is largely responsible for that groove. He really impressed me with this record because he didn’t get much of a guernsey on the last couple of records and we did an awful lot of programmed drums on the last few records too. We pretty much wrote everything amongst a couple of us and instead of whinging and going “you guys are f**ked” and going away, he went and hocked his f**king stuff and bought a big computer set up, taught himself cubase and reason and really, really worked hard on his songwriting, then bombarded me with a stack of grooves. One of them was the one that became ‘Troublemaker’. I just heard it and went “wow this is great”. I went over there and did the lyrics and the melody and then we took it to 3K who re-recorded some parts of it and put some more live stiff in there. So that’s how that one got done. I love it too.

I’ve been flogging it here on 4ZZZ…

Wicked. I’ve been really surprised how they’ve chosen that one for the J’s. We haven’t had that level of success with the Net 50 before but it just seems to have stuck there.

It doesn’t surprise me; It’s quintessentially catchy…

Yes, but commercial radio has uniformly thumbs downed it all the way around Australia. Its so f**kin weird. It's like f**k this is us doing a pop song. I don’t even know what they want anymore.

What sort of stuff have you been listening to lately?

Uuhh, I’ve listened to a lot of Brassy. I got an ipod halfway through the recording of this last album and that changed my life because suddenly I loaded 10,000 songs into the little motherf**ker and you start to get reacquainted with your CDs that you don’t listen to anymore. I was a jazz nut so I got out a whole lot of jazz CDs I hadn’t gotten out for a while. It’s been a very disappointing year for new music this year. Everybody pushed Scissor Sisters down my throat and I listened to that for eleven minutes and went great, that’s really boring. I hated Prince’s new album. Franz Ferdinand were good for about ten minutes until suddenly they were just like everywhere and you couldn’t escape the motherf**kers. I liked a lot of Dave McCormack’s last record. I got some live Ween which is pretty f**king brilliant. Stuff off the net, a lot of live stuff of the net which we’ve been doing and somebody recorded for me, it’s f**king unbelievable.

Do any members of Machine Gun Fellatio still have day jobs?

Only really me now. Chit Chat has a show on Music Max or V or one of those. I do a lot of television work still. Bryan Ferry Sexual has his own band. KK still does all of her KK Juggy stuff.

Ok, I’m going to give you a sale of the century mad minute thing so if you could just give me monosyllabic answers?

Yep.

What do you look forward to at the end of the day?

Sleep.

If you were King for the day where would you spend the night?

New York.

Where, or from whom, did you hear about the birds and the bees?

Eddie Thomas.

Have you got your own car?

Yes.

Have you been to Africa?

No… oh yes sorry I lied…but only on a stopover.

Did you remember your Mum's last birthday?

She’s dead.

Oh, sorry mate…

That’s all right.

What do you dig most about your job?

(long pause..longer pause)
Pass.

For more information, visit

www.machinegunfellatio.com