Friday, 23 July 2010
Bourgeois Heroes interview
One of my favourite EP's in recent months is 'Muscial postcards' by Bourgeois Heroes. Its a kind of Kinks meets Pulp in a pool of pop perfection. I caught up with Jason and Elise to find out what its all about Alfie:
brilldream:OK,first things first, how did Bourgeois Heroes come about?
J: In the early 00's, we had lots of time on our hands. We fantasized about starting a group and drew posters for imaginary gigs and album covers before writing any material. May of 2002 we had the idea to drive to Tennessee to visit Graceland. While in Memphis, we wound up buying an electric guitar and a drum set at a consignment shop. The following day we recorded a single at Sun Studio.
brilldream:When i listen to your music, i hear shades of everyone from the Kinks to the Beach Boys and The Zombies and ,on Rosamonde, even Ronnie Lanes solo work. Who would you state as your influences?
J: You've mentioned a lot of my favorites. Nice work. I won't go into too much detail with influences since I enjoy making lists quite a bit. Speaking for myself, I suppose we ought to make sure we mention Harry Nilsson.
E: I'm influenced by Jason.
J: Oh, right... how can I forget? Elise!
brilldream:How do you go about writing songs? I understand the band is something of a long distance affair, so how does that work?
E: I think it's valuable to get out of each other's spaces for awhile and then come together when we record, neither one of us really knowing what the other wants to do. Plodding away at songs makes them hackneyed. When we talk on the phone, we don't usually talk about music.
brilldream:Is there a single moment that made you want to create music or is it something that has brewed slowly?
E: I think it would be far more original if I didn't want to create music. Everybody's in a band nowadays.
J: It seem like any asshole can play guitar.
brilldream:I adore the spoken word reading put of LP's on 'The Boy at the Record Store'. Whose idea was it, and is there any significance in the choices of records or was it simply a random list?
E: That was my idea. I think anyone who starts at one end of a record store and flips their way to the other eventually sees the same records over and over again.
brilldream:I think the titular people in 'The Boy at the Record Store' and 'The Postcard Collector' will resonate with a lot of listeners. Are the songs autobiographical at all?
J: Elise and I both collect postcards and yes, I did try to learn Dutch to impress an uninterested girl. There are biographical moments in songs, but that's as far as it goes. I tend to create little stories or situations in my mind... or just play with words. I've never been able to write about myself with ease. I don't think most singers pull that sort of thing off to be perfectly honest. One only has to visit an open mic night only once to realize that singing about feelings can be a tacky affair.
brilldream:Almost all the songs have brilliantly written characters with proper dimensions which recall the work of the Kinks and even Richard Yates. Are they based on real people? Would you call yourself a voyeur?
E: I always thought Jason was more interested in the ways words fit together than a storyline.
brilldream:Apart from a Kinks like shine, the vocal also seems rooted in a certain Englishness. Would you describe yourselves as Anglophiles?
J: My voice may have an English quality because I learned to sing to "Rubber Soul". I love so many British groups, "Doctor Who" and English literature, but I can't really consider myself an Anglophile. There's plenty of American groups (and groups/singers from other places in the world) that I'm fond of and I've been experiencing American culture my whole life.
E: Some of the earliest music I loved was British, but not to the exclusivity of other music.
brilldream:Do you have any aims or ambitions for the band, or are you happy to see where it flows to?
J: To quote something Elise said in an interview several years ago, "we're a tragically underrated group". I'd like to do something about that.
E: I aim to be Jason's friend forever. That's all.
J: Forever is an awfully long time.
Musical Postcards is avalible in the UK from here-