Angels in America: Lo-fi, Georges Moustaki and virtual chips
Angels in America play the most fascinating music. They also have an obsession with potato chips. We met them a little before they gig in Athens and we coaxed out of them their second interview. Ever.
Angels in America is one of the most fascinating new lo-fi bands in the US. Their music build a unique atmosphere, drawing many elements from trip-hop. When Thurston Moore first listened to their demo, he immediately signed them to Ecstatic Peace! They are coming to Greece as special guests of the party for the tenth anniversary of the fanzine/indie label Phase!Records. We catched up with Lingerie Jack and Iked-Out Jezebel right before their trip to Thessaloniki and talked about their brand new names, their addiction to potato chips –which in their opinion are the main indicators of cultural differces between countries- and Georges Moustaki. This is their second interview. Ever!!
When did you start the band and why?
Lingerie Jack: In 2007.
Iked-Out Jezebel: We were living together and it was winter time and we were kind of bored.
What kind of music were you listening then?
LJ: A lot of different styles. Nothing specific.
IJ: There wasn’t something specific ever.
LJ: What we could do with what we had. We had a guitar and effects. That dictated it more than anything specific.
Were you always involved in music?
LJ: This was the first real, real thing
IJ: I always went to shows but more punk shows and stuff like but I wasn’t in bands like in a serious way and even this when it started it wasn’t like serious.
LJ: It was something to do like recording and we didn’t worry about it and how it would be like and we didn’t care if anyone would like it. It didn’t matter.
Where were you living at the time?
IJ: In Montreal, Canada.
Where is your base now?
LJ: We live all over.
IJ: We don’t really live anywhere now. It’s kinda up in the air right now.
LJ: It’s hard to say where the band is from or where is located. That’s why there’s a lot of different information out there that says where we live.
IJ: Every time we play a show they say that we are from a different place and we haven’t lived there for a year.
How would you describe the music that you are playing?
LJ: I think the best way to describe it is as just what happens when we are together. It’s like an experience of a private thing.
IJ: And a sort of mixture of surprise. We don’t really think in terms of genre.
Do you improvise on stage?
LJ: Not usually. Sometimes
IJ: It’s different, what we do. We don’t do improvisation in a normal way like when I’m singing and a lot of the times I sing differently. The way that I perform on stage is always different and that part is more impro but the instrumentation isn’t.
How did you choose the name of the band?
LJ: Not from the TV series. It’s just a name.
IJ: I don’t remember actually. We had a joke about it but I don’t know what it was.
LJ: It can be anything but there is a space there.
IJ: It’s kind really meaningless in a way that is good.
LJ: Most people know that there is a show or a play but it doesn’t really matter what our intentions were.
Tell me a little bit about your European tour. Was it the first time you are playing in Europe? How was it?
LJ: Yeah! First time playing in Europe.
IJ: It’s been really good.
LJ: It’s really nice to try all these food and snacks and watch movies but also see these places.
What’s the best thing you ate in Europe so far?
IJ: Besides what we ate today [traditional Greek food]. I went crazy about a Belgian waffle that we’ve had.
LJ: We tried to see if they had a waffling eating contest so we could be in but no one knew what we were talking about. Some potato chips in Italy were pretty interesting. I don’t know if they were the best but they were exciting.
IJ: We had these potato chips called virtual. Pretty like sci-fi.
LJ: They were sci-fi chips. They were three dimensional. They were like cones. But it was more about the hunt. We wanted to track them down. They were more important than music for a couple of days.
IJ: We heard about them and then we looked for them in every store we went to for three days. And finally in midnight the night we were leaving, we found them at Auto-Grill.
LJ: They are visually beautiful and taste beautiful as well. We found them outside of Milan, that’s where the magic event took place.
Which artist would you like to collaborate with and why?
LJ: I would only really like to collaborate with dead artists or the friends that we have now and they are available I would really like that. But, if it’s like a dream or something that would be really amazing.
IJ: Probably we would like to collaborate with an historical figure like Abraham Lincoln.
LJ: Or like a Greek one too. Wait, like George Moustaki, my dad really likes him.
IJ: Or Neil Diamond!
I think Georges Moustaki is still alive.
-Oh yes! So, we can still do it.
So what about your next plans?
LJ: It’s not really an Angels in America release but it’s in the angels verse. It’s called Angels USA VH1 Drunk but it’s like a radio play. So, it’s a recorded story with music and characters and we do all the voices except from one.
IJ:There is one guest appearance from a collaborator friend. A friend that we have never met actually.
LJ: But he’s a true friend. He sent us a transmission and we included it in the story. It’s going to disappoint everyone who wants a music album but it might be good anyway. It’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever done.
What’s the story about?
LJ: It actually ties everything that we were talking about before. It’s about the world getting really excited.
IJ: It’s about a new invention that the people would like to purchase. It’s being installed in their mind by surgery. When it’s implanted in your mind you can download flavors into your mouth while you eat chips. So, there’s an unlimited flavors of chips that you can eat.
LJ: So there are commercials for the different chip flavors, like jingles. We wrote a lot of songs for the different flavors. They’re really good.
IJ: Weirdly we recorded that and then our life kind of became like that.
LJ: Because we found about the virtual chips and all these different chips but that was after. Immediately it just took over our actual reality. So that’s how you know it’s an important work for us. It’s invaded our lives.
Do you want anything else to add?
LJ: We don’t really have good stuff to say about music. We can say our new names.
IJ: Yeah, we have new names. It’s Lingerie Jack and Iked-Out Jezebel
Why don't you give interviews?
LJ: Because nobody really cares to ask us!
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