The Wiggins: "Rock and Roll Is Castrated"
Today we continue talking to Jon Read, the man behind the Wiggins about his new album The Myth of Man.
Rocks Off: Distortion plays an enormous role in your songs. They always sound like they're coming out over a speaker just about to die? How and why do you do that?
Jon Read: 'Cause rock and roll is castrated. Punk is not even scary. I want to bring it to another frequency. I want it to hurt a little. But Tina Turner explains it best:
You know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy...but there's just one thing
You see, we never ever do nothing nice and easy
We always do it nice and rough
Rocks Off: Easily the catchiest track on the record is "TV Summer." Mind telling us a little about its origin and meaning?
Jon Read: I do mind, but I'm glad you find it catchy. I don't like to know what things are about, I like the mystery, giving the listener a chance to make their own meaning.
Rocks Off: I know you enjoy being on your own as a musician, but is there anyone that you turn to for help or criticism? Is there anyone you trust with your songs?
Jon Read: Yeh, I got my crew all over the world. I send stuff out to people minutes after recording it. I have a friend in Denver (Brian MacDonald, Secret Knock) that will usually re-record my songs and put it on his records. I have done the same with his songs... As far as advice, I listen, but...
Rocks Off: Would you say this is an angry record?
Jon Read: No, it's more upset, dehydrated and slightly drunk.
Rocks Off: "Tame" has this really bizarre calliope-sounding line behind it that is just plain weird. It's a sound that doesn't appear anywhere else on the album. It gives the whole thing a circus sound. Is that what you were going for?
Jon Read: It's a lame Tom Waits attempt.
Rocks Off: You end the record on an odd note. "The Last Thing I Need" is damn near empty except for a low voice and tiny Wiggins-touches that fade into what sounds like faint knocking on a distant door. What made that song so starkly different from the rest of the record?
Jon Read: That song as well as "Fly Right," nothing is programmed. I start with a tempo, but that's removed ASAP, and I just do everything live and layered. Robot free, though the drums and bass are still digital.
I think the tone is sadder. I worked on that right after I broke my arm, which really hurt, made impossible for me to play, paint and really didn't help a TV project I was working on for FOX... It was a bad time and I really had no one in my corner it seemed, but I'm sure some of that feeling was from the drugs I was given. Steroids are no joke.
The Wiggins play Walters Friday, September 28 Wicked Poseur, Hearts of Animals and Fiskadoro.
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