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interviews, conversations

Il a suffit d’annoncer le retour en Europe cet automne de God is my co-pilot, « living legend » , pour réactiver aussitôt des souvenirs de concerts joyeux et bordéliques, de musiciens drôles et libres, toujours prêts à parler avec leurs fans, intéressés par tout et tous, comme en témoigne la longue liste de disques sortis depuis 1991, où régulièrement des musiciens talentueux comme Jad Fair, Chan Marchall ou John Zorn ont accompagné les deux membres fondateurs, Craig et Sharon.

Il suffit de passer un minimum de temps avec God Co pour comprendre pourquoi ils ont encouragé par leur amitié plusieurs créations de fanzines, ou vocations d’organisateurs de concerts.

Enthousiaste et curieux, Craig a visiblement profité de chaque minute de son séjour en Europe. Observateur et taquin, en quelques minutes il aura comparé le chantier du futur centre Pompidou messin aux travaux à Berlin, parlé architecture et expliqué du vocabulaire anglais, pour plus tard me réchauffer les mains avant de me piquer liste de questions et enregistreur pour interviewer Jer le guitariste. Un groupe à part, comme l’écrit Pierre Hemptinne, « dans ce hardcore spécial, une violence de l’expérience de vivre ».

How come you’ve decided to start touring again? Do you have as much fun as before?

Oh my goodness yes! Obviously seeing Sharon because we don’t hang out much when we’re at home, but also with Fredrik (the drummer) and Jer (the guitar player) because they’re also good friends of mine. I love them so much. Fredrik lives in Stockholm and Jer’s in Glasgow so it’s a really good chance to get together and hang out for a couple of weeks.

The tour came about because Marie-Pierre (Discobabel) was in New York in the spring and she talked about the BBmix. I said OK. Then I called everybody and said “I said OK to a French festival. Let’s tour”.

Have you met old fans?

Every night, in every place.

We meet people who have stories about seeing us years ago; two people have even given us presents for Fly, our bass player who’s not on this tour.

It was nice to see Stéphane in Lyon again — as I’m not in Lyon that often except to play.

The fellow who booked us in Génève said “You know, I admit when I booked the tour I was sceptic - - but you’re _better_ than you were ten years ago! There’s so much more energy, more enthusiasm!”

So the older the more enthusiastic.

(Jer le guitariste écossais arrive et Craig commence à l’interviewer.)

(Craig) What are your favourite happy records?

(Jer) The Congotronics. I love it because it’s happy but it’s not the conventional idea of a happy record.

(Craig) That’s true.

The Heptones make me happy. They’re like a vocal trio from the 60s - - 1960s ska.

(lit d’une liste de questions) “What records do you listen to when you’re sad?”

I don’t listen to music when I’m sad.

(à Jer) Jer, what records make you sad when you listen to them?

(pas une réponse)

(Craig, lit) “Where does your name come from?”

(il demande à Jer) Where is the name Jer from?

(Jer) It’s short for Jeremy. It comes from my mother and it doesn’t refer to any member of my family. I was the fifth child and that’s what they came up with.

(Craig) What’s your middle name?

(Jer) Jeremy Lewis Spencer Reed. Spencer is my mum’s grandpa.

(Craig) My whole name is Craig Davis Flanagin. Davis is my mother’s maiden name. And it’s also my nephew’s first name, so it’s a real family name.

Do you listen to music on myspace?

I never listen to any music from people I don’t know personally - - so the answer’s yes, but only Pants Avengers, the Bloodthirsty Betsys, The Drunkard’s Wife, the bands I like as friends as well as their music.

How come you don’t listen to music you don’t know?

My cd player isn’t hooked up. Or my turntable, or my cassette player, my dat machine, my minidisk player. I don’t have any speakers on my computer.

How much time do you spend on the internet?

(Craig) My morning newspaper is

Every morning I read it and click on about half the links. I’ve contributed to put down a couple of servers that way. “News for nerds, stuff that matters” is their tagline.

On the train a couple days ago, I saw a father playing a driving game on a laptop, and his two children were watching and laughing. It was very interactive, a family thing. It was very funny - - and they had these advertising banners over the tracks and one of them was a big Slashdot logo. (laughs)

Slashdot is your root directory in Unix so that’s what that comes from.

What was the last mind-blowing record you’ve listened to. Or at least a record which was a good surprise?

It’s been ten years since I put on a record at home. I see bands. I write music for my friends for their bands quite a bit. When I see somebody I like I just write a set of ten songs for them, and they do whichever ones they like. I’ve done this now for at least ten different bands.

I’m a carpenter and I listen to reggaeton while I’m working. It is like Spanish dancehall rap, not like pachanga but it took the place of pachanga on the radio when pachanga became passé. It’s been like the only music you hear everywhere in the world now for the last five years.

Your songs are about sex orientation and religious issues…

Really? It’s the first time I’ve heard of that… no actually, sorry! …but I think they’re not.

Our songs take these things for granted, which is very different from making songs _about_ those things. In that way I’ve never made a “political” song - - except a couple of ones that are funny and tongue in cheek - - but no, our songs are not “about” sex orientation and religious issues.

I suppose it’s more open minded to take it for granted as part of a song, as part of a story, than if somebody just says… I don’t know… what would a political song be anyway? “queer is good, queer is good”, “be nice to each other”.

We _do_ have a song that says “be nice to your parents”. I think that’s very political… for teenagers.

Are you involved with associations?

Like a political cause? It’s funny because our favourite cause is very close to what we actually do. It’s a place in New York City called ABC No Rio. They were some of the first people I met when I moved to New York and then it was one of the first places we played where it really mattered. ABC No Rio was squatted for years and years and now the collective has just bought the building from the city, for one dollar, after years of negotiating.

Every week they have hardcore matinee, improvised music on Sunday, a poets’ thing in the afternoon. Poets…. They’re ridiculous but it’s great they’re having the thing opened to them because in New York, most poetry is “slam” - - MTV bullshit - - so it’s nice to have these other poets doing their thing.

There’s a free computer centre, a silk screen lab, a kitchen for Food Not Bombs, a zinotheque. They collect books to send to prisoners.

The existence of this is so important. One of our first shows was a benefit for ABC No Rio and our last big show in New York last year was a benefit for ABC No Rio, and we were happy to do that.

What are your favourite lyrics of all times?

A Finnish song, Vot Vot Ja Niin Niin, by Varttina. Our friend Helen’s Tits just played it five minutes ago.

One song I really love is “Matinee” (Franz Ferdinand). The lyrics are brilliant. I really like the way it is put together. What I like about it is not just that it is catchy and clever in the whole “find me and follow me through corridors, refectories…” part. That is nice when you see it on paper, but also the fact that he is talking about himself, talking to this girl. He makes himself seem like such an ass by contrast to her, and he holds that personality through the song. It is a very good song.

Who’s your favourite monster?

I’m just gonna go with everybody else. I think everybody’s favourite monster is the Frankenstein. I’m sure everyone agrees.

Can you imagine what your life will be like ten years from now?

(He laughs) Who cares !

les paroles de la chanson en finlandais. Si quelqu’un désire proposer une traduction, merci de m’envoyer un mail (

Vot Vot Ja Niin Niin

Antakaa ko mie alotan

vanhalt terältäni.

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Saatta kuulla, millaista

hurja elämäni.

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Kyl mie tiijän,

miten suahaan ämmät kuhajammaan

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Lähen yhen pojan kerall

nurkkaan nuhajammaan.

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Tälläisiä laulajii ko

pari kolme oisi.

Saisit myyä kulän pojat

haitarinsa poisi.

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Heila sannoo sinnuu

mie en heitä eläessä.

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Jos et hallaa toisii poikii

sitä pelätessä

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Tulkaa poijat meijän kyllää,

meil on väki myötä.

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

Jos et jaksa kottiin männä

myö pijetään yötä.

Vot vot ja niin niin,

vanhalt terältäni.

myspace God co

une chronique du disque “tight like fist” par Pierre Hemptinne

une discographie, les paroles des chansons, et d’autres ressources

2 commentaires

  1. olivier:

    Yeap. Est-ce que vous savez d’où vient leur nom? Est-ce que ça vient d’un film (genre série B, scénario de Faulkner) ou est-ce une expression à la “curiosity kills the cat” ?

    Sinon, c’est bien, tu continues et moi je te lis (un peu) :-)

    c’est vento, de Ness ;-)

  2. admin:

    salut vento, merci de me lire. (j’aime bien les revenants :)
    god co, google dit que c’est aussi un titre de film de 1945.
    pourquoi le groupe a choisi ce nom, je ne sais pas, je n’ai jamais entendu craig parler sérieusement.
    le flou l’amuse.
    je m’en vais te lire un peu à mon tour.

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