Words: Jeremy Gluck
Guest Writer (Director, Welsh Connections/SWND Records – Musician – Artist)
Yes, you read that correctly.
Our good friend at SWND Records in Wales, Jeremy Gluck has gone above-and-beyond in his latest music journalism escapade.
Shunning the ho-hum, standard Q&A format foisted upon bands, dear Jeremy presented Welsh band We’ve Come To Steal Your Energy with a job interview.
Let’s find out how the lads did. Over to you, Jeremy.
Jeremy Gluck: I will level with you.
I came to steal their energy. I was out of my depth. These boys, an inch wide but a mile deep, weird as they come. Wales does it, I guess? Hills? Check. Roads? Check. Sunny? Anyways.
I’ve been around the block a few times with bands like this and I thought, ‘I’ll get the drop on them!’ I fished out a boring, old, vanilla job interview primer from the Google swamp and directed it at their heads. They ducked, demurred and then, dang it all, flung it right back at me!
I regrouped, I rallied. I read the thing. Just my luck: brilliant. Good or bad? You will be the judge. My job here simply to fact you and then let these bozos incriminate themselves.
The Context Section: We’ve Come to Steal Your Energy (WCTSYE); from Wales (yes, that again); recently in cahoots (if not quite Mahouts!) with glorious SWND Records, releasing into the mild their wild new recordings ‘Sunnyhill Road’, ‘eXPERIMENT No. 1’, and ‘The Extra’ (track – though more of a trial, but more of that trial-by-track tack in a min’).
What “it” sounds like: ‘Sunnyhill Road’ struck me as a very malnourished ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, able to get what it wants. What does it want? Beats me, but its Kinks(y) narrative lyrics and post-psychedelic, lo-fi felicitous flourishes put it right up there with any comedown I’ve ever had.
‘eXPERIMENT No 1’ – not unlike the experiments endeared to Sixties bands with too much studio time, too many drugs, and too little oversight. Mind you, this is not music for people on drugs, this is music for people who want a drug. As is the case with much of WCTSYE, this is not music to be taken lightly, nor in high doses. It is not for the hobbyist and should not be taken while driving or operating heavy machinery, and expressly avoided while driving heavy machinery.
The misleadingly entitled ‘25minutes 48point 9seconds’, clocking in at about eleven minutes – all of which are excruciating enough to make gratitude and relief the natural response to its relative brevity – is when WCTSYE take off the gloves and put on the pliers. Music that fondly recalls dental work, and not in a good way. But Energy have mass and class, making this wisdom tooth drill a charming excursion into parts of the human mind generally engaged only in a HAZMAT suit.
And so, onto the feature part of the programme, wherein our heroes tackle twenty standard job interview questions. I did warn you. Who listens?
The Job Interview
Tell me about yourselves:
We are the three-headed beast known as We’ve Come To Steal Your Energy. Cerberus has the snappier name, but we’re friendlier. Cerberus gets a bad rap. If it’s your job to stop the dead from leaving the Underworld, it’s bound to get a bit stressful at times.
If there are any sightings of ghosts in the world of the living, then it’s your neck on the line; and if you’re Cerberus, that’s three necks that are getting it! We are always looking for a new time signature, new note, or new sound to cover up the fact that we have no idea what we are doing.
What are your weaknesses?
Spiders, chips smothered in molten cheese, and wilfully misrepresenting ourselves for kicks. A lack of musical talent does hamper us from hitting the mainstream and living like kings, but on the positive side it does mean we make music we like.
Why should we choose you for this job?
We’re not going to play games. It’s obvious to everyone here that you already know the answer to that question.
What are your hobbies outside work?
One of us has a 20-year-old collection of house dust, but the other two believe that hobbies are the Devil’s playground, and as such the list is too long to reproduce here.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Still trying to finish the ‘eXPERIMENT’ concept album. We’ll probably be worn out with the constant grind of the studio and retire to the live circuit. One day, we’ll walk on stage to find the drums covered in flowers. This will be very odd because we don’t have a drummer.
Why are you leaving your current position?
If one stays in the same place for too long, one’s legs will tend to fall asleep. Mind you, there is a certain perverse pleasure in the ‘pins & needles’ sensation. Hmmm, maybe we won’t leave.
What are your main strengths?
- Lack of focus.
- The wisdom to apply 1. or 2. correctly, at least 50 % of the time.
Why do you want to work here?
Look into your heart. What do you see?
What motivates you?
What are your salary expectations?
Enough to fund a lifestyle of excess and to buy some more cheapo, rough-sounding Kay guitars.
Tell me about an achievement you are proud of?
Getting the ‘Sunnyhill’ single done and out. Did we mention we have a single out? Available on CD from SWND records and as a download from Bandcamp.
Tell me about a challenging situation and how you overcame it?
Trying to play B on a guitar. To be honest, we have not really overcome it. All of us are still working on it and it will feature prominently in our work once we’ve cracked it.
The darkest and most challenging time we’ve had were the arguments that came around after we did ‘Votes For Women’. The eventual demise of our huge band. Things are easier now with three of us.
At first, we missed the input and wide range of ideas we used to have, but it just works so much better now. We have two drives: pop and experimental music, and we love the mix. It feels like a new band and we are constantly creating and bouncing ideas off each other.
What do you know about the company?
It is charming and delightful.
What would your colleagues say are your best qualities?
A pure and utter disregard for sticking to one thing. Also our ability to lie profusely about the band (you did know that there is only one of us really – sat at home programming a Spectrum Currah Microspeech to answer the phone and knock out random noises set to a 7/6 rhythm).
We are never going to be the multi-megastars we want to be and we have such a limited following that we can do the stuff we want to do, so we don’t have any style or genre to fit into. Instead, we make our own sounds, swap from style to style, create our own artwork, spend hours in the pub making plans and coming up with ideas, which go nowhere and generally enjoy ourselves. What comes out may be questionable, but it is us and it is what we want to do.
What experience can you bring to this job from your previous role?
Our adeptness at playing the stylophone.
I think the main thing would be that we have learnt not to write songs that involve playing a B chord on the guitar.
What makes a good team leader/manager?
Absolutely nothing. Our hatred of anything muso means that nobody really relishes in following us or taking us seriously.
What do you consider to be your biggest failure?
Not being able to finish the song ‘Standing’. Also not selling out of our CD for the new single. Did we mention we have a single out? Available on CD from SWND records and as a download from Bandcamp.
How do you deal with pressure at work?
We don’t have pressure at work. The closest we come to it is when the semi-talented one wants a song to have a chorus, some actual notes and structure, and the slightly less semi-talented one wants it to be a mass of noise that goes on endlessly. The actual talented one just stands back and waits for instructions. It never becomes intense, rather it is something we embrace, which gives us our sound.
Why is there a gap in your work history?
Besides the lack of ambition and drive, alien abduction saw off most of the ‘80s, and then we spent all of ‘91 staring at paisley wallpaper trying to work out if we could transform the patterns into music.
WCTSYE Version one of the single was released on the SWND limited vinyl box-set for Record Store Day 2020. Version two available as SWND CD 0007.