Miscellaneous proudly presents the full and previously unpublished
transcript of Mr Tim and Miss Kitty's somewhat surreal interview with David
Devant & his Spirit Wife at the second of their series of gigs
at London's Water Rats on August 8th, 1998...|
K: Our first question concerns Foz?: Where?! Who?! Why?! Eh?
V: Well, as Foz? always said, we're an etheric entity, not a band, so he's still a virtual member of the band, and we don't subscribe to everyday notions of what a band is, you know - He's still in the band. A rationalist person would try and tell you that he's not because he's not playing the gig but that's...
T: Is he going to appear on any future recordings?
V: He's still in the sound of the gig through technology. He's there. And he's feeling more creative than ever.
K: Any truth in the rumour that he's joined Wishbone Ash?
V: I thought it was Fleetwood Back...[much laughter from band] He's going to be here tonight so you can ask him.
T: Do you mean he's going to be here through technology or in the flesh?
V: It's the same isn't it? 'Mister rationalist'...
K: What about the Pope? From whence did he come?
V: He came from the Devant stable - We bred him especially. We didn't look for him, you know. It's like everyone who's ever been in Devant, we've never looked for a member. He was working with us already. We've always seen eye to eye on various things.
T: When you play bigger venues, are the Spectral Roadies going to burst back onto the stage?
V: Burst back on? That's up to them, because they're art terrorists. Yes.
T: Whereas you're more sonic terrorists, aren't you?
V: Yeah... Are we? Don't tell my mother.
K: The record company malarkey.. What's going on there nowadays?
V: Aaah, yes. Well, they owe us some money, so if you see 'em...
T: Are these gigs to attract other A&R men?
V: We are our own A&R men now, so we're going to keep it... in-house.
T: So you're going to release new things yourselves?
V: Yeah, we just don't want to sit in those meetings that destroy personality. We've had meetings with people that we like at record companies and they end up being part of a big corporate machine that turns them into cogs... which I never thought I'd say frankly, because I always thought it was a cliche about 'the beast'. And I think that major record companies are becoming less relevant. That's why I'm hoping.
T: Does this new look herald a new seriousness for the band?
P: What new look?
T: Well, this new 'non-look'. There's a lack of quiffage...
K: And a lack of "Spirit Wife".
V: Mmm. Devant. Time exists like a range of mountains...
K: ..Viewed from a passing train.
V: It all exists at the same time, and it's totally rationalist to say 'oh, it's a non-look', you know?
K: But there has been some kind of change.
T: Like the lack of make-up. If you look at the Devant look on the Light On The Surface video, and then come here and look at you guys, there is a massive difference.
V: You're not looking hard enough.
T: Obviously, the people within are going to be the same, but you have changed how you project youselves, your outward projection.
V: Purely surface.
C: We haven't got the record company to pay for the make-up any more.
V: Yeah, that was all their idea! We were manufactured by cruel dictators! But we've escaped! I think it's possible to be all of it at once. There's glamour on many levels. I could put make-up on tonight, you never know.
K: [conversation takes a bizarre turn here..] Let's ask the Jesus question! If Jesus came back today, you know, second coming etc., what kind of form would he take?
V: Well, I've often suspected it.
T: Have you ever seen Foz? do any miracles?
P: His life is one enormous miracle. No-one can really prove or explain it..
V: I was thinking about Jesus the other day. You know all that "you're the son of God", and he said "it's not me that says that, it's you that said that"? Maybe he wasn't then.
K: Well, I heard that the miracle where he feeds the five thousand with five sandwiches and fish or whatever, somebody said that that didn't really happen, that it wasn't a miracle. The people pretended that it happened because they were guilty - Jesus guilted them into saying 'yeah, we were fed' etc.
C: The nervous guest at the dinner party, too polite to take a second helping.
V: He believes we ought to lead a kind life...
P: But that's Foz? as well.
C: He might come back as a dung beetle...
V: It's interesting that you should talk to us about Jesus because we'd like you to come along on Sundays to our little... we play some songs and we wear our make-up...
K: Will we have to pay a large amount of money?
V: Well, that's up to you...we don't like to force people..
T: Has all of your musical life so far culminated in forming Devant, or is something new? Are you influenced by bands before you, like The Monochrome Set?
V: Well, that's not really what we're like - You're fans of ours, you know what we're like... I don't have 'favourite bands'. We're not a one-style band. We just wanna give people as much as possible, really, which just being the same thing all the time doesn't do. It's not true to you.
T: So is the set tonight mostly new stuff, stuff we haven't heard before?
V: There's a few old songs, and there's a special treat at the end..[and, true to his word, Devant finish with 'I'm Not Even Going To Try']
T: Where's the 'Spirit Wife'? You've shortened your name!
K: Yeah, why have you done that?
V: If you want, we are 'David Devant & his Spirit Wife', or we're 'Devant', or we're 'DD'. You see, it's very rationalist to think you have to have one name.
T: But you have just had one name up until now.
V: Yeah, but we never intended to keep it, it just sort of stayed. We were just going to do one gig and change after that.
T: So, what does the future hold in the world of Devant?
V: We'll be true to our heritage, basically. We're not ever going to become...
V: Yeah. Well.... bigger!
T: Is it going well at the moment, amongst the band?
V: Yeah! I feel happier than ever. And Foz? does as well.
T: Where do you come from? Are you originally from London or Brighton, or kind of all from everywhere?
K: They came from a stable, remember?
P: We're all from Foz?. [band laughs]
K: That's a bit frightening, actually. That'll be the next rumour to go around...