Friday, August 25, 2017

X___X Is Coming To Gonerfest

John Morton is an intimidating figure. A veteran of some of the gnarliest of the proto-punk art damage to come out of Cleveland, hell, out of anywhere, he still carries a "weight" that isn't common in any kinda music. He still feels like an artist out of time- so far ahead of everything he couldn't fit in, then over it once everyone else caught up. Still stuck in the world. As we all are. 

For a great recent example of his fantastic writing / mind, read this about fellow Electric Eel Dave E, or this about how The Electric Eels "Agitated" was written...

We're excited to have X__X at Gonerfest 14.

We threw some questions at Mr Morton, and he hurled back answers. 


How come Ohio has great music? 
German immigration? Cold war? The fact that Cleveland sucks? I didn’t really think about Ohio as a generator of great music, my own small circle, Mirrors, Styrenes, Pere Ubu, Dead Boys, Rockets and even . . . (gulp) The Pagans seem to bear (bare) that out that Cle did produce some great stuff. When I got older and expanded my thinking, the fact that Albert Ayler, Screamin’ Jay kinda convinced me that yes, North East Ohio foments some very significant music. Exclusive of the Raspberries and Michael “fuck me in the ass” Stanly. (Stanly spelled incorrectly because he doesn’t rate correct spelling) But why? I don’t know, or really care. Just like I don’t care about the music industry designations of proto-punk, punk, etc. It is all music.

Do you see any connection between Cleveland and Memphis?
(Memphis and West Memphis . . .) I think that there is a connection in that both enclaves brought forth really extraordinary music that enveloped the geographic area into which that music was born. But add to that list, New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago and many others (OK, but not L.A. except for Love) In the mediterranean region they have injera, pita, pizza ; all kinda flat breads, but not exactly the same. Music is like a clothesline. On one end, Schumann, Brahms, X___X, electric eels, then other end, Eric Carmen and Steely Dan, etc. I have been writing a song (for years now) about fucking Paul Simon’s corpse in the ass in the lobby of The Brill Building. (still needs some polish and Paul needs to die)

Is your music in opposition or isolation?
My music? It’s my music. Done collectively (meaning the other band members) in isolation. Opposition? We had a point of view, We weren’t thinking punk or proto-punk when we were doing the eels. Dave E. and I in particular were trying to craft the music that was us. In the end, we sounded just like we were supposed to.

What's the point of art now, or ever?
Same as above. My art is what God (in whom I do not believe) wants me to do. I do it for myself (in the isolation that is always around me where ever I go) I have sold more artwork in the past three years than in the entirety of my prior career. I am finally finding some people that actually “like” what I am doing. Similarly for music. I guess it’s my time to reach ‘almost-subsistence.’ When I asked a friend for advice as to whether to embark on the first X____X tour in 2014 (I couldn’t really afford it) He said, “You don’t have anything else.” He was right and I am glad I took his advice.

Anything else you wanna say?
I always wanna say, “Fuck off” or “Fuck you” but I don’t think that is what you are looking for so, Naw, nothing else to say. OK, sumpin else to say. I was doing an oral history for the Rock Hall, and given my penchant for violence, suicidal ideation, addiction, general misery, (oxford comma) and trouble (BTW, those are pretty much in the past now) The last question was to be, “Do you have any regrets?” I loudly said, “No.” before my interviewer got to the word “any.”

Thanks to John Morton! SEE X____X Saturday Sept 30 at Murphy's Show for Gonerfest 14!

brought foth really extraordinary music that enveloped the geographic area into which that t like we were supposed toGONERFEST.COM

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