Thursday, May 08, 2003


Probably should declare this one in the register of members interests. Otherwise there'll be questions in the house, a lengthy battle in the High Court, a press witch-hunt, the works. Of course then I'd have to stand down, forcing a by-election for the Vanity Project editorship. I know you buggers would desert the party, tactical voting and all that and we'd end up with Kate Thornton in charge, or something. You really don't want that, do you? Anyway, to prevent our parting company, I will admit that not only does Leon Michael Tricker, Qhixldekx's alter-ego, fire off the occasional missive for publication in this very periodical (see the Interpol review this issue) but I have known him now for 23 years. We are both 25 years old. This may warrant calls of nepotism or at least a judgement clouded by our relationship outside music. Fact is, our relationship, ever since we tried to convene a synth-pop band called Eye-To-Eye when we were but 11 years old, has always been built around a steady rock of our developing musical tastes. I hope they will continue to develop and intertwine (rather than mirror) so we can have a series of decent arguments for a good few years to come. Music is what we do - he the player, me the hack - he's done his bit now with the forthcoming release of 'Welcome to Qhixldekx', and now it's my turn. He knows, and so should you, that I would slate his music as soon as buy him a beer if I didn't like it. Luckily, I do like it and here are a few reasons why. That he has the balls to do it all himself, so blame for deficiencies in production or musicianship cannot be placed elsewhere (by no means is this a lo-fidelity effort, I should add). The fact that it sounds like everybody and nobody. That fact that with axe in hand, Dekx wishes to rock as much as any death metal guitarist you've ever met, whilst also embracing crude synths, beats and glitches and a Beefheartian non-linear outlook. The fact that he is one of very few Pompey musicians who dare to try something different these days. There I said it. So there you go put that down to partiality if you will, but when he sails too far up his own arse, and there is a fair chance that it'll happen, VP'll be here to bring him back down to Earth, believe you me. So there.Skif

>What inspires you, musically, politically and with regards doing it yourself?
It's a cliché but inspiration can strike anywhere. I usually find walking around town at night, watching cars go by, overhearing conversations in bars...sounds and ideas come and it's just a matter of interpreting them with music. I think the DIY ethic is a political stance in itself. Beyond that the Qhixldekx agenda is to tell a story, convey emotions, and entertain in an entirely decadent manner.

>Why do you write, perform and record alone? Would you ever augment the Dekx sound with other musicians?
I got bored with band rehearsals. It's hard enough to find somewhere to practice, and then you have sessions where everyone's trying to outshine everyone else, or is only interested in their part. It's the one thing guaranteed to kill any inspiration or passion you have. Who knows, it may be to the detriment of my music. I may benefit from some objectivity. But I can't compromise. I'm going into the studio later in the year as part of a students degree course. He's finding me a live drummer for that project, and I'm gonna place myself in his hands entirely. So I don't see myself as a control freak. More I know what I want and I haven't come across others who are as focused.

>What more would you like to achieve with your music?
I'd like to attract people away from venues into clubs and vice versa. To quote that famous Sugarcubes review, I think there's 'great crossover potential' in the ‘Dekx sound. I'd like to have the means to do this full time, travel the world, and drink champagne for breakfast every day. Until that happens I'll be doing 'this', whatever 'this' is, for as long as I have a passion for 'it'.

>What problems occur from being a one-man band?
Going for a drink together is a solitary, if cheap, experience! Having said that at one gig, at The Wedgewood Rooms, each band had 12 bottles of beer provided. So I came out of that deal pretty well off.

>Why should people buy 'Welcome to Qhixldekx'?
Coz you're not just buying a CD of music, you're buying a passport into another world. Its a fairy-tale. It's Harry Potter re-written by Bret Easton-Ellis, featured on Jackanory, read by Chris Morris. It's something to believe in, and without a faith in something we're all fucked.

>I believe you've taught yourself the technology of both electronic music making and recording.
It's not that difficult, just a case of doing a bit of research. I'm coming to grips with things like reverb and compression that are bog standard techniques, but I've had to start at the beginning. It's been worth the effort though because people have commented favourably on the quality of the recordings, and I think i'm starting to develop a 'sound'. That said you have to know the rules before you can break them. And I want to break them! I guess thats what I want to do in the future. I want to programme more of my own sounds and percussion rather than use pre-programmed sounds and synth presets which i've used in the past to save time - i've been desperate just to get ideas down. In particular i'd like to use unusual things for percussion sounds - a bit like Tom Waits. My girlfriends rabbit thumping is a goer...

>What are your future plans for gigs?
Possibility of an album launch at The Wedgewood Rooms, which would be great. Theres few smaller venues in Portmouth though, so I'd love to uncover somewhere that people could use. I'm contacting people all the time so i'd like to just get out to other towns or cities - anyone who wants to do a gig swap just contact! I'd like to get into clubs and do 'club' live sets in the middle of DJ's and just get people opening their ears. In terms of supporting people...any bands/acts I like or respect. I've supported one such act, Red Letter Day, a few times now. If Cardiacs, ...Trail of Dead, Godspeed!, The Coral and Mount Sims want to do an all-dayer then i'm up for it!

>If the musical world was ideal, it would… more stylish and less sanctimonious. You know, you CAN have a laugh doing this AND be getting a point across. Music is art, and can express things in a way you can't explain...but that's not at the expense of entertainment.

>What, with regards the UK music scene, upsets you?
I try not to let something so unimportant upset me. Besides, the problems here are the same as everywhere else - lack of money for new independent acts. But to dwell on that too much is to forget all thats good about the UK scene. With magazines like Logo and The Fly and all the great fanzines out there, there's enthusiasm and passion everywhere. I love the fact that people seem to like what they like but can let other stuff coexist - things don't seem so single-minded at the moment. And don't forget the pop charts are superb at the moment! Also, CD-R's and the internet mean theres been a kind of 'devolvement' of power from record labels to the individual. That said if any label fancies chucking me a big pile of cash in return for my soul, i'm happy! I think it's important to state, especially with the hullaballoo over MC5 letting their music be used in adverts, that Qhixldekx has already 'sold out'!!!

>6 Desert Island Discs:
Based entirely on what I'm listening to at the moment: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Madonna; Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Slow Riot For A New Zero Kanada; Cardiacs - On Land and in the Sea; Captain Beefheart - Safe As Milk; Mount Sims - Ultrasex; Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights.

>1 Desert Island Book:
Primo Levi’s If This Is A Man...

>1 Desert Island Luxury Item:
An airstrip complete with plane and pilot!


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