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Jun 2014

Full Interview: Ivo Watts-Russell of This Mortal Coil and The Hope Blister

June 23, 2014

interview-ivo_05.jpgThis is the recording of an interview I conducted with Ivo Watts-Russell on May 26, 2014. I was at chez Catharsis in Ithaca, NY, and Ivo was, I presume, at his place in New Mexico. This was a Skype-to-phone conversation.

Small pieces of this very generous interview aired on the Hall of Legends special featuring music from This Mortal Coil and The Hope Blister.

I've said it elsewhere, but Ivo has been very gracious and friendly, and this was one of those "one thing leading to another" experiences that came together really easily. An honor and a pleasure!

Indulge me for a minute and imagine this hypothetical situation. You love music and records, but you're not a musician. You're not a singer. You're not a songwriter. You're not trained as an engineer. You know some people who do each of these things, but you don't do them yourself. But you really want to make a record of your own, and you even have some concrete ideas about what to put on it. Incidentally, you are having these ideas before the advent of laptop recording, filesharing, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and all that. So in order to make this record you're dreaming of you'll have to use a real studio and it will have to be released in a physical medium. There's also no Kickstarter to fund this. Under what circumstances could this record become reality?

"You'd probably have to own a record label." Right? And yet I don't think either of us really wanted to talk about this little detail. I certainly didn't. I've read about it quite a bit, and I didn't want to produce yet another 4AD interview. I owe a great deal to Martin Aston and Jeff Keibel, who've already asked a boatload of those questions, and whose interviews gave me a long list of answers I didn't need to seek. What I did do was try, absurdly perhaps, to talk to Ivo as though he had "merely" made some great records of his own. They are, of course, why he's in the Hall of Legends.

Technical notes: If you follow this program at all, which would flatter and bewilder me, you probably know that recording an interview is always an adventure for me. This time, I managed to capture the whole thing, on the first try, thank goodness, but not without glitches. Audacity, which was capturing Ivo's voice "solo," worked fine. For the first 49 mins or so of this audio file, that's what you're hearing when Ivo is talking, without having to listen to me say "mmm hmm," or "yeah," or anything similarly useful. However, my voice was recorded using Amolto Call Recorder (I had both programs running at once as a precaution), which was also recording Ivo, but that app pulled our respective tracks out of sync, which occasionally made it sound like I was stepping on the end of Ivo's answers and cutting him off. I'm really not that rude of a person. I swear it's the software's fault. I've tried to make the best of it with the editing, but I am amateur and proud. The second half of the interview--from about 49mins onward--is much smoother sailing. At least I hope you think so. If you're disappointed I offer you a full refund.