Androids of Mu Interview (From No Class fanzine)
As the people from No Class landed in Shepherds Bush, London W12, the keys to the flat were thrown out of the window to us, ready to let an interview with Bess and Corrina from the Androids of Mu take place, which went like this:
NC: Why was the LP called Blood Robots?
C: By calling it Blood Robots we threw more light on what our name is about. I don’t wanna be too precise about that, because I wanna leave a bit more to the imagination. A lot of our stuff at the same time was about everyday people and situations, but through our minds, from a completely different point of view.
NC: So are your songs protest songs?
B: Yes, most of them.
C: We would like to change things if we could. Generally we are supporting change, of attitudes and for the better. But on the other hand, sometimes what we do is just observation. It’s more like making people think, rather than opinionating and asking for people to accept our opinions.
NC: So you do benefit gigs?
C: Yeah, loads, cos we’re not playing for money. We aren’t making any money and even when we play ordinary commercial gigs we only get our expenses and when we play benefits we get our expenses, so from that point of view it’s not much different. It’s better that we’re actually supporting something that is worthwhile if we play a benefit, so we do.
NC: Did you lose money on the free tours?
C: Yes we did, because it cost us a lot to set it up in the first place, like posters and getting a vehicle in condition, so that we could do it. Our actual expenses on the road had been met but not the expenses that it cost us to prepare the whole thing. Everyone involved lost about £70. If you put all that together, there was three bands, it cost a lot of money.
B:Doing about two tours, free tours, made us realise that we didn’t wanna do it again cos…
C: We can’t do it, we can’t afford to.
B: As well as that, we realise that people want to pay. I really think so. They wanna pay to get in and enjoy themselves.
C: It was all part of an attempt to change existing attitudes, in the sense that if a person comes into a venue and they pay because they realise that by paying they support the whole idea, and at the same time they give opportunity to people who have got nothing to come in, That’s good but it just doesn’t work like that, because people’s attitudes were that if it’s free it’s not worth anything.
B: But another idea why we started doing free tours was because we thought music is something so nice there shouldn’t be a packaged price on it. You get gigs at Rainbow, £3 or whatever, depends on the seats if you’re at the front or the back, but we thought music should be left to people: what they think it’s worth. Some people at the time thought it was 10p, others 50p. I think that’s great because people paid money what they think; they don’t feel ripped off.
NC: I think it’s a good idea.
B: But it doesn’t work that way. There’s not many people thinking that. Maybe more down in London, they’re more open minded about things, but in North of England… It’s being conditioned, isn’t it? Most young people they work 9 till 5 and they go out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. And if they pay money to get into a gig they enjoy themselves. It’s like a routine.
NC: Didn’t you get people going along to try it out, because it was free?
B: Yeah, half of it was like that, they were really supporting us, but not other half.
C: Another thing was that usually they spent all their money on drinks, so that even if they wanted to give, they didn’t have any money left.
B: No, but we sussed that out didn’t we? We were doing a gig with three bands. By the time the second band came on we would go round with the hat and collect money.
NC: Could you tell us how Girlfriend Records came about?
C: It just sprung out of the fact that I’m a sound engineer and I’ve been working at Street Level studios. All the time I’ve been working in there there’s been about one percent of the people that come to the studio were women. Because of that I knew a lot of female musicians. They used to say we really wanna come into record something but we can’t afford to or we don’t know where to start or …. things like that. I realised that there was a need to do something and I was just in the right place at the right time. It wasn’t that we decided it was gonna be Girlfriend Records, it just came out of the events leading up to it that I started recording all these women bands and it grew into an LP (Making Waves various artists compilation). Everyone thought it was a good idea that it came out on an independent label and we thought ‘Why not start a label?’
B: It involved all twelve bands, they all helped out in some way. It’s very difficult to be a record company by yourself.
NC: And what about Blood Robots?
C: Suzy who was with us at the time, she found this poster…
B: There was a big gallery, posters and poetry done by women. We saw this painting on a wall and she said that could be the cover, and we all went Wow! What a good idea. We did a coloured printing, but the colours didn’t come out right. It was too much contrast, black and brown.
NC: Is it the original that was used, the one in the gallery?
B: Yes, the woman who done that (Monica Sjoo), we wrote to her. We haven’t met her. She said of course you can use it.
NC: Can you tell us about your deal with Crass?
B: Two years ago, when they wanted to do a single with us, they didn’t want our drummer to play on it cos she was playing out of time. They wanted their own drummer, and we all thought it would sound like Crass again, so we refused it straight away.
Read the rest of this interview HERE