Interview in Los Angeles
I'm here in Beverly Hills with the The Tiger Lillies, 3 modern day crass and naughty British minstrels who weave a devilishly fabulous dark cabaret..... A far reaching interview in which we probably said too much!
TIGER LILLIES INTERVIEW
Monday November 8th - Beverly Hills
Martyn Jacques (vocals/stringed & keyboard instruments)
Adrian Huge (toys & percussion)
Adrian Stout (double bass & stringed instruments & saw)
I'm here in Beverly Hills with the The Tiger Lillies, 3 modern day
crass and naughty British minstrels who weave a devilishly fabulous
dark cabaret known as The Tiger Lillies. As I set up my microphone,
Martyn, Adrian and Adrian start a game of pool here at their hotel. I
am a crap pool player so I'll stand aside and leave the playing to the
Let me start by saying how happy I am that you made it into the US,
what with you being a band that is no doubt on the FBI's list of
questionable acts that conflict with good ole American family values.
Adrian H: I wonder if we are. We probably are.
Martyn: No, they don't care about us. We're just a kind of bunch of tiddlers.
Adrian H: Minnows.
Martyn: Well, maybe you're right. I don't know. It's possible.
Adrian H: It depends how deep the paranoia runs.
Exactly. Have you had any problems getting visas on this tour or any previous ones?
Adrian S: No. We don't really like to kind of be under that sort of pressure, really, trying to sneak into countries.
Martyn: We always do it above board.
Adrian H: Well in advance.
Adrian S: We try to subvert from within.
A lot of bands, even uncontroversial one often have problems getting a
visa because they're not considered well known enough to make it in the
Adrian S: We've got a bit more kind of - I don't know - we've
done theatre shows. We could show some sort of artistic merit in some
sort of sense really. So we never seem to have a problem.
Adrian H: We have proper companies inviting us over. Our management is
a recognized booking agency. Whoever it is, he has to invite us and it
takes a few months. The US has got my fingerprints. It's the only
country that's got my fingerprints. It's probably the same for the
Adrian S: It's art, isn't it?
Martyn: You can get away with a lot with art.
How would you describe The Tiger Lillies to someone who's never heard your music or seen your performances?
Martyn: What would you say, Adrian? What's the one that you use quite a lot recently?
Adrian H: I used to say it was old fashion cabaret. But then people
wouldn't stop asking questions. I came into the bar last night and
ordered a burger. An Australian and an Englishman who'd moved to
Australia there said, "Oh, you're in a band?" And I said, "Yes." They
said, "What kind of music is it?" I said, "It's Satanist folk music."
And they both actually moved back about two inches without even
realizing they were doing it. I looked at them and they said, "You
believe in Satan?" I thought I should backpedal slightly and I said,
"Actually, I only say that to Americans on airplanes." Then we had a
nice long chat until I got rid of them. We didn't talk about the band
anymore after that. But that doesn't really answer your question, does
Martyn: That's actually the answer we use when we don't want to answer the question, you see.
Adrian H: What would you say if they did want an answer to the question, Adrian?
Adrian S: I don't know. I like 'Satanic folk', really. I've been trying
to think of other things. It's difficult. There's all this kind of sort
of cabaret thing that's popular at the moment. We kind of thought we
were a cabaret band for a while but we're not quite sure really. It's
very difficult to describe. We use double bass, accordion, and a very
very small drum kit. So it's all quite acoustic. But it's quite evil at
the same time.
Adrian H: But not Satanist.
Adrian S: I think anyone's who's doing anything remotely interesting
shouldn't really be able to say, "This is what it is." It's music and
it takes in all sorts of ?
Martyn: Some people would even question that.
Adrian S: Exactly. I question that sometimes. No, I can't describe it. There's musicians onstage. The songs are about ?
Martyn: Some people would even question that.
Martyn: People should definitely come see our show then.
Adrian H: We've convinced them of that.
Each of your albums has a general theme. In your live shows, do you pick one theme for each show?
Adrian S: We have done but at the moment we're generally playing lots
of stuff. We've got a lot of new songs at the moment that are kind of
maybe not so specifically theme-based. We did have a lot of themes in
the last few years. But we seem to have these new songs that are more
kind of general themes at the moment. Yeah, we tend to kind of get into
themes onstage. When Martyn's writing a series of songs he can't get
off it. He get's a bit obsessed and so we end up doing a whole evening
of animal sex songs. But at the moment we seem to be kind of moving
around a bit more. It just kind of goes in waves.
Martyn: A lot of songs about drowning.
Yeah, your album "The Sea".
Martyn: Yeah, "The Sea". I seem to be doing a lot of songs about
drowning. Midlife crisis. Some people buy a red Ferrari. I make songs
about drowning. I'd probably buy a red Ferrari if I could afford one.
But unfortunately I can't.
Who and what have inspired your songwriting over the years?
Martyn: Lots of people, really. Jacques Brel would be a primary
influence. So would Brecht and Weill's "Threepenny Opera". That's a
major influence. And I'm quite influenced by Billy Holiday, who's not
primarily a songwriter herself but who did write some songs, and Bessy
Smith. Gypsy music was a big influence on my songwriting style. Things
like classical Italian opera had an influence, I would say. It's a very
broad wash of different influences from different parts of Europe and
America. Primarily Europe and America. Probably more European than
American in most cases.
Where have your most memorable shows been, both good and bad?
Adrian H: Russia, Czech Republic, Greece were good.
Adrian S: They've been really the good ones. A lot of good gigs in the
Czech Republic and Russia, in Moscow and St. Petersburg. And the first
concert we did in San Francisco after a long run of Shockheaded Peter
was pretty amazing. Some of the worst gigs, I suppose, have been
everywhere, really. We had a very bad gig in Germany at that Hamburg
thing. We played in a variety evening on the Reeper Bahn a few years
ago. And they had this thing called the Schmitz Tivoli. It's like a
cabaret thing with lots of kind of like comedians and dancers and
musicians and stuff and for some reason, they stuck us on there at
about midnight to an audience of about 600 German pensioners.
Martyn: What about the Sausage Tent in Hamburg? That was pretty bad as well, wasn't it?
Adrian H: It's like a fun fair in the middle of Hamburg. They had
this big gig arranged for us, which was playing in the sausage vendors
tent. That was so bizarre.
Martyn: We were singing "Gas Bill", which is a song about the
concentration camps. I sang this song and at the end of the song - our
manager was sitting there and she was dying, saying, "Oh my God. How
can you do this, Martin?" And then, at the end of the song this German
man came up and wagged his finger at me and said, "I know what you're
singing about!" Which was very funny.
Adrian S: I remember there were lots of little children about six years
old walking up to the stage and all their parents suddenly swiftly
moved them away.
Martyn: Yeah, those were the days. But I suppose if you're talking
about bad gigs, we did a lot of bad gigs in our early days. And as the
years have gone by, I suppose the quality of gigs has gotten better in
the sense that we've had - I mean, our first American tour was pretty
spectacular, wasn't it, as well?
When was that?
Adrian H: Six years ago. 280 million people in America and we played for 280 of them. In a month.
Adrian S: We did about 28 shows in about 34 days and we were driving all the way across America.
Martyn: Was it 28?
Adrian S: I think it was about 27, 28 shows.
Adrian H: It went well in New York. We arrived in Boston. Had a pretty spectacular non-event there. Did the Fez
in New York and that was well attended and well publicized. And then we
set off across the top of America, went down the other coast and then
went back across. Yes, an experience.
Martyn: We played to about 10 people in Denver. Remember The Barking
Spider? There were 4 people there. Do you remember The Barking Spider?
Adrian H: I do. I don't remember the 4 people though.
Martyn: Actually, you're right. There were only two people there. Two girls came to see us.
Adrian H: There was one place; I can't remember where it was. There was this old lady with a white Barbie haircut.
Martyn: That was in Philadelphia.
Adrian H: Philadelphia, little bar. We said, "We're playing tonight."
And she said, "We haven't had a band play here for 6 months." And there
was a band set up onstage. And she insisted they hadn't had a band
there for six months. So we ignored her. Two German fans who had
immigrated to America actually came. They were the only ones who came
to see us.
Martyn: The smell in the toilet ?
Adrian H: Smelliest toilet in America. And that includes Canada and South America.
Adrian S: Really, we've done thousands of gigs and some of them have been awful.
Martyn: We've played in the shittiest places, really.
Adrian H: I remember a good one. We were somewhere in Austria. A friend
of ours had arranged for us to do a little concert. To get the hotel
free, we had to play in the corridor, playing underneath the sign to
the toilet, in a corridor with people coming past, as quietly as
possible, playing to the salad bar. And then Rudy, the manager, he had
to audition us in the foyer first just to make sure it was suitable for
the three people that were having brunch. And then we lined up and we
played very quietly and then one lady having some salad put her finger
up. He went over. "How can I help you, Madam?" "I can't hear myself
eat." "No problem, Madam. I'm sorry, I have to ask you to stop." We
played one and a half songs or something and then we stayed there for
nothing. That was spectacular, the salad bar ?
Martyn: The toilet sign above our heads as well and the arrow pointing at us.
Adrian H: What's the next question?
I was just gonna say that it's interesting how the most memorable
concerts are the ones that are most unusual and playing for the
Martyn: Well, salads are an unusual audience.
Adrian H: We did a wedding in a castle. Everybody was dressed up in
sort of medieval costumes and they'd hired a priest with a fake hook
hand to marry them and they'd had hurdy gurdy players and things and we
played on a balcony. This wasn't one of the terrible ones. This was a
good one. And they were very disappointed because the priest didn't
wear his hook like they had wanted him too. He wore a prosthetic hand.
But he was dancing to "Banging In The Nails" as well.
If you could go to any place or time on Earth to perform, where and when would it be or for whom?
Martyn: French Revolution. Bastille. Be there as the heads roll. No, I
don't really know, actually. That sprung into my head but I don't know
really. Any ideas? Come on, that's mine.
Adrian H: I made the mistake of watching a couple of hours of American
TV so the only answer I can think of is Los Angeles tonight.
Adrian S: Somewhere like Berkeley in the 1950s with all the beatniks
and playing for William Burroughs or something like that. Playing in
one of those places, that would be fun.
Adrian H: Maybe try Berlin in the '20s or '30s or something or wouldn't have minded being in London in the 1920s maybe.
Martyn: Berlin in the 1920s would be good or the Left Bank of Paris to
Toulouse Lautrec, that'd be quite nice, wouldn't it? Playing to all the
Adrian H: Could be just a bunch of hysterical artists running around though, couldn't it?
Martyn: Well, there probably would be.
So they wouldn't just be onstage. They'd be out in the audience too.
Martyn: Yeah, they'd be in the audience. I wouldn't want the artists onstage.
I read something about how a family lobby group in Australia tried to
get you kicked out of the Melbourne International Arts Festival
recently because they didn't approve of a band that sings about
prostitution, suicide and drug abuse and who has graphic images on
their website of plastic inflatable sheep being sexually violated by
grown men. Shame on you, by the way! How did it go at the festival?
Adrian S: It went fantastically well. It was a complete sellout. And
the only focal they had in reference to that article was someone asking
if they could get tickets.
Adrian H: It was sort of written in a way to make it infer that we were given $5.5 million of taxpayers money to go there.
All that went to you, of course.
Adrian H: Definitely. We spent it on inflatable dolls. There's a whole
mountain of them somewhere in Australia being blown across the desert.
Adrian S: No, I mean, we had a very good - I mean, it was sold out
before we even arrived. We were playing to like 300 odd people every
night in a Spiegel tent right opposite the Arts Center in Melbourne. It
was very good.
Adrian S: We have journalists who write these sort of things saying,
you know, "They should be banned." They phone up a few interested
groups and say, "What do you think of a band that sings songs about
murdering Jesus and having sex with animals?" and they go, "I'm against
it!" And then they go, "Fine. Can I quote you on that?" And they go,
"Yes, of course."
Adrian H: It's the same everywhere. All these bad reviews, we put them straight on our website.
Martyn: Before Melbourne, we had Athens. They did the same kind of thing, didn't they?
Adrian H: But didn't they do that on purpose to stir it up?
Adrian S: No. All the posters had that on them. They had this series of
posters saying the Mayor of Athens invited us. They had a similar
thing. They had a three-page article in Athens just before we played
there, sort of saying a similar kind of thing. You know, "Why is the
Mayor of Athens promoting this evil band?" You know, it happens but
it's just journalists.
Adrian H: On a page towards the back there was a two-page review of all our CDs as well, saying how wonderful they were.
Martyn: Journalists are desperate, aren't they? They've gotta fill
their newspapers and magazines with something. I mean, look at you.
You're interviewing us.
Adrian H: There was a review in Moscow saying we were ?
Adrian S: Satanists, neo-nazi fascists or something. We got invited
again by the Mayor of - we played the Moscow Film Festival and they
were saying the Mayor of Moscow invites Satanists and they were saying
that we were some sort of neo-fascist skinhead band.
Adrian H: What did they say about Martin wearing the dresses of dead prostitutes.
Martyn: I have a collection of dresses from murdered prostitutes.
Adrian H: It was amazing. I didn't see it but it's quite an amazing story.
Adrian S: It's on the website.
Adrian H: Is it in English?
Adrian S: Yes. There's a translation. I got translations.
Adrian H: What's the next one?
Continuing on the subject of deviant behavior, Martyn, is it true that
you once put a pigs head with a cigarette in its nose on an alter in a
church in Wales?
Martyn: Absolutely... alright, yeah.
Adrian H: It was the pig's idea, just to show how bad smoking is. I've just currently stopped smoking and I'm on a mission.
Martyn: Yeah, I did.
LA's the perfect place to stop smoking because anyone will shoot you if
they see you with a cigarette in your mouth. (Adrian H. laughs) You
think I'm kidding, don't you?
Adrian H: No, I don't think you're kidding. I've been shot before, right in the fag packet.
Martyn: Being in The Tiger Lillies? About 25 percent of the time, being
on an airplane. Chicago Airport at about five o'clock in the morning.
Martyn: Being on an airplane yesterday was hell for me. There was
a nice young woman who spoke for two hours 41 minutes, which was the
duration of the flight from Dallas to Los Angeles. And every detail of
her life, apart from anything interesting or anything of any value,
whatever thought was in her head came out to this poor man who was
sitting next to her. I think about 20 people sitting around who could
not stop this horrible voice. And it wouldn't stop. That was hell for
Adrian S: I suppose hell would be us playing concerts somewhere where
every 20 minutes a whole 300 drunks would just walk in, all talk about
something completely unrelated to what was going on onstage and then
they'd all walk out again. And then another lot would come in again.
That's how our concerts used to be. They'd just keep going in and out,
in and out.
Martyn: We used to play lots of bars so that was pretty much what it
used to be like. You'd get 30 drunks coming in and they'd all be
talking and shouting. So we developed our music style, for a few years
was actually really almost built, designed to be performed in front of
drunks in bars.
Adrian H: It was like pugilism, wasn't it?
Martyn: So that was a very aggressive and screaming phase for The Tiger
Lillies. "Ad Nauseum" is the album, probably, which sums it up. It's a
very aggressive, noisy kind of style that we developed because there
were no dynamics. If we did anything soft or quiet then the drunks'
attention span - they would immediately start talking to each other. So
we just had to keep screaming at them just to keep the, you know...
Adrian S: Just sort of pin them to the wall, basically. It worked. It
took a lot to play unusual music in a bar full of people who didn't
really arrive to see that. You kind of have to take some strategies, I
suppose to engage them and it worked. They were engaged. They were
actually kind of more than engaged.
Martyn: They enjoyed it. They managed to get into it.
Adrian S: More and more, we had people who actually did want to see us
play. So it became more balanced after a while. People would come to
see us rather than just to come see their friends. We've been turning
into a really old band. We spend most of our interviews reminiscing.
Let's talk about the future.
Adrian H: I see the future but we're not in it.
Do you have any plans to resurrect your famous 17th century gothic
shock cabaret Shockheaded Peter or do you have any plans for any other
Adrian H: Yes we do.
Adrian S: We plan to resurrect it starting in February in New York for
a period. The original cast and us, The Tiger Lillies, will be
performing in Shockheaded Peter for three months in New York. And then
after that we'll probably transfer it to an American cast and company
and then it will carry on without us.
So it will just be in New York with you?
Adrian S: Initially, yes.
Adrian H: We'll see what that generates.
Martyn: We may be doing the West End (London). There were plans to do the West End again at some point in the distant future.
Adrian S: So initially, it's gonna live again in New York in February, 2005.
Any other theatrical plans?
Adrian H: There's lots of things on the go.
Martyn: We're doing "Little Match Girl" as a show, which is a story
about a little girl who freezes to death in the snow. Hans Christian
Andersen. Kiki did it. You ever heard of Kiki and Herb? That's a very
funny cabaret band. Yeah, so we're planning to do that, "Little Match
Girl". We've got another show called The Tiger Lillies Circus in
France, in a suburb of Paris. We do a smaller show called "The Punch
And Judy". So we have a few different theatre projects and shows.
Adrian H: It does take a bit of a while to get bookings in America.
Martyn: We have a dance show we do sometimes called "Circa", which a
film has just been made of, with a dance group called The Holy Body
Tattoo. We do have a few different theatrical projects.
Is that the thing that Steve Severin from Siouxsie And The Banshees is
involved in? I also noticed his name on some of your albums.
Adrian S: Yeah, he produced some of the albums.
Will The Holy Body Tattoo be doing shows in the States?
Adrian S: The show has been touring for a while now.
Martyn: I think they're in New Zealand next year.
Adrian H: As I said, it's quite irritating cos we'd like to know but it
takes years, it seems, to sort of book bigger shows like that, where as
we can virtually arrange a tour or Menno [Tiger Lillies agent], can
arrange a tour for the band.
Martyn: We do plan things a year in advance. We're booked pretty much solid for next year.
Adrian H: People need to look at the website and sign up for our
newsletter and then they'll get a newsletter when we're touring again.
That works really well. The Internet's fantastic for us. A little band
with tentacles reaching out.
Martyn: There are a few bands, people which seem to be, I don't know,
seem to be like this cabaret thing, bands like Gogol Bordello and The
Dresden Dolls. We're meant to be doing a concert with them. What's that
other one? Rasputina. So there seems to be a few younger people taking
an interest. We're meant to be playing at the Royal Festival Hall with
this group called Lost Vagueness, which is a kind of funny nightclub
promoter. This whole cabaret thing and dressing up seems to be - we
were in Melbourne recently and there's a mirror tent there and
everybody seems to dress up in suits and hats and things. So there seem
to be some younger people who are interested in this kind of style of
music which we were talking about earlier. So who knows. Maybe one of
them will become more successful and that will be a way for us to maybe
become a bit bigger. We live in hope.
I think part of the reason for your popularity is the fact that modern
life is so boring. You're kind of a timeless band. It's kind of a nice
outlet to be able to escape to a more interesting time.
Adrian H: What are they gonna remember from the first half of the 21st century, the first decade? What music is there?
Martyn: The Tiger Lillies.
Adrian S: He summed up the decade. One of the smallest bands of the
'90s, now one of the slightly larger known bands of the 21st century.
Martyn: Is the voice of reality speaking this?
Your music was used in the film "Plunkett & Macleane" and you even
had a cameo appearance, if I'm correct, in a bordello scene?
Adrian S: Yes. If you hold your eyes open for about four seconds as the camera pans past us.
Martyn: They spent half a day shooting it, which is quite a lot of time
in a big major feature film and as we were leaving one of the
productions persons actually said, "So we spent half a day filming
you." Like, "Why the fuck did we do that?" That was their kind of
charming riposte as we made our exit. So yeah, they did film us. Jake,
I think was a bit of a fan. He's the director. He saw us playing in
Prague and he liked us and he wanted us to be in the film and sort of
have the title music at the beginning, as well. But I think there were
quite a few other people in the company that actually didn't really
like us very much. I think they thought we were - it's the thing about
being a bit weird. This is the same company that I think did "Four
Weddings And A Funeral" and had the band Wet Wet Wet. So having a band
that made very, I suppose what they would regard as being very avant
garde music ?
Adrian S: But it wasn't an art house movie.
Martyn: So I think there were certainly people within the film ?
Adrian S: Commercial suicide for us to be doing this in the film. They hated us. So they cut us out as much as possible.
Adrian H: I think it was a foible because of the director liking us and they sort of had to have us in there.
Adrian S: This was his first feature film and I think he wanted us to be more involved in the film and eventually we were.
Martyn: At the end of the day, you know, he was young and I think he
actually had a rather artistic vision and the producers tried to reign
him in a bit and try and ?
(Martyn is interrupted by the loud sound of my digital voice recorder falling off the chair, smashing onto the ground)
Adrian H: Oh dear! That's it for the interview.
(Looking at voice recorder) No, it's still going.
Adrian H: Remember you did that when you've got your headphones on, otherwise you'll be deaf.
Martyn: It's knocked all the other stuff because it's one of those
digital ones. So you've lost the interview now. We've done interviews
like that where they said, "It was a great interview. But I'm terribly
sorry, you know what?" I've seen them a year later and they say, "You
know what? The machine didn't work. So I had to do it all by memory."
Well, if that happens, I'll send you a tape of me crying.
Martyn: Was there anything else on Plunkett & Macleane - I mean, a lot saw the film.
Adrian H: It brought people into us.
Martyn: I remember Jake. He was really almost like boasting to me that
this would really make us. And I think his vision, first of all, he
wanted us in it much more and we were meant to do the title tracks as
well. But we got elbowed off the title track. We were meant to do half
the soundtrack but we kind of got manipulated by this other guy out of
doing that. I think he thought that it would really do a lot for us. It
did do something for us, I'm not denying that but it could have been a
I noticed a discussion on a website message board regarding your music
in the film and people were saying how much they liked your music.
Martyn: That's the great thing about the Internet for us. Some people
think the whole web thing is very bad. Without wishing to name drop, I
remember talking to Nick Cave about that. He said to me that the whole
Internet thing is really shit. He didn't like it. And from his
perspective, because he's got a proper record company that's promoting
him, it probably didn't seem to be - but for us, as a very little band,
it's quite useful.
Adrian H: Really, it's completely useful. You've got to make the most
of it. It has got stupid sides to it but it's very useful to us. Even
five or six years ago, people would travel with their children - I
remember a German housewife whose husband was working that night, she
drove about 300 kilometers because she saw on the website we were
playing and then came and bought the CDs and then drove home again.
Didn't even see the show but she wanted the CDs and she bought five
CDs. And that was just because she knew about it on the website.
Adrian S: We've always tried to kind of keep a little bit ahead. We had
CDs before a lot of bands actually were making CDs. We had tapes and
then it was like pressed up CDs which was quite unusual for independent
bands when they first happen. And then we had a website kind of quite a
bit before people. We were trying to keep, you know, just try and use
everything we can really. We're not adverse to things like that.
Martyn: We are desperate men.
Adrian H: If you go into a record shop and they've never heard of The Tiger Lillies then what do you do?
Can you talk a bit about your 'post mortem' collaboration with Edward Gorey?
Martyn: Yeah, he sent a letter and said he really liked us and his
favorite song was "Banging In The Nails". And I wrote back and said I'd
love to do something. And then he sent us all this unpublished stuff
and I turned it into 12, 13 songs and then I was gonna go and play and
rehearse with him. And then, three days before I was due to leave he
died so it was very upsetting. That was basically it. So I never
actually got to meet him, you know, even though I had written all these
songs specifically to perform to him over a weekend. He had actually
delayed going into the hospital because I was coming over. So actually,
in a horrible kind of way, I was even sort of responsible. He may not
have even died if it hadn't been for me coming over to see him. He
would've died sometime.
I'm sure he'd be happy with what you did with his work.
Martyn: Well, I hope so but we'll never know. It's one of those strange things.
What other people or groups have you worked with or collaborated with?
Adrian H: The Kronos Quartet.
Adrian S: In Russia, a band called Leningrad, we did an album with them
about a year ago. They're from St. Petersburg and someone said they're
the most famous rock band in Russia. I think they're quite unusual. The
singer's very - he's kind of like a cross between a poet and a street
thug. He's kind of like one of these 'men of the people'. He sings in a
very low voice.
Martyn: Lots of vodka, they drink a lot.
Adrian S: But he's like a poet and he does acting and he's got this
crazy band, sort of a ska band. We did an album with them where they
were doing versions of our songs in Russian. They'd take the songs and
he'd adapt the words a bit and we'd have like a whole brass section.
That was an interesting collaboration. And on the whole, with other
sort of things, we worked with Steve Severin from Siouxsie and the
Banshees. He produced "Circus Songs". Blixa Bargeld from Einstuerzende
Neubauten played on a couple of tracks on "2 Penny Opera". A couple of
guys who played on the "Poe" CD and toured with Lou Reed on a couple of
our CDs, German musicians.
Martyn: German theatre musicians. They go all the way back, in Hamburg they were on Tom Wait's "The Black Rider".
Adrian H: Didn't we have someone from The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band?
Martyn: Oh yes, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. They're dead.
Adrian H: That was in the '60s.
Adrian S: They were like sort of arty. They kind of wore old clothes
and did funny sort of - one of the guys in the bands was friendly with
The Beatles. They did that sort of mockery of The Beatles: The Rutles.
They were kind of a funny sort of old fashioned sort of band using a
lot of Victorian music hall songs.
Martyn: So if we meet any funny people, strange or unusual people we
are always quite keen to work with them, collaborate and stuff. We're
still thinking of doing something with Kiki and Herb at some time in
One final question. What is the meaning of life?
Adrian S: It doesn't have one.
Adrian H: That's a good answer. I don't know. Can we email you?
Is that your answer?
Adrian S: Have you seen the film?
Yeah. It's excellent.
Adrian S: The film sums it up.
Martyn: That's true, "The Meaning Of Life", the film, it's quite good. He's a fan, Terry Gilliam. We meant to work with him.
Adrian S: On the Gorey thing. It was a theatre show based on the Edward Gorey songs and he was gonna direct it.
Martyn: Yeah, "The Meaning Of Life" was quite nice. It was quite
humorous and cheerful. Cos I think you can get very - what's the word?
Adrian H: Morose? Can you get morose in America or is it just Europeans?
People are in denial but yeah, you can get morose in America.
Adrian H: Can you get decaf morose or morose lite?
Martyn: I quite like them. They're quite humorous and cheerful, aren't they?
Adrian S: It's black humor. We use a lot of humor in ?
(Interview is suddenly interrupted by a passerby in the hotel lounge)
Passerby: I like those hats, guys. They're fucking cool, dudes. Who are you dudes?
Adrian H: We're The Tiger Lillies.
Passerby: Never heard of you. Where are you guys based out of?
Passerby: Oh, London. I'm English also. I'm from Chester. Bloody bollocks.
Martyn: We're playing at The Knitting Factory this evening. We expect you to be there.
Passerby: Can you put me on the guest list?
Don't ask me.
Martyn: He's not even in the band. He's a journalist.
Passerby: Of course he is.
You wouldn't believe what I had to do to get on the guest list.
Passerby: I don't suck dick. I'm just fucking with you guys. I'm a
composer and writer for Streisand and Ozzy Osbourne. That's what I do.
I'll give you a card. You guys can give me a call if you want. Come out
to my house, I'm in Encino. I don't know how long the fuck you guys are
gonna be here ?
Adrian H: We're leaving tomorrow morning.
Passerby: Come out tonight, party with me.
Martyn: We're playing tonight.
Passerby: Well, then come over afterward. I don't give a fuck. I've got
a pool table, I've got a big house. I've got seven bedrooms in my house
and eight bathrooms.
Can you get me on "The Osbournes"?
Passerby: Serious, no shit. Nice to meet you all. I've got a whole
fucking lot of band shit set up, all sorts of crap. You guys wanna come
over, come over. Give me a fucking call.
(Passerby walks out the door)
Welcome to LA.
Adrian S: "Fucking Streisand and Ozzy Osbourne."
Martyn: Is that his card? Fantastic. 'Musician/Composer/Investor'. There's a billing.
Adrian S: He's a saint. He's the Saint of LA.
Adrian H: I could tell you about the first time we came to LA on our
ridiculous little tour. There was a caf? somewhere in Long Beach. We
played on a flat roof above the kitchen. There were about five people
in there. And then afterwards, this guy, a bit like him but not so
cocky, came up to me. He said to me, "Hey, hi. I love your music.
Here's my card. Hey, do you want to smoke a joint?" It was the thinnest
joint. And he said, "Yeah, it's great. I love this music because I'm a
musician as well. I was in the band that had a hit with, 'Naa Na Na Na
Naa', years ago and they only got me in the band cos I had great hair
and they couldn't get laid, you know. Anyway, I've got this new idea.
I'm getting this idea together and I'm gonna mix Mexican music and jazz
together, this new idea and I have all these investors. But then my
mother, and then I had to invite the Virgin Mary Mother of God down to
look after the house while I was out on business, getting this deal
together. And the people I'm sitting with, it does look like but it
isn't the singers from The B-52s. OK, I'll just go outside and smoke
this. Anyway -". And it went on and on...
(The digital tape recorder suddenly runs out of time - should've bought a voice recorder with more time on it!)