Interview with Xavier Benoit Function: drummer for Blackup and Miguel Moors Function: bass player for Blackup
10 Fragen / 10 Antworten
1. When and why did you become a musician
M: The kickoff must have been the purchase of my first guitar, an authentic skai covered Hofner 172 from the early sixties. Unfortunately there was not much I could do with it, everything that had to be straight was bent and vice versa. Additional to that I had absolutely no idea how to tune it, let alone how to play it. But at that time I was very much in the Dutch Wormer-anarcho punkscene (The Ex, Svätsox, …). It’s The Ex‘ record “History is what’s happening” that made me try to play some notes (not even chords). Remember I’m talking about the pre-internet-era, even the pre-Commodore 64 era. So thank you very much GW Sok, Terrie, Sabien, Luc Ex and Joke.
X: Early on, banging on pots and pans in my grandmothers kitchen. But then I saw KISS on the TV. They were the definite launching pad for me. Then a neighbour handed me The Dead Kennedys ‚Fresh Fruit‘ LP and the Damned’s first album. It was all downhill after that moment.
2. What are your characteristics? What makes you special?
M: Nothing makes me more special than someone else, or maybe one thing after all … I have the privilege of being gifted with a mix of excessive laziness and the firm belief that reenacting someone else’s riffs, solos, blah, blah blah is totally useless (except for The Ex of course).
X: Special ?! Ich spreche unglaublich gut Deutsch, meinen Schatz. There!
3. Who and what inspired you??
M: Man, that’s impossible to mention, writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, philosophers, choreographers and … Aldo Maccione of course …
X: Yeah, Aldo Maccione. But Miguel, I don’t think the Flatlines readers know who we’re talking about. Of course, we’re being idiots here. But then again, maybe there’s truth to that statement. Not even a statement. Don’t know what I’m talking about here.
5. How do you imagine listening to your music? Where do you like to listen?
M:I never listen to my own music … it’s like staring at the mirror with a magnifying glass. I’d focus on the pimples only!
X: Once the mixing and mastering of any of our records is done, that’s it. Enough. Other people’s music, that’s something completely different. I basically listen to music all day, every day.
4. Who are your most important role models and why?
M: Really, NONE, is that arrogant, maybe … but no really … Wait, wait, there’s one band that still inspires me and that’s Sonic Youth. Not only for their music, but for their members’ neverending quest for inspiration and innovation in all kinds of areas. Truly amazing personalities.
X: Playing music, I was always very impressed with guys like John Bonham, Aphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Art Blakey and Neil Peart, but I knew I never could play like them. You kiddin‘ me?! Then I saw Nick Knox playing with the Cramps early on. That endless burning cigarette in his mouth, those shades and that steady beat. And a trash can lit for a ride cymbal, which he never hit, once. BOOM ! Done deal.
6. What role do social media play in your career? How important is YouTube or Instagram for you?
M: When it comes to Facebook, it is only a source to stay informed about the world news through the sites of the newspapers, opinion sites or dachshunds dressed as policecars. For the rest, I’m not really interested. I only use YouTube to watch docu’s or rockumentaries or weird movies. On Instagram I almost exclusively follow artists. Posh, and defintely not very punk, isn’t it?! Influencers, etc … are a really incomprehensible phenomenon to me – it’s the personification of absolute emptiness or … like a plastic bucket with two pieces of rabbit shit moving randomly… that was for the poets among us.
X: I’m addicted to cat videos on youtube. Instagram is all about Esther, the Wonderpig.
7. Do you actually do anything besides the music?
8. What has been the best performance you’ve seen so far?
M: Sure! As good as no one is able to live off his music unless you can find yourself in making radio friendly mainstream music. And no I won’t tell you what I do for a living, but it’s worse than being a pole dancer in a pigsty, ok? No Pic … Next question …
X: I actually work in the music industry. I’ve been a tourmanager for more than 2 decades now, and also run a backline and van company. Before that I ran a record label, booking agency, and was active as a gig promotor at a small venue. I started working as a DJ for a local radio station at the age of 16, playing heavy metal records. That’s a loooooong time ago, baby!
M: In the mid-nineties we had a local club (Democrazy) booking the hottest bands in the world (no I’m not referring to KISS). The Jesus Lizard’s shows are absolutely the best things I ever saw.
X:Whoohoo, damn, I saw thousands of gigs. Most memorable, off the top of my head, Ornette Coleman, Slayer Reign in Blood tour, Bad Brains mid 80s, Nation of Ulysses, Prince, Ween, Public Enemy, the first two reunion shows by a little band called Negative Approach I mean, the list goes on. Going on tour with people like Flag, Descendents and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion also counts as a high point, no doubt.
Oh borther, and last year, I witnessed William Parker and Endangered Blood on the same night laying waste to all who witnessed it. Parker of course played with Cecil Taylor back in the day. Brutal!
9. Who should play you when your life is filmed?
10. Last question: What do you want for the next 10 years, what do you need for it?
M: The Blob or that monolith in Space Odyssey …
X: What?! Who would want to watch a movie about me ?
M: When it comes to music: playing a lot, a new record every year, touring … and dreaming about those three things. What you need, a four letter word that rhymes with FUCK; LUCK. Most of the time the Gods have difficulties pronouncing the letter ‘L’.
X: I’m 50 years old and I still play in a band with my friends. And I still have all my hair. All of us in Blackup do, as a matter of fact. Do I need anything else ?! Yeah, new knees. Bye, bye, Flatlines Radio, you know the Blackup loves ya !