Interview with: Ben Wallers (Country Teasers, The Rebel)
Location: Via email
You seem to be more involved with touring and releasing records in the US than the UK…why?
We met a booking agent in the US: that's why! It's just that simple. I'm too lazy to organise a tour of the UK. It's possible we're better suited to US audiences; personally I think it comes down to circumstance. I'm glad it's like that: touring USA is a real joyride, I love it. I especially liked wearing a t-shirt and shorts in Arizona last February.
Which bands do you feel the most affiliated with?
Affiliated? We have no affiliations in music except with friends in bands like Lou and Russell in Sebadoh. I hugged Mark Arm in Seattle. Musically we are influenced by Joy Division, The Fall, The Carter Family and Butthole Surfers, primarily. The Fall was my staple diet in my crucial formative years and when you are a Fall addict your musical horizon becomes exquisitely broad, thanks in part to His fantastical musical breadth taste. I also really dig Jon Wayne, and am delighted to have been blessed by my girlfriend with a copy of "2 Graduated Jiggers" at last. Another masterpiece!
What's the deal with guided missile? They seem to have released the majority of Teaser releases in the UK.
Paul Kearney of Guided Missile is a friend of mine. He releases whatever he likes whenever he has enough money. There's no agreement. The last The Rebel single happened because he saw me playing live and asked if he could release certain songs, I said yes of course. He also released a CD compilation of various stuff he liked which I hadn't wanted to release, called "Back To The Future". It's like the worst album in the world. I dare any group to release something as bad. I like it, of course.
How do you view the music of country teasers?
How do I view my own group? Uh… I don't really think about it, it just comes out. I can only repeat what other people have said about us. I know we don't play very pro or musicianly so we don't sound too boring ever. We're heavily into humour, which is an aspect I can't understand why it's so rare in music. Apologies for my extremely shit, English.
The latest album 'SAME' is a double album of unreleased material, why did you decide to release this collection, was it to get it all out the way and start afresh?
Male nurse, Allan "country" Davidson, The Rebel and Amnesiac Godz are all Teaser related bands or side projects. Could you break these down for us? Please, it's THE Male Nurse. This was Country Teasers' elder sister band in Edinburgh 1993-1994. We haven't officially split up but neither have we played together since 1999. We couldn't get together to mix our album. Alan Crichton started the band with Keith Farquhar; when the latter went to Baltimore on an artist exchange programme Alan asked me to fill in on vocals; then I asked him to play guitar in the CTs; at one point we shared drummer, bassist and the 2 of us guitarists; then he got into junk, fell out with all of us, left both bands and died. The Male Nurse became a really fun directionless forum for total experimentation but we just couldn't get it together to release anything.
B) Alan Country Davidson was my pseudonym before I started the CTs. I used it for that EP because it had 4 Track stuff on it.
C) The Rebel is my current pseudonym. It's referring to the classic Tony Hancock comedy. He's a dick who pretends to be a painter in Paris 1950s. He palms off his ex-flatmates landscapes as his own work and risks continuous hilarious exposure. My stance in Art is similar.
D) Amnesiac Godz is Jason and Russell from Sebadoh.