Interview with: David Shrigley
Location: Via Email
My initial introduction to your work was through the videos you made for Blur and Bonnie Prince Billy, how were you approached to produce these animations? Did you have complete control over what you created or was there an idea put to you to work with?
We (me and Shynola who I co-directed with) ended up having complete control of the Blur video because Damon put his foot down and refused to let the record company change things (they hated it). For the BPB video I had to have BPB, or at least my version of him in the video, which was kind of a pain. Shynola asked me to co-direct with them, whilst Domino knew that I'm a fan of BPB, so they figured I would do it for minimal reward (they were right).
Was this your first attempt at animation?
I'd made a few short Flash animations for the web prior to the Blur video, but I guess it was my first animation of any length.
To me personally, your work has become synonymous with the indie music scene, was that something you envisaged becoming involved with?
I'm not sure quite how I ended up making art with bands, but I'm a big consumer of music, so it's a world I understand and am passionate about.
Did you want your work on record sleeves? Or was it just that a lot of bands approached you?
I think I've always wanted to design record sleeves, but I wasn't asked until Ballboy (an Edinburgh band) asked me about 8 years ago. I'll go on doing it for as long as I get offers.
Originally, were there plans to do an actual CD of Worried Noodles or was that something that came together afterwards? If so, did Scout Niblett’s version of Dinosaur Egg inspire this?
Scout Niblett did 3 songs from Worried Noodles all with the same melody. I guess she wanted to use all of them somewhere so 'Dinosaur Egg' ended up as a single. I didn't write the original lyrics with the intention of them ever being recorded. I guess they were supposed to be from an imaginary album that would never be made.
How did the bands get to make it onto the CD? Did you handpick them?
I chose a few, but mainly because they were friends of mine and I thought there was a good chance of them saying yes. The guys from Tomlab chose quite a lot, and I guess I few folks got collected along the way. Now it's I think it's a really good list.
Were there any songs recorded that didn’t make the final list? Did anyone write the music for DRUGS?
No-one did DRUGS, but I guess there's always the possibility of a follow-up. I guess it would have been pretty difficult to invite people to contribute and then not use what they did, so everything got used. The finished piece is 'un-edited'.
Do these bands reflect your favourite music? Who are your favourite bands, what have you been listening to a lot recently? Any recommendations?
I'd say roughly that the bands are a good reflection of part of my tastes, but I also like a lot of stuff that perhaps wouldn't have been so appropriate for a lyric-focused project; I like noisy stuff like Merzbow, Lightning Bolt, Keiji Haino, etc. Recently I have been listening to Marnie Stern and the new Magik Markers, both worth listening to.