LCD Soundsystem Interview pt.5

Talking accidentally successfully records
James Murphy
Today we continue with the final part of our epic interview with James Murphy about LCD Soundsystem's latest, and final, album, 'This Is Happening' (Read ClashMusic's review HERE.)

Read more from our epic interview with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

-

So tell me what ‘Hit’ is about?

Well, kind of us just recognising what kind of band we are. It’s pretty blunt I mean somebody who’s in a much more successful band and likes our band asked: ‘So, are you going to make a Radiohead on this one? You should. You really should because your band should get more, you know it’s a good band and it should be more popular.’ and I remember just being like, it doesn’t really work with me like that. First of all, I’m trying to write the best songs I can and it was actually a kind of naïve thing that I actually thought was quite lovely. The place he was coming from was very positive like he was saying, ‘you should do it. I know you don’t want to probably because you think that’s beneath you but you should do that.’ And it’s like, nothings beneath me dude, I just, I don’t know how to make, I don’t know how to be myself and make a hit.

Well, you did it pretty effectively with the first two twelve inches.

Well yeah. I mean he was talking about it like a fucking hit. Like a number one record. And he’s a very sweet dude and who naturally, being himself makes huge hits. That’s who he is. And I’m not that guy. That’s just not what comes out of me naturally and so for me to make a hit consciously, I wouldn’t see what the point would be. And for guys to be themselves and do that, like Bono or whatever that’s just naturally what they do so, I don’t need to add my, fucking 40 year-old ass to the pile. I’ll just keep doing what I do and there most likely won’t be a hit and that’s okay.

I think we’re missing a very important ingredient for wild success that I’m hoping and that I’ve never tried to never get rid of and get as big as we can without getting rid of that ingredient and that’s’ discomfort. I think we make people just slightly uncomfortable enough for it not to get huge. There’s like a limit, there’s like a cap built into it. Like, if you’re into music and stuff we may seem cool or if you don’t know anything about us and you’re into bigger bands you might be like ’oh it’s one of those cool bands. I don’t like them they’re from Brooklyn’ but we’re just not particularly cool. It’s hard to just, I don’t know, it’s hard to I don’t want to make people forget what’s going on in terms of it being somewhat artificial, a strange experience of going to see a band or a band making a video, or a band making a record. These are strange things they’re not supposed to just go ‘oh yes I like this. This is enjoyable’.

Like, that doesn’t work for me. Like the most beautiful songs for me are by bands who make ugly music. You know like, The Fall song. I think it’s from the same album as telephone thing.(sings) “These are the greatest times of my life”. It’s like this really pretty song with almost these really sappy lyrics except that if you know the history of the band there’s no way they can mean just what they mean and it’s like, heartbreaking. Whereas someone else writes a pretty song and it just doesn’t mean anything to me. We would just be wasted doing that I guess.

-










Clash Magazine Issue 50



This is an excerpt from an article that appears in the 50th issue of Clash Magazine. Pick it up in stores from May 7th.

You can read the full issue online HERE and subscribe to Clash Magazine HERE.


-



If you were to accidentally write some, insane global hit, presumably you wouldn’t be pissed off at yourself?

No no! Of course, I have no problem, I would like us to be...well, that said. In theory, and this is why I think this should be the last record... I work best being ambitious and being argumentative. I work best, I’m most proud fighting to make something as big as it can be. Being like, Fuck that. You know, I don’t like people telling us that we can’t be big because we’re for hipsters or you know, people are dumb. I think people are smart . I think audiences are capable of liking things that aren’t what record executives think will be the only things they like. And I think it’s actually the radio being and the label people that are stupid or insulting. They can be very condescending to an audience. Thinking that, ‘of course I like this music but they won’t get it’. And I’ve always fought against that.

So in theory I’d love to have a successful song and a hit but I don’t know what it would do to my life. I like my life I’m very excited about my life. I have access, which is something I never had I was always a completely outside person. Remarkably there’s been some success it’s just mind boggling. But I don’t know if I’d like to be a famous person. I like having some access. I like being known and respected in my field which is always hard to explain. Like: ‘Are you famous? No. But I’m respected in my field of musicians!’

Words by Matthew Bennett

-

Read more from our epic interview with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

Have your say

Sign in or Register to leave comments
-