INTERVIEWS WITH SIMON REYNOLDS ABOUT RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN: POSTPUNK 1978-84 and TOTALLY WIRED: POSTPUNK INTERVIEWS AND OVERVIEWS
1/ LINKED ONLINE INTERVIEWS
2/ FULL TEXT INTERVIEWS AND Q & A's
3/ SCANNED INTERVIEWS
1/ LINKED ONLINE INTERVIEWS
Jukebox Jury with Andy Battaglia for Seattle Weekly
interview by Roy Christopher
dialogue with Stephen Metcalf at Slate
interview by Wilson Neate for Perfect Sound Forever part one and part two
micro-interview by Tricia Romano for Village Voice
on Five Favourite Rip-related Songs for Large Hearted Boy
interview by Peter Smith for Nerve
dialogue with Jeff Chang for Beatrice part one and part two
interview with Repellentzine
interview at the Dumbing of America
interview with Left of the Dial part one and part two
interview by John Doran for The Quietus
interview with Pennyblackmusic about Rip It Up / Totally Wired (and other things) part one and part two
interview with Socialist Worker about punk, postpunk, hip hop and "politics and pop"
interview with me about the Fall and Manchester and Totally Wired and Rip it Up at Fall fan webzine Reformation
2/ FULL TEXT INTERVIEWS
interview with David Stubb s for Uncut
1. Is it fair to say this is your most accessible book to date?
That was totally the intention. Partly because I felt the period was so
important, I didn't want to alienate any potential readers, so I made it as
lucid as possible, and emphasized narrative and character. But I also felt
that the theory-influenced approaches I've used before just weren't
appropriate with this period--except when the bands themselves, like Gang of
Four or Scritti, were inspired by philosophy, political theory and art
criticism. In the past, I've often used music--like rave, say-- as a blank
canvas to explore ideas--it's been all about my interpretations. But with
postpunk, I was conscious of dealing with this legion of brilliant minds who
had really sharp ideas of what they were trying to achieve musically and
were highly articulate explainers. So my job was really to let them speak
and organize a context for their ideas to shine.
2. You've interviewed a high range of people - how did they respond,
especially in the light of the post punk revival? Anybody who proved
reluctant to be interviewed?
The main problem was tracking people down--some have just disappeared, left
the music business altogether. Those I did get hold of were almost uniformly
gracious, accommodating, and eager to tell their stories. The few who
refused, I can kinda see their point--they must get sick of talking about
the past. Siouxsie wasn't up for it. Jerry Dammers essentially wanted copy
approval. As did, DAF, believe it or not!
3. Do you think that post-punk not only carried the seeds of its own
downfall (through entryism) but also what you once called the 'pop hell'
we've been inhabiting, off and on, ever since?
Although what stands out to me now about postpunk is its idealism and
seriouness, I suppose it was also the dawn of the era of crippling
self-consciousness--everything was so thought-through and analysed. When
postpunk turned into new pop, this sensibility then got very postmodern and
knowing--the malaise that Bill Drummond of the KLF identified when he
declared that "irony and reference points are the dark destroyers of music."
New Pop pioneered an approach to the pop past involving citation and homage,
and soon rock groups started to do that too. So ABC would 'sample' lyrics
from Smokey Robinson, and then Jesus and Mary Chain would mimic the woo-woos
from "Sympathy for the Devil." Everything became pastiche. But perhaps it's
naïve to mourn a supposed Fall from pop Eden and pine for some lost
4. What do you think prompted a revival in this era? Was it just its turn to
be rediscovered? Because it's the last pre-MTV era as Scott Crary (director
of Kill Yr Idols) suggest elsewhere in this issue? The replication of the
political lurch to the right of the early Eighties?
Mainly, I think, it's because it was one of the few eras of music that hadn'
t been ransacked and depleted of all resources. It still had some mystery
and intrigue. Now, of course, postpunk's verging on being strip-mined to
exhaustion. So roll on the mid-Eighties revival--Stump, Shop Assistants,
Bogshed.. Hmmm, on second thoughts, how about we just skip straight ahead to
Madchester and baggy?
6 hours ago