In case you don’t know already, 2nd Gen is the solo project of international music-mangler Wajid Yaseem. And I could say he’s “a fucking cool guy”, but, well, that wouldn’t cut it. Read this, track downhis records, and then do what you have to do. You’ll see.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about your background, musically and otherwise. Whatother jobs have you had?
2nd Gen: Music started early. As a kid I sang with my father at mosques inand around Manchester– a devotional hymn kind of thing called anaat…then moved to London to work for Mute Records (who Ihappened to be signed to as an artist later on)…got bored with that, then moved to Sweden for no other reason than to be a promiscuous, hell-raising, lying, fighting, scummy bastard, playing and singing inbands, DJing on local radio, and to be an all-around generaltrouble-maker…came back and worked for Beggars Banquet in theiraccounts department and realised the accounts people in recordlabels were the ones who had the most to prove and subsequentlyare the most drug-addled and badly-behaved bunch of the lot… hooked up with Aki from Fun: Da: Mental and played bass with them forabout a year and a half then left to form 2nd Gen after touring aroundmuch of the planet… . released the ‘Noise Sculptures’ EP on FloRecords, then got signed to Mute and released the ‘Against Nature’EP, followed by the album, and another handful of releases… Latestrelease is the ‘Flicknives’ album on Quatermass Records.
Chain D.L.K.: What have you been working on lately?
2nd Gen: Have been producing a grimy hiphop/ beats project from Manchester…have been mixing down the latest Germseed album, have releasedthe Uniform album called ‘Not a Word’ on the Ad Noiseam label…havebeen working on the next installment of the performance piece called’Project Dog Ear’ with Gail Sneddon, and most recently am the leadsinger of a new project set up by members of Project Dark/Tindersticks/ Headbutt/ Leechwoman. The band is called Dirthole andis a straightforward, bullshit-free punk rock band.
Chain D.L.K.: How would you describe your methods of making music? And whatconditions are most conducive to working on your music?
2nd Gen: For the rhythm, I start by injecting heroin into my bollocks. Thebasslines appear after I’ve inserted small acid-spiked discs into myeyes. If there’s vocals involved, I drink a pint of tadpoles which usuallygets me in the mood. Then the synth riffs don’t take much, just hot waxpoured back into my ears and I’m close to done. The rest are tradesecrets.
Chain D.L.K.: Where do you find inspiration? Or, what drives you to create?
2nd Gen: I used to find it in the cracks of conversation, things overheard ormis-heard. Now I’m riddled with a kind of sickness which stops mefrom understanding obvious things, meaning I can’t see the roots ofthings. I guess I’m saying I haven’t got a fucking clue as to whatinspires me and even less as to what drives me to do it.
Chain D.L.K.: What would you say you’ve learned from collaborating with otherartists, if anything?
2nd Gen: That every artist including myself is a fumbling fuckwit.
Chain D.L.K.: Suppose there was a “heaven”, and you went there– what musicwould be playing there? And what would be playing in Hell?
2nd Gen: I guess the obvious hell scenario would be Celine Dion eternally–something about her voice that strikes a strange chord of fear in me, much more than any black metal band from Norway ever could. Heaven would be the death gargles of boy-bands being strangledand pitch-shifted 2 octaves down, surrounded by swing music fromthe 1930s.
Chain D.L.K.: If you didn’t do music or any other art, what would you do?
2nd Gen: I’d be an atheist missionary. I’d go to the lands where all the majorreligions have raped a country and restore their own ways. Or I’d besome sort of xenomorph scientist– could human sperm survive in thebelly of our closest genetic relative? Or I’d be a fire-engine.
Chain D.L.K.: What musicians or artists (in any media), contemporary or not, doyou think are underrated or underappreciated?
2nd Gen: A few people I’m working with, actually: Gail Sneddon who came fromcontemporary dance roots but is now involved in cutting-edgeperformance/ installations; a hiphop producer/ rapper called Scalperwho makes some of the most astonishingly beautiful and fucked-upbeats I’ve ever heard; and Alice Kemp from Germseed who playedguitar on the 2nd Gen album, and violin and vocals on the Uniformalbum.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you think of file-sharing?
2nd Gen: Although I rarely download mp3s, I like downloading plug-ins for mysoftware. The whole mp3 thing in general is a damn good thing, though. I recently grabbed hold of tracks I hadn’t heard for years frommy b-boy days. Obviously, record company people have been shittingbricks over it, but they’ll find their revenues somehow. Also beensharing MAME Emulator ROMs for classic arcade games, too– a littleillegal, but it wasn’t written on Moses’s tablets when the big beardedbloke upstairs wrote them ten rules. I don’t fucking care for the tencommandments so I don’t understand why I’m using them as areference– sorry.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you see as trends for the future, in music or otherwise?
2nd Gen: I think we’ll be able to expand the human frequency range capability byadding another ring to our cochleas so we can hear like dogs. There’llbe a whole new movement of music made for super-hearers. Newgenres of music will appear then explode into a million sub-genres. They say that nothing new is ever really created and that everything isa mutation of the past but they will be proven wrong.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you think would surprise people about you if they knew?
2nd Gen: That i’m half simian and half equestrian
Chain D.L.K.: What have you been listening to lately?
2nd Gen: I’ve taken quite a shine to a combination of absinthe and cocainerecently so appropriately i’ve been listening to Benny Goodman. Hewas the swing master and made music to counter the Great AmericanDepression back in the day, yo…”Known by musicians for his stand-offish and ‘cheap’ nature, manysidemen had a love/ hate relationship with Goodman. Manymusicians claimed that Benny was dishonest when it came time topay off the band and many more recalled the Goodman ray, thedirtiest of looks received when a mistake was made. That aside, itsclear that without Goodman the Swing Era would have beennowhere near as strong when it came, if it came at all. ” [quoting TedGottsegen]
Chain D.L.K.: What are your plans, short- and long-term? And what about tours?
2nd Gen: My tour agent is putting together a small European tour. I’m doingmore dates on the Uniform project and there’s apparently some scattydates with Dirthole, but the whole thing is a shambolick beautifulmess, so i’ve no idea if it’ll get off the ground…
Chain D.L.K.: Any other message for our readers?
2nd Gen: Ask yourself: when and what was the last risk you took?
[interviewed by Maren] [proofreading by Maren]