Large Number is a shining new project from Ann Shenton (formerly ofAdd N To (X)), along with drummer Rob Allum, banjoist (!) RobertWeston, guitarist David Guez, percussionist Jackie Freeworld, andco-producer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Duplan. We got to talkwith Ann recently…
Chain D.L.K.: So your album “Spray On Sound” came out in 2003, and yourecently released the single “The Now Defunct Delaware”. Tell usabout them. What would you like us to know about the concepts inthe music, or the making of these records?
Large Number: Well, ‘Spray on’ was an experiment to record an album in 3 weeks. I didn’t know what the result would be, there was no time for candy coating or being fickle. It was recorded & then released in quick succession. Then it was too late to make any changes, I think that was a good method, otherwise I could have become too self-concious as it was the first recording after the split-up of AddNtoX, and after the split I didn’t know what the hell was going to happen, I had been living in a tent for months, going out of my mind, then I got my sonic fix like a crazed junkie. “The defunct delaware” is the 7” vinyl. Delaware is the huge voltage controlled synth built by ems for the radiophonoic workshop, it was a homage to this fantastic machine. There were only about 35 of them ever built, larger than a mini & about 100x the price. Concept wise, the process of recording/ideas is more like a ‘happening’ in a farm house than your normal recording session with pizza delivery.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about your creative process. Where do you get ideas, andthen how do you go from an idea to a finished song? Or do you work insome other way?
Large Number: Every track has a different source, or a different parent idea, there shouldn’t be a recipe you follow when dealing in sonics, it’s not like you are making a souffle, anything can happen with sonics, it over-rides the laws of physics & rational law, sound can be reclaimed, bent, stetched, mended, buggared & used.
Chain D.L.K.: Any funny or titillating new stories you can tell us?
Large Number: Titillating? Me? Stories? oh, no… I don’t want another court case.
Chain D.L.K.: What are you doing now?
Large Number: Right now we are compiling a compilation album called ”The Electronic Bible” loads of electronic music, ex-Cabaret Voltaire/Relaxed Muscle/Fasion Flesh/Black Rainbow/Andy Weatherall & loads of others.
Chain D.L.K.: What does the future hold for you and for Large Number? And whattour plans might you have?
Large Number: I am doing future sonic festival in may in Manchester, I will be playing the laser harp in the nude. We are recording another single, a cover of a prog rock track, my new vision of music is “progtronica”.
Chain D.L.K.: What is your mission in life?
Large Number: Christ, what a question, I have a mission statment for making music but isntt this a question usually saved for miss world contestants? My motto is ‘if you can’t kill it yourself, don’t fucking eat it’.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your favorite things to do and otherwise?
Large Number: Favorite things are Vino Verdi (portugese wine, drink it while its young), Thomas Mann books & wood fires, surrealist writer Micheal Leris.
Chain D.L.K.: In a few interviews, you’ve said that you no longer use drugs (exceptbeer). What do you find thrilling now?
Large Number: I think you have to find joy in other things, simple stuff, the kind of stuff that I would have cringed at when I was younger I now look at & get a kick out of it, like taking the dog out, the sea, the cold air. I used to take heroin & cocain for breakfast, now I prefer a chapter of a book & tea, I am not a puritain by any means, I believe you just get tired of the same old routine, drug takers are sickened by the norm but then accept another normality of drug taking, surley that is just yet another human condition, another normality.
Chain D.L.K.: What are some of the best experiences you’ve had in playing live?
Large Number: Playing in a nuclear bunker in Scotland with sonic boom, that was good, on the menu in the nuclear cafe there were things like plutonium burger & air-raid milk shake. And once Boyd Rice allowed me to drag him on stage to do a version of ‘Total War’, then just after Jarvis cocker got on stage with Micheal Jackson, he came to one of our gigs & he threatened to do the same, a down syndrome boy bent my theremin ariel in L.A. & I got beaten up in Glasgow during a ‘gig’.
Chain D.L.K.: What would you like to be asked that you haven’t been asked in an interview, and what would your answer be?
Large Number: The question I would like to be asked is “do you think you will still be alive when trips to the moon are the norm?” and I will answer ‘Ii bloody hope so, I would love to have sex in 1/6 gravity, imagine all those impossible positions!!! ! “
Visit Large Number on the web at:
www.largenumber.co.uk and at:
[interviewed by Maren] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]