August 2002 - THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
Aside of Sweden, the UK and Germany, Italy is one of the leading European countries when you talk about everythning that's heavy and 70's influenced. During the last six years a lot of new and refreshing bands have started out of Italy. One of them is THAT'S ALL FOLKS!. Gladly, they aren't playing this typical "stoner" rock stuff. Especially their new album is highly influenced by 60's Psyche and so I contacted their label for this interview. Thanks to Beard Of Stars for passing over the questions.
Well, it's your first interview with the Cosmic Lava webzine so could you give us please some dates about the history of T.A.F.! When was the band formed, are you still playing in the same line-up etc.?
Well, we started That's All Folks! some 11 years ago as trio playn' a lot of garage psych tunes...We started to get more seriously into music after our first 7" which is of 1994 'cause we didn't expect such a good attention from the audience at our shows and from the crytics. Now we're still here and the current line up is: me, C.C. vocals and guitars, L.S. guitars, N.M. drums, M.R. bass.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS! isn't that typical band-name, so what's the story behind it?
I think I really don't know what you mean for "typical name" of a band...I never asked my mom why she named me Claudio; probably for the nice sound...Let's say this: a band called "beasts of bourbon" already existed so we chose "That's All Folks!".
Let's go into details about your second full-length "Psyche As One Of The Fine Arts" that has been released again on Beard Of Stars Records. When I compare it with the debut "Soma...3rd Way To Zion" it's much more psychedelic and spaced-out without losing the energy and tightness of heavy Rock. What do you think is the main difference between both records and what goal do you want to achieve with the new one?
Thank you...I think the main difference between both records is that we recorded soma after we joined the current line-up by only 5 months...We recorded "psyche" after we spent 1 year and a half on the road and rehearsing a lot, so it's the natural development of our cohesion!!!
I think, there's also a slight difference in the production. The new album sounds more natural and organic. Can you agree and have you recorded it in the same studio as "Soma"?
I agree and the big merit goes to E.R. who gave us an hand in the production...We are also used to do everything by our own so after many years we could say to be more familiar with the sound technique of a recording studio. Yes we recorded the last album in the same studio.
Have you improvised a lot during the recording-sessions or did you enter the studio with worked-out songs and do you need a special psychedelic atmosphere in the studio?
We always improvise a lot even in live shows...Sure the the songs had a final shape.
You've used some additional instruments as a Moog or a Piano for some of the songs on "Psyche...". Was it more like an experiment and do you use them also in live performances?
We would but it's not easy to use them on live shows for the space in the van, however it was an experiment though we had already an arrangement.
There also a somebody new in the line-up, named E.R. who's "classified". What's the secret behind E.R. and for what is he/she classified?
E.R. is classified for being our natural guide into analog-recording techniques and classified for being one of my best friends!!!
During the last years you've played a lot of gigs. Have you ever played outside of Italy and how can the reader imagine a T.A.F.! show? Do you use a lot of visual effects on stage?
Yes we played a lot outside of Italy. One week ago we had a show in Austria at the Transvision open-air with Firebird (but onestly it was one of our worst shows ever!!!!) and we toured Europe with Ufomammut last year...Our shows? Relax, poetry, groove, volume, VOLUME!!!! We are the visual effect on stage!!! hahaha
Where and how often do you rehearse? Is it easy to find rehearsel rooms in your hometown and are they expensive?
Well, I got a child now who's three moths and as you can imagine I can't rehearse a lot but we used to do it!!! We have the same room from 10 years so I don't really know if it's easy or not to find any new one!!!!
Why do you never include lyrics inside the albums?
Well, my lyrics are so introspective that I don't think it would be useful to reach the whole sense of a song...anyway I think we would put some of them on our web next.
What is your personal interpretation of the term Psychedelic and how would you define this art?
Psychedelia is the component of an art that touches your five senses and the sixth one that is located somewhere in your brain.
It seems as if you've got a very drug-oriented image, especially the cover of the new album is a big hint into this direction. Is it more meant as a joke, or is it necessary for you to consume chemical or natural substances that are altering your consciousness? Can you make music without drugs?
Well, about the cover that's Robert Butler's interpretation of our musical concept and I think he really got into the sense of the whole. Generally, we are not really into drugs 'cause our minds and consciousness are so expanded by their own that using additives would have meant "to get us completely CRAZY"...
Do you see T.A.F.! in the tradition of bands as the genius 13th Floor Elevators, Hawkwind, The Stooges or The Seeds just to name a few?
Wow, you named such Gods so I expect it as a compliment and I thank you, I would say that those you named are sure some of our favs and sure not the only ones but I see TAF! in the tradition of psych-rock in general
What do you think about Monster Magnet?
Spine of God is a must and 'till Dopes to Infinity they're cool...Now they suck!!!
In 1999 you've released your debut album "Soma". Have you recorded anything before as 7"'s or compilation tracks and what was the intention of forming the band?
Well, we recorded plenty of stuff and for a complete discography I suggest you to visit our web at www.tafmusic.it
When and why did you choose Beard Of Stars Records? Were there any other offerings from interested labels?
We had an offer by Yperano Recs. from London but the one from BOS was closer to our expectations.
Some of the members of T.A.F.! are also involved in the COLT 38 project. Why and when was this band started and what have you released until now under the banner of COLT 38? Please, tell us more about it!
We just released a CD attached to the magazine Vincebus Eruptum - www.vinylmagic.it This was first intended as my solo project and I recorded some tunes on my 4 track recording then I sent the songs to E.R. who plays with Hogwash (a cool italian band) who really dig 'em. So we decided to do a project involving some of the best italian musicians in the psych scene to make a manifesto of what is my view of psychedelia...I think that is a very cool album and I suggest you to have a listen!!!!
Aside of T.A.F!, there are more fine heavy bands in Italy like Standarte,E.X.P., OJM, Ufomammut, Insider f.e. and, of course Paul Chain. Then you've got the Malleus guys Urlo and Poia and a label like Beard Of Stars so I wonder if it isn't possible to organize a festival with all these band and the people who support this music in their own ways. Have you ever thought about it and is there any interest about it in the Italian "scene"?
There's a quite good interest across this scene but I'm not really into the organization of shows!!!
How is the situation for this music in general in Italy? What about radio stations or bigger magazines? Are they aware of local heavy psych rock?
Of course...Music culture in Italy is completely aside of rock & roll.
Ok, that's all folks...we've reached the end of our talk. Thanks for it! Anything that you want to add?
Thanx a lot for your cool interview and support, we hope to kick Germany as soon as we can...