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Geniuser - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

The Mud Black Geniuser Of Michael Allen

February 2006

MVRemix: What inspired you to write ‘You Can Lose It’?

Michael Allen: Giuseppe started most of the tracks. What I remember about this, is that I added the bass part. What I liked about it, was that it reminded me of Can, a group to measure things by, ‘Monster Movie’ in particular. I had the hypnotic nature and the rhythm of that album in the back of my mind.

MVRemix: Favorite song on the ‘Mud Black’ LP?

Michael Allen: I generally like the ideas more than I like the results. But, I would say that applies to most things I do. If pressed, I would say ‘Am I Salt?’

MVRemix: Which song took you the longest to do from conception to completion? Why?

Michael Allen: I think it was ‘These Times’, which went through several personality changes. The idea was a good one, but we couldn’t ever seem to get the mood right and I fear that shows.

MVRemix: Do you do many overdubs while recording? Do you use many first takes, or do you do multiple?

Michael Allen: I’m not sure whether the term overdubs applies. We put a load of stuff on and then, took it off. Vocally, I sometimes use the first take. I have also been known to spend many fruitless hours trying to recreate the feel of a first badly recorded vocal or badly recorded song.

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the name Geniuser? The Wolfgang Press?

Michael Allen: They are meaningless and open to interpretation. That is why they were chosen. Naming a project is hard and ultimately, pointless.

MVRemix: When creating a track, do you have a set theme or idea, or is the music created first?

Michael Allen: My mind is blank. Music always comes first. From that, everything springs.

MVRemix: How did you meet Giuseppe De Bellis and decide to form Geniuser? Was there a philosophy behind it?

Michael Allen: We met through a mutual friend in Copenhagen in 1991 and kept in touch. Giuseppe came over to live in London for a while and was working in The Orb studio. He asked me if I would be interested in doing some vocals on some music he had been working on. The philosophy is not to lie and not to repeat.

MVRemix: Musically, what have you been working on? What is the next release for Geniuser, or both of you as solo artists?

Michael Allen: Giuseppe sends me pieces of music or beats to try and entice me to do something. We have a three songs completed as of Nov 2005 and hundreds with nothing on.

MVRemix: What are some of your favorite instruments?

Michael Allen: Every instrument has potential. Nothing is blacklisted in my mind, apart from maybe the saxophone.

MVRemix: Why did The Wolfgang Press split up? What happened?

Michael Allen: We had run our course and I think we had lost our way. I’m not sure which came first.

MVRemix: What are some of the main differences between The Wolfgang Press and Geniuser?

Michael Allen: Giuseppe is the driving force in Geniuser.

MVRemix: How are you creatively different from Giuseppe? The same?

Michael Allen: Giuseppe is very positive, open, and clear. I am negative and changeable. I like to play the game at convincing myself that I am open minded.

MVRemix: What song / album are you most proud of?

Michael Allen: The most successful album for me is ‘BirdWoodCage’. I like that one especially, because I feel we grew up on that album. It feels like a good mixture between dark and personal. Working with Flood was a great experience too.

MVRemix: ‘Birmingham’ is one of my favorite songs by The Wolfgang Press. Could you expand on the meaning?

Michael Allen: With most of what I write, the subject matter is not obvious. There are several reference points and deliberate contradictions. But, this song does draw from one source, the true story of the Birmingham Six. They were six Irishmen falsely accused and imprisoned for the bombing of 2 pubs in Birmingham in 1974, which killed 21 people. They were each imprisoned for, I think, 16 years before they had their sentence squashed. I’m not sure if they ever received an official apology.

MVRemix: What artists or musicians would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Michael Allen: Giuseppe would like to work with Brian Eno.

MVRemix: Andrew Gray released a solo album titled ‘Homegrown’ under the name, Limehouse Outlaw. You co-wrote some of the tracks (which were excellent). What do you think of the Limehouse Outlaw album?

Michael Allen: I think it has some great moments. It is a very difficult thing to do, to write on your own. Maintaining the drive and the focus is, I imagine, the hardest part.

MVRemix: Andrew Gray worked on the Geniuser album too. Was working with Andrew this time different from the past because of the involvement of De Bellis?

Michael Allen: Not really. Andrew and I have a very good relationship. We understand and know each other’s abilities and strengths. We are able to tell each other when we think something is a load of bollocks.

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"Giuseppe sends me pieces of music or beats to try and entice me to do something. We have a three songs completed as of Nov 2005 and hundreds with nothing on."