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Geniuser - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

The Mud Black Geniuser Of Michael Allen

February 2006

MVRemix: How did The Wolfgang Press get involved with 4AD?

Michael Allen: Rema Rema was one of the first signings to 4AD, I think in 1980. It was an odd as Rema Rema had split by the time we signed the contract. I have been involved with them from then on up until 1995.

MVRemix: How did 4AD treat you? Would you work with them again?

Michael Allen: They were very patient with us and gave us room to blossom. They also allowed us complete artistic control, which was something we felt was very important. It is very unlikely, but if the terms were right, if I felt that they believed in what we are doing, and I liked what they had to say, then maybe.

MVRemix: How do you feel about 4AD as a label?

Michael Allen: As a label, I think there are few to rival it. Ivo was very clear and resolute in his beliefs. His desire and passion to create something special and unique with every release, was remarkable.

MVRemix: Would you ever sign to a major label?

Michael Allen: I’ve never been asked, so I couldn’t say.

MVRemix: The album ‘Queer’ by The Wolfgang Press has several drug references. Were there many drugs around during the recording of this album? What were they? Do you still dabble in drugs these days?

Michael Allen: The only drugs I do are Nurofen. I was never much of a drug user, more an alcohol abuser.

MVRemix: The song ‘Louis XIV’ is an intelligent and clever track about The Sun King. What was it about Louis that inspired you to write this song? Who is the narrator? Is it Louis?

Michael Allen: I had recently read a book by Nancy Mitford entitled, The Sun King. I think I was also reading about the Holy Crusades. A lot of the facts and images got mixed up. I do remember that we were in a rehearsal room, playing the song, and the words came out almost word for word as they appear on the record on the first run through. Very curious. The narration shifts between Napoleon, Louis, and an undisclosed third party.

MVRemix: Annie Anxiety appeared on ‘The Birdie Song’ and ‘Dreams & Light’ (from ‘Queer’). How did this collaboration happen?

Michael Allen: Annie was married to Dave Curtis from Dif Juz. Myself, Dave, and Alan, who is Dave’s brother, used to go drinking together. So, when Dave met Annie, I was introduced. I, in fact, ended up being a witness at their wedding. So, we got to know one another very well. Annie is one of the most fantastic people I have met.

MVRemix: Now that the dust has settled, do you ever speak to the other members of The Wolfgang Press? What do you think of them now? Will you ever reunite?

Michael Allen: I speak to Andrew, probably once a week, and see him when I can. There was talk of reuniting for the 4AD 25th anniversary. But, we were never asked and I must say, I would not have done it.

MVRemix: Where will your next album be released?

Michael Allen: When and if it gets completed.

MVRemix: What is your favorite part of your live show?

Michael Allen: We have never played live. I wouldn’t want to play live unless there was a demand for us to do that. The idea of playing to 10 people in some shit hole doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

MVRemix: What do you think about conflict between the United States and the Middle East?

Michael Allen: I shall allow my silence to speak for me.

MVRemix: Abortion. Pro-choice or pro-life?

Michael Allen: Pro-choice.

MVRemix: Euthanasia. For or against?

Michael Allen: Pro-choice.

MVRemix: Elizabeth Fraizer (of The Cocteau Twins) appeared on “Respect” and “I Am The Crime” by The Wolfgang Press. How is Elizabeth Fraizer’s creative process different than yours?

Michael Allen: She can sing. I can write words. Together, we could be unstoppable.

MVRemix: Where were you during September 11th, the terrorist attack on the United States? How has Europe’s view of America changed? What do you think?

Michael Allen: I was working. I see the pro-war contingents’ support of America and the anti-war factions demonizing of America becoming more militant and subsequently polarized, which can’t be healthy. My thoughts are mixed. But I do really object to America thinking they have some God given right to pile in to any country to do whatever they like, under the banner of ‘Keeping the Peace’.

MVRemix: Word association. When I say a name, you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said, ‘The Beatles’, you may say ‘Revolution’ or ‘John Lennon’. Okay?

Michael Allen: Okay.

MVRemix: Pixies.

Michael Allen: Kim.

MVRemix: Psychic T.V.

Michael Allen: Cage.

MVRemix: Dead Can Dance.

Michael Allen: Lost.

MVRemix: Slowdive.

Michael Allen: Nosedive.

MVRemix: The Telescopes.

Michael Allen: Staring at the sun.

MVRemix: Public Enemy.

Michael Allen: Truth rant.

MVRemix: The Dandy Warhols.

Michael Allen: The Andy Darhols.

MVRemix: Television Personalities.

Michael Allen: Nothing.

MVRemix: Momus.

Michael Allen: Susanne.

MVRemix: The Jesus And Mary Chain.

Michael Allen: Big hair.

MVRemix: Primal Scream.

Michael Allen: Summer.

MVRemix: The Stone Roses.

Michael Allen: Fools.

>>> continued...

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"She can sing. I can write words. Together, we could be unstoppable."