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releases on the M&E label, distribution for CDs and vinyl and membership of the UWU itself, the latter being the serious way to connect with the global underground for a paltry £10 ($16) a year. As for the ďmusic businessĒ, we donít really have much to do with it, that lot are too financially driven, whereas the underground is about music.

 

CDS: Tell us about the music scene today? Do you think major record companies should clean up and obey the underground groups? And why should underground music need to be heard today?

 

MM: Itís very fragmented, I think. That was something of a problem before the Internet became such a commonplace part of the equation. No fragmentation is no problem. Although what we do here is all minority interest music, the web has given us a greater reach to tell people about it. Itís still difficult to persuade people to take a chance on bands theyíve never heard, but we try. I write very descriptive reviews, we do regular Audiozine cassette samplers very cheaply (around $7) and get as much coverage as we can for our bands in the underground press. Well, weíve been hard at it for well over a decade now, never gonna get rich, but I have an excellent music collection and have made some great friends across the years, so I think itís all been worthwhile.

          As for the majors, Iím not gonna slag them off, no point. They are in business, they have to make money for their shareholders, and profit-margins are always gonna mean much more to them than music. Also, in fairness to them, they do cater for the tastes of a large majority of the worldís populations. A lot of us in the underground find commercial music a bit sad, shallow and generally shit. However, who are we to deprive all the people who want to listen to it? One of the biggest bands currently in this country are called Westlife (if they come to America, be afraidÖ be very afraid!), Irish band. Four or five young guys, donít dance very well, donít sing very well, donít write their own material, thereís almost no beginning to their talent. Basically, if I wanted to see groups of young guys murdering other peoplesí songs, Iíd go to a karaoke bar. But they are huge, every record hits no.1. Cíest la vie. Ya see, the stakes are so high in the major league music business these days that they are scared of taking chances, so they play safe and churn out neatly manufactured bands, tailored to appeal to a particular niche market.

          Hey, the industry can be as blasť as they want about it too. Recently, we had this series on TV called ďPop StarsĒ. They quite literally created a pop group from scratch, showed all the auditions, how the image was created, how they taught them to dress, how to dance etc. The whole manufacturing process done in full public view, no pretence that this was a real band, no pretence that it was their own ideas, just reality. The public knew from the start that this band was a marketing creation, they watched it happen, in their millions. Their first single went straight to no.1 in the charts here, fastest selling single in British history. What can you say? You are not gonna change this. We canít beat them, we wouldnít want to join them, so I say letís keep a healthy distance from them. I have no problem with the music industry, theyíre only doing their job. Itís just not the same one I do.

            Why does underground music need to be heard? Because if it isnít, weíll all be at the mercy of the majors, no minorities will be catered for, youíll only get the mass-produced for the lowest common denominators of public taste. How low can that be? Watch some sitcoms, watch them and weep. I find the underground an enriching experience, Iíve discovered music there that has changed my life. Itís not a soft option for bands who canít make it, believe me, it is a true alternative to the commercially focused music biz. You would be surprised at just how brilliant some of the bands are, you would be surprised at the quality of the recordings, you would be utterly gobsmacked by the variety of material out there. What we try to do with the UWU project is bring large selections of it together under one roof, thus making it easier and cheaper for people to explore. Sure, you can find some hot sounds in your local record store, but nothing quite like what youíll find in the underground. Itís music, Jim, but not as we know it! J

 

CDS: And finally, the last question that everyone wants to know; whatís your real name and where did you get the name Mick Magic?

 

MM: Ah, tis no great secret, I am Dr. Albert Michael TrŲn PsD, a native of Travanca on the planet Gamma Syndrome, got stuck on Earth when my Ford Escortron broke down. Ask a stupid question. I was never keen on Albert, so I use my middle name. Magic came from the name of the band. Itís a Camberley thing (the nearest main town to Frimley), we used to name people after what they were associated with, so I became Mick Magic coz I was Mick who played in Magic Moments At Twilight Time. Pete Program is Pete who works in the computer business. Eddie Arsebandit would never tell us how he got his name.


I'm not sure this interview ever saw the light of day at the time, but poor Carlo put so much work into it that the least I can do is publish it for him now! Not sure if he still does anything journalistically, but we're still in touch on Facebook so I guess I could always ask him... (UPDATE)


Carlo DeShouten - Just your average American interviewer...


This is a scan of a playlist sitting in a folder on my PC entitled Les 120 Minutes Progressives, all of which I remember about is it was a French radio show that used to play some of our stuff. Can't find any trace of it in my contact files. Bugger. Anyone know anything?


April 2001 Update for Don Campau/ No Pigeonholes/ Lonely Whistle

Want distribution in England or just interested in some underground products from The U.K. and Europe? Write to Mick Magic at: magic@uwunderground.fsnet.co.uk

 

NO PIGEONHOLES radio program playlist for 24 September 2000 on KKUP 91.5 FM in Cupertino California with your host, Don Campau

artist/title/label-source (K7=cassette)

Sabotage/ La Lune/ Music and Elsewhere K7

Mental Anguish-Nomuzic/ Blissful In Enchantro/ Harsh Reality CD

 

No Pigeonholes Radioshow

Playlist for 13 May 2001

Hosted by Don Campau on 91.5 FM KKUP in Cupertino California

artist/ title/ label-source (K7=cassette)

Garfield's Birthday/ Everything/ Pink Hedgehog CD

Ras Al Ghul/ Qual/UWU CD

 

No Pigeonholes Radioshow

Playlist for 22 July 2001

Hosted by Don Campau on 91.5 FM KKUP in Cupertino California

artist/ title/ label-source (K7=cassette)

The Conspiracy/ Psycho/---CD

Eye/ Perspective/ United World Underground CD

Mr Bollinger/ Dream Of The New God/ Yippiebean CD

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The mighty Don Campau, undoubtedly one of the leading lights of the global underground movement, running the Lonely Whistle Music label, KFR USA tape distribution back in the day and doing his No Pigeonholes radio show, upon which he used to play oodles of M&E bands. Nice man. Don is still highly active and you'll probably already know who he is, but it can't hurt for me to ask him for an update, huh? And so I shall... (UPDATE)

 
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