MUSIC NEWS OF THE WORLD: REM's Peter Buck
DISTORTED GUITAR SOUND BORES R.E.M.S PETER BUCKAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: R.E.M. guitarist/songwriter Peter Buck told Addicted To Noise that he expects the group to continue to record albums and perform for many years to come. During an exclusive interview, Buck said he'd like R.E.M. to make at least ten more albums, and expects the group to mount at least one more world tour. He says the current plan is for R.E.M. to begin work on another album by next Spring. In fact, Buck said that at the conclusion of the 1995 Monster tour the group felt so good about performing live that they even briefly considered a '96 summer tour. "It's indicative of our state of mind that six months after completing an 11 month tour we were talking about going out again," said Buck. Even before the release of their new album, New Adventures In Hi-Fi, Buck is already contemplating the next batch of R.E.M. recording sessions. "I'd like us to rent a house in Hawaii and record an acoustic album there," he said. The group plans to take a break for the next few months, then regroup next spring to begin writing the next album. With the current album, some of which was written and recorded at sound checks and in dressing rooms during the Monster tour, Buck feels they were able to "capture what being on tour is like. That total dislocation of flying from city to city." He said the album has no overriding theme. "It's like a postcard or a series of postcards," he said. "This one is from France, this one is a picture of topless women on a beach, this one is Israel. And they all kind of make sense when you put them together, but they don't really reflect on each other." On Friday night (Aug. 16), Buck made it to his wife's Seattle club, the Crocodile Cafe, to catch a set by the Fastbacks. Buck said he's bored with all the bands that aren't from Seattle that are imitating the Seattle grunge sound, but added that he likes Seattle pioneers like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam. "Honestly I could never hear a distorted guitar again and I'd be happy," he said. "It's a sound I've heard a lot. I'm really tired of . I don't want to see long hair flapping in the wind, and loud electric guitars and big baggy shorts ever again."PRIMUS' CLAYPOOL ON DRUMMER ALEXANDER'S RECENT DEPARTUREAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: On Aug. 14, Primus leader Les Claypool performed for the first time publicly with his new band, Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel. Claypool, of course, has his first solo album, the very excellent, very weird Highball With the Devil. If you missed the show, which took place at San Francisco's intimate Bottom of the Hill nightclub, the coming weeks will see Claypool and company (guitarists Mirv and Adam Gates with drummer Brain) play a handful of other club dates on the West and East coasts. So does this mean Primus is history? No way. Primus is alive and well, and Claypool told us that the group, which now includes guitarist Larry "Ler" LaLonde and a soon to be announced new drummer, will enter the secret Rancho Relaxo studio complex in December, to begin work on a new Primus album that Claypool promises will find the group moving away from the "progressive rock" of recent albums, heading for the weird. "I'm up for avant-garde and experimental and whatever but just the whole thing of being known as a technoid or whatever the hell you would call it, progressive guy is not what I'm looking to do," he said.Of course, this new drummer stuff begs the question, what happened to Primus' "old" drummer, the exceptional Tim "Herb" Alexander, who recently parted ways with Claypool and LaLonde. "Uh, we all hated each other," said Claypool. Then he laughed and added quickly, "No. You know, it's something that's been coming for a long time. Basically, it was getting to the point where none of us were very happy. And when it came down to it, a lot of it stemmed from Herb's discontentment, if that's the proper word." Claypool said things really came to a head during this past year of touring. "This last year of touring was pretty difficult," he said. "We were actually having a great time offstage. We were spending a lot of time together having a good time. But onstage it was really getting to be drudgery. It was getting to the point of where the band was going to break up...it wasn't like a heated thing or even anything where we're sitting around being pissed off at each other. It was more of like the energy level was...blah. Nobody wanted to do it. I think most of all Herb wanted to do other things or wanted the band to go in a different direction than say I wanted to take it or Larry wanted to take it. So, Larry and I decided to make the change. And when I talked to Herb, it almost seemed like he was relieved. I might be wrong, but just from talking to him and his friends and people around us, I think he was contemplating leaving the band for a long time as well. And this was sort of a way for him to get out without having to actually quit or muster up the energy to say hey guys. I don't know. That's the vibe I'm getting. It was definitely a mutual thing. We just kind of made the initial nudge."DEBORAH HARRY, RICHARD HELL AND OTHERS JOIN THE HEADSAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: The Talking Heads, minus Ex-head Head David Byrne, have put the finishing touches on their first post-Byrne project, dubbed No Talking, Just Head under the moniker The Heads. The record, which is due out October 8, finds the remaining Heads -- Tina Weymouth, Chris Franz and Jerry Harrison -- soldiering on with a cavalcade of singers to replace the nervous one, who didn't want to have anything to do with the project. Tina Weymouth, Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde, Pretty and Twisted) and Deborah Harry (Blondie) share vocals on "Punk Lolita," and young NYC spoken word performer named Malin Anneteg handles another new song titled "No More Lonely Nights." Other guest vocalists include Maria McKee, Richard Hell, Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes), Ed Kowalczyk (Live), Michael Hutchence (INXS), Shaun Ryder (Black Grape) Gavin Friday, and Andy Partridge (XTC). The CD was produced by the band. When they take the show on the road in mid-October, Napolitano will be the touring singer, although we doubt she'll be slipping into the big suit for the occasion.NEW PHISH ALBUM DUE IN OCTOBERThe upcoming Phish album, Billy Breathes, could be the band's best work yet. Co-produced by Steve Lillywhite (U2) and Phish, there are moments ("Prince Caspian") where the group sounds like a strange mixture of U2 and the Band. Lillywhite seems to have helped the band refine their songwriting and get some very cool instrument sounds. There are twelve tracks: "Free," "Character Zero," "Waste," "Taste," "Cars Trucks Buses," "Talk," "Theme From the Bottom," "Train Song," "Bliss," "Billy Breathes," "Swept Away," "Steep" and "Prince Caspian." The album was recorded at Bearsville Studios just outside Woodstock earlier this year. (Bearsville, by the way, is the studio built by the late Albert Grossman, who managed both Bob Dylan and the Band during those artists' heydays.) First single is the opening song, "Free," a mid-tempo rocker with an anthemic chorus that will be released in early September. The group, who played to over 130,000 people at their two-day "Clifford Ball" on August 17 and 18, will begin a fall-into-winter tour in mid-October, which will conclude on New Year's Eve at the Boston Garden.OFF-THE-(ATN) WIRE: In a move that surprised even the label's staff, Priority Records' rock division is shuttering its doors as of August 30 after just two years in the pit. The label, best known as a rap boutique that broke acts like Ice Cube, will set loose a number of bands, including the up-and-coming Atlanta band Magnapop, the Rugburns, Congo Norvell and Foreskin 500...Millions of TV viewers heard the legendary Jonathan Richman for the first time when they turned in to watch Party of Five on Aug. 21. Richman's "That Summer Feeling" was prominently featured. A new album is due soon from Richman, who is best known for his proto-alternative classic, "Roadrunner," released in the mid'70s...Don't be surprised if Joni Mitchell is a guest at the White House in Sept. President Clinton has requested her presence...Rickie Lee Jones has recorded a version of the '60s Donovan hit, "Sunshine Superman."...A film about Darby Crash and the '80s L. A. punk and, the Germs, titled The Darby Crash Story is in the works...Devo, fresh from well-received Lollapalooza '96 performances, are thinking about recording a new album. They have two new songs on the Supercop soundtrack...At the last minute another new Chris Isaak song was added to his Baja Sessions album, which will be released in late Sept.