Interview: Barry Hogan, Creator of All Tomorrow's Parties
Even to see Les Savy Fav together with Built to Spill, Mogwai, EPMD, and My Bloody Valentine--that's pretty awesome.
You can never get bored of Les Savy Fav. They're fantastic! There one of those bands that every time I see them I'm, 'Oh yeah, they're good. I want to see it again.'
There's too many festivals that I used to go to and you watch one or two bands and then you have to wait around for someone good to come on, then you go home, and you've spent loads of money and it's just really depressing. People should be going there for a good time.
What three performers besides My Bloody Valentine shouldn't people miss?
Well, I'd say someone like Shellac because they don't play that often, but every time they play they just destroy me they're so great. Lightning Bolt, same sort of thing. But I think it would be really good to see some of the kind of--I don't know how popular they are in New York or the East Coast--but Harmonia. I think it's really amazing they got back together and are doing some stuff. I think everyone should go see them because who knows if Harmonia will ever come back to America. Spectrum--they're great. But it's tricky when you ask that question because there're so many things that're really great.
Do you know what I'm really most excited about? And the record that means the absolute world to me? I really, really, really love Built to Spill's Perfect From Now and I think it's one of my favorite records ever. I'm really thrilled to bits that they're doing that. And for them to open, to headline, the first night, is killer. And Bardo Pond doing Lapsed. That's going to open the festival. That record is something else. Although some people might think I'm full of shit because I get so enthusiastic about these things, but these are records that I've bought and cherished and pulled them out from the wall going, 'We've gotta get these guys to do this!' And that's how we operate. We're kind of like mental fans.
Having My Bloody Valentine reunite under your umbrella--where does that rank on your list of professional accomplishments?
I think it's a huge honor for us. Kevin and I have known each other for like about eight to 10 years. He's always been coming to our shows in London. He's just so talented: I remember seeing him do the Patti Smith Coral Sea show and I was just thinking, 'You've got to get out there and do this as the Valentines. There's just too much great talent for people not to see it.' Lo and behold, he came back last year and said, 'I want to do this now.' And we were able to make it work for them by doing a tour across England.
And he gave us this opportunity of presenting this huge tour, which was a big undertaking for us. It's the biggest thing we've ever done. We've sold more tickets than we've ever done in our entire lives. And then he's like, "I want to continue working for you." And I told him that we were doing ATP in New York and he says, "We'd love to be involved." For us to have him as the kind of curator of the festival we're doing out here is--well, I think that's probably gonna set the bar too high now.
The shows [My Bloody Valentine] have been doing, they're the most sonic force of sound I've ever heard in my entire life. People are going to lose their minds when they see it. It sounds 1000 times better than anything you have seen in a long time. You're in for a treat.
I'm serious, I'm not just saying that to hype it up. They really are mind-blowing. We did some more shows with them at the ICA, they were like rehearsal shows, and we did the tour. And I actually went and saw them in Japan. And every time you see it, you just get better and better and better. So I think by the time it comes to New York, they're gonna be on fire.
What surprised you about seeing them finally?
How goddamn loud it was.
I went to see them in 1991. I only went to the show because I fancied this girl and she was a big My Bloody Valentine fan and I went to the show. She wasn't putting out, so I was like, this is waaaay to fucking loud, I've gotta go. It wasn't until after that I got into them. And I was like, 'Shit, typical, my life. I get into a band and they break up.' So it's kind of been a goal for a long time to get them to do something. I have to say, we're super-fortunate.
Now that you've gotten My Bloody Valentine, who's on your ATP wishlist now?
I have got some people in mind and I can't say who they are. Although this isn't one of them, I'd love to see Kraftwerk do it. I'd love to see Neil Young do On the Beach. But if you put that in the article, he'll probably go off and do it himself. Cuz fuckin' Lou Reed--and who else is there?--these other bands, you go to them and say, 'Hey come and do one of your albums' and they always doing it themselves! And they always pick the wrong fucking records! Like Echo & the Bunnymen doing Ocean Rain! It's not their best record. The first three are the best ones. Ocean Rain has got moments, but I don't even think it hits the notes. Good luck to them is all I say.
I'd love to see Neil Young do something. One of those really great albums he did in the '70s. Could be After the Goldrush and On the Beach or something like that, but that might be reaching for the sky. If he fancies coming up to Kutsher's Country Club, we're ready and waiting.
I'd like to see Tom Waits do something, but I don't know if he'd ever entertain an idea like that. Or like Leonard Cohen playing one of his '60s records. Being more realistic, it'd be nice to see someone like Pavement do something. Or some different stuff that doesn't play the circuit every time. We won't be looking for Jack Johnson--put it that way.