Immaculate Machine on the Beatles, their new album, and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

Written by on November 16, 2009

AM:  Yeah, the first time I heard it, I loved it, but I didn’t recognize it as Immaculate Machine.  How would you describe the change?

BG:  I mainly think of it as just more laid back.  There’s a little bit more space in the songs.  Instead of everyone trying to fit as many hooks into as many seconds of the song as possible, we just relaxed a little bit more.  The recording process was like that too so that is influencing my view of the album but we just had fun with every song and goofed around and tried what we wanted to try instead of trying to get it perfect.  So for me, it was a lot more fun to do it that way.

AM:  So you’re on tour promoting your new album now?

BG:  Yeah, it’s been out for a little while now and we’ve been touring for quite awhile now but this is our first time promoting it in the Maritimes.

AM:  How is your tour going so far?

BG:  Well it’s been busy.  We’ve been on tour all fall and we will continue for the rest of the year.  We’ve been in Europe, New York, and western Canada and we’ll be heading to China in December and that will be a new one for us.

AM:  At your merchandise table, I noticed the comic book that you made.  It’s full of stories from your last tour.  Do you have any good stories from this tour?

BG:  Yeah, we’ve become kind of shameless about our being tourists and sightseeing.  While we were in Hamburg, this woman named Julia came up to us and told us that she lived in the apartment that the Beatles lived in when they got their start playing in the seedy underground bars of Hamburg.  She said she knew that it was really the Beatles’ apartment because someone had come in a few years before to make a documentary film about it so she gave us the address and told us that she thought someone named Karl might be living there that she sort of knew.

AM: So she didn’t even live there anymore?

BG:  No and in fact her connection to Karl was a lot more distant than she made it out to be too.  So we went first thing the next morning, because we had a long drive that day, and buzzed Karl’s apartment and asked him in what can’t properly be described as German, but I was doing my best to learn German, something like “we Canadians come seeking Beatles” and even though the guy said he didn’t know Julia, he let us into the apartment.  Once we were up there he was like.  “So, you’re Canadians…what are you doing in my apartment?”  Once again we were like “uh…your friend Julia told us…” and he said “I don’t know a Julia but anyway…did you know the Beatles used to live here.”  So we took some pictures in the house and he was like “This is great. Do you feel the Beatles’ vibrations?” and we were like “yeah, we feel them” and that was it.  The shocking thing to me was that no one really does that to him.  Apparently we were the first people since the guitarist from Iron Maiden to go knocking at his door.

JM:  What are you listening to these days?

BG:  Well, I’ve been doing all of the driving in Europe because no one else could handle the stress of narrow roads, and the wrong side of the streets, so I’ve given up all of my DJ privileges but there’s been a lot of just about everything actually.  We spent a long rainy night drive listening to Black Sabbath, which was pretty exhilarating in a certain way, but we also listen to obscure 60s folk like there’s a great artist that the bassist, my sister, is really obsessed with right now called Judee Sill.  Check it out.  It’s really pretty, beautiful folk from the 60s.

JM:  Since the Olympics are coming to Vancouver, we are curious about what your thoughts are on the Olympics and some of the controversies that are surrounding that event.

BG:  Well everyday, there is no limit to the amount of fodder that there is for anti-Olympics stuff.  The government has been going absolutely crazy and they deny that it has anything to do with the Olympics of course but they have cut arts funding, and they have made these new, questionable policies on homeless people and where they can and cannot sleep.  My day job has been really affected.  I work in this fantastic program that retrofits peoples’ houses to make them more energy efficient and they have cut all of the funding for that as well. They’ve also introduced this HST that nullifies a lot of these exemptions that used to happen on environmentally proactive products.  So, just as everyone expected, we’re all suffering for no apparent reason.  I mean no Olympics has ever made a city a profit or had a lasting positive impact as far as I can see.

JM:  I heard something the other day that I found pretty shocking.  They’re giving the police a warrant to go into people’s houses and remove any signs that citizens have in their windows that are protesting the Olympics.

BG:  Yeah and they are spinning that as a copyright issue like it has nothing to do with squashing the naysayers or any kind of dissent its just purely a merchandising issue.  “You just can’t use that word”, like as if it has anything to do with merchandising.

JM:  It all sounds like a lot of great inspiration for future songs.

BG:  Yeah maybe some day, down the line.

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