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interview with JAY FERGUSON



an interview with JAY FERGUSON by james covey  november 4/94
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JC:  How is the road treating you?
JF:  The shows are a lot smaller in the States.
Canada's a lot more fun because it's all ages.

JC:  Have you had good gigs in the States?  Will you tour
there some more?  Is _Twice Removed_ getting favorable
reviews there?
JF: The places that were really cool were Chicago, Boston,
New York and Los Angeles.  The shows were a lot smaller.
Not many reviews.  Relatively good regional reviews.
Spin mentioned us on this list of ten records you probably
didn't hear.

JC:  What was the cover that you did at the end of
Saturday's show?
JF:  "Hot Smoke and Sassafras" by Bubble Puppy -- some late
sixties band from Texas.  I found a 45 of it in Toronto.

JC:  Do you think that if Brunswick Hall gets licensed that
you guys will play Halifax more often?
JF:  The only reason we don't play is we're away so much and
Andrew lives in  Toronto.  When he's here we try to do a
one-off kind of thing.

JC:  Murderecords' most recent output includes Al Tuck, Hip
Club Groove, Stinkin' Rich, and Superfriendz.  To call any
of these acts "alternative" would be rather stretching it.
Would you say that murder is moving away from being an
"alternative" label to something more general, an "eclectic"
label?
JF:  I don't think we're that alternative or Thrush Hermit
are.  I don't see how either Thrush Hermit or The
Superfriendz are more alternative.  We just put out bands
that we like.  A lot of labels usually bill themselves on a
specific kind of music, like Atlantic -- they started off
R&B.  Or Sub Pop -- all Northwestern garage bands at first.
We're sort of all over the place.
        It's totally by the seat of our pants.  Promoting
bands from down here that would not otherwise have a chance
to put out a record.  The focus has been putting out bands
from around here that we really like.

JC:  Do you see murder ever putting out something as punk
as Eric's Trip's _Peter_ again?  Would you ever put out a
band that sounded heavier than say, Sloan did on _Smeared_?
JF:  For sure, yeah.  There's nothing I've heard recently
that I've really liked.  If anything, Al Tuck is more of
risk than putting out something as raw as Eric's Trip.

JC:  Who are you going to release in the future?
JF:  Hopefully we're going to put out a single by a
Montreal band called the Local Rabbits, who played the Pop
Explosion.  I've met them a bunch of times.  They put out a
CD, which isn't exactly what they are going for, it was
more polished than they like.

JC:  Have you heard the new Mule album?
JF:  No.

JC:  People on Sloan Net want to know what the MCA name is
doing stamped all over new murder releases.  What does this
mean?  What kind of deal did you sign to let them do that?
JF:  They manufacture our stuff.  We used to do it with a
company called Cargo.  We had a falling out with Cargo,
logistically and financially.  MCA manufacture our CDs and
cassettes for us, and that's all.  Basically nothing has
changed.  We just cut out the middleman.  They take a
little cut for fronting the cash, otherwise we would have
to pay for all the manufacturing ourselves.  It's
completely a hands-off thing.  There's no exterior
involvement for MCA.  They don't own us.  Just in case
people were thinking we sold out or something.

JC:  Do you see Sloan putting out a noisy record again in
the future, or would future sequels to _Twice Removed_ also
be in the vein of stripped-down pop?
JF:  I don't know.  I think the new record could be a
combination of the first and the second.  There's no
particular direction.  It was just for this record.

JC:  Do you wish you had a nickel for every time you guys
have said the phrase "Plastic Ono Band" in interviews since
the album came out?
JF:  Totally.  Exactly, I wish.  I'd be stinking rich.

[JC note:  gee, you don't *look* like stinkin' rich, jay!]

JC:  Do you realize how much some of the songs on the record
sound like Matthew Sweet songs?
JF:  No one's brought that up.  Even though Jim Rondinelli,
our producer, worked with Matthew Sweet before.

JC:  What's the next single?
JF:  In Canada, the next single is "People of the Sky".  We
just did a video for it, and we did it for $1000 with some
USC students out in California.  The students helped us out
and we did it really cheap.
        The first single in the States is going to be "Hate
My Generation."

JC:  What did you think of Simon Evans shooting down your
video live on MuchMusic?
JF:  I don't mind being criticized.  I found it so weird
that we were right there and he dissed it right there.  Has
he been fired?

JC:  Any others in mind?  Any cool projects or
collaborations coming up?
JF:  We might put out a single on Murder.

JC:  Will you make "Laying Blame" more widely available?
JF:  I want to buy up the imports of "I Am The Cancer" and
other singles and sell them through murderecords.

[JC note:  my transcription of this interview is a bit
sketchy 'cause i didn't get to record it.  but you can
get the gist of it, i hope.]

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     _James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>_    sloan net is a discussion of the
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