6 February 2014
Hi everyone. Here are the promised answers to the member’s winning questions from your recent contest. Some of these have been asked before of course
01-) When will a new Recoil album be released?
AW: This is going to sound rather negative I’m afraid - I don’t mean it to be but I am a realist.
As everyone is aware CD & music sales have fallen dramatically over recent years. Recoil is not a financially viable project and hasn’t been for some time. For many years now there has been no income for myself from the sales of my own music. Any income has been used to pay off debts to Mute Records for overspends on the earlier albums (not their fault but a sign of the times as they were). For example, in the '90s it was still normal to spend say £40,000 on a video (as we did for ‘Drifting’ for instance) - a video which hardly got shown I might add. This is not a complaint or sour grapes from me, just a fact.
More recently and until now, I have pretty much subsidised the project myself, recorded in my own self-built studios and so on. Mute never have, and never will give me an advance in this current climate and I just cannot afford anymore to sit in a studio for the best part of a year to make a record which very few people will buy. Sadly, most people expect to receive music for free these days, or via file sharing, illegal download and so on. Live work can bring a small amount of income but it is not something I naturally gravitate towards and, if I were to put together a band, that would probably lose money given the number of tickets I could reasonable expect to sell.
The truth is I have been pulling in favours left, right & centre (from people willing to help with little or no payment) just to keep things going. I do understand that there are other ways to skin a cat - like self release, fund gathering - and so I am not ruling myself out of the game completely but, for now, I have many other priorities which I need to pursue. Frankly, I am distracted from music by needing sort out ‘life’. Once I get settled into a new home and re-build a small studio (my current one is dismantled and packed up), then maybe I’ll get the urge to pick up where I left off.
02-) What is your favourite DM album after you left?
AW: Probably ‘Ultra’. I like certain tracks like ‘Barrel Of A Gun’ and ‘Home’. The souped-up mastering puts me off listening however. In fact all the albums since then have been so massively compressed (the loudness war), that I find there is a huge sonic mallet which hits you in the face before you even get to the music itself. I doubt the group are themselves responsible for that aspect - more likely orders from above.
03-) What is the weirdest thing a fan has done for you?
AW: There have been many obsessives who followed us around. I get a lot of very odd letters of course - Brazilian transvestites & Eastern Europeans who compose their fantasies (via Google translate
tend to be the most disturbing correspondences! I remember one of them wanted play a "game of cat & rat". A few slightly older fans have named their children Alan, some have camped outside my home dressed top-to-tail in black leather during the sweltering heat of mid-summer. I found one which had entirely melted into a pool of plastic. Not particularly weird but many have gone to great lengths by getting involved in my project (which is much appreciated) either through promotion, running Recoil sites, providing film & art, promoting events, investing in items from my memorabilia auction and so on. Someone recently bought my Mercedes and another threatened, in all seriousness, to actually buy my house (but didn’t come through
04-) Why did you decide to stop contributing lyrics after 'Some Great Reward’?
AW: Every time I wrote lyrics down, I would read them back and think they sounded naive, stupid, unpoetic. I guess my self censorship was too strict and that never allowed me to express myself in that way. I like writing prose but I just didn’t think my lyrics had any worth and decided not to focus on something which wasn’t sitting comfortably with me. Experimenting with sound, orchestration, arrangement & production techniques all felt far more exciting and rewarding. I’m a fool really because publishing is where the money is! You don’t get any extra cash for production when you’re in the band...
05-) What is the greatest compliment another musician has given you? Who said it?
AW: Gary Numan’s always saying lovely things (bless him), about Recoil and especially in connection with ‘SOFAD' which he cited as instigating a career-changing revelation for him. Trent Reznor apparently was quite impressed with ‘Liquid’ and went on to use it as his intro music before all his shows on one particular NIN tour. Can’t think of any others right now.
06-) Why did you pick the name Recoil? What is its significance?
AW: No great significance really - I just liked the sound of the word. ‘Recoil' : meaning 'to be thrown back, from an impact or violent thrust, perhaps in fear' seemed to fit exactly with the general effect I’d like the music to have. In other words I want all Recoil music to create a reaction in the listener rather than blandly wash over them.
07-) What is your favourite childhood memory?
AW: Standing at the school end at Loftus Road watching QPR from the late ‘60s/'70s. My heroes then were Rodney Marsh and, particularly, the legend that is Stan Bowles - but it was the whole evocative atmosphere which really captured my imagination, the cramped ground filled with expectant fans, floodlights shining through mist & rain, muddy pitches, the smell of cigar smoke, wagon wheels (dodgy confectionary of the period), drooling over a freshly printed footy programme. I used to go with my father Albert and our next door neighbour, ‘Uncle' Bill. Other memories include running around our family room, beside myself with excitement, singing ‘Baby Baby’ at age 4 or 5 having been given a big red plastic guitar for Xmas. My earliest - cracking my head open on the back step of our house in Acton followed by my frantic mother holding me over the kitchen sink while pouring blood! I still have a scar from that 50 years later. Not exactly a ‘fave’ memory but the first (see photo circa 1962/63).
Hope that’s ok!