FANTOMAS

9/29/2004 - interview by Brandon

LP: YOU GUYS STARTED THE TOUR 4 DAYS AGO, SO FAR HOW HAS THE CROWD RESPONSE BEEN?

 

T Dunn: Ah it's been good. It's really been good.

 

LP: BECAUSE I READ A PATTON INTERVIEW ONLINE SAYING THAT YOU GUYS WERE GOING TO CREATE A SET WHERE IF THE CROWD WAS REALLY SHITTY AND WEREN'T FEELING WHAT YOU WERE DOING THE SET WAS GOING TO CONSIST OF REALLY SOFT AMBIENT STUFF TO PISS THEM OFF. IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THAT AND IF SO, HAS IT COME INTO EFFECT YET?

 

T Dunn: Haha, no I mean, we pretty much have the predetermined sets that we go out and do each night and they are kind of a combination of some of the ambient stuff and some of the older stuff as well as some newer stuff that hasn't been released yet.

 

LP: SOME OF THE NEW TRACKS OFF SUSPENDED ANIMATION?

 

T Dunn: Yea, we are playing a couple of things. You know, we just decide what the sets going to be and go out and play. We don't really read the audience or anything like that.

 

LP: HOW WELL DID FANTOMAS GO OVER IN A RESTAURANT ENVIRONMENT? WAS IT JUST A BUNCH OF FAMILIES ON VACATION THAT DIDN'T KNOW WHO YOU WERE OR WAS IT A TYPICAL CLUB ENVIRONMENT?

 

T Dunn: It was more like a club show just outdoors and believe it or not it actually sounded really good out there. But then there was a restaurant attached and I am sure there were people eating inside who didn't really give a shit about us.

 

LP: I WAS WONDERING BECAUSE I SAW SOME RANDOM JAZZ BAND THERE A YEAR

OR SO AGO WHILE I WAS TRYING TO EAT SOME RIBS AND I JUST THOUGH HOW

CRAZY IT WOULD BE IF I WAS A NORMAL FAMILY UNIT TRYING TO EAT AND HEARING

FANTOMAS IN THE NEXT ROOM.

 

T Dunn: Yea, well we invited the people to come outside and bring their BBQ in the

moshpit, haha.

 

LP: ACTUALLY A FRIEND OF MINE WAS AT THE SHOW LAST NIGHT AND HE SAID YOU

OPENED UP WITH THE GODFATHER THEME AND THEN PRETTY MUCH PLAYED THE

FIRST TWENTY MINUTES OF THE FIRST FANTOMAS ALBUM. HOW LONG ARE THE

CURRENT SETS RUNNING AND HOW ARE PEOPLE REACTING TO THE NEW SONGS

FROM THE LATEST RECORD?

 

T Dunn: Our sets are running just under an hour, and I think were doing numbers 1-5 and 23-27 from the first record. Its pretty even balanced between that stuff and the new stuff and you know, as far as I can tell, I'm not really a judge in terms of how the audience is reacting. I'm just concentrating more on what I'm doing rather than watching the crowd. But overall the responses have been going really well.

 

LP: WHAT'S THE ACTUAL STATUS WITH "SUSPENDED ANIMATION"? ANY KIND OF DIRECTION OR RELEASE DATE SET YET?

 

T Dunn: Well the records finished and I think it's going to come out like early next year.

 

LP: I HEARD IT'S A DOUBLE DISC?

 

T Dunn: No we recorded this one with another disc coming out later at the same time, so maybe that's where you got that info. We just recorded two albums at once with two different release dates.

 

LP: I ALWAYS HEARD THAT FROM DAY 1 FANTOMAS WAS MIKE'S BRAINCHILD AND THAT HE WOULD WRITE THE ENTIRE RECORD AND BRING IT TO THE BAND MEMBERS TO RECORD AND HELP FILL IN THE GAPS. IS THAT PRETTY MUCH HOW THE PROCESS WORKS OR DOES EVERONE HAVE HIS EQUAL SHARE?

 

T Dunn: He pretty much has the clear idea of the direction of the music and he will give us demo versions of them and we will work on them, but its definitely all his vision.

 

LP: THE NEW RECORD HAS ALREADY OUT SHIPPED DIRCTORS CUT, WHICH SEEMS ODD CONSIDERING DIRECTORS CUTS ARE A LOT EASIER TO DIGEST THAN THE NEWEST RECORD. DID THE ALBUM SALES CATCH YOU OFF GUARD A BIT?

 

T Dunn: Haha, yea it completely caught us off guard, in fact I am surprised anyone decided to review the record at all. In fact I thought everyone was going to hate it myself. 

 

LP: HAHA, NICE! ANY PLANS FOR ANOTHER LIVE RECORD LIKE THE FANTOMAS/MELVINS DISC?

 

T Dunn: No plans really. That group doesn't really play that often so I doubt there would be any plans for it in the future really.

 

LP: WHAT'S UP WITH YOUR SIDE PROJECT, THE TRIO CONVULSANT? YOU GUYS GOT ANY PLANS TO PUT OUT SOME NEW ALBUMS SOON?

 

T Dunn: Yea in fact I just finished a new record that's going to come out on Ipecac this summer.

 

LP: WHAT KIND OF DIRECTION IS IT GOING IN?

 

T Dunn: Its kind of in the same direction as the other stuff but hopefully going a step further, as far as I can tell, you know being inside it but yea, it's a different lineup, but going great and we are going to do a tour with the Melvins in the fall.

There are certain things in the vast realm of recorded music that are easy to digest or accept, forms of music created solely for listeners who don't require much thinking when listening to a record. After all, there are reasons why pop country and Casey Casem's Top Forty exist. On the other hand we are greeted with music that can at times be hard to digest and take in, music that can be extraordinarily gorgeous yet confusing to the listeners ears all at the same time. A form of music than can soothe someone to sleep yet make them shit there pants at the same time. This is the kind of music that Fantomas has been known to create. For the past few years Fantomas has inched there way from a small club band to a full on cult classic super group of the underground experimental metal scene. They have continued to up the ante with each album progressing further and further down a stranger route with each album, yet somehow managing to grasp even more fans the stranger they get. Touring to promote there most commercial success yet, "Delirium Cordia". I caught up with bass player Trevor Dunn, while Fantomas were traveling across the bare landscape of a typical Texas afternoon, armed with nothing more than a cell phone, whoopee cushion and thirty minutes of his time to let LP pick his brain.

LINKS:     Ipecac Records