When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
Mick: We just picked up where we left off. As soon as Mark and I got together it was like no time had passed at all. Then the four of us together just clicked… It doesn’t really matter how many bands come or go – it’s about the chemistry in one room.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
Mick: Simplicity tends to appeal to us.. of course we’ve had the original designs to build on too…
Karl: The classic 1919 logo is very striking – I love it.
Mick: The songs are coming from the same place. You just write about the world around you.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know thst you have the right lyrics?
Rio: I usually start working on lyrics right as the music is emerging. I try to see what it’s saying to me from its embryonic form. Sometimes one of the others will have an idea for a theme and it pulls me in a certain way. But when the ideas are there I can start to refine them. I like lyrics to be able to stand alone on a page.
I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
Mick: We always design our releases with vinyl in mind.
Rio: I’d be disappointed to buy a new album without lyrics!
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the music you play?
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
Mick: I still sense a lot of loyalty to bands. But we need to keep being the best we can be out of loyalty to our fans
Karl: People have shown a lot of support to us in hard times recently, and we’ll always be grateful to them for it.
Rio: I love performing live, but being able to meet people afterwards is one of the best parts of the night for me. We owe them so much.
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
Mick: Not at all. As you say, we’re just a click away from discovering new acts. That can’t be a bad thing.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
Karl: It’s easier to tour today! There isn’t a middle man.
Mick: Even with Ship of Fools in the early ’90s, we knew one guy with a mobile phone. He was the guy who put gigs on. It’s all in our hands now.
Rio: A couple of people help us out with bookings, but for the most part we do everything ourselves. That’s booking, management, even licensing music out for release. There are a lot of positives about that, even if it can be hard work.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
Mick. Theatrical! Red curtains, spotlights, the lot. I love all that stuff.
Karl: Jugglers and fire.
Rio: I’d have Dynamo as a set designer. Illusions, magic, mirrors… Or go full Artaud and incorporate taste and smell into the act somehow.
What does the future hold?
Mick: More music.
Karl: More tours.
Rio: More 1919.