01. Why did you start in this business we call show?
Sam – played the guitar as a teenager and been in bands since
Joe – I can’t draw, dance or act.
Karl – I learnt violin at School from about 6 years old and guitar from about 7, and just kind of stuck at it and found making music and playing to be a compulsion and something I believe is good for oneself mentally and spiritually, a way to exorcise your personal demons or to celebrate the best of the world.
02. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Sam – lots of things. but at the bottom of it all, running through everything, it’s probably romantic pop music.
Joe – Being locked in rhythm
Karl – the world around us is a constant source of inspiration, reality is so complex and beautiful and also so gritty and harsh. Almost everyone I’ve ever met is a big ball of compassion and love, and yet there seems such capacity for selfishness and cruelty.
03. What is your favourite swear word?
Sam – tosser.
Joe – Oh fuck off
Karl – swear words are weird because I don’t really believe that any particular words can have some innate illicitness to them. That said I appreciate the ability to spit a word out between my teeth as a release of frustration, and in the spirit of that, I suppose the ubiquitous applicability of “fuck” has to come out on top.
04. What would have been the worst possible day for you to sleep through the alarm?
Joe – The last time I slept through my alarm. It’s always annoying no matter when. That’s why I set five alarms, ten mins apart.
Karl – I have such a passive-aggressive relationship with my alarm clock that I like to believe that I have a slept through the best days out there. It’s either that or some trite about marriage or the birth of my child, neither of which was regulated by an alarm clock.
05. Presley or Costello?
Sam – Costello, who was a huge influence on me and continues to be. I’d probably be better if it had been Presley though.
Joe – Costello
Karl – if I try to take them each as a whole it has to be Presley, even though I would say that I prefer the music of Costello. That is, Costello produced 3 great albums and several others that someone will always tell you are worth it, personally nothing after Armed Forces. But Presley was an embodiment of so much, of a sexual energy in music bursting out into mainstream consciousness. He was “The King Of Rock N Roll” and yet he died, fat from fast food, of a prescription drug cocktail, in a gilded bathroom bigger than some one-bed flats I’ve had. In his youth, he was a vibrant and energetic singer with a great voice. But he was also, from what I know, a not especially bright country boy, who didn’t write his own music and was a puppet of his management. He was an absolute icon of his times encapsulating so much more than what he achieved. So holistically it has to be Presley even though I probably only feel strongly about half a dozen to a dozen songs he played, whilst Costello did some great work, and more importantly, he produced one of the greatest albums ever in Rum, Sodomy and The Lash.
06. What was the one gig (yours or someone else’s) that made time still for you?
Sam – I once played a show to a drunk crowd on a bank holiday at The Frog and Parrot in Sheffield. Time was still – because it felt like the show would never end.
Joe – Maybeshewill – 2000 trees festival 2012
Karl – Spiritualised, at Reading Festival 2002. I was 16, I was probably pretty drunk and stoned, I’d left the people I was with as they were off to see someone like Pearl Jam (I don’t quite remember). And Spiritualised were just fuzzed up, hypnotic and heavy. It was the first time I’d heard the Spacemen 3 song Take Me To The Other Side and reality just paused. I think everything might have changed from then onwards. This might all be a dream in that moment.
07. What sound or noise do you love?
Sam – leather on willow.
Joe – The awkward premature clap from an audience member in a break halfway through a song.
Karl – I love all sounds but a few choices would be 1) the sound of a guitar as it just tips into feedback, the sense that the instrument is playing itself. 2) the sound of water, probably on a beach if I had to choose, the wash and schlop of the water but also the way it moves and alters other textures and how other sound sources change as the source gets submerged by water. 3) the sound of creaking metal, the scratch and strain it emits, so non-human and yet so emotional. And finally, the sound of children’s laughter.
08. It’s 3am. The promoter stole all the money. Two people turned up to the gig. Your name is spelled wrong on the poster. It’s raining. What makes you get up tomorrow and do it all over again?
Sam – the chance to get revenge on the promoter.
Joe – It’s always fun and probably beats walking home in the rain with six pounds
Karl – there was money for the promoter to steal??? I suppose I am under some compulsion to make music and I’d probably do it regardless of playing gigs ever again. I’d still play and record at home.
09. Where do all the odd socks go?
Sam – on odd holidays.
Joe – The abyss.
Karl – they never existed, you imagined it.
10. What will it say on your tombstone?
Sam – Here Lies The Emperors Of Ice Cream It’s Weird They All Wanted To Be Buried Together Isn’t It?
Joe – Why is IT sitting on my tombstone?
Karl – I think I probably won’t have one. I’m not really into the sense of “forever” that a tombstone is meant to embody. Once I’m gone I’m gone.
You can find The Emperors Of Ice Cream here: