feb 23rd 2003 - email interview with Gaverick De Vis by SEB WOOd
Can you introduce yourself and can you briefly sum up Giddy Motors’ history so far ?? How did you sign to Fat Cat ??
I'm Gaverick De Vis, my associates are Manu Ros and Gordon Ashdown. Guitar/Vocals, Drums/Triggers and Bass respectively.
Manu and I killed the band we were in together before this one and so began Giddy Motors in the early months of 1999. After a lot of hard work and trouble with bassists - Manu and I recorded the album by ourselves - we finally arrive at where we are today with young Gordon filling up the bass boots.
The signing to Fat Cat happened because they were one of the first labels to show interest in our demo. At the time they were only interested in signing us for a 12" and we had an offer from American label Ace Fu to do an album. Well we didn't want to rush into anything so we took some time to weigh up our options. In the end we released a single with Ace Fu and ended up signing to Fat Cat a year or so later on the eve of our going to Chicago to record the album.
Among other influences (Jesus Lizard, Refused, Fantomas…), in my opinion there is a great Shellac influence in your music. Is this a reason why you chose Steve Albini to record ‘Make it Pop’ ??
I'd have to disagree with you on that. I think their influence is quite minimal. If you were to A-B a Shellac record against Make It Pop I don't think you could really say they were similar at all. Of course we are fans of his work but maybe someone like yourself sees parallels which we might not. I suppose there are so many levels in music on which to draw comparisons it's very difficult to know where in particular you see them when talking in a magazine interview without being hopelessly pedantic. However Steve Albini's recording techniques and musical ethics are very appealing which is why we wanted to work with him.
Some of your songs have very ragged structures and sort of a jazz aspect sometimes (‘Hit Cap’ for example) which is counterbalanced by heavy passages. Do you think originality in indie music is now much more submitted to idiosyncratic structures than before ??
I suppose a band like Fantômas has taken this concept to the extreme, but I don't find those extremes that appealing. As far as our structuring process goes for the most part it's very organic and we still want to maintain the element of song. Hit Cap for instance was for the most part written by Manu and I out of the blue in rehearsals in one take.
Is ‘Magmanic’ a reference to Magma ?? Are you into this kind of 70’s music (Magma, Soft Machine, etc.) ??
Well, there is a slight nod to Magma yes, but the song doesn't really have anything to do with them. Manu has been a Magma fan for a long time and when I first met him he introduced me to them and it blew my mind apart. We're not really heavily into the Seventies progrock scene but there are a couple of bands from that era which produced some amazing records.
Who did the artwork of the album ?? I think the birds having their heads separated from their body and looking like boxes containing a hand grenade or a teargas grenade or whatever it is, somehow echoes the structures of your songs…
Yes like you say the artwork was supposed to suggest a sense of what you might receive inside and was also supposed to show our sense of humour. The objects inside the birds necks are in fact spark plugs. This whole package was created by Dave Thomas at Fat Cat and myself.
Your way of singing is quite particular. It reminds me David Yow, Steve Albini but at the same time it also makes me think of Mark E Smith and Johnny Rotten (circa PIL’s beginning in the 80s). Who is the one you feel closer to ??
I do my best to stand alone but I guess it's impossible to not draw comparisons somewhere. I do admire and hold great respect for all of them but the only comparison I'd like people to draw is passion.
On ‘Magmanic ep’ there is a hidden cover of a traditional German song. Why did you chose to do this cover and what is the song about ??
Again it's just a side of our humour creeping out, but it's also quite interesting putting this children's song in a different context. It's basically about a young boy who leaves home to see the world, and his mother gets upset because she's worried about him and then he comes back all safe and sound. Ahhh.
What is to happen next with Giddy Motors ??
We're about to start a world tour which will begin towards the end of April and possibly end around early July. Then depending on how things go we will try and record our second record before the end of the year.
Do you have other projects apart from Giddy Motors ??
No, we're all one band men.
OK, now here are some offhand, stupid and smart questions at the same time:
‘Was you ever bit by a dead bee ??’
No, but I have shat by a gnat.
How do you look like wearing a tuxedo ??
I look like Roger Moore's brother.
What’s your favourite chord ??
Malaysian jungle twine.
Who is Ryan O’Reilly ??
A funky chickenhead ?
Who’s kicking out the jams ??
Which Hollywood star would you most like to date (dead or alive) ??
Francis Farmer. But just dig her up and brush her down and we'll liquor up and hit the town.
Spinal Tap or Guns’n’roses ??
Back ache or ear ache?
Since when has America gone wrong ??
It probably has something to do with July 4th, but what do I know.
Are you a manic record collector ??
I'm more even paced with a methodical axis.
Who’s the fattest cat ??