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The Peace & Freedom Magazine The Mystery Girls Interview
The Mystery Girls interviewed by Paul Rance for Peace & Freedom, No. 1, January 1985
The Mystery Girls are an emerging London-based band whose debut LP is out this month (January). T.V. appearances have obviously enhanced their credibility.
What follows is an i/view with Simon of the band.
Will your forthcoming LP be radically different to your set?
MG: I don't think our LP will be radically different. Most of the songs, if not all will appear on it. We will just spend more time and money to ensure that all the songs reach their full potential.
What do you prefer -- recording or gigging?
MG: Studio work is often great fun and sometimes we discover new angles with which to approach songs. Live work can also be exciting and it's nice to be close to your audience and to reach the people that have written to you. Both have their drawbacks, though, and it's better for me to switch between the two.
Has T.V. exposure helped as much as you had hoped?
MG: T.V. exposure is great; it really has helped the band much more than I had hoped. People recognise you in the street and other people in the music business take your band and you more seriously.
Do you think appearance is important?
MG: Appearance is important to me, but I don't think it is important within Rock & Roll in general. I care about the way I look, but I don't care about how the people in other bands look.
What has been your biggest gig?
MG: Our largest gig so far was probably The Camden Palace. We have never supported any bands, so we've always played for our own audience.
Who are your favourite current performers and your influences?
MG: My favourite current artists are Prince (mainly the 1919 L.P.), Michael Jackson and G.M.M.M. & The Furious Five. My influences go right back to the 50s; Gene Vincent, Elvis, etc. Others include Hendrix, Bowie, Marc Bolan, Roxy Music, The Sex Pistols and The Clash -- to name a few. I like all types of pop music just so long as it's good.
What is your opinion of the music industry from your own experiences?
MG: The music business is very large and covers many aspects from record sleeves to Kiss pinball machines. The industry is very strange since nobody is really sure what a good product is.
In most other big industries it is possible to assess the value of a company's product, with car manufacturers, for instance. "Which" magazine or some T.V. show person test drive the car and then tell any possible consumer whether the car is any good or not. With music, reviews are meaningless, since they are so varied from magazine to magazine.
The only way a consumer can find out whether a record is very good or not is by hearing it. Unfortunately the powers that be don't make it possible for the public to hear all the records released. A select number of records are played to the public and the majority are never heard. This brings rise to an enormous promotions industry within the music business. As a result of the fact that many people never get to hear many records that are released there becomes a need to talk about these records that only journalists have heard.
To clarify all this... There is a lot of unnecessary talk that goes on that people, through ignorance, not of their own making, are unable to contradict. Magazines such as Zig Zag are always singing the praises of some terrible band that nobody has heard of and will never hear of again.
Has any member of the band been in other groups?
MG: Zog has been in two bands; Frank Explicate and The Unretouched Photographs, and The Wobbly Jellies.
Who writes the material?
MG: Bob and I write all the songs in the band.
Do you suffer from nerves before a live gig?
MG: I always get nervous before live gigs. So many things can go wrong.
Thanks to Simon for answering all the various questions.
1985 will see a Mystery Girls tour and after listening to two of their tracks "Boogie Then Cry" and "Revenge of the Fire Monsters" it should be a great year for them.
"Boogie" is a good tune containing, especially notable, pleasant sax and fine vocals. Also the instrumental midway through stands out.
"Revenge" is a more gutsy track with seering guitar, pumping bass and tinny percussion. My favourite track of the two. Love the eerie (Tutankhamun inspired?) beginning. Singalong in excelsis.
|The Mystery Girls Are:|
|Zog||Drum machine and saxaphone|
|Bob Girl||Vocals and synthesizer|
|Simon Girl||Guitar and tuned percussion|
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