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The Peace & Freedom Magazine V-Sor, X Interview

(Originally appeared in Peace & Freedom, Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer 1987)

V-Sor, X are a classy five-piece outfit from Arsenal country, or Highbury to you non-football fans. Here Morgan Bryan, the Mick Jagger, i.e: the frontman of the band, expounds on life, sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, or summit like that.

Obvious starter - how did the band get together?

The band has been formed on several occasions, but this version is the most potent form of V-Sor, X. I was offered a gig, and had only Alastair (drummer) as musical companion. Jackie stepped in, initially for only one! We played as a three piece (keyboards, drums, guitar, vocals). then came Alex, and a while later, Dave. All friends from different points of my history, except Dave, who I met in the local laundrette!

What were the major "happenings in the early stages?

Unfortunately, none. We've kicked and punched at what seems to be trendy indifference. If you don't sound just like a well-known band, the so-called fashionable set don't know what to do. Always wait to see who laughs at a joke before you join in. Anyway, I'm glad to say we're getting through at last.

Where did the name come from?

I've never been seen to call a band after well-known objects or places. If we were called "Bloodstream Cacti", it would say something about us that we aren't. If we were called "The Metal Maniacs", what would you think? V-Sor, X was chosen from a random selection of letters.

Have you found London as good a base as you had hoped?

Definitely not. It's easier to get gigs than other areas, but far easier to lose money, even if you've got a good crowd, as the overheads are higher. The attitude amongst musicians is tepid and fraught with jealousy. I don't hold wild their attitude. I see no-one as competition, as we all offer different goods (or should be).

Lyrically, you seem deep - how do you regard your contemporaries in that department?

I enjoy lyrics that aren't immediate. Other musicians plump for the easy option; saves time, saves thought. I love hearing well-crafted lyrics, but it is often difficult to judge lyrics until you meet the lyricist. Some musicians can make drivel sound like genuine emotion. Also different lines click with different people.

Which "underground" bands do you feel an affinity with?

No-one in particular. It is a time of great fluctuation for most bands. The charts are littered with bands, who were once admired. I like things about the Wolfgang Press, Wire, Cocteaus, The Yes Men, Tuxedomoon, and various others, but wouldn't necessarily associate V-Sor, X with them.

What notable media coverage have you had to date?

A bit of radio play (Beacon 303, Radio Stoke, Mercia Sound, Radio victory and Radio Eirean). A good deal of local press, but the one national review we got was out only duffer. Of course, I don't mind bad reviews, I just quit music and cry for a few days.

How important do you feel good production is - as you seem to have a very clean sound?

It has worked to our disadvantage, as we put a lot of time into making side A of "Cue" a full, professional sound. Unfortunately, a lot of the inherent aggression was subsequently removed. It is hard to get a happy medium. Being an independent/underground group doesn't mean that you have to totally ignore studio technique. If the songs are important (as are ours0, then you want it to be heard in its best light.

In commercial terms, when would you class yourselves as successful?

Personally speaking, when I can hear the music that the band and I write being played widely. I know Alex is very keen on performing (he's a show-off), so he probably has different ambitions. Money is something we never strive for, although we wouldn't throw it away.

What projects will you be working on in '87?

The most pressing commitment is releasing a single; also to play in other parts of Britain and Europe. Due to illness and Jackie leaving the band, we've had an enforced period of inactivity, but I have good feelings about '87.

V-Sor, X Music Reviews

Cue (Dox Music)

8 tracks of subtle, high class electronic music from this northern, but now southern-based band. Poetical lyrics another plus. Free booklet included.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 4, Summer/Autumn 1986

X-Cue (Dox Music)

Another class 45. It never ceases to amaze me the quality of songwriting and playing by a lot of indie bands/performers, and it is also a source of irritation that guys and gals with real talent get ignored for poseurs who have no talent, apart from looking jolly nice on video. Anyway, onto the single. The production is very impressive - nice harmonies, nifty guitar and bass, solid backbeat, jumpy synth. Herb Alpert eat your heart out on some groovy brass. The B-side "Bare Stares" is also a juicy number. Both written by Morgan Bryan; he and his band should really already be big. Let's hope it's not long away.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 5, No. 3, Spring/Summer 1988

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