|The Third Eye Foundation - an interview with Matt Elliot|
by Jake Hayes
note: this interview is mirrored here, with Jake's permission, from the original on the Pop Riot site.|
It's a cool site, so pay a visit.
In the current hierarchy of Bristol bands, the third Eye foundation form an uneasy link between the muggy
trip schlock of Tricky and the bald beats of Roni Size. Over the course of 5 albums, Matt Elliot (Bristol's Sly Stone)
has carved out his own unique niche, aping Jungle rhythms and twisting the trip hop template further than any of
Bristols more famous sons dared.
His work reached a crescendo with the release of Little lost soul on Domino records earlier this year. Youll already have heard some snippets from the album as they make up the audio background to Pop Riot. Its seriously disconcerting listening, depending on your mood its both unsettling and pure catharsis for the ears.
You might expect the creator of such envelope pushing avant-pop to be a po-faced Indie bore, but there is a huge element of humour and self-depreciation in both the music and its artwork. From inspired song titles: In Bristol with a Pistol and Youve lost that loving feline to the cheeky cover star of You guys kill me - Jesus Christ.
Jake Hayes met up with Matt to find out where he was planning to take the Third eye foundation next
What was going through your mind when you made Little lost soul?
When I first started, I wanted to make something along the lines of Joy Division, nobody seemed to be making miserable music anymore. And I think, with that album its as close as I could have got. But now Im thinking, no one wants to listen to miserable music, including myself, I listen to happy music. So Im re-evaluating all of that.
Its funny that you should say that, because theres a lot of miserable music about again, people like
Coldplay and Radiohead.
But its sort of Tescos miserable, nicely packaged miserable. I mean you take that Yellow song, what the fuck is that about? If you listen to it on a very surface level, the chords they choose are sad, but theres no real message in there. The only difference with me is Im at least being honest, theres no lyrics there to pinpoint the misery. Its just a general sort of sadness.
I also got the feeling with this album that youd reached a full stop. It really works as a cohesive whole
without referring to anything else.
I just threw all that away. I mean with You guys kill me, I was really trying to go for that weird Trip-hop thing, and that was the worst selling album of all of them weirdly, because I think that was the most commercial.
What are you listening to at the moment if its not Joy division any more?
P-Funk, almost exclusively, a bit of Rocksteady. Im really into positive music. When you listen to a Funkadelic album from the 70s its such a different concept to the way musics made now. Take that Coldplay album, it might not sound like it, but a lot of its sequenced. Its just a standard way of producing and engineering now its all done on pro-tools. You can almost hear the numbers in it.
But you work in a record shop, you must be impressed by some contemporary stuff.
The only thing Ive heard recently that Ive got a lot of respect for is Dangelos Voodoo. He spent 5 years making it, and you can actually hear that he spent 5 years making it, because every little part is so beautifully constructed. Hes obviously a man on a mission and he saw it through. Thats kind of what I wanna do on the next record. Its going to take more time, and Im going to put the hours in.
You are Bristol based, do you get frustrated by the pigeon-holing that comes with the territory?
Most people ask me the question, are you really upset because Massive and Portishead are famous and Im not? But Im not pissed off at all. They make pop music, I dont Id like to, but I dont and theyve changed pop music forever. Ive got the utmost respect for them, especially Tricky; he really pushed Pop music to its limits.
But you do work within a musical sphere yourself; there are bands youve collaborated with, like Movietone,
Crescent and Flying Saucer attack.
Yeah. Unfortunately most of the bands Ive worked with I end up falling out with. The problem with a lot of them is that once theyve made a record they end up turning into these funny people who assume theyre better than the rest of the world. Movietone are these lo-fi post-rockers who feel because theyre in this Jazz field theyre better than Massive Attack. But I dont want to bitch too much, cos I can bitch.
Lets not. More positively, we were talking before the interview about Chris Morris, the man behind Jam and Brass eye.
Is he a great influence?
A massive influence. Its just that we share a common goal in that if you cant do anything about the things you hate, then just attack them in a really vicious way. Weve got a very similar sense of humour. I think hes just about the funniest man thats ever existed, and hes used my music on his series Jam, which is just about the biggest compliment you could ever give to me, so Im happy.
This is a dirty word in Bristol, but any ambitions?
Not really, the only ambition Ive got is to have a lovely child, which hopefully I will be. Ever since Ive had the rock n roll lifestyle of touring around and being busy, all Ive wanted is a normal life. It seems weird, because most people sit working in a record shop thinking, "god Id love to be a famous musician." I did completely the opposite, and Im looking forward muchly to having a little kid, who I can show the world and the way that I see it.