Music Interview: Cassetteboy

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 102 months ago
Music Interview: Cassetteboy

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Ever wanted to be a film-maker? The London Recut project is allowing budding Spielbergs to create their own cinematic masterpieces using their online archive of all things London from the 1920s onwards which can be combined with your own uploaded footage. Entries have to be in by midnight June 13 after which the public can vote for their favourite entry until June 20.

We took some time out to talk to Cassetteboy who will be helping to judge the entries. Mike Bollen (MB) is one half of Cassetteboy and author of Earth Inc. Steve Warlin (SW) is the other half, a musician and a part-time cable car enthusiast. Together, they are famed for audio mashups and Youtube hits like The Bloody Apprentice (NSFW).

Take it away, chaps...

How and why did you get involved with this year's London Recut project?

MB: They sent us a message on Youtube. We get lots of messages on Youtube, generally from people asking us to do adverts for them, or from BNP members threatening to kick our heads in. LondonRecut was much more appealing.

Our videos are generally on the wrong side of copyright law, so we like to support people who have found a way of manipulating existing footage legitimately.

What will you be looking for in the LondonRecut entries? How would you feel about videos which may have a controversial viewpoint?

MB: I have no idea what to expect from the Recut entries, so I think I’m going into it with a completely open (some would say empty) mind. I’m hoping to find films that I can engage with, either because they are interesting, funny, surprising, all that stuff. And I suppose if an entry manipulates the footage in an original way, that’s going to provoke my “professional” curiosity.

If a controversial viewpoint or subject matter inspires a good film, then brilliant, for example Chris Morris’s Four Lions. If someone’s trying to be controversial or edgy or dark just to shock, then it’s a bit boring, a bit early 2000s.

What do you think about fan-made videos of your own audio material?

SW: A lot of our fans have strong brave streaks in their character and we commend anyone who tackles the drudgery of intricate editing. We met one fan who was so brave he had started to paint half of his face blue like Mel Gibson in that film.

MB: Well, our material is all made of stuff we’ve stolen anyway. It’s a bit annoying when people pass off our work as their own, but what can you do? There’s no point in objecting, we don’t have a leg to stand on. If we do have legs, it’s only because we’ve nicked them from Alan Shearer and Noel Edmonds.

What are you up to at the moment?

SW: We’re currently working on another batch of homebrew after our last batch exploded! No seriously this is true. We had a huge batch of homebrew in the cellar and it decided to go mental one morning and slowly throughout the day one by one the bottles started to explode!

MB: I’m ruing the fact that I’ve watched 6 episodes of Ross Kemp on Gangs, and still haven’t made him say anything funny.

What is your connection to London? Various sources cite your hometown as Chelmsford and that you are from Brighton.

SW: Actually I now live in Frobishire in the Button Dales, having previously lived in the places that you correctly mention. It’s great because it’s so quiet. I find it very tranquil and we get much more done in the quiet peaceful surroundings of Frobishire.

MB: I’ve just returned to London after an absence of nearly ten years. It makes you feel big and important, even though you’re not.

I’m mainly based in my flat, in front of my computer, watching TV shows over and over again. So it doesn’t matter that much where I am.

However, sexy stalkers/BNP thugs might like to know that I live in trendy Stoke Newington. It’s good cos Stoke Newington High Street feels like proper grimy London, but if that gets too much you can swan off down Church Street and immerse yourself in a farmers-market-organic-couscous-and-ethical-shoes dream world.

Frobishire’s much better.

Have you seen or heard of the StarWarsUncut project? If you had free choice over which 15-second clip of Star Wars to remake, what would you choose?

SW: It would be the scene where the emperor kills Samuel L Jackson.

MB: I have heard of it, it’s a brilliant idea, but I haven’t seen the finished version yet. I’d love to remake the scene when Chewbacca finally kisses C-3PO.

Where do you stand on piracy?

SW: For years we thought that piracy was a 14th century phenomenon but what with the rise of the new breed of Somalian pirates the blah blah blah…insert serious answer here. I.E we don’t like internet piracy because we don’t get any money but we like internet piracy because we get lovely free music and films.

MB: Whatever your stance on piracy, don’t stand in front of it because it can’t be stopped.

We’ve lost money because people download our albums for nothing, but then again we could never have made those albums without pirating all the source material in the first place. I try not to think about, and distract myself by downloading the latest episode of Parks and Recreation. ·

What's your favourite London venue?

SW:What’s that massive place in Camden that always smells of Dettol called? I like that place.

MB:My favourite night is Popcorn Comedy, so I like wherever that happens to be.

Can you think of an unusual London location that should open itself up for gigs?

MB: When they’ve got rid of all the bendy buses they should weld them all together and make a long, thin, hellish venue that kills cyclists.

What other new London bands / artists should we be checking out?

SW: One of the best new bands I’ve heard recently is a Scottish band called Marchioness. They have a really big sound. Also Peach Swallower have a couple of rocking tunes but their album is patchy.

MB: DJ Rubbish, Prince of Peckham.

What's your London secret?

SW: Go to Nunhead cemetery in South London which is a brilliant place anyway. When you arrive, if you break through the fence on the western side of the cemetery, you can access a fantastic disused Victorian reservoir which has brilliant views across the city and is full of wild flowers.

MB: Between Shoreditch and London Bridge, a woman can jog faster than the 149 bus. It’s true, I saw it with my own eyes.

You’ve said before that you’re averse to gigs in London but will you be gigging anywhere in the capital this year?

SW: No we’re just averse to gigs full stop. We are due to play at Glastonbury though.

MB: A gig has to be pretty special to tempt us out of retirement. We’re playing at Glastonbury this year because we wanted to go to Glastonbury; apart from that the gig diary is empty until Glastonbury 2011.

We’ve always said we’d do any gig that would transport us to the show in a helicopter, so if there’s any promoters reading this, that’s a good angle to try.

The complete lowdown on London Recut can be seen here.

Last Updated 11 June 2010