Jim Thirlwell/Foetus






"I hate doing interviews. I think it's disgusting, it's just something that seems to have to happen. I hate the idea of going through the treadmill and being processed. Well, that's the extreme interpretation of it but the fact is, I've been totally unknown and ignored, people start doing interviews and photo sessions with me and then the public start to notice. That makes me sick, why didn't they take notice before? That's why I've always said to you, no, I don't want to do an interview but I've made the first step now so I may as well go through with it."

This is said with the tone of a resigned-to-ritual parachutist who realises he's forgotten to strap on his chute but leaps from the plane anyway. The speaker is Frank Want (that should perhaps be written 'Frank Want'). He is one of the identities behind Self Immolation, a corporation responsible for the release of records by such as You've Got Foetus On Your Breath (two LP's 'Deaf' and 'Ache'), Foetus Over Frisco (a wonderful 12-inch single called 'Custom Built For Capitalism'), Philip And His Foetus Vibrations and Foetus Under Glass (a single a piece).

Beneath the surface noise, the Foetus phenomenon is riddled with strange truths, bizarre unrealities and a rapidly evolving mythology. Readers may do well to bear in mind the phrase 'ambiguous flirtation'.

"We've never wanted a public image. No one could look at the group and say 'they've got this haircut and those trousers and therefore the music must sound like this'. I found myself in a record shop, picking a record out of the rack, thinking that the cover looked interesting. Then I turned it over and seeing the band had long hair, put it back immediately. That's disgusting. With Foetus there is nothing to judge us on apart from the record."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


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