Sutton, Sounds (?), 1977/78)
got to write a hit single. That's my next job.'
Strange, now looking relatively normal - hair merely hannaed
instead of lurid blue - sprawls on a Polydor settee and considers
the future of the Doctors (of Madness) with confident assurance.
got to write one because we've been where we are on the ladder
for so long. We've been in the same place for nine months and
I think we deserve better.'
optimism is apparently undiminished by the recent departure
of Urban Blitz, whose anguished guitar and violin gave the Doctors'
music its sharp, neurotic edge.
are no immediate plans to replace him. Encouraged by the success
of their recent German visit without Blitz, the band intends
to work as a three piece, at least until the summer.
was a bit unnerving to realise two days before you go away that
you're going to be doing the tour as a three piece,' Kid recalls.
'But the response was just outrageously good - far in excess
of anything we've got in Germany before. And it was obvious
why the energy level and the intensity level and the commitment
level didn't just go up by 25 per cent, because we were 25 per
cent down. It went up 150 per cent, because there were three
of us really bouncing off each other and knowing that everything
we did had to be that intense or people would say there should
be a violin solo there.'
Strange, drummer Peter DiLemma and bass guitarist Stoner will
make their first trip to the USA later this month, returning
to tour Britian and Europe in the Spring. They'll complete promotion
of their forthcoming album before bringing in any new players.
new album, 'Sons of Survival', to be released in March, contains
Urban Blitz's last work with the Doctors.
Explains the split: 'What happened was, when we recorded the
album, he started to freak out on a personal level, he became
unmanageable on a one-to-one, or three-to-one basis. The saving
grace about all that was, as it happened, he was playing the
best he's ever played. So that with the disintegration of him
as a quarter of the band, the nervous energy he was putting
in has made what I think is a stupendous record. As soon as
he'd done his bits, the backing tracks and any overdubs, that
was it, he wasn't interested in mixing or cutting.
it was a three piece Doctors of Madness who saw the album through
to completion. 'I'm just happy that the split came after rather
than before he'd done his greatest work with us. I think it's
perfect that the band changes after this album, bdecause this
album crystallised what we've been working towards for 2 and
a half years anyway.
quick preview of an acetate of 'Sons of Survival' shows the
album to be lot more immediate than the previous two, generally
more uptempo and wih a fairly 'live' sound and feel. Apart from
a couple of guitar solos, Urban's contributions are mostly violin
- as nagging, raw-nerved and neurotic as always.
never been a particularly close band socially,' Kid informs
me, 'but there's always been a tacit relationship which is based
on a common focus. That focus went for him, and it got so he
was just turning up for gigs and going home after them. The
three of us really developed in that period.'
clearly his presence will be missed on stage, and there are
plans to fill some of the musical gaps with electronics and
really excited by the idea of doing that. Its been explored
so little, and its somthinbg i've always wanted the Doctors
of Madness to get more into. I think what we'll use is sound,
sound effects, and electronics... just use sound in a very absract
way, where the fourth instrument is demanded.
might seem like replacing Urban Blitz with a machine, but Kid
is dead against getting in a new member just now.
like stepping into a dead man's shoe - what is the point of
getting a new guy in, and before you can let him develop at
all, you say, right, this is what the old guy did. I just want
to see this album through, and then say time for another change.
If three people can get the spirit of what's on the album over,
that's much more important than the notes.'