Thurston Moore


Monday 30th October 2017

Thurston Joseph Michael Moore

Where are you from?
Coral Gables, Florida / Bethel, CT / NYC / Western MA / London.

What do you do?
Poetry / Music / Collage / Teach / Archive / Travel.

Describe your style?
Jeans, sneakers, button down shirt - preferably 2nd hand/vintage or irregulars.

If you could make a record with anyone from history?
I like playing and recording music with musicians devoted to free improvisation and/or experimental music. It would have been incredible to record with Sun Ra - synthesiser/electric guitar duo! He did whisper in my ear one night while he was parading through the audience, "Sing the Cosmos Song!"

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
When we asked Nirvana to tour with us in Europe they complied and we began in Cork, Ireland. They had just employed Dave Grohl as a drummer and from the first moment of their set I knew I was at the best gig in the universe. The first song they played was 'Drain You' and as soon as the drums kicked in after Kurt's vocal intro it was...nirvana.

What music icons inspire your sound today?
Billie Holiday for her dignity and earth/soul passion. Jimi Hendrix for his almost irreal guitar technique and freak scene vocals. Iggy Pop for his complete freedom of unified physical/intellectual expression.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Ted Berrigan, the poet who was the guiding light of what is called third generation New York School poetry. He lived in holy poverty on the lower east side of Manhattan throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s and constructed poems informed on classic poetic tropes with an honest ear to the humanism of contemporary urban life, springboarding from Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg to an "All Poets Welcome" communitarian aesthetic that is still resonating in the world of working poets today. He passed away in the 80s and I never met him though I would spy him strolling along 2nd Avenue with young poets in tow catching his every word.

Are there any British subcultures that mean something to you?
Britain has a history of subcultures in its society. Most of which I know from the different factions of punk rock like goth, crusty, industrial, Two-Tone, riot grrl, shoegaze etc. They all mean a lot to me as they represent like-minded collectives where a pleasure is shared within the group as a gift to anyone who finds intrigue in their ideas.

If you could share the bill with any band in history?
So many bands I would have loved to be on the same bill as! Some of which I have: Patti Smith, Public Image, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Stooges - all dreams realised. I would've loved to have been playing on a bill with the Feminist Improvising Group, free improvisers who existed in the early '70s in London and played a handful of gigs and only released one astounding cassette in its time. They are underdocumented in the history of British underground music and I'd love to publish a recording/book of their work at some point!

What music did you listen to growing up?
I was always attracted to music that was from the outer zones. It started in the '60s with the records my older brother brought into the house like Jefferson Airplane, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Moody Blues into my own choices which were weirdo sides by The Stooges, MC5, Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart - all precursors to punk rock in 1976 when I turned 18 and my vocation became apparent by hearing and witnessing the Ramones, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Suicide, Talking Heads et al.

Thurston Moore was the singer, songwriter, guitarist and founding member of the iconic American post-punk group Sonic Youth. He is also a solo artist in his own right and his latest album 'Rock N Roll Consciousness' was released in April 2017.

Sonic Youth recently featured in an article we did on the importance of American independent artists, read it here.

Moore's record label 'Ecstatic Peace' also recently launched a book collecting the '70s zine for improvised music & art called 'Musics'. Read about that here.

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