Sons of Selina’s “Nour D’Oui” LP is an excellent eclectic debut: diverse unpredictable space-punk that’s particularly difficult to pin down. But then we told you that last time and promised to find out more. So being the honest trustworthy folks we are, we contacted Sons’ mainman Neil Crud and bombarded him with the following questions.
Who are the Sons of Selina? Can you give us a brief history of the band?
I really, really hate answering this question, in fact I loathe it more than finding a pubic hair amongst the cheese & pickle of a bap bought from the local sandwich shop. I mean who are The Sons of Selina? Are we a heterogenous phenomena who have been cheek by jowl in one form or another for 4 1/2 years, or just confused musicians on a directionless mission to kill hairy sandwich makers?
What’s in the name?
Three words consisting of a total of twelve letters, five of them vowels. And if you jumble the letters of the longest word around they can form the new word “Aliens”.
Your debut “Nour D’Oui” LP was particularly well received in our last issue – what sort of reactions have you been getting from elsewhere?
Very positive from all areas apart from the local newspaper who described the first two songs as “vaguely dull punk tracks not worth a footnote in the music press of 1977” and then went on to praise the album to the hilt?!?!?! A Greek magazine said we were climbing the gigantic cubes of sugar, inhaling the white powder and exhaling hot lava.
It’s qute an eclectic mix of styles, it’s not easy to pinpoint the Sons of Selina sound… Is that something you deliberately aim for? How would you describe your music?
The songs may well differ in styles but they all have that Sons of Selina stamp running through them like a stick of rock. We’ve never sat down and said “Let’s make this song different from the last.” Actually, we rarely get together to write songs, most of them are ideas we put onto tape and store for a later date, most of the songs develop over a 12 – 18 month period before surfacing. I can’t describe our music, only as ‘pleasing to my ears’. Other reviewers have described us as ‘Punk grown up’ ‘Pink Floyd with attitude’ ‘ Better than Henry Rollins meets Hawkwind’. But it’s best you made your own mind up; who needs labels anyway?
Who or what has had the biggest influence on you as a band?
Most definitely built up anger and the self belief that we have something to contribute to the paucity of creativity in today’s rock & roll rat race.
You were apparently courted by a number of labels after your self-released debut single, what made you choose Delerium?
I ask myself that question everytime a release date gets put back!! We feel that Delerium have our best interests at heart and that we’re both striving for the same goal (bankruptcy!).
Are they good people to work with?
As people, Richard and Ivor are very amiable although I do feel like kicking their backsides into gear sometimes when it comes to getting us that all important slot on Saturday morning’s Going LIve.
The Cover artwork on the LP is really good – who was responsible for that?
A guy called Tiernan or something, we wanted to create a dark feeling without the deathmetal cornyness & without portraying a goth image; I asked for a sort of Stranglers ‘The Raven’ LP feel; but we drew a blank. I mentioned the cover of a fanzine I used to do which had mutant coppers breaking into a squat, then dismissed it in the next sentence, but the artist had already imprinted the idea onto the back of his brain and that was it! The original cover was to be a painting of three brains growing out of the Egyptian desert with arteries and veins as the stems.
What’s the underground scene like in Wales – it seems pretty healthy, especialy around Newport?
North and South Wales are two different countries, there’s no easy way of driving between the two areas because of a hundred miles of mountains. The Welsh language spoken is different as well and so is the music scene. It’s predominantly Welsh up here, there’s nothing wrong with that except that the majority of Welsh speaking bands form on a Monday and find themselves on Welsh TV by Friday regardless of their talent, or, in most cases – the lack of it. The English scene is very much seperate from the Welsh and locally it’s a case of knives at the ready to stab the backs of every other band. As a result we’ve steered well clear of the local underground, having once been the local underground we were aware of the pitfalls when we formed. We had been played on Radio One before we played our first home town gig.
We don’t see too much of you live around London – but do you gig much elsewhere in Britain?
People always said ‘Don’t bother with London, it’s a shithole’ So we played and 35 people turned up. We were told it was a good turn out for an unknown band in the capital on a Wednesday night, it’s a pity the gig was at Wembley Stadium ha ha ha! Yes we do gig, we don’t like doing it being natural born layabouts but we keep getting told we’re better live than we are on record, I suppose it’s because you can put the energy across more effectively on stage.
So do you see the Sons of Selina a predominantly live or studio band?
With all the compilation tapes and CD’s taken into account, to date we’ve had more releases than we’ve done gigs. I hate recording but I love hearing the result. I hate doing gigs but I love performing the songs live, so what’s the answer? If I remain sedulous perhaps one day I could hire someone to do the work for me!!
Have you got any interesting or amusing gig experiences you’d like to share with us? What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
The interesting and amusing gig experiences mainly came from when three of us used to play in a band prior to The Sons of Selina, we did 70 or so gigs, one was at a Welsh language festival where we got so drunk we could hardly stand up let alone play. I was playing the chorus on guitar whilst singing the verse at the same time, it was awful, the crowd thought so too and when we started telling them to ‘fuck off’ and the bassist suggested that they had a fight with him, we quickly had to make an exit. We also did a gig for all the Hells Angels chapters in the country at a disused quarry, the PA blew up after one song and I was hoisted up to be thrown onto a huge bonfire, only to be saved at the last minute by a sympathetic large bearded biker. I could go on forever with countless stories, I’ll include them in my autobiography!
If you could choose any band to gig with who would it be and why?
The Bangles so I could sleep with Suzannah Hoffs!
What’s happening next for the Sons of Selina? What’s the rest of 1995 got in store?
After 22 hours of mixing we’ve just completed Terminus which’ll be our next single out in May, the b-side, Fire In The Hole is due to be mixed next week. After negotiations with Delerium we’ve decided that it’s financially more viable to buy a studio to record the next LP, hence 22 hour mixes. There’s gigs in the pipeline, home and abroad, and numerous songs on numerous compilation LPs.
And finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Six or seven noughts onto the end of my bank balance.