Rockbottom Magazine USA Feb 2005

Interview with Kavus

For those who don’t know, Cardiacs have been going since…well…FOREVER, and yet they keep on defying music as we know it, with their brand of offbeat/pop/indie/rock/punk/beatnik-elitist shirt&tie wearing clever punishment. Cardiacs were making albums when you were a mere blink in the milkman’s eye. Oh yes. Anyway without further ado…here they are…The legendary Cardiacs……

1) If some cunt said to me…”MAKE A LIST OF WEIRDO BANDS, BEFORE I KICK YOUR FUCKING HEAD IN!!”….I would make a list like this; Cardiacs Devo Punishment of Luxury (Their “Jellyfish” ep is AWESOME, man!!) Cassiber Egg Henry Cow Unit The Locust The Melvins Sometimes accessible and most of the time …not (You know the drill) So explain to the American people (and world-wide readership) WHAT the fuck Cardiacs are on about…go on…try and classify your elitist ass.

Kavus Torabi – Hi this is Kavus, I play guitar in them Cardiacs. Firstly it’s nice to be lumped in with those lovely bands, although I’ve never heard Egg or Unit. I don’t think we actually sound like any of ‘em, nor do I think of them as weirdo bands, particularly Henry Cow who I love too much to call anything.

I’ve only been playing in Cardiacs a couple of years, but I’ve been a massive fan since I was 16. To my mind there’s nothing at all elitist about the music we make. You don’t have to “get” anything about it, nor does it require any previous knowledge of any genre or “scene”. It’s beautiful music that sounds like it’s been distilled from out of a dream. Maybe only a few people have dreams that sound like that, I don’t know, but I doubt it. Music can be as big and expansive and as far out as you want it to be you know. Because music isn’t actually about anything, it can be about EVERYTHING if you want. I think that’s what this stuff is, and that goes for all the above groups too.

2) Cardiacs are to music what semiotics is to the theory and practice of literary criticism. What do you make of that then?

Kavus – I don’t know what that even means….is it something to do with a bare knuckle fist fight?

3) There is absolutely NO FUCKING WAY I would let a DJ or RAPPER star in a video  to your song “The Duck and Roger The Horse”, what about you?

Kavus – On the contrary I would only have a DJ or Rapper in the video, in fact…you’ve given me an idea, where did I put Snoop’s number?

4) Is it true that you have/use all the equipment that used to belong to Iron Maiden? (I’m not in the least bit bothered about this…but some of the readers may find it slightly interesting….may…I SAID)

Kavus – I wish we did, although we do have one of their old Eddies from the Powerslave days, which we’re trying to modify to make it look like Jim. Actually we’re doing a pretty good job of it so far. He should be making an appearance on the next tour.

5) BONUS QUESTION!! What is the difference between your VERY FIRST 7″ and your last CD? Has the band moved forward in a satisfying and yet gratifying way??

Kavus – Without a shred of a doubt, although as a fan, it’s always been unique and fucking great. When I first joined we did three nights at the Garage in London where we only played stuff from 1977-81, about 35-odd songs. A lot of those tunes had never been recorded and others only exist in the form of dodgy tapes etc, but hearing that stuff rocked-out and played through a proper big PA makes you realise what amazing tunes they are. A lot of that stuff was written when Tim was 16, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t sound like it was written yesterday. They were recorded as well them gigs, should be available this year, only from the Cardiacs website though.

6) Since the “GUNS” album, what (apart from getting that ex-Plymothian Kavus Torabi in on guitar) has happened that is NEW or exiting??? Did you enjoy the last tour with The Wildhearts?

Kavus – The Wildhearts tour was just fantastic the entire band and crew were sweethearts from the out, but far more surprisingly The Wildhearts fans seemed to really take to us….which is not what usually happens with their supports according to Ginger or if they didn’t like us they certainly kept it to themselves. We’re in the middle of recording a new album as well at the moment. It’s gonna be very good I reckon.

7) Is it true that your bass player can perform the amazing feat of LEVITATION?

– Yes, but when he insists on showing it to you for the umpteenth fucking time every fucking night, it stops being so amazing.

8) What has happened to the ABC intro-tape at your shows??? Where has that sexy woman’s voice gone??? (can you send me a tape of it???)

Kavus – It’s great and all that, but the intro tape we have, which is the same one that has been used for years is about the best-damn-intro-tape-that-any-shitty-band-has-on-this-grief-ridden-planet. It would be like when they changed the music for The Bill (UK cop drama, for our American cousins) …it sucked. (plus we can’t really go against what Alphabet tell us)

9) Please explain the main functions and modus-operandi of THE ALPHABET BUSINESS CONCERN… for those not in the know.

Kavus – Well I’m in the band, and also have been involved in the band for years, yet I feel about as “in the know” as you. I really have no idea. I know they sometimes manage to get records out and organise gigs, and I once had a message on my answerphone from someone who was once vaguely connected to them, but beyond that…fuck knows. I’m not even sure if they actually like the band. When I joined they sent me the sash that I wear on stage, with an accompanying note that said, “WEAR THIS”, but that’s been about the limit of my involvement with them so far.

10) Have Cardiacs ever been accused of looking like “VISUAL NAZIS”?

Kavus – Visual Nazis aside, whatever they are, what’s the deal with this triple-question-mark BS? Do you want us to answer three times?

11) You have all been ordered by the HIGH COMMISSION OF SCRUFF to brutally slay two persons alive and well in the world today…WHO would it be….and WHY? (You HAVE to do this….it is a totalitarian FASCIST thing….there is NO WAY out of it…ok?)…….(Make it fuckin’ interesting mates please)

Kavus – Is this a Heavy Metal magazine? Why is it only metal mags that ask such retarded questions, although don’t get me wrong, I’m a great lover of the genre as a whole. If you want us to make it interesting, ask a more interesting question like, “If there was a gun at your head and you HAD to either BUM a monkey or STAB a horse, which would it be?” for instance.

12) Do you miss Jon, the old guitarist? He’s a lovely man, isn’t he? Is this line up now (Jan 2005) a permanent line up or what?

Kavus – It “feels” permanent. Everybody misses Jon of course, although I’m not sure they miss me and Jon being together in the same place *

14) What’s up with Childish Management and Mark Walmsely’s HUGE CORPORATE company? Has it sold it’s ass to Columbia or Sony yet??? (Hi Mark, Canadian Angus & Co…yes it’s me, Scruff- I’m still alive…thanks)

Kavus – There you go with those triple question marks again.

15)What does the bright future hold for Cardiacs??? When is the NEW album gonna be out??? Please list your releases so far….for the readers…for those that know not.Please give us your website address for email contact. Also where can your readers buy your albums and merchandise?

Kavus – Well…I’ll start with a little poem… Being primarily an obsessive fan, I’ll list all the releases as best as I can.

Singles: A Bus For A Bus On The Bus* –1979 (Released as Cardiac Arrest on Tortch Records) Seaside Treats ep There’s Too Many Irons In the Fire-1987 Is This The Life-1988 Susannah’s Still Alive- 1988 Nighttracks ep (radio sessions)- 1988 (on Strange Fruit records) Baby Heart Dirt- 1989 Day is Gone ep-1991 Bellyeye-1995 (on Org records) Manhoo- 1995 Odd Even 1996 Signs- 1999 Albums: Archive Cardiacs (compilation of first two cassettes)- 197? The Seaside-1984 Big Ship (mini album)- 1986 Rude Bootleg (live)- 1986 A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window- 1988 Cardiacs Live-1988 On Land and In the Sea- 1989 Songs for Ships and Irons (comp feat. Big ship mini plus other singles)- 1991 Heaven born and Ever Bright-1992 All That Glitters is a Mares Nest (live)- 1995 Sampler (compilation)1995 Sing to God, parts 1&2 (Originally available as double album) 1995 Guns-1999 Greatest Hits- 2001 All albums and singles released on The Alphabet Business Concern unless listed otherwise. _ Loads of other albums by Tim Smith, some featuring other Cardiacs too, including Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake, The Sea Nymphs, Oceanland World and Spratley’s Japs._

16) You have 5 wishes….What do you wish for??? (Character check here…see if you’re all TYPICAL humans or not …I hope not and….I don’t think so)

Kavus – Man, I’m really sorry Scruff and Rockbottom, I’m a typical human in that I’ve been doing this thing all afternoon and the creation of the universe is on the telly in half a hour and my brain hurts. Ok, World Peace, World War and Voivod to make another album as good as Nothingface There’s three.

17) Michael Moore Kiss him or KILL him??? What do you think?

Kavus – Who gives a fuck…he’s a famous entertainer and like most famous entertainers, fairly annoying/ fairly harmless. Is he going to “change the world for good”?…About as much as a rock band are.

18) Briefly tell us Cardiacs… What do you make of the following: A) UFO’s B) Remote Viewing C) Poltergeist Phenomena D) London E) Captain Jon’s Heightened awareness and painters and decorators in general.

Kavus – A) They’re flyin’. B) First album good, went a bit downhill after that. C) As above. D) Love it. E) He’s the un-carved block. They’re cunts, every man-jack one of ‘em.

19) Thank You Cardiacs…This is your space to say what you feel. Hope you enjoyed the interview?

Kavus – I’m opinioned-out now. Thank you it’s been fun. xxx