Friday, July 10, 2009

LOOPED: Part Three


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"Loop were best experienced live. No two gigs were ever
the same, no song ever played the same twice. To them vol-
ume was vital to the whole experience. Loop live were 'felt'
not just seen or heard! A total assault on the senses."
-- Beggar's Banquet, Pspsyched (pronounced "spiked")

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Robert continues, "When we play live, we have no wish to repro-
duce exactly note-for-note renditions of what's on the vinyl. We
like to think that we never actually play the same song twice.
There's a very rough base to start with, because otherwise it
would be too unrecognizable." And in the concert context, Loop
successfully invested their material with new life, though they
didn't perform any of the covers they've recorded over the years.

He explains, "We want to get away from doing covers for awhile.
We've done three or four. We don't really want to base our car-
eer on other bands' material." Loop certainly hasn't based
their album covers on those of other bands. During the
course of our conversation, I discovered that Robert
involves himself in the artwork for all their sleeves.

The cover of their latest LP, released in England as two EPs,
features a doctored photograph of Jupiter, and their most re-
cent 12-inch, "Arc-Lite," sports a computer-generated image
of Mars. Is it any wonder this interstellar explorer digs Sun Ra?

As far as the two-EPs versus one-CD configuration goes, Robert
states that he prefers vinyl, and feels that the UK edition of A Gil-
ded Eternity "sounds equally as good as the CD. In fact, in some
ways I think it sounds a bit better—it sounds a bit more alive. CDs
sometimes tend to flatten the sound out. I was disgusted with a lot
of the record shops in America—all CDs. I think that's terrible."

Concerning current favorite records, Robert expressed fond-
ness for the Shimmy Disc label, particularly the late B.A.L.L.
and Bongwater. He also praised the new Killdozer single, "Her
Mother's Sorrow," while his favorite bands on Loop's first A-
merican tour include the Jesus Lizard, Bewitched (featuring
Bob Bert from Pussy Galore), and Seattle's own Nirvana.

Robert claims not to be a big follower of the Seattle/Sub
Pop sound—even though, with his long hair, plaid shirt, dark
jeans, and lust for volume, he would fit right in—although he
admits to owning Nirvana's full-length debut Bleach, which
he really likes, and the Mudhoney/Sonic Youth split single.

[Loop would go on to record a split seven-inch with Godflesh,
which now appears on The World in Your Eyes collection.]

"Arc-Lite" (A Gilded Eternity, 1990)

Further, Robert claims Hendrix as the Seattle musician he
admires the most. He collects bootlegs and t-shirts and look-
ed forward to visiting Jimi's gravesite while he was in town.

As for other artists from the past, he mentioned Can, whose mu-
sic he discovered years before, because his then-favorite acts, 23
Skidoo and Cabaret Voltaire, often cited them as an influence.

He notes that Soundtracks is probably his favorite simply because
it was the first Can LP he ever heard, but that he thinks they're all
good. He also enthused about the MC5's High Time, describing it
as "their most complete record, and it's got really great songs."

And the same could be said for Loop.

Click here to return to part one

Endnote: Slightly revised from the original text.
Click here for the Head Heritage review of A Gil-
ded Eternity. Image from Beggar's Banquet.

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