"..an audio adventure into extra ordinary/unique realms.."
Inventing Eccentric Wave
Tuxedomoon is an Experimental Avant-Garde Post-Punk New Wave group formed in San Francisco, California consisting of core members Blaine L. Reininger, Steven Brown and Peter Principle, Luc van Lieshout and video artist Bruce Geduldig. Formed in 1977 by multi-instrumentalists Blaine L. Reininger and Steven Brown, then two students of electronic music at San Francisco City College, with technical assistance from video artist Tommy Tadlock, Tuxedomoon started playing salons and accompanying performances by The Angels of Light. Brown's connections to local theatre gave the band access to vocalists Gregory Cruikshank, Victoria Lowe, and, most frequently, Winston Tong. The band gained some level of recognition in 1978 when they opened for Devo. Michael Belfer, (guitarist), and Paul Zahl, (drummer) joined the band in time to help with the group's first EP, No Tears. Lowe left prior to the album's release in 1978. Soon afterward, Tong and Belfer left the group temporarily, and bassist Peter Principle joined the lineup. In 1979, the group signed to The Residents' Ralph Records, with whom they recorded their next two albums, Half Mute in 1980 and Desire in 1981, after which the band relocated to Rotterdam for a short time and moved on to Brussels, believing their sound better fit the electronic scene in Europe. In Brussels, the band soon created the score for a ballet by Maurice Bejart, released in 1982 as "Divine". In 1983 Reininger left the group in order to pursue a solo career, and trumpeter Luc Van Lieshout joined. In 1985 Tuxedomoon had its largest success commercially with the international release of Holy Wars. Tong left the group again soon after its release. Multi-instrumentalist Ivan Georgiev was brought in to perform on the group's next two albums, 1986's Ship of Fools and 1987's You. The band remained inactive through most of the 1990s, although never technically broke up. On July 20, 2004 a reborn Tuxedomoon, consisting of Steven Brown, Blaine Reininger, Peter Principle, and Luc Van Lieshout released a new studio album, Cabin in the Sky. They continue to work and tour together and have since released Bardo Hotel Soundtrack in 2006, with upcoming projects coinciding with the group's 30th year anniversary, the Vapour Trails album and the boxed set 7707.
Hello, how are you?
I am doing pretty well. I am pleased to be living here in Athens and I am enjoying the projects I am now involved with. I have just done some online collaborations for a compilation of tribute songs of Dutch band, The Nits, and recorded strings for my friend Georgio Valentino. I am involved in an ongoing collaboration with Steven Brown from the band, playing live music for a dance piece by Belgian choreographer Thierry Smits called "Clear Tears Troubled Waters". We have issued a CD of the music for this piece with Crammed Discs, our long-time label, on the resurrected "Made To Measure" series. I will issue a double CD collection of my Theatre work from 2006-2013 on the resurrected Disques du Crepuscule label as well.
What are you currently listening to?
I listen to mostly Classical music anymore. I have been listening to an interesting collection of Ravel's music, played by Ravel himself onto a piano roll for player piano sometime in the 1920's. It was recorded recently on a good piano. I am enjoying different music for solo piano, including composers I used to snob as not modern enough like Chopin, though I dote on baroque music and especially Bach's Well-tempered Clavier played by Keith Jarrett of all people. I subscribed to E-music, since I am anti-ITUNES and all things Apple, and I have beefed up my Classical music collection these last few years.
What genre do you feel your sound falls under?
Our music falls under the "Music" genre. I am not being difficult here, it's just that I/we have always gone on ahead with our work in an inclusive manner, allowing pretty much everything into the mix and following musical ideas of all descriptions through their logical ends. In this way, something could be found in Tuxedomoon's catalog which would fit on many playlists, Classical, Rock, Punk Rock, World, Jazz, Electronic, pick one that suits you.
Did you have a clear concept of sound direction when you began writing for Tuxedomoon?
Yes we did. We began out of the electronic music laboratory at San Francisco City College where we learned the use of synthesizer and basic recording techniques. Later, we learned even more from our mentor and early collaborator, Tommy Tadlock, a fugitive from the 1960's New York video art scene who had installed himself as the resident technical wizard for "The Angels of Light", a free-theatre troupe.
Later, when we began to make records in earnest, we learned about production in various studios around the world.
You've got a lot of music out there (all of which is really great!), do you have a favorite album and/or specific track?
My personal favorite Tuxedomoon album would have to be 'Desire'. I think the music is great and the experience of recording it was one of the highlights of my life. We were working in England, both in a country studio in Farnham, Surrey and in the strange desolate London of 1980-81. We had the opportunity to collaborate with John Foxx and his engineer Gareth Jones. Such a rich and creative period.
Is there an album concept out there that you guys always wish you would have tackled but have yet to do so, perhaps something new on the horizon?
We have yet to write something like a Symphony or an Opera. We are looking for some kind of Unified Field Theory just now.
You've got a lot of re-releases coming out soon, care to shed some light on those?
We have the vinyl re-release of our first and second EP http://soundcolourvibration.com/2013/10/30/tuxedomoon-superior-viaduct-reissues/, we plan to release 'Half Mute' our first LP with this same company next year, we have the release of the soundtrack for the ballet we have been working on http://crammed.greedbag.com/buy/clear-tears-troubled-waters/ and there is the Crepuscule issue http://lesdisquesducrepuscule.com/tuxedomoon_at_twilight_twi054cd.html there is more stuff planned, such as a vinyl only issue of the music we did for cult film 'Pink Narcissus' and a Crammed release of our instrumental music.
What movie would work best on mute while listening to you music?
Maybe '2001 A Space Odyssey'. Or 'Nosferatu'. Or 'Tugboat Mickey'.
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
That sounds more like a sentence to hell, or Purgatory. I suppose the least objectionable for repeat playing would be 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. It has been a constant in my collection anyway.
Are you living your dream?
Yes. I think you could say that.
Tuxedomoon recently released an excellent "b-sides" album, don't just stop there though..consume ALL that is Tuxedomoon..!