INTERVIEW: Clark Kent’s Rock and Roll Revue #007 Meet The Hysterical Injury

John Clay a.k.a Clark Kent

October 11th 2013

Carousel launch night @The Power Lunches

Hackney (London)

Annie and Tom are The Hysterical Injury!

Ah, these are the nights we wish for, eh?

You meet an old work mate who you always wanted to hang with more outside of work - but never did. And there they stand, in a pub you’re drinking at! So you chit chat and decide to take them along to see The Hysterical Injury. What a great night! Not only do I have more cash in my account than I’ve had in ages, not only do the Hysterical Injury rock, but they don’t sport the usual icy weariness that greets interested journalists. Annie agrees to an interview and lo and behold, it’s actually come to pass! Afterwards myself and my gig companion (Izaak…you legend!) walk the London night quite drunk, in search of a house party held by a mutual pal. A rather complete Friday night then, but let’s rewind…let’s discuss The Hysterical Injury.

This is the second time I’ve seen them (the first being up in Bristol’s ArcTanGent festival) and until the interview with them for Bleeder Magazine is available online, you guys get to know Annie Gardiner, a front woman that actually has something to say. Such a rare commodity in a world fixated on the empty posturing of Miley Cyrus…

Annie Gardiner plays bass in The Hysterical Injury

 

John Clay

Annie! Great gig last night. Have you played London before and what are your thoughts - if any - on London

audiences?

Annie Gardiner

We have played London many times and we have always had a great reception. I love London personally and its always great fun to play.

John Clay

I hear a big similarity between your vocal phrasing and Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd. Explain yourself!

Annie Gardiner

Syd barrett is wonderful!

I am touched at the comparison. It isn't deliberate. But I can tell you that I had a real phase listening to the Madcap Laughs a while back. It could well have assimilated itself.

I want to listen to it again now!

The Hysterical Injury picture 2

 

John Clay

Good stuff. As you know, many singers divide themselves into two categories: stylists and acrobats! Which one are you? Is your voice a well-crafted affectation, or is it just the way it comes out?

Annie Gardiner

Ha! bit of both probably. I like to try my best to sing well. I have never had lessons but I know what my voice can do through a lot of recording experience and live shows. I have recorded a lot at home by myself, stuff that I have never shown the world, but it has really helped me get to know my own voice and how to use it. I like to use my voice deliberately in different ways. I am not sure that I explored this to its full capability on our album but I do that more live. Like the vocal grinds on 'Snow' and the leaps on 'Rainbow Thunderclap' live version...I also like the idea that the voice and how it’s used it is a language in itself - like the Life Without Buildings singer Sue Tompkins...who is now a performance artist.

John Clay

Your voice is definitely an advantage live since it forms a grand contrast with the music. Life Without Buildings...I must investigate. David Lynch inspired your recent video. I LOVE Lynch and it's refreshing to know that you're not reeling off one band influence after the next! How much are you inspired by other multi-media artists?

Annie Gardiner

Oh massively! Sometimes I would say more than other musicians. This new album we are writing draws inspiration from Doris Lessing the author. I adore David Lynch, his music too. I am inspired by almost every conversation I have especially with my close friends...Art is a massive influence on me especially performance artists like Marina Abramovic and Yoko Ono. I love it when an artist becomes inter disciplinary like Lauri Anderson. I was just reading about Squarepusher and how he puts his light show together, how it is a totally integrated reflection of his music, and it is intricate! I love it!

People like Planningtorock and The Knife who embrace the wholeness of what they could be.

John Clay

About that new material…you said post gig that you are working on quieter more catchy material. Is this a progression from your previous album (Dead Wolf Situation), or a reaction against it?

Oooh, and tell me, what makes you move like that onstage? Conscious effort or are you both puppets of the gods of rock!?

Annie Gardiner

That is a good question, which is hard to answer in full until we've finished it. It is certainly a reaction but not necessarily against, more growing from it. I am still, surprisingly, interested in the possibilities of what minimal instrumentation can do. I am also very interested in the subtleties of the noise, how we can shape it in a more sophisticated way. What makes me move like that on stage?

The moment!

It’s spontaneous...

John Clay

Yay! We love your moments!

Annie Gardiner

Thanks! :)))

John Clay

Penultimate question: It’s tempting to label you as an inverse to The White Stripes, not least because of the gender split and minimal instruments, but because of the intricate and professional drumming contrasting with the simple yet effective staccato bass guitar. Does it pain you to have people compare you to The Stripes, or is it a complement?

Annie Gardiner

I actually really love The White Stripes! Their songs are fantastic! I don’t mind at all... we said no White Stripes comparisons as a joke in a press release once i think.

I don’t think we are like them at all, however.

John Clay

It's a bit like comparing Sidney Poitier to Will Smith, purely on ethnicity, isn't it?

Annie Gardiner

Yeah it is.

Also TWS were married! I think that is one of the things Tom and I have found ourselves doing on stage is saying stupid stuff like 'This is my dad'!!

John Clay

Well, the fact that Jack and Meg were so keen to muddy the specifics of their relationship in the beginning is something that runs through the cultural continuum. Perhaps that's why you make such jokes!? It worked for the other nights’ performance anyway. When are you free to play London again? Inbox me what you'd be interested in venue/location wise...I shall work up some magic!

Annie Gardiner

We would like to play one more London show before the year is out.. The good places we've played are Old Blue Last, Power Lunches, Underbelly, Garage, but you know, anywhere that is good on the circuit type place.

John Clay

No problem!

May the gods of rock keep playing with you!

Annie Gardiner

Keep in toouch! ROCK! x

Latest single is called Visions of Trees:

Annie Gardiner performing at Moles.

The Hysterical Injury on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/thehystericalinjury