CKRRR #018 Feat. HOTGOTHIC & Gordon Raphael

Got a horrible abscess in my mouth and my sub editor is on holiday but fear not! I've battled through the drowsiness that only painkillers can bring to present to you a bare bones version of the blog. My weekend exploits in Bristol with St Pierre Snake Invasion and Electric Six should be ready for your perusal NEXT Monday...:D Clark Kent a.k.a John Clay

Right then, HOTGOTHIC

‘A good bass line should be fat, bouncy and uncomplicated just like a one night stand.’ – Stacy Picard a.k.a Malibu Stacy  (HOTGOTHIC)

Stacy and Jon

HOTGOTHIC wield wondrous dark comedic Punk/Goth majesty over audiences wherever they care to play. Kate and I were lucky to have Stacy Picard and Jonathon Campbell Ratcliffe jump off stage and sing some of his lewd lyrics next to us on the sofa. If you don’t like your Rock and Roll with crudity and euphemism, look away now.

11/11, 11:41pm John Clay Cool. Let's do this! First question: Malibu Stacy and Dr Jacket? Is there a reason behind your pseudonyms?

Jonathon Campbell Ratcliffe a.k.a Dr Jacket Good cop bad cop?

Stacy Picard a.k.a Malibu Stacy Honest cop just trying to put food on the table, but the goddamn chief is always on my ass

John Clay O.K, the music…it has a deviant playfulness to it. The baseline to Arthole sounds like it was put together by Dennis the Menace! Are you ever tempted to put together something more elaborate, or would that be missing the point?

Stacy Picard Malibu Stacy: Damn! I thought ARTHOLE was elaborate, but yeah it's a cheeky wee bass line. But I guess the point is, a good bass line should be fat, bouncy and uncomplicated just like a one night stand.

Jonathon Campbell Ratcliffe Dr Jackit: I guess we like to keep it simple and stripped down, some kind of punk ethic. We want you to walk away humming a tune, we want to communicate, over complication muddies the water.

John Clay I love Drug problems! Paste the lyrics please? It was funny, ironic and wild live! Now guys, tell me all about that band logo of yours? Certainly trouble baiting.

Hotgothic 5

Stacy Picard We are fascinated by industrial signage and a stop sign is the final punctuation when it comes to making design statements. Being a car enthusiast - stop signs make me think.

John Clay HAHAHA! You guys are unreal...I'll leave u this question before I hit the hay (more questions to follow...not done with you cheeky fuckers yet): Just two members? Is this wanton minimalism purposeful, or are you looking to expand someday?

Jonathon Campbell Ratcliffe DJ: Like in the best ménage e trois, two members are more than enough - anymore and its more dicks than anyone can handle. But seriously, minimalism is one of our main concerns - in the music, our design work, etc. we aim to keep everything stylistically consistent, recognizable. Although, there is something appealing about a Wu tang style gang of hotgothic-ers on stage at one time.

Stacy Picard M.S-yeah if Gary glitter came out of retirement I think I could find space on the stage for him but I do like two piece bands. They are easy to organise and you can work fast. The democracy of "bands" is slow. The duel of a two piece is fast and to the point.

John Clay How I look forward to your answers! I really hope people check out your music dudes! Penultimate question: What makes you choose music over other forms of entertainment? Or is making music only part of what HotGothic have to offer? I swear you guys could pull off stand-up comedy! I really appreciated you coming off stage and singing next to me Stacy.

Stacy Picard Being in a total DIY band allows us to do a bit of everything we write, record, mix and master our songs, do all our own design work, film and edit our own videos so all our creative outlets get a chance to be expressed HOTGOTHIC is the sphincter thru which our creative juices flow.

Jonathon Campbell Ratcliffe HOTGOTHIC has so much more to offer the world than the gift of music. Merchandising opportunities will never be passed up, watch this space for action figures, commemorative tea towels and alcoholic sports drinks - cumming soon!

Stacy Picard Shit we've almost finished our new acoustic album "turnedoff" It's totally folk off Or folked up!

Malibu Stacy is a superb frontman. He doesn't give a shit about what the audience want. He gives us what we need, and we love him for it.

John Clay Folked up! I want to order my action figures now! How do I go about that? And ooh, final question: When is your next London show and what surprises (if any) do you have in store?

Stacy Picard We are playing the 'some weird sin' club night at the buffalo bar in Highbury & Islington on the 7th of December and then Powerlunches on Wednesday the 11th of December where we will be playing some politically charged shit, some Gary Glitter, our Christmas single, some new songs and there may even be a guest performance from a scum bag we like.

John Clay I'm all over that Saturday date. Thank you Hotgothic. YOU ROCK...HARD!

Stacy Picard Thanks man that was fun I'll put you on the door

John Clay Me plus 2 please

Stacy Picard Cool

Jonathon Campbell Ratcliffe Yeah cheers john, we've enjoyed that. See you at some weird sin.

POST-SCRIPT: The shitty thing is, I didn’t make it to those gigs due to gig and interview duties outside of London. Time to get a fucking diary and not rely on Facebook to keep me in the loop!

HOTGOTHIC are hot and ready and waiting for you on Facebook. Come and get it.


John Clay O.K, let's talk production philosophy: The Beatles relied on George Martin as a producer, so much that he has gone down in history as being seen as an additional member. What do you think about artists that self-produce, being a musician and producer yourself?

Gordon Raphael When I was 19, I wanted desperately to write my own songs. I witnessed my bandmate (Brian S. Phraner from Medusa / Friends In The Garden) making outstanding multi-dimensional recordings with only a 4-track reel to reel tape recorder (Teac 3340-s) and echoplex, guitar synthesizer, bass, acoustic guitar, drum set, electric guitar, phase shifter and voice. It sounded like 100 layers of voices and sounds from the ancient future, and I am being serious here-- all done on 4 tracks of 1/4 inch tape! Of course this involved bouncing 3 tracks or material down to the fourth, or recording stereo echoes whilst singing and other hard to do magic tricks. In any case, I was super-insecure about my as yet undiscovered singing voice, my keyboard playing and my fledgling guitar abilities. I knew I was driven to create music, and I could write stories, poems and draw pictures effortlessly. So, my strategy was to sneak into our bandroom, when all the band and their girlfriends were away, and attempt to compose songs and sing and play fuzzy guitar- recording onto that 4-track. At first all my levels were so hot that the tape was completely distorted and horrible sounding. (A trick I later harnessed to my delight to make horrible sounds intentionally! ha ha) But the more I did this activity, the closer I came to making a song and recording it. 3 years later I was absolutely successful at making a sing called Substitute Music. This song had two distinct intentions: 1) to disrupt any attempts by rude people to talk over it or try to have a conversation while me song played. This was affected by using ONE very loud note that repeats like a jackhammer all through the song, from beginning to end- even though there are plenty of chord changes! Pretty lofty and violent and spacey music for the young G! 2) Substitute Music was intended to be used on those occasions when "normal" music was inappropriate!

In the 1980's I had a one bedroom apartment on Capital Hill in Seattle, and in the middle of the main room, while all our friends were coming and going, there was me sitting with my Arp Odyssey synth, a borrowed 4-track and an echo machine making a new song every day, much to my great pride and delight, and much to the dismay of my dear friends whom I forced to listen to each new "baby" as soon as it was hatched! People dreaded to see me coming over to their place; with my cassette in my pocket… they knew my agenda well! Suffice it to say that I really made 1000 songs of my own, all by myself in this manner, and learned a million interesting sonic tricks in this way. For sure I recorded my album Colour Twigs in 2 big studios with very smart Engineers, but that only convinced me to learn how to use the big studio stuff, not to rely on outside professionals! My own vision is really pure when I do all the bits and record it myself. NOT that I would ever rule that out in the future!

For a person unlike me, who is not obsessed with the recording process and it's alien landscapes, to go to a trusted producer or engineer is very, very useful, but only if that person feels inspiring to work with, and adds energy, openness and enthusiasm to the project! For sure.

Gordon Raphael spelling errors, dumb ones,,, but ok writing I think!

John Clay So much info here Gordon, and so interesting too. If you're looking for someone to help write your biography, I'd be interested! Now, you’re primarily known for your work with the Strokes, but you have done time working on art-film soundtracks. Would you be interested in scoring feature films at some point?

Gordon Raphael If u are the music director, I will do the soundtracks, John! It’s one of my life's dreams! Thanks for the super cool burst of energy!!

John Clay Not a worry man. Energy is what it's all about, right? Seriously, what kind of films would you score for?

Gordon Raphael Any non-cheesy film that doesn’t centre on a gun, or sports! Preferably something that wants to change or enlighten culture! What’s the Easy Rider of today?? The 2001 of today??

John Clay I hear that. Personally I'd love to see you team up with David Lynch. Being a producer of a record is like being the director of an actor. Discuss!

Gordon Raphael Great question!! Will write soon! "Photo session" now!

John Clay No worries...its 1:10am now. I lead too many lives! Have fun at the session.

Gordon Raphael Rock on, !!! Or sleep on!

John Clay Zzzzzzzzzz...

Gordon Raphael Ps are you actually interested in my "autobiography" thing ??

Am I interested? You’ll have to check out the blog next week people. I’ve gotta take some more antibiotics and stay in bed!