In a world where the Pop Idol rules and US bands are forced on us each week by the so called alternative music press you have to ask what happened to the genuine voice of the underground. Fosca's "Diary Of An Antibody" is the best alternative pop album of 2002, or as we like to call it pop music with a library card, and speaks out to the generations which grew up with Stephen Patrick Morrissey or Richey Edwards. We caught up with Dickon and Rachel to find out how we can join as honorary Fosca Babies.
Q: The new album "Diary Of An Antibody" is out now.
I see you're not having the difficult second album syndrome. 10 slices
of alternative pop in under 35 minutes and your most cohesive lyrical and
musical release to date. Do you feel like a proper fop star now?
Dickon: Yes, indeed. I always was a fop star in my head, but for the first time myself and Fosca are starting to feel, how shall I put this, almost... popular. Famous for fifteen people! Doubtless I'll soon have my own Channel 5 game show by osmosis. In music press interviews about new albums, bands often talk about "musical progression", and "moving on", and "a more mature sound". Well, the only progression with Fosca is that we strive to become more and more like ourselves every day. We completely exist in our own little world and are happy to keep it that way. Comparison equals death! We are more peerless, and fearless, than ever before.
Rachel: This year i have started to feel that we
are less pariah and more prized by the populace. Reviews have stopped saying
'promising' and have started to praise. we've also managed to do a gig
per month (2 in July!). So, yes.
Q: I see you've returned to plain old Dickon Edwards
after a time polishing your halo as Dickon Angel. So what other pseudonym's
are you currently toying with the idea of undertaking?
Dickon: I'm sticking with Dickon Edwards for the duration, now. But it's good to have the alternatives (Dickon Angel, Richard Edwards, RD Edwards), just in case I'm feeling... "otherly". A bit like Chas Smash in Madness, who calls himself Carl Smyth when he feels like it. I'm currently rediscovering Madness, by the way.
Q: Carrying on with the theme of persona's and pseudonym's
- "Oh Well, there's always reincarnation". Much as the idea will probably
distress you, if you had a choice in what you could be reincarnated as
what would it be?
Rachel: A cat, naturally.
Dickon: A fictional character. Out of copyright.
Q: We were speaking to one of your former support acts
Stephen Nancy a few weeks ago, who said that Stephen Nancy and Fosca were
"two different perspectives on the gay thing". Fair assumption?
Rachel: I think anyone that writes from a non macho male (or submissive female a la Britney) perspective is going to stand out. But i don't think that Fosca are an OUTrage type of band. More subversive to BE rather than campaign. Stephen Nancy were nice to play a concert with. their music wasn't my thing, but they were adorable friendly people, which always makes a gig more pleasurable.
Dickon: Much of the current gay scene is extremely.... straight. I'm more interested in deviancy of all kinds, socially more than sexually. As you know, sex is the P.E. of adult life and I have a note from my mother. But, like football, one doesn't have to do the wretched thing to be a fan of it. It's a game of two halves.
Q: There's still that sense of "living under siege
from bigger seats who live to keep me in my place" throughout the whole
album. Do you still feel like an outsider in the modern world?
Dickon: More than ever. I have stuck to my guns, and for this there is a price. So far this year, I have been physically attacked in the street twice for the way I look. I'm a martyr to my own being. Now I am no longer in my twenties, however, I have found that it's a lot easier to not worry about the concerns of the real world anymore. The world is made for the young. Now I am no longer young, my detachment is a lot easier, as I now already have the automatic detachment of being old. Other people of my age start to panic and do terrible things like "settling down". Like silt. I am pleased to confirm that I am more unsettled than ever.
Q: I believe you're currently organizing a burning
ceremony of running shoes and are fretting about the wearing of white socks.
What's the Fosca code of conduct if we want to join as honorary Fosca babies?
Dickon: Don't wear trainers, or any kind of sportswear, unless you are engaged in an actual sporting activity. White socks are sexy. Three-button suits, loafers, ties (plain or polka-dot) are all helpful. Don't spike your hair up: part it at one side. But most of all, don't look like you're trying to be something you're not. Or one of the crowd. Exaggerate yourself. If you're feminine, be ultra-feminine. If you're boyish, be super-boyish. As long as it's on purpose. There is danger in numbers. Don't get caught trying to be fashionable. Lead trends, don't follow them. If that's not possible, find out what the trends are, then make sure you're not following them. Be stylish rather than fashionable.
Q: In 2002 there aren't enough relatively mainstream
icons to look up to. Take the 80s and we had Morrissey. And then the 90s
with Richey. And of course in your own way we have yourself. Are you still
waiting for Morrissey's latest release or are you still searching for another
voice beside your own?
Dickon: I remain an ardent admirer of both Mr Morrissey and Mr Edwards, both for knowing the importance of lyrics, and for their sense of style. I like to catch the former in concert whenever he plays Londinium. So recently I queued outside the Royal Albert Hall box office, on the morning tickets for his new shows there went on sale. A couple of journalists from Q Magazine were there, doing a feature on the new Moz tour, and they took a photo of the queue. If it turns up in their magazine, and they continue to fail to cover Fosca, that really will be ironic. The only way I can get featured in Q Magazine is by queuing up for tickets to someone else's gig... And yet, out of myself and Mr Morrissey, I'm the one with a new album to promote! Needless to add, I remain my own favourite lyricist. I'd love Mr Morrissey to sing a Fosca song. I think he could really do it justice.
Rachel: I would be very upset if people compared
us to the MSP. They were the most over-rated bunch of chancers ever to
come out of Wales. Like The Shamen, they only got famous when one of their
members died. And they looked terrible in dresses.
Q: I always liked the reading lists of old which bands
used to subscribe to. It should be a requirement of being in a band that
they bring a list of text to explore - except in 2002 all anyone reads
is Harry Potter. So Dickon, enlighten us and give us your 3 current favourite
books and why? And maybe throw in a list of other recommended books for
Dickon: From A to B and Back Again - The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. His only true masterpiece.
The Assumption Of The Rogues & Rascals - Elizabeth Smart. Such beautiful, beautiful words.
Selected Poems - Anne Sexton. She always seems to hit the nail on the finger.
Rachel: Last three books read: JM Coetzee - Waiting
for the barbarians. John Kennedy Toole - a confederacy of dunces . Jeff
Noon - Vurt. It's very important to read a book on the commuter train in
amongst the evening standards and Marion Keyes's.
Q: You've played Sweden, France and even Leeds. When
can we expect a date in Manchester or are you avoiding the place like the
plague for fear of townies and scally's?
Rachel: When someone pays for us to go up there and organizes the train and a nice B&B (south facing room, vegetarian breakfast). none of us drives. 2 of us have jobs. And i don't like sleeping on floors. Matt is the only person capable of organizing a tour and i think 8 years of Brighter playing to 10 people in Southampton may have put him off. people are often much more enthusiastic outside of London so it is nice to play other towns and cities. i'm very jealous of bands who know they have a following in hartlepool or norwich. My ambition would be to play to more than 20 people in my home town of Doncaster without being bottled off.
Dickon: Kate is Mancunian, so it would make sense
for us to play there soon. Fosca never ask for gigs, though. We only ever
play when we're invited by a third party (a band or promoter) to do so.
We've managed to play in London once every calendar month since last December,
purely at the invitation of others. Likewise, we only make records when
we are asked to do so. That way, no one can blame us for forcing ourselves
upon the world. Fosca are the world's most passive band.
Q: Finally, we know how much you love communicating
your unique viewpoint with the rest of the world through your internet
diaries. What are you thinking of right now?
Dickon: Sex is like football. You don't have to do it to be a fan of it. It's a game of two halves.
Rachel: Going back to bed
"Diary Of An Antibody" is out now via Skinkansen
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