So to New Radiant Storm King, then. Slackish
indie rock from the USA of A. Earlier this year they released a
bunch of their melodies on an album called Singular No
Article maybe a bit petulant about always being called
Storm Kings. There is at, element of truth in the bitchy
rumour that I only agreed to this interview to impress their press
girl (and who wouldn't?), proven by the fact I prepared no
questions and had to rely on what we like to call the Indie Band
Pool Challenge, which basically means indulging in the cheap
vodka and shooting the breeze over the baize (well, felt)
in Fat Pauly's here in Norwich. In the red corner your home team
was myself and Ian from, erm, powerpop sensations Massey, up against
Peyton Pinkerton and the cigar-chomping Garrett Fontes. What are
you waiting for? Rack 'em up!
New Radiant Storm King is: Matt Hunter, Garrett
Fontes, Peyton Pinkerton.
Tell some secrets to the tape recorder
while we're playing.
Garrett: Regardless of what I say
you guys can write whatever the hell you want of course.
That's a really lazy fanzine technique.
G: It's alright. You actually
reminded me of my day job: I'm a journalist so I know all your fucking
General journalism, or...
G: No financial journalism.
Well I'm an accountant.
G: Ah, there you go. I know all
your fucking tricks on both fronts the accountant
and the fanzine part.
Done many albums then?
This is our fifth record, our first to
be exclusively released over here. The other four made it over here
in a somewhat sparing fashion, mostly through imports, but this
is the first one to have an official release, an official push over
Are we playing with American foul rules
two shots and all that?
G: We don't play the two shots. I don't care, I could go
either way. I'm just used to larger balls and larger pockets, as
you can imagine.
Any hot tips for the American stock
G: Well, the Dow you know
lost 400 points this past week, bit by bit. Yesterday it was at
almost 9,200 and it's dropped back down now to 8,800, so sell!!
There's a bit of advice for you. Hey, you wanna play?
Peyton:Well man, there ain't
numbers on the balls, I just don't know what to do. Is there any
G: Whack 'em.
How long has the band been on the go?
In one form or another for over eight years.
We formed in March of 1990 and we’ve gone through a couple of line-up
changes. Nice shot Peyton!
It’s one of ours!
G: It doesn't matter, it was a very
attractive shot. Like I was saying, our first album came out in
1993, much belatedly. It would've come out in 1991 but stuff happened,
so it's probably for the best that it didn't come out. So what are
Well, we like country music.
G: Such as?
Wilco, Scud Mountain Boys, Jim White,
G: Oh sure, the Scuds. Not all country
music is the same, as you must know. We're yellow right? And we're
P: Scud Mountain Boys are from our
town. They broke up of course. but there's another band now.
You should've sat us down before telling
us that. So there's a new band?
P: Yeah, the Pernice Brothers. I
play guitar, and it's this guy Thorn from the Lilys and the drummer
from the Lilys, Aaron Sperske, but it's not country really, it's
more like orchestral pop. I guess it's still like Scud songs but
instead of country tinges it more like AM radio pop.
You'd only really call them country-tinged
P: Except for the lap-steel, pedal-steel
G: Yeah, they really had nothing to
do with country music aside from the accoutrements. (meanwhile.
on the pool table...) There is smoke' And where there is smoke there
is motherfuckin’ fire!
Are you still doing Silver Jews stuff?
P: No, we just did that one record
(The Natural Bridge), I think more for David to prove that
he didn't need the Pavement guys to make records and stuff, but
he's gone back with Malkmus they're in the studio right now.
It wasn't really like being in a band as members, we just did the
session, practised like three times and then recorded it. It was
definitely a good experience.
G: So what else is happening over
here these days?
Hip hop revival.
G: Hip hop revival? I hope it's
not that shit I hear on the radio. I've gotta admit I like that
Spice Girls tune, that's a winner.
The Motown one?
G: That's it exactly! It's got that
James Jamerson bassline, that's exactly what it is. But it's not
a bad song.
You'd have to describe it as joyful wouldn't
G: It's not the first word that
would've come to mind but sure, why not?
And the first would be?
G: Pre-digested. I heard Pulp recently and I really did not
go for that much at all.
How are you coping with having to listen
to Magoo every night?
P: Pretty good, I don't mind 'em.
It's been a blessing, they're all nice guys. We've played with bands
that promoters think we sound like and we get up there and it's
just nothing. I think we have more in common with this band than
a lot of the bands we'd get stuck with in the States. I guess that
sort of question threw out your opinion of the band as well.
G: (missing his shot) Damn.
that hurt! Actually Peyton, that was your shot I just took. You
would've got it though. This one you can nail. Your finest hour...
ooh, not quite!
Did you think we'd be any good when we
suggested this game? (after lots of pissing around with the black)
Finish it off, it's getting embarrassing.
G: This is the downside of pool
here. I wasn't thinking of the aerodynamics of the room when I made
P: I didn't realise it was gonna
be an interview kinda thing too, but what better way to get an interview
than this? (Finally, after about three days) Bam! Straight
What did you find to do in Norwich today?
P: This is a nice town. My grandmother's
family is from here, we're going back hundreds of years. There's
a church around here where a bunch of them are buried, so I have
to make time tomorrow to take some photos the "yank coming
home" kinda thing as cliched as it is, it's still very
exciting. When we were in Scotland, I knew that my family was from
a town called Pinkerton in Scotland and we just happened to randomly
drive by this little sign for it, so we had to pile out of the van
and take a picture. The best thing there was like a horse farm and
they had this big sign that said Pinkerton Stud so
there I am standing next to it. My family's pretty Anglophilic,
every Christmas we have like toad in the hole and Yorkshire pudding,
plum pudding. Once in a blue moon if we can we'll get some bangers
from a specialist shop or something. They're very into it.
Part of my family is from Canada, and
my parents went out there and came back with loads of photos of
them posing next to signs with Ivany on so I know exactly what you
P: Where in Canada?
St. John's, Newfoundland.
P: It's beautiful out there. Kinda
bleak, but beautiful. We got up kinda late today but I feel like
we still had a pretty good four, we did the cathedral, and just
walking around and being here is exciting. It's kinda cool coming
here as a band you're tourists but you're also doing stuff,
so people seem to be a little more receptive.
How have the shows been?
P: Leeds was the roughest night.
I think it was the first time we got like anti-American shit, but
then you meet nice people and you forget about it. Actually what
prefaced it was we were walking through the town and a paddy-wagon
or prisoner van stopped at the lights and there was this pounding,
pounding on the windows like condensed rage or something
it really scared the hell out of us I have to say. You just
don't get that, you know, guys sticking their asses on the window,
some really scary looking guys beckoning to us, it sort of set us
off a little bit. And the bouncer at the club was really rude to
us. Everyone else has been really nice, in contrast.
A few miles from here you get some anti-American
stuff going on because of all the air bases around.
P: I love my country as much as
anyone, but American politics are certainly not representative of
the majority. I'm really pissed about that nuclear waste thing in
Scotland. We wouldn't have heard about it in the States at all.
It seems like the English people and the Scottish people don't really
want it and Tony Blair is doing it to appease Clinton; it seems
like everyone's accusing him of sucking up to Clinton anyway. We
have our fair share of nuclear waste facilities in America, so it's
something we're used to.
Springfield! Do you go for The
Simpsons or South Park?
P: The popularity of The Simpsons
I don't think will be equalled. South Park is fucked up.
It's funny, but I wonder what people from other countries think
when they see that, those little talking Santa Claus shits and things
like that. We're enjoying that heavily but I think with The Simpsons
you could sit down with your six-year-old daughter she would
enjoy it on one level, you would enjoy it on another you'd
both laugh and then go and have dinner. South Park comes
on and children should not really watch it. It's pretty clever,
pushing the boundaries and all that, but bathroom humour is bathroom
humour, but it’s intelligently done.
Well, thanks for your time, and next time we'll nail you to that