Sunday, 21 October 2012

Bickers Asks Fij

Following on from the release of the first Pete Fij / Terry Bickers free download last month, the duo have agreed to be interviewed by you, and they await your questions. In the meantime, to get the party started, they have interviewed each other.

Last week it was Pete asking Terry the questions, in which Mr Bickers revealed which era of history he would most like to time travel to, and what animals he thinks the duo are most akin to. This week the tables are turned, and it's time for Terry to play Bob Woodward to Pete's Carl Bernstein.

(Terry Bickers) Can you remember the first single or album you ever bought?

(Pete Fij) I really wish it was something hip, but it was a 7" of  'Bright Eyes ' by Art Garfunkel. The first ever album was a K-Tel compilation 'Out Of This World - The Best of The Moody Blues. I had been given a £5 record token for my birthday & didn't know what to spend it on. I  saw the album advertised on TV  & liked the flute part on 'Nights in White Satin'.

As with the radio program 'Desert Island Discs' if you could pick only one album to take to a desert island what would it be and what would your luxury be?

'Ocean Rain' by Echo & The Bunnymen. Luxury would be a recording studio (plus a solar generator to make all the electrics work).

Other than the guitar do you or have you ever played any other musical instruments?

I played the flute when I was about 11 for a couple of years. When I was 19 I wanted to join a band, and thought the bass would be the easiest instrument to play, so was an appalling bassist in my first ramshackle band called Bubblegum Flesh. Apart from that I play two finger piano/keyboards in the studio, and have also appeared on record playing the kazoo on 'Impossible' by Polak. I don't think I'll ever be described as a 'multi-instrumentalist'.

When writing songs do you usually begin by writing the music or lyrics or does it vary?

I hear almost all my songs that I write these days in my head first, and often they are pretty much formulated and arranged before I pick up a guitar. Usually the music comes before the lyric - but sometimes they come almost at the same time - though never more than a couple of lines. Once I understand what the central conceit of the song is I go away and work on the lyrics.

Do you have a favourite author?

Richard Brautigan, Paul Auster or Haruki Murikami

You used to run a regular pop quiz night, how did you get into this & do you intend to host any more in the future?

I was asked by a landlord of a pub if I'd be interested in running a quiz. I started 'I Predict A Pop Quiz', as a 'Vic n Bob' style off-the-wall quiz where I would wear pop stars perfume that the contestants would have to guess in 'Smell My Elbow round', or they would have to guess which pop star I was thinking of and transmitting to them in the 'ESP round'. I used to sing songs to introduce the various rounds sometimes with a dance routine thrown in. I would get guest musicians to play pop songs on increasingly bizarre instruments - my favourite was a bagpipe player doing Beck & Kraftwerk. I gave up after I reached 100 quizzes as it was doing my head in, and I found myself waking up in the night thinking of obscure pop trivia rounds involving cheese puns & I wanted to create some space in my head for something more creative - such as the Pete Fij / Terry Bickers album. I occasionally do one-offs, and might go back one day to hosting quizzes when I have a bit more space in my head.

What members would you have in your ‘fantasy’ backing band?

Kim Deal (Pixies/Breeders) on Bass, re-incarnation of Pete De Freitas (Bunnymen) on drums. If I can't bring back the dead, then I'd get Christoph Brandner from Lali Puna. I reckon I'll stick with my current guitarist. However, the proviso for all these being in the band is that they would have to get on. However great the musicians I couldn't hack being in a band with people who didn't get on.

Are you more of a night or a morning person?


What bands/artists from the last few years have caught your eye (or ear)?

The Kills, The Raveonettes, Fujiya & Miyagi, Trost. Mexican Elvis are really important to me, not just for their music but also because of their friendship and inspiration. I'm with you on Cashier No 9. In the pop world Rizzle Kicks get my vote. I've got more flighty as I have got older, and reverted back to my teenage self of really liking bands for their singles rather than albums per se - I really like the singles by Jagwa Ma 'Come Save Me', The Cheek 'Hung Up', White Rabbits 'Temporary', Gemma Ray 'Rescue Me'  without really knowing that much about the artists.

Which TV cop show duo do you think best represents our partnership?

I think it would probably be have to be Starsky & Hutch. I'm the brash mouthy Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) character who does most of the driving, whilst you're David Soul (Hutch) - more contemplative, soulful and quite a bit taller. Cagney & Lacey probably runs a close second. 

You can probe further into Pete's nervous system via his new wesbite, or follow him on Twitter if that's your thing (he doesn't really get it, but bless him - he's trying) & you can also follow all of Pete & Terry's news via their facebook page to keep up to date with what they're up to.

Now it's time for you to put the questions to messers Bickers & Fij -  get asking, but you only have about a week or so to get them in, so don't dally.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Fij Asks Bickers

Photo - Michael Orkel
To celebrate the first release of the Pete Fij / Terry Bickers free download track, Pete and Terry will be doing a Q&A answering your questions about their collaboration, their past endeavours, future plans and anything else you might want to ask.Click here for details of how to ask Pete & Terry - but don't dally too long - you have until Friday 26th October to get your questions in.

In the meantime, to get the ball rolling, the two have agreed to interview each other, and this week it's Pete Fij -  our very own intrepid Carl Bernstein , who sat down and put some questions to Terry Bickers.

Pete Fij :Who were your musical heores when you were young?
Terry Bickers : The Police, U2, Siousxie & The Banshees, Magazine, Echo & The Bunnymen, Gary Numan (Tubeway Army).

Although we have a shared sensibilities about a lot of things, I think in other ways we are very different people - Which animals would you describe yourself and me as?

I like the symbolism of the spider in Shamanism. In it they represent us being weavers of our own reality reminding us of the creative power we have in shaping our own lives, spinning our web so to speak.

We first got together some time ago - I think we first played back in 2009 - how has the project/collaboration been in comparison to what you expected?
I expected/ hoped that our project would evolve into a group but I am happy with us being a duo now. I am thinking of using technology to add more layers to the sound (loops etc).

Our paths never crossed back in the Creation days (and judging by tales of both of our pasts maybe that's just as well, as I'm not 100% sure the twenty-something Pete & Terry would have got on), but I sense you were a very different person back then to the Terry I know now. What do you think the old Terry would have made of these songs - and would he have approached this project differently? 

I would have approached it in the same way I always have done when working in collaboration. When doing this I try to compliment each song in an appropriate way. Back then the ideas would probably have been less developed, more off the cuff.

What bands/artists from the last few  years have caught your eye (or ear)?

The Dears, Arcade Fire. Papa M, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Marina & The Diamonds, MGMT, Cashier no 9, Great Lake Swimmers, Eliza Jaye and the Tarts (Brighton band), Hollow Moon (Brighton band), Das Fenster (Brighton based band something akin to Kate Bush meets Radiohead)

If you had the option to travel back in time and revisit your earlier life would you go back and change anything - and if so what?
I would probably have to make quite a few trips to go back and stop sabotaging various opportunities that came my way in life.

And if you could speed on back past your birth - what era would you most like to visit?*
 *NOTE: Time travel option can currently only go back in time, not into future

Maybe pre- agricultural/ industrial revolution to see some of the wilder parts of the UK?

When you are an old, old man and come to write the story of your life - what will it be called?


What one thing that you haven't yet done in life would you most like to do?

Make an album of my own songs.

Tune in next week for the second part of the process - 'Bickers Asks Fij', and don't forget to drop us line with any questions you might have for our songsmiths.

You can also keep up to date with all things Bickers & Fij-shaped to via the Facebook Page

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Ask Bickers & Fij

Following the release of their free download, Pete & Terry will be opening the lines of communication and will be doing a Q&A session, so if you have any questions for our two downbeat troubadours then drop us a line.

One question might be: "why is Pete holding an umbrella in the photo to this story when he is quite clearly in the underground away from the rain?", but we will leave it to your imagination.

You can either e-mail your questions to info(AT)petefijterrybickers(DOT)com , you can message the duo at their facebook site, or you can post a message below this entry. All questions considered - from the profound to the bizarre, so get messaging.

In the meantime you can see the cross-examination here as Fij asks Bickers  and Bickers asks Fij