Monday, March 29, 2010

Abdoujaparov interview

London-based musician and Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine legend Les Carter (aka, Fruitbat) is currently in Australia with his band, Abdoujaparov. I grabbed a few words with him about the tour and his upcoming visit to Sydney:

"I got asked for I.D. at a pub the other day. I'm 51 years old. That's just stupid."

Back on another Australian tour, the delightfully affable Les Carter, Fruitbat to you and I, may have to carry his passport around with him when hitting the town, but it'll take more than the occasional officious bouncer to spoil his fun in the hazy Autumn heat. "My overall memories of Australian tours are of relaxation, sunshine, booze, friends and a great attitude towards rock 'n' roll," he reminisces, as talk turns to why Australia keeps drawing him back year after year.

"When we split up Carter USM [in 1997]," he explains. "I promised myself that my new band would come over to Oz. I had such a brilliant time when Carter came over to do Big Day Out in 1993, but for some reason our record company would never let us come back."

And so Fruitbat has kept the promise he made to himself and brought Abdoujaparov to the sunny side of the world on several occasions, and will be back at one of his favourite Sydney haunts, The Excelsior, this April 15th. "I'm looking forward to meeting up with the great bunch of friends that turn up at the gigs and having a few decent beers. Sue at The Excelsior is a legend too. She always looks after us." As has become the norm, the dynamic of his band changes when he hits this side of the world, "We are playing with two boys from Perth this year, so Sydney gig goers will get to see a slightly different blend of the Abdou sound."

Clearly, Australia holds a special place in the Londoner's heart, but it seems he won't be packing up his possessions and relocating from South London on a permanent basis anytime soon. "I did have dreams of moving here, but Australia seems to be a lot more buttoned down than it used to be. There are bits of 'nanny state-ism' that seem even worse than in the UK. With each passing year, I have seen Australia becoming more American and less Australian and I think that's a real shame." Even if he did want to make the big move over here, the masses of red tape involved in immigrating might prevent him from doing so anyway. "I'm not a plumber or a hairdresser, so I don't think Australia will let me in. My only option would be to find myself a nice Aussie chick and marry her. Any offers?"

So, after a whirlwind tour of Aus, the indie legend will head back to Blighty to play to his English fanbase. While there won't be another of his other band's hugely successful gig exravaganzas in the near future, there will be plenty of opportunities for fans to catch an Abdoujaparov show. "Myself and Jim Bob are concentrating on non-Carter stuff this year, so there won't be any Carter gigs until at least late 2011, but this year is gonna be tour, tour, tour as far as I'm concerned. I want to beat our annual gig count and play in as many new places as we can."

And as for some new Abdoujaparov material, well, that's hopefully on it's way too. "We are determined to get something out this year. There has been a new Abdou album in the works for over a year so far. It is proving to be quite a difficult birth. I have about 30 songs but have only recorded 4 of them so far." And, as well as his ongoing Carter and Abdoujaparov projects, he has other irons in the fire too, like a musical that he has been writing over the past few years. "My musical is still waiting in the wings. It is almost finished actually and is very good. I am hoping to write more games music this year too; that is great fun. I did start writing an illustrated children's book some time ago, but couldn't find a publisher so it got a bit stuck. It's called King One Ear Bigger Than The Other."

For now though, Fruitbat is concentrating on rocking his way around Australia. And what can Sydneysiders expect when they turn up to The Excelsior? "A good fun night out, with some class tunes and a great atmosphere," he promises. "Expect to leave with a big smile on your face."

For a full list of Abdoujaparov's tour dates, click HERE.

No comments: