Regular visitors to the Black Flag will know the name Naked Lunch, the band fronted by the elusive Tony Mayo were early pioneers of the post punk Futurist movement back in the early 80’s. Now over thirty years later Naked Lunch are back, bigger and better than ever before. It’s been a long while since we last had a chat with Mr Mayo, so we thought it was time to remedy that. After a year of prolonged harassment Tony finally gave in and agreed to an interview. Good timing as well as the band have taken on some new members, released an album and some awesome videos and are about to have their biggest year yet…..
The black Flag: A lot has happened since we last caught up with you guys in wow 2012, you’ve added an extra bandmate (that we all know and love), you’ve recorded your album, had a few awesome video’s made and recently supported Combichrist. Let’s start with the addition of the lovely Jet Noir…
What was the reasoning behind adding a female singer?
Tony Mayo: We added Jet as a replacement synth player, as Mick lives too far away and it just so happens that there were some lines that felt better with Jet doing them.
TBF: Has jets addition changed the sound of Naked Lunch and overall dynamic of the band?
Tony: We were happy to have Jet join as her ideas match our own and the sound of Naked Lunch is a fusion of electronic genres, not ring fenced into one area. What she has added is some awesome cyberspace skills and is a great addition in the writing of the new material, that we working on. In short Jet has fitted in perfectly as have Clint our new drummer and Sam our Bass player
TBF: Was this the reasoning behind rerecording your original tracks or was that more a case of taking advantage of modern technology to make them sound a way that maybe you originally envisioned?
Tony: It was a case of giving a nod to the past and bringing it into the present, which I think old and new fans would understand. Plus it was good for us to revisit some of the old tracks and tweak them and to have Jet’s input too.
TBF: Has much changed since tracks like Slipping again and Rabies were originally recorded? Do you feel there’s much difference between the old and new versions?
Tony: They have changed a little but essentially they are the same tracks
TBF: What has been the reaction from your fan-base?
Tony: People appear to like what we are doing and that includes those who know us from before and those of us who only know us as a band of the here and now
TBF: You’ve had a few excellent videos released as well. Can you tell us a bit about them?
Tony: We approached Pete Lankston after an introduction by Jet and asked if he would do some videos for us. We felt that having videos out there would give people a better idea of our vision, similarly to that of our art work and T shirts. It is all about being creative and moving forward
TBF: The video for Alone is really unsettling and works great with the track. Did you have much input or did you leave it all to Pete?
Tony: We discussed it and Jet suggested the grain effect, which we all though was a great idea and we suggested trying to get some band footage in. Pete lets us know what he was doing and we liaised with him but we trusted him to deliver and he certainly did.
TBF: You’ve recently supported Combichrist on tour how did that come about?
And how did you find the tour in general?
Tony: We saw that they were doing UK dates and asked about doing them and sent though info and links about us and luck had it that we got the gigs. We really enjoyed doing the tour as it was the birth of the new twenty first century Naked Lunch, with our new line up. There were a couple of technical hicups but we got over them and played on. Awesomely we had brilliant audiences who really liked our set and it made the whole tour so worthwhile. Thank you to everyone who came to see us you were all fantastic and we hope to get up to you all in 2015
TBF: You’ve got a few more live shows coming up in early 2015. Tell us about those?
Tony: On the 10 Jan we are playing at Elektrowerkz along with Sigue Sigue Sputnik and then the 23 Jan we are headlining on the opening night of a new electronic club, Analogue Nights at The Cavendish Arms, 128 Hartington Rd, SW8 2HJ London. This will be a pre-release event for our Evolve EP we have coming out on the 13 Feb. This is four of the tracks from our album that we revisited and had Carlos Peron produce plus we have some dates in March that will be announced on Boxing Day plus we have been asked to play in Switzerland in November.
Looks like we are going to be busy in 2015
TBF: Wow. That is a lot of Naked Lunch in 2015. Any UK festival dates where we can expect to see you?
Tony: We are still in the process of taking bookings and would love to do some in the UK and in Europe too
TBF: Ok our final question. We asked you it last time we spoke but obviously things have changed a lot for Naked Lunch since then. Where do you see the band in five years?
Tony: Evolving and still moving forward, with more fans and yes we are still aiming at total World Domination…. perhaps (laughs)
New EP coming out on Friday 6 March
Catch the Covenant tour dates Birmingham 6 March, London 7 March and Bristol 8 March