Interview – Santa Carla

(Originally published in Inform Magazine, February 2003)

Another month, another helping hand to a local band as they take their first faltering steps on the ladder to fame. And who better to give that hand than Mike Flange, top local DJ and impassioned dog lover?

Hello Santa Carla. Now I understand you’re a ‘local’ band who plays lots of ‘gigs’ on the ‘underground’ ‘live’ ‘scene’. Is this why I’ve never ever heard of you?
Simon: Well that depends on whether you are the sort of person who finds himself at a Tina Turner concert, nodding slightly out of time with the beat, wondering whether now is a good time to eat that orange club that’s melting in your corduroy sports-jacket pocket. If this is the case, then odds are you’re not a savvy member of Santa Carla’s public. If however you’re some kinda superman, then it could just be because we encase all of our promotional materials in lead.
Chris: Also, unlike many local bands, we’re not merely content to schlep thanklessly around the North West playing to largely indifferent crowds.
Brian: No, we want to schlep thanklessly around the entire UK if possible.
Was that name the best you could come up with?
Chris: It was either that, Vulva, The Reg Varney Appreciation Society or Stolypin and the Dumas. I think we made the right choice in the end.
Simon: We were going through a list of names one day, and the fictional vampire-infested town from the 80’s brat pack movie ‘The Lost Boys’ came up as a possible choice. Being children of said decade, we jumped at the chance and have revelled in the moniker ever since. So, In answer to your question: no.
Are you a band that uses guitars and drums, or have you managed to pull yourself into the modern era and use sampling keyboards and suchlike?
Simon: Santa Carla are a band of ‘musicians’. This means we would rather play something than have someone else do it and then procure a soupçon of it for our use. That said, we do employ programming, sequencing and sampling in tasteful quantities on our debut album Motion Picture – available on Digital Wings 03/03/03! Check out for more info.
Brian: Subtle plug.
Simon: Thanks.
Okay, you’re a local gigging band. That’s your choice, I’m not judging you. But which band, out of the whole history of popular music, would you prefer to be?
Brian: Lipp Lucid.
Simon: We want to be Earth Wind & Fire, but me mam won’t make us any costumes.
Do people actually enjoy seeing you live?
Simon: No, they’re all lying. I have proof.
Chris: They really have no choice in the matter. We scan the crowd for their reactions during the set and those audience members clearly not enjoying themselves are lead outside to be tarred and feathered, then paraded through the streets of Liverpool.
Brian: The threat of such ignominy is enough to render every audience more than receptive to our performances.
Pete Townsend. Are the kids all right?
Brian: I’d like to think so, though I’d suggest that Tommy lad steers clear of the amusement arcades for a little while.
Simon: Good lord, what is with this terrible proliferation? Rock Stars? Cuddly TV personalities? Soon we’ll have the entire ‘Game for a Laugh’ team up on abuse charges.
You could probably do with the benefits of Pop Idol or Fame Academy. Where do you think you’re going wrong?
Simon: Benefits? You mean coming second place to Girls Aloud in the rigged Christmas race to no. 1 with a saccharine mess called Sacred Trust? Or do you mean the unparalleled creative control afforded to Hearsay during their daring and controversial second album?
Chris: Maybe we are going wrong? Maybe we should sign away our entire lives to some soulless, greying, avaricious, bubble-gum-pop-peddling, Coventry-born **&£$@
Brian: Such shows are ephemeral and cater to the whimsical nature of contemporary TV audiences and, rather than discovering true talent, merely produce a ghastly parade of well-groomed, charisma-free marionettes, operated by perma-tanned, walking ‘Just for Men’ adverts like Simon Cowell. If any of these programmes produce an artist with serious longevity, I’ll change my name to Susan.
Which member of the band would you like to get rid of, because they’re holding you back?
Brian: Chris, our drummer.
Chris: Brian, our bass player.
Simon: No, you’re both wrong, it’s me. I’m secretly nowhere near as talented as the others, but I manage to get by through digression and offering people cups of tea whenever a test of ability is raised.
Santa Carla album launch at the Magnet on 3rd March


About klausjoynson
I'm a writer, editor, musician, DJ and cartoonist. Contact me at: klausjoynson(at) or follow me on Twitter: @KlausJoynson

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