RoddieGilliard.JPGIB: Hi, Roddie - long time no speak. How did the Autumn tour of mainland Europe go?


RG: Good evening, Mister Idiot! Yes, the Euro tour went well, just one date in Belgium then 3 weeks in Germany. Everything went smoothly, except my mum went into hospital on the day we left England, so for me personally it was a little hard, lots of daily phone calls, etc. We'd had a year off from the usual annual tour, so it was nice to get back to it and meet all the regulars again, plus we got to play at quite a few new places too - which is always good. We went a month earlier than we normally go, and the weather was much more to our liking.


IB: You played a few UK dates in the summer, and are scheduled to play your traditional spring tour shortly. Any changes to line-up or set lists betwixt times that we oughta be aware of?


RG: The short run of gigs in Summer were really just to warm up for the Cropredy Festival. Before the festival, we played a triple bill with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and the Country Joe Band: that was a hoot. Cropredy was fab, we didn't know how we would go down with a predominantly folk-rock type audience, but they loved it and we got a tremendous reception from around 18,000 people. The crowd and organisation were wonderful, totally stress free show followed by lots of real ale and chats with peeps. Probably the nicest festival I've ever attended. This coming UK Spring tour will be a 7 piece band, with Roddie, Friz, Tilo, Jimmy Carl, Carlo, Marty and Mikey. We'll be playing a lot of the big medleys/instrumentals, because we'll have so many voices (instruments).


IB: Loved Muffin Moovies the first - the second was slated for release last October. What happened?


RG: Oh, just a little glitch. We intend to complete it this year, just want to grab a few more interviews before the final edit. There is a ton of stuff we could use; much more material is available from the later period. Maybe this October will see it completed!


IB: Any new Muffin CDs on the horizon? Would love to see the Hot Rats medley readily available.


RG: No definite plans for a CD as yet but, if we do one, it will be a live thing. The Cropredy performance was good and we would have liked to release that, but sadly there are distortions on the masters which can't be rectified.


IB: Any plans to work with 10:10 Ensemble again?


RG: We'd love to do more with the Ensemble, as they would too, but until we can find some sort of sponsorship it'll have to stay on the shelf. The costs of producing a show are huge: the classical players are on contract to the Liverpool Phil, and union rates have to be adhered to. So if there is a rehearsal, they have to be paid union scale - while the Muffinz get zilch.


IB: Tell me about the upcoming 'Chadfest' in France.


RG: Eugene has been commissioned to produce a week of events in France in May. Each night will be a totally different project. The good Doctor asked me to play in The Chadbourne Baptist Church Band, who will perform renditions of his songs. So far, I have no idea what we'll play, but I'm sure I'll get briefed soon. I'm looking forward to doing it; I love what he does.


IB: Me too. Have you been following Joe's Corsaga?


RG: Of course. The first disc (early demo stuff) was great; I still play it in the car. The second one (Grand Wazoo rehearsal) should have stayed on cassette; I don't understand the logic of releasing that when there is so much good stuff in the vault that we are dying to hear. Haven't heard the third one (circa 63 stuff) yet, but hope to pick a copy up soon.


IB: And do you plan to catch see of the Zappa Plays Zappa tour?


RG: Erm, no. I don't know who will be playing (does anybody?), and hopefully I'll be busy doing something else.


IB: How's Jimmy?


RG: Jimmy soldiers on; he's full of aches and pains but, as he says, "I'm gonna rock till I drop", and there are plans to do some blues gigs in Summer - Jimmy, myself and Mick Pini. I'm looking forward to that.


IB: Will that include UK dates?


RG:  The tour with Jimmy and Mick, as The Jimmy Carl Black Band, will take place in July in UK. Some dates have been booked, and more are being arranged. A full list of dates will be published soon. Material will be drawn from the BEP CD, along with some of Pini's songs. And Roddie will add a few too.


IB: I have to ask - any updates for us on 'For Mother's Sake'?


RG: The texts were passed back to Jimmy. He's been reworking/editing/adding to it, still looking for a publisher.


IB: Heard from Napi since Zappanale #14?


RG: Not directly, but Jim Cohen calls asking can we arrange something with him. But so far, the timescale has always been too short, and we've normally already booked something. Would be nice to do something else with Napi.


IB: There was some crap on the InterWeb about your skull and crossbones banner - are you still continuing to use it?


RG: Some guy took offence to our pirate flag, but I think he was pissed off because we wouldn't let him plug into the soundboard so he could get a nice clean bootleg of our gig. So the next thing we know he has posted a bunch of shit around the web, saying we were being disrespectful or some such bollox. I think he might have been Dutch. Anyway, we continue to fly our pirate flag high.


IB: And why not?






Photo of Roddie taken by this Idiot at the second Zappateers Festival in Bradford-on-Avon, February 2007.




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