Members of The Utopia Strong Interview Magma:
Speaking In Tongues: Magma Interviewed By Musicians (The Quietus)
Ahead of their appearance at Tusk Festival we canvassed members of Voivod, Hawkwind, Gong, The Utopia Strong, SunnO))), 808 State and more to see what they would ask Magma if they had the chance... And here are the results. (Magma appreciation by John Doran)
Here is the excerpt with The Utopia Strong:
I’ve heard that Christian doesn’t listen to much music other than John Coltrane? Is this actually true? If it is not then what other music does he currently listen to? If it is true then what if there is someone who makes music that is “better” or equal to Coltrane? Does he not concern himself with the idea that he might be missing something?
(Steve Davis, Utopia Strong)
SV: This isn’t totally true. He likes old Motown and Stax productions and listens to classical music and the recordings of some French poets. He will listen to other jazz artists, especially new jazz artists when people make recommendations but (up until now at least) he hasn’t found anyone who fulfill his expectations the way John Coltrane does.
What is the story behind the H R Giger cover art for Attahk? Was Giger given a specific brief to follow, or was he allowed free rein? Also was the collaboration influenced by the fact that both artists were approached to work on Jodorowsky’s aborted Dune movie?
(Michael York, The Utopia Strong, Teleplasmiste)
CSV: The Jodorowsky project was one of the reasons we ended up with HR Giger art on that album. But mainly it was because Magma’s manager at that time, Giorgio Gomelsky, initiated the collaboration for this album cover. With a specific brief from us of course.
Can you shed any light on the connections between Magma and the 1984 movie Ghostbusters? The film features a possession by a demonic spirit named Zuul and the final scene atop the apartment roof with its obelisk like architecture and pair of demonic hellhounds bears more than a passing resemblance to the cover art for Üdü Ẁüdü.
CSV: Ha ha ha ha! There is no connection at all (Or maybe the film director was a Magma fan?)
When I read about Magma, I often see a lot of focus on the use of invented language Kobaïan. I feel that using an unrecognisable language allows all the humanity, emotion and expression of the singing voice to emerge without being tied down to a specific interpretation, and shows that the music of Magma has such inherent transcendental significance and meaning that it is beyond anything conventional language is able to convey. Would you agree?
(Kavus Torabi, The Utopia Strong, Gong)
CSV: Dear Kavus, this is totally right! You’ve said it all!
Read the full interviews here: The Quietus