Melody Maker
Mark Jenkins

Publication Date:
29th March 1986



Severed from the ZTT artery, THE ART OF NOISE have teamed up with the twang man himself, MR DUANE EDDY, to drag rock ‘n’ roll into the future. Is history repeating itself? Is there nothing new in this world? Quizmaster: Mark Jenkins

WE’RE waiting for Duane Eddy. Duane invented the twangy guitar back in the Fifties and refers to the “Hank Marvin guitar sound” with restrained amusement: “When I first met Hank, he was about 16. I’d been having hits for a couple of years by then.”

Duane Eddy is working together with The Art Of Noise on a tune. It’s not a pop song - it’s by Henry Mancini. The Art Of Noise, preparing for “The Tube”, have never played live before (“last time on ‘The Tube’ we were just grooving around a bit, I didn’t like it too much,” says J. J. Jeczalik.) And one of them won’t even be there (Gary Langan is producing Spandau Ballet). Seven other people have temporarily taken his place.
Anne Dudley is a classically-trained pianist and orchestral arranger. She, like Jeczalik, is refreshingly down-to-earth (complete with a touch of a Pam Ayres accent) and they both have interesting things to say about ZTT: “To some extent, when we were playing behind masks, ZTT could say anything they liked about the band, even that it consisted of Paul Morley and Trevor Horn. We weren’t too happy about that.”
They’re working on performing two tracks, “Opus 4” and “Paranoimea” from the forthcoming album, plus the single “Peter Gunn”. Why choose such a golden oldie for revival?

“It’s a very memorable tune. Somewhere in my record collection I’ve got a copy, and you can’t put a good tune down. There are facets which are timeless, it’s a good tune to contemporise. Getting Duane Eddy in seemed the obvious thing to do - people didn’t expect us to have the real Duane on it. We couldn’t have done it any other way. That’s the way the man plays and, although The Art Of Noise have been irreverent at times, we are always aware of the historical perspectives on what we do.”

But surely AON haven’t been afraid of pinching things in the post? “The creative process in all art forms has generally been directly related to pinching. Without what was, nothing is - you can’t deny the post, so what we try to do is put it in a more palatable form in a novel and musical way. We’re all rock musicians and we’re basically working in an old format.

“We’re now talking about doing an album of ‘The Art Of Noise Greatest Hits’, such as they are, using a chamber orchestra, because that’s my personal interest and I think it’ll sound great”.

What’s the difference between The Art Of Noise (ZTT) and The Art Of Noise (China)?
“We’ve cut the crap”.
What crap was that, exactly?
“Interpret it any way you like.”

Enter Duane Eddy. He does not wear buckskins. He drawls, and has a sense of humour. How did he feel about working with The Art Of Noise?

“Well I’d heard their music, and I thought they were the most distinctive, unique, weird, strange, wonderful new instrumental sounds I’d heard - the first original instrumentalists since myself, if I may say so”.

Eddy sucks on a Cool (“to get mah heart started”) and reflects that he initially had no idea what AON were going to do with his tune. Jeczalik confirms they had no idea either. “I think we’ve treated Duane, Henry Mancini and ourselves with a lot of respect on the single. At some points I wanted to make it much more left-field, but on the album as a whole (“In Visible Silence” is out on China Records next month) there’s less quirky material and more melodic stuff”.

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