INTERVIEW WITH MIGUEL RIBERIRO
PRE BERLIN GIG INTERVIEW
-Thank you very much for this interview,who are Bfg how does it all started?
I used to drum for a band called Lavolta Lakota. We were on the same label as New Order so used to tour a lot with them. I got to know the guys (and Gillian) well, especially Hooky, who used to live mix for Lavolta. One day he leant me the DMX Oberheim that was the drum machine used on Blue Monday. As far as I was concerned this was all dark magic, but my friend Keith “Poppa” Lambert was a real Techo guy. Within a few minutes he had sussed out how it worked. So as a drummer I picked up the guitar and with no previous musical ability Keith got a bass. Next was BJ (Bozstar) Williams a long term friend who heard the noise we were making and loved it. The noise we were making was unfiltered by any commercial idea, we just made a noise that we all loved. It was as simple as that. Obviously we had to give the drum machine back so we went and got our own kit about 1984 ish. We ended up with a Roland 909 drum machine and a SH101 synth together with a broken old guitar nicknamed “Dr Phibes” that we paid £20. Before we knew it we had made “acid house”……it turned out the 909 and SH101 were the instruments of choice for these guys. It took us about 10 mins to get thoroughly bored of it, it was to easy….move the LFO slider and instant acid. It was then that we wrote Paris and Amelia. Hooky got to hear the tracks and loved it and we were invited to tour with New Order, so what started as a few friends having fun quickly became something more serious. The moment I think we realized we were onto something was at a gig where the tape of Paris and Amelia was put on and almost immediately the dance floor became packed, and these people had never even heard the tracks before. It really was at that moment we knew we had something between us.
-Why the name Bfg,and what does it means?
The real meaning behind BFG is only known by the original members, but actually BFG is more a state of mind. Whats strange is that that state of mind has ultimately turned out to have stood the test of time. It’s actually a really simple life view in that you must question anything and everything you know is not right. Even if this means being the only one to stand up. It has happened to myself over the years and, well I wont say to much here because there is a book in the pipline about it, but what I can say is, the situation I was dealing with changed the law in the UK. That all comes from that BFG mind set.
-Many line up changes?
Many many line up changes over the years. Shortly after the first release BJ Williams moved to the Isle of Man and Keith moved to Belgium so in order to carry on I asked a couple of friends of friends if they would be interested. Steve Craig joined on vocals and Paul Batherham on guitar. We have also had so many other guys involved including Utah Saints Guy Hatton and Andy Clegg from the Chameleons. Also Andy Wright Williams joined on bass. This marked me moving back to the drums although in the studio I still played guitar and bass. Later on we were joined by Paul Wayman, but all told there must have been more than 30 people who have been involved over the years. For the forthcoming gig in Berlin it is the original singer BJ Williams along with myself, Andy Wright Williams on Bass, Elliot Wheeler from Dance Society , Zero and Dan Cunningham from McKinney.
-What influences your music and lyrics?
Initially it was bands like Gang of Four, Big Black, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy and certain Classical Composers. I know it’s fun to classify musical genres but its even more fun to write music that crosses over from one to another. Lyric wise, well we prefer that the listener to pick up the meaning,
-Gothic/Industrial/Dark Wave is it wright to say this is the music genre you guys play?
The real BFG sound was best summed up by a legendary American DJ named Coyote J (Like the US equivalent of John Peel). He said “ BFG are more intense than Joy Division without the the depression”. That sums up not just the music but the BFG’ s outlook on life,
-Please define Bfg in only one word….
-When a new album from Bfg?
We have had a few abortive starts over the years, as mentioned above I have been dealing with a couple of very important issues that have unfortunately meant that I could not dedicate the time I needed to make the album as good as it needs to be. But working on the tracks for the live gig has reinvigorated our view and reminded us how we used to work. So expect if not a full album, an EP early next year. Also we plan on releasing the new material on stems so that like minded DJ’s can remix the tracks. As well as a few more live gigs we do aim to get out for DJ sets in the new year as well.
-How it is the music scene in england,specially in Manchester?
Manchester is unfortunately still living on past musical glories like the Smiths, Chameleons, Joy Division. I don’t live there anymore so a little disconnected but I have not heard anything lately to change that view. The good thing is however, online magazines are starting to become more influential as the “gate keepers” such as the BBC and ITV turn into promotion for X factor dreamers.
-What are your plans for the future?
New BFG album and working closely with an amazing artist Amelia Chain, mixing classical with electronica some tracks have the vibe of Ludovico Einaudi others Fever Ray. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANeYiAt1bRA -What is your opinion about Portugal?
I have never been but would be wonderful to play there at some not to distant point,
-Imagine you could be an animal,wich one you would choose?
A human 😉