Negative Pegasus
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Negative Pegasus

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"Negative Pegasus - Introducing"

Brighton's finest noisey-psychey-rocky three-piece Negative Pegasus have crossed our paths live a few times, and we’ve been blown away on every single occasion. Though your neighbours/roommates/parents/eardrums might not thank us, we asked guitarist Todd Jordan to introduce us to their strange and wonderful world. It's all about the Creedence, apparently...

How are you? Where does this Q&A find you?

I am pretty good dude, thanks. I’m just about to board a train from Brighton to London, so that I can go play a show. I’m seriously under-caffeinated, and the strap has busted on my guitar case, so I’m kind of in trouble.

How did the recording sessions for your latest release go? Did you achieve all you’d planned to?

I think you’re referring to our first full-length album, which we made over a period of 17 hours in a big empty warehouse space in Sussex. That was really fun.

We had a catalogue of tracks and a vague game-plan of the way we wanted to go about the process (basically simplifying any technical aspects to the point that we could just press record, play the tunes, and move on) and it kind of went by the
book, so that was good.

We’re working with a really inventive producer named Steffan Eliades who has a wonderful mind for perverting electronics and turning broken musical gear into awesome, evil, undead versions of their previous selves.

One of the amps Richard recorded with had a speaker that was totally disconnected from the rest of the electronics, and we didn’t even notice until after the recordings were finished. That’s Steffan’s influence, that is. He’s kind of a glitch-wrangler, and we’re happy to have him on our team.

What goals did you set yourself before you started recording? Did you do anything differently this time, on purpose? If so, why?

Well, these were our first real recordings with this project, so there wasn’t really much precedent for doing this differently per se… But our shining “goal” was just to try to recapture the vibe we have when we’re writing and nobody else is around. It always seems to happen that way for most bands with an element of impro to their music: You’re in your rehearsal space, coming up with something new together, there’s nobody in the room that isn’t playing an instrument and it sounds GREAT to your ears. That’s always the best it will ever sound. Then the hard part is trying to replicate it when other people are there to
hear, even if those people are just a producer and some microphones. It’s weird feeling, like you’re just about to walk into a room, and before you do someone whispers to you “ACT NATURAL”, like in a spy film… it’s very hard to just BE YOURSELVES when you know it’s all being captured for a record. Our secret was to drink a great deal.

What do you feel are your own limitations when it comes to creating/writing music?

Hmm, I’m not sure. It’s quite good to have limits when your creating pretty much anything, because (at least for me) they make you snap into focus. If you throw a bunch of stuff out the window, it frees you up to spend more time concentrating on what little you have.

NO BASS: “Awesome, we’ll just tune the guitars down like Korn used to, it sounded fine when we were kids.”

INAUDIBLE VOCALS: “Great, we don’t really need to worry about vocals then, we’ll just make sounds.”

CHEAP EQUIPMENT: “We’ll just break it and it’ll sound like it’s meant to be that way”.

Classic. As long you remember to move the boundaries around once in a while to stop yourself getting bored, then it usually works out for the best I think.

What do you consider to be your best 3 songs, and tell us the inspiration behind them?

All our songs are quite long, so we haven’t really written that many! “Visitation” is one of the first ones we made together, and it sounds fake to say that we just wrote it in conversation before we even picked up an instrument, but it’s true. I mean, it’s one note, one beat, basically. Lyrically, such as it is, it’s just a slow, kind of sex-obsessed thing, about temperature. How sex in the winter is different to sex in the summer. What that does to your skin and your brain. It’s kind of a
sweat and a fever thing.

We recently recorded a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Run Through The Jungle” for a label called Belly Kids, that’ll be coming out as part of a covers compilation later in the year. I know we didn’t write it, but I really like playing that tune, so I’ll have to include that. We basically kept it the same as the original, only we turned almost all of our effects pedals on. Plus, our version is 7 minutes longer than the original. I fucking love Creedence, the basic concept between them and us is the same, it’s all about riffs and echo. They had a few more riffs and lot less echo, but the principle is still very much in effect.

Third song… hmm, not sure. “For Life” took quite a while to put together, and it’s one of the ones that seemed to get the most love online when we first started making music available. I don’t know if that means it’s better than the others,
or more accessible, or whatever, but it felt to us like a bit of a step forward once we’d finished it. I must confess, the lyrics for that one are all stolen from a John Fante novel. Maybe stolen isn’t the right word… let’s say instead that it is an “extreme nod” to Fante’s work. A nod that is so extreme as to become a headbutt.

What do you love and what do you hate about life on the road? Tell us your funniest tour experience yet?

Oh man! Everybody knows tour is the most fun and the biggest pain in the arse all at once. When the shows go well, and you make new friends and your in a beautiful foreign city, it’s the most amazing vibe. I don’t know about funny tour stories… We played in an amazing squat space in Amsterdam, that used to be a uniform factory of some kind. It was a huge cube-shaped concrete block, absolutely enormous, and when we pulled in we had to pass through a number of barbed-wire checkpoints… it really felt like we were entering some kind of “compound”… The people inside were really great, just genuine Dutch anarchists. They showed us to the room we’d be sleeping in on the four floor of the warehouse, (a room that turned out to be bigger than most 1000 capacity venues I’ve seen; all that space just for the three of us and our driver!) and we noticed one exterior wall of the building was made out of bails of hay. The guy showing us round pointed to it and said “That’s were the people that own the building attacked us with a wrecking ball. It *probably* won’t happen tonight…
anyway, you guys can just put your sleeping bags right here.”

Haha. Scary nights sleep. But Nothing bad happened at all. We’re such wimps. It was right at the start of the tour, by the end tour makes you so brave you’ll sleep anywhere.

How would you describe your own/bands sound, or what do you hate being labelled
as?

I don’t really mind labels the way some bands seem to. There’s nothing wrong summing up a sound in a succinct phrase, if you can find one that fits. Who has time to spend ages discussing the intricities of your influences? We’ve mainly been telling people we’re “Hard Psych” which seems to require no further explanation.

I once heard a band describe their own sound as “Crack Rock” which is probably the most horrible genre description I’ve ever heard. I don’t even know what their music is like, but if “Crack Rock” is an accurate description of it, then
I’m fairly confident it won’t be to my tastes. But yeah, “Hard Psych” is fine, or “Woozy Garage” if that helps get the point
across. It’s just loud and trippy, that the basic gist!

Who is currently moving you musically?

The new Pictureplane album (“Thee Physical”) has been getting a lot of play from us at home lately. I love his sample choices, they are so playful but effective. He’s really reinventing trance music as something else entirely, kind of sad but
pretty, still really dancey as fuck. We’re all really big fans of Arrington De Dionyso too, his new solo LP “Suara
Naga” is just brutal. It’s all Indonese raps about Dragon’s vaginas, with crazy hip-hop beds made out of home-made instruments. So yeah those two dudes, oh and of course Pseudo Nippon, his record “Universal Pork Tai Chi”. It’s the absolute best record of the last five years at least. That’s a real headphone session for sure. The beds, the vocal delivery, everything about it. And he hooked Neg Peg up with our first London show back in the day too, so he is a lovely dude.

What album changed your life and why?
Chrome Panthers, by Ex Models. Unbelievable. I won’t croon too much about how much we love this album, but seriously, when I first heard it it was like nothing else I’d ever heard. The guitars where so simple and harsh sounding, it was almost cubist. Just these big chunky blocks of sound, that didn’t even really have pitch or melody too them. Zach and Shahin’s guitars made these simple OCD rhythms that they repeated 1000 times over, that Kid Million’s drums could go wild over for 7 minutes… Every time I listen to it, it sounds like its happening live and I don’t know whats gonna happen. I guess it just proved
how something really very simple can be far more powerful than a symphonic, overdubbed epic. When it’s done correctly that is.

If you could erase one single/album from history (your own or someone else's) which would it be and why?

Everything The Manic Street Preachers ever did. Cos they fucking suck, always have, and always will.

The revolution comes, who would you like to be first against the wall (and if you're feeling particularly bitchy, a second, third, fourth and so on...)?

How many people are in The Manic Street Preachers? Four or five? They will be numbers 1 through to 5. Everybody else gets to go free.

If you're in a car going at the speed of light, and someone turns the headlamps on, would they do anything?

I think with the recent discoveries in the news, we can all agree that they most definitely would.

TOP 5 IPOD TUNES – according to the harsh, indisputable fact of my mp3-
players tally count…

1. Bruce Springsteen – I’m Goin’ Down
I love how desperate his voice sounds on this, like he’s channelling Michael
Douglas in Falling Down. You know, he’s just trying to have a good time, and the
weight of the world just gets in his way. He’s gonna snap at any moment. I think
we can all relate.

2. Group Inerane – Kuni Majagani
Incredible, psych, nomad vibes. Love the female vocal shrieks in the background.

3. Future Islands – Long Flight
A good song for anybody that’s ever been on tour, come home, and had a tough
time decompressing.

4. Daft Punk – Robot Rock / Oh Yeah (live)
We spend a lot of time trying to make our guitars sound like Daft Punk
keyboards. Still got a long way to go, but this live tune is a good example of the
ideal.

5. Andrew W.K. – It’s Time To Party
I have to hear this song, to stop me from becoming Springsteen in the song
mentioned above. If it wasn’t for A.W.K. we’d all be in prison right now.


Cheers to Todd for his time. - Subbacultcha


"Moon Duo / Negative Pegasus"

Three piece Negative Pegasus, soon to
release their debut LP on Ireland’s
oddly named Smalltown America,
opened. The drummer’s relentless beat
led the way as acid visuals flowed
upwards, and the bass-less guitarists
followed her lead. There was no break
on this long march; compositions
connected and vocals submerged in
the squall of sound. You’d do well to
break your step to see them.
Moon Duo brought in a large following for their lunatic duality. Two bands in one. The
first: big sound rhythmic loops from basic synth drums and rhythm guitar. Glorious stuff.
But the synth drums began to ring hollow after hearing Negative Pegasus beating real
skin. Fantastic monochrome visuals entranced us all. - Brighton Noise


"Jukebox Chatter: Negative Pegasus"

Being Brightoners, it feels appropriate to ask: what's the most amazing thing you've ever witnessed at the Great Escape?

I gotta say, as festivals go, I don’t think The Great Escape ever really gets that “kerr-ay-zee”, not in the way festivals always used to be depicted on TV in the 90s anyway. I guess it’s probably because nobody is camping (good thing), so they don’t get covered in mud (great thing) but it means they retain a certain element of their self respect (bad thing) so yeah you don’t really get to see like a dude riding a piglet or a girl with magic mushrooms growing out of her ears like from a right wing sketch show.

Oh wait, did you mean amazing bands? In that case: Cheveu.

Most people assume psychedelic music means swampy and shoe gazey - yet yours is quite kicking. How would you describe your debut single?

It’s our attempt at the genre elusively known as “Dad Rock”. Something for the Zeppelin fans, only we fail miserably at that because it isn’t bluesy in the least - and while we tried singing about Satan, it mainly seems to be about architecture. (True).

I don’t necessarily feel that music has to be ethereal to be “psych”, it can be super harsh and guttural too… I guess it depends what kind of visions you're hoping to invoke.

How did you hook up with Smalltown America and how are you finding them as a label?

It happened almost entirely via email, with the exception of one trip to the pub to chat face-to-face. I wish I could say that we met them on Chat Roulette, but that would be inaccurate.

They’ve been great, just a thoroughly enthusiastic bunch of people that have been really into hearing our stuff and helping us get it into peoples ears. We’re hoping to make the trip out to Belfast sometime before the end of the year, so we can party on their home soil. I went to Belfast once when I was 16 for a school trip, and I spent the whole time playing pool, it was brilliant.

Brighton is famed for its history of mods and rockers, yet mass pop culture tribes appear to have died out these days. Is that fair to say, do you think?

Can’t claim to be a big fan of mods or rockers. If you see a modern mod and they are under the age of, like, 40, a part of me definitely dies inside just a tiny bit. But I don’t know if the pop culture tribes you mention have really died, I just think they have all migrated to the internet. That’s where the Goths live now-a-days. They all live here: http://www.goth.net/

This is also apparently a real website, although I have no idea whats going on:http://chillwave.org/ I think plenty of people could find a happy home there, but not me.

Finally you have one jukebox credit - what's it gonna be?

Can I have the Yeah Lamb? - Artrocker


"Negative Pegasus"

Three noise rock kids locked themselves in a room in Brighton and got wired into a pile of obscure 70's vinyl with nightmare-inducing cover art. Then they went 'Fuck it, we're hard psych.' And they are. You can do too, too, too. Why don't you just switch of your television set, go out and do something less boring instead?



'How it Happens' bubbles up from an analogue synth oscillation not unlike the killer Golden Retriever. When it cuts out, we get a heavy single note stomp that gets progressively more distorted before dissipating in a crystal clear call to action: 'Let's Get To Work!' . You are then allowed fall back into the oil lamp with some twisted garage proto-punk leads; this is a modern day Monks or a tribute to the doyens of the fictional Leamington Spa scene, like Liberace Helmet or The Wiener Coladas.



A staccato rhythm bangs away under waves of tremolo and odd vocal reverb on 'Ottoman Silver'. It's the perfect accompaniment to having a breakdown at Center Parcs. Once the guitar solo bursts into tears, you can throw off your clothes and go backwards down the rapids, leaving the kids stranded at the falconry centre. 'Floating Omen' is Negative Pegasusususus'us'es' 'Venice in Peril', apostrophed up to fuck. It swells with edgy rock drama, before 'A Single Fuck's midway point drifts into view, an island of mucky noise detritus.



'The Black Thigh' starts off like an Arctic Monkeys riff jam, which was an accident. It pulls itself together near the end to transform into something more like Stoner Rock before abruptly culling itself mid-flow. 'Psychic Energy' is a buzzsaw surf sister to Sonic Youth's 'The Wonder', peppered with joyous cries of “Shotgun! Shotgun! Shotgun!” and 'Visitation' crowns the whole thing with a shoutalong drone rock anthem that is nothing short of bloody fantastic.



Get hold of 'Looming' and prepare for half an hour of bold, messy, intense fun. Negative Pegasus will melt down all your shit records with lethal vibrations. - Beard Rock


"Negative Pegasus - Looming"

If there is one thing rock music is founded on, one simple eternal premise, then it is the power of the riff. The riff is the central lifeblood of all rock music. Brighton three piece Negative Pegasus are a band positively fit to bursting with riffs. What they do with those riffs and the way in which they brutally and relentlessly attack the listener with the sheer force of sound marks Looming out as one of 2012's strongest debut rock albums.

Negative Pegasus do not do things in half measures. There are only eight tracks on Looming but each track makes maximum use of every crunch of the guitar, every howl of feedback and every crack of the relentless pounding drum. The riff is the central aspect of almost every song here but these are none of the usual classic rock riffs. Negative Pegasus take the sound of rock in its most basic form and relentlessly warp it into something dynamic, forward thinking and intensely thrilling.

Opening track How It Happens introduces Negative Pegasus' pulverising sound. The guitar effect intro sounds like a rapidly malfunctioning machine before a metronomic repetitive drumbeat kicks in and pounds to the finish. The rising tension is ratcheted up to almost unbearable levels, making for quite an exciting intro. In a certain respect Negative Pegasus share much with dance music and its love for a relentless build and drop. Those attributes are regularly applied to rock music in a way that forges a unique mix of psychedelic swirling rock with some of the sensibilities of industrial electro.

Ottoman Silver provides a form of release with its stop-start lumbering riff and winding classic rock solo. There is a striking contrast between the regimented, almost military drums of Carla Foss and the loose meandering guitar that swirls over the top. Floating Omen is another track that demonstrates the influence of electronic sounds. The song takes the form of a loose, freeform jam, allowing the twin effects-laden guitars of Richard Netley and Todd Jordon to have free rein to experiment leading to a hulking mass of swirling noise and howled vocals.

Vocals are shared between Netley and Jordan, but both seem to share a primal scabrous howl as their default vocal setting. Lyrics are sparse and barely discernible, the vocals seemingly a counterpoint to the power of the music rather than the main focus. On the portentous rush of Psychic Energy, the rage of Jordan's holler really amplifies the white-hot tension.

Two instrumental pieces are featured on the album and these two tracks highlight Negative Pegasus' forward thinking experimental tendencies. A Single Fuck starts off as a dreamy slow guitar piece with the washes of guitar sounding like ocean waves beating against the shore. Over the course of the piece, those waves engulf the listener who is subsumed by a mass of noise and feedback. Soaker is equally compelling, an outré piece of experimental noise that offers a nice counterpoint to the more overtly rock tracks. Closing track Visitation perhaps offers the best example of Negative Pegasus' propulsive sound. Its dirty hulking groove is breathlessly exciting and it is an excellent finish to a very proficient debut.

Negative Pegasus are one of those very rare bands that can change the very dynamic and sound of their genre. Looming is a record that can turn contemporary UK rock upside down. Riffs are all well and good but it's what you do with them that counts. - Music Ohm


"Listen: NEGATIVE PEGASUS - Looming"

Negative Pegasus release their new album, 'Looming', on 24th September through Small Town America. The band - Richard Netley (Guitar/Vocals), Todd Jordan (Guitar/Vocals) and Carla Foss (Drums) - hail from Brighton, and are responsible for some of the most forward-thinking blends of psych and gritty rock you're ever likely to encounter. Before you flock to the record stores in your numbers to pick up a copy, DIY has an exclusive stream of the record two weeks ahead of its release. Richard from the band was kind enough to give us his very own - occasionally graphic - guide to the album, alongside the following introduction:

"Richard Netley from Neg Peg here, please join me on a descriptive journey through our debut album LOOMING. Ok, Im having to download it... I will be commenting on the mp3 version of the album, because my record player is broken. However, I can confirm that the 12" vinyl is a thing of genuine beauty. It is delightfully yellow in colour and will be available to buy on September 24th 2012 from Smalltown America. You may wish to buy two copies, one to play and one to put on your mum's wall.
The record was recorded live with producer Steffan Eliades, and was completed very quickly, over just two days. As such there aren't that many hilarious stories about its creation. We drank a large quantity of alcohol, and ate artisanal beef jerky. While we listen, see if you can identify the special moments that these two influences inspired."

1. How It Happens
So the first thing you should know about Negative Pegasus is that we have two vocalists. I do some of it, and Todd Jordan does the rest. This is one of his.
We wanted a song with an electronic beat but we don't have a drum machine so Todd uses his pedals to create the effect of drums at the beginning. All of the melodic sounds on the record are made using either our voices or an effects pedal. In fact, there is no 'clean' guitar or vocals or the record whatsoever.
We have opened a lot of shows with this song.

2. Ottoman Silver
Ok I'm up. This is me you hear singing on this jam, which is loosely about the Ottoman Empire. We like to drop this into the middle of the set as a nice little 'breather' in between the heavy stuff. That being said, its still pretty gnarly! Carla's drums are so primal on this song, and its during this piece that I most often find my mind transported to somewhere else.

3. Floating Omen
This song is my favourite and I believe is the newest track on the record. This song is a very elastic composition, and as such is a joy to play at shows. You may hear a version anywhere between 4-10 minutes depending on the mood in the room. It is about the time I was on a train and saw a giant ominous building, looming at the edge of town. Everytime I look for it now, it is gone, presumably roaming the land in search of fresh meat. Let yourself be carried away by the looping closing sections, just like the unfortunate victims of that terrifying building.

4. A Single Fuck
This is an album-only instrumental jam. The producer of the record brought a number of fine electronic devices to the sessions, including his homemade version of Throbbing Gristle's 'Gristleizer'. This may be one of what I like to call 'Woodford Reserve jams' on the record, and as you can hear, includes much of Todd's beloved auto-wah pedal. The first time I told him that I liked the sound that this pedal made, both arms shot up in the air, ready to receive a double high-five. PRO TIP: Do not compose music whilst drinking Woodford Reserve if you do not want it to sound exactly like this.

5. The Black Thigh
Ok, side 2. See if you can guess where this song title came from.
Carla Foss is relatively new to the drums, and its safe to say that on this track she was pushing personal boundaries of leg-dismemberment. This song is about feeling so much love for another person that you want to physically destroy them until pieces of them are covering you like a second skin. It is kind of a creepy sentiment.

6. Psychic Energy
Another one of Todd's vocal performances, one that I really enjoy. This is a relatively early Neg Peg song, from when we were still building our sound, I think we knew what we had when it was finished. This song definitely has a kicking bassline, but note that there is no bass guitar on the album.

7. Soaker
The album's second instrumental. It felt fitting to put this here, to give you, the listener, a rest before the closing track. There is tons of gristleizer on this song. I love it.

8. Visitation
This track is about being too hot to fuck. Its a barebones workout and I like its thematic purity.
This is a frequent set closer, which is lucky as it has a tendency to result in a number of broken strings and higher than normal sweat-creation effect. Carla's drums are at their most primal on this song and I love how she never seems to run out of levels to cycle through.
It just gets bigger and bigger until you end up in a disgusting sweaty mess - do you see where I'm going with this?

Stream 'Looming' in full below, exclusively on DIY: - This Is Fake DIY


"NME Radar Tip of the Day"

Yeah, it's drenched in feedback, pissed off and fully aiming to deafen... but elements of it also kinda remind me of Wire, when they're at their most mental or Copenhagan newcomers Iceage - NME


Discography

LOOMING -12" LP w/ DOWNLOAD CODE
Released by Smalltown America Records - 24/09/12

Photos

Bio

Consciousness expanding, hard-psych three-piece from Brighton, England. For fans of Oneida, Ex Models and Can.

Negative Pegasus' sound is a world away from their sunny, seaside home in Southern England. Richard Netley (Guitar/Vocals), Todd Jordan (Guitar/Vocals) and Carla Foss (Drums) mix droning, grinding loops with wild, sheets of guitar feedback to create a malevolent stew of hard-psyche and woozy, drone-garage.

Born from a mutual love of the NYC-rock of Oneida, the free-time whirl of Sightings and the joint-snapping mathematics of KILLL and Zu - Neg Peg’s repetitive rhythms are overlaid with ghostly vocals, primal, pounding drums and a thick, choking haze of reverberant effects.

"[Negative Pegasus] remind me of Wire, when they're at their most mental or Copenhagan newcomers Iceage... or maybe it's just psych trying to be pushed to the limit." NME

The tracks on debut album Looming weave between primordial bone-shakers, stretched-out growls and ethereal retro-pop nuggets. Recorded over a period of 17 hours in an empty warehouse space in Sussex with producer Steffan Eliades, the end-result is equally joyous and disturbing. “Steffan is really inventive”, explains Todd, “he has a wonderful mind for perverting electronics and turning broken musical gear into awesome, evil, undead versions of their previous selves. He fits right in!”

“One of the amps Richard recorded with had a speaker that was totally disconnected from the rest of the electronics, and we didn’t even notice until after the recordings were finished. That’s Steffan’s influence. He’s our glitch-wrangler.”

The Neg Peg live experience is an apocalyptic blend of Daft Punk rhythms, shamanistic stomps and swamp-rock Creedence licks? “I fucking love Creedence”, continues Todd, “We share the same basic concept, it’s all about riffs and echo. Remove the country bits from Creedence and Neg Peg isn't so different, really. Less 'kerchiefs though.”

Embodying the same commitment to repetition as Oneida, the Neg Peg show is relentless and jaw-dropping audio-visual experience. “We want people that have heard Negative Pegasus not to be able to hear anything else because they are now deaf and/or insane.”

That commitment to the culturally extreme runs throughout the bands’ psyche and record collections “There’s a supremely obscure Brooklyn noise band called Knyfe Hyts, that rarely play live, and have only released a handful of barely audible cassettes and one track on a 7”. They were an enormous influence on us in the early days – they are genuinely unhinged.”

Neg Peg - a band in league with their devils.