|Article from Hit Magazine (Herald Sun liftout) 1994-03-10|
If all things were equal, Ed Kuepper would be the star he isn’t, daubed by any one,or number of those exhuberant, myth making words that dot artistic appraisal and make the heroes and villains of popular culture larger than life.
He’d be a legend, an undisposable hero, maybe even a godfather, not that he’d be happy having and of those words atathced to him.
But things aren’t equal and Kuepper remains a cult figure - even more so in Europe than at home - who can look back on a day in 1973 when he formed Kid Gallahad and the Eternals with Chris Bailey and know it was meant to be this way.
“Yeah, Kuepper laughs. “It’s a long time. There are people ho have reached adulthood in that time.
“ I think I always knew it would last that long. I think I probably expected a lot more from it,” he laughs again
“A bit more commercial success, I’m not 100% certain. I think I probably did.”
Kuepper, as one of his many biographies rightly states, is and always has been the changeling. His heritage is as rich as it is sonically diverse: The Saints, The Laughing Clowns, The Aints, and seven marvelous solo albums Electrical Storm, Rooms of the Magnificent, Everybody’s Got To, Today Wonder, Honey Steel’s Gold, Black Ticket Day, and Serene Machine.
“I like to push myself a bit”, Kuepper says.
“And I like the idea of getting better at what I do - what I think I am - and sort of controlling it; the feeling of getting so good at something, which is not where I am at the moment, that you can just do it without going through any major sort of drama. That’s really appealing to me.
“It’s harder for me to bring in new things these days rather than the opposite. I think, in some ways, you’ve got to keep reasonalbly focussed on what got you started in the first place.
“I mean, you might become incredibly successful, but what I’m actually after is honing what I do to this incredibly fine degree where it….it just works every time I do it”.
Not that Kuepper believes he’s actually achieved the perfection for which he’s searching, although it would seem that each record should bring him a step closer to the state he seeks.
If that’s true, the exquisit, sometimes heart wrenching Serene Machine should be the closest Kuepper’s come to his ideal songscape.
“With the last album I learned a lot about - this sounds incredibly corny, psychiatrist couch stuff - myself,”, he says
“If music, writing, whatever, is such an important part of your life, then the way you look at it, the way you do it, says a lot about yourself.
“And as I get greater control over it, I sort of become a better person”.
“I don’t know whether I agree it’s like being your own psychologist but I learned a lot within the recording of Serene Machine”
“In the process, you have to address why you aren’t hitting it every time. I’m not necessarlry talking about writing a good hook or something but, you know, what undermines the perfroamnce and stuff, you sort of start getting into this really tangled undergrowth of your subconscious and the barriers you put up for yourself.
“Without getting incredibly New Age about it - which I’m not interested in doing - I found that, really, I should trust my own intuition and often my first attempt at something is the best”.
Kuepper threatned to kill of The Aints at the end of 1993 because he thought there wasn’t any interested in the band. The fact that people keep asking him about Aints gigs or future albums forced him to reconsider. He will work with them again in the near future.
Solo, he’s cut a new single, which is yet to be mixed. A new album will be recorded in June.
Kuepper laughs, and concludes in understated style: “This is Edmund Kuepper: ‘I write, I sing, I record and I play guitar and that’s what I’m going to continue doing”.
Copyright: the owner. Thanks to Mende for scanning.