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Timeoff Magazine, Brisbane (AUS) December, 2004
Interview by Steve Bell

In 2002 when local art curator David Pestorius asked Oz rock stalwart Ed Kuepper to provide a score for Tusalva – the 1928 abstract film by avant-garde artist Len Lye – little did the pair realise the project would take Kuepper around the world.

The former Saints guitarist and Laughing Clowns frontman has since travelled the globe to provide scores for an array of specially commissioned films by prominent international artists.

The project – titled Ed Kueppers’s MFLL (Music For Len Lye) – recently toured Europe, playing a string of prestigious venues such as the Cartier Foundation in Paris to overwhelming critical acclaim. To make matters even more interesting, Kuepper recruited his old partner-in-crime from the Laughing Clowns, Jefferey Wegener, to add his percussive skills to the project, thus re-uniting the engine-room of one of Australia’s most underrated bands for the first time in 20 years.

“It’s been great teaming with Ed again,” Wegener says of the experience. “Considering that there was a lot of shit that was never resolved, to actually come back and sort that stuff out has been very rewarding and extremely therapeutic. On a musical level, it was extremely easy to slot back together. I’m a bit older but in many ways I still remember his playing style so it didn’t take too long to click.”

Obviously, given the nature of the project, this is a different type of collaboration than their previous work, but one that seems no less challenging and enjoyable for the duo.

“I was obviously delighted when Ed approached me to work with him on the project, and the European tour was nothing short of amazing. There’s so much scope for us as artists [when we’re] working with these incredible visuals.

“For want of a better description, these films, like the Len Lye stuff, have a thematic thread about movement and mood involved and hence a strange connection to music video as a form. A lot of these films aren’t narratives at all but just visual themes, more abstract sort of stuff.”

With their current collaboration working so well, it seems entirely appropriate that the pair’s first seminal post-punk outfit is about to have a resurgence of its own.

“Hot Records are going to put out a Laughing Clowns box-set to counter the problems of availability of some of the stuff,” Wegener enthuses. “Ed’s actually re-mastered the stuff. I suppose it’s fair to say that both of us feel in many ways that the band hasn’t been given proper recognition in terms of our place in music history and maybe the box-set (and Ed and I working together again) will go some way towards rectifying that situation.

“The Clowns seem to miss out when people are given recognition for that period [1979-1984], and even though it’s hard for me to be totally objective about a band that I was in – and we certainly had our ups and downs – when I listen back to that stuff I’m really quite impressed at what we achieved and the music we made.”

Ed Kuepper’s MFLL (Music For Len Lye) featuring Jeff Wegener is at Pestorius Sweeney House (39 Eblin Dr, Hamilton. Ph: 3262 4870) Saturday Dec 11. Limited tickets from Rocking Horse Records and Pestorius Sweeney House.


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