The year is coming to a close, and it has been filled with epic shifts from total bliss to moments of complete insecurity and self-loathing. My single biggest regret is that I allowed what started as a simple nervous breakdown to cumulate in a public defamation of a very talented musician, technician, and artist: Samara Lubelski.
Many of you might remember the Pitchfork interview with me that ran at the beginning of this year. For years as a small noise band we aspired to somehow reach a wider audience and the opportunity to do that interview should have been a totally positive thing. Unfortunately, due to my immaturity at the time, and my admittedly fucked up mental state I used the opportunity to fuck over someone who absolutely did not deserve it. What makes it worse is that I made statements that were not factual, or that were based on my completely warped perspectives.
I am writing this to clear a few things up, and even though I dread reading through it again,,, I would like to reprint the section of the interview that I would now like to bring truth to....
Make no mistake, I take total responsibility for what a dickhead I was....
Pitchfork: That's something you hear bands say a lot-- that "we almost broke up over it," real dramatic inner-band turmoil kind of garbage, but you guys had a genuinely shitty time trying to make this album, right?
Bradford Cox: Okay, well, there was this festival called the Notown Sound Festival [that] had Excepter and Magik Markers and all these other bands, some of whom I thought were amazing, some I thought were fucking bullshit. But [singer/songwriter] Samara Lubelski was among them, and-- I don't want to mean or hurtful or dickheaded, but...she's a fucking bitch, dude. Talk about the antithesis of what I'm talking about with Liars-- like a very calculated, queen of the scene, diva-type person with this guise of taking her art really seriously.
Well, she offered to record us at the Rare Book Room [in New York], and I had really liked her set [at the festival]-- it was folk\
and kind of ethereal, and I was so self-critical after that first record that I almost wanted a retreat into the ultra-feminine. We'd been hoping that [the sessions with Samara] would develop out of more ambient things, like treated pianos and tape loops. We were trying to have it be more out-of-the-ether, not writing the songs too much or having too much of a specific direction, and I was expecting to go in there and work with her.
REALITY: First of all, I misrepresent the fact that Moses and I approached Samara, not the opposite. As for the words I used to describe her, I can only say that sometimes I make myself sick. Total immaturity and lack of tact. And very far from reality as well... She is a had worker who has contributed to countless recordings while helping to incubate cultural movements from which a lot of great art has sprung forth... Another point I'd like to make is that the real reason this recording session was a disaster was my fault and due to my wasting time on pointless overdubs, and in general, not having much discernible direction for anyone to work with. Long story short: I was having what was later diagnosed as a mental breakdown. I have since been on and off medications, as many of you already know or have read. I am really trying to become a better, more mature person and move into adulthood. I am not saying that to excuse my actions or evoke sympathy, I'm saying it to explain that no one else in that studio could have changed a thing... I regret that I subjected Samara to my bullshit at the time.
First things first, [it sounded] like if you listen to Loveless on mushrooms, and I mean that in not a complimentary way-- just hazy and washed-out. The tape kept warping, and first of all, nobody fucking noticed. Emotionally, I was a fucking wreck for it because of some personal shit that I don't really talk about involving weird mental...I was just not exactly the easiest person to be around at that point, I'm sure, I was probably really weird. And I kept noticing it before anyone else.
Anyway, I hadn't slept much. I had the flu and the walking pneumonia. And I guess I was just really sensitive, because I kept hearing this subtle phasing, and nobody else heard it, and they all thought I was being a brat, being over-analytical. And I was like, "Dude, I hear it, the tape is fucking phasing, the machine is not! calibrated!" And everybody was like, "No, you don't know what you're talking about." We had these people come in from this band Talibam! to play horns and I was really excited about it. There was originally a horn section on "Lake Somerset" and it's gone because the fucking chick didn't know how to fucking record. I mean, that's fine because we could never afford to go to the Book Room at that point, and she let us come in for very cheap-- for next to nothing.
REALITY: This is where I tear myself a new asshole. I am just spouting bullshit at this point. Samara has very successfully recorded bands for years. The issue with the tape machine was beyond anyones control. She did nothing but attempt to do her job the best she could in dysfunctional circumstances.
To Samara, I sincerely apologize for my bullshit. To all of you reading this, I hope you have more perspective now on how the situation unfolded in the making of Cryptograms.
With all Sincerity and Deepest Regret,
Dec 8, 2007
Music & Poetry of the Kesh - This cassette is included in Ursula Le Guin's novel *Always Coming Home*, which is about a valley people called the Kesh "who might be going to have lived ...
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