Morgan recently returned to Ransom Note with a remix package from his third album, ‘Day Glo Chaos’, in the vague form of Day Glo Heatwave.
Morgan contacted an old friend and asked for a revival featuring an all-star cast of producers. James McNew of Yo La Tengo fame was invited to evoke the Beach Boys with their version of Midnight Rogue, part of West Coast Cali Electro Surf. The two have been friends for many years, and this conversation shines a spotlight on their history, exploring their first live experiences, their musical inspirations and Ennio Morricone.
Morgan: Hi James, we’ve known each other for nearly 30 years, so it’s a bit surreal to interview each other now, but let’s start here! The stringed electric guitar riffs immediately reminded me of Ennio Morricone and his 60s Italian movie soundtracks. Was it a conscious decision or did he have a big impact on you?
James: Hi Morgan! know! We met in Nottingham – was that your first gig with Stereolab?
I love my 12 string electric guitar! It’s a very cool sound. I always loved using The Beach Boys and The Velvet Underground. I didn’t think Morricone in particular, but oh yeah, I love his music.
OK, it’s my turn.
J: In your music, I feel like you often listen to composers like Morricone, Bernardo Febvre and Piero Umiliani. truth?
Man: Oh, you’re right we met in Nottingham! It was my first gig with Stereolab and it sucked (laughs). I was so nervous that my hands were shaking and I could barely play the chords. I remember Georgia saying after the show that Yo La Tengo’s show was worse than ours, but it’s hard to imagine (laughs).
And thank you for comparing me to Bernard Faivre and Piero Umiliani! I love them both, but I never thought I looked like them. I think my favorite composers are Fabio Frizzi and John Carpenter.
Have you heard Umiliani’s album “Continente Nero”? Percussion is great.
OK, it’s my turn! This is so much fun!