To be blunt and brutally honest I cant make my mind up about diseuse George Pringle. Some people have though;
"With minimal beats scampering to support, her words stream like drifting journal entries, gently neurotic and intimate" - Confetticonfetti
"Pringle's music consists of diary-like extracts and poetry being delivered over beats, loops and bleeps" - Totalspec
"An Oxford fine arts student reading shoegazing poetry over garage and electronica beats in a posh accent, George Pringle (a gal, not a guy) will either intrigue or irritate the hell out of you" - Time Out
"It's so interesting and off the wall it will probably divide opinion more seriously than Marmite" - BBC Oxford
So, there you have some thoughts on her laptop spoken wordisms.
Me? well, I look forward to 2008 to hear some more of her music. I have seen the term blogtronica used to describe what GP creates by the Kate Mosh website. Linguist Ferdinand de Saussure`s theories on semiotics suddenly loom up out of the smog ahead of me. Amongst many things, he talks of the arbitrariness of the relationship between words and objects. We tacitly agree to associate images and meanings with particular sounds. The Hopi indians have no concept of time within their language. Thus a cow is only a bovine four legged many stomached sometimes mad animal some of us eat because we agree within our semiotic system and culture that it be so........Staying focussed on the task at hand led me to reveal my capricious Saussure-ity by noting at this point in the proceedings I err on the side of a journal-like projectile vomiting of words set to a luke warm and innocuous garagebrand bleat (my description) as to what I associated with the words and sounds of George Pringle earlier on. That said, George`s Carte Postale single is growing on me with every play. Scarily some are touting GP as one of the big things for 2008, including The Guardian daily newspaper, who ran an interview with George recently. Anyhow, the beauty of life is that almost all things are never static, most definetly interdependant and in constant flux.
As Mark Twain said, "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries of life disappear and life stands explained" Notebook 1898
With a mojo bag grasped firmly in my left hand and a filtered hand-rolled cigarette in my twitching right hand, I asked George some questions and found out more than I had bargained for;
Paul Hawkins: Whats happening in the world of George Pringle?
George Pringle: I'm ill and have been abstaining from doing anything domesticated all day, like brushing my hair...or doing the laundry.
How is work on your album coming on?
It's probably already there but I'm not sure which tracks I'm going to put on it just yet. It will, I believe, become apparent in time but I'm favouring haste over speed. I have an EP due out really soon and another one coming after that. The first is an EP that will inform people, give them a general idea about who I am and it has a collection of pretty downbeat songs on it. They're like Hibernation songs. The EP after that will be a disco EP for sure, I want them bipolar with each other.
I heard on the grapevine you have been studying Art...
I have indeed. I just graduated with a 2.1 in September from Oxford Brookes. I was studying Fine Art. I learnt quite a lot. I am now relatively fluent in the language of the History of Art and I learnt video, photography, print-making, book-making, I specialized in video and photography. So, basically, I'm fit for nothing.
I don't believe that for a minute George. So what do you hope to develop from this?
See above. In seriousness, I think my degree has helped me to think about my creative processes. I suppose that George Pringle is an art project of mine. I've never really seen it as just music, I think it spans to so much more. It's about self-expression which is really just any kind of Art when you think about it. Studying Art has really opened me up to new ways of thinking about the way I present things and what I'm trying to achieve. I did a few installations during my course, using light and creating atmospheres. Equally, with photography, I've been putting images together for a long time, so organising my projections and live show has been like applying those skills although I think a lot of creativity stems from a natural predisposition. You can't learn creativity on a course. You can't learn creativity, much like you can't learn style. These are things you possess from birth, I believe. But I do think that studying Art has helped me with my live performance. I'm planning to keep banging the door of the arts funding people to get some money out of them. It's blood from a stone but it would really be integral to what I'm planning to create. I want to create experiences with three dimensions to them. I wish that didn't require so much cash.
Have you had any luck with your writing?
Well, I've had a couple of things published in small literary magazines like The Libertine. Otherwise, no. I haven't published anything. I'm going to write when I retire.
To be honest I don't have the patience to write anything wholly substantial. I don't know if I'd ever manage writing a book. I'm looking to publish an accompaniment to my music, though. It'll be a scrap-book style thing with bits of photography, lyrics and collage I've been doing that relate to tracks.
Do you have any plans to collaborate with any other artists?
Not at the moment. I'm starting to work on a few things but they're very much under construction, so I'm going to hold back mentioning them in case they don't prevail.
Who would be your music influences?
Between the ages of about eleven and thirteen, I leapt from The Spice Girls to The Velvet Underground. I think that pretty much sums it up. I'm the void between the two.
And what about the wider picture, who has influenced you in your life?
Uhhmmm...Audrey Hepburn. I'm obsessed with her. I grew up adoring her and just wishing that I could be her. I think, mainly, it was Breakfast At Tiffany's that made me fall in love with her, although I read that Capote didn't want her in the film. He said: "Paramount have crossed me at every point." He wanted Monroe to play Holly Golightly but I guess I find that strange because I liked Hepburn a lot in that role. When you read the book and you get the image of this tomboyish girl with streaks in her hair...I don't see Monroe that way, she was too sexy. Holly Golightly is an awkward character and she has this odd sex appeal. Paramount did bastardize the book though, and they used a white man with fake tan on to play Mr Yunioshi. He's this Japanese guy with bright blue eyes. It's the most vulgar piece of racism ever. I had this instrumental track called "But, Annie! All the Indians have blue eyes" and that was a reference to the white actors playing American Indians in 1950s Spaghetti Westerns. That was before they allowed anyone who wasn`t white to actually act in motion pictures. So, I guess if I were Capote, I would have been really upset about how the film turned out. On the plus side, the costumes are Givenchy and everything looks beautiful. A lot of the lines from the book are in the film and even though George Peppard is so wooden, Audrey is wonderful.
So who else apart from Hepburn then?
Capote is a hero of mine because he was such a great writer although it annoys me that he never actually wrote a full novel. It seems fitting that I'm also fairly interested in Warhol who was obsessed with Capote. I'm reading this book about Warhol and apparently he used to send fan mail to Capote, so this makes the fan mail I sent Patrick Wolf seem slightly less lame in my head. I'm interested in Warhol because he's so intriguing, his life story is really quite fascinating. The fact that he felt like a freak because he had this disease called St.Vitus Dance or something and he was living in Pittsburgh and eating soup made out of ketchup and water. It's just totally a world to get lost in and to see where he went from that and how he turned out the way he did. His formative years are the best part of that book, now it's getting boring because he's wearing leather trousers and he's started up the Factory. I think I'm most interested in how he got away with being such an arsehole, and was really quite nasty while appearing vulnerable and monosyllabic. If you go on You tube there's this clip called "Andy Warhol not rolling a joint" and it's pretty funny. It's just Warhol eating a burger in the most awkward manner ever. He looks really vulnerable but then the more you look at his face the more you realise how much of it is an act. Right there, is what I find totally fascinating. The fact that he seemed so vulnerable and vacant but was steely as hell. I'm also interested in his print work (I developed an obsession with his prints when I was about fourteen, his fashion illustrations were really wonderful as well ) and his way of putting things, verbally. Philosophy of Andy Warhol, at points, is hilarious. I went to The National Portrait Gallery the other day and saw this huge wall of Monroes and it was really powerful seeing them all together. He was a very clever man. The way the colours shift from those 1950s pastels and get gaudier and gaudier until her face is just totally deconstructed into this acid pink that looks kind of aggressive.
There is a suffer for your art theme developing here George...........
So, another fascination which would make sense would be Edie Sedgwick who I am actually fascinated with because, well, some people say she wanted to be Hepburn, so maybe on some level, that's why I'm fascinated in her but I just love the way that she never apologised for who she was. I think that speaks to me very strongly, especially because she didn't fit the frames she was dancing in. I mean, she was a filthy rich kid. Only she just wasn't really. I relate to that on a level, definitely. Being middle class and female generally goes down like a cup of cold sick in the music business. But Edie had the kind of problems that every femme fatale should have...and more. She was also an artist in the traditional sense and made that notion very modern with turning her life into a performance piece of art. Unfortunately that chewed her up pretty badly. I think, though, it's important to view her place seriously as an artist. I think a lot of George Pringle actually revolves around this idea of troubled women. I think it's something with a unisex appeal.
Tell me more.............
You know, like...strong, troubled women, like David Lynch is obsessed with beautiful women in distress...and it even goes through history and literature. I'm pretty fascinated by Marie-Antoinette because my parents used to say I was like her when I was stroppy as a child. When I was a kid I was fascinated by Lady Jane Grey and Ana Karenina, Dickens and Tolstoy really nailed that stuff, those women in danger and sometimes that danger is themselves. That's such an interesting concept. To be in danger of yourself. Thinking about Dickens, I just want to say that I adore A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. I think that Dickens had a real gift for using fresh language. I mean, you read some of his stuff now and it just flows. It's really very palatable and considering when he was writing, that's brilliant, the way it's aged. I really love the opening chapter to Great Expectations where Pip is trying to figure out what his parents were like from the typography on their tombstones. It's really brilliant, the way he was using such dry humour and addressing it to something really pretty serious and sad.
Part two of Paul's Interview, oh within days here...
Many thanks to George Pringle and Sam at Freeman PR.
George`s single, Carte Postale, is available for free download from Drowned In Sound - further releases are scheduled for early `08.
Paul Hawkins has been interested in popular culture and music, protest and survival for as long as we can remember. He began writing about things, making music and other noise at an early age. Paul has interviewed musicians, writers, poets, protestors and artists.