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Mark Linkous de Sparklehorse

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PJ: You are signed on Capitol Records. We read youhad some difficulties with the major label thing and organisation. Do you had enough artistic freedom ? Aren't you interested in signing with a so called "independant" record label ?
ML: The thing is Capitol has changed. They've gone through 3 presidents since I've got signed. The one important thing... All I know... It's nice to have a tour bus and be comfortable Especially when you're on a month long tour and you only have 2 weeks off. It would suck to have to be packed in a van. When I started recording Vivadixie I thought I would be lucky if it'd came out on Matador or something like that. I just happen to get some of the few very cool people in the music industry : my A&R guy - he was my manager at the time. He sort of discovered Ween, so he was pretty cool. And Gary who was that time the president of Capitol, you know he signed Nirvana. They were guys that were on the edge. They would take a chance once in a while. And they are all gone now so I don't know what's gonna happen.

PJ: you also said that Capitol used to release the "pop" songs of your albums as singles, and that you thought these didn't reflect your music that well, the "pop" songs not being the best contribution you wanted to make to music.
ML: In the past, instead of sabotaging pop songs so it couldn't be played on the radio or just bitching about the music industry, I tried to make "Gold Day", something I'd like to hear on the radio, wether it was me or Grandaddy or Mercury Rev or however. And I was really conscious about not putting any uptempo pop songs on the record because I knew that, specially in America, they would be automatically picked to be the single because that's the way it was in the industry - so fucked in America now. I didn't want to contribute to modern rock unless it was something I could be proud of. And there is no single in America [for Its a Wonderful Life].

PJ: Sharko from Belgium told us many artists were making records for radio programmers, and that he felt a bit tortured for his latest album which he had to remix entirely to get proper distribution and airply. Have you had such propositions ?
ML: I would like to hear Grandaddy on the radio in America and Mercury Rev and Sparklehorse and Flaming Lips, Will Oldham, Cat Power...

PJ: Don't these artists have airplay on college radios ?
ML: They do on college radio, but in the end we are all more popular in Europe than we are in America. You know I can talk to people... I was with some journalists from Czechoslovakia (ndlr: Czech Republic I guess...) the other day and I mentioned Will Oldham and Bill Callaghan from Smog and they knew exactly who I was talking about. I was like "You know Smog..." and they "Oh yeah of course". And in America I mention these names and it's just blank stares. They have no idea who you are talking about. So, I mean if... certainly I would never cater to the tastes of whatever... I have no idea of the radio programming... what their deal in America. If it's a conspiracy, it's probably this unspoken thing. And there is more shinetigons involved that I could probably dream of. But the only thing I can do is try to make this kind of music and just hope it'll maybe... Maybe someday somebody... There is a new president at Capitol now, maybe they'll take a chance and say "Ah, this Gold Day song is a really good song. It's got cellos and violins and flutes on it but SHIT let's go for it anyway". I don't think things are gonna change until someone gets a little bolder. Our music is not that weird, not strange at all.

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