Robyn Hitchcock hears a lot of his past on his latest album, “Goodnight Oslo.”
“Probably just having reached a certain stage of life, really, listening back to (the album) there’s a lot of meditation on intoxicants, on being disengaged from life in one way or another — getting high, getting drunk or otherwise removing yourself in some way from life,” notes the British singer-songwriter, who came to fame in the ’70s as a member of The Soft Boys before embarking on a critically lauded solo career.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve cleaned up my act, particularly; I was never that dirty. But I think, like a lot of people, if you’ve been alive for a certain amount of time, you have to overhaul yourself ever so often, like a car being taken into a garage and tuned up. I don’t know if I’ve been reconditioned or not, but there’s some elements of that in these songs.”
“Goodnight Oslo” is the second album Hitchcock has released with Venus 3, a band that includes R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and all-star cohorts Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows) and Bill Rieflin (Ministry), who also tour with R.E.M. The quartet even recorded a third album between this set and 2006’s “Ole Tarantula,” and Hitchcock predicts its an association that will continue — and will continue to be fruitful — in the coming years.
“We are a vehicle for each other,” Hitchcock, 56, explains. “We’re all in each other’s band, really. This is not exclusive to me; we all have a stake in it, even though it’s my name that gets put in front of the group name.
“But, yes, I hope we’ll carry on doing stuff together as long as we live — and beyond. I mean, I don’t know why one shouldn’t carry on making (music) beyond the grave — maybe take a computer along and beam it from the Great Beyond. I would imagine the Great Beyond is essentially an artistic conceit, after all.”
Robyn Hitchcock & Venus 3 and Ben Cyllus perform Friday (April 17) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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