Monday, 6 July 2009

Dymaxion...Curator's Question Time

The Curator of the Medway Music Museum....that's me actually...Andy Export from the indo-european jazz-punk leather-influenced Unlucky Fried Kitten...has sharpened up his pencil. Today....a hot summery day in early July...2009...I talk with Lee Pattison from the 80's band Dymaxion...previously featured in the Medway Music Museum. So...without further ado...I give you......question time.
*Above Are Some Dymaxion Pictures...Best I Could Get them....Click To Enlarge First one*
Q. Lee…thanks for  dropping in. Can you give us a retrospective
introduction to the Dymaxion band-members….to remind us of the line-up
instrumental set-up?
A.It was Me, Brian and Steve, I was responsible for most of the
recording work in the demos at the time doing keyboards , Guitar and
vocals, with Brian Page switching between Bass and Keyboards , Steve
Moral was mainly working in the visual area but also did backing
vocals and helped out with Studio production in recording
sessions.Although guitars were present there was never any effort to
pronounce them in the sound.

Q. How much did you rely on using backing tapes for your live shows?
A. Backing tapes were every bit as important as the songs were written in
the studio, and this let to them all being very different and nearly
impossible to recreate live. These days I would not agree with that
totally but I think its OK, Depeche Mode and many other electronic
bands rely on them whether people realize it or not, All the same you
still need to do your part .ie. vocals etc if the drums or effects
are on tape or computer. The preference comes depending on how fussy
you are with your live show in recreating your sound live or doing a
live version, I believe in both ways these days, but didn't back in
the 80's

Q. I hear that you are the only band member (of Dymaxion) still
music. Is that correct?
A. Well maybe , I havent spoke with Brian in years as we didn t part
on the best of terms, but yes I am still into it all ;

Q. How has your own music evolved?
A. Its hard to say, but I guess the influences have matured some what
and are more diverse and these all affect what you do , but many are
still electronic, Ie Goldfrapp, Depeche John Foxx Bowie etc. its
still very mechanical but I work more with classical formats these
days, ie another influence , John Barry. I think too many people rely
on sequencing in recordings these days so I do as much as I can by
playing it in live on the recordings, after all it more fun and if you
can play it you may as well play it.

Q. Dymaxion was a suitably futuristic-sounding name for a band playing
your style of music. Can you tell us more about the source of the name?
A, That was a name I came across when at college in 82, I was studying
interior design and there was an Architect, philosopher called
Buckminster Fuller who sort of invented the word back in the 1930's or
1940's i think, basically it is short for Dynamic with maximum
efficiency or thats one of its alleged meanings, I just liked that
tongue in cheek slant, however we weren't interested in his work, Its
Ironic though , how an old name can sound futuristic.

Q. Ah..well..with a slight pun on that…given that there was a Dymaxion car...
did you decree that Dymaxion's
striking image was a vehicle for the band’s music? Or was the music a
vehicle for the image?
A, The Image was the vehicle, I think we were trying to be anti
conformists as much as possible in those days , I didnt even want to
sing like a traditional singer.

Q. Who else have you worked with within the Medway music environment?
A, I started out with Stuart from 88 Bam, when we were kids at school,
I remember us both getting our first synths together.

Q. How cute. I believe that you played keyboards for someone on Gary Numan’s
Is that right? How did that come about?
A. I worked with Steve Braun doing keyboards , we did some live things
and lots of recording, A tour was planned as support to Numan but It
all fell apart with the collapse of Gary Numan's label. I still speak
with Steve from time to time.
Q. Gary turned up at one bash you played in London. Can you tell us
about what happened?
A. Well at the time it was the best thing that could have happened to
any young lad in a band, After all he was our musical hero I guess, I
expect Gary would have felt the same if Bowie went to see him play.
However it was all arranged by our manager at the time being Peter
Gilbert and he knew him personally .At the end of the evening after
the gig we chatted for an hour with him and I have very fond memories
of that night 24 years ago.

Q. Have you kept up with Numan’s music…with what he’s been doing with
Fenton etc…or have you migrated to a new musical landscape?
A, Unfortunately I havent followed Garys work closely, Although I have
a rough idea what he's been doing musically;

Q. What recording set-up, if any, do you have now?
A, I have a Studio full of gear, the recording is done in apples logic
and I use also many vintage type keyboards both analogue and digital.

Q. How much of what’s going on in the music scene now do you like?
A.Well, its all OK, Most commercial tracks are written with teenagers
in mind, and other than that Im not over excited but there has been
some great music in the electronic thing from other areas in the
world, ie Mesh (UK), Devision, (Europe), State machine ,(Sweden)
and things like that.

Q. Do you follow any of the Medway music proceedings these days?
A. I have to admit no.

Q. Have you ever been tempted to reform Dymaxion? Ever come close?
A. No it could never happen, But using the name is happening, I'm
working on an album now going out on that name .Its all new stuff but
may plan to pluck out something old and do it up in some form.

Q. For a band that were once “futuristic” isn’t it rather ironic that
don’t have any songs or videos on YouTube?
A. Yes I guess it is , we do have some stuff that could go out but
never felt the need to do it, some of it is bad quality from those old
fashioned video cameras that needed 2 suns to light up the room.,
maybe one day if I feel nostalgic or brave I'll do it. some of that
old stuff is best safe in the attic.

Q. Thanks for sharing tea and biscuits and a few memories, Lee. Any
links or news or websites that you’d like to chip in with?
A. I have a web site under construction and will keep you informed
later this year on its launch

Ladies and Gentlemen...that was Lee, from Dymaxion

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