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Anubian Lights: Boy’s Light Up.

28 October 2002 | 1:00 am | Mike Gee
Originally Appeared In

Leave A Light On For Me.

Anubian Lights play Bananageddon Marketday at Davies Park on Saturday and the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay on Sunday.

The Anubian Lights are not your normal rock band. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to say that they are even rock music. The two to sometimes three piece act that are pushing the edges of fusion into a very grey area. Some would say experimental, some would say lounge, some would say weird and others would probably sigh and tell you to take off that bloody bossanova record. Don’t listen to them, bossanova is highly underrated, as are the Anubian Lights.

The group is travelling all the way from LA to launch their new long player on seminal label Crippled Dick Hot Wax, the alluringly titled Naz Bar, out in Australia thru Valve. Expect haunting xylophones, blaring trumpet, ambience you can slice and butter and some downright dirty grooves. The groups main man Tommy Grenas in on the other line of the phone, and he’s definitely got something to say about it all.

“I’m calling from Los Angeles. It’s the first real day of winter. I’m scared about Australia. I’ve heard it’s a bit hot over there. I’m Irish, so I really like the cold weather, and from what I hear Queensland is next door to hell.”

So what’s been happening in the Anubian life?

“I’ve been finishing up a couple of albums, one with Donald Suzuki from Can, we play with him in a band and it’s just guitar bass and drums. It’s very improvised, metaphysical music. He doesn’t believe in studio recording, so we’re just wading thru heaps of DAT tapes in the lead up to this album, finding the most amazing live performances and piecing them together for the CD. It’s a very slow process.”

“We’ve got a new Anubian Lights recording too, with Lydia Lunch. It’s the first time she’s really sung for ages, so that ‘s very exciting for all of us really. She really pulled out all stops on that one and brought the house down. I haven’t been really excited about a recording for ages, but I’m very excited about that one.”

“The reaction from everyone is amazing, we put out a CD on Crippled and everyone loves it, David Holmes is flogging it. So we thought it would be a good idea to just put out the whole album and see how it goes. We really found that she outshone us on that one, but what can you do when it’s so good.”

So how’s it having Valve look after you round Australia?

“We’re extremely grateful, it’s great. Everyone we’ve talked to over there so far has been so refreshing really. Your all so nice and happy, and really slow with your talking, which is great because I’m not the fastest either. We feel a little isolated over here in LA, the ‘rock’ capitol of the world, everyone is so sterile and busy, and thank god for the rest of you, it really makes me feel good.”

Why LA as a base town then?

“I met my partner in London and we moved over here after we got married, and so we’re settled now. And I’ve got work here, I still need my 9-5 to get me by, sad fact that it is. Music is an expensive hobby, so I’ve got to use my skills to make me some money to cover my hobbies. I build Avid Systems, which is what the movie industry and advertising industry use to make adverts and movies. I work in a team making them, they’re pretty big things.”

“We sure as hell don’t make any money out of music, especially when you’re a band without any interest in being commercial. Anubian Lights is a very personal project for us, it’s music we want to make and we don’t care if no one likes it. We do it for ourselves.”

“We like to make it very clear that Anubian Lights have nothing to do with DJ culture and the dance culture around it. We don’t listen to dance and all that stuff, rather the old 60s and 70s records that have the funk and soul sound and swing, and that you hunt around in dusty stores to find under teapots... Actually, that’s total bullshit, we really like every style of music and listen to them all. That’s just what we try to portray, with Naz Bar. If your going on a bit of a big journey, you’d make a mixtape of tunes, you’d put some Lee Perry, some Buzzcocks, some Velvet Underground, some Hawkwind, you know, a little bit of everything and some of it just for a laugh.”


“(laughes) That’s a really long story, our connection with those guys. Me and my partner were part of the back-up band for the band that the lead singer from Hawkwind fired. We’d get up there and play all these Hawkwind hits and it was one of the greatest times of our lives. I’m not ashamed of it, it’s shit, but it’s so much fun. We love a lot of stuff, Adam and the Ants, and an old Australian band called Severed Heads. They’re fantastic. It’s all great music.”