Interview: Chicken Lips
Date: July 2001
Location: via email
Words / interview: Des Berry
2011: Setting the scene
I haven’t updated this blog in almost a month, so for the moment, I’m just pulling out another old piece from the Breakin’ Point days. In the last year Chicken Lips have had a couple of albums released, ‘Experience Of Malfunction’ on Lipservice and a best of, ‘Show Your Shape‘ via Sav Remzi’s Tirk label.
This interview was done via email, so there is no real setting the scene here. Only Andy from the duo replied to the questions. I remember soon afterwards their label at the time stopped sending me records when they didn’ t get the review they hoped for. Its a fickle business music. Back to the inbox…
Q. What is currently happening in the world of Chicken Lips?
A. We’ve just finished our second album and it sounds fantastic! We’re off djing in Italy (Festival on the Beach), Belgium Festival, LA, Las Vegas and San Diego with Wax Records.
We are also busy finishing off remixes for the Stereo MCs, Playgroup and Groove Armada.
Q. What have you done today?
A. Andy; Today I have mostly been buying records! I found a shop on the internet called 21st Century Records. It’s got absolutely everything you could possibly imagine. Then I started cutting the lawn, but never finished.
A. Dean;doing a new mix tape.
Q. And what are you going to later?
A. Andy; I found a shop on the internet called 21st Century Records. It’s got absolutely everything you could possibly imagine! Oh yesss.
A. Dean; doing a new mix tape.
Q. Chicken Lips are?
A. Me – Andy Meecham and Dean Meredith
Q. A brief summary of your careers to date, please.
(Luckily Kingsize’s Richard is at hand to fill in the dots..
“Chicken Lips are Andy & Dean also known as Sir Drew and Psychedelia Smith.Together they’re also Bizarre Inc having recorded for Vinyl Solution in the early nineties. Production wise so far they have had four singles as Chicken Lips, ‘Shoe Beast‘, ‘Git Back/Master Jammin’, ‘The Big Legs EP‘ and ‘Jerk Chicken’, the single that accompanied their debut album, ‘Echoman‘.
They have recently completed remixes for Nigo, Bentley Rhythm Ace and Utah Saints and are currently working on remixes for Idjut Boys, Glen Gunner, Kontraband, Organic Audio & Suns of Arqa.
Q. Why Chicken Lips?
A. Why not. Sorry if that’s too brief? Ask Roger Johns if you can find him. It’s what happens to your mouth when you combine Jamesons and too many fat ones.
Q. What music particularly inspired you growing up?
A. From a young age, I was brought up to the sounds of Motown, soul and funk off me Ma. Charlie Rich, Brook Benton, John Holt from me Dad. Sound FX tapes when my Dad’s Brother used to come round and illustrate what happened when you combined the sound of a flushing toilet with an aeroplane through his new large Stereo Speakers (really).
Q. How and when did you start making music?
A. Andy; Bedroom, 6 years old. 1 Bush Record Player, 1 Phillips mono cassette recorder and me ma’s records. Front room, 8 years old. Me Uncle Bill lent my Dad an electric guitar and a Vox piano (fantastic). 12 years old, pause Button mix tapes. School, 14 years old. Saved up for a Tandy DJ Mixer, Sony and a Dual 506 turntable, both with pitch controls!!
Bought me first Yamaha Synth. Became arch mix tape rivals with Dean Meredith or Slick D as he was then known, in the year below. I was Sir Drew. Though he had a B boy crew and I didn’t. Bedsit land, 17 years old, Bought a Boss drum machine and a Roland Juno Six Synth and formed a rock/ new wave band with Chris Peat (Altern 8) and my cousin Vin as well as greasy haired lead guitarist called Andy who smoked 20 Benson & Hedges in an afternoon. Blue Chip Records/Recording Studios, 19 -20 years old, blagged (seriously don’t know how we got away with it blag) a job as an engineer/key board player with Chris Peat. Spoke to Arch Rival Dean Meredith for the first time who was in there recording a track.
The rest is history.
Q. Have you ever had real jobs?
A. Andy; St Georges Psychiatric Hospital, Cleaner. Surreal. Light and Sound Technician at a nightclub in Stafford that shall remain nameless. Aslings Pet and Exotic Bird Store, shop boy.
A. Dean; Stafford District General Hospital, Instrument Cleaner. Messy. Horsleys Removals, removing. Pine Design (Light assembly work boy – Ha ha)
Q. Describe your music if you can and the Chicken Lips sound.
A.It’s hard to describe our music because we make it up as we go along. If we tried we’d have to say Punk Funk Disco New Wave Dubbed Out Weird Shit Type thing, ish, sort of, maybe, mmm…
Q. What has influenced the sound?
A. Absolutely everything that goes on in and around what we do!
Q. What makes you different from others?
A. My names Andrew and his name is Dean and we like what we do.
Q. As time goes on many producers lose their way, failing to keep up with current trends. How do you keep up to date or do you just do your own thing?
A. We do what we like. We don’t do what we don’t like.
Q. You’ve done a lot of remixes? Which was your favourite?
A. Nigo, Mo Wax.
Q. Your more well know for your remixes. Does that bother you?
A. No. Its always our production anyway we love it!
Q. What are you currently listening to?
A. Andy – Magazine, Dean – Konk.
Q. Hobbies? – Birdwatching? Stamp collecting? Anything that might surprise us?
A. Andrew collects plastic 1970s- 80s robots, and old Atari video games.
A. Dean is constantly restoring his 1970’s mini and Scooter.
Q. Forthcoming Chicken Lips projects / plans for world domination?
A. New Chicken Lips album, new single. World Domination by 2003.
Q. Anything else we should know?
A. Cheap shots at Dean were written in his absence. For the record I think you should know this.
QUESTIONS FOR CHEAP LAUGHS
Do you ever feel like Chicken Tonight?
No because it’s 2 o clock in the morning.
What came first? The chicken or the egg?
“What” came first.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
It didn’t. It was all a con rigged by NASA.
Freerange or battery?
Sorry if this seems a bit one sided but Dean ain’t here.
Originally publised in Breakin Point 2001 (I’ll find out when later…)
Chicken Lips – Show Your Shape