Eyeless In Gaza – Letter from Here to There
Interview with Martyn Bates
Talking about Eyeless In Gaza is not an easy thing for me to do sometimes, it’s like trying to sort out strands of thought that make yourself up. I don’t feel like it’s a “group”, more like a melting pot of paradox. Making a living from music, that strikes me as an honest thing – if you can do it when you’re saying something making people a little more real somehow … a small tangent to a life you can’t ever know about; saying that, but not feeling like we’re on a crusade, I know we can do it, I know it’s in us.
Need to make music; both feel it, both need to make ourselves a little more whole … need to make that effort, always trying … I hate the phony sheen of pop, that make believe world with its parallel world of clatter and false shine … music of the spirit, that’s the only real music, music that comes quiet, not spelling out loudly, not roaring at you surface deep only … I have liked pop, in the past I’ve liked pop, now, I feel I’m falling out of love with it, and I’m wanting more music that talks to you in a quiet way … music like Tim Buckley, Laura Nyro, Virgin Prunes, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Terry Riley, ZNR, Throbbing Gristle, Michael O’Shea, Nico, Taliska, Stravinsky, Blonde on Blonde, Dylan, Nick Drake, anything that aches … .
Not a message group; only message being don’t have messages, music is beautiful; a tangential mirror to your life … words are deep as you want them, not just a surface icing … .
All our songs say one thing; say I want to understand, say I want to find reason to everything; working class paranoia looking for salvation wouldn’t be anything like an apt description … .
Music is a feel thing; an intuitive thing, an instinctive world … not a clothes-horse world, not a ladder for celebrities world; it shouldn’t be shallow in those ways, it shouldn’t be mere entertainment … real music is music that talks quietly … .
Live performance is a vehicle to perform your music, quietly calmly, not like a circus, not as a part of some pre-planned hysteria, but with a quiet dignity … I want more than the things others seem to settle for, I’m looking but where to start? Start in music, begin with music. This way of talking has an edge, cuts deeper than written or spoken … somehow feelings seem to feel more poignant … .
Not really true to the name anymore; still feel it, still feel what I felt when Peter and I first met; but now, it’s less that way … more serene and hopeful about people, more concerned with spirit in an everyday backdrop … singing now to wildsky, the sea, and mad, towering air … .