Eyeless In Gaza

Interviews, Articles & Reviews


A very early (mid-1980) article/interview by John Balance (later of PTV and Coil) – explaining the “Independent Scene” origins. (Stabmental, mid-1980)

“I just wanted to make simple, honest, passionate music” – Martyn Bates

Blind Ambition – The Eyeless In Gaza guide to avoiding entropy by Des Moines. (Sounds, October 11 1980)

“Their total control over their instrumentation is such that they have no apparent limitations […].”

The Thrills Have Eyes. Interview by Dave McCullough (Sounds, February 28 1981)

“We go into a kind of Nuneaton Museum […] an old lady caretakeress guides us predictably to a “modern art” section, all dribbles of paint over confusing canvasses. Eyeless In Gaza, two men with the time-travellers look of the miners in D.H. Lawrence’s Nottingham, hated it! They turned, graphically, exaggeratedly, to the just adjoining traditional art section. Modern muck, aw we hate it! It was that kind of reaction. Ditto for the music they make.”

Bop eye interview by T.G. (Bop eye, early 1981)

“It’s easy to work together when there’s only two of you, you haven’t got so many people to please,” says Pete, “If either of us don’t like something we don’t play it.”

Guileless in Nuneaton. Interview by Mick Duffy. The interview takes place just before Eyeless are going to play at a “rock festival” (Futurama III, September 6th 1981). (New Musical Express, September 19 1981)

“[…] you could get to like us. Anyone could – young punks, middle-aged housewives.” – Martyn Bates

Sixteenth of September. Interview by Phil Clarke. (Damn Latin, late 1981)

“We’d like to get involved in creative projects that work on more than one level, such as film soundtracks and doing music for dance companies, things that have more of a permanence about them. Not that I think that what we do is totally transient, but I’m very interested in interpreting what someone else has done.” – Martyn Bates

Eyeless In Gaza interviewed by Stephen Emmer and photos by Arjen Schrama of Pete Becker & Martyn Bates (Vinyl, 1981-82) (Dutch)

Eyeless In Gaza – Letter from Here to There. Interview/letter with/from Martyn Bates. [One of my favourite interviews/letters.] (Vox magazine, 1982 circa Letters Written)

“All our songs say one thing; say I want to understand, say I want to find reason to everything […].” – Martyn Bates

Rapid Eye Movement. Interview with Eyeless In Gaza at the release of Drumming the Beating Heart. (Not a very good interview, but … .) (?, July/August 1982)

“I think a hit would really change things – I’ve been thinking about stopping to do singles, because of the potential of what they could do to what we’ve got.” – Martyn Bates

Eyeless In Gaza – interviewed by Dale Ward. An interview around the time (1982) when Drumming the Beating Heart was released.

“I always feel the same way. We do a batch of stuff and put it out and think ”wow, that’s great! It’s really worked well!“ For it to come out on the record I have to give it a little time. I get lost in it.” – Peter Becker

The Gaza Stripped. This interview, by Adam Sweeting, is also related to the release of Drumming the Beating Heart. (Melody Maker, September 25 1982)

“I think this record is more of a mature record, because the first two were still very much like in our formative days. We recorded ‘Photographs’ two months after we met, and then ‘Caught in Flux’ and the 12 inch were recorded later the same year – and this was 1980. They’re the first and second batches of ideas that we had, whereas with this one we’ve stockpiled a great deal of material over a year, a year and a half, and we’ve been able to grow with it, pick it out and collate it into more of a cohesive thing.” – Martyn Bates

Eyeless In Gaza interviewed by Michael Björn and Joakim Norling. Last page here (could not be made into one PDF due to problems with Microsoft Word). (ID magazine no. 5-6, late 1982) (pdf, Swedish)

Moderne magazine Interview. Interview by AP. (Moderne, n°6, décembre 1982) (French)

Eyeless In Gaza – De Stilte Als Tolk. Interview by Alfred Bos and photos by John Groot (Muziekkrant Oor, #15, July 30 1983)

The Gaza Strip. Interview with Eyeless In Gaza by Dave Henderson. (Sounds, August 13 1983)

“We want success but we’re not desperate. I mean we haven’t dressed up in silver suits or anything.” – Martyn Bates

Hoor wie klopt daar …. Interview by Griselda Visser. (Vinyl no. 27, October 1983) (Dutch)

Eyeless In Gaza – Drama Y Destino. (Rock Espezial, March 1984) Spanish interview with Peter Becker by Jaime Gonzalo (Petes answers are in black). (1984) (Spanish, thanks to José Manuel Caturla for transcription)

Flight of Feel. Interview by R.T. early 1984. (The Beating Heart no.3 (fan club zine 84-86), 1985)

“I know the records are improving. I know they’re getting more easy to listen to but at the same time they’re still us, without selling ourselves short.” – Martyn Bates

Mood Music by Andrew Jones (Option magazine, 1989)

“As for my melancholia … People see it as introspection, as if that’s necessarily a bad thing, as if it’s wrong to be contemplating. My musics never meant to be depressing or anti-life or negative, even if it seems evocative of that mood. […] – there’s beauty in a sad song. Why shouldn’t there be?” – Martyn Bates

Eyeless In Gaza – Letter from Peter Becker to MFTEQ [see below] sketching a history of Eyeless In Gaza and mentioning that they have begun working together again. (MFTEQ issue ‘0’, around 1991/2)

“I suppose our appeal was the quality of Martyn’s voice and the moodiness and energy of the music.” – Peter Becker

Eyeless In Gaza – Sweet Life Longer – an interview with Peter Becker and Liz Bates regarding the Fabulous Library album and the gigs they were on the their way to do with Martyn Bates in continental Europe – the revival of Eyeless In Gaza – by Phil Clarke (MFTEQ 93/1 Ghafran)

“After the release of the last album we did for Cherry Red, ‘Back From the Rains’, we were trying to get a major deal, we’d got a manager and we were thinking about a ”rock‘n’roll career,“ go up the ladder, progress, that sort of idea. I think we were very, very close a lot of times, but we just never found a satisfactory deal.” – Peter Becker

Thanks to The Empty Quarter for permission to publish this interview here. Carbon disks (formerly TEQ) had a good mail-order service with a lot of interesting music in their catalogue/listings.

Interview with Martyn Bates for the french magazine Omega. Interview by Spahi Amadeo was done in 1995. Text has been translated from french to english by Yves Ludwig – thank you! (Omega Magazine, Autumn 1996)
The french original article.

“Eyeless In Gaza could and should continue forever as long as Peter Becker an I both continue to enjoy our unique connection – it feels like it should last forever, this special link; ‘I dreamed I saw you, walking, walking in the world..... .’”

Interview with Eyeless In Gaza by: E.Giannakopoulos, M. Karagkouni, K. Brellas. (Postwave.gr, November 13 2006) (also Greece language version at Postwave.gr)

Articles and Other

Very early letter, or rather statement, of what Eyeless In Gaza want, do and some lyrics and photos. Written by Martyn in his characteristic hand-writing. (0533, no. 4, September 1980) (pdf)

Ambivalent Scale – the origins. A short article by Phil Clarke. Also here is an early listing from the same magazine of the product catalogue (pdf). (Damn Latin, 1980)

Eyeless In Gaza – Nags Head. Review of an early gig by Dawkeye. (0533, September 1980)

The sound is rough, the vocals unintelligible but that doesn’t stop the audiences enjoyment of the music (some people actually danced!) Despite the fact that there are only 2 of them (tho they did ask if there were any drummers in the room) EIG make a full, funky, interesting sound.

Flyer for Looking Daggers with lyrics and photos and for an upcoming gig as support to This Heat at Lanchester Polytechnic, October 1980. (Autumn 1980) (pdf)

Martyn and Pete – The Approach Road Syndrome. Early short article on Eyeless In Gaza. (Late 1980)

Flyer for Invisibility with photo and lyrics. (1981) (pdf)

Filled, Full, Flowing Eyeless In Gaza article by Stephen Emmer. (Vinyl, (the issue with the Talking Mythic Language 7”), March 1982) Photos by Arjen Schrama and handwritten lyrics by Martyn Bates: Talking Mythic Language & True Colour. (Dutch)

Two of a kind. Sort of an interview, but more like an article on Eyeless In Gaza. (Hot Press, March 20 1982)

“Their music requires more of the listener than a quick casual glance. It could remain a well-kept secret.”

Eyeless Play a Blunder. Review of gig at The Venue, Victoria. (New Musical Express, September 4 1982)

French short presentation of Eyeless In Gaza. (Autumn 1982)

FoIk met pastorale toon van duo Eyeless in Gaza. Review of concert at Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (1982-11-17). (Dutch)

Record listings: Long players indie-list (NME, 1982) (pdf); Indie single-list (1983). (pdf)

Eyeless In Gaza – La Fábrica, Reus. Spanish review of live concert in Reus, Spain 1984 (?) by Maria Arbunes. (Late 1984) (Spanish)

Imperial College [– “What are Eyeless doing now after the release of ‘Sun Bursts In’?”] by David Elliott (Sounds, November 24 1984)

An article on how Eyeless In Gaza use “sequencing” at concerts – Pete Becker is interviewed on the subject. (Electronic Soundmaker, August-September 1985)

Back from the Rains. Comments on every song by Martyn Bates made around the time of the release of the album. (The Beating Heart no.3 (fan club zine 84-86), 1985)

The liner notes by Martyn Bates and Pete Becker to the wonderful archive album Orange Ice & Wax Crayons. Martyn and Pete make interesting comments on all the tracks of the album and on the album as a whole. Now the album is deleted, but the liner notes really says a lot about Eyeless In Gaza and how they themselves look upon their activities up until around ’86. (The comments were written in October 1991 at the “rebirth of Eyeless”.)

The Gaza Trip. Short article announcing the return of Eyeless In Gaza. (1993)

Los hermosos vencidos. A Spanish article on Eyeless In Gaza by José Manuel Caturla. (Factor9, late 1995) (Spanish)

Eyeless In Gaza – Mitt Gospel by Ørjan Greiff Johnsen. (MUTE Magazine, Hittegodskontoret) Norwegian article on Eyeless In Gaza. (2000 ?) (Norwegian)

Eyeless In Gaza. An Italian article on Eyeless In Gaza by Michele Benetello (Il Mucchio Selvaggio, n.491) (Italian)

Eyeless In Gaza … . Another Italian article on Eyeless In Gaza by Paolo Bertoni. (Blowup, 2003) (Italian)

Eyeless In Gaza: Soundtracket til Englands countryside by Terje Alnes (Backstage no. 2, April 2006) (Norwegian)

Eyeless In Gaza – Patterns under the plough. A big 6-page article on Eyeless In Gaza and Martyn Bates with citations from Martyn Bates by Rob Young. (The Wire, 278, April 2007)

Eyeless In Gaza (live at The Vortex) (The Vortex, London, 3rd Dec. 2010) by Andy Wilson of the event!

Record announcements:
Cherry Red tasters. (New Musical Express, October 9 1982)
Flowmotion. (New Musical Express, May 29 1982)

Announcements of concerts:
Cherry Red acts are a peach. (October 7 1982)
French gigs. (Autumn 1982) (French)
Gig at the Venue. (February 22 1983) (pdf)
Eyeless in Gaza at the Ace by David Ilic.
Rock Garden gigs. (1985) (pdf)
Rock Gardens gigs other mention. (1985)


Photographs as Memories (BRED 13/ASR 009, Jan 30 1981, Lp) (7 reviews)
Photographs as Memories (Cd MRED 166, March 6 2000, remastered to Cd) (2 reviews)

Caught in Flux/The Eyes of Beautiful Losers (BRED 18/12 BRED 18, Sept 1981, Lp/Ep12”) (3 reviews)
Caught in Flux/The Eyes of Beautiful Losers (Cd MRED 145, Sept 16 1997, remastered to Cd) (3 reviews)

Others (Cherry 31, Nov 20 1981, Ep7”) (1 review)

Pale Hands I Loved So Well (Uniton 004, 1982, Lp) (3 reviews, see also Cd review below)

Drumming the Beating Heart (BRED 36, July 30 1982, Lp) (19 reviews)
Drumming the Beating Heart & Pale Hands I Loved So Well (Cd MRED 127, March 4 1996, Cd) (1 review)

Veil Like Calm (Cherry 47, Oct 22 1982, 7”) (1 review)

New Risen ((12) Cherry 63, May 27 1983, 7”/Ep12”) (8 reviews)

Rust Red September ((C) BRED 50, July 15 1983, Lp/Cassette) (10 reviews)
Rust Red September (Cd MRED 111, 1994 (reissued June 10 1996), Cd) (2 reviews)

Sun Bursts In ((12) Cherry 74, Feb 3 1984, 7”/Ep12”) (4 reviews)

Back from the Rains ((C) BRED 69, June 27 1986, Lp/Cassette) & (Cd BRED 69, July 1989 (reissue March 7 1994) , Cd) (4 reviews)

Kodak Ghosts Run Amok – Chronological Singles, etc., 1980-86 ((C) BRED 73, 45’s collection etc., Feb 1987, Lp/Cassette) (1 review)

Transience Blues (Integrity IR006 CD, Compilation, Jan 1990, Cd) (1 review)

Orange Ice & Wax Crayons (Document DCD5/DLP5, Unissued songs and pieces 81-85, Sept 1992, Cd/Lp) (1 review, do not miss to read the liner notes above)

Voice (Cd BRED 104, Best of … ,1993 (reissued June 10 1996), Cd) (2 reviews)

Fabulous Library (Orchid EYE 001, 1993, Cd) (3 reviews)

Saw You in Reminding Pictures (Hive-Arc 015, Limited numbered ed. 1000, 1994, Cd) (2 reviews)

Street Lamps n’ Snow (Visionary, Wide Angle JE262, June 1994, PAL/NTSC Video) (1 review)

Streets I Ran (A-Scale 016, 1995, Cd-Ep) (2 reviews)

Bitter Apples (A-Scale 020, 1995, Cd) (4 reviews)

All Under the Leaves, the Leaves of Life (ASR 021, July 1996, Cd) (4 reviews)

Song of the Beautiful Wanton (SOL 94, March 9 2000, Cd) (3 reviews)

Sixth Sense – The Singles Collection (CDMRED207, July 2 2002, Cd) (1 review)

Home Produce: Country Bizarre – The Tago Mago recordings: remixed and expanded (NDN 37, June 26 2003, Cd with Lol Coxhill) (4 reviews)

Saw You in Reminding Pictures (CRDVD89, July 18 2005, Dvd) (1 review)

Plague of Years (songs and instrumentals 1980-2006) (Sub Rosa SR263, October 5 2006, Cd) (4 reviews)

Summer Salt & Subway Sun (Ambivalent Scale Recordings, October 30 2006, Cd, Limited ed. of 1000 hand-numbered copies) & (Beta-lactam Ring Records mt210/mt211, July 27th 2008, 3xCd or 2xCd: 3xCd of 400 copies in box + bonus Cd Wildcat Fights, numbered (signed insert pre-orders before July 25 2008); 2xCd of 600 copies in box (1st pressing)) (11 reviews)

Answer Song & Dance (Monopol Records M5361 (A-Scale ASR 036), January 29 2010, Cd/mp3) (3 reviews)

Mania Sour (A-Scale ASR 049, August 4th 2014, Cd/download) (1 review)

Original Albums boxset (Cherry Red CRCDMBOX14, August 25th 2014, 4x Cd/download) (1 review)

Mythic Language (A-Scale ASR 050, January 5th 2015 (pre-release Dec 9th 2014), 3x Cd with bonus download album and two books (Notes on Mythic Language & November: Inky Blue Sky) limited to 500 copies + download) (3 reviews)

Sun Blues (A-Scale ASR 055, September 23rd 2016, Cd/download) (4 reviews)

Winter Sang (A-Scale ASR057, November 14 2018, Cd/download) (4 reviews)

Ink Horn/One Star (A-Scale ASR058, December 5 2019, Cd limited 500/download) (3 reviews)

These will not be the last words!

Last modified February 18th, 2020.

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