Fancy a detour off the musical highway this Autumn? Cult English baroque rocker Paul Roland (who was once described as 'the male Kate Bush' by label mate Robyn Hitchcock) has left the mock gothic grandeur of his past albums such as 'Danse Macabre', the Edwardian proto-steampunk offerings of 'A Cabinet of Curiosities' and the dark woods of folk-themed 'Grimm' to plug his electric guitar in and thrash to death such titles as 'I Was A Teenage Zombie', 'Tortured By The Daughter of Fu Manchu', 'How I Escaped From Devil's Island' and the title track ‘Bates Motel’. Someone has evidently been listening to The Cramps and Johnny Cash!
"In the late 1980s I interviewed several members of the Velvet Underground for a national English newspaper and at the end of the interviews I asked Nico, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker if they would be interested in recording with me and they seemed genuinely enthusiastic. So I wrote some songs for them and sent the tapes over to the states, but there were technical problems that couldn't be resolved due to the incompatibility of the tape formats at that time. There was no internet then so sub-mixes on metal spools had to be shipped over for them to add their parts and these weren't compatible with the American studio that Sterling was using at the time. So the songs were shelved, until now. I had spoken to Sterling several times on the phone and he had written back saying that he was keen to record and he liked the songs, particularly the structures, I remember, but I didn't pursue it, thinking that we had all the time in the world to get together. Then sadly he died and soon after so did Nico. Then my own music went off in a more psych-folk direction and I forgot all about the PR/VU project.
But recently after making a number of intimate acoustic albums I was itching to rock again and I thought it was time to dust off the songs I had written for them and complete those which I hadn't finished. 'Bates Motel' is not Paul Roland imitating the Velvet Underground - that would be pointless - it is the album that I would have made with Mo, Sterling and Nico had I been a bit more aggressively ambitious and made sure the opportunity wasn't lost."
For those who might find the pace rather bracing, there are also a couple of spaced-out psych tracks (including a paean to the dark Indian goddess Kali) and a creepy tale or two with a suitably atmospheric setting - one inspired by a ghost story written by England's master of the macabre M.R. James ('The Wailing Well'). The lighter side of Roland's macabre humour is embodied in a couple of classic Sixties psych-punk tracks with a twist (‘Tortured By The Daughter of Fu Manchu’ and 'Crazy' which we think could have been written for Green Day), plus a sly pastiche of self-righteous evangelical preachers on the gospel tinged 'Promised Land' and a typical Roland offbeat Arabian adventure ‘Khatmandu’ featuring Curly, Moe and Stagger Lee ("and me with a half-assed plan to find the lost city of Genghis Khan").
New remixed sound and alternative cover artwork to the Sireena 2013 CD edition.
Limited to 200 black and 100 coloured copies.
Factory sealed album.
180gr vinyl as usual. BLACK EDITION