© Photo by Trudi Knight
Jon Poole: "I like some incredibly embarrasing stuff from the 80's"
Jon Poole joined Cardiacs in 1994 as second guitarist, replacing Christian 'Bic' Hayes. Meanwhile he continued his solo projects, such as his Frank Zappa tribute album Mothers Covers (later renamed What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?) on which he performed a surprisingly accurate rendition of old Mothers of Invention songs using only voice, guitars, Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and primitive drum machine. He also played with the band Ablemesh, re-inventing many of their songs.
In parallel with his Cardiacs work, Jon began to work with Wildhearts leader Ginger in 2000, playing on the Black Leather Mojo album and as bass player in the lineup of the Silver Ginger 5 band. Poole joined The Wildhearts in 2002 to replace the ailing Danny McCormack on bass, and left Cardiacs altogether in 2004.
When The Wildhearts split up again in 2005, Poole created the band God Damn Whores around himself as lead vocalist and guitarist, although he continued to play as part of Ginger's band Ginger & The Sonic Circus and on Ginger's solo acoustic tours from time to time.
Can you tell me something about the Frank Zappa tribute cd you made ? When did you get the idea to make this album?
I have been a huge Zappa fan ever since I got introduced to the music by my ex brother-in law who told me I needed educating and showed me a concert from (I think) Halloween 1981. It was the line-up that Steve Vai, Tommy Mars, Ed Mann etc played in.
My first thought was "They sound like they're making it up as they go along but how can they be when they're doing it in unison?!"
I was instantly hooked and gradually went through the process of collecting his albums, some of which I instantly loved and some that I didn't to start with but did later on.
Initialy I wasn't really too keen on the early mothers stuff and it wasn't until around 1991 that I suddenly "got it".
Then I became obsessed with this era of Zappa just coz it really tested me. It's not the best played stuff and it's sometimes an excrutiatingly hard listen but I grew to love it's charm. It's ugly as fuck but that's great as I find beautiful perfection repellent.
When Uncle Frank died in 1993 I lost it big time. I must've been like one of those embarrasing Elvis fanatics that couldn't imagine a world with him not in it.
I do still feel that way at times but I digress.
Being only 23 years old when hit with this hammer I decided in a very obsessive manner that I simply MUST pay tribute to the man the only way I knew how.
I set out to stay as faithful as possible to the original arrangements but wanted the mix to sound more inviting to people who don't like Zappa. According to comments I've received off what are now Zappa converts I seem to have acheived this. (Despite the fact that it was recorded on a Fostex 4-track cassette machine in my old bedroom at my Mum and Dad's house!)
I have been known to listen to it from time to time and my only critisism of it in hindsight is the crap attempt at an American accent which at times sounds more West country than anything else but that's probably the XTC fan in me but hey that's another tribute album!
I can't imagine that I'd do anything like that again but it did manage to drag in a few new convert so maybe re-writing the new testament wasn't such a crazy idea after all!
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