Last October I went with a couple of friends to see Tomorrows Tulips supporting The Growlers in Nottingham. Two great bands. It was my first gig for a while. The vibe was hip, sludgy, exciting, underground a la mode. It made me think that there are still possibilities.
After their set I spoke briefly to Alex and Ford of the Tulips and asked them to autograph my ticket. Alex added the epigrammatic ‘bird is the word’ to the bottom of my stub.
They are about to release their third album. I emailed Alex a few questions in the hope of gaining some further insights and elucidations…
Where are you now? What's your situation?
Just woke up, sweating in a hot van on sunset, I'm sitting on a corner with a jug of water and my skateboard, typing this
What was the last song/album you listened to?
Last night my friend Emmit and I watched a you tube video of our friend Paz Lenchantin doing a live 20 min rendition of Venus in furs on you tube
What was the last thing you created?
The first four prints in a photo series of "sweater sculptures" I've been working on
What was the last book you read?
I read a couple pages out of LA record yesterday
'When' is your 3rd album. Do you think there is a development over the 3 LPs?
Of course but sort of always unconscious, still I'm too close to it to see the landscape
If they were surf spots which would they be?
They don't exist
You toured the UK and Europe last year. What are your preconceptions now about returning to the UK and Europe?
Very diverse, comfortable cultures, in America things are young and self-conserving, insecure almost, just adolescent
What is the Tulips creative process - do you sit down together or is it more individuals with ideas?
Ford and I play each other our ideas and we build on them
The poet/artist sharpens our perceptions of the world. They tend to be anti-social and rarely well adjusted. Discuss.
I had a friend who once worked inside the mall, she worked at a high end make- up store, I went to visit her one day and caught a glimpse of my face in one of the mirrors on the counter. The magnifying capabilities of the mirror and arrangements of the lights exposed more of my "imperfections" than ever before. It's a confusing reaction for people to experience, sometimes the possibility of such human elements would potentially unite us in the nude triumphantly, others just buy the makeup and feel better, some find the flaws as their fingerprint, some just avoid going into that sort of store again
The Buddha is said to have starved himself for 6 years before realizing it would not bring him enlightenment. It has been 6 years since the Japanese Motors album. What have you been enlightened to in that time?
Success and fulfillment are oppositions and failure can be absolute righteousness, it’s insane how a carrot can lead a bunny rabbit into an Easter themed holiday card, the bunny doesn't give a fuck about Easter, just instinctually knows it needs the carrot to survive. Fuck Easter, fuck hallmark
In honour of your 'When' album, some 'when' questions:
When did punk die?
· When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Depends on the lighting
· When aliens make their existence known to humanity what comes next?
They are gonna invoice the indie scene for the "alien stoner art thing" that's been goin round
Tomorrows Tulips will be in the UK in October:
London, Manchester, Leeds, Brighton
Their album ‘When’ is out on 27th September.