Saturday, November 15, 2008



Cassetteboy are the UK's Michael Bollen and Steve Warlin. They've got three full length cut-up releases and a couple of singles, to date. I'm assuming the rest is like "The Parker Tapes," anyway (tape cut ups), because that's all I've got. Now that the truth is out, I guess I'll have to go and find some more... I really like the album I have, so I'd look forward to hearing more.

For the longest time, this was a group so underground that although their work has been well received, noone knew who the heck these guys actually were. That is to say, their online presence has been shrouded in mystery and misinformation. They've recently started giving out their real names, but alas, we have yet to see a proper photo. I like this one though (above). Perhaps it is a fair approximation of how they would actually appear in person. I just don't know.

Bollen is an author, as well. You can find out more about his satirical novel, Earth Inc. HERE. His brother (?), Warlin, is a musician and theatrical composer. Find out more at their Myspace page.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Cassetteboy...


*Do you use a pseudonym? We used to be completely anonymous, for fear of being sued. With the release of our latest album we've revealed our real identities. This is mainly because one of us (Michael Bollen) (me) (hello) has written a novel, and I wanted Cassetteboy fans to know that it was by me. There's no way I was going to publish the novel under a pseudonym, it took too bloody long to let some made up name take the credit.

*Members: Michael Bollen and Steve Warlin

*Founding Members: Michael Bollen and Steve Warlin. It's always just been the two of us. Although sometimes other people join us on stage for gigs. Or fill in for one or the other of us. We did one gig once where neither of us was there - we were in Australia, and there was a Cassetteboy gig in London that was done by one of our mates and some bloke we've never met.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: None of the above. We started off with tapes, using old hi-fis and 'ghettoblasters' (anything with two manual pause buttons). That's how we did our first single Di and Dodi Do Die, and a bit of tape stuff made it onto The Parker Tapes, our first album. Since then it's been computers all the way, specifically Sound Forge, Acid and Vegas.

*Another genre descriptor: We used to use "Parker" but no one understood us.

* Is there a story behind your name? Unfortunately we can't remember. Cassetteboy evolved from Steve and myself making compilation tapes for our friends with tiny snippets of comedy or TV soundtracks between the music. These were known as 'Parker Tapes', each tape would be labelled with the word Parker and then a different number on each side. I think Steve's first one was Parker 81 and 91, mine was Parker 41 and 51. The first one we did together was Parker 211 and 221. I have no idea why the tapes were labelled in this way. Sorry, what a dull story.

*Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

*Original Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

*What is your creative/artistic background: Michael Bollen writes comedy. He's been spectacularly unsuccessful with a few sitcom pilots and sketches and the like, but has recently published his first novel, Earth Inc., which will hopefully make him mega rich. Steve Warlin is a musician. He has recently composed the songs for a stage musical about the board game Monopoly, called 'Free Parking!'. This combination of music and comedy creates Cassetteboy, although we both do a bit of both sides when writing our albums.

*History: The compilation tape Parker 211 and 221 was completed in the summer of 1995 I think. We've worked together ever since.

*Born: Chelmsford, Essex, UK, 1970s

*Motivations: Good question. It certainly isn't to make money - every album has sold worse than the previous one, despite a fanbase that is blatantly growing (curse you, internet). Cassetteboy grew naturally out of compilation tapes made to make our friends laugh, and I don't think much has changed. Also, because Cassetteboy evolved more or less by accident, I think we're quite interested to see what it will become if we just keep doing it. We only do it occasionally though, you'd go mad cutting stuff up like that full time.

*Philosophy: Making funny jokes is the main thing. And good music. With each album we try to change the way we work, in order to move on. The first album (The Parker Tapes) we didn't know what the hell we were doing, we never thought we'd do another album and so we chucked everything we could think of in there. The second, Dead Horse, is our more polished, immediate, pop album. And the most recent, Carry On Breathing, is our sprawling, slightly self indulgent concept album. We both think it's our best work though, it may take a few listens, but hopefully people will be playing that one for years to come.

*How would you like to be remembered: Hopefully not as those guys who got sued by pretty much every musician, TV channel and record label ever.

*Web address:
www. myspace. com/bloodycassetteboy
www. myspace. com/earthincbook


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