Diary of an Internet Musician 2002

Here lies a crumpled wad from the diary of hopefully dead internet musician, Brian. He had black hair and not just because he dyed it. His Argos skateboard was found beside the canal sometime in summer '02. Is his disappearance a Richey Edwards style mystery? Or did he just go back to his parents' house in Newbury and get a job writing slogans for Vodafone posters? Suffice to say, those who knew him best knew him through his diary, of which I have at least four pages, which I found in a laptop satchel he left under my staircase along with the proposed sleeve artwork for his album, carefully rendered on a Post-It note with a Parker Jotter.

24th March 2002

Hey kids. My name is Brian Drizzell. Don’t judge me because I’m from Essex. Blur and the Prodigy came from Essex, in fact Colchester, which
is where I live. That’s how cool I am.

But anyway. I was listening to the master tape of our band’s new single earlier. It’s called “Death of a Poochie” and I wrote it about my recently deceased Labrador, Poochie. You may remember Poochie from his
appearances in the Andrex adverts of the eighties and early nineties, the ones before the one with the boy on the toilet and the one with the oh-so ironic voiceover by that bloke off Blue Peter. Poochie’s adverts were the most honest, I feel, straight from his little dog heart, not jaundiced by this cruel world or jaded by experience. When Poochie rolled about with six other identical looking puppies on top of a mountain of toilet roll, he meant it. But anyway. My song was written about how, after I had left for university, Poochie became ill and I couldn’t afford to come home when he passed because I spent the last of my money on a bit of blow and some papers. Oh, and some matches too, because I burned my hand on my lighter and my housemates don’t like me lighting spliffs off the grill. But anyway. The song, my song is a bit of a diversion from our usual fare of Screamadelica influenced dance music. It’s a heavy song, with twisted guitars scorching away at my lyrics, some of the most extremely moving and extreme I’ve written so far. And I’ve written a lot of songs! I recorded the vocals in one take, for authenticity’s sake. You can hear at the end of the second verse, just as the bit where the guitars wail and spazz off, I was nearly in tears. Real, genuine tears from really emotional lyrics.

My song is available for free download from our website, which you can easily find with a search engine, Google or whatever you nerds use these days. I thought it was better to make it free for download rather than press it onto records or, heaven rest us, CDs because I didn’t want them sitting and warping in a cupboard in some Camden indie shit-hole record shop, never seeing the light of day. By releasing them on the web, they live and breathe, for anyone to find. And if they don’t like it, they can delete them whenever they like. The b-sides are the more traditional dance instrumental, “Lamp Post Come On!”, and the even more extremely reggae/trip hop influenced remix of “Poochie”, “Dubby Doggy Skank”. Graeme Friend from the newsgroup comp.sys.ihatebillgates.org argues that the idea of recording b-sides to a single on the Internet is a waste of time, and that I’m only doing this thing to replicate the aesthetics of a proper record company without actually bothering to work like one. He is, of course, a fool. I know what we’re doing. We know what I’m doing. I’m pushing back the boundaries.

And I think including samples of Poochie’s frail deathbed whining adds more genuine pathos than anyone has ever captured in a song of this genre, ever.


Brian Drizzell

7th April 2002

If there’s one thing that annoys me about nerds is their complete lack of joy. But anyway.

After the release last week of our new single, I invited comments from the regulars on comp.sys.ihatebillgates.org who’d taken the trouble to spend an hour and a half downloading it. I have to say I was shocked at the ignorance and stupidity of everyone who criticised it.

You would think that after recording the single greatest single of the 21st century some people would find it in their heart to understand my emotional frailties wouldn’t you? Well, wouldn’t you? But no. They don’t understand (a) how tormented I am and (b) how excellent my music is, especially since I put all that effort into it.

So, Graeme Friend said of the music, “useless dated sounding industrial techno-rock with an effeminate student moaning about spilt milk”. Well, Graeme, I refuse to consider that any kind of dance music sounds in any way dated. It uses technology, and therefore is more mystical, exciting and misunderstood than anything else I can think of. He was also incredulous enough to ask how often I listened to Boss Drum these days. I listen to Boss Drum at least once a week. Just because it’s not all over the radio these days people presume something’s not worth listening to. Do you see? Also, he was stupid in saying that for so-called dance music, it’s not actually particularly danceable. Well, Graeme, you’re obviously not taking the same cocktail of quasi-legal pharmaceuticals as me!

The main criticism however was of my singing voice, which I find to be entirely irrelevant to the music. While I admit I’m hardly the world’s best singer, the raw emotion I laid down is the most moving thing I’ve ever heard. My beloved dog died and I couldn’t be there. It’s as simple as that. I was nearly in tears after all. However, to say that my “annoyingly rounded vowels and posh sounding rolled R’s ” were conspicuously noticeable in my “affected Bobby Gillespie rock’n’roll drawl”. What do you expect? I am middle class! Shall I pretend I’m not? As for affecting a different voice, I must protest. I can sing however I want, because it’s my record and I can. Should I choose to affect a Johnny Rotten sneer, I’m allowed to. Should I choose to sing in a Teutonic deadpan a’la Alex Empires or Nico Hagen, I can do that too. I’m just being myself. Also, I was nearly in tears throughout the whole of the second chorus, just as the guitar spazzes out. Some people are so cold that they can’t recognise how emotionally deep my song is.

I have, of course, said all this before on the newsgroup, to which Graeme and the others have completely failed to grasp my point. And anyway, I don’t see them releasing highly influential and boundary breaking singles on the Internet. I rest my case. And no, the b-sides don’t sound like Clock, Graeme!


Brian Drizzell
PS. There’s a album in the pipeline.

13th April

Almost finished work on the album this week. It’s taken two years of blood, sweat, spunk, a helluva lot of tears, a healthy amount of sex, more spunk, various low grade narcotics, and an 8 track recorder I borrowed from Graeme from the newsgroup. As I was saying to Jim, our guitarist on Wednesday as we were laying down the guitar parts, bass parts, drum loops and synth sounds, it’s been an emotionally tiring journey. Jim just shrugged, which to the layman would indicate bored indifference to our collective mental turmoil, but to me, who knows how we feel, I know what he meant. The tracklist goes as follows.

1. Hail to the Drug Dealer: a gloriously narcoleptic sounding instrumental introduction that sets the scene perfectly. Featuring sampled speech taken from various Stanley Kubrick films including A Clockwork Orange and Teenwolf 2.

2. Death of a Poochie: I feel our last single has a place on the album, so if anyone has downloaded it already, they don’t need to download this version. It’s exactly the same so skipping it cuts an hour and a half off the total download time.

3. I Hate Telly: a vitriolic list song, like that one off the Denim album, but as a list of things which annoy me, specifically, and with 73 percent less genre pastiche. Excellent pitchshifted bass.

4. Watching Me Fall: Teenage angst, but done really well, because ’m
not a teenager anymore. So that’s okay then.

5. Roar!: The exclamation mark says it all. My finest ever drug song, and The Rev. Toker, my hash dealer’s favourite.

6. Supremium Rhapsody: narky multiparted burbling techno. Very dark with cod opera harmonies in the chorus by me.

7. Video Lames: comprehensive trashing of video game culture. The most conventional song on the LP with the highly catchy repeated chant, “Hang the Hedgehog!”. Extra guitars by my good friend, Graeme, which I sampled from a version of Parklife he’d recorded and left on his 8 track.

8. Dubby Doggy: the reggae tinged remix of ‘Poochie, with a slight re-jig. (ie. More Kubrick samples!) Also, I dropped the word “skank” from the title after my girlfriend told me about her thrush. How sensitive
of me, eh?

9. Natural Yog Hurts: see above.

10. Shag-Weed-Quill-Shite: the finale. A motorik maelstrom celebrating the four best things a human can do; have sex, smoke pot, write poetry and sit on the toilet while writing poetry or smoking pot at the same time. Not sex though. I’m not that liberated, man!

That’ll be it for now. I’m too emotionally tired to write any more.

Brian Drizzell

20th April

Predictably, there has been no interest shown by anyone for my album. I got an email back from the people at the Talent website who said they could put my album on their page also, but couldn’t accept MP3s encoded at a greater bitrate than 128KPs. I immediately emailed them back this the message, “128KPs? You must be nuts!”, which is an excellent joke based on their mistakenly referring to the abbreviation of the unit of MP3 compression, Kilo-BITS Per Second, as KPs, like the popular nut based snack company. Then this guy got riled, for no real reason, and sent me back a message saying that 128KPS gets a good balance between sound quality and download time. He also went on to say that given that I’m an unknown bedroom musical tinker, I am lucky to be offered the space at all. Needless to say I emailed him back, explaining my joke and told him that if he wanted the songs encoded at such a lossy bit-rate, he could do them himself, the joyless, uncreative web-whore. He then said he didn’t have the time to spend hours downloading my songs and re-encoding them and if I wanted them to feature on his site I would have to do it myself. I haven’t replied, so hopefully he’ll think it over and do the decent thing. I also hope he doesn’t see the dangerously close-to-home parody of him I posted on the comp.sys.ihatebillgates.org board, as it’s possibly libellous.

Since no-one seems to be interested in my music, I’ve started doing stand up comedy as well. Another string and all that, eh? I went along to an open mike night at Colchester’s Lesser Corn Exchange bar. However, unlike the rest of the chancers who turned up with various hackneyed office-based routines, I met the promotional manager while I was waiting outside The Rev. Toker’s house who offered me a spot on an open mic night, so, needless to say, I grabbed the opportunity with both arms.

So, I was sitting at home listening to my album on loop, waiting for seven o’clock to roll around, and you know, the gases were building. At about three, three thirty I lit up a joint and got mellow. Next thing I knew, it was half eight and the disco was starting at nine. I leapt out of my bean bag and pelted, woosily, into town, arriving at the LCE at five to nine. The stage was empty so I leapt up and grabbed the mike, and… forgot all my routine I’d worked out in front of the mirror. So, thinking fast, I improvised a routine based on throwing my ski gloves at someone’s face and reciting Primal Scream lyrics with my mouth full of Smarties. It went quite well, I thought.

So, there starts a wonderful career in comedy. The only thing that'll stop me from becoming the next Bill Hicks or Eddie Izzard is the lazy indifference of the Great British Public, and even then I’ve got my musical career to fall back on. Also, if the worst comes to the worst I could start sending in my comic parodies of Internet nerds to the NME again. I got some encouraging feedback from IPC’s automatic mailing list generator when I sent them that Gay Dad interview spoof a few years ago. And have Gay Dad worked, since? Eh?


Brian Drizzell

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...