WL//WH Review+Interview: EDWARD KA-SPEL of The LEGENDARY PINK DOTS “refuses to slow down” with the new LP “The Museum of Human Happiness”

WL//WH Premiere-Interview EDWARD KA-SPEL

The Legendary Pink Dots

Earlier on March 18, Metropolis Records released the brand new album ‘The Museum of Human Happiness’ by the unique and mythical act The Legendary Pink Dots. With an ocean of releases for 41 years now, this new record can be considered as another fresh wave into The Dots swell, or another leap forward for these groundbreakers whose inspiration is literally boundless both in music and the performing level. ‘The Museum…’ has 12 new songs that emanate from the multifaceted sonic front of the band with things that we are used to and many more that either renew their ‘situation’ or add other pieces to the wonderful, big puzzle of their course.

The music here is so complicated simple; The Dots are (still) playing Avant-rock music in the avant-garde style, blending it all (again and forever) with experimental elements that are taken from psychedelia (and the neo-psychedelia too), and placing them on the usual field of the old post-punk rails; of course, you will also hear some hidden traces of the ‘gaze’ task and execution as well as the poetic-punk attitude and style…simple as that yeah! ‘Cloudsurfer’ is a rather characteristic song of this year’s orientation, check it out and Ι see you again later…

Αlmost everything has been written and said about this band, and most of it is correct and true. The next track ‘Nightingale’ is putting other thoughts, it sounds as if it reveals the complexity of their unique existence in a notable, experimental spot in the new album…

…and the same goes for the closing track of the record, ‘Nirvana For Zeroes’

…and of course, the adventure starts at the beginning with a piece so trademark for The Dots, ‘This Is The Museum’.

You will enjoy all these ‘surreal’ diamonds and more in their entire new album, but better go now to the conversation I had with Edward Ka-Spel who is not the usual rock star of our times, he doesn’t give many interviews, he is quite sparing and very comprehensive but we respect him absolutely and endlessly!

  • Hello Mr Ka-Spel, it is an honour to have you with us, welcome to WL//WH!!! Let’s go straight to the hot news please, The Legendary Pink Dots recently released their brand new album ‘The Museum Of Human Happiness’ with 12 brand new songs and I’d like to ask what kind of workmanship is this new LP for The Dots, and their fans?

Hi my friend…I guess the first bricks of ‘The Museum’ were planted in early 2020, just as the World closed down. It was actually quite terrifying. From casual advice about the need to wash our hands for 20 seconds, it seemed like the daily deaths on the tv screens resembled winning lottery tickets. Supermarkets here were emptied, and police were poised to pounce on anyone who blew a kiss at someone else. With all that time at home, I had to write…and write..and write. And then record….

  • I read in the press kit a statement from you that needs a little explanation for our readers “the lyrics are utterly poignant, desperate, yet sometimes bearing a flash of gallows humor”. Does this reveal the whole mystery of the new album?

Not at all. Just a little guidance for the unprepared…

  • Artistically, The Dots were always a versatile project over the years but I feel the new album takes things to a slightly different constellation from your previous studio albums. Where are you going and what do you suggest with ‘The Museum…’?

41 years of The Dots but I refuse to slow down or reach for the carpet slippers. You see there is still so much left to discover…

  • Are there any ‘favorite tracks’ for you on the new album or tracks that you are a little afraid of for your audience?

Not really… There was plenty of time to perfect this one and it was necessary with the impossibility of us getting together.

  • If a young person heard you say that you have a band and asked you what kind of music you play, what would you answer? What kind of music do The Dots finally make?

A question I face quite often and I’m usually clueless when it comes to an answer. Normally I stick with ‘unique’ …we have our ‘own sound’ which of course, leaves the questioner utterly confused.

  • I’ve seen The Dots live in Athens back in 2008 or 2009 and I was amazed! I had already known the band since the mid-90s and seeing The Dots performing live really explained a lot to me. The question is where all this inner sound phantasmagoria is hidden inside you and how finally after so many decades (I still believe) do you make such amazing performances? Remember that in the end, we didn’t want you to leave the stage? (this city could be any other in the world I guess)

I’ll never forget that first show in Gagarin 205…We’d been trying to get to Athens for decades and eventually drove all the way through Italy and took the trucker boat to Igoumenitsa. The audience was plain magnificent…it inspired us all.

The Legendary Pink Dots live at Gagarin 205 Athens

  • Mr Ka-Spel I believe you are an innovator like a pioneer and a groundbreaker in music, but sometimes in history, this can’t happen alone. Tell us a few things about the other members of The Dots, please, and how come you agreed to navigate together with The Dots?

Well, there is The Silverman ( Phil Knight) who was there at the beginning and now lives in The Netherlands with an attic crammed with analogue synthesizers, then there’s Erik Drost with the edgiest, noisiest, and tenderest guitar you’ll ever wish to hear. A band of long-standing friendships ultimately…Sure, there’s tension but it’s all in the music…

  • Really now I want to ask what are you listening to at home at this time? Would you like to suggest us something …?

A hard one..but probably my favourite album of the last few years ‘async’ by Ryuichi Sakamoto

  • I do not remember reading anywhere why the name of the band is The Legendary Pink Dots and most of our readers will have the same question too, will you tell us?

Our first piano had spots of pink nail varnish on the keys which we referred to as those ‘legendary pink dots’. It had a ring to it…

  • What are the next steps for the band, any live gigs, any other release by The Dots or as a solo?

Planning tours right now, including a show in Athens next February… Recording a lot of solo material in the last months and posting it on our Bandcamp pages. I also made an album together with the Pink Dots’ violin player from back in the 80s (Patrick Q Wright) entitled, ‘The Scarlet Trail of Stinging Tears’.

  • Edward Ka-Spel thank you very much for your time, last words on you!

Ah, no words…..

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Written by Loud Cities’ Mike

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