Apocalyptic art-punks Erotic Secrets of Pompeii, have just released their latest single, They Wouldn’t Let me Write My Book, a loud shapeshifting journey through noise, via Deaf Endling Records. The Fountain caught up with the Bristol band’s singer, and self-titled Svengali-figure, Thomas Hawtin to discuss this exciting new release.
TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to They Wouldn’t Let Me Write My Book?
The new single has been received really well so far! We believe it’s the best song we’ve released to date, and it appears that other people feel that way too – which is nice. This is the first of four new songs we recorded at Coach House Studios, Bristol – previously home to Massive Attack and Portishead – currently run by our guitarist/keys player Tom Hackwell.
We commissioned our good friend, and photographer, David Sausins to make the artwork for the single. He collected together items with thematic links to the song, and arranged them in a style akin to Vanitas paintings from the 17th century – symbolic works of still life filled with references to death and the transience of life.
The music video was made for us by the collage artist Alex Stevens (under his pseudonym Abject Objects) who specialises in grotesque, overwhelming imagery – a cut-up nightmarish vision we describe as “David Lynch’s transcendental graveyard disco” or “Dali in the underworld”. This is also doing its job of melting eyeballs and unsettling people in all the right places.
TF: How would you sum up the song in one sentence?
A disconcerting post-punk odyssey that moves from doom waltz to chaotic electro-rock to dystopian agit-funk within a matter of minutes.
TF: Such a great track, where did you get your influences from for this one?
It’s origins stem from a rehearsal session last year, where I brought in a demo of an idea that ultimately didn’t work for us. However, The band jammed around with the main meat of the song, and the existing lyrics I had for the discarded demo worked perfectly over it. We didn’t have any explicit influences in mind when we were working on the song, but I think listening to the track you can hear some of the music we like, such as Grinderman, Talking Heads, IDLES, Viagra Boys, HMLTD, even some QOTSA in there.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this single release, can we look forward to an EP, LP?
We’re planning to release three more singles in 2020, which includes a claustrophobic noise rock number that relies on only one chord, a shimmering slow-groove incantation, and a dance punk end-of-the-world-party anthem. Might sound like it’s all over the place genre-wise, but they are all intrinsically linked through the band’s post-punk sensibilities and art rock flamboyance, as well as my obsession with death and impending doom.
Since lockdown commenced, we’ve been itching ourselves bloody to get back playing live again, especially as we now have a brand new rhythm section in Alex Auld (drums) and Jools Port (bass), which has energised and galvanised the band.