In an early interview with music website Terminal Boredom, Ben Wallers of enigmatic UK band Country Teasers was asked his thoughts on Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett. Wallers wasn't much of a Barrett fan—"Silly lyrics. Sixties rubbish"—but says that from an early age Floyd was burnt into him. "Dark Side of the Moon, A Collection of Great Dance Songs, The Final Cut and The Wall. I loved them unquestioningly. It was my musical right of passage, without knowing what that means actually."
Now, Wallers and Country Teasers guitarist Alastair J. R. MacKinven, under the name The Stallion, have covered Pink Floyd's The Wall song for song. Titled The Dark Side of the Wall, the album took over two years to make and at over six sides of vinyl, is actually longer than Floyd's epic double album.
Taking what was already a pretty dark and bleak album, Wallers and Mackinven somehow make it bleaker as they spin traces of psych and prog and general oddness.
It's not the first time that The Wall's influence has been noticeable in Wallers music, "Spiderman In The Flesh" from the Country Teasers' 2006 album Empire Strikes Back, references Floyd's "In the Flesh" but here they go full Waters.
Listen to a very different "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2" (We Don't Need No Education)" and read a short interview with Wallers below.
Noisey: You've said that Pink Floyd left an impression but Rogers Waters lyrics sometimes made you cringe if ever there was someone else in the room. Do you still feel the same way?
Ben Wallers: Really? This sounds a lot like what I usually say in interviews where they touch upon the forbidden topic of a band I may or may not like called The Cure. I don't find Roger's lyrics embarrassing if I listen to The Wall with my Mom; but if I listen to Animals with my Dad, I get embarrassed and have to go to the toilet, sorry I mean bathroom.
Pink Floyd seem to attract a particular kind fan. What draws you to them?
There's a kind of magnetic pull that I feel when I hear A Collection of Great Dance Songs; a queasy kind of ocean tug, a sort of misty sea-world ocean type otherness.
Piper at the Gates of Dawn is seen as the hip Floyd album. Why The Wall? You are just not a fan of Barrett?
I gave Piper at the Gates of Dawn a listen once and couldn't fucking stand it. Plus it's named after a fucking chapter in a fucking kids novel. I loved The Wind In The Willows, and playing Mole in my prep school's staging of the play with flu which developed into pneumonia and nearly killed me gave me the stamina I needed to get to the top.
Sometimes people argue about Waters "A Level" lyrics especially on the Dark Side of The Moon. Whatever, it's a great fucking album. 30 years in the Top 10 of the Billboard charts, READ IT AND WEEP, Barrett fans! The Wall lyrics are good because Waters is so ANGRY about his fucking wife.
What do you think of the film? Are there any scenes that you particularly stand out?
I do like the animation scenes; and there's a killer song that didn't make it onto The Wall. The lyrics are printed on the inner sleeve. The start of that, with the fucking wall zooming across the landscape and the army pig smashing the guy's skull in is classic. Bob Geldof puts in a good shift, it was a tough ask, and at the end of the day it was a game of two halves, know what I mean?
It's a long album and you laboured on it for two years.
Yeah, we laboured long and hard; but also we are both working stiffs so we could only really work on it on our days off, so some weeks we didn't get to work on it at all; it was a long slow process but it might all condense down into only about… oooh, sucks air between pursed lips; 900 hours? A 'labour of love' would be a good way to describe it, because some days we fucking HATED doing it.
How have the live shows been going?
They've been great. We've played three, the first was before we'd finished, in fact we'd only done about half of it; but we put on a good show; Alastair's films (I contribute and help out too) make a wicked backdrop so it's not boring even though basically we're doing Karaoke with the backing tracks on a CD player or computer.
What's next? A cover of Floyd's Ummagumma?
After I've completed my solo acapella rendition of Pink Floyd the Final Cut and Alastair has finished his nine hour tribute to Live At Pompeii, on top of a volcano, we're going to do …. wait for it ….. drum roll …….. Purple Rain!
'The Dark Side of the Wall' is available Oct 20 on In the Red. Pre-order is available here.