Photo by Sanna Charles
What happened to Capricorns? Out of that slew of metallic instrumental groups of the last five years they were easily the most interesting, probably by virtue of the fact they played songs that had more than one riff and tempo and didn’t have to have 50 different new shirt designs on the merch stall each time they played.
So what’s with the news that they’ve disbanded on the eve of their excellent new record, River, Bear Your Bones, amid rumours of acrimonious studio sessions, cancelled shows, yelling and people going: “we’re gonna play that show even if he isn’t.”
What’s up with that?
Vice: Didn’t you break up or something?
Nathan Bennett (guitar): Well, we had a bitchin’ tour and the recording was hell because nobody practiced for the sessions. Anyway, you’re going to get a different story depending on who you ask. The popular consensus is that I fucked everything up by moving to Berlin.
Why’d you move?
Because I wanted to leave my council flat in London and the only comparable places were three times what I was paying. I couldn’t see the point of living in Elephant and Castle above some home-castration clinic.
Sorry, I meant home-FEMALE CIRCUMCISION clinic.
Who ran that place? The NHS are branching out now?
Nah. Just some African people.
How did you know what was going down in there?
The howling. The young African girls being carried out delirious by parents.
We tried shopping them but nothing came of it. Anyway, Europe seemed not too far away.
You rang the cops about it?
Yeah, of course. I’m a defender of the clitoris.
What did they say?
They said they would have a word and to call again if it continues. Which it did, but they said they couldn’t prove anything. Culture, eh?
I guess you’ve gotta be there just as the rock smashes the clit?
Do they still use rocks, I wonder? Flint knives? I’m picturing a rusty ceremonial blade. The kind of thing Tony Sylvester (Dukes Of Nothing, Aurora Borealis) would have on display at his house.
Haha. So I guess Capricorns started crumbling as you moved to Berlin and Dean (Berry, bass) went off to Canada?
And in London there was Kevin (Williams, guitar) and Nathan Perrier (drums).
So how did you get anything written?
Well, it was all written before I left. I said, “OK, practice your parts. Get them down, then I’ll come back to London, we’ll rehearse for five days and then go into the studio.”
And what happened?
Well, when it came to the studio, some people didn’t know their parts and some people didn’t turn up to the rehearsals. They weren’t prepared for the task at hand.
So how was the atmosphere during the recording process? The record sounds quite… angry and tense.
I was stony silent. They were stressed.
Were you taking the high moral ground and killing them with silence?
Hahaha. It was a shitty atmosphere and it was all I could do not to explode. I mean, you are talking about men in their thirties who think you can record an album without actually knowing what you are going to play. Odd, no?
What was the nadir of the whole thing? Did somebody knock a tray of curry over the mixing desk or something?
No, it was all really passive aggressive and gay. I include myself in that.
So how did it all end?
The producer Mark Bihler and I finished the record in Berlin and then I had to cancel playing the Roadburn show and so Kevin and Natahan Perrier played it with two other guys. I have no idea who. And then we met up for a photo shoot, outside an Australian pub across from King’s Cross station.
How was the vibe?
Shitty. A few raised voices. Like, “I heard you told the label my drum parts were shit.” “Yeah, that’s ’cos they were” That sort of thing.
And in the middle of all this you had to have your photos taken all like “We’re a band”.
The body language in the photos is funny.
Yeah. No one wanted to be there.
Did you bro down with them that day and shake hands?
No, I had a ton of shit to do. So I saw them for 45 minutes and left them to do speed in the toilets of an Australian pub. I remember there was a dirty sock in one of the urinals.
We asked Kevin Williams about all this stuff and he said there was no hatred involved and that the band were still technically together but they needed a good offer if they were to be able to fly Nathan over from Tokyo to do some shows. Contact them at myspace.com/capricorns.