Children Of The Bong interview

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Interview by Psychedelic Mustache:
Bringing back the old days: Meet Rob Henry from Children of the Bong...!

Imagine you are back in 1995. A decade ago. Ten years. The air is cleaner, your health is better, you feel younger, stronger and pretty damn great! There's chocolate milk in the refridgerator - and children of the bong is playing on your stereo.

Today we take a trip down memory lane here at Psychedelic Mustache. Can you believe it's been ten years since Children of The Bong released their mammoth of an album, "Sirius Sounds"? Well, neither can we, but it has. Let's just face it: we're getting old, and it's happening bloody fast. Psychedelic Mustache got in touch with Rob Henry , one of the two Bongchildren. In this interview, the first in a series of interviews with musical pioneers of the 90's he speaks about past, present and future of his musical adventures

Psychedelic Mustache: First of all, how are you doing?

Rob Henry: Good! Today I've taught 15 guys how to use a mixing desk, completed a mix for the new Neech album and just put my son to bed and finally have 5 minutes spare to talk to you guys.....!

Psychedelic Mustache: Now for a few questions on children of the bong. You and Daniel Goganian started “children of the bong” when you were quite young. What were your main musical influences in those days?

Rob Henry: A whole mixture of stuff, from early hip-hop and electro (BDP, Stetsasonic) to prog rock (floyd, Ozrics) to Modern ambient and techno (the Orb, Aphex Twin) and huge slabs of Funk! Oh and quite a lot of Dub too…Each style is probably subconsciously represented in everything we did!

Psychedelic Mustache: How did you get in touch with Planet Dog, and how was it to be part of the label?

Rob Henry: The story is that we did a gig in Birmingham supporting Banco de Gaia and he approached us to do a small UK tour with him. He was already signed to Planet Dog and Mike Dog came to see us play. He liked the vibe and the demo tape so much, he signed us up! It was a great time for our style and planet dog were definitely the best guys for the job, they completely understood where we were coming from and gave us loads of support. The tours with Megadog were a great experience too.

Psychedelic Mustache: Rumor has it that you made you album “Sirius Sounds” on Banco de Gaias equipment. Is there any truth to this?

Rob Henry: Most of the album was written with a sampler some old analogue keyboards and an Atari, but to really put the sparkle in it we needed some better equipment. We were working with Andy Guthrie who did some production for Banco de gaia and he happened to know that Toby was on holiday (I think) when we scheduled to record it. So on the way to the Black Mountains in Wales, we crammed as much of his kit in to our Transit as possible. We also had Derek, our mate and Chef (very handy) and all his bits. There's a great photo of the back of the van almost touching the road – probably quite illegal but not for the first time!

Psychedelic Mustache: Do you still keep in touch with any of the other Planet Dog artists?

Rob Henry: Unfortunately I don't, I used to keep bumping in to Toby from Banco de Gaia at various festivals, but after the birth of my son, I took some time out, maybe I should get in touch…

Psychedelic Mustache: You were known to be fantastic live act. Can you pinpoint the best experience you had while performing live with Children of the bong?

Rob Henry: Probably at Reitschule , this kind of commune venue in Bern, Switzerland while on tour with Banco de Gaia. The place was packed, we rocked…hard! and our DJ played Ween's ‘Spinal meningitis gets me down' and the place went mad! My kind of gig!

Psychedelic Mustache: How did you experience the scene in those days? Were there a lot of sex, drugs and psychedelic music?

Rob Henry: We went to all the free parties that sprang up everywhere from an early age. When you're 18, signed and taken on a bit of a psychedelic whirlwind ride, things definitely happen! We were certainly a lot more innocent in those days and kind of went with wherever it would take us, never really thinking that it wasn't normal

Psychedelic Mustache: Now back to your studio work. Were there plans for making more music under the Cotb name?

Rob Henry: After Sirius Sounds was released and all the gigs and tours slowed down, we went back to the studio to record some tracks for a TV programme called Hotel Babylon (a pretty dire Channel 4 effort that is probably best known for launching the Spice Girls' careers!) and work on new material for the next album.

Psychedelic Mustache: At what time did you actually stop working together, and why?

Rob Henry: I think it was around the same time that we realised that we weren't so innocent any more and the music we wanted to make wasn't the same. When we worked together, we kinda lost the vibe we used to have - bouncing ideas of eachother and stuff. I had started working on this epic drum and bass thing with the DJ who used to play live with us and I think Dan was a bit put out by that. So we did our final gig at Brixton Academy, split the kit and went our separate ways.

Psychedelic Mustache: Have you guys worked together under other names since cotb, and is there any chance you'll work together again?

Rob Henry: We would meet up occasionally and jam together; ironically the thing we both got into after we split was playing the drums! But nothing came out of it and we haven't spoken in about 6-7 years….shame really!

Psychedelic Mustache: Now a few questions about what you are doing these days. You've formed a band called Euphonic. Who is/was involved in that and are you still active?

Rob Henry: Euphonic was the band I formed with the DJ from COTB (Nick Trimm). We had a studio in Hackney and pretty much lived in it for a long time working on various styles of music. We also met up with Soothsayer and Dr. Israel from New York who flew us out there to work with them and we ended up using the tracks on our album too!

Psychedelic Mustache: How would you describe this project?

Rob Henry: It was darker than COTB and much more breakbeat orientated. I really enjoyed making it and musically most of it still sounds fresh today. We were signed to Rockers Hi-Fi's label, Different Drummer and after some excellent reviews and publicity when the album came out, we put together an 8 piece band to recreate it live and toured Europe with it.

Psychedelic Mustache: Are there any releases coming up in the near future with this project?

Rob Henry: Unfortunately Nick had some personal issues he had to deal with, so nothing with Euphonic

Psychedelic Mustache: Are you involved in any other projects that you think we might have an interest in?

Rob Henry: Euphonic turned into Euphonic productions where I have been working with various singers. Neech is the main project I'm involved with at the moment with Zeb, one of the singers we toured with in Euphonic. We're just in the process of putting a label together to release the album. It's a dark and soulful affair and musically a bit off the wall, but Zeb's vocals are so sweet that the contrast is perfect. Check out the website for more details and audio clips or you can download some of the tracks at . We've also put together a band to recreate it live and sounds shit hot, so look out for that too!

Psychedelic Mustache: Finally a rather political question. Feel free to answer this in any way you'd like. Where do you think the world is heading, and what should be done about it?

Rob Henry: I'm a bit of a fatalist and think that a lot of the shit that's happening is for a reason, although I'm sure we've accelerated the process with unsound ecological practices and bullshit wars. It's hard not to be hopeful for the future when you have children of your own and I've got a feeling that his generation will be the ones who will turn it around a bit, so teach them well because they won't be learning it in schools!

Psychedelic Mustache:: Any last words?

Rob Henry: With the advent of fast computers and cheap software that can do incredible things everyone can make music -and does! The music scene is saturated but try and listen out for those pushing the boundaries and adding a bit of originality in to the pot……go on, checkout my website!!!!

Psychedelic mustache would like to thank Rob Henry for his time. We'll ceirtanly be watching his future projects closely!


Euphonic Productions


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