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May 28, 2012 12:50 PM   Subscribe

KLF and K-Foundation Bill Drummond has stopped doing interviews and will only now answer 100 questions. Here are four of them.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (91 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Christ, the Guardian really threw those questions away. Nobody give them a genie in a lamp.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:55 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think those questions by the Guardian were pretty spot on.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:59 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like at least that when given a tossoff-grade question, he made an effort to respond at length and with some respect for it all the same.
posted by ardgedee at 1:00 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


A different question: you reacted a lot to the culture of materialism in the 80s and early 90s. What do you think has changed for the better in that respect, if anything?
posted by jaduncan at 1:02 PM on May 28, 2012


I think those questions by the Guardian were pretty spot on.

"2. About a year ago, I went on holiday to Islay and made a pilgrimage to the infamous barn on neighbouring Jura where you burnt your £1m. Are you able to draw a link between the smoke-infused whisky of Islay and the smoke from the burning money?"

This is an insanely terrible question.
posted by jaduncan at 1:03 PM on May 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


I think the lamest question ("Hey, if you had four questions...") got the best answer. I love that the man has made a personal habit of interviewing barbers. I love this man, he is a true hero for our times.
posted by Scientist at 1:04 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, I forgot how bad that whiskey question was. I kinda blanked it out it was so bad. It still got a good answer.
posted by Scientist at 1:05 PM on May 28, 2012


Who are your influences?
posted by philip-random at 1:06 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those who haven't read THE MANUAL, Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond's treatise on music and life, please go here right now and correct this. (link directs to an HTML version, .pdf version easily found using the googles)

"It's time to play old records and reflect on the strangeness of life and wonder if that one-night-stand still remembers you."

"The Techno sound of Detroit, the most totally linear programmed music ever, lacking any human musicianship in its execution, reeks of sweat, sex and desire. The creators of that music just press a few buttons and out comes - a million years of pain and lust."

"Thursday evening. A cosy mild depression will settle in. Watch Top of the Pops. Read a music paper. Then let Friday roll by at its own speed. On Saturday an aeroplane crashes minutes after take-off. When the black box is found will it reveal that you were to blame? Probably not."
posted by incessant at 1:10 PM on May 28, 2012 [26 favorites]


Bear in mind, nay-sayers, that one of the stipulations was that these had to be questions that Bill Drummond -- who has been interviewed more than a few times -- has never been asked before. You think he's never got that "Is materialism better now?" one before? He probably answers that one in his sleep twice a week just on momentum.
posted by Etrigan at 1:12 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I, too, was struck by how he was seeking to provide deep answers to even the shallowest of the four questions. I think that reveals a great deal about the man, his approach to life, and the seriousness with which he takes this "I will only answer X more questions" project. He's set a limit for himself, and he's going to make every step toward that cut-off count, even if what he's given to work with isn't that good to start.

Frankly, I could only hope I would strive to work with depth and thought in instances where I'm confronted with inanity. I think I'd probably be living a better life, and the world around me would be better and more interesting as a resule.
posted by hippybear at 1:19 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off.
posted by Decani at 1:21 PM on May 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Mmm, OK. "It's the Second World War, but Operation Barbarossa is replaced by a pact between Hitler and Stalin to carve up the Middle East for oil resources in a Poland-like joint action. How would pre-1980 European history have changed? If you wish you may discuss this from either the musical or military perspectives."

I claim this as unlikely to have been asked and still considerably better than the whiskey question.
posted by jaduncan at 1:22 PM on May 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


> Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off.

Oh come on, he'll never approach Paul Morley or Trevor Horn territory.
posted by scruss at 1:28 PM on May 28, 2012


Trevor Horn is remarkably unpretentious when I've seen him in interviews.

Paul Morley, however... sheesh.
posted by hippybear at 1:31 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off.

Well, I think he sounds pretty interesting, so there.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:31 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bet Bill Drummond wishes he'd been in TISM rather than KLF. TISM strikes me as being everything that Drummond wanted KLF to be.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:31 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off.

I'm not sure how, but I both completely agree with you and want to be just like him when I grow up.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 1:32 PM on May 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Now all he needs to do is find people who actually care enough about what he thinks to ask 96 more questions. I predict he'll die with at least 61 questions remaining.
posted by MikeMc at 1:32 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Decani: "Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off."

I'm guessing you wouldn't be too keen on me, then.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:37 PM on May 28, 2012


Would anyone here know how to get contact details for Bill? I'm going to try and email him and actually ask the WWII question to see what happens (and, indeed, ask him if he wouldn't consider 4 questions from Mefi).

Memail me.
posted by jaduncan at 1:38 PM on May 28, 2012


Unfortunately for Mr Drummond it might be argued that there is little material difference between putting questions to him and conducting an interview with him. This is particularly the case if a given question has various sub-clauses etc that may require nuanced and relatively complex answers. Like "What is the meaning of Bill Drummond?" Sooooo........it's more of Bill's Bollocks.
posted by gallus at 1:39 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"OK, so you and a bunch of other people are hiding from Nazis in a basement. You can hear them walking around outside. Suddenly, a baby among you starts to cry ..."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:41 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would anyone here know how to get contact details for Bill?

You could try via his website
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:42 PM on May 28, 2012


Yeah, on that. I also just tried bill.drummond at theguardian, since he used to have a column there in 2007. I figure that the forward might still work.
posted by jaduncan at 1:44 PM on May 28, 2012


I just wonder about the PA filter via email, basically.
posted by jaduncan at 1:46 PM on May 28, 2012


I've never understood what upsets people so much about pretension. As Alan Bennett said of snobbery, it's a fairly "amiable vice", as long as it looks up with admiration, rather than down with contempt.
posted by howfar at 1:46 PM on May 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Dear Bill,

If it's 0600 local time in Kraków what time is it in Guangzhou?

Your Friend,

Mike
posted by MikeMc at 1:49 PM on May 28, 2012


Sent:

"Bill,

I am on a really quite popular community blog at metafilter.com, and I was fascinated by your 200 questions project. Would it be possible for us to ask your four questions?

We're a community based blog that's been around since 1999, and have around 12,000 members. It's not mainstream press, but I figured it would be relatively boring to have it all be journalists rather than real people.

Would that be something that would interest you?

Thanks for your time either way,

--
James Duncan
"To any truly impartial person, it would be obvious that I am right.""

I'll see what happens, I guess, and it's always worth a shot.
posted by jaduncan at 1:50 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I have difficulty distinguishing art from jokes.
posted by Hoopo at 1:51 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


(emails/other contact tips still gratefully received though)
posted by jaduncan at 1:53 PM on May 28, 2012


Sometimes I have difficulty distinguishing art from jokes.

That is the best art.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:00 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I have difficulty distinguishing art from jokes.

Everything in the world is art, no matter what it is. Only the really good stuff is also a joke.
posted by The World Famous at 2:03 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


And "I'll only answer 100 more questions for the rest of my life" is not only art, but it's also both a great joke and brilliant marketing.
posted by The World Famous at 2:03 PM on May 28, 2012




Oh I love him even more.

"Some weather we're having, eh?"
"got the time?"
"want some gum?"
"same time tomorrow?"
posted by Theta States at 2:06 PM on May 28, 2012


"What's all this, then?"
posted by The World Famous at 2:08 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Who do you fancy in the 2:30 at Chepstow tomorrow?"
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:12 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"If this was the 101st question would you answer it?"
posted by MajorDundee at 2:16 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off.

Oh come on, he'll never approach Paul Morley or Trevor Horn territory.
posted by scruss at 9:28 PM on May 28


At least Paul Morley is occasionally interesting whilst being an utter prick. I have no idea why an entirely giftless nonentity like Trevor Horn has arisen in this exchange.
posted by Decani at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2012


I found it charming that someone who is undoubtedly infinitely cooler than I am (whatever you think of his pretension or whatever) still had to build up dutch courage to ask a girl to a dance.
posted by maxwelton at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2012


Oh, and Bill? If you faked that burning of a million quid you're a coward. If you didn't, you're a cunt.
posted by Decani at 2:32 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Isn't it 200 questions? From the link:

For his latest project Drummond has decided to stop doing regular interviews and to answer just 200 more questions (50 people asking four each) between now and his death. The first 100 questions make up his new book, 100. This interview will be the opening instalment of his final 100 questions.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:32 PM on May 28, 2012


Oh I get it, the first 100 are already done.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:33 PM on May 28, 2012


"Bill, can you give me one good reason why I shouldn't win?"
posted by Red Loop at 2:38 PM on May 28, 2012


I have no idea why an entirely giftless nonentity like Trevor Horn has arisen in this exchange.

Based on some vague idea I had that Trevor Horn had done some great stuff that I love at some point, I was all ready to come in and defend his honor or whatever. And then I scrolled through his discography and I have to agree with you 100%. Let his name never be mentioned again.
posted by The World Famous at 2:39 PM on May 28, 2012


Oh, and Bill? If you faked that burning of a million quid you're a coward. If you didn't, you're a cunt.

Burning the million in fact gives a tiny amount to everyone in the UK due to resultant deflation.
posted by jaduncan at 2:39 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have no idea why an entirely giftless nonentity like Trevor Horn has arisen in this exchange.

Well, actually... YOU brought him up. Before your comment he was entirely not-mentioned.

Anyway, it's hard to dismiss him as entirely giftless, if you're at all familiar with his career. You may not like the things he's done, but for better or for worse, he shaped UK (and to a great extent western) pop music for a decade or more. His imprint is easy to spot once you know what to look for, and there's literally a legion of music which would simply not exist with him, much of it really great stuff.
posted by hippybear at 2:42 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, so how many more years are left in the KLF's self-imposed exile from pop music? I recall that when they announced their retirement they said that they would reconsider it after a period of time, but I don't remember how long. And really, while I haven't exactly been salivating over it all this time, I've always been a bit curious to see what The Black Room would be all about.
posted by 1adam12 at 2:43 PM on May 28, 2012


Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off.
posted by Decani at 10:21 AM on May 28 [2 favorites +] [!]

Oh, and Bill? If you faked that burning of a million quid you're a coward. If you didn't, you're a cunt.
posted by Decani at 11:32 AM on May 28 [1 favorite +] [!]


Dear Bill: why do you make me so angry?
posted by Sebmojo at 2:45 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


He burnt a million quid instead of giving it to charity? What a douche.
posted by New England Cultist at 2:50 PM on May 28, 2012


Honestly, my favorite KLF project was with Pig, and it's entirely NSFW.

Oh, wait, that was KMFDM. Nevermind.
posted by hippybear at 2:50 PM on May 28, 2012


Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about.... your mother.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


yo' mamma
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM on May 28, 2012


Describe the colour blue without using the word blue.
posted by marienbad at 2:55 PM on May 28, 2012


Describe the colour blue without using the word blue.

"It's the color of the front page of Metafilter."
posted by The World Famous at 2:59 PM on May 28, 2012


"Are you really the head of the Quik-E-Mart?"
"Really?"
"REALLY?"
posted by Aznable at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, you know, indigo works too.
posted by Skygazer at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2012


Interesting guy, and I'd have to give him props for managing Echo and the Bunnymen, indeed that's the first thing I think of just from reading his name on the liner notes of EATB records.

The million dollar thing has got to be a ruse. Was he ever charged with a crime? In the U.S. destroying money is a punishable federal offense, believe it or not. Money is considered a publicly owned thing.
posted by Skygazer at 3:14 PM on May 28, 2012


He burnt a million quid instead of giving it to charity? What a douche.

Giving money to charity probably wouldn't make for a very interesting art piece. The movie sure would be boring. Would it involve the crafting of a giant check? Signing with an oversized pen? Taking the massive check to the bank, in an attempt to cash it? I imagine a scene in the doc where they can't fit the check through the revolving door and have to find a side entrance where the check will fit.

OK, maybe the doc wouldn't be awful. But I am quite certain the art piece wouldn't be half as interesting or provocative as burning the cash.

Art! It's not necessarily what you want it to be!
posted by incessant at 3:19 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why did the burn a million quid? To set an example (well that's the short answer... I've written the longer answer... well an attempt at the longer answer, elsewhere)

Give it to 'charity'... yeah, they could have. But would we still be talking about it?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:41 PM on May 28, 2012


Give it to 'charity'... yeah, they could have. But would we still be talking about it?

We might. It would depend on what charity and how, exactly, he went about it. A better "artist" or whatever would figure out a way to keep people talking while also making the world a little better place, rather than getting people talking by making the world a little worse. We're still talking about all sorts of terrible crap. That we talk about it doesn't make it worthwhile.
posted by The World Famous at 3:50 PM on May 28, 2012


"Are you really the head of the Quik-E-Mart?"
"Really?"
"REALLY?"


Thank you. Come again...

damn you, Aznable. You beat me to it!
posted by greenhornet at 3:52 PM on May 28, 2012


Why did the burn a million quid? To set an example (well that's the short answer... I've written the longer answer... well an attempt at the longer answer, elsewhere)

Does he know about your answer? Perhaps he would consider it a proper one.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:58 PM on May 28, 2012


A better "artist" or whatever would figure out a way to keep people talking while also making the world a little better place, rather than getting people talking by making the world a little worse.

I think your definition of artist and my definition of artist are different? I am, though, interested in your assertion that the piece made the world a little worse.
posted by incessant at 4:11 PM on May 28, 2012


I think your definition of artist and my definition of artist are different?

I doubt it. I didn't say he's not an artist.

I am, though, interested in your assertion that the piece made the world a little worse.

It eliminated from the marketplace the fiat money representing the value created by those who ultimately exchanged it to him. Pure removal of the currency designated to represent earned value is a net negative.
posted by The World Famous at 4:25 PM on May 28, 2012


A bit of currency trivia-- you can turn in burned bills to the treasury to get them replaced.
posted by empath at 5:04 PM on May 28, 2012


Of course, in the U.S., there's a fine for each bill intentionally burned, per 18 U.S.C. sec. 333, so maybe it's not such a great idea.
posted by The World Famous at 5:12 PM on May 28, 2012


Wasn't the mill
ion quid made up of bills that had been retired from circulation?
posted by Philby at 5:15 PM on May 28, 2012


Wait wait wait...are you saying this Mr. Drummond isn't the same guy who adopted Arnold and Willis?
posted by 4ster at 5:23 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know who he is but I like his idea of cake circles.

The World Famous Of course, in the U.S., there's a fine for each bill intentionally burned, per 18 U.S.C. sec. 333, so maybe it's not such a great idea.

Except as a stimulus! Due to the fines, a bill is worth more burned. Burning money is the same as making money. Fire inflation.
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:42 PM on May 28, 2012


"2. About a year ago, I went on holiday to Islay and made a pilgrimage to the infamous barn on neighbouring Jura where you burnt your £1m. Are you able to draw a link between the smoke-infused whisky of Islay and the smoke from the burning money?"

This is an insanely terrible question.


I think that that is a pretty funny question, and he gives a swell answer for it. A vague hint at a tragically unrequited childhood romance, and his girlfriend's last name is the same as a brand of blended whiskey, I think?.
posted by ovvl at 5:51 PM on May 28, 2012


"But they don't like what your gonna do..." A musical interlude;

Doctorin' The Tardis...

Justified and Ancient...

3 A.M. Eternal...


and for those who like context:

Burn A Million Quid, The Movie, Part One...
posted by ovvl at 6:41 PM on May 28, 2012


I think the fact that there is some much passionate opinion, even here in the comments section for this piece, illustrates exactly what Bill Drummond/KLF.K-Foundation have always been about. They push people's buttons via the media to see what happens, I think they are absolutely amazing at this. They're pranksters. If you back through the history of their work, that thread becomes really clear in hindsight. I personally think they're the bees knees, and they entertain me to know end.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 6:58 PM on May 28, 2012


"2. About a year ago, I went on holiday to Islay and made a pilgrimage to the infamous barn on neighbouring Jura where you burnt your £1m. Are you able to draw a link between the smoke-infused whisky of Islay and the smoke from the burning money?"

This is an insanely terrible question.


Not really. Everyone wants to ask about the million quid, and Bill's probably been asked a million times, but he's also pretty touchy about the subject, apparently over the years he's come to regret the decision. Smoke, booze, regret, a million pounds, it's just tenuous and leading enough to be interesting, but also to be turned down, but then you know he's going to answer anyways because he's only got 100 chances left to speak his mind.
posted by furtive at 7:11 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pure removal of the currency designated to represent earned value is a net negative.

Keep talking, I'm not with you yet.
posted by howfar at 7:17 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I have difficulty distinguishing art from jokes.

I’m also a big KLF fan, nice to meet you.
posted by bongo_x at 8:46 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think anyone in here has posted my personal favorite KLF moment yet...
posted by broadway bill at 9:47 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If this guy gets sued or something where he's called into court to give testimony, is he going to refuse to answer the questions put to him if he's over his limit?
posted by Pyry at 11:05 PM on May 28, 2012


Chill out, people.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:16 PM on May 28, 2012


I have no idea why an entirely giftless nonentity like Trevor Horn has arisen in this exchange.

Buggles, Art of Noise, Frankie Goes to Hollywood; he played a major role in all of these, that's hardly giftless. As a producer he shaped the sound of mid-eighties British pop music, until Stock, Aitken and Waterman took over.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:12 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bill Drummond is a pretentious shit and he can fuck right off.

I love people who are pretentious in an entertaining way, and when I was seven, I thought the KLF were the best band ever - I wanted a copy of It;s Grimm Up North because it was the first time I'd ever heard Accrington mentioned in a song. I love the fact that the vocal on Justified and Ancient had to be constructed line by line because Tammy Wynette was completely out of it.

Trevor Horn gets a free pass from me for his work with Belle and Sebastian - the Pet Shop Boys and ABC were both bands who knew exactly what kind of big production and electronic trickery they had, but to take a fairly lo-fi twee indie band and get a proper pop album out of them takes some skill. Especially after Fold Your Hands Child.
posted by mippy at 3:26 AM on May 29, 2012


Oh, and Bill? If you faked that burning of a million quid you're a coward. If you didn't, you're a cunt.

As one of the comments in the piece said, what's the difference between that and having a solid gold toilet, spending it on something equally ephemeral like vintage champagne or, like some hip-hop bloke whose name I can't remember, wearing boxfresh trainers every single day? It's the fact that they were more blatant about the complete wastes of money indulged in by the idle rich that unsettles people. That money is never going to charity, and they decided to wave it in our faces. I think the anger toward their act is directed in all the wrong places.
posted by mippy at 3:31 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Around the time it happened, I read (possibly in Select magazine) that Bill and Jimmy noted down the serial numbers of the notes and these, along with the evidence of burning, were enough to get replacements/reimbursement from the Bank of England. I'm not sure money works that way.

Hopefully someone will ask Jimmy for his take on the Occupy movement.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 3:35 AM on May 29, 2012


I don't see how he's pretentious. Maybe he genuinely is what he is, you know? But I think we should all do our part to pass along the important message that "he can fuck right off" and may be a coward.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:02 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love that the K Foundation burning a million quid is still able to provoke an row. There are plenty of works of art that have cost a lot more money to make and provoked less thought, Sister Act 2 for example.

After they burned the money they took a film on tour and spent every night trying to explain why they did it to mostly hostile audiences. In his new book, in response to another of these questions, Drummond explains that during this tour they were challenged by the film maker Marc Hawker to sign a contract agreeing not to speak about their reasons for doing it for the next 23 years to allow people to come up with their own meaning for it.

I love Bill Drummond
posted by alanbee at 10:02 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love that the K Foundation burning a million quid is still able to provoke an row.

To paraphrase Robert Anton Wilson (who was no doubt paraphrasing somebody else), money ain't real, folks. Or more to the point, the only thing "real" about money is the paper its printed on and the ink. So what gives it value? Must be some weird and powerful magick? Or maybe it's just a variant of the Emperor's New Clothes.

One thing's for sure. For many, willfully destroying money is like willfully destroying God.
posted by philip-random at 11:24 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


money ain't real, folks

Eh. It pays the rent.
posted by The World Famous at 11:32 AM on May 29, 2012


Must be some weird and powerful magick
posted by philip-random at 12:53 PM on May 29, 2012


It also makes me invulnerable to conventional weapons if I say a special incantation over it.
posted by The World Famous at 1:20 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is the incantation "Please can I have a flak jacket. Here is some money"?
posted by Sebmojo at 6:07 PM on May 31, 2012


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