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Brain Surgeons

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Brain Surgeons' Albert Bouchard
MSJ: Blue Oyster Cult always used to have a pretty strong progressive rock tilt to the music. Did that influence come from all the musicians or was it more the contribution of one or two members over the others?
We all dug King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and the Dead but Joe, Buck and I were into more hard bop, Coltrane etc. Allen was into blues and Eric was more into hard rock.
MSJ: There have always been some connections between BOC to Hawkwind (the collaborations with Michael Moorcock, etc.), and that has carried through to Brain Surgeons. Were you friends with that band, fans? How did that connection come about?
We played a few gigs with HW but they were typical reserved Englishmen except for Lemmy. We played a lot more gigs with Motorhead. tBS came to do the HW songs at the request of our fans who were fans of both groups.
MSJ: Is working with Dave Brock or any of the other Hawkwind members something you would like to do in the future?
The biggest problem with even considering that would be logistics. Great music often needs time to stew. It's hard to collaborate with musicians who live in NYC much less merry Old E'.
MSJ: What was the whole story behind Imaginos? I remember reading somewhere that the disc was originally slated to be a solo album by you or Joe?
It was originally sold to the record company as a solo project with me and my famous friends. The whole story is a book yet to be written.
MSJ: In a lot of the old BOC songs there is a Susie mentioned. Who was Susie?
Sandy Pearlman's old girlfriend.
MSJ: How have the BOC fans reacted to Brain Surgeons?
95% of the 10% who've checked us out are a great supportive audience. We have yet to reach most BOC fans.
MSJ: What would you see as the similarities between BOC and Brain Surgeons?
Same drummer and a lot of the same songs. What do you think?
MSJ: What would you see as the differences?
Most of our stuff is funkier. We have more female vocals. I think tBS take more chances.
MSJ: How does it feel to have the band functioning as a three piece these days?
We've worked as a trio from the beginning when we were just a recording band. Practicing is easier; I'll let you know about playing live after the 14th.
MSJ: What can we expect when Brain Surgeons come out on tour again shortly?
It will sound different. Before we were a wall of sound, now the sounds are much more articulated.
MSJ: What`s been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Probably the time my drumstick got caught in my hair.
MSJ: What are you listening to these days?
Doris Troy, Johnny Staats, Bella Fleck, Adrian Legg, Cream, old Santana, old Al Green, Dead, Floyd, BOC, Beach Boys, Sadé, Beatles, Helen Wheels, Tribe Called Quest, Beasties, Mobb Deep. I like what I like but my favorites change over time.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 5 at
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