DATE OF INTERVIEW:
19th December 2008
METAL DISCOVERY: It’s nearly a decade since ‘Motor Driven Bimbo’ was released - how do you regard the music on this album now? Personally, I think it holds up incredibly well in 2008 and is one of the most original and innovative rock/metal albums to be released during that period. A timeless masterpiece!
MD: Rockbitch came across as a very philosophical band in terms of creatively expressing almost neo-feminist ideologies and challenging established conceptions of sexuality through your subversive stage shows. I’ve heard that MT-TV gigs combined music with some theatrical elements - do you still pertain to the same philosophies with MT-TV?
MD: Would you describe MT-TV as a polemical band in terms of trying to provoke audiences into thinking beyond existential norms?
MD: When gigging, you seemed to have a fairly heavy touring schedule in the States. What kind of audiences did you perform to, and how were general reactions to your music/shows?
MD: What bands/music are you currently into – any bands you’d like to recommend to visitors of Metal Discovery (from any genre of music)?
MD: Although on the website you cite a wide range of guitarists you’re into from pop-rock (Prince and Andy Summers) to prog-rock (Dave Gilmour and Alex Lifeson) to jazz/rock/metal fusion (Satriani and Vai - by the way, you’re right about ‘For the Love of God’!), you also suggest these aren’t influences as such, as you’re “more interested in trying to find out what I sound like”. Do you strive to reflect the individuality you value as a person through your playing?
MD: When did you start playing PRS guitars as I’m sure I remember you playing a BC Rich years ago (although I might be completely wrong!)?
ALEX: Thank-you! Still very proud if it. A lot of pain in it - no-one knows the fights we had with the company over so many things, the points we did give in on, what it cost us. And the production was all by Beast and us, not anyone else, regardless of what the credits say...
ALEX: To be blunt, yes, but without any sexual explicitness. It is quite simply not possible to do what we did and not get shot in the USA. A compromise to have the Stateside experience, yes, but not, I feel, an act of hypocrisy. And now we have had that fun, we stop. To continue would be a sell-out.
ALEX: Yes, although, and maybe this is just me - polemic does have a hint of emptiness, or 'for the sake of it' about it. Maybe I'd better just check the dictionary definition! I think it is just me!
ALEX: We have never gone down badly. The response is pretty predictable. We get on stage for soundcheck - people laugh because we are female, Mandy plays a killer bass riff, they shut up. They call their mates for the gig, they dance, cheer and love it. We go home! And still, it's always been that our music covers all taste ranges, from Goths to Country fans - never could understand that, always felt it was that sexuality is a unfiyng and universal need...open for theories...
ALEX: There's a lot of us with a wide range of tastes - most of us like Tool. I love Nickelback. There’s some ambient trance and dance stuff who I have no idea is by. Hawkwind’s always good!
ALEX: Always did. To some it might seem a cop-out. Yes, I could sit in my bedroom and learn Vai/Metallica riffs/Malmstein/Gilmour/Lindsay...and some people who do then go on to incorporate those skills into developing their own style, but most just churn out carbon copy, and no matter how perfectly you do that, if you didn't write it, then where is the ART.
(MT-TV's Alex on 'adapting' Rockbitch's stage show for touring as MT-TV in the States)
"It is quite simply not possible to do what we did and not get shot in the USA. A compromise to have the Stateside experience, yes, but not, I feel, an act of hypocrisy."
ALEX: You're quite right, and I was hostile towards the PRS for years because, no hear this right - it was easier to play than the BC Rich. I felt that the wrestle was part of it and the glide of a PRS was somehow cheating! Then I actually became a better player and suddenly appreciated and was able to understand a PRS. I'm not sure when that was! Guitar is strange like that, you can always go deeper.
MD: How often do you practice guitar - are you a guitaroholic and have to play everyday?
ALEX: As of stopping playing live I have put down guitar for good. Before, hell no, I was a lazy fuck winging it on my not inconsiderable talent and making some fairly major fuckups and fumbles through sloppiness! My very personal experience with guitar is that for me it is almost wholly connected to playing live, I almost can't see the point playing alone in my room or even jamming with someone. It’s a major character flaw but it seems that if there is no flow between me and a crowd, then there is no flow between me and guitar. Lucky I'm so wonderful in almost every other respect!
MD: There is some very expressive, affectively moving lead work on MT-TV tracks - do you improvise or compose solos, or a little of both?
ALEX: Never improvised. Work out every bar in advance else you are pissing all over the song. What does the song need not how many notes can I get in, oh here's a great new sound that really gets me but does little or detracts from the song. The song is everything. Might have fucked up and then adopted it from time to time though!
MD: I gather MT-TV are endorsed by LINE 6 - how did this come about?
ALEX: Oh we fucked our way to the top, didn't you know? Joke. No, really. We rode on the spine of Mandy's incredible bass talent.
MD: You had a couple of CD/DVDs to buy through the website for a while, but it now states these have sold out, so I guess they were quite successful! Will these be made available to buy again, or were there only limited quantities not to be re-pressed?
ALEX: No re-press. Sorry! Will sell new stuff eventually. Never look back.
MD: What can people expect from MT-TV in the coming months?
ALEX: Absolutely nothing! No really! No live gigs, no pressure. We don't have deadlines, if people want to buy the music , they'll find it. Living life and having fun!
MD: Finally, what are your aims and aspirations for the future both as a person and a musician?
ALEX: God, life is good. Packing in more experiences. More art, more sex, more LIFE. Hunger, gorge, greed, laughter!!
Photograph copyright © MT-TV - used with kind permission
Interview by Mark Holmes
Official MT-TV Website:
Official MT-TV MySpace:
North South (2008)
West East (2008)
MD: Sincere thanks for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with the band!
ALEX: Thank-you xxxxxxx Babe that was, Alex that is...xxxx
Live In France (2005)