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Thomas Bullock - Nevermind The Bullock

Author: Scott Henderson
Monday, March 16, 2009

3D has one of the more psychedelic chats with one half of Rub-N-Tug, Thomas Bullock, playing the third Pulse Radio Yacht Club, about disco, mongo and, uh, figure skating.

What do you make of all the talk of disco’s revival- Is it all a bit patronising ’cause it never really left dancefloors, or do you think it really died there for a while-
Oh no, disco won’t die. They’ve tried to kill it a thousand times but it just changes its name and dyes its hair another colour; you know, [a] whole identity make over. Might even move to another country and lie low for a while – disco as disco is long gone, long since died a slow ugly death in some sleazy bastard’s sweaty pants. Now it’s all the feeling but without the look –
maybe that’s a good thing: the look has changed but the feeling’s there and the name’s the same. Maybe we should change the name... call it mongo.

Do you think the disco vibe has changed at all with this new crowd-
Yeah, you can’t bring the same vibe with tight pants at all. When was the last time you wore a pair of flares and meant it- Huh- Have you ever worn a pair of flares and really meant it- It makes all the difference to your night/your life/your friends/your drinks/your drugs and how they affect you. Wear the clothes and feel the force.

You’re originally from the UK, moved to San Francisco as part of Wicked, after which it was New York to start A.R.E Weapons before Map Of Africa and then Rub-N-Tug. With touring thrown into the mix do you ever feel like the nomad lifestyle suits you-
Er, no…but you get used to it.

Out of those groups what musical moments really stick out in the memory- Landmark moments that might not have seemed like much at the time but looking back life was never quite the same again…
Ha! Recording the Map of Africa album out in the woods of Pennsylvania was pretty before and after, you know- We’d start the day with nothing but a bottle of bourbon and some mics and drums and amps and stuff and by the end of the day we’d have our new favourite song. Then we’d jump about the barn to it ’til the booze was all gone.

The name Rub-N-Tug you DJ under with Eric Duncan goes back to after parties you started throwing in New York – how did that all get started-

There was a great scene of artists and punks and weirdos and there were great parties but nobody knew how to DJ so we stepped up and took care of business, and the rest you know.

Are you still throwing those Rub-N-Tug parties in NY and how have they changed-

Yeah, we do one once a year now. They’ve gotten more intense with time. I think people who stay true to a free way of living get more intense with time and thems the heads at the jams, you know, so…

What are your must-play classic disco records at a party and have you got any new disco that’s worthy of being playing alongside them-

Er…can’t give away too much here. I like the classics which I’m sure you know. As for new stuff – hmm, the new Rub-N-Tug LP that we’re making now is pretty sick. It’s psych and disco and that kind of vibe but new too, and that sits and fits just right.

What are you currently obsessed with-

Figure skating.

The Map Of Africa album you made with Harvey came out just a couple of years ago, what are you working on now and do you think you guys will do a second album-

Oh yeah, the second album is almost done. Well, it’s written, anyway. We’re recording it live in an old Brian Wilson studio in Santa Monica in May.

Do you have a favourite disco step-
Do the mong.

What’s the best disco you’ve ever been to-
The Clambake this Saturday night.

WHO: Thomas Bullock (Rub-N-Tug)
WHAT: Plays Pulse Radio Yacht Club feat. Circo Loco
WHEN: Sunday 22 March