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LCD Soundsystem: The Truth Is, I Fucking Love Music

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, February 14, 2005
"I'm not trying to undermine myself. For fuck's sake, I've worked on nothing but music my entire life--does it make sense that I'd undermine myself- People mix things up. Just because I'm aware of and up front about the ridiculousness of my situation doesn't mean that I'm not doing my best."

Speaking to Skrufff via the less than spontaneous medium of email LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy is presumably as quick as touch-typing as he as at firing off an angry retort. His ire has been raised by a Guardian critic's suggestion that "Murphy is a man hell-bent on undermining his own achievements", a point he's hell-bent on disputing.

"I keep hearing about my "false modesty' which just about makes me want to punch someone, says James. "The truth is I fucking love music."

"I listen to and admire some of the very best music ever made. When Tim (Goldsworthy) and I make records, we don't compare them to whatever drek (crap) is current with the magazines this week—we compare it to the best records in history," he continues.

"I mean bands like Can, Liquid Liquid, Suicide, Bowie, T Rex, Roxy Music, Lou Reed and The Smiths and if you have no humility with regard to those bands then you must be some fucking delusional idiot, which I'm afraid I don't have the luxury of being. I'm very proud of what I do, and I'll go out and play with any band on the planet without any "undermining", but also without any lousy tricks."

Listening to James rapping the narrative on LCD's breakthrough single Losing My Edge it's immediately apparent that he knows his rock history, though equally clear that he's aware of its potential triviality and intrinsically ephemeral nature. One of the band's name-checked is Daft Punk (who also coincidentally released a record listing influences, Teachers, in 196) who also star in LCD's new single Daft Punk Is Playing In My House. Like Losing My Edge, the track features a narrator (James again) telling another tongue in cheek tale though this time, its essence appears to celebrate innocence and the DIY underground ethic.

"I've been in punk rock bands all my life," James points out, "(Now) "I essentially make pop records that now are distributed largely by a major label."

The question that's prompted his self-analysis, is whether he sees himself as an underachiever or outsider, a point he's not exactly sure of.

"Considering that life is, in fact, an A or B scenario, I'd say outsider," he muses. "I mean, I'm certainly not an underachiever'; I work all day everyday at the label, do production, and the band.

"But to say I'm an outsider seems a bit false," he qualifies. "I mean, I'm an outsider compared to Justin Timberlake or someone like that but I've been in punk rock bands all my life. I'm a lot less of an outsider that that right now. I mean, there are people out there making truly outsider music, whereas I essentially make pop records that now are distributed largely by a major label. I mean, I don't believe Eno was an outsider, as he made records like Heroes with Bowie, but he wasn't in 3 Dog Night either," says James.

He's equally self-conscious about whether his considers his music to be art.

"That's kind of a trick question," he stalls. "It's punk rock, or it's pop music. But it's art. Sure. I mean, what else is it- Science- I feel the same sense of responsibility. I feel the same sense of dignity and or humiliation. So I guess it's 100% art."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Starting with the album, what's your assessment of how it's performied so far; what's been the worst, best or most ridiculous reaction you've come across-

LCD Soundsystem: "How it's performing- It's doing fine. It handles well on slick surface, which surprises me, considering how much engine there is. To look at the design, you'd think of it as almost 100% a straightaway machine. It's uncomfortable over rough surfaces, but I think that's the price you pay for the handling. . .

Oh I don't know.<