DX: Daniel Stewart
MF: Mahmood Fazal
DX: Welcome to Mont Icons. In this bonus episode of Mont Icons, we talk about drill music, Adam Curtis, the experience of live music after the COVID lockdown and the corruptive influence of legendary writer and eater, Jim Harrison, on our lives. Where do you want to start with this Mahmood?
MF: Let's start with you.
DX: All right.
MF: Why? Why do you think you started playing music?
DX: I started playing music when I was too young to really have a sense of purpose behind it. So it was something I stumbled into. Someone asked me to drum for a band. And...
MF: Did you but you must have had some kind of training, right?
DX: No, that's the, that's the part of your childhood and adolescence that you missed was that punk is for people that have no training. It's just really, you pick up something for the first time and start a band like that. And that's both what makes it so compelling when people get it right and so atrocious when people get it wrong.
MF: So you're saying I could still be a musician?
DX: Absolutely. Any day. I think I think it was being in high school in Wollongong and having someone just come up to me and asked me if I wanted to drum for a band was like, my induction into this world entirely. And I tried to drum and also bad, I was too bad to even drum for a punk band. So...
MF: Because I'm pretty mathematical. You have to keep time and all that shit.
DX: Fortunately, I got good at it, but not then. They kicked me out of the band straightaway. And then later on, they asked me to come back and sing for it because no one else could sing for it. So that's how I did my first band. You never did music?
MF: Nah, I wish I did. I wish I learned how to play an instrument. I think it gives you a lot of discipline that can help you in life later on. That probably would have added a layer of structure to my unhinged skull. But yeah, I was always envious of people that got whisked away to music classes. In my high school or even in primary school. I learned my biggest musical moment was being asked to play the tycoon drums in primary school after school as part of the band, but they were just kind of tryouts. And I never made the cut.
DX: You failed?
MF: Yeah, they kicked me out.
DX: But you've got a pretty I mean of anyone I know you're listening to music pretty much constantly. It's your...
MF: Yeah. I, I love listening to music.
DX: So tell us about the, how's this? Let's um, let's get on to this cause you're...
MF: Sorry. Yeah.
DX: So you've as well as, as well as being a journalist, you're also a music journalist and you write a lot about music, and you interview musicians. And you did that yesterday. So tell us about that.
MF: I think for me, I've always loved music because I've had a very deep—as everyone probably has—this deep physiological kind of response to it. Where if I like a piece of music, it just intoxicates me to such a degree that I'm replaying it over and over again for hours—for days sometimes the same piece of the same song whether that be Attract by Unknown T or piece of music by Wagner, it just this something about it that helps me, helps my brain just kind of settle or focus or drift. Yeah, and so that's why I wish I played music because I wonder what, what effect that would have had on, on me but writing about music just keeps me connected to that world and make and trying to share that deep influence that it's had on me with other people and, and kind of giving them an entry point into the way I'm affected by an artist’s music, particularly like, like the drill things different because it was like, not only did not many people play instruments in my circles and neighbourhoods around me, but they, they never articulated themselves or were given the opportunity to express themselves. And now, this phenomenon of drill music has allowed people in those environments to, for the first time, express their frustrations or what the fuck is going on around them in their language and in a way that other people in those neighbourhoods understand, and that's the most important bit it's not for private school kids even though they're the ones listening to it, and no crap against them. I went to private school myself that yeah, I think, I think it's done in a language that, that they can relate to. And that's why so some artists when they become famous, and they deviate from that gutter style, like that, real scemo enter gutter shit, like what they started. It doesn't do as well.
DX: Can you talk a little about your interview that you did yesterday? Like, like, when you're talking to people about making that music?
MF: Yeah, I'm just fascinated that I, where the fuck did they get the inspiration and courage to do it? You know, and I think it was guys like Onefour that gave people the faith to be able to, you know, like, it's not like you won't get laughed out by the area if you do it. It's actually like, the whole area will support you if you do it. So I'm more fascinated by just the confidence that they have and the courage that they have. When I was growing up, people only had that kind of confidence when they were committing crimes, you know?
DX: And um, should we, are we avoiding saying, who you, who you interviewed yesterday?
MF: Oh, no, no, I interviewed...
DX: Yeah, so give a little background because I think it’s interesting.
MF: Yeah, yeah. I interviewed Real Deal Skeng for Acclaim magazine. And I just, they're not even that big. I mean, they've got a following of a few thousand on Instagram, not that, that is any metric. But they posted a video and therefore they're from the southeast, which is where I was I area identify with so any dreamer from my neighbourhood that wants to make it as a musician, I'll definitely try and I got an instagram message from them saying, you know, if I'd write do a write up on them, so I reached out to Cass the editor of Acclaim and said, I want to write about these guys. And he was super supportive and booked like a mad photographer. And they have, they kind of made waves in the area because they posted a video on YouTube that got taken down because they had firearms in this video and with, and they were minors all under 18. So I think on a very shallow level I'm attracted to, to that blurring of lines of crime and expression. And showing the world that the reality of Melbourne that most people might be avoiding or brushing under the rug, which is a general trade of what this country likes to do is like fucking show you yeah, an alternate version of the truth or something.
DX: This is something that when I interviewed Jim McCulloch, who sings for CIVIC and, and is a really incredible visual artist, and we were talking about this perception that a lot of Australians have outside of Melbourne, of Melbourne being like this kind of latte wonderland or something. But our experience of it was always that it was quite a dark place. And there was a lot of darkness in not just the city itself, but the character of the people here. There's a certain kind of anxiety that's almost uniquely Melbourne, as far as Australia goes. And we talked about that and how much it bled into the, the styles of graffiti that were pretty popular at the time that we did we did this interview, but also like the bands that were into like the hardcore and the punk bands from Melbourne...
MF: And then that's fascinating because you and I talk about the cops in Melbourne and, and you, you said when you were growing up and you were involved in a lot of like direct action leftist militia shit that the rumours were the cops in Melbourne are way way more shady than any other state.
DX: Well those I wish I could find these because they used to be in anarchist bookshops, you would buy these little pamphlets and they would just be like almost a report on police murders in, in Melbourne. And that was a little pamphlet that you can buy from the anarchist bookshop for like $2. And so many share houses had these like, from anarchists and punks that would go to shows or just be peripheral to that scene either in terms of doing direct action, or just going to go see like a punk band playing in this room. And then they see this enticing book like police murders in Melbourne or police murders in Victoria.
MF: I interviewed Tornts about this issue to who's an amazing Melbourne rapper from back in the day. He's actually still a really amazing rapper, but he, he attributed to the weather he was like it's because it's colder. In Melbourne, people wear like heavier jackets and everything's like slightly, yeah slightly more sinister because of the weather. Like because it's not as sunny as Sydney and because it's not as exposed everything is just a bit dire. I thought that was really interesting.
DX: I would agree with that. And I'd go a little further, I'd say it's the fact that weather is so unpredictable. So one moment you got to wear a jacket and the next one you gotta carry it. One moment you got to hide from the wet rain and the next moment that the sun's out. And that kind of I think there's a Nietzsche quote that I throw around a lot. It's basically that fickle weather makes for fickle people. Like if you can't depend on the character of the world around you—you start to question the character of the people around you. And while that doesn't translate directly to most people I know, I think there's something to it that if you want to really understand people look at the weather and look at what they're eating.
MF: Yeah, yeah fuck yeah.
DX: Like I think those are, what's going on around them and what they're putting inside their bodies really...
MF: Reminds me of one of my favourite Vice documentaries, the Gorgoroth interview.
DX: Oh, yeah, I never saw that.
MF: Oh, no? But he just...
DX: Yeah, man I never watched Vice documentaries…
MF: Come on man.
DX: Like the social circles that I was in, no disrespect...
MF: Fucking, you gotta watch my documentaries, g.
DX: Of course I watched yours...
MF: Fuck you man [laughs].
DX: But I never watched all of them—all the, uh classic hits from Vice Hotel. Yeah, but so tell us about this one.
MF: This one was great. What's his name? Gaahl, is he the lead singer of Gorgoroth? Yeah, no, yeah, he's a kind of gaunt looking, dude. But yeah, in that interview, he talks about how in primary school there were like three kids in Norway, and it was always dark. And most of the people in his village killed themselves. And it was like this huge thing. And it has something to do with because they get like no sunlight. People think differently. Yeah. And yeah, I wonder what that, what that's about?
DX: Well, I think I remember when I was in Tasmania when I was younger, was the first time that I don't know what was the age, I was like 13 years old. But it's the first time that people talked about the effects of weather on mental health. And I hadn't really heard that as a discussion before. But when you are in an environment of like, constant wind and rain, for instance, like where it just goes on for weeks, or even months, when, when the weather around you is like has this formidable effect on you being able to walk from your front door to the shops or whatever. I’m sure, I'm sure it affects, like your...
MF: I think that's why...
DX: Stability. Like your stability of your character, I guess is all I’m trying to say.
MF: Yeah it's weird. It's like, opera music like, makes sense when it's raining, or something to me. You know, like there's something weird about sombre and sobering music and, and rain or clouds or something.
DX: I'll just ask you what the track is at the moment that you're playing the most?
MF: Oh, the track that I'm playing the most at the moment. I mean, I mean, this morning, I was listening to Sheff G. I mean, just like his flow.
DX: Who is Sheff G?
MF: He is a drill rapper from New York, I think. Yeah. And he's just kind of sentimental, which is really beautiful to hear in drill rap, which is like the most violent kind of form of music today, I would say, up there for sure. Both in, because it crosses real violence with an expression of violence, which I think is really rare when we think about art, in general. But yeah, I've been listening to a lot of Sheff G. What else have I been listening to? I've actually been working so much that I haven't had time to be distracted by music. I've just been focused on writing so much that it's kind of, I kind of and it's like, I go through waves these cycles of like, I'm either listening to music, or I'm watching films, or I'm, when I'm writing I'm reading. So yeah, it's like a cyclical thing. At the moment I'm not listening to music so much. And I'm writing and reading.
DX: Well, one thing I'd like to talk about, and one person that's had an immense impact on us both is Adam Curtis. And he has…
MF: For sure.
DX: He has his new show coming out tomorrow. Do you know anything about it?
MF: I don't know anything about it.
DX: Do you do this on purpose? Do you avoid reading up on shit?
MF: Yup. I don't like watching trailers. And I don't like reading some dickhead criticism on something someone that I know I love because it just foggs the experience I think.
DX: Can you give us a brief recounting of your first experience watching an Adam Curtis film?
MF: Well, my first experience would be when I was watching Bitter Lake. And there was, which is about Afghanistan, a country that I'm tied to, but never, never experienced, and he kind of traverses the history of the country. But then halfway through, you get the amazing Kanye West's Runaway where it just sinks into like autotune obstruction. He just drops that in the middle of a fucking documentary. And there's this Afghan guy in like, some village like practising Kung Fu.
DX: Is it in like a karate dojo?
MF: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I was just like, man, like, this guy's on some other shit. Like, it's like art. Like, it's no, no longer, but I love that form. Like, when I was in film school, that form of the essay film. The French filmmaker, Chris Marker had a huge effect on me when I first watched Sans Soleil. Yeah, and just that the essay film like it really, to me, that was like really high art because it, it kind of fused imagery and language in a way that made a lot of sense to me.
DX: Yeah, there's another scene in Bitter Lake that always reduces me. It's, um, that Burial song comes in off Rival Dealer at some point.
MF: Yeah I think it's at the beginning.
DX: Um, and it speaks to, it speaks to the strength of his, of his ear as well. Like he can take a song that you've heard a billion times before and pair it with the, the right imagery to kind of fuck you up and lay...
MF: Well he was like an archivist, a BBC archivist for so long. I just imagine him like, you know, like doing data wrangling in this amazing library of footage while listening to this music, you know, like, and just forging these connections and thinking about these different moments in history. Because to me, it's like the best way to, it kind of reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s writing I don't know if you're familiar with, with his stuff, but he kind of presents two or three different stories. And they'll intersect and make sense of each other while in turn making sense of the world like in a broader way, and I think that's what. And Malcolm Gladwell goes to libraries a lot. He spends a lot of his time in libraries. And I think it's about being surrounded by that. The chaos of that of those catalogues. And suddenly, you can just, your brain just forges connections and you start seeing things, which I think the Internet has really fucked with. Like, I think that, that experience of making sense through chaos. And multiple archives and finding intersections to make sense of things, is a lot more difficult. Now, with the internet, even though it should be easier because of all these algorithms that think they know what the connections are. But sometimes the connections are fucking different. It's like, you know.
DX: Yeah, because I feel that if you want people's way of conceiving of the internet is that it would be more of a chaotic environment for data strings. But we know that's not the truth, we know that what you see is predominantly what someone wants you to see. Whereas if you're in a library, and things are ordered in a particular way, but you there's a purpose in your direction of your glance, or the way that your hand goes to grab a book or something like that.
MF: And as a religious person, I believe in fate.
DX: You do?
MF: Sometimes you know, you're walking through a library, or you’re, you're in a record shop or like, back in the days when you were in Sanity, and you were like flicking through the CDs. I used to always flip through the hip hop CDs and you just be struck by a cover that you're like, fuck, what is this? Like that randomness and fate and some, somethings just speak out to you.
DX: How much of it's tied to physicality for you?
MF: Well not always, like sometimes you'll be in a massive secondhand bookshop. And you'll just be like, mysteriously lured into a corner into a shelf, until bit of dust on, you know, a book that's about to fall apart and be like, I'm gonna read, read a page of this and see what it's about. And it's just, yeah, it's pure chance.
DX: Because I'm sure there's people listening and I've had this experience of just going down a rabbit hole online, in Wikipedia, and just suddenly finding myself having a similar experience. So I, uh can be…
MF: Yeah, but it’s different because I guess...
DX: So yeah, that’s what I'm trying to get you to explain, like how?
MF: It's leading you somewhere. This is like some fucking, like superstitious magic shit.
DX: This is your mystical Sufi huh?
MF: I think this is like, I don't know, it's weird. It's like, you know, you it's like, you meet someone in a bar overseas, and you become lifelong friends. The amount of things in life that would have had to piece together for that moment to occur. You know, like shit like that.
DX: That was, that was my discovery of Adam, Adam Curtis was very similar to that I was having. I was studying Freud. I was studying Freud and Jung in just studying psychoanalysis and trying to get my head around it. And there was a guy in my class, who was, this was very early stage, dark net stuff. He was always telling me about these experimental drugs that he took with like, strange combinations of letters and numbers like 3NP or something and he would always just entertain me with stories of his weekend, just like buying something, getting it in the mail, and eating it. And one time, he did that, and watched what's the, okay, I'm gonna need to edit this part [laughs].
MF: Just embrace the fucking unknown.
DX: Century of the Self. Yeah, the one about the power psychoanalysis impacted on the birth of public relations, and told me to watch it and that film definitely impacted my decision to stop studying—at all. The, what Adam Curtis did with that film really pushed me towards embracing doing music and, like, create creatively. I was already creatively driven, but there was something about the way that was done that, that just frightened me away from pursuing philosophy or pursuing like, psychology as, as careers.
MF: Yeah, it's, I mean, it's a very risky decision to pursue it as a career. But um yeah, I don't know. I lost my train of thought.
DX: Well, the new Adam Curtis comes out tomorrow. So that's something we can look forward to.
MF: Yeah. But you know, you kind of gave up one risky pursuit for another or were you already pretty, you're pretty well established in your bands and stuff that...
DX: Yeah but these aren't, these aren't any...
MF: These are turbulent times.
DX: Still yeah and, and well, that ties into one thing I did want to talk to you about was the impact of the last year on playing music because I spent the weekend playing drums and getting ready for a show next week.
MF: So you still play drums?
DX: Yeah, yes. I'm playing.
MF: Poor friend. I didn’t even know you fucking play drums in a band [laughs]. In UV Race?
DX: Yeah. And I've been, and it's been like a year since I've, I've drummed or been around music. And last week, you and I went and saw that Wagner opera. In...
MF: Man, we should talk about that as well.
DX: Well, yeah, I'd love to talk about that. How much I can talk about it really depends on how open we want to be about our...
MF: Nefarious activities.
DX: But I, what I will say is that having not experienced music for the last year, both watching it in that crowded audience at the opera, and, and drumming the other day—I'm feeling very overwhelmed by it. In so many respects.
MF: Is kind of your first live performance in like over a year?
DX: In over a year. Yeah.
MF: On Saturday?
MF: Oh, right.
DX: But alongside that, now that shows are happening again, like Straitjackets getting asked to play shows, again, Total Control, getting asked to play shows again, and having to have discussions around the logistics of doing that has really revealed how much damage the last year's done to music in in terms of my own relationship to it, the feeling of being at a show or wanting to be at a show. And we can delve into that when we talk about the opera, but also, how relevant the experience of playing for instance, in Straitjacket like a hardcore band that's, that music’s based on immediacy, impulsive instincts, violence, like the chaos of that. And it depends upon being, experiencing it often. And this is the longest time that we haven't played a show. And I was talking to Emily about the drama the other day about it. And it was just both of us felt so reluctant to play a show until we'd written songs that really encapsulated what the last year has been, like for us, because going back to these old songs that we've we have played some of these songs like 15 years, but they always were able to remain fresh because they were wounds that you could just reopen when you played. But now like it's been, like, so long that reopening those wounds, like seems on in some respects, like a little pathetic. Like I'm a little indulgent. And I'm a little like a tribute almost to a former experience, you know. So that's one thing that's come out of all of this is that the, the need to write music and capture what this experience has been like. And the other thing is just how mental the opera was the other night.
MF: I mean, where to begin? I just want to stay on that for a moment. Because I think that's, that's pretty, that's gonna be a pretty powerful thing for you. Like, I feel like if I was told, I can't write for a year and then suddenly, someone was like, hey man, it's time now. Like, give us give us give us your piece. I would, I would just disintegrate into my own head and it will take me so long to, to write anything.
DX: Yeah, it's very daunting.
MF: Yeah, it's frightening. I feel like even now, I mean, yeah. I mean, what's that gonna be like performing in a crowded room for people who are so desperate to just hear live music again?
DX: Well, that’s, that part of me is that, that's the part of it that I'm most comfortable with the actual performing at a show.
MF: I think I think people needed that. I think we were so fucking saturated in experience. Everybody needed a fucking bit of a break because...
DX: Well, now a lot of people have said that, but also what's come out of it is not noticeably the effect on people's mental health has been, like, so dreadful in so many respects. And we can go into this as little as we want to because it is quite a difficult issue to discuss—that the only company with a lot of people had was the people that they lived with, or the screens that they were using to kind of interact with each other. And I think one of the most shocking things about when we're at the opera the other day was seeing, seeing depth for the first time in so long, like, sitting in a room so far away from, from the screen, you know, the stage itself was here. That was such a strange experience. It's, it's it so I feel like people are going to have the these almost psychedelic awakenings to space and sound when they start going to shows again.
MF: Man, I don't even know, I don't know if it was because I was stoned. I was just like, fuck man like, how amazing are people they just practice for months and months on end to recite this opera from for, from a hundred years ago and practice it and then perform it for all these people that are just watching. And I mean, we're going to get to the absurd costumes, and all, the all the weird shit that was going on, but it's just, I was like it. I think the break helped me really appreciate seeing humans on stage, performing, like, rehearse it, like knowing that they rehearsed and want to just achieve some this like moment of magic on onstage for these people like because I guess for the last year, like you said, we've just been watching movies and shit on on our iPads and iPhones and laptops—everything is just so curated and meticulously crafted. Whereas in this is a psych it is all so incredibly well crafted. But it's like, live, it's I don't know if I'm doing it much justice, but there's a magic to seeing people in the flesh perform.
DX: I think so too.
DX: But I think it's, a magic that...
MF: But this is not, like I'm not, like the opera was shit like that, the performance was wack like, but it was just cool to see. The cool, cool to see people do it—pulling that off. Because I'm, yeah, I'm terrified of doing shit like that.
DX: I think the one effect that came out of that the other night, aside from how out of it we were when we were watching it and how that added this element of, of insanity to the event. But the the, all of the imperfections of it—and there were many—still didn’t take away from the overall experience of almost that first time that you go to a show or the first time that you experience an, an artwork or something. That's how I felt, I felt so overwhelmed by volume.
MF: The other thing is, it's so performative to go to the opera too, for a lot of these people, even for us included maybe?
DX: Yeah, we put on our finest threads [laughs].
MF: Yeah, but, but we love Wagner. But maybe they do too? But in there, there was this energy in the room that was like people performing being at the opera and what that, what that represents.
DX: And I think what, why we did what we did beforehand to get into that state of mind was that we wanted to experience it, like the kind of giddy children and not, not be like overtaken by the performance of being at the opera. We, I wanted personally to walk in there and be overwhelmed and moved. And I was—in spite of everything. I was...
MF: At what moment?
DX: Oh, well, probably the moment I turned around, looked at you and you looked like you didn't know whether to laugh or cry like you had an expression of radiant joy and bliss and utter confusion on your face at the same time.
MF: I love the theatre.
MF: But I think we've spoken about the opera enough.
DX: I think so too. Yeah, I feel like this will get, get a bit of a heavy hand. What I'd like to hear about now Mahmood is what you've been reading, aside from all of the research you're doing and all of the work related reading that you're doing. What's fun for you right now?
MF: Man, honestly, I'm not having any fun right now. I swear to god, I'm not having any fun. It's pure work. And, and the texts that I'm reading are generally involved with research. Although I did, I did pick up David Miles’ collection of essays only like a couple of weeks ago. So I'm really enjoying you know, sifting through those. I'm also reading, I'm reading Alain de Botton Art is Therapy which is good, it's good. It's a good way to think about art criticism actually. Um, what else have I been reading? I've been listening to the Jim Harrison audiobook again. I think it's A Really Long Lunch, or what?
MF: Which one is it?
DX: There's a Jim Harrison audiobook?
MF: Yeah, on Audible. I told you about this and you listen to it, and you're really enjoying it. You said it was really funny. Unless you fucking lied.
DX: No, no.
MF: You fucking lied to me.
DX: No, no. We said we need to edit this out. But um, well, you know I have of anyone I've ever met. Elias and you are the only people that have responded to Jim Harrison, as strongly as you have you both have.
MF: What do you think that's about? Because we're just gluttonous.
DX: I think there's a sweet there is a certain level of that in there. But um, I think I would like to hear you explaining to our listeners who Jim Harrison is because...
MF: Okay, um…
DX: I think he's a writer that, of immense talent and one of the, one of the only food writers that I've read that I've felt was was, was writing something immortal, that I'd want to read.
MF: Yeah, I think Jim Harrison has the same reaction to food as I have to music. Like when he eats it intoxicates every fibre of his genetic like makeup. I think that and I think you, you get that from his writing. He's also an incredibly celebrated American writer who wrote Legends of the Fall. But the way he talks about food, and I don't read a lot of culinary criticism or whatever. But I love to eat. I love to eat offal, as you do. And he writes about it with the same enthusiasm within an enthusiasm that I share when I eat it, so it all makes sense to me. And he writes the way I dream about eating in the sense that I'd love to have a forty or fifty course meal in Burgundy, that's, you know, tracing ancient French culinary cuisines from pig noses to, you know, all sorts of treats of liver and foie gras. And then many, many a bottle of claret from the 50s. I think I think that kind of indulgence is something I enjoy.
DX: And to kind of clarify, like, I think it's certainly indulgent. And it's, it's certainly...
MF: It's also very beautiful.
DX: But it's it ties towards a general life philosophy that it doesn't end with, doesn't start and end with food and alcohol and cocaine and everything else that he was known for, over indulging in like, certainly he's like you know, his indulgences also, like crippled him he had gout. He, like, had intense pains in his in his stomach a lot of the time and, but he also applied that kind of thirst to everything he was, he was continually active outdoors he was continually riding he often, when I think of gluttons I think of them as like these these these pigs that just sit there and and things go in and nothing comes out except for waste and excrement—you know. While he was indulgent, he was also so generous with these gifts like his poetry is incredible. His novellas I think, some of my favourite writing from...
MF: And I think it also says a lot about the kind of the life philosophy that he shared and a lot of the writers that he loved shared, which were about living in the moment. And this kind of nihilism. This is it—so what's the best way to celebrate the place that we're in? And it's got something to do with eating because eating is like this fucking I mean, no other animal does we do where we combine all these vegetables, we season them, we cure them, you know, we cook them in different fucking crumbs and and then eat them. Like, that's just something we do. No other animal does that. I think it's, it says something about, you know, what he chooses to do.
DX: But also what, what other animals do that he also does is they eat the entirety of the animal. Like he shares that in common with other predators and, and...
MF: But I think he does that more so because he has a genuine respect for anything that dies for him. You know, like if something's gonna die for him to eat. He, it's a ritual like it's a ceremony where you want to respect the thing that's died for your belly. So you...
DX: Does that resonate with you?
MF: Absolutely. And he I think I remember reading, he would only eat animals he has hunted himself. Not, not always, but I mean, like, if he hasn't killed a type of animal to eat, he won't eat out at a restaurant. You know, that animal. So he only eats like birds that he's hunted and eaten before and so on.
DX: So tell us about this audiobook, The Really Long Lunch.
MF: Oh man, it’s got that amazing, long lunch with Orson Welles in it. And it's, it's just amazing to listen to.
DX: Do you feel like that hearing about this Long Lunch corrupted us in some sense did...
MF: I think it did but it offers, it's just great escapism. Like, I feel like you know, I do I wonder man and I don't know like are our favourite writers and musicians living, leading those lives now, or was this at certain slice of decadence in, you know, the arts where people were having these extravagant, you know fifty course meals flying up, taking flights to the south of France to just eat and drink for like a whole benders worth. I don't know, I feel like there's something romantic about it that I really like this.
DX: It's definitely, it's definitely not something that you see, a lot of, I think people are a lot more cautious to express their indulgences these days.
MF: Man, like people laugh at people that post their food. I fucking love people that post their photos of their food on their Instagram. I love that shit.
DX: And what's that about?
MF: Man, I just love seeing what people are eating and like people that are enthusiastic about eating. Now fuck man bores me to tears people that just you know, don't care about what they eat. Why would you not like it? To me eating is like the music you listen to like the books you read? Or you know, like, I take it that seriously.
DX: Yeah, I feel to, to delve into this a little bit. Orson Welles and Jim Harrison went and had a lunch of multiple meals and multiple bottles. And at the end of it well throughout the meal, the the stakes just get higher and higher and and, you hear stories of Orson Welles going out to lunch and faking a heart attack to get out of the bill at the end of it and the like which and the, well, this is the this is the corruptive influence, I think of reading that kind of thing is that it's just raised the bar about, like, the potentials that I have to experience food with my friends and the like. And so what's the audiobook like? Can, can you recommend that to our audience?
MF: Yeah, I recommend this to everyone. I think you yeah, just look up Jim Harrison on Audible and it'll come up. It's got I think it's, A Really Long Lunch, but it might be something else. But yeah, I think it'll be beware because it's, it is corruptive. I mean, what we're talking about is a very privileged exercise, you know, you have to have money to in some respects, you have to be very dumb with your money. I think that's what I am not very disciplined with my money and so I splurge more than I should on food and drink. So I think I think the real if I if I wasn't working like three or four different jobs, I would love to get the animal from really good butchers and do it myself and do it and you can make it affordable because a lot of the time the bits of the animal that I like eating is so cheap. This is the paradox. It's so cheap to buy from butchers, but it's generally really expensive when you're eating at restaurants because...
DX: Well that’s the otherside of Jim Harrison that is important, while he does definitely romanticise like reckless spending and, and reckless indulgences, he also makes the experience of cooking for yourself and the people that you love the most, the most important religious experience that you could have, like the, the best thing that you could do in your life is to cook a good meal and share it with the people that you love. Like so to, and he talks specifically about cooking offal, and, you know, not especially decadent food in terms of like it, how much it costs or whatever, you know, he just speaks of, you know, cooking it with love. So he's, what resonates so much with me is that he's, he's not just a fast spending glutton. And he's not just like a cook like he's a, he's an, he's an eater.
MF: Yeah for sure.
DX: And, and to read and to eat, I would really be happy if my life involved those as the most common activities.
MF: Yeah, I think that was one thing I really got a lot out of the lockdown was I started cooking, started cooking more and started cooking for the people that I loved. And it really is, like you described it as religious it's pretty fucking powerful when you cook a meal and you spend all day preparing this one dish and just people enjoy it or they think about it or provokes them in some way. It's a pretty it's, it's kind of like I mean, it's, it's not dissimilar to presenting art to someone or you're writing to someone. Except in some ways it's a lot more physical, you know?