1998 Interview with Andrew Burnett (Close Lobsters)

The following interview was done in 1998 with Andrew Burnett the lead singer of the superb late 80’s jangle pop / post punk outfit Close Lobster. It was posted on an oocities.org fan site for the band which has now been moved to the oocities archives.

There is lots of great information on the site (link below), however many of the links are now broken so I am posting the two interviews with Andy Burnett (see part II in a separate post at a later date) with  as I am bit concerned the interviews may be lost. The interview has been copy and pasted from the original site and only the formatting changed.

I enjoyed both the interviews and hope you do too. Many thanks to Endorphin Bath and Todd E Jones, wherever you may be for putting such effort into the site and if you see this and fancy a chat I would actually love to interview one of you !!!


If you are not familiar with the band I have posted a couple of their tracks at the bottom of the page



EB: How are you doing?

Andrew: Swell. Bud. Bit cold ‘n’that but y’know……

EB: What moment in Close Lobster history are you most proud of? (Moment not song)

Andrew: There are many such moments – One time in the windy city of Chicago the Boy Graeme C Wilmington assumed the texture and colour of a grey  British Airways blanket – suprisingly found in roadie’s bag on arrival in US – which ensnared him after too much ‘partying’ with local reprobates – he looked like an old witch. Now how could this be considered ‘proud’. I suppose on the basis that it wasn’t me.

EB: What song are you most proud of?

Andrew: A Prophecy.

EB: What are your major influences (music and literature wise) ?

Andrew: Musically as the Bold Tom Donnelly outlined beautifully in a letter posted on this site – the collective influence of the group was such that it was tantamount to being merely in the same place

at the same time. There were certain things which united us – The spirit of punk rock maybe, well some of the spirit of punk rock – but it was so diverse generally i.e. Jimi Hendrix, The Only Ones, The Go Betweens, Kraftwerk, The Clash etc etc that the strength lay in the pull and push. Although of course these groups mentioned are pretty much within the same sphere. I think the main influence on me was The Clash to be honest speaking from the vantage point of 1998. At the time it was probably Something else re-invoking some kinda similar ‘punk’ inheritance i think but as is usual in these circumstances the young petit bourgeois had to be spoon fed.It was excellent exposure for us though although it did become a bit of an albatross. It was a ladder which we climbed and then kicked away.

EB: Could you describe the C86 scene for the people who don’t know about it?

Andrew: Difficult one this. C86 was a fantasy conjured out of thin air by the staff at the NME newspaper to generate some interest in a flagging UK music scene after the Underground Anarcho explosion of the early ’80s. There were groups up and down the country who were tentatively

EB: Who thought of the name Close Lobsters?

Andrew: Me and stewart i think.

EB: What were some of the names that you decided not to use?

Andrew: The Close. The Lobsters.(Therefore !)

EB: What’s your favorite color?

Andrew: Blue ( but i hear grey is this years black !)

EB: What’s your favorite record of all time?

Andrew: Right. As you are well aware this is a totally impossible question. A shot in the dark. Street Hassle Lou Reed. A track by ‘LSG’ from Hamburg. Teenage Riot Sonic Youth Next week – tomorrow -it’ll be something else…as you know.

EB: Favorite movie?

Andrew: Chasing Amy. Alice in the Cities.

EB: When touring, what city had the most energetic response? What about the most uneasy response?

: Franfurt, Western Germany. excellent. Minneapolis. Paisley. … all very good at times. Very bad include Reading. England and Lexington KY. Both times it looked like some violence was on the cards.

EB: What do you think, if anything, could of kept the Lobsters together?

Andrew: Money.

EB: Did you ever think of doing a solo thing?

Andrew: Yes, i’m a good dancer.

EB: What is your drug of choice?

Andrew: Free ones.

EB: In the song “Settle Down”, there’s that lyric “Why don’t we just drop an E and feel so happy?”.. Since the rave scene was pretty big then, did you ever check out any of the raves? What is your outlook on the whole rave scene and the E generation?

Andrew: At the beginning of the ’90s it was a case of the ’90s are going to make the ’60s look like the ’50s sort of thing with an end to the ‘idol’ thing but predicably it – the house thing – has been well and  truly assimilated thanks very much.It now really IS ‘Soma’. Some stuff is still good though i think. Theres a mob called ‘Rub-a-Dub’ from Glasgow who are involved in cross atlantic underground music. They’re good.

EB: Buzzcocks or The Jam?

Andrew: What Do I Get ? I Got By in Time

EB: Beatles or The Stones?

Andrew: Glass Onion – No Expectations

EB: What was the craziest thing you did as a rock star?

Andrew: Think I was a rock star.

EB: In some of your songs, the image of a “blue flash” is evident (ie Mother Of God, My Days Are Numbered). What is the meaning of the blue flash?

Andrew: Enlightenment.

EB: About the odd lyrics… Were they made to confuze? Confound? Enlighten? Inform?

Andrew: All of the above.

EB: Have you ever taken advantage of your pop status and use the opportunity to have shameless sex with someone?

Andrew: It was the rest of them – the shameless swine.

EB: In your opinion, what was the main reason for Close Lobsters breaking up?

Andrew:  Fatigue. Failure to make the big effort and stay in USA. Strategy.

EB: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Andrew: Andreas Baader. No, eh…..Johan Cruyff…

EB: Your sign?

Andrew: The uncrooked cross of the north.

EB: Do you feel that it was wrong or right for America to bomb the middle east?

Andrew: Tricky. I think it’s wrong for america to go arming people and then declaring them the anti-christ.But then thats not america is it – its those shadowy figures like J.Edgar Hoover who play dice with their panties and bra on or something. Check out old videos of Bill Hicks He’s ‘America’

EB: Pro-choice or Pro-life?

Andrew: Both. ( This fence is jagging up my erse)
EB: Since your brother was in the band with you, was sibling rivalry ever a serious problem?

Andrew: Two black eyes on the Dutch/German border testify to it. He’s ‘clyde built’ is bob.

EB: Why did the drummer and Tom Donnelly hate each other?

Andrew: There is a thin line !

EB: Do you shave with an electric razor or with a hand held one?

Andrew: Both at the same time.

EB: Which scene do you respect the most? Disrespect the most? (Disco, rave, punk, C86, doo wop, jungle,…etc…)

Andrew: None really.

EB: Euthanasia. Yes or No?

Andrew: Who for? I can think of a few. Yes.

EB: O.J. Simpson. Guilty or Not Guilty?

Andrew: The law in its majesty says ‘How much will it take ?’.

EB: Can you tell the people what your hometown was like.. Was it farmland? Industrial? Rich? Poor? Middle class?…

Andrew: The possession of a bar of soap constitutes middle class status etc etc. Post-industrial garden. Tamezepan party land. Just like most places in Scotland.
EB: Would you say that you had a happy childhood or a sad one?

Andrew: Weird.

EB: What record did you enjoy making the most?

Andrew: Foxheads

EB: What record did you least enjoy making?

Andrew: None

EB: Was there ever a problem in writing song and credit within the band? What inspired you most lyrically?

Andrew: We all got on harmoniously always. Chicks and situationism.

EB: What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you???

Andrew: Hearing Cher’s music. Scary!

EB: Songs like Violently Pretty Face, Gut Ache, and Lovely Little Swan, deal with the heartache aspects of love. Do you consider yourself a romantic? During those times, were you heartbroken? Or a heartbreaker?

Andrew: Usually coming out of the cinema i’m very romantic not in the sex way (except some films) but about possibilities. That kind of romantic. Like most people, both.

EB:” Words On Power ” is an inspirational song of taking control of your own life and moving on after a failed relationship? Are you the true speaker in the song? Are you speaking to yourself or someone else? What inspired that song?

Andrew: To others i offer a shoulder.

EB: What is NATURE THING about?

Andrew: The nature of things.

EB: Like an earlier question, many of your songs deal with the dissapointments involved in relationships. Do you feel that it is important to sing about these aspects instead to make the songs realistic and more from the heart or is there another reason?
Andrew: Most people experience and understand/empathise with these things.  A friend – big Jon of The June Brides – once remarked many many years ago that he was glad my relationship was going down the flusher because it might make for some good songs. spot on was the big feller.

EB: Out of all of the bands that you opened up for or opened up for you? Which did you like the best? The least?

Andrew: That Petrol Emotion, June Brides, Stump, The Chesterfields…others Bob Mould, Camper Van…  all good.

EB: What is the most defining moment in your career as a singer? In your life in general?

Andrew: Birth.


Both the Tracks below are from their 1987 Album Foxheads Stalk the Land, released on Enigma Records

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s