Five questions for WILLIAM D DRAKE
William D Drake has spent the past 30 years in an assortment of bands including cult 1980s prog-punk outfit Cardiacs. He performs at View Two Gallery.
I’ve never actually counted. When you’re a musician you can learn so much from playing different styles of music, so if people asked me to join them I used to tend to say yes.
Are you bringing a band with you to Liverpool?
I played in Leeds recently with a nine-piece band, which is what it takes to get the full sound of [2007 solo album] Briny Hooves. For this gig it’s just me, so I’ll do a couple of new songs, some piano pieces and some old songs as well.
Does that mean you’ll throw in a few old Cardiacs numbers?
I co-wrote some of the Cardiacs songs, so I might do. The thing is, the arrangements are very much for a band. The songs I wrote for [John Peel favourites] Sea Nymphs, which was a band that consisted of Tim Smith and Sarah Smith from Cardiacs about 15 years ago, work better when it’s just me on my own.
Was Crayola Lectern your choice of support act?
Yes, and we’re travelling up together. We did a gig in Brighton last December and I love his songs. We both have a great love for Robert Wyatt, and you can hear that in our songwriting.
Is it true that some of your lyrics are lifted from Jacobean poetry?
I’ve set the odd poem to music. There’s one song on Briny Hooves called Sweet Pea, based on an anthology of poems called Prison Pieite by Samuel Speed. I love things from the deep, dark past. Nowadays we’re bombarded by stuff on the radio all the time, so I always wondered what songs were like from the 15th century that we never hear. There must be some really fantastic songs that are completely forgotten.