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Home > All articles > BE MY ENEMY > Be My Enemy - interview (2011)
Be My Enemy - interview (2011)
2011-08-01 | NINa | e-mail interview
NINa: I'm looking at your band name. Does the fact of having enemies motivate you to be a better (or worse) person?
Phil Barry: Well isn't there a famous quote about if you've got no enemies it means you haven't stood up for something? Hopefully I haven't made many enemies recently. Going back a few years I think I/we did in Cubanate playing on the Carcass tour. That made us stronger at that time because we where going on stage every night to be greeted by a hail of beer bottles and abuse. What's funny is that tour is still mentioned on some metal forums even 16 years later and they still hate us now. Good, we made a lasting impression, we win. So enemies can certainly motivate you I think, hopefully for the better and they certainly can fuel the fire to get things done.

You were a member of Cubanate which was a duo during the 90's. Now you are making music in Be My Enemy as the sole producer. Do you find it easier to control aspects of the project this way?
What I gain by having 100% control I lose by not having anyone to play ideas off. As a consequence I sometimes sit on tune for a few weeks so I can come back to it with fresh ears. I find I get song fatigue after a few days. I have to be honest and say I need to be kicked up the arse sometimes to get stuff done, not because I'm lazy but because I want things to be perfect and I spend to much time on the detail when it really doesn't matter.

What is your favourite Cubanate song?
Difficult one that… I'm going to say 'Hatesong'. The main reason is because it my favourite vocal performance of Marc's, it's really uplifting.

Artists typically choose one primary source during the initial song writing process. Some base their music on lyrics, while others begin with rhythms or moods. Which do you find most compelling when writing a new song?
I always write the rhythm track first and then either a guitar line or a bass line and move on from there. I'll try and write 2 or 3 sections like a verse/chorus/middle 8 and then move on to an arrangement, a bit of structure helps with writing the words of a song.

What do you see for the future of Be My Enemy – writing another album, turning to game and movie soundtracks, DJ-ing or perhaps a short term run on the project?
I'm midway through writing the next album and will hopefully finish it in October or November. After that I want to get a band together and start playing gigs, I'm still trying to get personnel for live shows at the moment. I've had a couple of enquiries about video game music recently so something might happen with that in the near future. It's actually one of the most common comments that I get, that my music sounds like a the soundtrack to a video game.

What is your greatest passion outside of making music?
Most men my age are Sci-Fi Geeks, aren't they? Sad but true and I'm no different. I've been a Dr Who fan since the year dot and at the moment I'm totally loving the new Dr Who series. I did used to be into football, but the way the game is run is ruining it for me now, there's no sportsmanship left and the fans in my opinion are treated like dirt and are being ripped off left right and centre.

Has living in the UK changed for the better or worse during the last 6-7 years? What has improved and what has worsened? Would you consider immigrating somewhere else if economic situations do not improve sometime soon?
Yeah, the UK feels like its gotten worse, are there any westernised countries doing well at the moment? Surely this was inevitable with population growth, with resources getting thinner on the ground, prices for food and fuel are going to go up and poverty is going to get worse.
I don't want to move from the UK. The US is the only other country I would consider moving to but they have their problems as well.

Are you happy the UK has never turned from sovereign currency such as the Pound to the Euro as other European Union countries have done?
The politicians in this country always seem to have the view that the UK is an island separate from Europe and should be kept separate from the rest of Europe economically and socially. The politicians seem to hold on to an old world view of the UK as some kind of worldwide superpower,mwhich is a joke, it isn't. We kind of never want to join in with what's going on in Europe and would rather pal up with the US even if it's being run by right wing loonies heading on a path of destruction. I never liked the idea of a 'United States of Europe' and the single currency is a possible precursor to that.

This may be a tough question. Many listeners just take and go, however fans stay with the band until they feel rejected or unsatisfied, while die hard fans may be the most supportive, but some may be nuts or even clinically insane. Do you have any experiences or views you would like to share in terms of the above groups considering your years of experience?
There was a man from Germany who did claim to 'have sex' with a Cubanate CD once. He gave the impression he was serious, I think we made our excuses and left pretty sharpish. You do meet people like that on tour, that's part of the fun of it. Interestingly the only time you would of met fans back in the 90's was at gigs, where as now you are constantly in contact because of the internet and personally I'm liking it more. It felt like that we detached and in a bubble back then and the only feedback you would get back was from the printed press, gigs or even letters! It's much better now.


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Pictures come from Be My Enemy archive, all copyrights reserved by © their respective owners. Questions proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below.
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No two people in this band like exactly the same music, so we've got influences coming in from a fairly wide spectrum of musical styles. It can make it difficult sometimes to easily write music together, but when it works it WORKS! Improvisation has been and will continue to be massively important to how we write songs. Promonium Jesters (2008)
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