‘I just developed my own individual voice. It’s no better than anybody else. It’s just me and you can hear when I’m playing it. The conceptual stuff I got from John Cage was enormous. That really was the thing that allowed me to ask something like, “What’s wrong with hitting the guitar with a bottle?” All noise can be created into music if it’s arranged in whatever way you feel possible.’
Gareth Sager interviewed in Premier Guitar as part of a ‘Post-Punk Guitar Antiheroes’ feature, alongside Andy Gill (Gang Of Four) & Keith Levene (The Clash / Public Image Ltd)
Official Pop Group transmissions, rare footage & Mark Stewart interviewed (in French!)
'The Pop Group have put on a seriously impressive show tonight'
Mark's project with the artist Rupert Goldsworthy, The New Banalists Orchestra, is profiled by Dangerous Minds:
'Mark Stewart titled the 2012 solo album he made with Kenneth Anger, Richard Hell, Tessa Pollitt, Keith Levene, Gina Birch, Factory Floor, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Youth, et al. The Politics of Envy. A proper dialectician, he prepared the way by singing about the “Envy of Politics” on 2011’s Mammon, a six-track digital album by London’s New Banalists Orchestra. The orchestra appears to be the musical component of the New Banalists group founded by Stewart and the artist Rupert Goldsworthy. The Bandcamp page says only that the New Banalists “formed an orchestra to proclaim [their] manifesto”—which is refreshingly concise, as manifestos go, and seems to be slightly different in each iteration.
On Mammon, Penny Rimbaud and Eve Libertine of Crass, John Sinclair of the White Panther Party and the MC5’s management, David Tibet of Current 93, and Zodiac Mindwarp (“The trick is to tough it out, sailor”) of the Love Reaction espouse a bohemian, psychedelic anticapitalism over music by Youth of Killing Joke and Michael Rendall, some of which will sound familiar to fans of Hypnopazūzu. Ex-PiL guitarist Keith Levene and the late cannabis kingpin Howard “Mr. Nice” Marks are on there, too.'
'The Pop Group was unquestionably one of the broadest-reaching and noisiest acts during the post-punk era. At the same time, their philosophy boiled down to an erratic, adventurous, danceable vision unrivaled by most in either category. For as radical as Y seemed, it hardly sounded like the product of a band yearning for success. Instead, they aimed only to be visceral and provocative—true to the core of post-punk.'