It´s taken a millenium for MASTERS OF REALITY to make their second album, 'Sunrise On the Sufferbus'! To top it all, it happens to be a totally unfashionably happy record! STEFFAN CHIRAZI lets born-again dreamer CHRIS GOSS have a rant or 12 - only to find the MOR mainman copping a downeron, er, reality!
Chris Goss is tired. Tired of whiners, tired of apologists and tired of the bullshit wheel that revolves so freely in today's caring, sharing '90s.
"Oh man, now you can't turn the TV on here without live helicopter coverage of a car chase or a bank robbery. It's all 'lights, camera, revolution'."The whole country's turned into a bunch of ambulance chasers; like, what I really wanna do tonight is turn on the TV and watch one of those crime or disaster shows, and see my neighbour have a heart attack or watch a bunch of white trash have an argument over who stole a gram of cocaine."
"I dont wanna deal with those awful tragedies, I wanna get away from it!"
"And if it isn't that, society has become so fuckin' serious: 'No smoking, no red meat, y'can't do this, y'can't do that'... fuck that! After 100 years of trying to get out of the Victorian era, here we are with that era's biggest critics bringing it back!"
"The censorship from the Left is as bad; it's people who feel they have the right to censor things. And there are no right reasons for censorship. The serious '90s - I abhor it."
Welcome to Sunrise On The Sufferbus, the new Masters of Reality album that takes you on a series of short, simple and wonderful journeys. Their deft flicks between fuzz-toned blues stomping and melodic beauty makes Sunrise a journey full of surprises.
"It's what I crave hearing," he explains bluntly. "When I turn on the radio there's been a tendency for a lot of pretension, political correctness and this emphasis towards 'meaning'."
"I don't wanna write about Uzis and condoms and President Clinton - it's everywhere! The 'street' is in your face all the time, and I kinda wanted to go into a dream more than reality."
"It was really nice to get this done - and I'm not patting myself on the shoulder, but here's some weird, nice shit, and take it as you will."
After the superb rhymes, riddles and depth of their debut LP, Sunrise sees MOR take an altogether more fantasy-based approach.
"I really wanted something more ethereal and less dark. The white sleeve, the white packaging, the white cover - they're all part of that. I hear the radio and all I know is I don't hear what I want to. I mean, darkness is really 'in'.
After Alice In Chains, things are all becoming pretty weird with heavy, dark songs; which is okay, but I like to swim upstream and get away from what everyone's doing."
Chris Goss, these days, is not a dark or angry person. You're probably going to find him at home with Cynthia, a bowl of stew and some reefer before the next protest march against whatever.
"I look around me and see the same world as everybody else does," he sighs. "But there's more. I just do not hear many songs that express the simple joy of, for example, looking into your girlfriend's eyes or smellin' yer mother's cookin'!"
"Everything now seems to be a 'meaning' or a message, and not everybody wants that, let alone feels that. For me, music is entertainment; something you listen to, enjoy and get away from things with."
"The lyrics are very simple, probably because my personal life has been very cool, very mellow."
"The first LP sounds uptight because it was; the band was at each other's throats and the recording process was unhappy. This album doesn't have any bitterness in it, and it really felt good to exercise some joy in the music."
One of the songs, 'T.U.S.A.', sees legendary drummer Ginger Baker get his old knickers in a twist over tea...
"Ginger just got pissed off not being able to get a decent cup of tea in America, so after all these years he decided to put it into a song. He says he's yet to find anyone who boils the water properly in the first place!"
Bless the old boy, he's not wrong either.
Of course it's taken long enough for tales of tea and the other tunes to see a release on an album. This is because label changes have become a way of life for Masters in the US, the band having moved from Def American to Delicious Vinyl to their current home with Chrysalis/EMI, Stateside.
"All I want is for people to have the same chance to decide whether to buy our album as anybody else's."
"If the powers that be put this LP in the public's face and they don't go for it, then I can face that - fine, that's one thing - but if it never gets the chance to be voted on, that's quite another matter. We're NOT just the musician's musicians!"
The band just did a video for the stompin' 'She Got Me', using the Jane's Addiction 'Been Caught Stealing' video's director, Casey Niccoli. In a further display of everything about the '90s Goss hates, MTV managed to find offence in a video that shows a Mexican couple engaging in comical argument.
"We had suggestions to do a video that was either a completely clichéd, 'women in mini-skirts video' -type thing, or that whole MTV abstract 'Jeremy' -type thing. Both ends of the cliché factor were put forward."
"I mean, this song is just a blues romp, a bar-burnin' type of thing, and I saw the video as being something that should be humorous, which is where Casey came in - the video she did for Jane's was just a lotta fun. I wanted that dreamy, funny vibe for ours. And it is a funny video, very funny, but what's funnier is that MTV still found something to censor."
"At one point in the video comes the sub-titled line 'The women, they love my monkey', and just before it was to be added to MTV, their people called us and said they had a problem with the use of the word 'monkey'!"
"My jaw just hit the fuckin' floor - all this other shit on MTV that's blasting out every second, and 'monkey' was too much!"
Monkeys in videos, cycling rabbits on white LP sleeves and a move from LA to trip-heavy Palm Springs... you can be certain that Masters of Reality will never be the same as anyone else.