Questions of Subversion – The Paranoid Style interrogation transcript
The following document has come into the possession of MPT via long term reader Jools, who describes himself as an Aussie ex-pat. The contents of this transcript are reproduced below without comment …
Subject: The Paranoid Style
Nature of threat: Subversive organisation posing as rock’n’roll band
Threat assessment: The Paranoid Style pose a clear and present danger to the morals and national loyalty of youth today. Appropriating a traditional method of rock’n’roll, their catchy ‘pop’ tunes are married to subversive lyrics and ideas which may gain wider currency through their packaging as youth ‘entertainment’.
Known associates: Timothy Bracy, Elizabeth Nelson (a.k.a. Elizabeth Bracy – the Agency believes that there is a possible sibling connection c.f. Stripes, White, The), Misra Records.
Extracts from interrogation dated: 2013/11/10
Who are the Paranoid Style? What’s the significance of the name?
10. While we’re limited as to the amount of detail that we’re allowed to go into, we can confirm that the Paranoid Style is a musical troupe versed in the popular forms, numbering in at least one and as many as several collaborative members. For reasons, which have nothing to do with our confidence in this publication and its author, we are not at liberty to expand upon the long term nature of our multi-point plan.
As to any polemics or political tracts that might share some commonality in their nomenclature, well this is purely coincidental, and on that matter we can offer no further comment. We do, for the record, like style.
Lyrics in rock’n’roll seem to be placed on a scale somewhere between meaning and coolness. What approach do the Paranoid Style take to their lyrics?
9. This question is probably best directed to our information minister, who suggests relevant topics and melodic themes for our eager audience to consume. The Paranoid Style reflects the stated urgencies of its constituency. Occasionally, they go further, but cannot elaborate upon that point. We do encourage everyone to read and enjoy the lyrics of The Paranoid Style! We think you will find them very edifying.
You have a record out called ‘The Purposes of Music In General’. What do you see as the purposes of music?
8. A perceptive question! Many operate under the ecstatic delusion that music should be purchased and consumed for the purposes of pleasure. In fact, nothing could be more wrong. Our goal is not for our releases to excite the popular audience but instead to invest them with a sensation of foreboding for a future they imagine will not occur, but which shall surely define their collective destiny. That isn’t to say we don’t accept satisfaction from the “hits” of the recent past – we are great fans of C+C Music Factory’s “Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm”.
How far is it your actual intent to subvert the form of popular music for your own political purposes?
7. You, as a Western Interviewer are the one who intuits these questions of subversion. Our hope is simply to tell the truth and then become irretrievably lost on some winding street in Bangkok.
A number of your tunes have appeared first with propaganda films on the internet – what is your thinking behind this?
6. First, thank you friend for this insightful question! It is comical to acknowledge the misunderstandings that language barriers afford us. In this instance, what you refer to as “proper” “gander” (?) films are actually informational teaching sessions for those with a special aptitude to join us on our walk through history. Of all of the newest and most modern technologies, the capacity to render a person or persons on film is the most exciting to our endeavor. There we see the truth in their actions and are not simply left to the whims of Western renderers of history like the Arthur Schlesinger Sr., Jr. or son.
You have the whole of rock’n’roll history to draw upon but you essentially draw on the long established template of guitars, bass, drums and keys – why?
While the reasons for your utter misapprehension are understandable to a layperson, you are quite wrong to assert that we had the “whole of rock ‘n’ roll history” to draw from. The truth is, those sponsoring our efforts were explicitly clear that only the years 1975-90 were to be referenced in any way, under penalty of project cancellation or worse. These are things we recognize as difficult to understand, but even when we suggested an allusion to “Here Come The Warm Jets”, the response in certain key quarters was fiery and threatening. That is not to dispute the fine judgment of those good people who have supported The Paranoid Style, but merely to put the lie to your silly notion of boundless freedoms.
You have been surprisingly frank about your ambitions. What are your immediate plans?
2. Why should it be a surprise that we’re being candid? Transparency has always been one of the paramount aims of our organization. Having said that, it’s not possible at this time to discuss any future itinerary – not because we don’t want to, but because those in the line of service that could be compromised if we do. Future bulletins will be issued at a time adjudged to be less tremulous with respect to the overall fraying of our social fabric. In the meantime, our songs are there to raise spirits, to march to, and to undergird sagging attitudes.
The leaking of this document may, or may not be, related to the release of ‘The Power of Our Proven System’ by the Paranoid Style on Misra Records 29th November 2013 . Whilst the E.P. is download only there is also a limited edition cassette compiling ‘The Power of Our Proven System’ and previous E.P. ‘The Purposes of Music In General’. If you hear a better 10 songs in the one place anywhere else this year, I want to know!
One of the ‘propaganda’ films relating to the new E.P.: