Art Shapes on line chat

March 15, 2000
artshapes_dotcom: The phone is ringing….. and ringing…..
We have Gavin Friday with us. Thank you for staying up late tonight for us, Gavin. What were you up to earlier in the evening?

Gavin Friday: I was in the studio writing and recording scores for an RTE musical under the title of Emerald Germs by Pat McCabe. Myself and Maurice are working on it, writing and recording. Next month the actors are recorded. It will be mixed in May and broadcast in mid summer for 9-10 weeks

carolinevonb asks: Does Pat McCabe have a musical say in what you are recording for his radio plays right now?

Gavin Friday: well he’s thrown the ball in our court. He worked with us for a day last month and gave us artistic direction. At the end of the month he is coming up for a couple of days.
steven_q_peterpicker asks: Gavin what do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
Gavin Friday: surviving a Christian brother education!
nico_popflier asks: Gavin, have you found a new record company yet and if so is there a speculation on when a release may be anticipated?
Gavin Friday: no, myself and Mauricio are labelless and happily so. We’ve done one off deals with MCA. I don’t know if recording Emerald Germs will see the light of day and we’ll end up with a label. At the moment we are our own men.
daniela_10967 asks: Will you go on tour again in the near future?
Gavin Friday: I don’t know. We have played some shows last year. The Harry Smith project we played last November in London and also in NY. In July its happening on the US west coast possibly San Fran and then on to Japan.:We may do some acoustic shows around Ireland last summer just for the fuck of it.
funjake222 asks: Do you still have time to paint and draw? Do you sell your artwork through any galleries (or other sources) ? If so, where?
Gavin Friday: I did once. I did an exhibition in 87-88. It was post breakup of the Virgin Prunes. I have painted always for myself and friends but not really for galleries.

artshapes_dotcom: What type of painting?

Gavin Friday: I couldn’t describe it over the Internet. It’s abstract. I did a series of paintings for the people I love. Most of my friends have received a “99”. I call it the ‘cone’ series.
Steven_q_peterpicker asks: What is your favorite musician other than yourself?
Gavin Friday: Maurice Seezer of course.
queenpuck asks: Gavin, it’s well known that you have been friends with Paul Hewson / Bono since ye were teenagers, does it bother you that he is so much more famous, or do you prefer it that way? And by the way, do you ever use your “given” name now?
Gavin Friday: Well first of all it doesn’t bother me at all that Bono is more famous than me. I know him longer as a famous person so I’d be very fucked up if I hadn’t gotten over it now. It means he pays for the pints. Fionan Hanvey is the real name. My mum and dad and brothers call me that but most people call me ‘Gav’ and ‘Gavin’.
foadlarry asks: Gav what are you doing tomorrow night? Where’s the craic?
Gavin Friday: Well, Paddy night I’ll be hiding. I couldn’t go out. Too much riffraff. So you should stay at home
ultravioletfra asks: WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU TO BE IRISH?
Gavin Friday: It means a lot Maybe I’ll answer in Gaelic, O Eireann mo chroi

Steven_q_peterpicker asks: Who/what got you started into the music business?

Gavin Friday: I didn’t know I was getting into it. When I was seventeen I formed a band as I was a fucked up angry man and wanted to express myself. I didn’t know it was a business. That was the Virgin Prunes. I landed here by accident rather than a business.
? asks: What kind of music do you play?
Gavin Friday: Maurice is beside me here so I’m asking. Maurice has no idea! A-Z and back again.
ultravioletfra asks: Where do you find “Inspiration”?
Gavin Friday: through people, the good the bad and the ugly things in life
roses_r_roses asks: Now that you’re 40, what’s different?
Gavin Friday: I am 40. Just turned. (ed. A lot of this answer went missing)
funjake222 ask: What are you reading? (this is Boston Sue by the way)
Gavin Friday: Hey Sue. How the Jacobsen? I am currently reading a book called the little hammer by John kelly. I’m half way through it. he’s a DJ/TV presenter. I haven’t made my mind up on it yet. We are a bit immersed in the Emerald Germs so we are eating and shitting the scripts.
funjake222 asks: Will the radio plays be available in the U.S.? Will it be played on the radio here?
Gavin Friday: It will the played in Ireland. Definitely. There is talk of English companies broadcasting it in Britain later in the year. Where and when I cannot say but I definitely see it as having a life outside of Ireland.
lynshorte_2000 asks: You played Orlando, Fla. a couple of years ago on St. Patrick’s Day. Brilliant show! Any chances of coming back here to perform another show?
Gavin Friday: Brilliant poster!! I still have it. Its one of my favourite posters of all time. It had a 21st century cabaret artist with a picture of a drunk shamrock with bubbles and shamrocks hanging out of his mouth. If you get rid of Disneyland we’ll think about it.
Zorro_Chapin asks: Gavin, what can you tell us about singing in “IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER?”
Gavin Friday: I can tell you a lot. The work of In the Name of the Father was a very tense and quick process. Most of it was written produced and stuck on in a week. It was very intense because the movie was so politically impassioned. It was the first time I worked with Jim Sheridan so it was one of our best musical experiences in the studio. I think it stands out as one of our best.
funjake222 asks: My son wants to know, what is your favorite song from Each Man Kills… (my little Gavin’s favorite song is “Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves” and he wants you to know that… from your 8 year old fan Gavin McC.
Gavin Friday: 8 years old, wow I’d like to talk to you when you are 18! My favourite is Another Blow in the Bruise.
bemeana asks: now that bono has gotten into film, do you see someday taking on a film project together?
Gavin Friday: together as in me and Bono? I don’t know I’ve never thought of it. Me act and he direct – I’ve never thought of it. Any time we have collaborated it has not been too planned or thought out.
foadlarry asks: Are you going to be doing any more modeling in the near future?
Gavin Friday: no not really. I just do that for charity now and then. I don’t think my crotch could handle it.
mucusgirl asks: Where is your favorite place to get a drink?
Gavin Friday: My favourite drink is in places with the company of friends.
Celtic___Tiger asks: What’s your favourite Dublin gigging venue?
Gavin Friday: I have never played it but I love Vicar Street.
carolinevonb asks: Cathal’s playing Vicar street in April, wanna go?
Gavin Friday: Is that Mr. Coughlan speaking himself? …
How’s your tits, Cazza? If its Cathal Coughlan we’ll be there.
kambe_gorot asks: Will you one day become the Irish Tom Waits?
Gavin Friday: No, I will become the Irish Gavin Friday.
kirel23 asks: happy birthday
Gavin Friday: You’re a bit late.
naughty_nips asks: Where in Ireland are you from?
Gavin Friday: Dublin, Northside. Yes I still live in the Northside, happily.
artshapes_dotcom: Has it changed much these past few years?
Gavin Friday: yes, as has all of Dublin, as has all of Ireland. Some ways for the best, some ways I don’t know yet.

kambe_gorot asks: Did you record for Hal Willner’s Harry Smith Project?

Gavin Friday: We did but as I said earlier we did 3 shows last year and probably 2 this year and they are all being recorded for live use – CD, DVD. But they’re live recordings. Do you want to know the songs? “When that great ship goes down” and “Fatal flower garden”.
Adriana_u2 asks: Did you know that you’re well known in some places like ‘Uruguay’??!! What does this make you feel?
Gavin Friday: Makes me feel exotic.
ultravioletfra asks: You’re not very famous here in Italy. Why don’t you advertise your works?
Gavin Friday: says who? Como stai, encore, encore Mussolini.
foadlarry asks: Did you enjoy dressing up for the fashion awards at the point last month? You should do it more often cos you have the walk.
Gavin Friday: We were just having a laugh. The lads just go a bit drunk in the back dressing room. I was taking the mickey – literally.

Celtic___Tiger asks: What’s the best advice you can give to a band entering the Irish music scene?

Gavin Friday: Give up! Find out the hard way, fuck off.

nico_popflier asks: My girlfriend who’s a DJ says “thank you for the flawless remixes…they get excellent compliments at her club”

Gavin Friday: what club?
Celtic___Tiger asks: Do you think the commitments done much for music on the northside?
Gavin Friday: Absolutely not. Its go nothing to do with the Northside or music.
imonzootv asks: What’s in your CD player at the moment?
Gavin Friday: The single by Fiona Apple “Fast as you can”. Other than that we’ve been listening to demented Irish music for Emerald Germs, like Foster and Allen – can you imagine that kind of mind fuck. It makes Daniel O’Donnel sound hard core.
? asks: How was Adam Clayton’s birthday party?
Gavin Friday: It was a very emotional event.
artshapes_dotcom asks: What happened?
Gavin Friday: none of your business.


Gavin Friday: No its Mother Bernadette incarnate. Its just poetic license.
mucusgirl asks: Who is your favorite character in Alice in Wonderland?
Gavin Friday: It has to be the madhatter. I love the madhatter.
bemeana asks: do you enjoy working with film?
Gavin Friday: Yes very much so. I have spent a lot of time over the past few years.
artshapes_dotcom: Would you like to direct?
Gavin Friday: Its not on my hit list. I am happy enough working in the context I am in which is score but maybe… I get worried about musicians who think they can do a lot. Stick to what you know you can do.
bradley_g_01 asks: did you ever play glycerin in the rain at spring break on MTV?
Gavin Friday: no, what drugs are you on?
kambe_gorot asks: I saw you at Crossing Border. Fab! Come back. OK?
Gavin Friday: which crossing border? We did one in 94 and the next one in 96. The first was great and second one was shite. Maybe.
funjake222 asks: Since Maurice is there, what is he reading?
Gavin Friday: At the moment live in the studio he is reading Sound on Sound, a music wank magazine. But the book he is reading is called Links in Heaven – Golf Journeys in Ireland. Maurice: ‘I simply could not put back this marvelous book that simply captures the spirit of Irish gold. The other book I’m reading is the Portable Curmudgeon.
foadlarry asks: what’s the last gig you went to?
Gavin Friday: I went to a gig last week that was brilliant. It was Randy Newman – him and a piano for three hours live. And it was brilliant and inspiring.
queenpuck asks: Some years ago one-hit-wonder Maria McKee started hanging out with you and your friends in Dublin, and we never heard of her again… now I hear that actress Anna Friel is hanging out with ye…is this the end for her too? Are these foreign girls not able for the Northside Dublin lifestyle or what? And where can I find out where the action is?
Gavin Friday: Maria McKee is alive and well and living in LA. She just got married and we went to her wedding. Anna Friel is gone to Mars. Don’t be so forward, men don’t find it very attractive.
roses_r_roses asks: If the music quits flowing, then what?
Gavin Friday: I don’t play anything but I can see myself making music for the rest of my life. I see myself singing when I am 70 or 80 if I live that long. Paint probably but it doesn’t seem to be a problem. Enrico Caruso said “The thinga about the singing it is alike the shitting only the other way arounda”
Zorro_Chapin asks: How was your last painting exhibition in Dublin?
Gavin Friday: It was a good 12 years ago. It was successful . I made more money than 8 years with the Virgin Prunes Gavin Friday: It was a little naive and I’ve become much better.
foadlarry asks: Do you ever want children?
Gavin Friday: Maybe. I have a lot of godchildren.
Adriana_u2 asks: Do you collect anything?
Gavin Friday: Yes religious icons. I also collect paintings. I like art. I collect a lot of shit – perverted toys, paintings and religious icons.
funjake222 asks: Haven’t you also designed some clothes?
Gavin Friday: I have done but I did that for charity. I did a lot. With Virgin Prunes we wore our own. I designed hats with Philip Treacey for War child – A Bosnian fund – rebuilding a university for kids. Various musicians worked with clothes designers. The title of the hats were Cock in Cognito – the ladies one and Vag in Cognita – the mens one.
one_u2_girl asks: Gavin how much input did you have on u2’s last album
Gavin Friday: POP? I don’t know – its not really input. I call in on sessions and give my opinions. I say what I think – we’re mates and I say what I think. I always have – don’t believe credits, they’re a load of bollicks.
kambe_gorot asks: Don’t you think another Dutch concert is well over due?
Gavin Friday Absolutely. Very fond of the Dutch audience. The Dutch have been more loyal to me than the Irish.
Celtic___Tiger asks: What’s the next gig you’re going to?
Gavin Friday: I don’t know. The Charlie Mingus – jazz group, they are playing so I might go to that. I might check out Macy Gray or I mightn’t. If Cathal Coughlan is playing I’ll definitely go to that.

kambe_gorot asks: Why is most Irish music so sad?

Gavin Friday: Did you ever check out the weather here? It’s probably go tot do with the fact that we were tortured by the British for 700 years.
gdlokin98 asks: Did you enjoy singing with the Virgin Prunes?
Gavin Friday: It was more like, fucking raw live. It was a raw nerve vomiting and loving every minute of it.
kambe_gorot asks: Where the Prunes the Irish Pistols?
Gavin Friday: I don’t think they were but they came close. The radicalness yes but I actually think we were better. The pistols were a rock n’ roll band but we were more complex.
diabhalspacey asks: Gavin – Oasis or Radiohead?
Gavin Friday: Radiohead, definitely, yes.
nico_popflier asks: Why is it when your in a record store in Dublin no one seems to know anything about you or your music? I have found this to be a problem in locating past material of yours.
Gavin Friday: Just blame fucking the Corrs, I don’t know. Only buy in Tower.
u2twins asks: If you could pick one song to sum your life up, what would you pick?
Gavin Friday: That a mad question. There is amazing song ‘Is that all there’ is sung by Peggy Lee and written by Leiber/Stoller.
mucusgirl asks: Where did the name “Virgin Prunes” come from?
Gavin Friday: Myself and Guggi when we were young, at the back end of Cedars where we lived, there was a mental hospital for young people. And that’s where it came from.

foadlarry asks: do you think Guggi needs a hair cut?

Gavin Friday: No we all gave up on him 20 years ago. He hasn’t cut his hair in 21 years. He’s Irelands 21st century Willie Nelson.
mgrebes asks: What do you find attractive, then?
Gavin Friday: I don’t know, its a magic thing. A beautiful mind. As regards the horn, come back tomorrow.
_GONE asks: Is there any chance of you playing somewhere in Eastern Europe this year or the next?
Gavin Friday: This year I don’t know, next hopefully. The closest we ever played was Yugoslavia. We played Lubljana. I was blown out by the audience and the whole vibe. I would love it.
bemeana asks: What do you think of Berlin?
Gavin Friday: I knew it very well in the 80s. The Virgin Prunes live there for a couple of months in the 80s. Then it changed so much. I was there recently for a premiere. It’s so clean. It looks like they Hoover it every hour. It was a different place in the 80 – it was a no go area you had to go through the corridor to get there. Yes, it was gut, wunderbar, scheisse.
wandervogel73 asks: hello Gavin !! , (please can you forget my English ? I’m from Argentina ) – if you make a world tour , can you include sudamerica (specially my country) ?
Gavin Friday: we’d love to Gavin Friday: Brazil, Argentina, Cuba the whole lot. I would go there quicker than Orlando.
vildan1971 asks: Mr. Pussy…When will you return to Vancouver,BC , Canada… Sincerely Your Vancouver Angels.
Gavin Friday: Wow that was a good show. Mr Pussy isn’t me, it was a character we played. We’ll be back, Canada is great to us it is like Amsterdam is to Europe to us. We don’t forget those who love us and we’ll be back.
queenpuck asks: You said on Irish television recently that the first song you performed “live” (at a family gathering) was Dana’s Eurovision winner “All kinds of everything”, where you a right show off as a child? And is this necessary to become a good live performer?
Gavin Friday: actually I was the opposite. I was very shy. I was asked to sing at my Auntie Nans wedding. I think you have to be quite shy and reserved as a kid to be a singer.
birdwelle asks: Are you disappointed that no one has really taken up the Virgin Prune banner…the heavy performance art/music pathos.
Gavin Friday: No. They are like very good wine – only 20 years only and still more potent than most Irish drivel that came out in the last 20 years.

imonzootv asks: Have you recorded anything for yourself recently, or have you been working solely on the radio plays?

Gavin Friday: No we’ve been working, constantly writing and recording our own stuff. A bit of everything.
funjake222 asks: Any chance that your cafe/restaurant will be resurrected?
Gavin Friday: I doubt it. Mr Pussy was a little ahead of its time. I don’t think Dublin was ready for it at the time. It had a great buzz for a year but that was it and it does not need to be repeated.
one_u2_girl asks: Please Gavin can you make it to Paris,Texas??
Gavin Friday: Yeh, we’d go there but I don’t know when and where.
one_u2_girl asks: Ok gavin i can see your answers now…tell me.. What do you think about the big ABC show on the “pop” tour about 3 years ago? Did bono like it?
Gavin Friday: Crap. It was terrible.
roses_r_roses asks: What do you love or hate about your fans?
Gavin Friday: I don’t know half of them so I how can I love or hate them? I don’t love or hate anything.
queenpuck asks: Many people (including myself) thought that you should have won an Oscar for the music from “In the name of the Father” do you think the reasons why ye didn’t win were musical or nonmusical i.e. political etc.?
Gavin Friday: Probably political but not political because of the Irishness in the movie but Hollywood does not tend to like rock singers in score. Its more to do with musical political snobbery than anything else.
mgrebes asks: How many cigarettes have smoked by now?
Gavin Friday: Just one since the interview as we have no ciggies. Maurice had a cigar that he broke up and rolled. We’re having it with a brandy!
funjake222 asks: One more question from Boston Sue (and Gavin Mcc, who now has to go for his bath and to sleep, he is only 8 after all): Gavin wants to know what you do for fun?
Gavin Friday: The last fun thing I did, I took Moses, my God child, to the Tae Kwondo championship in Ireland.

bemeana asks: What do you think of Blixa Bargeld or Einsturzende Neubauten? Have you heard of him/them?

Gavin Friday: yes absolutely I think they are one of the greatest German bands of the last 20 years. He is a great guitarist and plays with Nick Cave – a fine singsong band. They do a great cabaret turn.Blixa bigtime.
diabhalspacey asks: Al Pacino or Robert De Niro? (I like these questions )
Gavin Friday: De Niro
vildan1971 asks: Who sleeps next to you when you turn out the lights?
Gavin Friday: At the moment, Mr. Pussy.
mucusgirl asks: Do you find the sincerity and lack of irony in American culture limits your career there?
Gavin Friday: No, I think it limits their entertainment.
imonzootv asks: You’re clearly a film patron from your soundtrack work… what’s your favorite movie?
Gavin Friday: Its a tough one. One of my favourite movies is “The night of the Hunter” from the 50s.
goddesspt2 asks: Do you spend much time on the computer?
Gavin Friday: No.
roses_r_roses asks: At times like this, do you ever feel like a tourist attraction?
Gavin Friday: No, but I contemplate doing a shite.
Adriana_u2 asks: Do you have any regret?
Gavin Friday: Yes, I think this no regret thing is a load of bollocks. I have a few regrets.
sebclay asks: Will there ever be a Prunes revival Gavin? And if not, why not?
Gavin Friday: well the revival has nothing to do with us, we have the rights. Guggi said the only time we should revive is when we are in our 70s. Come back in 35 years and I’ll answer the question.
bemeana asks: Is your music our entertainment or your entertainment?
Gavin Friday: Its not entertainment.
kambe_gorot asks: When did you last wear a dress?
Gavin Friday: You know I think it was actually in the early 80s when we hung up the dresses and mine was also hung up – hung up – I’ve give up since the prunes.
carolinevonb asks: can we talk to Maurice for a bit?
Gavin Friday: Absolutely.
artshapes_dotcom: We want to thank Gavin for being with us tonight. We really appreciated you staying up late for this chat. Thank you everyone for your questions. Tonight’s chat was brought to you by
( would like to apologise for the state of the transcript of this interview which was done by ArtShapes. We tried to correct things where we could, but according to Gavin it’s still not even close to what he said.)
reproduced by kind permission, G. Power/Art Shapes