The Other Two interviewed by Bob
Gourley in 1994 © Chaos
With New Order's Bernard Sumner in Electronic and Peter Hook in Revenge, it
was only natural for Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris to also do a side
project. Released under the name The Other Two, their "The Other Two and
You" album is probably the strongest of all the New Order side projects.
Unfortunately, the collapse of Factory Records, the loss of the cover art and
other unforeseen delays made it come out two years late.
Now, the album has finally been released by Warner Bros., and the group feels
relieved to finally get it out.
"It was like, 'for god's sake, let's get this thing out so that we can get
on to some new stuff,'" says Morris. "In the intervening two years,
we'd gotten nearly enough stuff to do another album. It was really a matter of
'please, when can we get it out.'"
With Hook and Sumner off on their other projects, Gilbert and Morris had spent
their time creating soundtrack music for television. Most of it was for British
programs, though they did re-work some music for "America's Most
Wanted" as a favor to a director they knew. The soundtrack work led them to
start up The Other Two.
"We were quite happy doing that [soundtrack work], but like anything,
really, you get a bit fed up with it and it's not really an ends in itself
because nobody buys the record, we're on TV for like 30 seconds for
something," says Morris. "So we thought we've got all this stuff we'd
written for television, let's turn it into an album. But we didn't sit down and
say 'let's write an album."
The first Other Two single, "Tasty Fish," came out in Europe in 1991
and was the band's only release until the album came out in Britain just before
Christmas. The album had been previously scheduled for release twice, most
recently in early 1993.
Within the band, Morris handles the computers and programming, as he says that
"Gillian has the innate ability to make any computer running a sequence
program crash, it's uncanny." Gilbert comes up with ideas on a four-track
set up and then the two get together to fit the pieces together.
The Other Two have been recording in their home studio with Morris doing most of
the engineering, though in the future they hope to work in outside studios with
others behind the board. Gilbert says that this will give them more time to work
together and focus in on the music itself. But keeping things simple has come as
a relief to the band after spending so much time working within New Order.
"In New Order, there's four people so everything's got to be a
compromise," says Morris."Bernard writes his own vocal lines and quite
a lot of the music, so really you're waiting for him most of time. What is kind
of a fun thing about the Other Two is that it's just us two. With New Order you
go on tour and there's hundreds of people involved with it and little simple
things seem to get unnecessarily complicated."
When they started working on the Other Two material, they had intended to bring
in someone else for vocals. The duo couldn't figure out what type of singer they
wanted and found themselves with a bunch of completed tracks in need of vocals,
so Gilbert decided to fill take on the task herself.
"I never wanted to be a singer, it was just purely by accident,
really," she says. "Stephen Hague had encouraged me to take singing
lessons, but I don't think I've ever sung in front of any more than two people!
It's going to be a bit strange. When we did the New Order tour, I thought 'god,
I could never do what Bernard was doing.' So I don't know what gigging will be
Gillian and Morris have been writing material all along and would ideally like
to have another album out within the year. The group is at the stage now to
start adding lyrics to the new material, but the delay in the release of
"The Other Two And You" has been holding them back.
"It's hard writing anything new, because we just wanted to see how well
this one would do and how people like it," says Gilbert. "It keeps you
going to have feedback from other people, so we can't really get it out of the
way until it's been out. When it's been out and we've got some singles off of it
we can get back into the other lot."
Gilbert and Morris have yet to play out as The Other Two but they hope to do so
this year. While Gilbert is nervous about singing live, the group is eager to
perform some of the new material. Nothing is firm yet, but the group has started
thinking about how they will present themselves live.
"It's really a bit difficult deciding how to do it, whether you should have
a band or just be two people," says Morris. "I'd like to do it a bit
different, with oil lamps and computer projection, something visually
Reprinted with permission from the author
© 1994 Bob Gourley