M-WEB: This is an Arno Carstens album, yet also features the New Porn "super-group" line-up of Brendan Jury and Albert Frost. Explain?ALBERT: Well, we basically formed a band that's called New Porn. So, it's a project name. But this first album is mostly all Arno's stuff. And it just made sense, because the name carries further than New Porn. ARNO: Yeah - you're not going to get onto regional radio with a name like New Porn. After the Nude Girls I first wanted to start a band called Skullf**kers. I f**king loved the name, but you can't do it. Not with RSG and those guys ... so it just makes more sense to go with "Arno Carstens" and then you explain what the project is, you know? And of course, you can hear, it comes after the Nude Girls.
M-WEB: Are you worried about being compared to the Nude Girls?ALBERT: We expected that, it's an obvious thing that's going to happen. So f**k it!ARNO: I really don't have a clue. I don't care.
M-WEB: Surprisingly, Another Universe actually sounds nothing like the Nude Girls - ARNO: Well, Albert sounds much different to Theo.ALBERT: It's a much more acoustic album, there are not that many hard songs on it. ARNO: Nude Girls was very much about projection. Like "Waaaaai - yeeeah!" Everything I used to write I'd give to Theo and it would be like (sings softly) "Every spring and magic is tomorrow" and then (shrieks) "Every spring and magic is tomorrow!" It was just projection. With these songs I sing it exactly the same on the album as I do with acoustic guitar. It's exactly how I wrote it, in the same mellow vibe -ALBERT: it's more "songs".ARNO: With the Nude Girls it used to be like you listen to two songs and then go, "ag God go forward!" And that's irritating actually. But, you can put this on and listen to the whole album.There were times with the Nude Girls when I've gone "I can't listen to that because it's not, it's fucking off key!" it's terrible. But on this one, it's the best vocal performance I've done. ALBERT: And it's by far the best stuff I've ever done. And the most fun we've had with it!
M-WEB: Sounds like you tried to make a "timeless" album?ALBERT: Exactly, we'd like to think that people would want to listen to it in 10 years and still go, "wow"!ARNO: I like classic rock, hey? There are songs that you'll like forever. And that's the kind of stuff I like to try and write. I mean I love "Woman" - that's my favourite song off the album, it's really fucking cool. It's got a classic rock sound, there's something about it. And then every song's a little bit different. "Another Universe" is also very beautiful. You know, we went into the studio and we said, look what we want to do is something between Pink Floyd, Radiohead and say Rumours from Fleetwood Mac.
M-WEB: Are you concerned that such a "mature" sound will lose a potential young audience?ALBERT: We're not really worried about that kind of thing. It's not aimed at your 14 to 18 year old market. It's a much bigger market, basically 20 to 40 you know what I mean?ARNO: Well, I've only been played ever on Radio 5! Now we've got RSG, Highveld - it's much bigger, I mean at the live shows we check out that the older people really fucking enjoy it! ALBERT: And there are younger people that do enjoy it - ARNO: Yes, the girls dig him, you know! (Laughs) My youth has faded - oh, no more! But it's cool. Oh and the girls flash their tits at Brendan Jury all the time!
M-WEB: What's more important - making the music or making the money?ALBERT: It's not a quick buck situation. And that's kind of cool because it comes through in the music. The priority is the song, not the image we're trying to create. It's not a dated sound that we've created, it's all very guitar-driven, but it's still fresh. ARNO (Laughs): No, it's absolutely a labour of love you know what I mean? If people only knew this is definitely not about the money and the fame. That stuff doesn't exist. Time has gone by and a lot has changed. Hanging out with everybody at Oppikoppi this year with the guys from Battery 9 and Paul Flynn (from Sugardrive), everybody's grown up. It's not a thing of "oh, I want to be this successful..." Bullshit! You know? Man, rock 'n roll is about attitude and it's lovely to grow into and explore it... it comes. It comes to you!
With the release of his much anticipated debut solo CD Another Universe, late 90s Springbok Nude Girl pin-up turned "Mansmens" TV show host and part-time model Arno Carstens is back in the musical spotlight. We caught up with the iconic South African singer and his fellow New Porn collaborator, guitarist Albert Frost and found the duo rhapsodising over what may just be "the greatest album that no one's ever heard".
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