SPB: There are all kinds of anniversary album/compilations out there. How did you choose this approach to celebration the milestone?
Martin: I didn't really see the milestone coming. Maybe it's because the date of that first Eno recording is an odd year - 1981. It wasn't until I got assaulted outside the studio, and bandmate Oliver Drew wanted to do a crowdfund for my expenses, that I added up the years and realized there was something there. Oliver had proposed we do a "recording of the century," where a crowd of us would make a hellish racket that wouldn't be "good" but would "sound great."
We ended up tweaking that concept, but the core of it being focused on individual members of bands, as opposed to proper bands remained, as a collective spirit. And Genevieve Fernworthy and I went through the long process of allocating people with each other wherever they didn't self-select – JG Thirlwell and Dana Schechter (Insect Ark) chose each other, for instance. Even exceptions to the 'no band' rule didn't start out that way. I suggested to Dave W and Ego of White Hills that they do something different, not like their normal band, and not called that. But then it was obvious that it was still White Hills, Dave just has his way of playing. And with New Old Skull, Rich Hutchins told me he'd like to do something with Marnie Greenholz. I later realized, "holy shit we got a Live Skull reunion here!"
So I think the large group of people, all spontaneously doing things with other people who have this space in common, is what's different from other anniversary comps – and we're not even done. There's a Volume 2 coming because so much was recorded – a whole weekend's worth. We had to break it in two. And there'll be a BC40, BC50 – Maybe BC100!"
Photo by Joan Hacker