Third segment of the interview, once all four have been posted the entire interview will be published at the Susan Lawly site.
Judith Howard: There's talk of other projects for you and Philip Best this year?
WB: Philip is also working on some new Consumer Electronics work (in addition to the Nobody's Ugly vinyl coming out on No Fun next month). As far as I'm concerned, it's really going to be an exceptionally busy year: in addition to finalising Racket and preparing each edition of the Whitehouse Vinyl Series Collection, there's another very exciting new musical project that I'm involved with getting ready to roll out starting this summer.
JH: You're being rather coy...
WB: (laughs) All will be revealed in due course I promise! In fact it's anticipated for there to be at least 3 volumes of this new project this year and it's something I've been building up to doing for a long time.
JH: Something I wanted to ask you about is a controversy I've noticed that has arisen in recent years regarding your pretty hard attitudes to bootlegs and piracy. Perhaps you could clarify where you stand on the issue?
WB: Essentially, regardless of what is said, for me this issue is not one of finance or even copyright ownership so much as one of artistic autonomy. We're not part of some big powerful capitalist partnership label, it's just a small operation and it's why it's so imperative that everything is done through Susan Lawly - rather than accepting all the kind offers that are often made to us. It's the only way to make sure the material is of a consistently high standard and represented as it was intended by ourselves. There really aren't many labels or artists who can exercise that degree of integrity, and I tend to think most people totally appreciate that. Seeing those horrendously poor quality Heemann pirates punted around used to really upset me for this very reason, and it's not like they were ever for any other reason than to make a quick unseemly buck. I've been told that Ron Lessard gets all snotty about this, and he's entitled to his opinion, if he wants to encourage people to bootleg stuff then that's his business, but it's definitely not my style - I passionately believe in what we do and I want it to come out exactly the way it's intended by us, and for people to know that's exactly what they're getting with any Susan Lawly item.
JH: OK, that makes sense. Will Whitehouse albums be available for legal downloads? I noticed even Nurse With Wound and similar going down that path.
WB: There are no plans for that at present because I still believe in the artistic and kinesthetic value of a real item - the artwork, the presentation, the lyrics, the vinyl or disc itself, to me they all form part of the experience. I think this is one of the main reasons why vinyl is so stubbornly refusing to disappear, it still is the best way to experience music, as opposed to merely listen to music.
JH: Do you still listen to music on vinyl?
WB: Absolutely! And that is the principle motive for initiating the Vinyl Series Collection, something I'm really excited about on a personal level. In fact, I'm going use this excuse to treat myself to a shiny new deck.
(to be continued)