Graeme Philliskirk and Hugo MudiePaper + Plastick Records
By Dustin Blumhagen on Jan. 30th, 2016 at E-mail
Several years in the making, Medictation are a unique Trans-Atlantic project born from the ashes of Montreal’s The Sainte Catherines and Sunderland’s Leatherface. While both projects were laid to rest in 2012, the seeds of this musical combination began to sprout. Now, just over three years later, the fruits of that labour is finally available for general consumption through the fine folks at Paper + Plastick Records in the form of Warm Places.
We had a quick little conversation with Graeme Philliskirk and Hugo Mudie to discuss how this odd-ball collection of musicians formed Medictation.
Medictation are formed from members of Leatherface and The Sainte Catherines. For those who are unfamiliar, how did the members initially meet?
Graeme –We had just recorded, “The Stormy Petrel” and I was inundated with people wanting us to play and tour the album.
Our mutual friend John Di Marco put us in touch. I was well aware of Mr Mudie’s, past, so we were very comfortable in wanting to progress in talks about putting a Canadian tour together!
Hugo –We both worked together to put the tour on, I asked if “Yesterdays Ring”, my band, could do the tour also, Leatherface were more than happy to do this. We were stoked!
The two bands formed at different times in the punk scene. Was there an adjustment period when the members first got together? Was there a clear direction for the new band from the start or did it take some time to mesh styles together?
Graeme – There were no ego’s, no demands, nothing like that at all, we really had no idea what we wanted or any direction, other than, being driven by the excitement of making this work and doing our best, I mean when I sat and thought about when we first agreed to try this, I don’t think any of us actually thought it will happen; but it did. Hahaha.
Hugo –Yeah, it was a crazy idea, we just all got on with it and it turned out the way it did! It was exciting, we just wanted to make sure we did our best and things just fell into place.
Graeme –It did help that Dickie had some ideas to throw on the table, that he wanted to do, so it got us off to a quick start, this really helped.
Was the decision to form Medictation brewing before the break up of both bands or was it a spontaneous decision once members had more free time?
Hugo –We had originally released a split 7” for the Canadian / US tour and that was the foundation of the whole idea. When we talked during the tour we just thought could we do another or even a split 12”, just ideas being thrown around.
Graeme –We had no idea that at that time, both bands would split, giving us the opportunity to take it to another level. Hugo and I had kept in touch and then when we found ourselves both in the same place, no band, free time, we decided to try and put something together.
That’s when MEDICTATION, happened!
Is it a challenge being in a band with members on different sides of the ocean? Do you identify as a Canadian/UK/global band? Is scheduling tours more difficult with the distance?
Graeme –I think Hugo, misses having his hot water bottle put into bed for him, hahaha, only joking!
It would be nice to meet up, have a beer, a chat about things but the one thing for me is that both Fred and Hugo communicate, so it makes things go a lot easier, that’s a good thing.
Hugo – Hahaha, yeah, I miss my warm bottle in bed, hehe! It’s funny since we’ve done the record, we hear words like “Global”, etc being used but I don’t think we look at it like that, do we?
Graeme – Nope, ha! It’s more like a bunch of mates being lucky enough to have done this! I was asked the other day could you have done this 15 or 20 years ago and the answer was, NO! Technology has come a long way and really helped us achieve what we wanted to do.
Hugo Mudie is well known in the Canadian scene and involved in many different projects. How do you/does he find time to add in another creative endeavour?
Graeme – Please don’t believe the hype of Mr Mudie, he sits around watching Hockey all day having beers. Hahaha
He has a mic and a note pad in his back pocket, walks in, does his bit then goes back to watching Hockey. Hahaha
No seriously, I don’t think we would have done this if the time weren’t right for us. Also I have a lot of respect for Hugo and Fred; they are driven, get things done and above all else, they are great people and good friends.
We had a great time doing this, it was comfortable, enjoyable and we all supported each other!
Hugo –I have to say Graeme is the same, he works hard to make things happen and he really drove this project. He never stopped, not only did most of the songs get put together in the UK, he was setting up his studio while doing this and arranging the ideas, that’s some work!
How did the passing of Dickie Hammond affect the release of this album? Were there legal challenges?
Hugo – I know things weren’t looking good at various stages with his battle, but it was a massive shock to us all, when the news came through.
Graeme – Both Hugo and I had just had a meeting with Vinnie Fiorello, in Gainesville, about the release. Then the following day I had to go back, meet up with Vinnie and tell him the news. So we put the record back, we had to speak to his Mum and eldest son Jo to make sure they were happy with the release to go ahead. They were more than happy, this was his life, and it’s what he did.
How long has the music been sitting ready for release?
Hugo –It had been practically one year from the date it was recorded to the time Dickie passed away.
Graeme – We then had to get it mastered so that was around 9 months and we got on with artwork following this.
Are the remaining members going to be touring in support of the release? Are there plans to write and record together in future or is this intended more as a one-time celebration of Dickie’s final recordings?
Graeme – We agreed to talk further after the release of the record about all of these points, but I think we all agree something will happen in some shape or form.
Hugo – It’s been kind of strange since Dickie passed away for us to think that far ahead. There’s a lot to think about to actually play and tour but we have already touched on some things we want to do, if we can, so let’s see?
Graeme – Yeah, let’s see, Amigo?