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Time has focused Gary Asquith. Renegade Soundwave eventually broke up and Gary Asquith disappeared from the public spotlight. In the new millennium, Gary Asquith formed The Lavender Pill Mob with Kevin Mooney (from Adam And The Ants). Asquith's creativity has pushed into the realm of business and creative control. Asquith created Le Coq Musique, an independent label to create and/or release music without limitations. The debut self-titled album by The Lavender Pill Mob was a low key affair but featured (or used) performances by Rammellzee, Mick Allen (of The Wolfgang Press), and others. Their 2006 sophomore album, 'Mikes Bikes' is a mind-blowing treat featuring punk rock music fused with hip-hop and indie pop. Adam Ant contributes lead vocals to 'Black Pirates'.
Gary Asquith has earned a sense of peace with The Lavender Pill Mob and his label, Le Coq Musique. With complete creative control, he has the resources and power to craft his art and help others do the same. The exciting music will fascinate and entertain listeners due to his passion and diverse influences. Asquith and The Lavender Pill Mob have created timeless classics in the styles of Punk rock, hip-hop, industrial, and acoustic ballads. The revolution is both global and personal. Gary Asquith has revolutionized himself and used The Lavender Pill Mob to contribute to an ongoing musical revolution. Take a ride on Mike's Bike and get high with The Lavender Pill Mob.
T.JONES: "What goes on?"
GARY ASQUITH: 'Since finishing 'Mikes Bikes', at the end of June in London, I've been living back in France, renovating my houses, and making my world a better place to live in. All the tracks on 'Mikes Bikes' were written in London, except the track 'Mikes Bikes', which was recorded in Berlin. Right now, I'm digging out my cellar with the idea of linking it to my main house via a spiral staircase. It's a stunning space where I intend to have my machines gathered for some recording next summer. I've got so many houses and various types of barns. It's hard to keep the place under control. Local cuisine and wines also turn me on, especially when I've some guests.'
T.JONES: 'Tell us about your new LP, 'Mikes Bikes' by The Lavender Pill Mob.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'It's a punk rock guitar-fuelled affair with guest appearances from Film 2, Adam Ant, Mekon, and The Detroit Sinner. This is my favorite collection of recordings from everything I've done thus far. 'Mikes Bikes' is a super cool album.'
T.JONES: 'Which song on 'Mikes Bikes' took you the longest to complete?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'We work really quickly. It was more a problem of finding a set of tracks that we thought worked well together. Countless tracks were written that didn't seem to fit, so we just kept on going until we cracked it. Some of the free downloads on lecoqmusique.com are songs that we thought might originally make the album but didn't.'
T.JONES: 'The shortest?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Jesus Version' was done in about 20 minutes or so. That's quick on my block.'
T.JONES: 'How did you hook up with Adam Ant for the song, 'Black Pirates'? Describe the session with Adam Ant.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Kevin, who's my partner, was bass player with the Ants in their most glorious period. I was in a band called Rema-Rema with Adam's co-writer, Marco Pirroni. This was before he joined the Ants. We've all known each other for a very long time. We just asked Adam if he'd like to do a song with us. A couple of days later, he turned up and selected a backing track that he liked. He sang, 'Black Pirates'. No complications or traumas. Pure, simple, and wrapped up without any re-runs. Professional style. He has not done any recordings for 8 or 9 years, so I'm very happy that he chose to work with The Lavender Pill Mob.'
T.JONES: 'Do you have a favorite song on 'Mikes Bikes'?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Go Go Go', '1625', 'Green Grass Bike Stop', 'It Doesn't Matter', and 'Black Pirates'. I pretty much like it all. How
can you not like 'It's A Sure Thing'? It's chippa, 'Mikes Bikes'.'
T.JONES: 'How is 'Mikes Bikes' different from the debut album?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Mikes Bikes' is more song-based. I've always thought of the first album as a piece of art, rather than an album.'
T.JONES: 'How did you meet Kevin Mooney?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'When I played my first gig with Rema. Rema, Kevin's band was supporting us and playing their first gig. We've been mates ever since. We'll always be mates because we really appreciate each other's talents. Working together is so natural.'
T.JONES: 'On the debut self-titled album by The Lavender Pill Mob, the song 'Darling' mentions a name of a certain land. Can you tell us about that land?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Aes sidhe' is an Irish term for 'the witches' pronounced 'shee', as in 'banshee'."
T.JONES: 'What sparked the idea for you Kevin Mooney to work together again and form The Lavender Pill Mob?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Kevin had been married to supermodel Leslie Winer and was living in Boston for many years. I assumed that I'd not be seeing him again when I chanced upon an ex-girlfriend of a mutual friend of ours called Nazrin Montag. She was crossing a zebra crossing on London's Finchley Road. We took coffee together and she mentioned that she bumped into Kevin at a zebra crossing further up the Finchley Road, towards Swiss cottage tube station, some days before and exchanged telephone numbers. She, in turn, gave me Kevin's number. When I phoned a few days later to say, 'Hi', he told me to come round to his place straight away. When I arrived, he was recording and demanded that I do a vocal, there and then. That, I guess, was the birth of The Lavender Pill Mob.'
T.JONES: 'The Lavender Pill Mob crosses various genres. The sound varies from punk rock to hip-hop to new wave to something incomparable. Was this intentional?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Tough question this one, Todd. Both me and Kevin listen to a wide variety of music. That reflects on our every moment and breath. I'm not too sure if anything I've recorded with The Lavender Pill Mob is intentional, but I'm sure that it's a natural, instinctive song writing procedure. Musical genre-hopping is in my blood. So, maybe it is intentional. Sorry to be vague. You got me there, Todd.'
T.JONES: 'One of my favorite songs on 'Mikes Bikes' is 'It Doesn't Matter'. What inspired this track?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'When I split with my ex-wife, named Jo, I fell into a sequence of relationships with women called Jo, directly afterwards. That was my inspiration for 'It Doesn't Matter'.'
T.JONES: 'What's the meaning behind the title, 'Mikes Bikes'?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Both me and Kevin had connections with guys called Mike who had Bikes. We found ourselves having a laugh about it. We decided, way before we'd started 'Mikes Bikes', that it was going to be the title of our next album.'
T.JONES: 'On your website (www.lecoqmusique.co.uk), some unreleased mp3's are available. Why were songs like 'Rocking Garage', 'Line Of Attack', and 'Lip Glow' not included on the albums? The song, 'Lip Glow' is actually one of my all time favorite tracks by you. Were these songs recently created? Will they ever be officially released?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Rocking Garage' is a version of 'Gary's Garage', which was an additional track on my 'Dragonbass Soundsystem' version of 'Cocaine Sex'. 'Line Of Attack' and 'Lip Glow' nearly made it on the CD. Both tracks were originally going on 'Mikes Bikes' before we changed the shape'¦ again! 'Lip Glow' is possibly the most beautiful track that I've ever sung.'
T.JONES: 'Tell us about this collaboration with Dif Juz, called Tranquil Trucking Company.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I've known those scoundrels called Dif Juz for many a good year. Really excellent musicians, top notch. I love Bromley's bass bandit attitude and wanted to collide with the Curtis brothers. Dave Curtis lives around the corner from my mother's. I'd pop in to see him frequently. We started writing some stuff together and it finished up being Tranquil Trucking Company. I haven't spoken with Dave much since my move to France. I hope he's well.'
T.JONES: 'You worked with other artists too. Do you have a different approach for every artist?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Not really. I like entering people's musical world, if I like their style, that is. It's bliss for me to get involved with musicians who inspire me.'
T.JONES: 'When creating a track, do you have a set theme or idea first, or the music first?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'It works both ways, like milking cows. Sometimes, I just write stuff and then, get a lyrical idea. Sometimes, I just go on a pen frenzy and write down what's going on in my head, at that moment. Then, I fit it into whatever tracks that are around. Then, buzz them in.'
T.JONES: 'Favorite drum machine / sampler?'
GARY ASQUITH: '505, band in a box.'
T.JONES: 'Favorite guitar?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Fender Precision Bass.'
T.JONES: 'Describe the creative process. Where do you do pre-production? How long does it usually take to finish a song?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'When I worked with my much-respected brothers at Renegade Soundwave Towers, we'd spend ages getting things to sound like nobody else could imagine. You can hear how slick those recordings are still today. With Kevin, it's a different state of mind. He doesn't like to dwell on songs. One-take Kevin. So, my formula has changed since I started working with Kevin, or Special K, as I sometimes call him. When I'm in full writing mode, I like to get a song finished in a day. We have a mobile studio that we cart around London. When we're vibed, we unlock the machines from their cases and proceed with caution.'
T.JONES: 'How and why did you start your label, Le Coq Musique?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I needed to write songs. I don't like the nerd culture at record companies. They take the piss out of their artists then, dump them on the freeway. Le Coq Musique is about me & Kevin. It's our home and we're perfectly capable of writing songs for ourselves, rather than some fat clueless music industry executives. Le Coq Musique is cool and I'm very proud of having the likes of Adam Ant, Mekon, Film 2 and The Detroit Sinner involved in the projects. We're a good connection and we write good songs. For sure.'
T.JONES: 'Is there a deep meaning behind the name, Le Coq Musique?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'No, it's a play on Le Coq Sportif. Also, Tottenham Hotspurs are my North London football club with a cockerel as their motto. So, it just fit real good.'
T.JONES: 'Will there be other artists on Le Coq Musique?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Yep. The Imbeciles & Templeton are our latest additions. We still want more from our Detroit Sinner.'
T.JONES: 'What happened to Renegade Soundwave? Why did RSW break up?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'We imploded. I never really got on well with Danny. When Karl left, there was a void in our sound. I did most of my writing with Karl. Mute Records dropped us because we were hard work to deal with. Pretty much everything that went wrong at Mute, Renegade got blamed for. If someone took a cab without authorization, you can be sure it would turn up on the Renegade Soundwave account. In fairness, we were no angels, but we didn't give a fuck about what people thought of us. We always made good records and pushed our boundaries.'
T.JONES: 'What did you do between the end of RSW and now?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I've just continued making records when I like and with whoever was about at the time. I've relocated. I've always got plenty of stuff going on in my houses that keep me occupied. If I only could invent a machine that slows and accelerates time'¦.'
T.JONES: 'The song, 'Cocaine Sex' by Renegade Soundwave created some controversy. What kind of criticism or effect came from this song?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Cocaine Sex' actually charted in the middle week English chart. I'm proud to have that song in my repertoire. I can't remember the fuss, really. We got tons of press and we left Rhythm King Records shortly afterwards. Mark Moore from S Express played it out when it was still a promo and I can remember the whole dance floor erupted into a mass of hysteria. Fantastic vibe to see 600 people gyrating to a song that still hadn't been released. 'Cocaine sex is fast'¦''
T.JONES: 'Do you still do cocaine?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Not today, thank you, Todd. I've done my fair share. The last time I DJ'd in London, I got offered cocaine. I took a bottle of beer instead. It kind of bores me now. I'd like to be a better advert for modern society than a drug-fuelled asshole who can't get his words out quick enough. We've got too many jerks on our planet without me being one of them.'
T.JONES: 'What other drugs have you done? What drugs do you still do?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I like the liqueur shops still. Fine wines. Chateau Chambert 1998 is a good wine and not too expensive. Pot crops up from time to time. I've done most of the drugs that have hit the market squares of my life. I loved the E thing when they had the MDMA capsules. New York speakeasy's and a magic pill took me to my favorite places in the early 80's. They fucked that drug up when it changed to a pill.'
T.JONES: 'The b-side to 'Biting My Nails' is a song called, 'Kray Twins'. Morrissey also has a song about the Kray Twins called 'Last Of The Famous International Playboys'. What did you think of his track?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I've not heard it. I'm not too crazy for Morrissey or The Smiths. All those whining Northern English bands piss me off. An old girlfriend of mine, called Fiona, is now living with the guitarist's family in Manchester. I've heard he's a really nice guy, but that's it for me on Morrissey connections.'
T.JONES: 'What did you think of the film 'The Krays'?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Crap. It's a shame.'
T.JONES: 'RSW were one of the first electronic hip-hop groups with a white emcee. If Renegade Soundwave came out in 2006, how would things be different?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I'm not a hypothetical type of wizard. Renegade Soundwave would always be a good band because all of its members have contributed to music through their love of music. Skills in abundance.'
T.JONES: 'Do you still listen to hip-hop? What hip-hop artists or albums do you like?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Yeah, I like The Common, Rammellzee's new stuff, all of the old Beastie Boys, and Run-DMC stuff.'
T.JONES: 'Will Renegade Soundwave ever release something new?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I'd love to do a new Renegade Soundwave album. Vinyl for Danny and a double CD for me. Anything is possible, in my world. I'd have to patch up some bad history with Danny, though. That could be difficult. Karl would be the one who I'd love to have another opportunity to write with, Karl and Danny. One playing live drums while the other programs drums. Make sure it's Karl playing the live drums. Gee, I miss those comrades.'
T.JONES: 'Looking back, what do you think of the music of Renegade Soundwave?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Classic and innovative.'
T.JONES: 'What RSW song are you most proud of? Which album?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''In Dub' sounds great. So does most of 'Soundclash'. I'd still love to remix 'Soundclash'. That would be a good project for Danny & myself. 'Bubbaluba', and the track Renegade Soundwave CD with 7 mixes. Wow! That's a great CD. You got me going now, Todd! The 'Bassnumb Chapter' is excellent too.'
T.JONES: 'What RSW stuff are you least proud of?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Bacteria' doesn't do much for me.'
T.JONES: 'Any regrets from the RSW days?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Not really. We had our ups and downs. It's a cool mark having been in RSW.'
T.JONES: 'What do you think of the 'Thunder' version by The Chemical Brothers?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I know The Chemical Brothers have a version of 'Thunder'. It is their 'Brother's Gonna work It Out' CD. I'd like to hear a remix. It sounds like a good idea. I wanted to add that I'd like The Chemical Brothers to do a punk rock album. Let me have some details on that, Todd.'
T.JONES: 'How did Rema-Rema form?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Friendships. I went to school with Michael Allen (from The Wolfgang Press and Genuiser). He's a very good friend of mine. He was pissed off in The Models and asked me to join him on his new adventure. That discussion probably changed the route of my life. You can blame him for all that you don't like in me. My paper airplanes used to whiz pass Michael's ears in our school classroom. We got thrown together through having surnames beginning with 'A' chronologically classed.'
T.JONES: 'Why did Rema-Rema break up?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Marco joined Adam Ant. We couldn't be Rema-Rema without Marco, so we slumped into being Mass.'
T.JONES: 'You worked with Michael Allen on debut Lavender Pill Mob CD. What is he like working with these days, as opposed to the collaborations of the past? How is he different than other artists?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Oh dear, Todd, He used to be a nightmare, always wanting his own way. But now, he's just a regular Lavender Pill Mob misfit, when he wants. Todd, Michael Allen will always have a space on my table. I love that guy. He's the tops. Michael has a bass groove like no other.'
T.JONES: 'What do you think of Michael Allen's new group, Geniuser?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I really like it. I should drag it back out from my musical vault. He made a small mistake with not asking me to do a number, but besides that, it's a great CD.'
T.JONES: 'You were on the song, 'Louis XIV' by The Wolfgang Press from their 'Queer' album). You have that famous line. (''¦In Venezuela, they have lots of cocaine'¦') What did cocaine have to do with it? Did you ever do coke with Mick? How did this song happen?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Michael isn't big with drugs. I'm sure I must have done at some point. Michael likes being in control, so drugs don't show on his CV. Michael instructed me on the Cocaine line on 'Louis XIV' because our voices worked so well together in Rema-Rema. I'm Michael's favorite singer on planet Earth and that's a big compliment
from him. Smoked a whole lot of pot with Michael in the 70's.'
T.JONES: 'What do you think of Louis The Sun King?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'It makes me think of Flamboyance, Todd.'
T.JONES: 'Looking back, what do you think of the music of Rema-Rema?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Really like it still. Especially, the bass grooves. We had a whole album of great songs that never got recorded. Renegade recorded a Rema-Rema song on 'Soundclash' called 'Murder Music'.'
T.JONES: 'Andrew Grey (from The Wolfgang Press) produced songs on the 'Mikes Bikes' album by The Lavender Pill Mob. What is he like working with these days, as opposed to the past? How is he different than other artists?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Andrew is so full of enthusiasm and he's a great guitarist. Andrew can nail down a song like no other. He should have more plaudits for sure. I am always happy working with Andrew. We did 'Line Of Attack' together.'
T.JONES: 'What did you think of the 'Homegrown' LP by Andrew Grey's new project, Limehouse Outlaw?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Solid and Interesting.'
T.JONES: 'What was it like growing up in England?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Easy. I'm very lucky to have had a wonderful loving family around me. My father was my hero. I've never met a more generous and stoic man before or since his death. He fought for his country with dignity and charmed the pants off all those that had contact with him. R.I.P. Ronald Bert Asquith.'
T.JONES: 'Do you have any advice for someone starting in the music industry?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Watch out for the worms. Get yourself a proficient partner and do your own thing.'
T.JONES: 'Who are some artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Kevin Mooney, Andrew Grey, Adam Ant, Mekon, Film 2, Frau Koester of Malaria fame & Detroit's Sinner.'
T.JONES: 'Who have you been listening to lately?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Today, Todd, I've been listening to Jobriath, Film 2 Vs. Sprung Aus Den Wolken, Evil 9, Whitey, Headman, and The Mogs.'
T.JONES: 'What is your favorite part of your live show?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I'm flattered to have some interesting visuals that give that extra dimension to our shows.'
T.JONES: 'How has your live show evolved?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I'm happy to still be able to do songs like 'Cocaine Sex' with all The Lavender Pill Mob tracks. I guess it has evolved through my time spent writing the songs that we play live.'
T.JONES: 'How do you think you have evolved as an artist?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Well.'
T.JONES: 'Favorite films?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Bonnie and Clyde', 'Sexy Beast', 'Apocalypse Now', 'Left Handed Gun', 'Cool Hand Luke', 'Casablanca', and 'Rebel Without A Cause'.'
T.JONES: 'All time favorite albums?'
GARY ASQUITH: ''Hunky Dory' by David Bowie, 'Harvest' by Neil Young, Roxy Music's first two albums, 'Here Come The Warm Jets' by Brian Eno, 'The Idiot' by Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Serge Gainsbourg's entire collection, 'Love Is The Thing' by Nat King Cole, 'Songs For Swingin Lovers' by Frank Sinatra, Def Jam recordings 1985, 2001. I could go on forever with my list, Todd.'
T.JONES: 'Favorite books?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'The Bible, Catcher in the Rye, Flashman at the Charge. Anything on biographically interesting people, like
T.JONES: 'Rammellzee is on the debut CD by LPM. How did this happen? What was he like to work with? What character was he in?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Kevin recorded a couple of tracks in New York with Rammellzee in the 80's. So, we lifted a vocal and put it on a backing track that had a Rammell feel to it. I like his graffiti art as well as his diction. We pasted and peeled that track together.'
T.JONES: 'Where were you during September 11th terrorist attack?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I was having a coffee in Belsize Park when the owner brought it to my attention via his TV. I lived through the IRA bombings, so I know what it is like to have the bombers on your doorstep. It made me think about a journey I had to New York and going to the World Trade building with Danny Briottet. Also, about the photo's we took. It made me think that nothing is permanent. Like the sands on the beaches, we have to live with the movements of peoples who we really don't understand. Nothing is forever. What's happening now, in our world, has a bearing on all our souls. I love New York and shame on those who commit such catastrophic carnage to our civilization. Sort the wankers out, George!'
T.JONES: 'Do you think that success and credibility are mutually exclusive?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Wow, Todd! That's a deep river flowing through your mind! Credibility is often aligned to hard work. Success can, in my opinion, miss some of the stars that shine in our world. Too many cheap TV shows make people famous. Clowns don't get the respect they deserve, yet there are more clowns on TV than at the circus.'
T.JONES: 'What was the worst mistake you have ever made in your career?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Getting married to someone who didn't get what I was doing. Teased and tied to a bad experience.'
T.JONES: 'Obviously, technology is an important factor in modern music. What do you think of these new machines and programs like Pro-Tools or Live?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I think it's great. People get a different start from what is available on the shop shelves these days. More options have got to be good.'
T.JONES: 'Word association. When I say the name, you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said, 'Flava Flav', you may say 'Clock' or 'Crack'. Okay?'
T.JONES: 'The Wolfgang Press.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Michael's dreams.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Shady.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Clockwork Orange.'
T.JONES: 'Beastie Boys.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Pimps.'
T.JONES: 'Wu-Tang Clan.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Tough toes.'
T.JONES: 'Meat Beat Manifesto.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Groove City Microphones.'
T.JONES: 'Gil-Scott Heron.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Poetry.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Fat Frank.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Junk.'
T.JONES: 'The Fall.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Whimsical.'
T.JONES: 'Happy Mondays.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Bez Is Black.'
T.JONES: 'The Stone Roses.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Painted faces.'
T.JONES: 'The Chemical Brothers.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Groove machines.'
T.JONES: 'DJ Krush.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Drug rush.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Baldy pants.'
T.JONES: 'My Bloody Valentine.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Black Dior.'
T.JONES: 'The House Of Love.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Happy house.'
T.JONES: 'Close Lobsters.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Pink coconuts.'
T.JONES: 'Trisomie 21.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Germs.'
T.JONES: 'Severed Heads.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Bollocks.'
T.JONES: 'Curtis Mayfield.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Fly.'
T.JONES: 'George Bush.'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Oil. I'm getting the hang on this, Todd.'
T.JONES: 'What are some major misconceptions do you think people have of you?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'No Idea. Self-analysis hurts too much.'
T.JONES: 'What are some future collaborations fans should look out for?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Adam Ant and my regular crowd, I hope.'
T.JONES: 'What is next for you, The Lavender Pill Mob, and Le Coq Musique?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'Recording with Berlin-based, Film 2.'
T.JONES: 'Final words?'
GARY ASQUITH: 'I Like being Gary Asquith and I want to be the last man in the graveyard.'
Thank you Gary!!!
Interview by Todd E. Jones aka New Jeru Poet
NOTICE: This interview is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.