Efrim Menuck

Menuck is a member of the Canadian band A Silver Mt Zion, acclaimed for its mix of rock, folk and av

  • 1 Does art make a difference?
  • Art alone doesn’t make any difference at all – so much of it is still just paupers painting portraits of kings and queens, or lousy careerists romanticising whatever malaise currently fascinates the comfortable classes. Meanwhile, the public square is ringed with bored policemen toting sub-machine guns, and everybody averts their eyes when they beat the toothless cymbalon player into the shadows.

  • 2 Should politics and art mix?
  • They don’t have to mix, they’re already fused into a sticky compound, and the current overarching body-apolitic is the most stifling politic of all. Labour still creates capital, capital still ends up in the pockets of the bloody-minded, and even the shiny internet gleams with the same old imploding contradictions and explosive dialectics.

  • 3 Is your work for the many or for the few?
  • For as many as possible, but I’ve never been too interested in grasping at the slippery brass ring of global stardom. Arena rock remains the province of the self-adoring, and winning over 300 people in a low-ceilinged beer cellar on a dreary Wednesday night is about as much glory as any musician deserves.

  • 4 If you were world leader, what would
    be your first law?
  • Self-impeachment.

  • 5 Who would be your top advisers?
  • Rebecca Solnit, Robert Fisk, Joan Didion, Mike Davis, Tacita Dean and Etta James.

  • 6What, if anything, would you censor?
  • James Blunt.

  • 7 If you had to banish one public figure, who would it be?
  • Nancy Reagan, because she’s caretaker of a myth that infuriates me to the point of sleeplessness.

  • 8 What are the rules that you live by?
  • Question everything, fight the good fight, and always tip the waitress 20 per cent.

  • 9 Do you love your country?
  • Wholly and truly and fully, even when it doesn’t love me back.

  • 10 Are we all doomed?
  • Yes and no, and for ever and never and always.

This article first appeared in the 18 August 2008 issue of the New Statesman, Superpower swoop