Glenn Campling is best known as one time Bauhaus roadie and bassist for the seminal post-punk band Tones On Tail, a side project of Bauhaus members Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins. Formed in 1982, Tones On Tail intertwined various styles and experimental noises, which truly created an otherworldly and unique experience for listeners. This short-lived project would go on to release one studio album Pop, three EPs Tones On Tail, Burning Skies, and Something along with a handful of singles and compilations. Glenn’s innovative bass lines can be heard on many of Tones On Tail’s finest songs such as ‘GO!’, ‘Lions’, ‘OK, This is The Pops’, ‘Burning Skies’, and ‘Twist’.
The single ‘Go!’ was a huge hit on dance floors across the globe which was created around Glenn’s phenomenal bass line. It has been sampled by Moby for his top ten smash of the same name, Fun Lovin’ Criminals sampled ‘Movement Of Fear’ for their top twenty hit Scooby Snacks. Tones On Tail has also been covered by the likes of Nouvelle Vague, licensed by car giant Lincoln Mercury and ‘Go!’ currently appears on an episode of the cult series ’Stranger Things’.
Tones On Tail embarked on a UK and US tour in 1984 before disbanding to work on other projects. Daniel and Kevin would reunite with Bauhaus bassist David J to form Love And Rockets while Glenn semi-retired from the music business to focus on family and personal well-being. Resurfacing in 2008, Glenn produced his first solo project Black & Whole which featured several guest artists including Natacha Atlas. As a side note, Natacha also collaborated with Daniel Ash in 1991 on his debut solo album Coming Down with her extensive vocal work as well as keyboards and bass guitar.
In 2011, Glenn was joined by ‘lone wolf’ Mark Garner to form their latest incarnation, LoneStation, furthering their musical experimentation creating a unique sound and style. Bandmate Mark Garner explains, “The LoneStation ‘sound’ to me is like no other and reflects the unique approach that both Glenn and I demonstrate in our personal work – and Glenn in Tones. The music reinforces our strong appreciation of music in its purest form, twists it, turns it and reconstructs it into what is unpredictable, surprising and ultimately – a fusion of energy, originality, passion and a hint of deeper worlds.”
Glenn Campling and Mark Garner / LoneStation, photo by Andrew Brooksbank
Glenn opens up with Torched Magazine along with releasing very rare Tones On Tail video footage ‘Live at Glasgow, Nightmoves – May 1984’ . He goes into details about how he obtained the footage, talks about his new project LoneStation and shares some classic Tones On Tail moments.. plus more!
TM – How did you obtain the rare video footage from the ‘Tones On Tail’ 1984 Glasgow Nitemoves show? The sound quality is very good.. did you have to clean it up some?
Ex Bauhaus manager Graham Bentley was – and still is – a video maestro and has a huge archive of mostly Bauhaus material dating back to their very early days. He has recently spent much time converting some of this from Betamax tapes to digital for preservation purposes.
Graham & family came to see us in Glasgow and decided to film the event. He re-discovered this material and gave me a copy along with the desk audio recorded by Pete Edwards (sorely missed Bauhaus, TOT o/f sound engineer) from the same gig.
After much fiddling & twiddling, I’ve combined the desk audio with the live footage to produce a very rich sound. I also thought to add some backstage fun & frollicks in the mix – a personal insight, reflecting our light-hearted mood at the time.
Tones On Tail, photo by Mitch Jenkins
TM – How do Kevin and Daniel feel about the surfacing of this rare video footage? Would there happen to be more in the archives from other shows? If so, will those ever be released as well?
There is virtually no live material out there and many fans, old & new, have never seen us perform live. I’m doing this because I want us to be seen in a true light – and not, as Dan described Poptone, a tribute band. So, in light of their recent activity (their effort to rekindle the existence of Tones on Tail), I think they should be delighted with my efforts. The response from YouTube has been very positive and encouraging. Of course, IF there is any revenue made from this, they will naturally get their share.
There are a few more tracks for me to complete from this gig, but there’s no more useful footage from anywhere else.
TM – Is there ever going to be a chance that these rare Tones On Tail videos will be put out on DVD?
Who knows? Wouldn’t it be nice if Beggars/4AD wanted to do it?
TM – LoneStation, your latest musical endeavor with Mark Garner, recently released a new album entitled ‘Machine’. What was your inspiration behind this album? Did you bring new elements or twists and turns into this as compared to your ‘Dark Matter’ debut?
Mark & I write from the heart, we don’t pre-conceive anything – an attitude I’ve carried from TOT times. ‘Machine’ has a more ‘earthy’ feel compared to ‘Dark Matter’, which is probably down to the use of the wonderful Logic drum program – Yes, we don’t have a real one, but neither did Tones in the early days. We don’t dwell on how we do things – it’s just about being creative using all the tools available at the time.
Glenn Campling, photo courtesy of Veto Hall/ Tones On Tail FB Group
TM – When and where did the music start for you? Did you grow up in a musical family?
Like most people of my generation I was breastfed (so to speak) on Bowie, T. Rex & the whole Glam thing. Then the 80’s alternative scene really got me, thanks mostly to the one & only John Peel. – Killing Joke, Cabaret Voltaire, Joy Division & many other bands including Bauhaus all gained exposure on his show.
The 90’s electro/rave scene was electronic heaven for me, with much loved synth bands – Massive Attack, Future Sound of London, The Orb, Leftfield – as so on, emerging from this time – and some still here.
TM – Can you tell us a story about touring with Tones On Tail back in the day? What’s one or two of the funniest or best memories from this time?
We were doing a store signing in Chicago. Nobody turned up, until this huge hippy style chap walked through the door and came towards me at pace. I thought I was a dead man. He grabbed my hand, placed something in it and said ‘I really love you guys’ and then promptly left. In my hand was a bag of very strong weed! – Pity I don’t smoke the stuff, eh?
Tones On Tail, photo courtesy of Veto Hall
TM – Do you have any hobbies outside of music that help to rejuvenate your creativity?
Smoking, drinking, sleeping, eating – and classic cars
Thank you so kindly for taking the time for Torched Magazine!
LoneStation released Dark Matter in 2017 and is available HERE as a full download (with bonus track; Smoked) or spread across four individual E.P’s on iTunes HERE. A strictly limited edition Metal Box CD has been produced. A 16 track CD digipack is now available via the LoneStation website HERE.
LoneStation recently released their second album MACHINE which is available now with bonus track HERE.
Feature photo by Tom Backer
Many thanks to Veto Hall for going above and beyond for Torched Magazine!