Pop Quiz: Wire

Aidin Vaziri | The members of Wire – well, most of them – have reunited again after one of their frequent breakups, and they are on the road supporting a new album, “Red Barked Tree.” The British post-punk band’s 12th full-length studio recording is drawing near-universal praise, with some critics even suggesting that its minimalist, acerbic songs could sit easily next to those on the three highly influential albums the group delivered during its imperial phase between 1977 and 1979: “Pink Flag,” “Chairs Missing” and “154.” Wire follows its appearance at this week’s Coachella Festival in Indio (Riverside County) with a concert next Sunday at Slim’s. We spoke with guitarist Colin Newman.


Colin Newman of Wire
Q: Do you think you’re a good musician?
A: I’m a crap guitarist. It’s very simple, but it works. I don’t spend my life playing acoustic guitar.
Q: Could you play “Stairway to Heaven”?
A: You must be joking. I can’t play anything. I could probably do a Neil Young song.
Q: So what you’re saying is Wire’s success depends largely on a series of fortunate mistakes?
A: It’s not mistakes. All very organic. You can characterize it as sheer stupidity or brilliance. It’s mindless. I’m not thinking when I’m writing. Once my brain catches up to it, it’s over. If you were to have a young artist just starting out and trying to figure out what I do, they couldn’t do it. You discover it over time.
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