Sworn Virgins are part Paranoid London and part New York beat poet hustling a New York corner in '79. Throw in some Adonis and you're there. They are signed to DEEWEE (home of many fine acts these days) and are now on their third release for the label. We sat down with no great plan other than to chew the fat. Onwards...

TP: Clams! Alright. You gonna put your video on so I can see your head.

Clams: How do I do that? I hate these Zoom things, but how do I, uh, turn the video on?

TP: Quinn you in?

Quinn: Yeah here!

TP: Uh, I'm gonna start with an easy one as my brain is just waking up… Why do they call you Clams?

Clams: Well, the truth of it is just cause I'm from Cape Cod and clam bake is you know, like a traditional kind of dish from there. So Clams… Clams Baker (my surname)… There it is…

TP: And then how did you two meet? It'll get more interesting, but you know, we should do the basics…

Quinn: I started going to DJ for Clams in New York. He used to run two nights. I think there was one at Centro Fly and one at Filter 14. He used to used to fly us over there, like every six weeks or so. The big gig was Centro Fly and that would basically pay for the tickets and stuff and it meant that we could stay. Then we’d stay for a week and watch weird VHS videos and stuff and hang out.

TP: So what was the eureka moment for, for you guys where you were like, right… I can make some music and put it out….

Clams: It was ‘Eating Glue’ for us working together wasn't it?

Quinn: We'd mucked about with stuff in your in your apartment in New York and at that time we were sort of still trying to do like house music so nothing ever happened. And then yeah. Then it was ‘Eating Glue’ the Paranoid record that was the first thing we did that came out.

TP: Clams did you come from the spoken word side of things? Like its quite like, I don't wanna, you know, like sort of make it highbrow, but it's kind of poetry you know. If you heard it from another angle, you'd be like, ‘oh this guy's kinda shouting poetry over these records.’

Clams: Yeah. Well I was <laugh> I was always a failed writer. I can talk a lot of crap basically and I haven’t really got a shut off switch.

TP: No filter.

Clams: Yeah, exactly. I guess I've done spoken word stuff as well, like a spoken word album with a jazz guy and all that stuff but it all boils back to the same thing basically… Drugs, little dirty nightclubs. That kind of thing…

TP: Now it feels a bit more positive this year, I'd say, but how do you keep your mind tidy. Like how do you kind of keep your filter clean if you want…

Quinn: I've got this really annoying habit of spending my entire life watching people that I hate on YouTube. Most of what I consume is stuff that I hate and stuff that's really about how we're all gonna die, basically.

TP: So maybe you just keep your filter so dirty so somehow it’s going to come out on the other side. It's like politics – you keep going all the way to the right in the end you’re going to end up on the left. The best thing that I did recently was I unfollowed a lot of people that are (as nice as they are) in the self promo game. And the revelation is that you know, you are in control. You don't have to look at this...

Quinn: I get what you're saying

TP: What's the worst thing you've seen on the internet recently?

Quinn: Oh boy. Yesterday a friend of mine sent me a two and a half hour video about NFTs and how it's basically just a massive grift linked to cryptocurrencies. Then it spirals from that into horrifying stuff about what human beings are doing to each other. You think ‘oh yeah I'll learn a little bit about NFTs watching this’ and then <laughs> it's just the most horrifying thing I've seen in ages really.

TP: Well, a lot of people are doing them, you know, and it's like my worry with NFTs, or the thing I think about, is see that guy in America that bought the Wu Tang album and then got put in prison over the cancer drugs… It’s just I didn't make music to give it one guy in America who got lucky with some money.

Quinn: Exactly. It's just rich people laughing in our eyeballs basically <laughs> showing us how much money they've got. You know what I mean? There was that Bored Ape one they all did a couple of weeks ago and it's literally, these people just they've got so much money they're prepared to spend like, you know, whatever, it was like 300 grand on a JPEG that you know that you can just download.

The idea of it, the absurdity of it, always gets my interest in like how these people are creating like you're saying, ridiculous amounts of money for stupid things and that always starts peaking my interest because it is fascinating.

You put value on stupid things. People have been putting value on stupid things since time. I don't really understand it, but like who was the first person to put a value on gold and like, how'd they pull that con off <laughs> you know what I mean? So the first person that tried to sell somebody gold was like ‘gold makes your life better’ <laughs> and traded it for a herd of cows or something. That's what I love about the fact that people are still doing it. It's like the snake oil salesman in the old Western movies. They're still everywhere, which I think is great.

Clams: That’s what I love about humans.

TP: One of the best things I saw on Twitter was someone had one of those NFT chimps and then some bloke just basically did a screen grab and used it as his avatar and the bloke who owned the chimp was like, ‘you can't do that, that’s my chimp!’. Just showed how stupid it all was.

Clams: Like you ever go on that Clubhouse thing? I've gone on there and listened to MC Hammer talk <laughs>. He's a big proponent of NFTs and he's making like millions.

TP: The one person I would like to listen to talk about NFTs is MC hammer. I think that'd be great. <laughs> Isn't he a Jesus guy now?

Clams: Yeah. Massively. I think he's a preacher, isn't he? I didn't pay much attention to him when he was coming out, but I started getting into him now. Apparently he was one of the most like feared rappers back in the day when everyone thought he was just running around in those diaper pants and being a freak. I'm pretty sure his preacher thing's a hustle. Probably not paying taxes. He figured out that like basically re-recording his record gives him new rights to all of his albums that are owned by these big labels. Basically people are asking like ‘how can you go on and sell your album as an NFT if these big labels have the rights to it?’. And he's like, ‘oh I just re-recorded it’.

TP: He got that idea from Taylor Swift. That’s what she did. She's cool. Someone bought her back catalogue that she hates, like she literally hates, but it's a very public thing. So instead of them going and taking all the money for the streams or whatever as she actually makes money out of that stuff she re-recorded it all and then all her fans now listen to the new version so that person doesn't get the money.

Clams: Ah right. That's awesome.

TP: Yeah. She’s a smart woman. See Damon Albarn slagged her off then everyone was like ‘we like her more than you.’ I dunno. I read Richard Russell's book from XL Recordings and I like Richard Russell. I mean he obviously signed Prodigy and put a out lot of great brave records and he’s really likeable and then he really likes Damon Albarn so by association, you think he can't be that awful…

Quinn: It’s funny. I just listened to Richard Russell recently on a podcast and it made me a fan of him as well.

TP: He went through a mad illness. And literally like, he's one of those guys that was like, I really like dance music. I'm gonna go to New York and go and work in the best record shop alongside Pal Joey. And he did. So, um, yeah. Right. So look, let's go back on the healthy conversation… What's the best way to start your day?

Quinn: With a cigarette…

Clams: Yeah, I'll go with that.

TP: How close to exercise do you get?

Quinn: Exercise? You mean like physical exercise?

Quinn: Is it when you walk past the gym? I can, I honestly say I've never even been inside a gymnasium <laughs>.

TP: Was the last one when you were at school? Were you good at music at school? I was thinking about this.

Quinn: I did music GCSE and I failed it. Um, cause you know, you had to do like coursework, uh, and half the exam is made up of coursework and mine was all samples <laughs> so they like fail me because I'd made my music out of other people's music.

TP: You were ahead of your time there…

Quinn: Well then I retook it re-entered the same pieces the year after and I got a C.

TP: So you resampled yourself…

Quinn: Second time round yeah, basically… Eric Clapton went to my school when he was young and we had the same music teacher. She told him he would never amount to anything in music. It's a real shame that he didn't listen.

TP: Kate Bush went to my school…

Quinn: Go on. That's a good one. Was that her actual name? Kate Bush.

TP: Yeah I think so.

Quinn: Wow. She'd have had an interesting time at my school with <laughs> that name.

TP: Hold on. I've got another question. How do you deal with the short attention span? I got COVID at Christmas and I literally went down the Twitter wormhole and I was like, ‘oh, this is not good for you, I'm gonna put this down.’

Clams: I’m always on it. It's like, I try to do that whole thing or put it down and everything else. But at this point it's like just basically a part of my being. I am very conscious of it, especially cause I got kids as well. So I'm always like ‘turn the gadgets off’ or whatever, when we have dinner… 'You can't bring it to the table' and all that. But really I'm like, I'm sweating when I don't have it in my hands.

TP: Do you know MUBI? You know this thing?

Clams: Uh, like the, the one where they do the videos…

TP: Yes. Like world cinema… Some good stuff on it. Like documentaries but it's really good. I joined it because loads of films had subtitles and I thought, ‘well I’ll join then I can't look at my phone for two hours’. It works. Pre that I could watch a whole series on Netflix and get to the last bit and be like, ‘I haven't got a clue what happened…’

Quinn: Oh yeah. I could sit there and watch a whole series and then just at the climax I'll check my social media and miss what happens at the end. Honestly, I don't beat myself up about it anymore. I'm just sort of resigned to the fact that I'm glued to it the whole time.

TP: I've gone the opposite way and it's the best thing that I've done recently. Like I can go to the toilet without taking my phone with me now. Big things.

Clams: I just always have to use the flashlight on it in the toilet. You know what I mean? I can't go in there without the phone.

TP: So Clams, you come from a promoting background, what's your idea of a good nightclub?

Clams: Just sort of like anything goes type thing where everyone's focus isn't necessarily on the DJ or whatever. It's more focused on the party. I'm pretty into that type of thing. Um, you know, just kind of loose. Anything goes, anyone's invited. Anyone's welcome. Hellfire. Yeah. <laughs> holy actually Hellfire. I was watching one of these documentaries on Netflix, one of those murder ones, and it shows New York in the 70s…

TP: The one on the Times Square murders?

Clams: Yeah. It’s good. And they go to Hellfire at one point <laughs>. That would be my ideal… Times Square in ’78/‘79. If you could pop that into a party, that would be my thing. It looked insane. It actually was like, ‘wow, I would've loved to have gone there’.

TP: Have you read ‘Meet Me In The Bathroom’? It’s good on the 2000s DFA scene in New York… You know The Strokes and all that going off.

Clams: I was involved in those things but I was never like a scene person or anything like that. Like I was never quite fitted in, you know, but I loved going to those sort of things, but I never, I wasn't really like, a guy on the scene or whatever. I'd throw the parties, produce the parties and get things and stuff like that. But my experience with all this is like anything…

It's like when you read the things about how The Factory must have been with Warhol and everything. People just stood around looking bored on bad drugs. I mean, some great art came out of it but there's some of the worst human beings known to man and you know, stood around sneering at each other.

TP: Oh, I better ask what, uh, so there's a new record coming out…

Quinn: Oh yeah. Yeah. There is. Yeah. I think there's two tracks off it already out aren't they? Yep. I think. I think the full things out in February. There's four tracks on it and there’s two of them already you can already buy.

TP: And are you gonna go and do it live or anything with Dave and Steph DEEWEE? Are they still doing the parties?

Quinn: We just did their Halloween party the end of last year. It was great. They all get a t-shirt which gives entry and they do stuff with it. Some people made their own bootlegs of the t-shirts and stuff like that so you know everyone in there has made like a massive effort and it was pretty wild. It was pretty good actually.

TP: Belgians are kind of like the English in that way in that they're really happy getting messed up and letting go in a really good way. I'll let you go. Thanks for the time.

Clams: Nice one. Thanks a lot.

Quinn: See you in Croatia.

Photography by Babycakes Romero. Click HERE for more of his great work.

Sworn Virgins new release 'Strangers Hands EP' is out now digitally on DEEWEE with vinyl to follow.