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A group distraction, presented by nige.


The first instalment of Interview52 is now complete! It started on Friday 18th July 2008 and finished on 13th September 2009. A little later than expected, but we got there.


52 mobloggers from around the world...

Some familiar, some not...

Each will publish a unique self-portrait, accompanied by a short interview.

Candid portrait meets candid interview.

The Rules

Every Friday the next interviewee in line will publish a new portrait and interview, consisting of their answers to the ten questions they have been given.

After they have published, the interviewee will then become the interviewer. They will be responsible for finding the next participant, as well as compiling the questions that this next person in line will answer. Interviewers can change as many or as few questions as they like, but they should change at least one before passing them on to the next lucky punter.

Thats it! Simple. More detailed instructions will be given to each interviewee as and when they are approached, so fear not.

The interviewees so far









Jig along



Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri








Jane Doe



Spiderbaby / Freakdog




George w/Blue Eyes






















Strange Little Girl




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caught between the cupboard and syllables

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1. Where does this find you? Tell us the story of how you got there.

well I was born here and was fortunate enough to be brought up here amongst the sea, streams and standing stones. later my family moved here, splintered off to here and finally ended up here. when I left home I went here then here then spent a glorious five years here. a job opportunity led me back up here, where I now live. I feel a mild sense of alienation from all of these places, and a vague feeling of patriotism to at least one of them. mark all the points on a map then join them up and they make the sign of a skewed, inverted pentogram or something.

2. Why do you Moblog? How do you use the site?

I was introduced to the website by someone years ago. I used it aimlessly at first, taking pictures of little things that interested me. then one evening I was bored and frustrated so I decided to put together a fifty part series (plus prologue) to express just how I felt. I realised after that that a moblog is a powerful tool that can be bent and moulded to your own meaning. it can be used to express anything from personal battleaxes to sincere sentiments. then I got kind of bored of the website for a while and took two and a half years out before coming back to document personal stories, fabulous things I've seen and monkeys. my moblog is neither a record of my life nor an exhaustive catalogue of my personal interests, it's merely an occasional creative outlet for minor fascinations.

3. Why billion?

I think it comes from a fascination with how numbers look in their written form. certain numbers when expressed with letters, like fifty one, thirteen and five four nine look beautiful on the written page. billion is one of those special numbers in that it is numerically very large - 1,000,000,000 - but can be represented with just seven letters, or sometimes two (bn) or sometimes one (b). it's similar to the way you can refer to yourself with a single letter ("I") when really you are referring to many, many much larger things - your thoughts, feelings, personality, physical presence and all of what those things entail. I deliberately don't put a capital letter at the start of "billion" to emphasise how simple the word is when related to what it represents. not a big fan of capitalisation. I tend not to think of billion as a big number like 1,000,000,000 but rather think of it as 7 (bil + lio + n = 3 + 3 + 1 = 7).

this must all sound a little weird.

4. What wish is, as of yet, unfulfilled?

learn to play drums...visit every continent... become a father... kiss the blarney stone... convert to buddhism... master the game of chess... freejump off ayers rock... spend time with eddie izzard... convert to sikhism... build my own boat... rid myself of stupidity... impress friends with card tricks... discover a new particle... laugh in the face of adversity... convert to judaism... fix that crack in the bathroom... become an expert on wine... direct my own feature length film... cook excellently... swing from trees... lift the stone of destiny... convert to atheism. when I think of the number of wishes I haven't yet fulfilled versus the ones that I already have, I feel as if I have my whole life ahead of me :)

5. What little known fact about yourself would reveal something about your character that you think is important?


hmm... the obvious internal contradiction of this question is that as soon as I reveal a "little known fact", it suddenly ceases to be just that (depending on how many people actually take the time to read this blurb, and frankly I wouldn't blame them if they didn't). does that imply then that when one exposes an important fact about one's character to a wider public it suddenly ceases to be important and factual, but rather an unimportant falsehood? who knows? does it actually matter? and who really cares?

I dream of flying. I've heard this is fairly common, but when it happens to me I often become aware that I'm dreaming mid-flight (or flying mid-dream) and so manage to enter the dream, take control of my improbably realised propulsion through the air, and carry on doing so for as long as the dream will warrant. this, again, may be a common experience amongst people who dream, but I have no way of knowing as I can never really experience other people's dreams. flying without the aid of a vehicle I think of as the pinnacle of imagined pleasure. whether this shows an infantile rebuke of physical reality or a simple yearning for scientific impossibilities is up for debate. I'm willing to accept that either situation may be equally true or indeed false.

6. What smells evoke strong memories for you?

you mean from childhood? well I guess they would be peat, coal, sea air, stinky ditches, goats, chimney smoke, damp moss and tangerines. in adulthood they would be marijuana, lamb curry, dry ice, polluted rivers, carpets of rented accomodation and other, more sensually satisfying things which I probably shouldn't mention.

7. What is your favourite personal possession and why?

the answer to this question, without any shadow of a doubt, is my hat. the story goes like this...

many years ago I lived with a young fella who used to sport this very fetching hat. we left the house at roughly the same time and headed off in two different directions. I discovered some time later that his hat had got mixed up with my things (I did not steal it) and so I've claimed it as my own until he asks for it back. no word as yet. boy have I done a lot of things in this hat. I travelled the length of europe in this hat. I've been to the coolest clubs in this hat. I've swam in the ocean in this hat. I've worn this hat to every gig I've played. on a now-scuppered memory card from my old mobile I had many many pictures of many many people wearing my hat in many many different places. I bloody love my hat, man. I can't express how much it means to me.

8. If you could be a superhero what powers would you have? How would you use them?

what, you mean apart from being able to fly? well, I think most of the successful superhero characters were created by people who, through no fault of their own, felt excluded from the life around them. so with this in mind I'd like to say that my superhero power would be divine perspective. I'd like to see inside the minds of the superhero creators, feel what they felt when they made these wonderful characters who could fly, see in the dark, use super strength etc. turn the super power back on the creator. by natural extension I'd like to be able to see inside the minds of historical figures - darwin, einstein, hitler, aristotle, shakespeare and kubrick would be first on the list. I want to see inside everyone's mind to understand them. and I really, really, really want to fly.

9. What event changed you forever?

damaging my hearing! it happened about a year and a half ago after a series of exposures to loud amplified sound, a period of deep anxiety and an ill-fated flight which left the hearing on my left side permanently distorted. I also hear a lot of sounds in my head that aren't really there (tinnitus) but other than that I can hear as normal. the importance of hearing protection can't be over-emphasised as many venues with amplified sound are poorly equipped and badly engineered. a pair of foam or plastic ear plugs cost as little as 75p from a local chemist and could spell the difference between comfortable listening and permanent damage. serious musicians should consider investing in a pair of custom-made elacins. the benefit of hindsight can be a real bitch sometimes.

10. What do you think your job was in your previous life? Tell us why...

I don't believe in these kinds of things.

Posted by billion

12th Dec 2008, 02:48   | tags:,


izzylou says:

I found this a very interesting read indeed. I particularly like your superhero power of divine perspective, Also liked your explanation of your username, very interesting

12th Dec 2008, 05:49

KeithD says:

Really enjoyable read.

If you also write lyrics for the band after reading this I would love to see them !

12th Dec 2008, 07:35

PrincessJun says:

Really interesting. You'll have to fulfill your wish of converting to buddhism before you can answer Q10. hehe.
Feel like I know 'billion' a little better now. Thank you. :)

12th Dec 2008, 08:23

taniwha says:

Billion - Wonderful. An interview that makes me want to know more. The wonderful thing about interview52 is that I discover connections. Nice to meet another tinnitus sufferer. It's a drag.

Your dreams about flying resonated with me. About 15 years ago, I became fascinated by lucid dreaming. I was going to write a book about it. When people finally learnt to lucid dream, a large number of them wanted to have waking dreams about flying. The desire to fly seems to be something really primal within us.

12th Dec 2008, 10:06

nige says:

Interesting interview, man.

12th Dec 2008, 10:59

billion says:

izzylou - thank you. I'm thinking now that divine perspective sounds a bit strong and, well, religious. but you get the idea.

keithd - thanks. yeah I write lyrics, the title is a line from a song I wrote.

pj - hehe. well spotted. thanks for picking me to be interviewed!

taniwha - I'm amazed at how many people have tinnitus. you adjust to it after a while, but it's best not to get it in the first place.

nige - thanks for starting the group man!

12th Dec 2008, 11:57

nige says:

Hey, you're welcome. You're the nineteenth interviewee so far - I can't believe it's almost been six months! I look forward to this every single week. I really like not knowing who's going to be next. It's great.

12th Dec 2008, 13:31

JokerXL says:

Very interesting reading.
Thank you billion.
The lucid flying thing rings a bell, great fun when that happens, haven't quite managed to master conscious recall of that situation but I'm working on it.

13th Dec 2008, 09:30

Dhamaka says:

this is great reading and I love the expressiveness of the photo.

Agree completely with taniwha and have so many more questions to ask after reading this. You're not the first musician with tinnitis I've met on this blog - life can be so symmetrical at times..

I know I'm quite sporadic on moblog these days but I always enjoy popping over to your blog. It'd be great to one day meet you IRL too

13th Dec 2008, 09:41

Viv says:

something of a magical mystery tour following all the links :)

13th Dec 2008, 15:40

MaggieD says:

Agree with Viv about following the links :)
and yes, a very interesting interview that leaves me thinking that I know billion a bit better, but would love to meet you and have a chat and know a little more :)

13th Dec 2008, 18:40

MaggieD says:

Oh yes, and really like the photo, it becomes more relevant as the interview progresses ...

13th Dec 2008, 18:42

MaggieD says:

Oh yes, and really like the photo, it becomes more relevant as the interview progresses ...

13th Dec 2008, 18:42

shitake says:

Very,very,very..[+ billion times ] interesting interview! :D

14th Dec 2008, 00:22

factotum says:

A lot to think about, and a lot of links to follow!

14th Dec 2008, 00:52

billion says:

jxl, dhamaka, viv, maggied, shitake, factotum: thank you.

the picture, by the way, is my sister's work. unlike me she's actually studied photography and knows how to compose and light a shot properly.

14th Dec 2008, 16:20

Dhamaka says:

it's a nice shot - but your own images are also good

14th Dec 2008, 17:15

Pharma57(johna37-at-aol-dot-com) says:

Very nice site!

15th Apr 2009, 09:33

propecia(andygreen2010-at-yandex-dot-ru) says:

Hello! nice blog!

21st Jan 2011, 20:08

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