A portrait of Will Carruthers


Will Carruthers

Will Car­ruthers has had a che­quered career. Fre­quent­ly veer­ing from the sub­lime to the ridicu­lous and rarely lack­ing a sense of humour about the whole thing, he has trav­elled the world per­form­ing his pecu­liar bal­anc­ing act between artis­tic endeav­our and hard labour. Often with­out a safe­ty net.

In his ear­ly years, he was the bassist for Space­men 3, Spir­i­tu­al­ized, and Spec­trum, three bands who were among the most influ­en­tial rock out­fits of the late 80’s and ear­ly 90’s. If in doubt, look them up and you will find that these pio­neers of drone rock influ­enced every­one from Nir­vana to Daft Punk and My bloody valen­tine. Their record­ings and uncom­pro­mis­ing atti­tudes con­tin­ue to be a cher­ished source of inspi­ra­tion for many of the new wave of psy­che­delia” bands that are flour­ish­ing today.

Not one to rest on his lau­rels, Car­ruthers moved from the suc­cess of these bands into a series of back break­ing and soul destroy­ing jobs, which he doc­u­ment­ed in a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries called A Book of Jobs”.

This book fea­tures; A plu­to­ni­um fac­to­ry, bad­gers, fire­balls, the north­ern lights, a giant turd (pos­si­bly belong­ing to Jim­my Page), Mid­land meat pack­ers, sleep­ing under a hedge eat­ing nuts and berries, poach­ing a thou­sand eggs, a very loud cow, a riv­er of piss, Oasis at Kneb­worth, a wink­ing fox, and the ghost of Bil­lie Holiday. 

Car­ruthers made the first one hun­dred copies by hand at his kitchen table, bind­ing four­teen of his own orig­i­nal linoleum prints into the books in the process.

It was a lot of work,” he said.

Hav­ing more recent­ly played with the noto­ri­ous Bri­an Jon­estown Mas­sacre and with Ice­landic band Dead Skele­tons, Car­ruthers final­ly start­ed to go deaf and he has sub­se­quent­ly decid­ed to give loud music a break for a while, although he does per­form occa­sion­al solo con­certs and read­ings for large­ly con­fused audiences.

He pub­lished a hand­made book of poet­ry called A Spoon for the Air” and has had poems fea­tured in the books One anoth­er” by Alisa Resnik, (which won the Euro­pean pub­lish­ers prize for pho­tog­ra­phy), and in La part des ombres” by Swiss author Chiara Mechtry-Gonet.

He has had a few short sto­ries and essays pub­lished in a cou­ple of magazines.

Car­ruthers some­times lives in Berlin, but he would real­ly like to live by the sea, grow pecu­liar veg­eta­bles and keep donkeys.



Another word for nothing left to lose