after 2 years research and 6 months recording, it is finished.

i’m not really sure what i have created, but i do know that i haven’t thought more about anything in my life. every sound, note and object on this record has a reason for being there. if it sounds naive, it’s supposed to. if the track lasts a certain length, it’s designed that way. it doesn’t make the record any good necessarily, but it does make it impossible for this music to float off to that place music so casually occupies these days: the disposable. the ambition is to try and take steps further and further backwards from the celebrity and idolatry of the artist and move the listener closer and closer to the stories the work contains. certainly the record is the work of a lot of people. even simply the 3255 people eating an apple. without any one of them, this record would have sounded different.

despite my best efforts, there had to come a point where i stopped trying to document every problem with the current food chain and get on with making records about other things. there’s so much i wanted to include on the site here, but it’s probably better to let you figure some of the stuff out on your own. certainly since i started this project in 2003, there has been a massive increase in national stories about food here in the uk. people are aware that obesity is an economic threat as well as a personal health issue, school dinners have been shown to be a disgrace, the atkins diet has all but ended. the food industry however is still peddling the bullshit line that ‘there’s no such thing as bad food’ and starbucks keeps opening branches. clearly, there’s still a long way to go.

it has been an amazing learning experience playing this project live but the amount of work behind the scenes to make each show happen has been quite exhausting. unless we get a very interesting opportunity, it will be retired for 2006.

many thanks to all the people that sent me recordings of themselves popping gum. someone accidentally packed them away in storage for a year. when i get them back, i’ll finish the track and put it up for free on the site here.

for more information about the incredible artwork done for this project out of food dyes, please visit for the art of stanley donwood.

one of the conclusions i have reached by doing this record is how something fairly radical had to change in my own life. it was going to be difficult to criticise apples being flown from new zealand to england all year round if i was then taking flights myself every weekend. i have therefore decided to stop flying on environmental grounds. since i have family in america, i will allow myself one flight a year. for everything else though, i will be travelling by bus, boat and train. when it comes to touring i will be away for 4 months of the year and then spend the remaining 8, working on music. after flying at least once a week for 10 years, i will also be delighted to leave the pitifully uninspired vision of the world presented to us by airllines and airports: a constant barrage of adverts for swiss watches, luxury resorts, executive golf magazines and cosmetics. it will also mean longer visits to each country and an opportunity to understand more of the local cultures we visit and to appreciate the lost art of travel. a part of the rising slow movement.

it would be nice to consider a slow music movement, but i’m not sure how that would work exactly. if you’ve any ideas or suggestions, or you’re from a large food corporation and you’d like to lecture me about the benefits to us all to have very shiny strawberrys 365 days of the year, you can email us here:

until then, come in and have a look around. or visit the home of accidental records, the label it is on.

until the next time, thanks for listening.
matthew herbert 22.09.05