an oral history by Paul McDermott
Stano’s 1983 debut album Content to Write in I Dine Weathercraft is reissued this month by AllChival (All City Records’ reissue label). The original album has been exchanging hands for lots of money in recent years so this is a very timely release. Stano’s avant-garde electronic record was years ahead of its time and quite rightly deserves its place in the pantheon of seminal Irish post-punk releases. Stano started out as a member of Dublin’s legendary The Threat before releasing his debut single in 1982. Punk was the great enabler: Stano couldn’t play an instrument but he did write poetry, he also had two tape recorders. He would bounce field recordings from one tape machine to another and add spoken word performances. He recorded band rehearsals and cut up the jams he liked: by his own admission he was a magpie, soaking up influences and regurgitating them. Never one to sit still, he has since released over a dozen albums of startlingly, uncompromising original music. Over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to Stano on a number of occasions. He joined me up in Dublin City FM for a really long chat one night and more recently he contributed to a documentary about Michael O’Shea that I’m producing. Over the Summer we spent a great afternoon revisiting the home of Alto Studios in Robert Emmet House in Milltown. Below is some of what transpired over the course of those meetings.