By Noah Hubbell
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"For at least a year we were telling Robin, `Look, you really, really, really need to get some help,'" he continues. "But you can't tell an addict that they need help--they need to make that decision for themselves. And when you've got children [Guthrie and Fraser have a baby girl named Lucy Belle], it all becomes that much more of a heavy thing. He was always so sad, so unhappy, that he realized after a couple of failed attempts that he had to get some help. Otherwise, he was probably going to die."
Instead Guthrie went into treatment, and now has been off drugs, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine for the past sixteen months. As a result, Raymonde says, the band as a whole has undergone a transformation. The Twins' live shows display a new vigor, and their interviews flaunt their willingness to discuss anything and everything. Favorite artists? Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Television and Nirvana, among many others. Passions? Films, especially those by Lasse Hallstrom. The practical difficulties of being in a band whose vocalist writes and sings wordless lyrics? According to Raymonde, surprisingly few.
"Liz's lyrics are words," he says. "They just don't have any meaning. She chooses words because she likes the sound or the look of them." After noting that Fraser writes down her words in verse form, in a very traditional manner, he adds that he is as fascinated by the process as the group's followers are: "It really is quite extraordinary. I don't know how she does it. I always wonder, `How is she going to be able to do all those inflections and phrasing?' But she does. She's just an extremely clever girl."
Still, Fraser's much-ballyhooed decision to write actual lyrics, complete with standard, sequential sentences, doesn't mean that most listeners will be able to make much of what she's saying. "She just sings in a very unusual way," Raymonde says. "If she was singing `baa baa black sheep,' it would still sound weird."
Thank goodness not everything has changed.
Cocteau Twins, with Luna. 9 p.m. Friday, March 25, Ogden Theatre, 935 East Colfax Avenue, $22, 290-TIXS or 830-2525.