Thanks to Cat Ellis for providing me with this interview. It originally appeared in the now defunct fanzine, "Bluetonic"
are without a doubt one of the best new bands out of the bunch of ‘new acts
for 99’. The songs, the lyrics,
the fellas are all just great and the band have become one of my favourites, and
1999 is going to be full of them so don’t miss out on becoming one of their
before their second single ‘Scars’ was released I had been given an advanced
promo copy and the chance of an interview, which is to follow.
I decided to interview lead singer and songwriter Gerard, and when I
phoned him up I found out a few interesting facts and he ended up asking me more
Date: 19th February 1999
you planning on playing any festivals this summer?
we should be although we probably wont get told till a week before so I don’t
know which ones
did the NME tour supporting Mansun go?
was probably the worst gig we’ve ever done, it’s probably the worse gig
anybody’s ever done actually. We started playing at about 6.45pm which was a bit of a shock
and it was just a very, very bad day
got a support tour coming up soon…
we’re supporting Deus, 17th March it starts I think, we’re
looking forward to that as we all do like Deus quite a lot
closest dates to me are Leeds or Wolverhampton which are both over two hours
don’t even know where the dates are to be honest, no ones said, we’re
probably find out a week before we do them, we never get told anything like that
joking?! Even I know where you’re playing
you know what dates they’re on?
I dunno I’ve got them on the press release
don’t know if there’s one on 23rd March do you?
just that’s my girlfriends birthday so she wants me to do something with her
but I don’t know what I’m doing yet, I haven’t been able to prise anything
off of anyone yet
you recording at the moment?
we’re working on the album
you know when the album is going to be out?
supposed to be out in May unless nothing disastrous happens, but it all seems to
be going fairly well
are the tracks like? Are they like the songs from the Scars single? Or?
they all sound pretty varied to be honest, there’s all sorts of things coming
on actually… because we’re in the middle of it now it’s a bit difficult to
declare what’s it all about. We’re
are your own personal influences?
I dunno honestly, it’s all kind of things, it’s hard to pin point just a few
bands who have any specific influence like that.
You’re influenced by everything you hear whether it’s good or not.
do you think of ‘Scars’?
like it a lot, it’s a great song, I like ‘Long First Chapter’ as well
a lot of people have said that. Have
you heard ‘Quarantine’ as well?
lot of people were quite surprised when they heard ‘Scars’, flabbergasted
selling for £10-15 now
it? (sounding shocked)
in mail order companies like the ones in the back of NME, they’ve got it in
there for £12/13
I had been given any copies I could have flogged them and earned a few quid!
Whereabout’s in Wales are you recording then?
in South Wales, near Monmouth at Rockfield Studios
The Charlatans recorded a lot of their past albums at Monmouth
Yeah they did, I heard that Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded here
out of questions Gerard carries on talking)
we haven’t really done a lot and ‘Scars’ isn’t out till a couple of
but it’s been played a few times on Steve Lamacq’s show
it? I know it had been played once
well he’s played it a few times now, on last night’s show he played it
again, it’s normally on near the end of the show
well that’s good to know, no one ever tells us these things at all
really terrible that you don’t get told anything!
going to do an acoustic set on Monday for MTV and it was the lad who designs the
record sleeves that told me about that, they don’t tell us anything until
something like a week before
you in any other bands before Witness?
of crappy little bands yeah but they were never any good, never any good at all,
me and Ray the guitarist have been in a couple of bands together and we just got
sick of being in crappy bands so we just wrote songs for a while until we felt
we were pretty good and then put this band together
was it that you signed to Island records?
was over a year ago now, the Christmas before last.
We put ‘Quarantine’ out on Valiant
records just to get the ball rolling.
When we finally got signed to Island we didn’t even have a full line up
have you been interviewed a lot yet?
is the first one I’ve done today, there’s been a few coming in over the last
only really done a handful of interviews so it’s all still pretty strange
in all the music press about the bands to make it in 99 as well…
that’s’ a pretty strange feeling as well
stuff do you write about then?
(We talk about Bluetonic and my Charlatans ‘zine Isolation) (I thought I was
supposed to be asking the questions!)
was in a band that supported The Charlatans once around when they released
Indian Rope. It was at the Manchester Boardwalk and then Bolton
they’re nice blokes. They’ve done a lot of recording down here haven’t they?
they did a lot of their albums there although they’re in Cheshire now
recording the new one
a really nice place here though
I’ve seen photos of it I was going to visit for some reason
something like that but I don’t know if they are going to record there again
as they’ve now built their own private studio
suppose there’s a few bad memories here for them
it was just round the corner from there…
talking about Deus tour…)
gonna have the chance to do a lot more gigs, we’ve only done a handful so far,
we did a few with Gene a couple of months back, and then we did 5 dates with
this American band and that’s all we’ve done, not many at all, and then
we’re going to do this Deus tour, I think it starts a week after we finish
recording which means we’ve got to learn how to play the songs like they sound
on the album in 5 days, so it’s going to be a bit of a struggle
you prefer recording etc than playing live?
feel a lot more comfier recording at the moment cause of the so few gigs we’ve
done, it’s a lot easier to get your ideas down when you’re in a studio but
gigs you’ve got to get it right then and we don’t always get it right like
that NME gig
can’t remember if they showed you on the TV
they didn’t, thank God! It was just a bad gig, I suppose going on so early and that,
it was a funny line up as well, the other bands didn’t seem to have anything
in common with us at all
a lot of people have remarked on how the various line ups were so varied.
end up talking about Delakota)
Delakota are a good band, I met one of them in Stockport when we were doing some
b-sides at a studio, not the lead singer the other one
he knew the guy who owned the studio or something and he was alright