A selection of of our finest interviews from the past year or so. Including The Bluetones, Battle, Idlewild, Athlete, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, The Boxer Rebellion, The Black Velvets, Oceansize, Ria Bright and Pure Reason Revolution.
We were lucky enough to meet up with The Bluetones, one of the UK’s most underrated poptastic bands over the last decade. We pushed some questions and pens under ¾’s of the bands faces and let them go, you judge how serious the answers are! How the hell are The Bluetones? Mark (Singist) – In very fine fettle, thank you. 5/6’s of the way through album #5 and all is well. Scott (bass) – Not bad at all thanks for asking! Eds (drums) – We’re all very well, thank you and yourself? You’ve done a decade as The Bluetones, do you feel like the elder statesmen of indie pop? Eds – People who have never heard our music always ask, “What do you sound like?” I always say The Beatles. Scott – A bit soon for questions like that don’t you think? Mark – Not yet, no. But if people keep asking me about it I might start to fret and stock pile some oil of olay (ulay)! What’s the highlights of The Bluetones? Scott – Mark’s knees, Adam’s neck and Eds Wonderful bouncy hair! Eds – Writing new songs. Playing them for the first few times in front of an audience. Mark – Pardon? And obviously any lows? Mark – Ah, I see what you mean. Highlights? There have been many, but I don’t want to waffle on about the rush of playing to huge crowds, having number 1’s etc. The main highlight is our continuous productively as a group and the fact we still all have our hair! Scott – I’d rather not dwell on that one, could get a bit teary. Eds – Waiting around for the interesting stuff to happen. Any points when you’ve thought ‘sod it that’s the end of The Bluetones’? Eds – Yes, a few years ago I went to college for a year. Couldn’t resist doing another album tho’. Scott – Not just now. Thanks for saving me! Mark – Every time I fill in a questionnaire! (Sic) You’ve got a new album coming out on Cooking Vinyl, what’s it called and what can we expect on it? Mark – I think this’ll be an eponymous album full of strong melodic songs ranging for two to four minutes in length. Scott – It’s called ‘The Bluetones’, you can expect 10 songs of varying degrees of excellence. Eds – It’s an eponymous album, more good songs. Of your back catalogue, what song are you most proud of and why? Plus which song do you love playing live? Scott – They are like my children, I hate them all! Eds – ‘Tiger Lily’. Lovely crunching and zingy drums. ‘Liquid Lips’, it’s a very straight forward and simple, but sounds great usually. Mark – Difficult one that. It’s like trying to pick my favourite pair of trainers. Depends on too many outside factors: mood, weather or what I’m wearing. I cannot choose, I’m not Meryl Streep, I love them aaaaall! Any songs you’d rather have not put your name to?! Eds – NO. Mark – What are you implying??? Scott – I co wrote ‘It’s alright’ by Dr Alban. But of this I am proud. Has Mark’s on stage dancing improved over the years!? Eds – NO. Scott – No, and I sincerely hope it never does. Mark – Sadly no. It is in a continual decline, but still I go on humiliating myself. Are there any current bands that you love at the moment, what do you think of South Yorkshire’s finest The Arctic Monkeys? Scott – I like Archie Bronson Outfit and also Phoenix at the moment. I have heard of these Arctic Monkeys but do not worship at the alter. Mark – Quite like ‘em. Not really got me finger on the pulse so can’t really anyone else. Eds – I like The Bees and The Arcade Fire, I don’t really dig the Arctic Monkeys. What’s your favourite top three songs (any artist / band) and why? Eds – Oh, too many to mention and need more time and space to answer but Bohemian Rapsody, natch. Scott – 1. (Ain’t nothing gonna) Break my stride – Matthew Wilder. 2. Ya mo be there – Michael Macdonald. 3. Star trekkin – The Firm. Mark – Okay…. For today it is; 1. Elton John – Someone saved my life tonight. 2. Neil Young – When you dance I can really love. 3. Martha and the Muffins – Echo Beach. You still tour a hell of a lot, do you still love it? Scott – I like it a lot, a really lot, but not love, I’m not gay you know! Eds – Yes, I prefer the larger Cities. We’ve visited most of the towns in England now. I’m ready to have a look at the US. Mark – I’d be a bit of a mug not to. It’s what I DO MAN. What’s the best bluetones gig ever & the best place you’ve been to whilst been a Bluetone? Mark – Unfortunately loads of scribble followed by ‘Sorry rubbish answer’. Scott – The most bizarre was possibly Bangkok in 1997, hot and strange but lots of fun. Eds – Bennecassim / Toyko / Glasgow Barrowlands. What’s LO-FI-BEDDOW? Scott – I’m not sure about that, but I know what a ‘Fi-Lo Beddow’ is. It’s a troubadour, or rather he is. Eds – Isn’t that an Eastwood Clint character? Mark – I think you mean Fi Lo Beddow, and it is me. NOTE – We’d just like to point out we got the name Lo-FI-Beddow off The Bluetones own website and just to clarify it is Mark’s side project. What would you like written on The Bluetones tombstone? Eds – Let it RIP. Scott – LET IT R.I.P!!! Mark – I told you I was sick
Questions for BATTLE
Q1, Firstly who the fek are Battle? Jamie – Battle are four passionate young men. The battle rages everywhere, always. Tim – Four young men with a dream and the will to succeed. Jason – A music group who want to win your hearts. “Everyday it’s like a battle, but we’ll push on through”. Q2, We said that ‘Demons’ sounded like ‘what the Libertines should have sounded like if they were as good as they thought they were’ Do you think this is fair? Jamie – No. I don’t think it sounds much like The Libs even though a few people have mentioned that. It’s sentiment is very different to what we were writing about. Tim – No, not really. The Libertines wanted to be a Clash covers band. But thank you anyway. Jason – That’s very complimentary, I admired the Libs for their romance and passion but they’ve only got two good songs (in my opinion). I want to write great songs so I don’t need to keep a diary. Q3, You’ve signed to Transgressive records – how cool is it being on an indie label? Jamie – We’ll be finding out soon, but so far it’s gone well. They have interesting packaging ideas! Tim – They’re nice people but that’s got nothing to do with being indie. It’s called ‘the music industry’, it just depends whether they make lots of money determines status. Jason – No one in Battle is cool, trust me! The guys from Trans are sweet, intelligent and bang into their music so that’s cool. Q4, If somebody was coming to see you for the first time what should they expect to see? Jamie – A band playing songs they believe in, hopefully well. Tim – Good songs played by a band who really care about what they do. Jason – Sweaty men; a dancing bassist, an orange drummer, a be-spectacled guitarist and guitarist struggling with his contact lenses. Q5, ‘Tendency’ had Zane Lowe’s seal of approval even as a demo, did this help you decide to release it as a single? Jamie – Not especially. Tim – Not really, but obviously it’s really nice to know songs you’re proud of are getting a good response. Jason – Never wanted it to go out as a single initially because of it’s length, but when people like Zane played it in it’s entirety we felt more encouraged. Q6, Who are the biggest musical influences on Battle? Jamie – Radiohead, The Smiths, The Beatles, Nirvana. Stone Roses & Oasis. Tim – The Beatles, Stone Rosesm Pixies, Radiohead, The Smiths, Talking Heads & David Bowie. Jason – Beatles, Pixies, Radiohead, Smiths, Bowie, Stone Roses & Nirvana. Q7, What were the last three records you begged, borrowed or stole? Jamie – Mystery Jets, Arctic Monkeys & Clay your hands say ya. Tim – Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation, Bjork – live box set & David Bowie – Low (new copy). Jason – ‘Scott 4’, Sonic Youth – ‘Goo’ and At the drive in (best of). Q8, What is you favourite Battle song & why? Jamie – It changes all the time, but I’m currently enjoying playing a new one called stop! (‘!’ is supposed to be there , I’ve never been told why). Tim – They’re all my babies but ‘Children’ if you must know. Jason – At the moment, a track off the album called ‘The Waltz’. Really different to anything we’ve done. Q9, What’s the most embarrassing moment thus far in the short career of Battle? Jamie – The haircuts we used to get free as we rehearsed under a hairdressers. As they were free, they were also experiments. Tim – Playing in Liverpool on a Champions league night was pretty bad. Jason – Battle are deeply hapless. We suffered the indignity of coming third, three years in a row at the uni battle of the bands! Q10, What’s the worst record you’ve ever bought? Jamie – Bought will always be a bit better than heard, so….probably Solarised by Ian Brown. Tim – Beth Orton – Central Reservation. Jason – ‘Sands of the ocean, part two’. It was probably just some guy on a casio keyboard but I was young and pretentious. Q11, Have you recorded a debut album and what’s that going to be like? Jamie – Yes, it will be 11 tracks of passionate, well crafted songs. Fairly eclectic, it was recorded live, so it should have an exciting vibe. Tim – Yes, we’ve finished it. Hopefully it’s really good – full of classic songs performed with passion with interesting arrangements. Jason – The album was recorded in three weeks. It’s warm, organic, a bit ‘un-tight’ in places and sounds just like us. That’s every bands right, on their debut, to play live, record it and love it. Q12, In ten words write your own press release (swearing is allowed!)… Jamie – Gotta get Battle into your lives before it’s too late… Tim – A band committed to making intelligent, passionate, inspiring music. Jason – This band will be important to you and your children!
Questions for IDLEWILD
We managed to board the Idlewild bandwagon as it sped into Nottingham to promote the excellent ‘Warnings / Promises’ album. Down into the bowels of the Rock City we go to hook up with Gavin Fox to discuss one of our favourite folk, rock indie bands. Q1, Firstly you were recently voted the 3rd best Scottish band ever, did this surprise you? Who would you have voted for? We were very surprised. We would have given the prize to Teenage Fanclub. Q2, You seem to be able to write some cracking pop songs, does this come naturally to Idlewild or does it take some real work to write songs? A mixture of both. Q3, ‘Warnings / Promises’ the new album, how pleased are you with it and why should we buy it? We think it’s our best yet. Buy it because you might like it, you can always exchange it! Q4, Do you consider yourselves as an Indie, folk or rock band? In percentages, 10% indie, 30% folk and 60% rock. Q5, Are you Idle, Wild or indeed both? Where’s the name from? Wild of course! The name comes from the book ‘Anne of green gables’. Q6, Who was / are the biggest musical influences on Idlewild? Dylan, Neil Young, Sugar, Sonic Youth, the Band to name just a few of the hundreds of bands we are influenced by. Q7, What were the last three records you begged, borrowed or stole? M. Ward’s Transistor Radio, Iain Archer album and Sons and Daughters Luv the Cup. Q8, What is you favourite Idlewild song & why? Film for the future because it just fucking rocks. And it’s so much fun to play. Q9, It’s recently been said that you currently sound more like REM than REM these days – what do you think of this statement? Bullshit! Just some lazy cunt who can’t be bothered to listen to the record properly. Idlewild sound like Idlewild. Q10, What’s the worst record you’ve ever bought? 2 Unlimited – U ready for this! Q11, You’re not known for your rock n roll lifestyle would you surprise a few people at a party? I would! We’re not the bunch of poetry reading dorks people think we are, we do have the occasional glass of sherry. Q12, In ten words write your own press release (swearing is allowed!)… Idlewild have sold over ninety million albums worldwide. ‘Fucking awesome’.
Questions for ATHLETE
Name of Band Member Tim Wanstall - Keyboards / Piano Q1, How are things going in the Athlete camp right now? Yeah, Quality! We’re obviously excited about putting a new album out, and having been stuck in our basement writing and in the countryside recording for pretty much a whole year it’s good to be playing to people again. Q2, The second album ‘Tourist’ is finished – what does it sound like & how does it differ from ‘Vehicles & Animals’? It’s darker than ‘V&A’ but more hopeful than melancholic – one reviewer called it ‘uplifting sadness’. Lyrically it’s a little more emotive / introspective just because of the stuff that’s being going on in our lives. We didn’t want to repeat the quirky pop of ‘V&A’ because we were inspired by the creative challenge of doing something fresh – and we chose ‘epic’. Q3, What was the last record you bought, begged or stole? Bought – Brian Wilson’s Smile. Begged – New Bright eye’s (hasn’t arrived yet!). Stole – Anything from Parlophone’s cupboard (last time was the Pet Shop Boy’s DVD!). Q4, The NME stated you are ‘Coldplay’s fans fourth favourite band’ any reply / comment on this statement? Great if Coldplay fan’s buy four records a year! Think Coldplay are great but references to ‘Tourist’ being like Coldplay are a little lazy if you listen to the production – this is still very much an Athlete album. Q5, Vehicles and Animals sold over 250,000 did this take you by surprise? Yes it really did – we weren’t supported by any hype but were fortunate that a year’s touring, a mercury nomination and people hearing songs on the radio all came together. Q6, What’s your favourite Athlete song and why? Right now ‘Half Light’ (our next single). ’24 Hours’ is our favourite to play live out of the new set. ‘Westlife’ holds special memories. Q7, The single ‘Wires’ is taking on Elvis – any chance of beating the legend to number one & do you feel it’s right for a man who’s been dead for 20 odd years to be scoring number one hits!? You’re kidding yourself if you think commerce isn’t part of the music industry although of course I’d rather people spend their money on new music. Yeah we’ve got a chance……… Q8, Name five musical influences. Flaming Lips, Blur, Beck, life and unanswered questions. Q9, To non patrons of your website, what’s all this about a new sport you’ve invented? It’s more a focusing of the mind before a gig and basically involves kicking an empty water bottle into a bin, exciting I know. Q10, Are you going to try to crack America with this album? Yeah I hope so…and Japan. Q11, ‘Wires’ is written about the singer’s daughter, what’s the story about that? She had a difficult birth but it worked out fine – the song is written about being in the middle of such a moment. Q12, To say you’ve sold so many records not many people know what you look like – does this surprise or bother you?! Didn’t surprise us ‘cause we were never really on Tv or in the press but that’s changing with this record. Would rather people know a tune rather than a face!
Questions for KAISER CHIEFS
Hardly hailing from Germany the Kaiser Chiefs actually have stormed from nowhere via Leeds to be one of the NME’s top tips to hit the big time. Ever the curious ones we hit the road and met up with singerist Ricky and drummer Nick to find out more and managed to grab and interview round the back of some portaloos, how rock and roll is that?!. Q1, Who are the Kaiser Chiefs? Nick – 5 piece band from leeds. Ricky – Ricky/vox, Nick drums/vox, Peanut/keys, Simon Whity/guitar. Q2, You’re from Yorkshire, does it come across in the music & how? Ricky – We sing a lot about Leeds and especially the night life as heard in the single ‘I predict a riot’. Nick – Sometimes in the lyrics. Q3, What was the last record you bought, begged or stole? Nick – White Album – The Beatles. Ricky – You are the quarry – Morrissey. Q4, Name five musical influences. Ricky – Madness, Beach Boys, SFA, Blur & Beatles (Jamiroqui – not!). Nick – John, Paul, George, Ringo and Morrissey! Q5, In no more than ten words how would you describe Kaiser Chiefs live? Nick – Really exciting and ace! Ricky – Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very good! Q6, What’s your favourite Kaiser Chiefs song and why? Ricky – ‘Modern way’ because I mean it the most when I sing it. Nick – ‘You can have it all’ cos it gives me a break during the set. Q7, What’s it like to hear ‘I predict a riot’ on radio 1? Nick – Rubbish (crossed out!) only joking, brill. Ricky – Weird, but the best type of weird imaginable. Q8, How’s The Ordinary Boys tour gone? Any good stories?! Ricky – Great, we went paddling in Newquay, cold but brill. Nick – We met Goldin Lookin Chain yesterday. You knows it! Q9, What can we expect to hear on a Kaiser Chief album? Nick – The best debut of the year! Ricky – About 11 songs. Q10, How would you like people to describe you musically – go on write your own pr! Nick – Inspirational. Ricky – Live and dangerous!
Questions for PURE REASON REVOLUTION
Picture the scene, sat around a table in the downstairs bar of one of England’s infamous toilet circuit venues, the Doncaster Leopard are four parts of five piece space rockers Pure Reason Revolution. It would be criminal as they have a bit of spare time to not put a few questions to prior to their soundcheck. Q1, Who are Pure Reason Revolution? Chloe – Five Minstrels of yore who come from a mythical realm all of whom have been sectioned under the mental health act! Jon – Jon Courtney! James – Five people who were separated at birth and then were thrown back together several years later through sheer coincidence. Or Jon (Vox, Guitar), Chloe (Vox, bass), Jim (keys, vox, bass), Anders (drums) and Greg (guitar, vox). Q2, Where did you get that name? Jon – While constructing a thesis on ‘The construction of genius’ I read all kinds of crazy philosospy! Err.. And one of the main dudes was Kant and his critique of Pure Reason! We then chucked a revolution on the end cause the music we were doing was revolutionary to us, exciting! Chloe – Three monster munch that were shaped like a P, an R and an R – plucked at random from a bag purchased at Reading service station two years ago. James – It’s a reference to Emmanuel Kant, a philosopher who wrote ‘Critique of Pure Reason’. I think it had something to do with the correlation between chickens and eggs or something!! Band a revolution on the end and you’ve got a band name. Q3, Rumour has it you like a 12-minute epic, do you ever worry about fans getting distracted half way through a song? James – Not really, the music changes constantly so even though the song is 12 minutes long it has lots of different sections to keep the listener engaged. Andrew – No fans perseverance is thoroughly rewarded by the end. Jon – No! It’s a journey! If you fuck off half way through you’ll miss the full reward of giving it a full listen. And I guess if you’re already a fan then you’ll want to listen to the whole thing anyway! Chloe – Only flaky people get distracted half way through our songs (only joking!). We try to keep the crowd in a state of perpetual amusement by taking the songs in different channels / directions. Long songs shouldn’t mean boring, they should mean journey! Q4, How would you best describe the Pure Reason Revolution sound? Jon – Big, small, funny, rewarding, exciting, boring, sad, happy, forgiving, surreal and folkey! We’re just a contemporary rock band really! With a wide range of influences. WE ARE surreal rockers! Chloe – Space rock, journey music (like I said) a jolly good time had by all. James – Epic, layered, immense, harmonious, lush, electronic, rocking… hmmm, I’ve run out of adjectives. Has anyone got a thesaurus?! Andrew – Big! Q5, What are / were you musical influences? Andrew – DJ Shadow, Pet Shop Boys, The Cure and The Beach boys. Jon – Ahh…Beach Boys / Brian Wilson, Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, William Blake, DJ Shadow, Yes, The Beastie Boys, Nirvana, ELP, Smashing Pumpkins, books on psychological disorder, assorted philosophy and surreal art. James – Lots of things before my time – everything from late classical especially the ‘romantic’ era through the Russian 12 note composers, to the records I stole off my parents – Floyd, Zeppelin, Beach Boys… as well as a lot of more modern stuff be it rock, electronic, anything really. I think you draw influence from almost everything you listen to. Q6, What are the last three records you begged, borrowed or stole? James – The Earlies - we are the earlies, Brian Wilson – Smile & Engineers – Folly. Jon – Godspeed, Mercury Rev & David Axelrod. Andrew – The Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon & ? Q7, What can punters expect of Pure Reason Revolution live? Chloe – Ha Ha (evil laugh) expect to be forced into our napherious scheme! Expect something you don’t normally see, something you don’t normally hear. A refreshing change, harmony led journey music. James – A truly outstanding show. Jon – No talking, no fighting but lots of sensual harmony! Andrew –Songs, being dangerously close to everything breaking!! Sweat, fear etc etc Q8, In your view what’s the best thing about Pure Reason revolution? Jon – The diverse soundscapes that drift into your mind implanting visuals of floating unicorns clenching butchers knives and dynamite! Chloe – Umm there are lots… shall I start you off with just a couple? Ok, PRR are not on or about to jump onto any kind of bandwagon (yay!). PRR intend to make a musical difference. PRR might even please your daddy’s ears. James – ME! Not really!! Everything! I think different people will find their own favourite thing about the band but seriously, most people will discover it’s me. Andrew – Everything… Q9, What’s your favourite Pure Reason Revolution song & why? Andrew – Aeropause / Goshen’s remains…the way it kind of shifts and mainly the vocals at the end I guess. Oh and the strings! Chloe – Goshen’s remains, melody from heaven. James – Probably our current single, The bright ambassadors of morning because it’s a real musical journey that twists and turns. Jon – We tried to show them magic, not too sure why. Err I like the music and the story it tells. It’s a kind of song of sections but it all seems to fit together!
Questions for KASABIAN
Q1, The ‘bog standard’ question – where does the name come from and do you get any people mispronouncing it? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno (Guitar / Synth programming) – The Manson family and Armenian name for brother and YES. Chris Edwards (bass + guitar) – Loads of people mispronounce it Kas-b-an it should be KA-SAY-B-AN. Tom Meighan (Vox) – The name comes from the Manson family. Christopher Karloff (Guitar) – The name comes from Linda Kasabian of the Manson family, it is also Armenian for ‘butcher’. Yes, it ain’t hard to read is it for fucks sake. Q2, Have you borrowed some of your image and style from the 118 118 advert? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno – Fuck off – Sgt Peppers! Chris Edwards – No Lennon mate! Tom Meighan – Remember the beatles Sgt Peppers Christopher Karloff – No we were going long before those cunt bags. Q3, You’ve already toured with the likes of The Cooper Temple Clause any juicy stories? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno – They are..… all the rest crossed out, bummer! Chris Edwards – Not really mate. Tom Meighan – Can’t remember out of my tree. Christopher Karloff – They’re all going bald and worship in churches! Q4, Name your three favourite bands and why you love them? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno –Tangerine Dream / floating, David Axelrod / beauty & Primal Scream / sex. Chris Edwards – Beatles – because they did it first, Hendrix – because he’s mad & Muse – great musicians. Tom Meighan – Wham, Eland mig & Kris Kros. Christopher Karloff – Hendrix Experience – Porn as fuck, rolling stones – the bollocks & pink floyd – trippin. Q5, How would you describe the Kasabian sound? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno – The future. Chris Edwards – Electro rock with hip hop beats, a fusion of everything. Tom Meighan – I have no idea. Christopher Karloff – ‘The fuckin biz’ Q6, The Darkness – genius or Whitesnake tribute band? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno – Comedy act, not worth a comment but I will, I would like John King to bum each one! Chris Edwards – Right time, right place, look shit! Tom Meighan – Very clever fucking rip off. Christopher Karloff – Ain’t really bothered. Q7, In ten words or less describe the Kasabian live experience. Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno – Confrontacinal, the band the stones could have been. Chris Edwards – In your face, new, raw, exciting good music. Tom Meighan – Crazy, mad, sound, sex, sea, harsh, power, empire. Christopher Karloff – I told you already ‘The fuckin biz’. Q8, Which pop / rock star would you most like to be if you weren’t in Kasabian? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno – edgar frousse, he has big tanks. Chris Edwards – Daniel Beddingfield. So I could stop making music (everyone’s happy). Tom Meighan – No one just myself. Christopher Karloff – P.Diddy. Q9, What’s your favourite Kasabian song and why? Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno – Working title (All lieing), it explains everything you need to know in 4 mins. Chris Edwards – ID because it starts the set and gives you an idea of what we are all about. Tom Meighan – Jack + Jill went up the hill.
Questions for THE BOXER REBELLION
The Boxer Rebellion are one of the most international bands around at the moment, they are also one of the most underrated but promising. We met up with them at a criminally underpopulated gig in Sheffield, but with a deal with Poptones in the bag and a shit load of moody classics at their disposal things are looking up for The Boxer Rebellion. Q1, The ‘bog standard’ question – where does the name come from? Piers Hewitt (Drums) – We dug it out of a political dictionary, simple as that. Adam Harrison (Bass) – A political history book. Nathan Nicholson (Vocals, Rhythm guitar & keyboards – greedy begger!) – Dictionary of historical events, very boring, but we we’re in the studio and needed one quickly. Q2, You’re a bit of a ‘global’ band how did that come about? Piers Hewitt – I was studying at music college and answered an ad that Todd and Nathan had put in there to join a band. I needed to be convinced but it’s all worked out sweetly. Adam Harrison – Nathan came from the states to study and Todd came to England to work and they met through an advert. They recorded some acoustic demo’s then put an advert up at the London Music School where me and Piers were studying. Nathan Nicholson – I came over to study and the guitarist Todd and I met up, started an acoustic thingy and eventually wanted to do something less nice. Q3, If a lazy hack was to compare you to another band which one would you like it to be and why? Piers Hewitt – I wouldn’t want to be compared to any one band, that’s the beginning of something bad if you ask me. Adam Harrison – The Lily Sisters – they’re class. Nathan Nicholson – Comparisons always seem a bit of a cop out but I shall relent. U2, Doves – I’d hope they play nifty things. Q4, What’s your favourite The Boxer Rebellion song and why? Piers Hewitt – Probably ‘In Pursuit’. It pretty much contains all our best qualities within 3 ½ minutes. It’s melodic and chilled out at times (whilst remaining dark) but holds back some strong rock dynamics too. Adam Harrison – In the Empire because it is so epic and has so much dynamic. Nathan Nicholson – A new one called ‘We have this place surrounded’ – it’s a Coldplay but a tad more sinister because we’re tough and hard. Q5, How would you describe The Boxer Rebellion sound? (moody bastards??) Piers Hewitt – Dark, mysterious, epic, melodic, memorable. That’ll do, I hate pigeon holing! Adam Harrison – Hard, melodic rock. Nathan Nicholson – I think we take a few listens to grasp a bit. Not that we’re arty just not as immediate. I like to play heavier stuff live than maybe listen to on record. Q6, The Darkness – genius or Whitesnake tribute band? Piers Hewitt – They’ve done very well and created their own market, for that they should be commended. Should they be representative of rock to some people? Absolutely not. Adam Harrison – The latter. Nathan Nicholson – More like Ratt covering Queen songs. Q7, In ten words or less describe The Boxer Rebellion live experience. Piers Hewitt – Well, I wish I could watch us myself. So I don’t feel fit to answer that properly. In 3 hours you’ll be able to do that better than me … sorry. Adam Harrison – Epic, emotional, raw, passionate, melodic. Nathan Nicholson – Super, some neat bits – better live than on record. Q8, Which pop / rock star would you most like to be if you weren’t in The Boxer Rebellion? Piers Hewitt – It has to be Dave Grohl, living legend, though no-one could fill his shoes. And I can’t play guitar. Adam Harrison – Rick Parfitt. Nathan Nicholson – Bono – He has a cool Americana / Irish accent plus he sings really well and he’s rich! Q9, Name your three favourite bands and why you love them? Piers Hewitt – Radiohead – the most ground braking band of our generation. Coldplay – They are undeniably good, whether you like it or not, and sometimes I wish I didn’t!! REM – No one has stood the test of time in the same way. Adam Harrison – Elbow, Radiohead & The Beatles. Nathan Nicholson – Radiohead – Because I like all of their albums and the best live band I’ve seen. Coldplay – Really nice music, big fan of melodies. U2 – effortless classics, I sound a bit of a journo but I like the simplicity.
Questions for THE BLACK VELVETS
Welcome to The Black Velvets, Liverpool’s answer to the ‘who are the next big thing in rock’ question. Looking like they share the same stylists as Kasabian but what they don’t share is the love of left field noodling, no The Black Velvets are an out and out rock n’ roll combo. Shadders caught up with Dave and Paul of the band prior to their cracking Leeds Cockpit show. Q1, Firstly who the fuck are The Black Velvets? Paul – The Black Velvets are Paul, Nick, Dave and Robbie and together we are The Black Velvets. Dave – A bunch of fuckers. Q2, Are you here to save ROCK from The Darkness?! Dave – No, I have more of a problem with boy bands, they’re all fuckin shit. Paul – No we’re here to save The Darkness from rock. Q3, According to some, debut single ‘Get on your life’ sounds like the Foo Fighters – anything to declare? Dave – That’s ok it wasn’t meant, they’re a cool band as well though. Q4, If somebody was coming to see you for the first time what should they expect to see? Dave – A great rock gig full of stomping tunes. Paul – Rock n’ roll. Q5, Rumour has it you’re going to be the next big thing and Liam Gallagher and John Squire were in the room when you signed your record contract – any truth in this? Paul – Yes. Dave – Yes, but everybody else seems more excited about this than us. Q6, Who are the biggest musical influences on The Black Velvets? Paul – The Who, Led Zep and Bowie and the Spiders. Dave – Everything that’s good about my personal favourites are the likes of Led Zeplin, Guns n’ Roses, Rolling Stones and other stuff like that. Q7, What were the last three records you begged, borrowed or stole? Paul – Claimed back; Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the bollocks, Absolution by Muse and The Best of Sweet. Dave – Velvet Revolver, The Zutons and Guns n’ Roses. Q8, What is you favourite Black Velvets song & why? Dave – Glam Star, it’s in the title! Paul – This time later, because it’s punk rock and it kicks ass. Q9, What’s the most embarrassing moment thus far in the short career of The Black Velvets? Paul – Being out of tune in the first gig with The Who! Dave – When my amp blows up in the middle of a song! Q10, What’s the worst record you’ve ever bought? Dave – Michael Jackson (Bad). Paul – Mott the hoople. Q11, According to reports you like a beer and a smoke – are you enjoying the rock and roll lifestyle? Paul – The youth of today. Dave – I just like to get fucked but you can’t do it all the time whilst on tour so I’m gagging for a good night. Q12, In ten words write your own press release (swearing is allowed!)… Dave – Come and see this band it’s fuckin great! If I love it so will you. Paul – Buy our record because it’s stomping English rock that you can hours of head banging fun to and if you don’t we’ll get dropped!
Questions for OCEANSIZE
“One of the finest from the new guitar breed” is a direct quote from The Face magazine regarding Manchester’s new rock stars, Oceansize. Signed to Beggars Banquet and refining their live shows through constant gigging make Oceansize quite a proposition. With a growing reputation we had to check them out to find out more.Q1, Oceansize – has the name got anything to do with a big sea?! Noj – More to do with a James Addiction song. Mike – No and nowt to do with Billy Ocean or Ocean Colour Scene. More to do with Water and volume. Steve – Another way of saying big sound. Mark – No. Gamblor – It’s a hypothetical sea.Q2, What’s your favourite tipple and what does it say about Oceansize? Gamblor – Stella – if it talked it would say we’re great! Steve – Beer!! Comes in large quantities! Mark – Metaxa + coke. Noj – Old Peculiar – It’s quite literal. Mike – Stella + Dark rum but not at the same time! Q3, If you had to be compared to one band who would it be and why? Mike – Status Quo cos me mam took me to see ‘em when I was only 7. It was at Bridlington Spa and they were loud as fuck! Steve – Stupid question. Gamblor – Nine inch nails. Dark, weird fuckers. Noj – No one because we don’t sound like owt else!! Mark – Shamefaced. Cause of their unwaining popularity. Q4, What was the last song you listened to (by choice) and why? Noj – Simians new single because I’ve just bought it. By the way it’s top. Gamblor – Foo’s new single. I listened to it cos I’d spend 2 quid on it. Steve - ‘Watch it glow’ – Simian. Why? Because it makes me horny. Mark – 57 by Biffy Clyro. Mike – ‘Dirty Boy’ by The Cardigans. My most favourite song EVER. Q5, Why should somebody buy your single and not say a pint of lager? Mark – Cos you can’t piss our single half an hour later. Mike – Cos we’ll have more effect, we last longer. We won’t make you argue or beat someone up. We might make you feel a bit sick, tho. Gamblor – Oh, I don’t know. Noj – It’s not flat and won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. Steve – Because our music lasts longer than a pint of lager. Q6, What’s your favourite Oceansize song and why? Gamblor – ‘U Wish’ It’s one of the new ones and rocks like fuck. Steve – ‘Women who love men who love drugs’ because it’s long and trippy. Mike – ‘You wish’ because it rocks like FUCK. Noj – The new one because it’s new. Mark – ‘Massive Bereavement’. Brings back memories. Q7, What would like written on the Oceansize gravestone (obviously not yet)? Noj – Ha ha. Mark – Thanx to Gloria Estefan for all the help, teaching me I can still succeed with a compacted spine. Mike – Hear lies Ocean thighs. HAND Y KNOT? Gamblor – I bet this gravestone breaks as well. Steve - Here lies Oceansize…and why not? Q8, Using at least one swear word explain why people should come see Oceansize live! Mark – Befuckin cause. If you like hearing air rip, it’s a must. Steve – Because we’ll knock your fuckin head off!! Noj – Because we’re a fucking bastarding cunting felching ass kicking cocking bollocking great!!! Mike - ‘Cos everything else is just FUCKING BOLLOCKS. Gamblor – FUCK
Questions for……… Ria Bright
Q1, Who the fek is Ria bright? Ria Bright is an arsy old bag singer – songwriter from Manchester. My songs vary from folky and girly to punky and confrontational – but always come from the heart. Q2, Your pic looks pretty damn scary, are you as hard as you look!? I’m so hard I’ve just spent the evening watching ‘Brief encounter’ with my cat on my knee crying buckets! Perhaps I should grow my hair again if I look scary with it short. It was so awful long, people used to call me lily Savage. Q3, You run the ‘Ria’s riots and rebels’ club, what’s all that about? ‘Ria’s Riots & Rebels Club’ are showcases I run to get original bands and singer-songwriters the chance to play live, without the pressure from a promoter nagging them to bring 50 people. I’m not a promoter – I fund these gigs myself and only lose money, as I don’t normally charge admission. But for the next one I’m charging £3 to raise money for ‘Refuge’ as Lee Griffiths is playing and he normally brings loads of people (Oct 27th, Glass Bar, Fallowfield, Manchester). I get seriously pissed off with musicians though, as they are always messing me about and not getting back to me. I don’t think they appreciate how hard it is to organise a gig. Then to try and run the gig on the night as well as being the sound engineer and then play myself. I do it all on my own. There will soon be a ‘Ria’s Riots & Rebels Club’ radio show, as I’ve trained as a radio presenter and am now looking for a community radio station. Q4, And how can somebody get a gig there? Original artists with a demo should email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Q5, Who’s your favourite artist who has played ‘Ria’s riots and rebels’ except for you obviously!? Fave artist to have played is George Borowski, I hired the Irish World Heritage centre for the gig. The worst act, to name and shame are Strange Days for smashing my gig up. They are a bunch of thugs. Q6, You have a CD available – ‘Afeared’ that is very celtic folky, the vocals of which are actually very sweet how would you describe these songs? Both ‘Afeared’ ep and ‘Gifted’ ep are really folky, my delicate girly side! The songs are very personal, but my arsey punky stuff is personal too. Q7, You also say that you have a punkier, arsey side – which is the real Ria Bright and which do you prefer / enjoy more? Everything I do is real! I like sounding like two totally different singers when I play live; Johnny Rotten one minute, then Kate Bush the next. It’s nice to keep people guessing. I’m always angry, so the arsey stuff is good to let off steam but the soft vunerable songs seem to get to people. Some of the quiet songs are so personal they are hard to sing sometimes, especially when it’s bands night when it’s really noisy. Q8, You live in Manchester, what do you reckon to all the famous Manc bands or do you think they’re all knobs!? I’ve never been interested in any Manchester bands. The whole Madchester / Hacienda thing went over my head. Oasis are just dickheads and I think they’ve actually harmed Manchester. It gives the impression that everyone here is a scally, what’s clever and cool about boasting about being a thief? I fucking hate criminals. Q9, Is there a website about Ria Bright or do you think that the internet is a bad thing?! www.myspace.com/riabright (4 songs on here to download). The internet is obviously very useful for musicians but I’m not really interested in computers and I don’t have one. I love the idea of being totally independent though, not needing a record company at all as you can do it all yourself over the internet. Q10, If you had five minutes left to live which record would you listen to and why? The Crocketts – ‘Bluster Boy’. The Crocketts were my favourite band, Danny McManus is incredible. The Crimea, his new band are brilliant too. I’ve just interviewed them and couldn’t believe it when they were on Top of the Pops, they were supposed to be my ‘secret’. If I had ten minutes left to live I’d play Kate Bush ‘This woman’s work’ as well, as it’s so sad. Q11, Rumour has it you’ve got a few stories regarding our mate, voice of an angel Lee Griffiths – what’s the funniest? Nothing you could print! He’s quite well behaved around me actually. I tease him to death and do his head in, but he doesn’t seem to mind, we are worryingly alike. I first saw him live in 1998 and saw him a lot during the ZTT / Eddi Reader / Clint Boon tours. I’ve played a few open mics and gigs with him but I wish he’d do more. I love his aggression on stage especially when you get to know him and realise he’s actually a pussycat! Q12, What would you like Ria bright to be best remembered for? As ‘a sound bird with balls and passion’ quote Lee Griffiths (I was having a nightmare and he emailed me this really sweet little motivational rant which made me laugh and cry). I’d also like to be remembered as an outstanding gymnast, a fantastic canoeist and the finest songwriter on the planet!