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Monday, September 24, 2012

Record Collector interview

As well as Mark Brend's 4-star review of The End Of The Pier, September's Record Collector also contained an interview with Steve Perrin, which we're pleased to reproduce here:

Steve Perrin, The Distractions. (c) Neil Storey.

The Distractions

The Distractions have returned with The End Of The Pier, via Occultation, and RC asked guitar punk Steve Perrin to tell us more.

It's our second album after a 32-year gap!  It's the midlife crisis album, after the confused young person one, and before the deathbed confession album.

If you could revist Nobody's Perfect, what would you change?

I could re-record all the songs at a slower tempo, but that would make it less of a document of the times (1980).

Is there anything still unreleased?

Neil Storey from Hidden Masters is overseeing a retrospective 2-CD and he's unearthed loads of live and studio stull I'd either forgotten or didn't know about.  Most of it's a lot better than I would have expected.

Have you done anything fans may not know about?

I once whistled on the B-side of a novelty record!

What album did you think was the best ever when you started out?

Velvet Underground's third.

What was your favourite record shop then?

HMV and Virgin in Manchester, before the went corporate.  Dark, scummy places staffed by record obsessives.  Derek from HMV refused to stock anything he didn't like!  Virgin burned joss sticks.

Did you write songs under the influence of any substances?

Vodka would grease the wheels occasionally.

What's the last album you bought?

Serge Gainsbourg, Aux Arms Etcetera LP.

The first?

The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night.

Is there anyone in your family who was a musician?

Both my grandfathers played cornet in brass bands.

What's the oddest circumstance in which you've had inspiration for a song?

Mike (Finney) and I wrote Valerie on the way back from the off-license.

What'd you ask you music hero?

Scott Walker: Fancy a drink?

Did you ever collect the music of anyone?

Scott Walker.

Who would you answer questions about on Mastermind?

The Cramps.

Who would you like to cover one of your songs?

Willie Nelson, When It Was Mine.

Which two songs would you most like to hear as a mash-up?

Kraftwerk Autobahn, James Brown Sex Machine.

What backstage incident makes you laugh the most?

We were supporting Adam & The Ants at Factory in Manchester before they became pop stars.  I went to put my guitar in the dressing-room and there was a little chubby bloke wearing eyeliner and glasses, perusing the Daily Mail.  On the way out, I raninto Steve Forster, who was promoting the gig.  "You've met Adam, then?"  No.  "But he's in the dressing room."  No he's not.  There's a little cubby bloke reading the Daily Mail.  "Er, that's Adam."

What facts about you may surprise fans?

I spend an inordinate amount of time walking a springer spaniel.

Who would you do in karaoke?

Bobby Darin, Beyond The Sea.

If you were running an ice-cream van, what would it play?

George Formby's Why Don't Women Like Me?

Who would you most like to record with?

The Magnetic Fields.  I'm hoping for a backing vocal slot on the forthcoming Granite Shore album.

What unfulfilled ambitions do you have?  

To duet with Amylou Harris while Bill frissel plays guitar.

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