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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pop with an edge

While we wait for the 'Parabolically Yours' campaign to come to fruition (25 days left), here's the second part of the Grinding Halt fanzine interview with Steve, Mike, Adrian and Alec.  In it the chaps discuss Island Records, who'd just released Nobody's Perfect, and then try to define their sound.





THE DISTRACTIONS

GH:  Why Island?

Mike:  Well, several companies had come to see us, and they’d all said, “We’ll let you know”, but Island were the only ones who actually offered us something, so we just grabbed it.

GH:  No regrets then?

Mike:  No, we’re really happy, getting on really well with them.

Adrian:  We were really pleased about that ‘cos we hadn’t done any London gigs at that stage and we were getting really pissed off with the general attitude of the music business in London that you’ve got to go them, and you’ve got to send them tapes – even the poxiest venue in London you’ve got to send them a tape if you want to do a gig there.

GH:  How did you enjoy doing the L.P.?

Mike:  I think we all enjoyed it.

GH:  Were you under any pressure from Island about how to do it?

Mike:  No, none at all.

Adrian:  It’s not as if we were with E.M.I.

Mike:  There’s a big difference between the E.M.I. ‘He who pays the piper…’ sort of attitude and like the Indie attitude where it’s up to the band, but there again the Indies aren’t backing you to the same extent.

GH:  So if it wasn’t for financial considerations you’d prefer an Indie.

Adrian:  In some ways, yes, but of course financially, no.

Mike:  I think we’ve got a kind of comfortable middle path with Island.

Adrian:  I suppose if you can afford to be with an Indie then do, but otherwise you need a major.

Mike:  The local position would be to be a successful group on an independent label.

GH:  How would you define your music?

Adrian:  I wouldn’t try, I can’t really do that.

Mike:  We leave that to other people.

Steve:  It’s like blowing your nose really, then spending two hours there looking at it and explaining what’s there – if other people want to play with our dirty handkerchiefs that’s…

Mike:  It’s very difficult to say what you do, because you might want to change and if you start saying ‘Oh we’re a such-and-such band’ then you’ve more or less tied yourselves down to that.

GH:  Isn’t it tempting to corner part of the market by putting a label on yourself so fans of that sort of music will come and see you?

Mike:  Yes, that’s all very well, but it’s much nicer to have it your own way.

Alec:  If someone’s narrow enough to come to one of your gigs just ‘cos you’ve put a particular label on yourself, then they’re not going to let you get away with playing anything except that sort of music.

Mike:  Some of us want to progress.

Adrian:  Pop. That’s what it is! Pop!

Mike:  Pop’s such a broad label…

Adrian:  Pop with an edge to it!

Alec:  It’s not broad enough for me. I’d like something that was totally meaningless!

Mike:  Like, we say this, and a lot of other bands are saying it too – there’s a lot of bands who don’t want to be labelled.

Alec:  We’re not really pop – pop is stuff like Racey – pop – popular – stuff that sells records.


[to be continued]




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