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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pseudo-intellectual pop

This is the last part of the Grinding Halt magazine interview with Steve, Mike, Adrian and Alec from 1980.  The clock is ticking over at PledgeMusic for the 'Parabolically Yours' project, so please, if you haven't already, don't forget to pledge and help make it a reality.


Grinding Halt:  How would you feel if you became successful?

Steve:  Wealthy – that’s how we’d feel!

GH:  But you wouldn’t consider changing your style or approach just for commercial success?

Adrian:  Not to something that was obnoxious to us – not something we didn’t want to do.

Alec:  Not just for the sake of it.

Steve:  If someone was waving fivers under our nose…

Alec:  Or saying we could have women and big cars…

Mike:  Hold on – you said money first – I wouldn’t do it for money as willingly as I’d do it for women and big cars!

Alec:  I wouldn’t want to change just to get in the charts, but then you can’t tell what’ll get in the charts anyway. We wouldn’t like be like some groups who are just hired to get in the charts. There’ve been a lot of rumours about things being bought into the charts – like Tubeway Army.

GH:  It would give a group with the right potential the chance to be heard…

Mike:  I can see that from the fact that Radio 1 wouldn’t play ‘Are Friends Electric’ until it got in the charts and then they’d play nothing else – that’s one of the reasons why I don’t like the radio.

GH:  Have you had much airplay for ‘Boys Cry’?

Mike:  Independently, and by people like John Peel, Kid Jensen, Mike Read.

Adrian:  We’re getting quite a name with that lot actually, and that’s getting us a bit of a following as well as the local crowd.

Mike:  When we first started playing gigs in London, it was like half the audience were journalists and the other half were musicians.

Alex:  University students like us… what does this mean?

GH:  Why did you choose to put out a cover version as the single?

Mike:  Well when we’d done the album it was only about thirty minutes long, anyway we mentioned Phil Spector to the producer, and he said “Don’t talk to me about Phil Spector” – anyway, he was a total Phil Spector freak, so we decided to do ‘Boys Cry’, just for joke ‘cos we had about four days studio time left over, so we did dozens of overdubs on everything – built up a real wall of sound, and Island really like it so we used it for the single.

GH:  You’ve done a few R.A.R. gigs, do you reflect politics in your music?

Mike:  No, we play pseudo-intellectual pop…

Adrian:  With an edge to it!

Mike:  We don’t ‘cos no-one in the band writes good political songs, and it wouldn’t suit our sort of music, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t got strong political views.

GH:  You’ve supported a lot of groups, notably a long stint with The Members – do you prefer to support at a big hall or headline as a small one?

Mike:  We prefer a small one, but you have to do supports so people can discover you.

GH:  You’ve supported people like Adam & The Ants and The Fall – how well did you get on?

Mike:  Well, we’ve found that the sort of leftfield will listen whereas the out-and-out punks won’t give you a chance…

At this stage The Distractions were called away to do their soundcheck, and the interview this came to an end.



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