mean a sausage wrapped in bacon?
It's a fantastic analogy though, I like it.
I like it too.
Even if you can't tell what it means, it sums up a feeling in your
It's like suffocating. It's about being treated in an unpleasant
manner anyway, so it's about someone treating you in a way you don't
want to be treated.
That's the things with words. It's fun coming up with something
that doesn't necessarily mean something.. but it does.
It's like being at school and studying English Literature and you're
reading William Blake and your teacher's asking what he really means
and I'm sitting there thinking "he just liked the words, he like
the way they sounded together, they probably don't mean anything."
And now I'm writing lyrics and I'm trying to say something that
means something because one day maybe kids will have to study my
poetry like I had to study [Rosey pauses and pulls a face] Sting's..
I had to study a Sting song in my English lessons Children's
Crusade. It's all about heroin addiction in 1984 and poppies in
1914. It's very political.
I don't really like songs with lyrics about children.
I used to love Sting when I was a kid. I adored him.
did that one about Russian children as well, didn't he?
There's that really terrible Iron Maiden song that put me off them
when I was young called Mother Russia.
Maiden are the ideal band for 11-year-old boys.
Yeah, it's got those cartoon covers and everything. They were my
first favourite guitar band and I used to love it.
younger brother used to love Kiss.
They were too American for me. But heavy metal bands have the best
longevity, don't they? They just keep on going for years, churning
out albums. Then there's all these other bands who do just one album
then it's "Ahh, I can't handle this any more, it's too much." And
then they're gone.
But that's the best way sometimes, isn't it?
I love being in our band because we're all mates and we get on so
well and when we rehearse it's like going out for a laugh with your
That's totally like us. We get together every Wednesday and it's
like a social thing where we have a chat and we're all totally comfortable
with each other. To be honest, the best performances we ever do
are in the rehearsal room 'cos we're just doing it for ourselves.
I like that feeling, it's like loud amp, loud amp, loud drums and
you get the feeling off the amps when they go from loud to heavy.
And then you think "Oh wow, this is what it's all about."
being in a band a serious thing for you?
I see myself as being in a band because I enjoy it. But also because
of necessity. If I wasn't in a band there'd be bloodshed in Cambridge.
It's such a great way to get rid of frustrations. If I didn't have
a band I'd be..
..sitting on your arse playing computer games..
..I'd just be getting frustrated all the time and I like having
an outlet. I'm not saying I'm full of angst, but it's nice to get
out there and do something you really enjoy doing. Of course I'd
love to keep doing this for as long as possible. The problem with
a lot of bands is that they have to put so much effort into it that
they just get sick of it.
My brother works part-time and spends the rest of the time promoting
his band, sending CDs off and writing letters to people. He's had
some really good luck with it, but it takes four hours a day to
get as far as he's done, having interviews with the press in Leeds
and stuff like that.
I'm lucky because my job allows me plenty of time to do other stuff.
That's why I normally do all the organisation.
Plus musicians are lazy aren't they?
I don't think of myself as a musician.. I was originally going to
play guitar in the Absolute Zeros. We had three guitarists and a
bass player and a drummer and we rehearsed in my parents' front
room. I went to make a cup of tea and when I came back they were
all playing together and I got scared so I said I was going to sing
tell my story (it only takes a couple of pints and I turn into Jackanory)
about how Chief Sharkey were so inept at our first gig that we had
to make everything really simple. Neither me nor Chris could sing
and play at the same time, so I stopped singing and Chris stopped
playing; Mike couldnt play the guitar, so he took over the
bass and Stuart was told to stop trying to be such a smart-arse
on the drums.]
I think that's definitely a good thing. In our band, everybody only
does one thing.
I'd like to get one of the blokes to sing, but then I'd want to
play guitar myself, but I'm too shy.
s much better playing guitar.
You reckon? It's great standing up the front and shouting at people.
Playing guitar scares me.
what I found when I was trying to sing was that I couldn't sing
That's not your fault, that's the sound guy.
I'm sure it was me. Jason (from Freeboy) was saying "sing louder"
and I was saying "I'm singing as loud as I can" and he was saying
"I've got the fader all the way up!" But I just couldn't sing any
louder. It was really strange. I don't mind speaking in front of
people, but singing..
I love it. I live and breathe for singing.
one of the reviews I mentioned David Crosby and you seemed to like
The way I met Adrian was through another bloke on my course. We
started off as a three-piece harmony group and he was really into
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It amused me when you mentioned
Crosby because we don't have that many harmonies.
wasn't because of the singing, but your stuff just put me in mind
of his solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name. If you haven't
read his autobiography, you should get it, it's one of the best
I've ever read. He writes a passage how he remembers it - which
isn't always very clearly because he was pretty strung out a lot
of the time - and then he gets somebody else, like David Geffen,
to write how they remember the same thing. And the other person
will say something like "Well it didn't happen like that at all.
The way I remember it, David was being an arsehole.."
I read the Grace Slick autobiography recently and it's brilliant.
She's screwed up quite a bit in her life and she's happy to say
so. She's human about everything and she doesn't write as if she's
a great rock goddess, she writes like she was what she was: a girl
with pretensions of being a blond bimbo who realised she couldn't
be because her hair wasn't the right colour and her tits weren't
big enough. So she joined a rock'n'roll band.
you liked Jefferson Airplane.
I loved them.
some reviews on your site that say jazz-rock, but it doesn't sound
like that to me - mostly because of your singing, I think.
Some of the songs Adrian writes are heavily jazz influenced, but
I'm more Patti Smith and The Slits and I'm really into Kate Bush
at the moment.
I don't think you're going to get too many Kate Bush comparisons.
She's too wimpy.
Yeah, I don't warble do I?
You've got an impressive ability to go from soft to loud, even screechy.
My dad's a Crosby, Stills and Nash fan and traditional folk songs.
He used to take me to folk clubs. That's how I started singing -
one of his friends convinced me to get up and sing. I'm a really
big Iggy Pop fan but I started off listening to The Beatles, The
Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and David Bowie.. But at the moment
it's The Stooges and West Coast bands like Moby Grape and Love.
the kind of thing I think of, and David Crosby..
..nobody's said that before.
just reviewed your second CD and said it was 60s San Francisco.
That makes me really happy. Those bands just make me think of Summer.
It's that sort of thing with your band. I know what you mean, but
it's modern as well. I think you manage to get dynamics in the band,
not from the equipment, and that's really good. Lots of people just
whack on the distortion pedals and get heavier, and I know we do
that, and that's cool...
anyway, I never got an answer about a Cambridge scene..
The only other band I'm interested in is Jake's band.
We do go and see each other's bands but I wouldn't go if you [Bouvier]
weren't worth seeing. I'd go and watch CRS our drummer Matt
drums for them as well.
Have you seen Um?
I saw him at a psychedelia night downstairs at CB2 a couple of years
ago. He was like a Scott Walker tribute band, it was great. I think
he knows where Syd Barrett lives as well.
I do like The Broken Family Band. I saw them at Strawberry Fair
and they were fantastic, but there was some history between Steve
Adams [ex-Hofman] and Interlaken [Jakes previous band.].
used to write under the name of Steven Shoe for Adhoc and it was
the last gig I ever did with Interlaken and it was a really fucking
good gig, my favourite gig, and there was this really slagging review
of me saying that Interlaken was quite good but the singer was shit.
And this was at the time I was being let go from the band as well.
And I didn't know who it was that had written it. Then I wrote a
song for The Visit called Eye For A Shoe, about that review and
then in the end I found out it was Steve Adams and there was a whole
thing about him feeling really bad about writing the review and
me feeling really bad about writing the song. But we've never spoken
about it and it's just been swept under the carpet.
Do you really say "taste your toenails" in that song?
It's "taste my toenails."
But thats why local bands are great. For the most part, they
havent had chance to develop an immeasurable ego yet, or a
media strategy. And writing new songs is still a thrill rather than
a chore. Bouvier and The Visit are only a couple of demos old but
something in their music touches me right there. The next
demos might turn out to be shit, or the bands might splinter after
a rehearsal room barney about who ate all the cheesenonion
crisps, or how long it takes the drummer to set his kit up, or even
why the band kitty doesnt cover Strepsils for the singers
bad throat when it does pay for plectrums. But then again, the next
demos might turn out to be incredible.. Thats the uncertainty
and the beauty of following your local bands and thats why
Ill be doing my best to get out a bit more in future.
the bands: www.thevisit.org
for The Visit and www.geocities.com/bouviertheband
or 106 Thoday St, Cambridge, CB1 3AX for Bouvier. Theres a
web site for Cambridge bands at http://users.anytimenow.com/cambridgebands/
run by Mike who used to be in Chief Sharkey with me.