Interview for Spanish publication Entrevista
First of all, thank you for taking some of your time to answer these questions.
After 30 years of career you release an album with new songs, where do you get the motivation to continue waging war?
It seems sometimes like a war but a war against mediocrity where the enemy has most of the weapons. We are a real band and one which has known itself since we were young yet now we are old. Just as a family evolves we too have carried it through. Before anyone had heard of us we had been together for years adrift in a sea of disinterest but plugged into our own vision of what we wanted to do. Then in the late eighties we were being talked about as the new guitar messiahs. That was fun but ridiculous as it quickly turned into something we didn’t want. We were down in the groove with people like Moby Grape or even Creedence but we were being spoken of as if we were U2 or maybe U3!. Absolutely not where we were at I can assure you. I recall trying to explain this to some BBC Commissar but she just couldn’t understand that Celtic rock was a big turn off for us. We continue to be motivated by turning people on. Its starting to work all over the world now.
What differentiates “Let It Met” from your previous albums?
We decided to record a much rawer record than the ones before. What I mean by that is that once we had laid things down and still had overdub sessions and then mixes in Dallas to do, we still kept the basic core of the record live. Live vocals, certainly, and the key guitars too. It was the first time I had ever done that or should I say the first time I had been allowed to do that. It’s the first album without Rick Willson who is a great player but he was also naturally a very conservative musician so that was another big difference. Maybe the main one even.
You say that “It is the most true album we have ever made”, is it perhaps the one with the most freedom?
Yeah we didn’t give a shit about what anyone else might think . We just did what we wanted and how we wanted it to be.
What or what are your favorite tracks on the album?
I love” You Got The Whole Thing Wrong “ I know Rich digs Scared Of Time and Rob Morris loves Bombs Away. No one knows what Geoff likes and no one ever will because he will never say. He just raises an eyebrow when something hits him! He has been that way since forever. Inscrutable Geoffrey Stephen Beavan! The greatest.
In listening to the album, in many moments I find a very Rolling Stone sound, can you say that your most marked musical influence?
Yeah but not that cliché cartoon “Jack Daniels “ Skull Ring “ Keeeeeef” Stones. If we are channelling them in any way it’s the Stones at Olympic in 67-69 or the Ya Yas Stones maybe. That Stones is still a mysterious animal really. Also when you think about some of those mid sixties singles you know the ones where they were still competing as a 60s pop group before all that greatest rock n roll band in the world stuff kicked in during the seventies. That Stones is a cool Stones. Pop sensibilities with a deep blues feel. That’s where we are at.
Why did you decide to change the record company?
Because American record people are not as limp as in the UK. The British music business is like a domestic cat that thinks it’s a lion. Its related to greatness because of the past but it lost real power during the nineties with all that karaoke rock.
What do you think of the current moment of music? Is it much worse than when you started or similar?
Its a lot easier to get things started because of social media but to actually deliver the goods is another matter. A lot of young bands simply don’t know how to handle a live stage in front of a living breathing audience. Its a human transaction after all and in that sense nothing has changed since people first started performing to other people. The best voices these days are in dance music. To my ears that’s where real soulful vocal deliveries are still to be heard. I hear a lot of ambition in mainstream rock and pop voices, a shouting kind of ambition but real- deal soul? Not so much. Maybe that’s because its all so tense and organised now or maybe there is a huge deficit in human expression. A kind of restriction on passion at least on the surface where the mainstream lives. There is hope though because people need physical connective music and rock n roll can always come through with surprises and it does still. Like us.
Will there be a European tour? If yes, will you pass through Spain?
Sure yeah . We did some TV in Spain with our debut and remember the country well. People were dressed with so much class. We felt like English pirates. I guess we were in a way.