14th September 2003
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What is the main difference between the new album and Earth Vs?
We are ten years older, and ten years more happy to still be doing this. Apart from that there is simply more of a 'songwriting' stamp on this album.
What inspired you to write V-day? Other than the obvious Valentine emotion?
I guess that the inspiration came from hoping that we do better as a band. We still carry that hope!
Excuse the ignorance but where is Danny, what's happened to him?
Spoke to him yesterday. It's not looking likely that he will be returning to the band in the near future, as it would be fatal for his health to come back to such an environment. I had hoped that the news would be different.
What's your next venture after the Motorhead tour - will we see another SG5 album at some point?
I am told that there is a good chance. As you can imagine, I hold off all excitement until the studio has been booked.
Just wondering if you had any input into the new range of undies from Marks and Spencers - the Wild Hearts range... if it's any comfort they're the most expensive in the store!?
Nuthin' to do with us, but nice bit of free publicity never hurt anyone, right?
We recently met some Wildhearts fans and found that they pronounce 'PHUQ' differently to me and my friends - we never thought that people could say it differently, how do you pronounce 'PHUQ'?
Why isnt 'Stormy In The North, Karma In The South' on your album?
It didn't have the kind of chorus that we wanted to concentrate on for this particular album.
It says that Justin Hawkins from The Darkness is featured on the album, but I'll be damned if I know where!!
He sings the high harmonies on 'Only Love', and does the screams on 'Get Your Groove On'.
I was wondering, was it a planned point to make it such a short album?
Yeah. I wanted to make a short album from the start of this re-formation. Ideally suited for tube rides and daily journeys in general, as they invariably take half an hour!
Are you playing alone on the acoustic tour or with any backing band?
No backing band, just acoustic guitars. Avoid like the plague, if you don't like acoustic shows!
You mentioned a quote from the late, great typing error Spike Milligna in the recent "Ginger Says". Spike's work,
particularly his war memoirs, got me through all the tough times in my life before the Wildhearts' music came along to help, and I was wondering if he
was an influence on you as well, and if so in what way?
Spike Milligans strength, in the face of struggle, is a massive inspiration to me. If he had commited suicide I probably would have too, or at least I'd be less impressed by people that keep going. Aside from his work (from ground breaking, to astounding to outright racist rubbish... but always innocent and fascinating) his legend and work ethic will keep me cooking until God has the decency to get me outta here.
I'd like to be one of the people thanking you for 'Endless Nameless'... like Motorhead fucking Atari Teenage Riot on a bed of broken glass
That's the best description of that album I have ever heard, good and bad!
I wanted to ask you if you like Slayer?
WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika-dika...(name that tune)
I love them. It's funny to see that they are finally getting the credit they have always deserved, now that Nu-Metal has been found out to actually be shit.
Do you get to see much of the towns and cities you play in?
No, that's one of the downsides to this job. We come to town then usually leave that night. Sometimes you get the chance to do a little shopping if we have time during the day.
Why are there no credits for Danny on the sleeve notes
Because he didn't play on the album, and didn't write anything for it. I only ever personally thank friends and family on my list. And he's both.
Please settle an argument - what are you singing on the second verse of 'Red
Light...' - sounds like something about a walnut whip?
"I wanna take a trip, get on a rocket ship", maybe? Or is it "I got a grin to grin, I got a war to win"?
How on earth did you manage to get Mick Ronson to guest on 'My Baby is a Headfuck' way back then on 'Earth Vs...'?
He was originally pencilled in to produce the whole album, then that fell through. I had this song with three solo's on it, that I wanted him to play on, and didn't want to record it without him. He still agreed to play on it, and 'hey presto' history was made, and I got to rub shoulders with the Man himself. He was/is the master.
Do you have any plans to re-record any tracks off 'Endless Nameless' for future, less challenging releases?
The only reason I would ever consider re-recording the album would be so people will stop asking me to re-record it. Maybe we'll play the album live and record it, or something.
Was the final groups chorus bit thingy on 'The People That Time Forgot' a nod to 'EMI' by the Pistols, or sheer coincidence?
Haha, no it was a complete rip off!
You used to write all the Wildhearts songs, but the new ones are credited as
'Written by The Wildhearts' - how true is that, or do you still write the
vast majority of stuff?
We are trying to split duties these days, but I still end up saving the day when there isn't any material on offer. CJ also writes a fair amount, to his credit.
Who are your guitar heroes?
Just people that look cool and have a distinct style, like Joe Perry. Keef Richards, Andy McCoy, Ace Frehley, Angus Young, Steve Jones, Johnny Thunders, Johnny Ramone, Dregen and Conny Bloom.....I could go on for years.
When you learnt to play the guitar were you taught by a teacher or did you pick it up by ear?
I taught myself everything. No books, no lessons, just playing along with records and getting out in front of an audience.
How was it back stage with The Darkness and Alice Cooper at the Guilfest? What do you make of these acts? What are they like as people?
The Darkness are friends of mine, I'm honoured to say, and are fine, fine chaps. I love 'em to bits. Alice Cooper, on the other hand was a massive let-down. No one was allowed to stand side stage when he played, or meet him when he finished. I have a massive respect for Alice/Vince and his music, but the bubble popped for me that day. He had some creepy little guy working for him too, who made a big deal about how Alice wouldn't come and meet people, which made the huge legend of Alice Cooper look a little sad. I mean, Alice had been speaking to Classic Rock about how he was going to blow The Wildhearts off the stage, and then wouldn't meet me and say hello. Like I said, strange and very disappointing.
What is the best Wildhearts song to perform live?
I have to say 'Sky Babies'. I get a kick out of that every time we manage to get to the end!
Do you have any prog rock influences given the long complicated structure of some of your variation-upon-a-theme songs like, from the old days, 'Inglorious', or more recently, 'O.C.D.'?
All those tempo changes/bits come directly from ripping off Cardiacs! I don't like Prog Rock.
Did you feel a tendency to write songs that are less distorted and poppier than 'Endless Nameless'? I was wondering, because the material since
then hasnít been as heavy and is more upbeat than 'Endless Nameless'. In fact, the solo singles, 'Grievous Acoustic Behaviour' and 'Black Leather Mojo' have
really widened the perimeters of what us fans can expect from your songs and have really shown how untouchable you are as a songwriter!
I don't really plan on what shape the songs are going to take. I like the fact that they tell me what sound I have to go for, it saves me questioning their merit too much. It also stops me from drying up for ideas. I often feel like I'm being used as a 'channel', so I have no real need for a safety net. I just book the studio time and trust that it's all going to work itself out somehow. So far it's a method that hasn't let me down, and it makes the ride more 'interesting' for the fans!
On 'Grevious Acoustic Behaviour' when asked if you were going to release the show on CD you say, "This? Nah - unless you do
it yourself man". Obviously it did get released so what happened? Did he do it or did you?
We brought along a small porta-studio to record a couple of songs for b-sides, and the whole thing ended up sounding like a real laugh...so we put it out as an entire show. There was no plan to release it originally.
Have you heard the Darkness' album yet? The first song on it has the same opening riff as the one from 'Girls Are Better Than Boys'
from 'Black Leather Mojo'.
And they both have the same riff as Tina Turner's 'Nutbush City Limits'. Co-incidence? Not in a million years! I'm glad we all shop at the same riff-store.
What do you think of Stone Sour and the Murderdolls, and indeed Slipknot?
Haven't heard much Stone Sour, but Corey gives great interviews. The music scene needs people as up front and fearless as him. I love Murderdolls, those guys are very cool. And Slipknot is good theatre.