Gary: "Who are next door in studio 2, Thom & Jonny from Radiohead. How's it hanging fellas?
Thom: "To the left, thank you.
Gary: "[laughs] I've got an idea you've got your guitars, let's do the show right here yeah.
Thom: "We could do it somewhere else but you might not be able to hear it.
Gary: "I'd rather you did it here. What are you gonna do for us first?
Thom: "The most difficult one which is 'Bulletproof'
Gary: "Okay take it away.
[Plays 'Bulletproof..I Wish I Was']
Gary: "That's Radiohead live on XFM and Bulletproof. Are you happy to be back, Thom?
Thom: "I'm always happy.
Gary: "Are you really?
Thom: "Um... yeah we were really really glad to get back from America; we were there for like 8 weeks straight and we haven't really had a break of more than 7 days at any point during the year so were starting to lose it quite badly.
Gary: "Apart from families and girlfriends and that sort of thing, I mean, what kind of sort of things do you miss while you're away?
Thom: "Playing new songs, being able to do the thing we do best well I think we do best and there's very little chance to do that, soundchecks and so on and we got all this stuff coming out. It's the same problem we had with 'The Bends' really... um lots of stuff going around in our heads and never the time to actually sit down and rehearse it which is the whole point of being in a band, you know.
Gary: "Of course, so how soon in an ideal would you like to get back into the studio and start recording some new material?
Thom: "Um... we're gonna sort of stop in January doing everything to do with Radiohead and try to basically get some form of life which is not Radiohead and then start again from scratch.
Thom: "We don't wanna make a 'Bends 2', really, there would be no point in doing that. So I'm not really sure we're gonna spend virtually no time in the studio and most of the time rehearsing, we gonna do it the other way around. We spent like two and a half months three months doing 'The Bends' sitting around worrying about, getting anxious about it and this time we're gonna do the exact oppsite, spend about an equivalent of two weeks.
Gary: "Really just go in there and whack it down?
Thom: "Um... No, not 'whack it down' but have it ready before we go in so we don't have to argue about. [laughs]
Gary: "What are you gonna play for us next?
Thom: "Alright, this is a new one... and that's in tune... this is called "Subterranean Homesick Alien" if I have anything to do with it.
[Play 'Subterranean Homesick Alien']
Gary: "Radiohead on XFM, 'Uptight' or will it be called 'Subterranean Homesick Alien'. Maybe we should get people to ring in, Thom, should we get them to decide?
Thom: "Yeah... if... yeah.
Gary: "Ok, 017580667 as they say a blind dates the 'choice is yours'.
Thom: "Or any alternative title we be welcomed as well, actually, I don't really mind.
Gary: "Alright, it's been something like 7 months on from the release of the album 'The Bends', how do you kind of sort of look back at it now, you know, do you listen to it or is it too close still?
Thom: "When we finished doing it we listened it all the time, which is a bit weird really, you're not supposed to do that, you're supposed sort of like not wanna hear it again ever. We sort get to hear enough playing so I don't think any of us heard the album for ages.
[Jonny strums on guitar]
Thom: "Don't play that.
Gary: "Jonny stop it [laughs]
Thom: "We just sort of....I don't know... no we're not listening to it we got a life now.
Thom: "We moved on.
Gary: "I mean how difficult is it, Thom, recording it following Pablo Honey, it did exceptionally well all around the world specially 'Creep', you know, what is a difficult album to make for you guys?
Thom: "I think is one of the difficult things will ever have to do, to be honest.
Gary: "And did you really sense that in the studio as well, I mean, was everybody sort of quite fraught.
Thom: "Yeah. [laughs] It was fraught, Jonny, wasn't it fraught?
Jonny: "It was, wasn't it?
Gary: "What did John Leckie get out of the band you think?
Thom: "Jonny that's your one, isn't it? Don't go over there come back ever here to the microphone. Well he basically taught us everything really to do with studios and taught us that they're sort of a creative thing rather than going into a science lab... and stuff like that really.
Gary: "Do you think you'll be working with him again?
Thom: "I think at some point that might happen, yes.
Gary: "Alright. What about the way the album has been received, you know, both critically and also commercially as well?
Thom: "Uh... we see no commercially. Well critically it's done us a lot good, you know, we went into making the album determining to do something that we're completely proud of all the way through without any question, which sounds obvious but you can really fall into the trap of getting lazy about it. So when we finished it, we were really proud of it and to actually get recognition from the people that we feared most...
Gary: "Hmm..cause you had kind of a rough ride from the press initially, didn't you?
Thom: "It's just... yeah, I mean, I don't actually read our press because I can't actually come to terms with anybody would write about what we do over what I think of it, you know, I'm one of those people who actually takes the written word as law.
Gary: "Well it's there, isn't it?. I think you said in the (Melody) Maker interview this week, that when you do radio and T.V. things, you know, they very much kind of here now but gone very quickly as well but that's something that's always there.
Thom: "Well I was reading me old Melody Maker from a couple of years and that's great because it's just so hilarious what they used to write and stuff. It's just not really relevant, I mean, it is relevant so people get to know what we're up to, but to me it's not personally relevant I find difficult to deal with so I switched it off. But from them to turn around and give us good marks... good grades. [laughs]
Gary: "'Must do better'
Thom: "Yeah, commercially, I don’t know.
Gary: "Do you feel another song coming on?
Thom: "What are we gonna do? Ok... yep that's in tune, this is the last song on the album we just made a very weird video for this song, it's called 'Street Spirit'.
[Plays 'Street Spirit']
Gary: "'Street Spirit (Fade Out)' from Radiohead, who are my special guests this evening on 104.9 XFM Gary Crowley 'At the Groove yard'. What's so weird about the video that you made for that song, Thom?
Thom: "We've used this camera that's from an Oxford science lab or something and it films at ultra-high speed and then slows it down. It's the camera that they shoot bullets coming out of guns and so on.
Thom: "So we basically did lots of mucking around.
Gary: "Do you enjoy making videos, you guys? I know a lot of bands don't feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Thom: "We used to hate and I think there was just a general turn around in thinking 'This is really stupid', it's actually just part of what we do it's the medium we working in so we might as well get used to it, you know. And I think that really when we did the 'Fake Plastic Trees' video, that really made a difference and suddenly we thought "Oh hang on we can actually portray what we do through video". The videos I hate are just performance videos unless the performance is interesting in some why, you know, there's just no point.
Gary: "Do you kind of work with the same guy with what you done so far?
Thom: "No, we'd like to but it just seems, you know, it doesn’t happen that way. Each song The Bends really had its own mood anyway and it just seemed to work that we just use someone different all the time. I mean actually finding people to shoot videos is just the weirdest thing, there's no method to it at all, you just get all these things faxed through and all these videotapes and stuff and you just sit there going 'Uh', it’s really like guess work, it's a nightmare.
Gary: "Alright. You said yourself, 8 weeks touring America, how do you all sort of manage to keep sane when your kind of enclosed in this unreal world, buses, planes and hotels, how do you sort of keep an air of normality? Can you?
Thom: "Are you normal, Jon?
Jonny: "Umm... let me think, normality... umm.
Thom: "Umm... ok thanks that helped. How do we keep sane? Well, try not to drink loads all the time.
Jonny: "We mainly keep sane, when we're touring, we do what we're doing at home anyway like playing a lot and seeing each other so it's not much different.
Thom: "Yeah, nice [laughs]. Absolutely no life at all.
Gary: "Is there anyone in the band who could sort of like, you know, be reliable to be chipper?
Gary: "Yeah? He's in charge of being cheerful?
Thom: "Yeah, he's our secret weapon, When nobody wants to talk outsiders, we'll wheel Colin out and he's always really nice to them.
Gary: "He gets pushed upfront, does he?
Thom: "Yeah. Poor chap.
Gary: "What were you listening to on your walkmans when you're out on tour in America? Anything in particular?
Thom: "Well I was in a shop in L.A. and I heard the old 'Daydream Nation' album, Sonic Youth album and I hadn't heard it in ages and I thought 'My god!'. I was listening to that a lot cause I just freaked out about how good it was and I had forgotten and I didn’t really haven't really anymore. And we're listening to the Sparklehorse album, which is this bad plug, this band that we're dragging over here to do the tour with us.
Gary: "Tell us about them.
Thom: "Well we found them when a friend of ours in Israel played us the tape and they're completely unknown, they're from New York and it's one guy and it's really lo-fi but apart from that it's good. He's a fantastic songwriter and they're a brilliant band and no one has heard of them and they're ace that's why we brought them over.
Gary: "So people we be able to see them next Saturday at the Brixton Academy?
Thom: "Yeah, if they got tickets to get in.
Gary: "Are you looking forward to playing in front of British audiences?
Thom: "I am actually, you know, I don't really have a problem with playing London anymore. We did the Sheppard's Bush show and The Forum and actually enjoyed doing both of them, you know, I wasn't worried about them and ' Oh my god, it's London' so I'm just looking forward to them really.
Gary: "Are there differences between American and English audiences?
Thom: "Well no, not really, you do get the occasional complete psycho fan in America I had a couple of those experiences.
Gary: "There's one that you talk in the (Melody) Maker interview this week...
Thom: "Oh really? I don't remember, I haven't read it so I don't remember.
Gary: "I think it was somebody who was down the front touching this girl or something and then he climbed up on stage...
Thom: "Oh yeah! You get other people as well who actually just get inside your head and I think I kind of asked for it really, in the sort of melodramatic pash that we write that people will take in that way.
Thom: "Pash and jobby.
Gary: "What's the strangest thing that somebody came up and said to you about one of the songs and they're interpretation of it? Can you remember any?
Thom: "I think that 'Stranger' still was being followed around for about a week by this girl who believes she was an angel sent from heaven... no honestly, she'll probably come around and kill me now. I put an alarm in my house today because I don’t want her coming around and killing me, anyway this in America she thought she was an angel from heaven and she had come to convert me to...
Thom: "Utah... was it Utah? Anyway out in the middle of nowhere and she landed.
Gary: "Do plan to play another song ?
Thom: "Do we feel it?
Thom: "Hang on I might swap guitars cause I can't bloody hear it. Apparently our agent was on the other week and just swore all the way through, naughty boy he might not have been sober though.
Gary: "Live radio folks [laughs]
Thom: "Don't turn over, come back. Okay, we're gonna do 'Airbag.
Jonny: "Yeah great!
Thom: "Cool. Brand new song, I got the words down here in front of me and this called 'An Airbag Saved My Life' which was the headline I found in an AA manual.
Gary: "Like you do...
Thom: "Yeah well, you know, comes through the post.
Gary: "It's 104.9 fm, we've got Thom and Jonny from Radiohead playing live for us, that was called 'Airbag'. How many songs have you got so far, new songs that you're completely happy with?
Thom: "I don't know, 20... 30 but it's all about quality-control, isn't it?
Gary: "At the end of the day always. Are you doing any of these songs live in the set, will you be doing this in the Brixton Academy next Saturday?
Thom: "I don't think so, you know, we haven’t really had time. Jonny and I get time at the back of the bus but you can't really set a drum kit up back there.
Gary: "You probably could but with great difficulty.
Thom: "Yeah, we need an extra large bus, you know, you get buses with swimming pools in them but no drum kit. Um... did I answer that?
Gary: "You did. That was a 'no' basically I think.
Gary: "How do you sort of keep the set fresh then? Do kind of move songs about? Or do you keep pretty much strict to the same one?
Thom: "Well there's nothing else to argue about so usually we just argue about the set. How do we keep it fresh, Jon? You know, you play something completely different every night that's how you keep it fresh.
Jonny: "Yeah ????
Thom: "I can't do that, you see, if I do something different people would won't their money back, it's not fair.
Gary: "What are your favorites in the set at the moment, I mean does that change?
Thom: "Actually my favorite is still 'Lucky', we're playing that in the set, cause I find it really beautiful still and not bored of it yet. It's usually the new and that's the new song.
Gary: "And what about 'Creep', Thom, what are your feelings about that at the moment and performing it as well?
Thom: "Well, we keep doing it because it means that is not an issue, you know, it'll be an issue if especially when your supporting R.E.M. and you gone on and you don't play 'Creep', you're very stupid. And rather than sort of having a problem with it, we just sort of went 'We'll do this as it is'. Usually, when people are walking in R.E.M. shows playing in stadiums, they're all walking in finding their seats so in-between virtually every song it's like "Hi, good evening, welcome. We're called Radiohead and this is a song you might know". The thing is just treat it lightly cause the music isn't light. So... does that answer it?
Gary: "It does.
Gary: "Are you gonna come in and play some records with me a little bit later on? I'm looking forward to that, I could put my feet up now. Um... one more song?
Thom: "Two more, someone's shouting two more. I don't know
Gary: "Two more? We have the making of an XFM live album here, I think, we already got side one sorted out.
Thom: "I think we should do the one that begins with 'F'... don't do that (to Jonny).
Jonny: "Don't do what?
Thom: "He's making signs. Okay, can you turn my guitar up a little bit? Thank you. [laughs]
Sammy: "He's picking on me Gary.
Gary: "Stop it, Thom.
Thom: "I hope someone's listening.
[Play 'Fake Plastic Trees']
Gary: "You're tuned to radio Radiohead on XFM 104.9 and that's Thom and Jonny's live version for us of 'Fake Plastic Trees'. You talked a little be earlier on about the R.E.M. tour, did you do two tours out in America? One on your own and one also supporting them.
Thom: "No it's a bit more confusing than that. We started with R.E.M around Europe and then we went around America with them, around the south. We seemed to spend about 10 days in Texas.
Gary: "Did you visit Dallas, just out of interest?
Gary: "Did you do the Kennedy tour, did you pay a visit to Dealy Plaza? I'm just interested cause I'm fascinated by all of that.
Thom: "No, you know, you're stuck in the middle of nowhere. There was one day where I actually remember getting out of the bus thinking it's dark outside today and we were in show, we didn't leave at day, we didn't see daylight all day.
Jonny: "We drove in.
Thom: "The bus was in... yeah anyway. And then we did that, that was 5 weeks and then the day after that we flew to Denver and got our stuff stolen.
Gary: "Well tell us about that, what happened there?
Thom: "Well, it's a new gang thing apparently. Jonny, you like to have in on this...
Jonny: "Well no, it just means whenever they see vans parked outside hotels it's usually somebody moving home with all the home contents or if they're lucky, it's a band and with us they were lucky.
Gary: "What was your reaction, what happened? You came down in the morning and the van had gone.
Jonny: "We were just annoyed really, because it's not like the stuff is particularly valuable, I mean all our guitars were bought new for a couple hundred pounds five years ago and we're just used to them. So it was annoying and all the American press were like, journalists asking us, 'So did you have a lot of vintage guitars or old guitars?' That doesn't really interest us, it's just our fingers being used to it really.
Gary: "What was you're initial reaction when you found out that the van had gone with all the gear in?
Thom: "Well, the way we were told was like our tour manager sat us down, it's like someone had died...
Gary: "Broke it to you gently.
Thom: "Yeah, as long as no one was hurt, we were fine about it. I could wait to but new gear, so there you go.
Gary: ""You remember that van we had yesterday, well that's not there anymore". So the R.E.M tour, was that good fun?
Thom: "Yeah it was a bit of a head-stretching experience.
Gary: "In what way?
Thom: "In every possible way... um... yes, you know, they were very nice to us and it was one of those things, I think you get to a point in the music business where you just think, I don’t care how this sounds, where you just think everybody is a complete tosser and you just have to carry on like that for the rest of your existence merely to get by. And then you actually realize you don’t have to be like that, you know, we're actually perfectly capable of being us and you're able to own create creative space and so on. They're able to survive what've done in a sort of human way and we just found that really encouraging.
Gary: "How do you think they do that, you know, because they got to one of the biggest bands in the world? How do they?
Thom: "Well, I don't know, it seems to be with a certain degree of humor. Obviously nobody thinks that Radiohead have a sense of humor and we're the most miserable people on earth.
Gary: "Does that annoy that, you know, some people many have that perception because of the music and they see you as only having that persona?
Thom: "I think the music bears it out, so... as I say, I don't really have a problem with what people write and I can approach writing songs as 'Ok we're gonna write 12 happy songs' and it'll great and everyone will be happy but I don't think that will be convincing.
Thom: "Every person comes at what they do at a certain angle and ours is that one and obviously translates into the way people write about us.
Gary: "Being on tour with R.E.M, what were the things and everything that goes with them, the whole fame thing, what were the things you liked and maybe sort of didn't like? Were there any things in particular?
Thom: "Lots but then you get into dangerous personal stuff but anyway, what didn't I like? I didn't like the security people, you know, Michael has his own personal bodyguard who's a lovely bloke and everything but I found it really weird and I know understand why he has to do it, it was getting to that point.
Gary: "Did you get to meet his mum and dad?
Thom: "No, they weren't around.
Gary: "Right. It’s just that I know a friend who has a few times and they're lovely characters.
Thom: "Yeah I'm sure. They're all like that, that's what so amazing about it. Anyway, it sounds like mutal appreciation blah blah.
Gary: "Were you fans before you went on tour
Thom: "Oh god! Yeah, you know, you get conditioned into being bitchy this country about what you do and being very emotionally ungenerous about what you do and I think that really sat particularly well with us and then actually meeting another band who's like that was pretty cool.
Gary: "I think, just going back to the Melody Maker interview, did you do 'It's the End of the World as We Know It' on the final gig.
Thom: "Yeah, it wasn't "It's the End of The World', we wouldn't do an R.E.M song.
Thom: "No, we did 'Nobody Does it Better'.
Gary: "Carly Simon?
Thom: "Yeah, sexiest song ever written.
Gary: "Go on play that for us.
Thom: "No! Absolutely no chance.
Gary: "I'll help you out on backing vocals [laughs]. I love that song. So, what are you gonna play for us next? We're getting out money's worth this evening.
Thom: "You must bored by now.
Jonny: "Okay, should we play a slower song?
Thom: "We're walking around the room now [laughs].
Jonny: "We should play some records instead.
Gary: "Do you want to do that, Jonny?
Thom: "That's a really good idea, we gonna do that.
Gary: "Alright, they're gonna come next door.
Sammy: "I'm the engineer in here.
Gary: "Oh yes of course, ladies and gentlemen, what can I say, it's XFM's very own Trevor Horn, Sammy Jacob.
Sammy: "They've packed up their guitars now, I don't know if that was scheduled, but that's alright never mind.
Thom: "Oh sorry.
Gary: "A 20 ft. high well done to Sammy Jacob, who's album for albums, singles, live gigs, weddings anything.
Sammy: "Gary, you should of said to them are they fans of R.E.M. now.
Gary: "Anyway, it's Gary on XFM, hope you enjoyed the music and Thom and Jonny are gonna come in to the studio and they're gonna start playing some records. I’m gonna play Drugstore, who supported the band on some of their gigs out in America, we'll talk about that from them. This is called 'Injections'
Gary: "We've got Thom & Jonny from Radiohead, we're certainly getting our money's worth this evening, aren't we? We did you actually get back?
Jonny: "Uh... last week, Friday.
Gary: "What was the first thing you wanted to do as soon as touched down?
Thom: "I can't say that on radio [laughs].
Gary: "You could sort of thinly disguise it, a nice cup of tea?
Jonny: "Yeah, that's...
Gary: "Has it literally been a case of coming home and seeing family and friends again?
Jonny: "It's kind of impossible to unwind, we only had 5 days off and then the British tour started so we hadn’t enough time to reach a normal life.
Thom: "You actually go " Wow! I'm home" and then 3 days later "I'm so depressed, I wanna go out again". It's like what R.E.M was saying, it takes like a good 6 months to some down, you know, doing a tour like that because that highs must be drastic.
Gary: "Are the changes noticed by family and friends as well? Do they know to sort of step back a little bit and just kind of let you...
Jonny: "You just get really nervous at about 9 o'clock every night even though you're sat at home thinking 'I should be doing something'.
Thom: "Anyway, there's this great record...
Gary: "Tell us about this band again, what's the story? Where did you hear about Sparklehorse?
Thom: "Well, we were driving around Israel on the R.E.M tour and a friend of ours played it to us who works for part of the record company. Normally we don't have record company agencies to support bands and so on, but they signed and nobody heard of them, we hadn't heard of them and we were just blown away. It's a long album, long and rambling but it's really got something about, the writing guy, Mark Linkous and he's got talent.
Gary: "And have you guys actually seen them live as well?
Thom: "They literally just started.
Gary: "It's the first time in Glasgow last Tuesday? First time you'd see them live.
Thom: "Yeah, absolutely.
Gary: "Alright, well let's listen to it, Sparklehorse on XFM this is called 'Spirit Ditch'.
['Spirit Ditch' plays]
Gary: "Gary Crowley on XFM with special guests, Thom and Jonny from Radiohead that's Sparklehorse.
Gary: "You can see them live next Saturday at the Brixton Academy. What time will they be going on stage?
Thom: "Well I think normally it's about 8, isn't it?
Gary: "You got anything special planned for London?
Thom: "Umm... no.
Gary: "In answer to my question. Tell us why you've chosen Sonic Youth, Thom
Thom: "Umm... because... uh.. this particular song, I was back for about 24 hours and I put it on and just like played it continuously for about an hour so that's I good reason I think.
Gary: "Gary Crowley with you until 9 o'clock and then it's 'Jumping Jim Banner' taking you right through until midnight. Sonic Youth there from Washing Machine that's entitled 'Unwind' the choice of Thom and we got Jonny here as well from Radiohead. Listen talk about the Help! EP and your contribution to the album, can you kind of talk us through it, how were you contacted?
Jonny: "Well as soon as we got the offer to record something one day and bring it out 5 days later, we just wanted to do the best song we had at the moment and our favorite song that we'd just written and so that was the buzz we got off it. And it's really exciting not to have that 2 month lag between the idea in our head and people ears, usually there's this horrible gap, if that makes any sense and we were just really uptight about doing something new. It's beautiful and really good fun and really exciting to think of all the bands, all of London doing the same thing, you know, I don't know it's cool.
Gary: "You actually had the film guys in there with you while you were recording it as well, what was that like?
Thom: "That was really hard.
Gary: "Was it?
Thom: "I didn't like that.
Gary: "Tell us about it.
Jonny: "Well we arrived with our equipment and all these lights had been set up in a kind of colorful way and we even hadn't put anything up yet so it was all like a bit of a nightmare, but lucky she was on her (???) taking it down and putting in a bit more random instead of planned. It turned out really good.
Gary: "Thom's curled up in a ball in the corner, was it particular difficult for you to do the vocal then?
Thom: "No, it was more, you know, the pressure is on to do the whole track in day. I think we spent a good five hours mucking around with having the camera there, so eventually we got down to it at about five, six in the evening, It's like 'Oh my god, how are we gonna do this in time' but it was fine that was all part of it.
Gary: "Was the immediacy of doing that something that's kind of prompted you, you know, in the way your thinking about recording the next album or was that just something that was there anyway because The Bends did end up in taking about three months on and off?
Thom: "Yeah, it really is gonna depend on the track like anything, certain tracks are very immediate, I mean Lucky we'd been playing live in stage for a while anyway so it was ok to do it like that. I think the least amount of time you spend in the studio...
Jonny: "Sadly it's all about rehearsal, you know, it's all about just playing well.
Jonny: "Yeah there's two ways you can play well, I mean you could be incredibly tight and sound like Go West or whatever or you can be tight and ragged like Neil Young. For years some bands get something new to their sound having played together for so long and being used to each other, that's what we kind of rehearsed so hard for and that's why we're gonna spend less time in the studio and more time rehearsing in the studio.
Thom: "In theory! [laughs]
Jonny: "In theory...
Gary: "On paper.
Gary: "Did you get to see the program, the special that they did of the album, what did you think? What of the other tracks that sort of stood out for you?
Jonny: "We actually saw it with Michael Stipe, didn't we?
Jonny: "Just to cause it's interesting to see his reactions to all the bands are, it was cool.
Gary: "And what were they?
Jonny: "Oh! I can't remember.
Thom: "You set yourself up there, didn't you? Oh yeah, we can't remember.
Jonny: "I can't remember, he like most of it or all of it, it's cool we all did.
Gary: "Any ones in particular that stood out?
Thom: "I thought Neneh Cherry was cool, but also the stuff they did with 'Lucky' when they... um... there's one bit where this bloke who had a patch over his eye and stuff, I thought that was, I don't know I cried. I'd been on tour for 3 weeks so...
Gary: "That was gonna happen anyway. What about for you, Jonny, as far as stand out tracks on the album?
Jonny: "Well, I really liked the Suede one cause I like the singing on the song and I thought he sang it really well. The production of it especially, he's voice is much warmer and Suede always disappoint me on record because the sound of his and production but on that it's just so warm and really well sung, it's just beautiful.
Gary: "Have you made a video for this or are you gonna use the video from the special?
Thom: "Yeah, we didn't really wanna plug Radiohead.
Gary: "Ok let's hear it.
Gary: "... I mean as far as this sort of Britpop, Oasis, Blur thing.
Thom: "Um... it's now the property of the tabloids, isn't it? It's enough really.
Gary: "Have you sort of checked most of that stuff out at all, I mean did you get a chance in America? Are you aware and eager to listen to what's sort of happening while your away?
Thom: "No dimly. [laughs]
Jonny: "Yeah, you get fairly passionate about British bands when you're in America, obviously. I saw Blur playing in Boston and love it because it was so British and the audience there. There were even, you know, teenage American kids turning up in like mod suits and really trying hard just standing there alone and really kind of loving it and loving British bands which is really bizarre to see. I loved that, I really loved seeing Blur in America, I thought they were great.
Gary: "I mean we're always sort of hearing about how badly British bands are doing in America, say compared to five, ten years ago or whatever. Is it getting better? Why has that happened you think?
Jonny: "I thinks it's mainly to do with Americans not understanding British bands rather than British bands somehow being worse or just missing it.
Thom: "Yeah, the amount of American bands who are actually influenced by British bands is just hilarious.
Jonny: "Yeah, they're all singing with British accents there which is bizarre.
Thom: "When we first heard Greenday it was like the funniest thing in the world, anyway...
Gary: "Why do you think bands like that and Rancid, for instance, have kind of exploded, you know, so huge across America? Any thoughts about that?
Thom: "Umm... America is one of those places where you get to a certain point and you either; nobody wants to know you or you just completely explode and it happens to, I mean... oh god, what's the name of that band? Live, I mean, who are they? They are huge, they turned up one day in their brand new Mercedes 3-series with their brand new girlfriends that look just like the car, as far as I could work out, particularly to hang around and look like they sold millions of records. It's basically, you know, they toured a lot and eventually they broke through this line that you go through and, you know, we haven't gone through it and The Cranberries have and Live have, it's not such a great thing to go through as far as I could work out. I think, you know, I don't exactly think that Britain is the answer to everybody's dreams in terms of music at the moment.
Gary: "We've been spoiled in the past, haven't we?
Thom: "Yeah, especially with what Radio 1 is up to and stuff. In America it's far worse, in America it's just filled with total idiots . People who used to run, I'm sorry this is bit of a rant, but people who used to run like the chart radio in the 80's, you know, now decided they're all experts on the alternative music scene so they just turn up and say ' Ok play Greenday 20 times a day' and so on, anything that sounds a bit like Nirvana.
Gary: "What sort of support have you guys had with The Bends, as far as radio is concerned?
Thom: "We haven't had that much because I think that basically alternative radio isn't really alternative, it's basically chart radio so therefore they're into the fast fix and nobody takes any risks.
Jonny: "We kind of weren't bothered thought because a) we're so happy with what we'd recorded and we were excited about what's happening here anyway, you know, in terms of reaction.
Thom: "I mean the stuff they play, honestly we moan about what we hear over here, but my god! [ laughs
Jonny: "We just like to imagine what John Lydon must be making with it all, you know.
Thom: "Yeah, you know, even Bjork he says '????
Gary: "Well actually that brings us nicely to our next record, actually fellas before we do play that, can I just do a competition very quickly. I feel a competition coming on because I've still got two prizes to give away before 9'clock on 'Crowley's Last Stand' and this second one sees off for grabs 30 CDs in an XFM goodie bag, which includes albums from The Meat Puppets, Superchunk and singles from people like EMF. The question I'm gonna ask is this one... .
Thom: "... .. her video and everything, I'd love to make music like this because she's fabulous.
['Army of Me' plays]
Gary: "Let's kind of go right back to the beginning, I don’t know if you two guys want to lay down or not, what was the first the music that you sort of remember being aware of? Who was the first band that truly affected you?
Jonny: "First band that affected me?
Thom: "That really affected you..
Gary: "Yeah, that you connect with.
Jonny: "Uh... The Pixies probably, I really thought they were amazing and outstanding I think. Before that I didn't really listen to much music like this, it was more like my mother's records and my older sister's records as well. Magazine as well had a big effect on me, my sister used to play endless Magazine and The Beat as well and stuff like this. And between the ages of 14 and 20, I never heard any of it and I was 7 when this stuff came out and then I heard it again for the first time a couple of years ago, a Magazine album, and I remembered every note it was really uncanny and all the lyrics and everything, you know, even though I hadn't heard it in six years and I'd been a toddler practically when it came out.
Gary: "Do you still get that feeling bands, I mean, has anybody had that same effect on you in the last couple of years?
Thom: "I get the same thing from Sonic Youth now and R.E.M were my, you know, big band when I was a kid and also Violent Femmes.
Gary: "What was it like meeting Mr. Stipe then for the first time?
Thom: "It was very sweet, it was very nice.
Gary: "Can you share that moment with us?
Thom: "Blurgh! There's not really much to share, I mean, it's interesting when you start realizing how many people are infatuated with him. So there's not really that much to tell, it's not really interesting honestly.
Gary: "I was gonna say that there's nothing worse with meeting somebody that being disappointed. Is there?
Thom: "Yeah, but that presumes you expect something from them, you know what I mean? And that's what freaks me out about when you meet people like the woman who thought she was sent from heaven, you know, they expect some sort of explosion to happen and it's not gonna happen. We did a show with Neil Young, I mean Neil Young is someone that I got passionate about and I still think there's a lot of music out there that I get really passionate about. The new McCormick Butler single, I just freaked when I heard that.
Jonny: "Yeah it's great, isn't it?
Thom: "I can't say the word I said at the time.
Gary: "You thought it.
Gary: "'Ranking Full Stop' by The Beat, why have you chosen this one, Jonny?
Jonny: "Because if Colin my brother, the bass player, we here or Phil our drummer, then they would love it and they'd be dancing around the room as will I.
['Ranking Full Stop' plays]
Gary: "... hope you and your Sony mini-disc have many enjoyable years together, I'm sure you will do.
Jonny: "Can I go now?
Gary: "You can indeed, but I'm gonna see you after the show. Right, I'm gonna finish with Oasis with Sammy in the background, who's being very naughty this evening. Did you enjoy that with the Radiohead boys?
Sammy: "Yes very much, they were very good, weren't they?
Gary: "They're big favorites for you, aren't they?
Sammy: "They are.
Gary: "According to Melody Maker this week, that album changed your life.
Sammy: "They're big favorite of Frasier as well.
Gary: "It was good fun, there will be probably be a live album cassette or something you can buy in Camden tomorrow.
Sammy: "Apparently you're a big favorite of theirs, Gary.
Gary: "They're big favorites of mine, everybody loves each other.
Sammy: "I love you Gary, I do.
Gary: "I'm gonna end this evening with Oasis who come to town next Saturday and Sunday at Earl's Court.
Thom: "Get on with it.
Gary: "It's a good weekend for gigs next weekend, of course Radiohead being at Brixton Academy but this is gonna be 'Champagne Supernova' taking us out to Jim Banner.