THE PROBLEM with calling John Martyn folk - and people also make this association with my music - is that you'll be thinking of beards and kaftans. Martyn is a normal, working-class geezer who isn't afraid to sing falsetto with sincerity. His lyrics are about personal experiences. They inspired me. I wasn't good at much at school; I wasn't a star sportsman or anything. But I could sing. One day my mate was singing "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley - it wasn't lovely - and so I took over. The room fell silent. I will never forget that reaction. When I write, the motivation is always playing it to friends, it's a good way to express feeling. It's natural magic.
I LIKE Radiohead, it's innovative music. I think "Fake Plastic Trees" is one of the best songs I have heard (since The Beatles's last record). It is not over-produced, has good lyrics, and it'll last. There is no such thing as democracy in a band, but Radiohead come pretty close; the songs are written on acoustic guitar, and then band members add their own instrument to fit. It's gorgeous. There must be music like this to stop people listening to dance music; something more wholesome than the glam pop in the charts. Sometimes the lyrics are Radiohead's downfall. I don't like the student, flowery way of putting something across. It's much better to be simple, like "Creep", which is sarcastic and direct. Save the flowery language for the people with beards and sandals.
Lee Griffiths's "Feeling The Strain" is out now on ZTT. His debut album is out at the end of the monthReuse content