Music & Me: Missing Andy

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The Independent Culture

Essex five-piece Missing Andy finished as runners-up in the Sky1 talent competition Must Be The Music. Comprising Alex Greaves (vocals), Rob Jones (bass), Jon Sharpe (keyboards), Steve Rolls (guitar) and Elliot Richardson (drums), they released their debut album The Greatest Show On Earth – Act I in October 2010. The band’s single “The Way We’re Made (Made In England)” reached no.38 in the UK singles chart.

The first record I bought was...

Alex: The Marshall Mathers LP. It was a little bit naughty, which I loved.

Rob: “Make Way For The Indian” by Apache Indian. I was about 14 and in town with some girls who loved hip hop, so I bought it thinking I'd look cool!

Jon: Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”. I was young and naïve! It was £2.50 on cassette.

Steve: “Spaceman” by Babylon Zoo. What a disappointment that was. Once the Levi’s ad chorus was over, it turned into a dirge.

Elliot: “Boom Shake The Room” by Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. What a great track that was.

The first gig I went to was...

J: My own, supporting an even worse band than us at the YMCA in Chelmsford. We had no transport so I ended up standing in the rain after with my drums trying to hitch hike home.

A: Foo Fighters at Wembley Arena around 2001. They have such an incredible live sound and they’re such a tight band.

R: Cover bands down the local pub. The way even the worst 'dad bands' on the planet swooned the ladies sold it for me.

My favourite album is...

J: Muse, Origin of Symmetry. I worked out all the piano, bass and drum parts a month after getting it, and it made we want to become a musician. For that reason - thank you, Muse.

R: A Night At The Opera by Queen. I studied it at college and it’s mind-blowing. Some of it is so camp and in places it’s just plain weird, but it has a very high sentimental value.

E: Fat of The Land by The Prodigy. I remember listening to it for the first time and thinking “this will be a 'best of' album for years to come”. Every track was an anthem.

S: What's the Story Morning Glory by Oasis probably had me skipping the least amount of tracks. Noel Gallagher’s approach to melody and simple chord patterns has rubbed off on me, and he always manages to paint a great picture with his words.

But my parents always liked...

A: Frank Sinatra, Westlife and The Jam. I had to just ring my mum up and ask that, I didn’t have a clue!

E: Every car journey we’d listen to Eric Clapton Unplugged album or Otis Reading. Occasionally Celine Dion would come on and me and my brother would complain until it was removed from the CD player.

R: Chas ‘n’ Dave, honky tonk, soul and blues. Lots of cool influences.

S: My Dad is a big classical music fan, but I just don't have the attention span for it. My Mum likes Cliff Richard!

J: Country and Western - yuck! Every car journey as a kid, no matter where we went, it was Daniel O'Donnell or Tammy Wynette! When you’re force-fed it, it puts you off very quickly.

I couldn't marry someone who liked...

E: Death metal. I don't mind the occasional metal song, but not all day long. And Celine Dion fans should stay well away.

J: Bondage or Cher Lloyd.

A: Jedward or Glee.

R: Waking up too early in the morning, unless it was with a cup of tea, a Hob-Nob, or something of equal value.

S: I’m no music snob but if you're cranking up David Hasselhoff on every car journey, I think there would be issues.

In the studio I like to wear...

E: Something that’s not going to chafe. It’s got to be comfortable and stylish. It's important to look the part in the public eye, and you never know which band may be in studio two!

J: Something sexy or revealing, because the cameras are always rolling.

A: Dressing gown and slippers. I’m only a pipe away from being a 60-year old in the studio.

R: Something comfortable I can wipe my hands on - studio time is always accompanied by coffee and pizza.

S: I go for style over comfort. I like to look good when I'm working - it puts you in the right frame of mind.

I'd love to have on my show...

E: Charlie Sheen fuelled on Tiger Blood. Just imagine it.

A: The chuckle brothers Cameron and Clegg, Jeremy Paxman to give them all a good grilling, Jonathan Ross to take the mickey and Stephen Fry for his sarcasm. I'd ask a load of questions we rarely get to hear the answers for.

J: Jeremy Clarkson, so I could ask him in return to go on his show. You know you’ve made it when you do a lap on Top Gear.

S: Pyrotechnics. That’s when you know you've made it, when venues let you blow stuff up indoors!

One thing that must change in the music industry is…

A: Illegal downloads are crippling the industry. Young people today don’t expect to pay for music. At a festival this year a young girl about 14 came up to us and she was a massive fan. She told us she’d downloaded all our songs off of YouTube…

J: It’s piracy. When you spend more money than you have, and pour sweat and blood into a recording, it breaks your heart to see people ripping it off rather that spending 79p online.

E: The way artists get ripped off more than anyone. Behind the scenes, they are skint.

R: The amount of censorship and control. When you are a band who have something valid to say, the man still wants to shut you down.

A great album cover is...

E: The Prodigy’s Fat of The Land. I remember trawling through the shops looking for their new album. It was the coolest bit of artwork in the shop.

J: Nirvana’s Nevermind will go down as probably the greatest. Even today it’s on t-shirts and posters.

R: Green Day’s Dookie, because the whole thing is a doodle by Billy. As a scribbler myself, I thought that was ace.

S: Without blowing my own trumpet too much, I think our Greatest Show on Earth EP has awesome cover art. It sends a strong message about the problems our society is facing.

On my iPod I listen most to...

E: I've just bought the new Bon Iver album, I’m liking that.

A: One minute I’ll be listening to The Specials, the next I'll be screw-facing to some Dubstep, then relaxing to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles.

J: I love new metal: Linkin Park, Funeral For a Friend, Paramore. Something about that sound that makes me unwind.

S: A lot of Blur. We're working on tracks for album two and I’m starting to hear Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn influences.

If I could have written any song it would have been...

J: “Ghost Town” by The Specials. It’s the perfect song and very thought-provoking.

A: The orchestration for “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles.

R: “I Get Around” by The Beach Boys.

S: Something like “London Calling”, “Guns of Brixton”or “That’s Entertainment”. Songs written in times of civil unrest, a snapshot of that moment in history.

E: “Billie Jean”. I’d love to write a song as timeless as that.

The worst song I’ve heard is…

A: “Swagger Jagger” by Cher Lloyd. Just awful. I hope most people bought it for a joke otherwise there's something really wrong [entire band agrees on choice].

J: “Friday” by Rebecca Black as well, though. I could write a book on how much that song has affected me and the rest of music as a whole.