You have been compared to The Stone Roses...?
No [I think someone should tell them...]. We are not anymore are we? I thought all of that had gone. I don't think any band likes being compared too much for too long, it becomes a tag, and becomes a bit of a pain in the arse. We lost that one, until you mentioned it. They were definitely an influence, but one of many.
So how would you describe yourself?
As a kind of soulful, pop, rock extravaganza. A revue. Rustic, urbane and uncivilised. It's very hard for bands to pigeon-hole themselves, all I am saying is that the band are music lovers. We are merely sponges, and we soak up everything and it comes out in no discernible order.
So you do extravagant on-stage antics, then?
No, we don't do star jumps if that is what you mean. We are fairly restrained. Mark camps it up a bit, he has a few dance routines. Yeah we do enjoy it, we've just done a little UK tour for the first time in well over a year, which was quite nerve-racking for the first couple of days, but really cool now. We haven't done it for a while so we were really into doing it. Can't really grumble as we are about to go off to Japan and Australia.
What do you enjoy most about being on tour?
The lawlessness, it's quite a chaotic experience. Your body clock and diet goes out the window and you live in this bubble which bears no relation to real life. I enjoy it in blocks of four and six weeks, or it becomes a little surreal. In short tour bursts, I like the chaos; smoking, swearing, loving, fighting and laughing. We haven't done any mad stuff since our first tours, when objects were thrown out of windows and fire extinguishers set off.
Now, when Mark wants to trash his room he takes it apart with screwdrivers. He took apart the floor of his bathroom and put it in his bath, and put all the screws in a cup. Not quite Led Zeppelin, but we are pioneering a new kind of vandalism.
Any other pioneering ambitions?
To be the biggest and best thing anywhere ever. No, we don't really have ambitions in the sense of we want to fill Wembley and sell X amounts of records. Obviously we want to be successful. Our main ambition is to keep our sanity, which is sometimes challenging. To keep the purity of the band, and not allow ourselves to be sold out by going on Shine albums or advertising cars on TV. We have steered well clear.
Rule Britannia, or sinking ship?
Some people think that once they get in this position they are obliged to have an opinion, and they can change things, which is sad. We have been drawn on politics in the past, but read it back and it sounds a bit naff in print. Politicians don't talk about music. I don't question others' conscience, but think it is a bit off-putting and a bit misguided when pop stars think they can change the world.
Fans look for...?
Our first tour had a lot of girlies. We are pretty, not handsome, that's what people call us. It changed on this tour, more boys and older people. Average fan is 20 and fairly cool, I would like to think.
Everybody. No, not everybody, but pretty much. My dad was a rocker into Zep and Deep Purple and my mum the Beatles and Motown. The bands I was into when we started were The Smiths, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera. We listen to all sorts of music, hip hop, soul, doo-wop, Buddhism and opium!
If you could have been in a band anytime and place?
The obvious one is the Sixties. This era isn't so bad, after the Eighties dark years, musically and stylishly. The music scene now is quite good and exciting. The Seventies had their moments, but bit dodge. The Sixties was a revolution, and everything was new. The Nineties is pretty healthy; music in this country got serious last year but there were some brilliant records. At the moment my fave is The Magical World of the Strands/The Strands, and brilliant sounds like The Las and Love.Reuse content