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Teletext Interview - January 1998
What's with the naming of the new single Solomon Bites the Worm ?
"It started off as an instrumental called Bite the Worm. Mark wrote the words. They come from the rhyme about Solomon Grundy, the man who lived his entire life in one week."
What would you do if you had just a week to live ?
"Sex, drugs, a little bit of rock'n'roll and some light reading. The last book I read was Howard Marks biog. It raises eyebrows at customs if they see that in your hand luggage !"
Tell us about your latest video.
"It was shot in four locations; New York, London, Mexico and Amsterdam. The idea is that the universe exists within one space. Mark travels around the world from inside a portable toilet ! It's a bit of a trip. I only did the Mexico and Amsterdam shots. In Mexico we had a few days off so we headed for the coast and went jet-skiing. The speed is frightening at first but I got quite good by the end."
Were you worried that after a year off everyone had forgotten you ?
"Well, it is a bit worrying. We've had no press for a year and it's been a long time. But we've come back with a good album, and if everyone else has half as much faith in it as we do, then we'll be OK."
What about falling victim to a Britpop backlash ?
"Well, Britpop did go belly up, but the acid test is if we come out of that unscathed. Most of those bands have fallen flat on their face, but I can't see that happening to us."
How has your second album progressed from your first ?
"For the first album we were a bit of a garage band. We recorded it live playing in a room. This time around it's a much bigger sound. It's more experimental, fatter, with a lot more texture. We've played around more and tried to look for different ways to make it interesting. That doesn't mean adding a string or brass section like everyone else is doing, but we have used toy instruments!"
Tell us about some of the tracks on the album.
"It starts with an instrumental called `Tone Blues', then there's `Painted Arizona', which will be a single. We'll be taking four or five singles from this album. The next one is called `If', then we'll release `Four Day Weekend'. We don't mind where the singles get to in the chart - they're just to keep the album turning over. My favourite track is called `Sky Will Fall'. It's a fairly melancholy, country-influenced track."
Your new LP is called Return to the Last Chance Saloon. Why the boozy theme ?
"When we did the first album there was too much dope, but we ditched drugs and just got drunk on Tequila for this one. I tend to drink whisky mainly; Jim or Jack. Jim mainly. Jack's very unfashionable now."
When did you first get drunk ?
"When I was 13 at one of mum's New Year's Eve parties. I drank the dregs in people's glasses. I was violently ill."
Do you have any top pop tips for '98 ?
"I went to see Regular Fries last week. It was lig central. Everyone from the music papers and A+R departments was there. I didn't enjoy it. Everyone was spotting everyone else. The band are great though. They have that Happy Mondays vibe of a bunch of blokes who've just come off the street. The Dandy's deserve to be big, and I like Mover too, very soulful."
Extracted from Teletext, January 1998.