Queer Radio Interview

Interview by UK Radio Personality, Sonya Frazier.
(SF = Sonya Frazier)
(TB = Tom Bailey)
(AC = Alannah Currie)

*** During the mid-eighties, the Thompson Twins were no strangers to the charts with hits like "Doctor! Doctor!", "We Are Detective" and "Hold Me Now". Following a run of hits, the group which then numbered three, have had a bit of a break, but have not been idol. Recently a track by Feedback Max was creating a lot of noise on the dance floors, only for everyone to later discover that it was the Thompson Twins re-appearing on the scene. When Sonya Frazier met Alannah Currie and Tom Bailey, she asked if they were making an obvious move away from the pop market to the dance floors. ***

AC : If you say OK, I'm going to make pop music and you confine yourself just to that then it's/it gets very hard to move left or right or y'know I'm just going to make rock music or something. But I mean the great thing about the Thompson Twins is that it does sort of..it can move this way or that. We do all those things and more, you know.

SF : The name's always been the same, Thompson Twins, but the numbers that are associated with the Thompson Twins have gone up and down. Uh, Alannah, tell us what the numbers have been along the way.

AC : Oh, I don't know. When I joined the Thompson Twins in, let me see, '79, and at that time I was the fifth one to join. There were five guys in it then. And then, um, it went up to about seven at one point; we got sort of fairly tribal and got into a lot of percussion music. It was great. And then we went down in '82 to the three of us and then Joe left in '86. And basically it's just been the two of us since then.

SF : Does that make it an easier working relationship, now that there are just the two of you?

TB : Well, we can both get on a motorbike.

AC : If we wanted to.

TB : It's cheaper.

SF : Tell us about the current single entitled, "Come Inside", cause I gather it wasn't intially released under the title of Thompson Twins.

TB : No, well, as Feedback Max, I did a remax with the other...a remax, I said; a remix with Feedback Max and that was actually put out first on a white label format and it was credited to Feedback Max.

SF : Why?

TB : Well, why because...I guess, in a way, we were trying to do some-thing under-hand; we were trying to slip in unnoticed into the clubs, you know, which is sometimes a fun thing to do - to wear a disguise. So then people are judging the piece of work rather than the reputation of the people who made it. I guess that's the real reason, you know. Cause sometimes people can hold your reputation against you; as we all know, and we wanted to avoid that with this song. And, sort of in a way, it worked, you know. Some people have this prejudice problem, they think "well, oh, if it's them, then I'm not interested in that sort of thing." But when they realized they'd been dancing to it for a couple of weeks already anyway, they sort of had to come to terms with their own prejudice. In the end, we released a version by C&C. They did a remix for us & put the Feedback Max on the other side.

SF : But I gather the track's doing remarkabely well, not only on the London dance floors and up and down the UK but in America as well.

TB : Yeah, it seems to be taking off club-wise really well for us.

SF : I suppose when you look back to the beginning, anyone who, I suppose - levels a criticism like "oh, the Thompson Twins are trying to get into club music"...I mean what would be your levelling back at that? That, in a way, as you say, you've always been there or on the fringes of that from the beginning, Alannah?

AC : Well, I don't think anybody owns one sort of music or another and you know, I mean if you're into growing and changing and being musicians for a long time then hopefully you are going to change. You know, you're not going to be doing the same music ten years ago. However, ten years ago, our first hit (if you like) was a track called "In The Name Of Love" and umm ...it's what first sort of got our foot in the door in America. People really got off on it there and that's sort of what took us to the States and...

TB : That was a big dance record and people there were saying "well, why aren't you using real instruments? What is this syntheziser rubbish and, you know, drum machines, what?" What is it all, you know? Is that real or is that fake? So in a way, we had to do all of the sort of vanguard work that created the space for today's dance movements. I'm not saying it's all down to us or anything, but to be accused of jumping on the dance band-wagon is a little shallow, you know?