Goffery: That Britpop - it's a real question that comes up in
nearly every interview. "What do you think
Gaz Coombes: It was a big thing in the mid '90s. A big movement,
but not to us.
Danny: I think to a lot of the bands as well - none of them really
kind of admitted to it, and said we are a Brit-Pop band.
Gaz: I think
someone like Damon (Albarn of Blur) almost kind of fell into
the trap of it, saying ‘Brit Pop is over.’
read an Radiohead interview and the headline was "We
Gaz: Things like that, we don't really care, we don't know when it
disappeared or when we got out of it or when we were in it.
It's kind of weird one anyway, because it’s not
really a very well-defined scene - I wouldn't be able to say what
it was. British Popular music that’s been going on since
the beginning of time.
Mark: Well not since the beginning of time.
Mickey: Well people banging rocks together or whatever.
Bob Coombes: Brit-Rock, British cave men.
Mark: The other funny thing I've seen in the press lately with your
new album was you guys are the Britpop survivors and Sleeper and
Menswear all those bands broke up.
Bob: I suppose it's just come round to that time now, seven years.
Maybe more of the bands have now disappeared.
Danny: We killed them all off.
Gaz: Yeah, we've actually killed them.
Danny: We had to get our feet in the door someway, so just killing
off your rivals.
Mickey: Like Survivor.
Gaz: I mean
fuckin’ hell, let's just get to the future -
it's always looking backwards.
Danny: You’re on one of your waffling on moods aren’t
Gaz: Is that
waffling? No I was just saying it’s weird how
you look back…
You wrote some of the album in the South of France, right?
How did that influence the songwriting process, if at all?
We had loads of accordions.
It wasn't really. I don't think we specifically, well maybe
we did, we did kind of go over there to write songs, but
there's also the fact of just getting out of that kind
of wheel of finished touring and a little break and everyone
just kind of drives and meets up, it just to go away together
and live together. Just to get that sort of energy before
we went into the studio.
Strange how the Cote D'Azur is quite similar to LA, that
is kind of a weird thing and our using Tony (Hoffer, who
produced Life On Other Planets and is from LA). I don't
know if that had anything to do with it. But I remember
when we were down at the Cote D'Azur, it's got kind of
a Californian kind vibe. I mean a lot different in other
ways, but there is sort of a theme running through that.
Especially maybe Cannes. Cannes is quite LA.
Don't know if that's subconscious...just occurred to me.
Things like listening to Nostalgique, the radio station over
there, influenced a few aspects of the record.
It just kind
speaks for itself. Sort of French ‘60’s music.
But there is some international stuff on there and it's quite
and we'd just listen to that a lot.
Gaz: We just got into the whole vibe. You get down there, loads
of wine and good food and we're cooking each night, making good
food and listening to music. Yeah we had mini disc players, we'd
just record little bits and pieces every now and again. It was
just to get a good feel together in a relaxed vibe. We'd been on
the road for about two years, so we were into just writing some
cool songs and just chill out.
Danny: "I've got an idea!" while you're lying on the
lounge at the pool. “Oh, fuck I've lost it.”
me another glass of wine, please."
Mark: Have you been asked a lot of stupid
questions like Do you believe in life on other planets and
Danny: Yeah. It's something you really have to think about next
Gaz: It doesn't matter. It's a good title.
It's alright. It’s not fuckin’ brilliant.
Mickey: It's better than what you came up with.
Danny: What's that?
I can’t remember.
Danny: Sweet smell of Supergrass.
Mickey: Sweet smell of my ass.
It's hard to say - anything without it sounding cliché,
because it's what everyone's said before.
Spinal Tap Moments
What is the most Spinal Tap thing that's happened to the
One of them, we were arriving in Glastonbury in 1995 in a helicopter
and you could see everyone was like, “wow, I
think it's the Rolling Stones or someone.” No one knew who
we were and we got out and they went “who the fuck is that
skinny little bloke?” We went "yes."
Mickey: Any more? One each.
Danny: Don't look at me, I'm thinking.
I’m sure there’s been a few wandering through
the backstage and stuff trying to find the stage. One was
w/the Jennifers with the parcel carrier thing we thought might
funny. We found it in the dressing room before the gig and
thought it would be good if our guitar tech wheeled me on me
I'd sort of have my guitar and I'd be like a statue - completely
still and then I'd jump off the carrier and go into the song
like Hey! And it'd be really rock and roll. So he started wheeling
on stage and it was all going alright and then the leads
started getting caught up in the wheels and he started going
and then I sort of stumbled off it a bit and my guitar didn't
work properly and just kind of did that and Hello! We're the
There was an old lady there going (clapping). For a minute,
it was going to be one of those greatest rock and roll moments,
it probably won't translate very well - I suppose you had
to be there. I think we were just completely stoned before the
just thought it'd be really good, like yeah, I'll be a statue
and just jump off at the last minute.
Bolan’s Spinal Tap Moment
It might have been a really good story: Mark Bolan
when he came over to the States after he made it
big in England.
He came over on one of his first tours and he had this
similar stage set up. He'd start off the gig and he'd
be lying on this star and they'd sort of like winge
it up, the star would go like that and there's this
star with Mark Bolan on it and he'd jump off. All his
crew would be sort of pissed off at it, because of
his ego; he was a fuckin’ maniac and really horrible
to everybody. So, the first night of his tour they just
did it really quickly and he fell off really badly. It
was really good. He must’ve been so pissed, he
probably fired a dozen people.
Coombes California Connection
I read that you're originally from San Francisco?
My family lived just outside, in Mountainview
for three, four years. I was about five I think.
Mark: Is that where you were born?
No, my little brother was born there. Bobs and
them went to high school and I went to nursery.
We were really a little kind
of American family for a few years.
Mark: Does it feel like a kind of homecoming coming to the West
Coast or does it not really mean that much?
Gaz: Yeah, no it does. Especially when you go to that area - it's
a really weird feeling. It's like when you go visit places in England
or wherever and you go and visit an old house and you feel quite
at home there. So, you feel at home every time, really.
Bob: I find it really weird - the smells of places.
Gaz: Yeah that's what gets me.
Bob: Just walking into a 7-11. Or, just the evening on the west
coast, the air.
I’ve got nothing but amazing memories,
it's just brilliant.
Mark: I have a weird
question: do you have any recurring
dreams or nightmares?
Gaz: No, not for a while, but I remember - have you ever seen Jaberwokie?
Mark: I know of it.
Gaz: I was in this forest and suddenly this massive force came
from behind and just took me from behind and I was like hovering
along and just going really fast shooting through the air, this
force, going really fast and just went smack, straight into a tree.
Really fucking fast, like 100 miles an hour. And then I was on
the floor. But I felt like my brain was hanging out and I could
feel the wind going through my brain, like an open wound or something,
it was really sensitive. And I think I was dead. And it kept coming
back every couple of weeks or so. A bit of anxiety or something.
My favorite dreams are sexual ones, but they aren't really reoccurring,
which is sort of annoying. No,
I have really weird
ones like it’s almost like I’m not really quite
asleep especially if it's pitch black it just feels like
everything just grows massively. All the objects are huge.
Gaz: Have you ever had ones where objects are flying around?
Danny: Ones like where you kind of look through the darkness. It's
really weird and everything sort of buzzes and gets massive. I
used to quite like it and I used to try and concentrate and do
it. It's otherworldly. (To Mickey) You don't remember your dreams
because they are too sort of hurtful.
Mickey: I just say that to impress girls.
Gaz: To frighten girls.
The Next Supergrass Album
I reckon that is one of the sad things is that you probably
five different moods for albums that you could do between
when you're touring and stuff and come out with quite
a good concept for the next album or whatever and then six months
probably moved on and got another concept. By the time
come round to make another album, you've lost about three
albums. I suppose someone doing the b-sides for the formats
probably got two or three other albums with just of the b-sides
and we've already done like two different sessions for b-sides
for these singles that we have off this record. And explored quite
a different thing there, like “Electric Cowboy” off
the first one. That's a completely different direction that would
be worth pursuing. And then the one we just did recently at Toe
Rag studios in London, which is just a really old four track studio,
like the late ‘50’s vibe. Kind of like a White Stripes
vibe, just trudge them out, everything just has to go really fast.
And that’s another vibe you could do for a whole record.
All of this sort of stuff is going to be built into the next record
probably, all these different atmospheres we’ve
had a go at.