|Robert Turner of BRMC.
Manchester Academy 12.05.02
- top 5 bands or albums?
Robert: Hmm. Itís easier if I just do music I like rather than best bands otherwise Iíll be here all day. The Band, do you know The Band?
- Yeah I know them
Robert: thatís the best band I think thatís ever been, errrm, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, I dunno that sounds a little easy, erm Joy Division, ermmmm Sam Cooke
- Who was your biggest idol as a teenager?
(long, long silence) erm, I didnít really have any (laspses back into thought) I guess youíre supposed to but I didnít have any. Idolising people Ė I was really paranoid about that. They can only go so far. Itís good to set your sights above whatever youíre looking at, try and do it yourself. Keith Richards kind of but not because heís like, I just think heís pretty wise, heís a really wise guy. I think he knows that he doesnít know everything Ė that itís a bunch of bullshit in the end. Richard Manuel from The Band, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm Ė theyíre all the guys in The Band.
- Are you sick of the Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons?
Robert: Iím sick of it cos itís just lazy writing on the journalistís part. Theyíre not doing their part to like, really look at the music. Theyíre just slapping My Bloody Valentine or Jesus and Mary Chain on and then walking away. Kindíve turns people off as much as it turns people on. Like, right now youíre asking that question and what youíre saying is like mentioning it, so if youíre gonna put that in yours youíve just mentioned it. Even though you donít believe in it. And that happens half the time to us too Ė where people are just commenting on how we donít sound like them.
- Itís just perpetuating it?
(laughs and agrees) itís just perpetuating it.
- Was your image ever a conscious thing?
Robert: The only conscious part about it is that we put a lot of thought into not distracting people from our music with a certain fashion, yíknow. And even like the extreme of not having a fashion and just wearing whatís in your local store near by, whatever the masses are wearing, is the epitome of fashion. Itís saying more than if you put some thought into it.
- I know things like the NME have branded you as Ďthe band in blackíÖ
We were just trying not to put any logos on ourselves. Try to really leave it up to the people, and leave it up to the music cos we donít wanna be speaking about it like that. We donít want to speak through our clothes. We tried our best not to do that.
- One band I pick up in your sound is Primal Scream, are you a fan?
Robert: yíknow, theyíre the best band in the world right now Ė right below us huhhuh. I saw them the last tour ĎXTRMNTRí, I saw them at the House of Blues and I saw them Reading festival (2000) they were right below and they shouldíve been headlining!
- Do you think this is the year of rock Ďní roll? With all these new bandsÖ
Robert: Iím just trying to figure out if weíre a rock Ďní roll band, just a rock Ďní roll band, cos it seems like thereís a lot more going on. ĎWhatever Happened to my Rock Ďní Rollí Ė that song, itís got such a big banner over it, yíknow. Such a big flag to wave, itís kindíve a speeding runway. As for other bands, thereís a whole thing yeah. A couple of years ago, right when our album came out there was nothing going on. Like, White Stripes had a couple of albums out but they were totally ignored and the Strokes album wasnít out or anything. We played with the Strokes in Phillidelphia, Boston and that was great.
- Who was supporting who?
Robert: we were on the East Coast so we were supporting them. We were touring though, the first tour of our album and the whole thing just kindíve came up right like a little wave and we were just kinda riding it.
- Are the Strokes really big now in America?
Robert: theyíre much bigger here, but theyíre big in the States. Itís kindíve annoying everyone talking about them, but theyíre a good band. Itís just like, itís only annoying cos you donít want to be too hyped, it kinda spoils it. When any bandís being hailed as the best band itís a lot of weight. Itís much better though, than a couple of years ago.
- You did a lot of television promotion for 'Spread Your Love', how do you feel about all that?
Robert: itís so different. We did one in America. Itís just like any other show, you just set up and play. Itís kindíve half-way between in the studio and a live show. But here you donít know if youíre gonna be playing it live or just singing it live or playing to the whole thing on tape, yíknow. Thereís a lot of different ways to do it. I canít say Iím against it because thereís nothing else on TV - Iíd rather watch whateverís on rather than anything else cos itís still putting music forward.
interview and text: Rachel.