Tjinder Singh Tjinder Singh… Fully aware of what rot he is spanking

Rocksucker’s Quotes O’ 2011 (part 1)

Published on December 30th, 2011 | Jonny Abrams

2011 proved to be a stellar year of interviews for Rocksucker, so we thought we’d bundle up our favourite quotes to have emerged from them and present them to you as a thinly veiled bribe to get you to stick with us for 2012. Happy new year, folks…

Click on the artist name to read the relative interview in full!

Morning Parade front man Simon Sparrow on thieving from Damon Albarn’s studio… 

“Our guitarist Chad is currently rocking a pair of Damon Albarn’s sunglasses. Obviously there’s loads of Damon’s crap all around the studio, including loads of sunglasses and he picked up a pair of Chad’s on one of the weekends so Chad walks in and says, right, I’m having a pair of his. The difference is, Damon’s picked up a pair of 99p ones off eBay and Chad’s got a £300 Giorgio Armani pair. (Laughs) So he’s rocking them, even though it’s a grey, miserable January.”

Glasvegas bassist Paul Donoghue on discovering Liam Gallagher’s cross-generational social skills while on tour with Oasis… 

“It’s probably Liam that was the nicest guy. We played maybe eight or nine shows with them and, in Paris on the last show of their tour, Liam came into our dressing room; James’ mum and her husband were there and he was talking away to them for about an hour and a half.”

Elbow drummer Richard Jupp on band mate Craig Potter’s taxing dual role as keyboardist and producer… 

“Bless his cotton socks, he’s an absolute machine. I’ve wondered about this but he never gets snappy. He regards the production as being as much a part of the creative process as putting down his piano and keyboards. He has to separate the two to some degree but he does see mixing and editing, moving stuff around on Pro Tools and trying things out, as a creative process and it’s an absolute joy to watch him, really. He does go down on his own quite a bit but we keep in contact with him with texts and phone calls so I don’t think he ever feels as if he’s out on his own. He does have that support. We totally understand, you know; he can be sat there with red eyes because he’s been up half the night but somebody makes him a brew, gets him a bit of lunch and it keeps on feeding the fire.”

Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave on the challenge facing new bands in terms of maintaining their sanity while on tour… 

“I think the cycle of being in a band is: bored, hung-over, high, excited…bored, hung-over, high, excited…and it goes on like that. You’re either bored and hung-over or your adrenaline’s high and you’re getting pissed or something like that; it’s never anything in between. I think the glamour isn’t quite there in reality; you get to venues way earlier than you’d ever like to be there, you sound check – which, if you’re on a long tour, takes all of ten minutes – and then you’re sitting around from four in the afternoon until stage time. It’s a long time to hang around and you’re just bored out of your mind, playing the PlayStation while feeling a bit hung-over. So you start having a few beers before the show and, by the time it’s all over, it’s four o’clock in the morning and you’re hammered… But, once you’ve done it for a few years, you get wise to it all.”

Funeral For A Friend drummer Ryan Richards on weird fan gifts…

“I certainly remember one who fashioned some sort of voodoo doll of our old guitarist. I believe it was a giraffe that had been adapted to have the hairstyle of our old guitarist and the fan in question had tried to give this to him at the show but couldn’t find him. We were out walking to the bus after the show and she sped past in her car, almost running him over, and then deserted her car in the middle of the road while presenting this possibly cursed giraffe to him. So yeah, that was nice.”

Will ‘Status’ Kennard of Chase & Status fame on meeting Jay-Z and Beyonce… 

“It was awkward enough anyway, walking up to them with sweaty palms thinking, “Play it cool, play it cool.” They looked up and saw me walking towards them, probably thinking, “Who’s this random dude?” Luckily I got through it and they were very open and welcoming, which was nice: “Hey man, come in, sit down! This is Jay…” and introduced me to Jay-Z, who stood up with a big grin, shook my hand and said, “Yo man, I’m a big fan of your music,” which made me laugh. I thought, “My music?? F***ing hell, I haven’t done anything!” Then he said, “Oh, yo, this is Be,” and Beyonce sort of looked around over her shoulder at me standing over her and suddenly swung around and with this huge smile said (impersonating Beyonce), “Hello!” Her beauty, her skin and her radiance overwhelmed me and my voice basically went up about three octaves and I just sort of said (in a squeaky voice), “Hiii there!” I just laughed as I said it and really lamely shook her hand. She kind of laughed at me for being a bit of a weirdo and I was like, “F***!” which didn’t go down well.”

The Vaccines bassist Árni Hjörvar on the disproportionate amount of great music to have emanated from his native Iceland… 

“Being a pop star in Iceland – and this is no joke – means selling five thousand records. If you go on tour in Iceland, most of the places you play will only have a population of about one thousand to fifteen hundred people, so being a successful artist in Iceland isn’t commercially viable. Therefore, people don’t have commercial aspirations which means that they don’t need to make music that people like, they just make the music that they like.”

Jon Fratelli on his despair at the lack of proper heed paid to the art of melody in modern popular music…

“Melody’s definitely underrated these days; I could go on about it forever but melody is the most important thing in my life, I think. I’m always looking for the melody and interesting combination of notes and it completely pains me when I hear…almost 99% of all records now don’t pay any attention to melody. It makes me genuinely sad that something I care about so much is discarded in that way.”

Def Leppard bassist/co-songwriter Rick ‘Sav’ Savage on the lack of definitive modern rock bands… 

“I don’t think that fifteen or sixteen year-olds who really like guitar music have got their own bands like we did in our day. We were a product of the seventies and eighties – we had our bands, whether it be Queen or AC/DC or Led Zeppelin or whoever – they were our bands and you never really lose that. I don’t think that the teenagers of today have got the identity with their bands that we did so I think that they’re trawling back through the decades, even as far as the seventies and the eighties, and are getting into those bands.”

The King Blues guitarist Jamie Jazz on the story behind their YouTube-only song “All Nazi Skinheads are Gay”…  

“The situation was that we were playing some club show in the Bedford area – this was way back when – and, when we played ‘Come Fi Di Youth’, this big skinhead fella came rushing up to the front and, to cut a long story short, we ended up getting kind of run out of town. The guys that ran the club were these sort of hippie dudes and, while they were very nice, when shit started kicking off as it did, there was no-one there to help us. The kids who were at the show were trying to help out but they had to deal with these big guys, so we ended up getting kind of run out of town, bricks thrown at our van and shit. We thought we’d try and write a song that was directed straight at those sorts of people, thinking: how could you offend them? That’s sort of how we did it. It was a song for a time and a place, very much a kneejerk reaction I think, so I doubt it will be recorded.”

Ghost Eyes on novel sales pitches… 

“Every time you don’t buy a single from us, a fairy dies.”

Gomez co-singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Tom Gray on people only remembering his band for their Mercury Music Prize-winning debut album Bring It On… 

“I think folk have missed out on some excellent music by ignoring our output. However, our biggest album in the US was How We Operate and our biggest in Australia was Liquid Skin; it’s easy for the British media to believe their version of events is the only version. We’ve gone on enjoying a career around the world despite the Mercury ‘curse’. I can live with that.”

Ryan McGinness, bassist of the sadly since-separated Dananananaykroyd on celebrity encounters… 

“One time when I was at university, I was coming out the studio and I met Bob Hoskins. I told him that I really liked his work in Hook, but I was a little bit drunk and the time and I don’t think he really wanted to talk to me that much.”

East 17 main man Tony Mortimer on why his band had a dog…

“You need something different to catch the public’s eye. Management and record companies like to see some sort of marketing angle so his eyes lit up when John said that to him. He said, ‘What makes you different from other bands?’ and John said, ‘Well, we’re the only one with a dog.’ It was tongue-in-cheek but he liked it, went with it and it all kind of took off around the dog! We’re still using the dog’s face now so it’s actually a lot truer than it sounds. It was John’s dog. I know it’s funny but there’s a lot of truth in it.”

Tame Impala main man Kevin Parker on guitar effects… 

“The standard thing is to play distorted guitar and then make it sound like it’s being played in a church by adding a reverb pedal. There you’re imitating an overdriven guitar played inside a church but you can do something as simple as putting a reverb pedal before the distortion, which makes it sound like you’re playing guitar inside a church, then you’re stuffing that church inside a box and exploding it! Know what I mean?”

Cornershop main man Tjinder Singh on turning the other cheek… 

“You can’t get annoyed when people know not what rot they are spanking.”

Click here to read part 2 of Rocksucker’s Quotes O’ 2011!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.