be hitting the airwaves over the summer, Slo-Mo release their innovative,
and swaggeringly catchy Death Of A Raver on August 12th.
If its not a hit, Ill eat my trousers and leave room for
my socks as dessert. David Gledhill is the man behind it all. Hes
a top bloke, and the fact that he was a huge Smiths fan meant I hit
it off with him immediately.
AD: Was rave something that you yourself were a part of, or was it
something you were glad to see the back of?
DG: I think, I knew an awful lot of people who WERE involved heavily,
so I was always around drugs and people from the scene. I was more of
an interested observer than anything else. I mean, yes, there were elements
of rave that appealed, like The Prodigy, but I wasnt someone who
would get in the car, do three lines of speed and then go and sit in
a field somewhere. Im definitely interested in cultural phenomenons
though, so its fascinating to look back ten years later with your
own observations. This singles for some of my friends who were
really heavily into the scene, and who came through the experience,
and others whose brains have been affected dramatically.
AD: and Dave Ball from Soft Cell remixed it
DG: Yeah, but the weird thing is that when I met him, nobody bothered
to tell me who he was. I was just sat in a pub where he was talking
to a guy from the record company. He was this slightly overweight, middle
aged bloke, and because he was talking to one of my representatives
I started talking to him as well. We were just talking about books for
ages and wed brought up Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas,
which is the ultimate source of inspiration for me and we were chatting
for ages. Then I was asked You do know who he is, dont you?
and he was quite embarrassed, going No. Dont tell him who
I am! It turned out that hed heard Death Of A Raver
and fell in love with it, so he remixed it. When I told people, they
were like No, dont do it! Thatd be a really uncool
thing to do. The good thing about me though is that I dont
give a fuck, so we did it anyway, and now theres this massive
buzz about the whole thing. I love it when you can prove people wrong
like that. Ive always loved people who dont give a fuck,
as in Fear and Loathing
people who are that destructive appeal
to me a lot. I suppose theres a small part of me that aspires
to be that way.
AD: Apparently you promised various countries that youre going
to go over and sing the single in their language
the learning process coming in?
DG: (shudders) When I signed to Circus, and then to Play It Again
Sam, the international label, I think I just got carried away with that
one. We had all these representatives coming over from Portugal, Spain
and Italy, and I just said it as a flippant, off the cuff remark
Oh, Ill have to come over and sing Death Of A Raver
in Spanish. The record company came up to me afterwards and said Thats
great! We didnt know you were multi-lingual, and I was like
actually no, I cant speak any other languages at
all! The worry is that, if we get anything wrong, its going
to go really, really badly wrong. The whole thing looks as though its
going to go really big in Portugal though, so well have to make
a special effort for them. Ive just been out and got my Portuguese
phrase book this week in fact! Anyway, that remark, I think Id
compare it with being a kid who gets really excited about the amount
of toys he gets at Christmas.
AD: Listening to the CD, its obvious you regard lyrics as being
of paramount importance
DG: I would say they are probably the number one importance to me.
I think its probably because I grew up listening to The Smiths
and have always been heavily into films and books, and if you love great
lyrics, I just think it makes the song so much better. You only have
to look at Travis, who have some great tunes, but terrible, terrible
lyrics. The thing about The Smiths is, people will still be talking
about them in ten, twenty years time. I think Britpop was like the antithesis
of that lyrical depth, but whats around now, well, maybe Oasis
can get away with it, but all the rest just seems like throwaway rubbish.
Im amazed at how much fuss has been made of the lyrics to Death
Of A Raver, and I cant wait to see the reaction to the next
single, Girl From Alaska, which is about a girl who dreams
of murdering people and blowing up her dad, and takes photographs of
dead people. I just cant believe how what someone says in a song
can be taken so seriously in certain circles.
AD: Like Eminem? I know you were criticising Travis for their lyrics,
but Fran Healy came out with the quote of the year when he said I
cant understand people who get upset at Eminems lyrics.
Its just a pantomime after all. Its a bit like getting upset
when Widow Twanky comes on stage.
DG: Exactly. I mean, Im not exactly a big hip-hop or rap fan,
but I would say that he is probably the best lyricist around at the
moment. I thought Stan was one of the best records Ive
heard in the last five years. Weve got another track which is
dark and sinister in that way too, called Junkie On A Fast Train,
which is again a homage to Fear and Loathing.
AD: Talking of lyrics, I personally think that the recent number
one by Liberty X has the worst line ever in the history of music
DG: Go on
AD: Its so exciting the way youre inviting me.
I challenge you to come up with any that youve heard that are
DG: Ha ha. Erm
actually Im not sure I can! And theres
a girl in the band whos so repulsively ugly too. Theyre
normally all so pretty arent they? But when she comes to the front
of the screen I have to look away. Its a shame with bands like
Travis though because they seem like a really nice bunch of blokes.
Its a pity their lyrics are shit.
AD: You mentioned The Smiths before. Now, last year I achieved a
lifetimes ambition when I got to interview Johnny Marr
DG: I got to support him a couple of years ago. He was such a lovely
bloke too. It was weird though, as there were so many other people just
waiting to bow down to him, so I didnt really say that much to
him. I didnt really want to tell him what a huge, huge fan I was.
I had to share a dressing room with Liam Gallagher which was THE experience
from hell. It was the day after hed split from Patsy Kensit and
he was coked off his tits. I just remember thinking Someone please
get me out of here! But Johnny Marr was lovely. Oddly enough,
Im not sure Id want to meet Morrissey as Ive heard
a few stories from people who have, and apparently the judge in a court
case called him the most scurrilously untrustworthy individual
hed ever met.
AD: Really? He probably dines at McDonalds regularly now then
DG: Ha ha, yeah hes probably the biggest meat eater out now!
Still, great lyrics though.
AD: Definitely. So, if YOU had the opportunity to interview any famous
or infamous person, past or present, who would it be?
DG: That would probably have to be Carlos Jobim, whose song I sampled
for Death Of A Raver. Weve actually sampled two of
his songs for the album and people were telling me I wouldnt have
a hope in hell of getting clearance to use them. As luck would have
it, his widow heard the album and loved it.
AD: And shes not the only one Butch Vig rang you up
DG: Yes he did. That was just fantastic. Ive always been a
pretty confident person, but the one thing I was unsure about was the
fact that Id recorded the whole thing in my bedroom a six
foot 7 foot box room so for Butch Vig, who produced THE rock
album of the last twenty years to ring me up and praise the way it was
recorded was wonderful. I mean, I know a lot of dance music is produced
this way, but I wasnt so sure about doing it as a guitarist. The
record company said it was fine, which was a big relief, as I didnt
really want to go into the studio and do it all over again.
AD: Now then, originally you wanted to be backed by an all female
band. I must admit I always quite fancied that idea myself but
was there a specific reason behind that, other than just for the sake
of having a perv?
DG: (laughs) It was just a whim really. Id always been in
bands with men before, and it was always really smelly and disgusting,
and involved lots of talk about football. I fancied a change from that,
and women are always cleaner and more hygienic. Of course theres
the other side of the coin, because you go on tour and they talk more,
and its always about sex, shoes and shopping. God! That sounds
really stereotypical and sexist doesnt it? But its true!
They keep telling me Im like Alex from Big Brother.
Big Brother is it evil, or is it a necessary
part of modern TV culture?
DG: To me, its like taking a drug thats crap, and you
KNOW its crap, but you still like to take it from time to time.
And I DO watch it. If ever I feel like Im a bit strange and on
another planet to everybody else, I just stick Big Brother on and realise
Im the same as them really. I think Jonnys gonna win because
the Geordies are such a loyal bunch. Id love to se Jade go up
against Tim, and for Tim to be voted out, because he just wouldnt
be able to work it out. Tims a tool.
AD: Quite. Now, apparently, you were something of a rock star
DG: Mmm. I was in a band called Elephant And Rhino. Id been
going out with a girl for a long time before that, and when we finished
it wasnt very pleasant at all. It was quite a bitter experience
and because of that, the band ended up sounding like a cross between
Nirvana and Pulp Fiction. It was very dark and nasty, and so extreme
that Im not sure any of the record companies wanted to touch us.
I remember we did a showcase for the head of ZTT, and we started with
a very dark number called Bank Job. We all came out with
suits on, but with stockings over our heads. He walked out pretty much
straight away. I think its fair to say thats about the time
the band fell apart after that. Still, it was great to have my odd Rock
God session on stage!
AD: I heard a few dodgy stories about your manager at that time
DG: I havent got a clue where he is now. I havent seen
him for about five years. It was a really surreal experience, because
he had lots of money, except we never seemed to do anything but go to
pubs because he was a big drinker. Then we found out he was running
DSS frauds in our names! It all sounds very rock n roll
now and its a great story, but I can assure you it was actually
very scary at the time. I mean, we were living in a country house with
him at the time, and to suddenly have the fraud squad on your doorstep,
and the police asking you Did you realise he was doing this and
doing that? was really quite frightening.
AD: Finally, if Slo-Mo were a kind of curry, what would it be?
probably a lamb balti, because Balti is slightly hot,
but it has hidden depths. And lamb is a good quality meat
answer really was a load of bollocks wasnt it?
And herein lies the appeal of David Gledhill and Slo-Mo. I dont
think he realises how good they are, or how funny he is. I laughed my
head off most of the way through the interview, and throughout the little
bits of chat we had between questions. Without a doubt one of the most
enjoyable, not to mention easiest articles I have ever had to do. Which
is great, because the single really is fabulous and deserves to be a
huge success. I just hope he wasnt too downhearted about fit Kate
winning Big Brother 3
Interview and transcript by Tone E
web site - check it out! Ed.)