Interview:
The Shining

Mojo workin'

Simon Tong (Tongy) talks quietly to me down the phone as he describes his first music project since the Verve split in 1999. Together with Simon Jones they formed 2/5ths of one the most revered British bands of recent times playing guitar and bass respectively. After playing stadium sized sell out shows and exhausting themselves through the hype and expectation of Urban Hymns they had had enough.

Tongy thought he wouldn’t miss playing in a band again. Two years later he felt the itch and got his mojo back again, this time in the form of The Shining...

He is a man of few words so if any answer he gives is over 10 words then I’m fabricating what he says in an attempt to make this interview captivating. (I tried and failed)

Na’im: Quicksilver is the first release from your label Zuma Recordings (funded by Sony), how come only 1000 copies have been issued?

Tongy: We wanna build things slowly, without much hype or overkill.

Na’im: The record definitely sounds like your letting go of some pent up emotions! Am I right?

Tongy: Err Yeah

Na’im: So, can you tell me about the band?

Tongy: I felt like making some records with some old mates.

Na’im: The legendary YOUTH is credited as producer, he produced Urban Hymns too didn’t he, what’s he like?

Tongy: He’s an old hippie.

Na’im: Anything else?

Tongy: I think he produced a De La Soul album too...

Na’im: Which one?

Tongy: I don’t know, the big one?

Na’im: Can you tell me about what you did after the Verve disbanded?

Tongy: I jammed a bit with John Squires (ex Stone Roses & Seahorses guitar hero).
It didn’t work out.

Na’im: Anything else?

Tongy: (silence)

Na’im: Anything else?

Tongy: (silence)

Na’im:
What was the last record you bought?

Tongy: Magnolia soundtrack, it’s got that Aimee Mann on it.

Na’im: I quite liked that film, especially Tom Cruise, who really stands out don’t you think?

Tongy: Yeah, cause he plays a right tosser in that film.

Na’im: Is it Ok if I talk about the Verve for a while?

Tongy: Yeah I suppose

Na’im: Well, you all hailed from Wigan, what was the televised homecoming gig like in 1999?

Tongy: We had Beck supporting us, It was fun but blurry.

Na’im: Do you follow the music scene there much?

Tongy: Nah, I live in London now.

Na’im: Do you remember a folk rock band called the Tansads? (from Wigan) Their bass player wrote a book called “this is pop” (Ed Jones) and he documents the brief rise and drawn out fall of his band (The Tansads) compared with the steady rise to super stardom of the Verve, have you read it? What’s your opinion of them?

Tongy: Yeah I’ve read bits of it, they were a bunch of crusties.

While Folk Rock died a merciful death, Indie Rock lives on and The Shining continue the tradition. Simon's Mojo is certainly intact if proof is to be found here.

Yours truly; Na’im Cortazzi

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