part 3 of 3
ever tempted to write something similar to wake
up boo! just to sell more records?
you make it sound like its easy, and if i could
i would. ive got to say i listen to wake
up! now, and theres some weird stuff on
there considering it was a number one album. i didnt
write wake up boo! to do that, i mean, when
i wrote it i knew it would sell a lot of records, but
theres six months between finishing it and putting
it out and you never know what radio one are going to
be playing when it comes out. wake up boo!
just happened to fit in with what they were into at
that time. it all seems so impossible now, but we had
two records on the a-list. we released find the
answer within and it went straight on there, but
i remember hearing them saying the boo radleys
have a new single out today called find the answer
within, heres wake up boo!,
and we knew we were in trouble then.
did you hope free huey would get to that
we hoped it would. i wasnt too disappointed that
the radio didnt take to it though, i was disappointed
that a lot of fans didnt seem to like it. in fact
i think a lot of people hated it. i always hated boo
radleys singles though, i thought all the best stuff
was on the albums. the singles werent really representative
of what we were about. i remember creation didnt
want to release wake up boo!, they thought
it was too commercial. they thought it would alienate
a lot of our fans, but look how many fans we gained
what would the second single from that album have
been if you hadnt split up?
well we were going to release kingsize,
and ive got promo copies of the single at home,
but creation obviously thought thered be no point
in going ahead with it. free huey was my
choice of single and not theirs, so that was all my
fault as well! i was the only one that wanted that to
be the first single and i held my breath until it came
out. the record company wanted to put comb your
hair out, but at the time there was a lot of indie-guitar
music around and we didnt want to just go along
with that. its a great song though isnt
it? when i wrote it i was convinced id ripped
somebody off, which i obviously didnt because
id never thought about what it was until it was
finished. looking back, if wed have released comb
your hair it would have been a big hit, but that
would have just meant us having to carry on a bit longer
but my heart wasnt in it and i didnt want
to. maybe subconciously i knew that releasing free
huey would fuck us for good.
whats your opinion of free huey
oh i love that record! not a lot of people do though.
i cant even remember how it charted, i just know
that halfway through that album i decided id had
enough. there came a stage in the recording of that
album when i just went into auto-pilot. i just finished
the job and then sice went off and did the video on
did the band know how you were feeling at this stage?
sice knew, but the other two didnt. i remember
me and sice driving down from liverpool to london to
tell the other two that it was over, and it was one
of the worst days of my life. we called at tims
but he wasnt in! we had to go to sices mums
house, and we just giggled on the kitchen floor like
we did when we were kids because we were so nervous.
then, just as we drove into archway where i lived, john
peel played the old newsstand at hamilton square,
and we stopped the car to listen to it. peel hadnt
played us for years. he was going on about the fact
that he used to buy the nme at that newsstand, which
i knew because id read an article where he was
talking about it, and thats why i wrote the song,
because i bought the nme there too.
so how did tim and bob react when you finally broke
i was surprised how shocked they were. i thought we
were having a really shit time. wed just done
this massive american tour and it was awful, and there
were times when i thought that the others werent
enjoying it, and that made me feel as though i should
stop it because i suppose i was the only one that could.
sice felt the same. hed had enough since
since the first album really! no, it was wake
up! i think. he didnt do any interviews
for that album. so he was relieved. he had a family
and wanted to do other things, and he hated the music
when you split the band did you know youd eventually
i suppose i did, but id tried everything else
first. i signed a deal where i was supposed to write
songs for other people. did a bit of producing which
i hated. in the end this was all there was left to do.
who were you asked to write for?
i was given a huge list, and i picked out kylie minogue
and wrote a song for her. there was another american
band, two kids, i cant remember what they were
called. anyway, i wrote this song around abc
by the jackson five which is my favourite record ever.
so i demoed those, but then i realised that they wanted
to take my songs and do them the way they wanted them,
and i just cant write music like that. im
actually thinking of writing a kylie song for the new
album im just trying to think of the right
way to do it. the thing is with those deals, you get
told how she wants the song, and you have to picture
yourself as kylie singing it, and you just end up thinking
why doesnt she write her own fucking songs?.
the other thing is when you do that, you have to give
them half the credit, which i wasnt prepared to
do. sophie ellis-bextor wanted me to do a song with
her as well, she wanted a song that sounded like the
cardigans, and all these other bands that i hated.
so what made you finally go solo?
it was a confidence thing. i just didnt have the
bottle to do it for about a year, until i met ali, my
manager, who was also the super furrys manager.
mark at wichita played him some demos and we took it
from there. until i went to gorwels i didnt
know i could sing.
some of those early gorwel sessions were almost like
demos werent they?
dont tell him that! no, that was the idea with
the first fingertip saint album. i didnt want
to do the big production thing that the boos had got
into. id got bored of it. id been in a band
for 12 or 13 years. id gone to work in a job i
hated just to buy amps and guitars and wed hire
a van to drive to london and play for nothing. there
was no plan b if that failed. id just
fucked around in school because i wanted to be in a
band. i couldnt do anything else, and in the end
i was drained, and the records we were making people
didnt seem to like as much as they used to. you
get to a point where you just think why dont
i just do this by myself?.