The PR girl was kind enough to facilitate the interview after I originally reached out to her for Suggs opinion on Mod clothing, meant for a fashion column.
OVER THE PHONE
“He would love to talk but we’re knee deep promoting the new album at the minute..” PR GIRL
“How about we just talk about the new album instead?” ME
“Alright. He’s just at the bar. Can you just hang on five minutes? [To Suggs] Suggs this is Peter, he runs a very prestigious and erudite fashion blog but he wants to plug the album.”
A quick muffle as the phone exchanges hands before that inimitable southern twang, “Hello Hello?” The full interview can be found on the podcast, subscribe here, don’t miss an episode. Next week we have Franc Roddam, director of Quadrophenia talking about Mod Culture.
16 tracks how long did that take?
A couple of years writing and arranging. During the recording process we went back to how we started so got rid of the technology and the computers we didn’t intend 16 songs, but they were like little babies that couldn’t get ejected out of the pram, but the pram got full.
So I guess that’s why the last track Whistle in the Dark made it on the record?
Exactly right, I don’t think the people in the record company will be particularly pleased about that. A guy from Holland said if you wanted to put in something in the post about what it is to come to London, you’d put that song in. Anyway, sorry go on.
Is it a democracy when it comes to songwriting?
We can have an argument for seven hours over a pair of trousers. Never mind the songs, that’s why we have Clive Langer. As much as a referee as a producer. Someone at the end of the day has to say, we had 20 odd songs so we had to jettison some of them. The main propellant in this band is tolerance.
It has some bangers on this album. The opening title track starts with a cautious 2o seconds of suspenseful atonal ascendence. “Please don’t be shit.” I remember thinking, like an acrophobe praying to the heavens before making a bungee jump. But it kicks in and it’s sweet relief. It’s Madness! It’s a warm vagina, it’s proper music. You can hear each instrument. The cherubic playfulness of the hammond, the guttural stomps of the saxophone and Suggs curating it all. I relaxed my shoulders, had a cup of tea and felt unashamedly British.
TRACKS OF CHOICE
I Believe, You Are My Everything.