The Press Article
Supergrass Pressing Engagement
According to Supergrass its not good to talk.
Unless your magazine happens to sell three zillion a day.
BLANK knows this only too well. Second best was to be the only Northern Ireland representative amongst a babble of regional hacks. You take it where you can get it.
A press conference with journalists from over 30 publications must be one of Supergrass' worst nightmares. Add to the fact that Danny Goffey broke his hand last night, making them cancel three dates on tour, well things aren't looking that great at all.
Apologies in advance for questions asked by student journalists who should really stick to biochemistry and trying to fathom out why the hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger. Or is it smaller? Nevertheless, apologies.
The assorted have been making unfunny remarks about Def Leppards one armed bandit of a drummer. By way of introduction you understand. BLANK says nothing.
The fractured Danny (He's got Zoe written on his cast - no explanation is given) begins the interview complaining "I haven't got any fags".
Hold it right there. Before we go on, it's worth noting that Supergrass do not want to be in this room at this precise moment. I can almost empathise with them, but I've got a job to. And so do they.
"I broke my hand on the first night of the tour. and it was my own fault which was a bit silly. But there you go - road rage. It was the other blokes' cars fault."
"The Doctor said he'll never play piano again," interjects Gaz.
"I am quite a passive person really," Danny continues, "But I lost it. There was a bloke who cut behind us in a traffic jam. No one was going anywhere anyway, so... It's quite a frail arm, really."
So what do you plan to do now that everything has gone pear shaped?
"Do a press conference," Danny sniggers. "Say sorry to the crew and everyone, and Spacehog who are supporting us. This is like bloody Kilroy."
Indeed. Later on this afternoon one hapless lassie will ask the question "Have you ever thought of getting anyone to remix your work? Maybe Bentley Rhythm Ace or someone like that." Some of the room will attempt (unsuccessfully) to subdue their laughter and the rest, the many not aware of the Bentley's remix of Sun Hits The Sky, retitled Bra Hits The Sky, Will look around mystified.
Next up, a budding Michael Aspel spurts out 'Were you disappointed with the sales for In It For The Money?' "No" replies Gaz immediately. "It did better really. Everywhere apart from England and France it did better. We are happy with it, and its good fun playing it live as well."
"Its got nothing to do with the quality of the album," Danny says defensively but honestly. Most people familiar with the sound of I Should Coco and In It For The Money will probably agree that the latter is superior.
"And a shitty tour in November didn't help," claims Gaz. "It's up to everyone else though isn't it? We just make the album. Its not our fault. Well I suppose it is."
It could have been to do with the relative lack of publicity. You got to be joking, it was fucking everywhere.
"You've got to be realistic as well," says Mickey (Quinn, bassist), speaking for the first time since the interview began.
"You've got to sell records to keep going really." "I don't think we purposefully try to write really amazing chart topping pop songs," Gaz says. But they have. Alright is the closest thing to the Monkees Theme Tune since The Monkees Theme Tune.
GGrrreeeaaattt!! Caught By The Fuzz effortlessly eased Supergrass into rock respectdom, whilst Going Out was just what the indie doctor ordered. Then came In It For The Money. Good stuff. Really good stuff. Better than anything that went before. But fucking serious shit. It begged the question... have Supergrass turned too much of a corner in such a short space of time? Do you feel that a happy medium between I Should Coco and In It For The Money might be the next step?
Enter pleb... so would you prefer it then if you were adored by a few people rather than liked by millions? Danny looks confused. Rightfully so. Supergrass are not guided by voices. "would you like to be loved by a lot of friends or liked by a few? Oh, that's the wrong way round. I don't care really. I don't think we've got any obsessive fans . Not ones that would slit their arms or chop their heads off about us."
Right, so who loves ya baby? Have your audience changed as you have? Are you getting different people coming to see you now?
"I think they've matured?," Gaz says pointedly, setting off laughter from the rest of the band. Every time the 'm' word is mentioned, this happens. They are obviously sick of hearing it in every review, reading it in every interview. So Mickey sounds tired of it all when he responds, "I don't see it as a bad criticism to change anyway. Everybody does it really."
"They still dance," Gaz smiles. "But perhaps slightly slower."
To songs like Richard III, a lion of a track, and Late In The Day. Gaz plays acoustic guitar and looks ever so solemn. Cracking tune.
Lighters and waving in the air type tomfoolery is mentioned.
"In Europe they wave their lighters quite a lot, yes. People who are sort of stuck in the eighties"........
Gaz is the one member of the band who can't help playing to a crowd. Of 30 or 3000, it doesn't matter. He smiles boyishly at regular intervals and can't, no matter how hard he tries, remain disinterested.
In many ways he imbodies the cheeky chappie image that In It For The Money shed in the space of sixty minutes.
"Well, again we weren't really that bothered about it. It wasn't in the forefront of our minds to get away from that image. We want," explains Mickey, "To explore different things."
"Its just different music. I don't really feel like a different person," says Gaz.
"Belly dancing," quips Danny, when a shy retiring sort of crustie enquires about the ins and outs of their live show.
A little something to make the gigs more interesting. That's what he reckons.
"Yeah we've got ideas," says Gaz glancing at Danny.
The cancellation of British tour dates pains the Oxford trio, especially according to Danny "The last one here was a bit shite".
"It doesn't have to be a massive event to be good. Some of the gigs we did in Europe, some in Scandinavia were great. Get the right crowd and the right night and boom," reasons Gaz.
"In Brazil we played in front of 50,000 people," says Danny. "All you had to do was fart into the microphone and they all jumped around. That was quite a laugh."
The Shirehorses have done a cover of Alright (retailed Feel Like Shite). In a tellytubby sort of way, it was bound to come up. The Shirehorses, after all, are 'in'. When it does Gaz doesn't hesitate. "They are brilliant." Even when its your song they take apart?
"Well, there is not a lot you can do about it really. Its an ever changing world. We are not deeply hurt or anything," assures Danny.
If Supergrass were uncomfortable with the 'm' word then BLANK was unbearably irritated by the cropping up of the 'b' word.
"I think we did well out of it," says Mickey. "We never courted it in any severe way. I mean, we never even admitted to being part of britpop but we were severely lumped into it,"
"It was just a movement. Like Romo," Danny laughs.
"Initially we were lumped in with the end of the new wave of the new wave," adds Mickey.
The problem with a press conference interview is that you can never push one issue for too long before some buffoon asks Gaz about his hair mousse or who Danny's influences are.
BLANK is desperate to halt this drawn out britpop drivel. We'll do anything. I know. Ronnie Biggs. The bad guy. Supergrass were invited to a massive party he hosted a while back, but RSVP'ed a negative response.
"Yeah. It was about two years ago," says Danny. "It was probably going to be full of AIDS ridden prostitutes anyway."
"I think we were busy that night," adds Mickey quickly.
Danny: "Yeah, we had a gig. And he was a bit of a press seeking wanker really. And he killed someone allegedly."
Outside interests is another dodgy line of questioning. They may be into gardening and we'll have to talk about Begonias for half an hour.
Danny boy rises to the challenge. "I am going into painting," he begins, causing several inter-party eyebrows to rise "And decorating. Turkey wanking."
"Gaz's uncle is a turkey wanker." Why do they need to be wanked?
"Nah, he just used to kill them."
Turkey wanking could be the name of the sequel to Trainspotting. Ah yes. films.
Stephen Spielberg wanted to make a film about Supergrass but, as with dear Ronald they said no.
"I think it was the wrong time for us to do it," Mickey offers. It would have been a great way to break America though. The perfect way. Supergrass and a popcorn. They would have been having breakfast with Clinton. Or at least Rev Jessie Jackson. "Well, nobody has really heard of us in America," says Danny. "We would have been like Spielberg's little English band."
What do you think of Americans?, asks a dick with a Dictaphone.
"We met a few nice ones," says Gaz. Danny says he likes Nicholas Cage and Mickey asks him, "You know him quite well then?"
"Well, I haven't actually met him, but I'm sure he is really nice. It tends to do your head in that country as a whole. But the people are pretty full on."
As the press conference draws to a close, amongst requests for the band to sign Knickers and AIDS awareness ribbons, someone asks a penetrating and downright serious question about the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Danny slyly replies, "Are you saying she was in it for the money?"
Blank - February 1998