The Press Article
Hello? Room Service?
Five bottles of Jack Daniels and a Scalextric, please. Supergrass are back
We were all a bit worried about Supergrass here. Last time Esquire met them, they "tested" a new Rolls-Royce Seraph for us - even though Gaz couldn't drive. They're nutters, right? Up for it, 24-7. Then we heard the rushes from their third album, Supergrass. No frills, just great songwriting and a sumptuous blend of soulful late summer-type tunes that effortlessly seep into your head with the smell of newly-mown lawn in your nostrils and grass in your lungs. And why not? As bassist Mick Quinn says, "Who needs gimmicks?"
So is it true? Could it be - they've grown up? "I've been listening to lots of soul - Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder," says Gaz, "and we've got better at everything. Harmonies, lyric writing, playing live..."
Any worries that Supergrass have turned into boring musos were instantly allayed, though. Just before this shoot they'd been in Paris watching Gaz's brother Ed playing with his band, Beautiful Toy. "It was one of those nights," says Gaz, "we got really wankered and decided, 'We're gonna play!'" They shambled on stage at the Lizard Lounge, fell over the monitors and bashed out "Richard III" and "Caught By The Fuzz". "At one point, we each started playing three different songs," remembers Gaz. "It was a cacophony of shit." Danny managed to damage his hand on the drums, recalling the cancellation of a tour two years ago because he punched a car. "After a few tracks, we noticed there was some bloke playing guitar with us - we didn't know who he was."
The band have recently enjoyed the contributions of another honorary collaborator - Ali G. The main man from Staines got jiggy with them, remixing "Sun Hits The Sky", turning the bass right up for his Music Masterclass, soon to be shown on his new Channel 4 show.
In the early Nineties, Gaz and Mick were working in an Oxfordshire Harvester. now they've just completed a British tour. "Our health regime on tour is... poor," says Gaz. "Although we do tend to take it easy a bit more than when we first started out." And trashing hotel rooms? "We're not usually in them enough to damage them." Sad. So Esquire gave them a hotel room, threw in some rock'n'roll mouthwash and left the rest to them. As you can see, Supergrass may have matured musically, but boring musos? Never.
BD, Esquire - October 1999