The Press Article
60 Seconds Extra!
Gaz Coombes is the hirsute frontman with Britpop survivors and perennial rays of rock sunshine Supergrass. The band have had hits with Alright, Caught By The Fuzz, Richard III and lately Grace. A second single, Seen The Light, from their fourth album Life On Other Planets is out now as the band embark on their biggest-ever tour.
Biggest gigs ever. Are you bricking it?
Quite the opposite in fact. It's a new opportunity as it's a whole different show. I don't usually get nervous before I go on stage. You feel a bit on edge but in a cool way. It's a bit like having pent-up energy rather than nerves where you go: 'Oh my God, I have to sit on the toilet for three hours.' As soon as you get on, it all goes anyway.
A few drinks beforehand?
On occasion - we tend to have a few vodkas in advance. We all treat it pretty normally - there are no little rituals or anything. And I tend to smoke a bit more than usual.
Is touring less hectic as you get older?
Some days are. You have some nights where you don't sleep at all, though. And other periods where you work a little harder, don't drink as much, maybe write some new songs. And then you go mental again.
What's on your rider?
Vodka, beer, champagne, cigarettes, Rizlas and Jelly Babies, And that's it. Oh no, and Red Bull.
How much of a deal breaker is it?
People are pretty accommodating. None of us has totally ridiculous demands or crazy habits. We don't require Daytona machines in the dressing room or anything. There was a period where [his brother] Bob was really getting into bananas and had to have them all the time. That was quite worrying - I couldn't believe how many he was asking for. We thought he had some bizarre potassium addiction. Then in Germany, they gave us those horrible, weird, dried banana things and it calmed down.
Do you still go on a tour bus or is it all jets these days?
We still like the tour bus idea. I hate airports and the whole flying thing. It's not the being in the air - it's the airport itself, and the waiting. The bus is a laugh. You get your bunk and can hang out with everyone.
Occasionally. Part of the crew contingent were really into the classics like The Magnificent Seven and stuff and that got quite tiring. Then there are rows when there's a PlayStation on board. It really has to go on and then the war of words starts.
How come it took three years to release a fourth LP?
It only took us the best part of a year to actually record but after the previous album, we went over to the States and signed a new deal and released the record over there. Promoting took forever. Then you need head space before you can go back into the studio. For the next one, we want to move much quicker.
Are you getting less money now Bob's a full-time member?
He's been playing with us for a while but has started to do interviews and photoshoots, so he is a fourth Supergrasser. We split everything pretty much equally now. We're looking at the details but dragging our feet over it. The business side of things is shit. We're all just mates, so having to sort out that stuff is a pain.
Alright is now on karaoke machines. The seal of making it?
Perhaps. Or, you know, when you've made a really annoying song that people can't get out of their heads. We lost that song years ago and hadn't played it for ages until we played it in Italy the other week for some bizarre reason. The kids wanted it sooo badly.
The NME reckons you're more valuable than the crown jewels.
It's probably the nicest thing they've written for years. They've always known what they're on about, though - it's a great paper.
Have you ever been caught by the fuzz?
You know I have - for a number of things. That's what the song's about. Hold on, you mean hung up by the pubic hair, don't you? In that case, no.
James Ellis, Metro - 20 January 2003