The Press Article
In It For The Money
Supergrass has returned to the scene with their second album, In It For The Money, a follow up to 1995's I Should Coco. I Should Coco made Supergrass superstars in their native Britain, earning them awards from The Brits, The Brats, Q Magazine, Ivor Norello and Nordoff Robbins, as well as shortlisting them for a Mercury Music Prize. But their success stateside has been minimal in comparison. Although I Should Coco was released to rave reviews and the video for the first single from that album got a lot of MTV airplay, Supergrass never gained more than an underground college radio fan base. When drummer Danny Goffey took time out of their UK tour to talk with me recently, he let me know that the lack of commercial success in the US was no fault of the band. "The gigs were good, we got into the gigs," he said, "but the record company didn't really push the band quite a lot. They were more interested in the Beatles Anthology and the Queen Anthology."
Hopefully all that will change for Supergrass this time around. In It For The Money was greeted with much excitement in the UK. The first single, "Richard III," debuted at #2 on the British singles charts. The sound is much broader than that of I Should Coco, but they still have the happy upbeat pop song that fans are familiar with, and the sense of humor they have become noted for (as displayed on the title track and the human beatbox act on "Sometimes I Make You Sad"). But In It For The Money also showcases a different side of Supergrass with some acoustic and more subtle, soulful songs like "It's Not Me." Danny attributes this musical shift to more than the fact that the band has had two years to experience life and grow as musicians since the last album. The difference is not in the songwriting because, "we wrote in similar ways really, but we played it differently and produced ourselves. That explains the difference." As far as musical inspirations, Supergrass claims none. About music Danny says, "We listen to it but nothing inspires us," but then adds, "Everything inspires somebody. Maybe Curtis Mayfield or The Simpsons. Their music's brilliant."
One thing that all British bands have to contend with when trying to make it big in the U.S. is the stereotype of Britpop bands as arrogant troublemakers that puts off U.S. fans. It's difficult to leave a country where you're a star and try to start from the beginning in a country where you are virtually unknown without bringing some kind of attitude. Antics by bands like Oasis have left Americans with a bad taste in their mouths for British acts. Danny doesn't think this will be a problem for Supergrass, although he admits, "We haven't been there in ages. We won't behave badly, but we may have our moments." The band also seems unsure about whether or not they'll gain more U.S. success this time around with In It For The Money. As Danny puts it, "I don't know, really. Hopefully if the record company sort of gets into it a bit then we'll probably get a bit more success."
One notable fan already is Steven Spielberg. He saw the band's "Alright" video and was so taken with it that he tried to convince the guys to do a TV series with him. So far the plans haven't passed the discussion stage and Danny's not sure just what the plans are at the moment. "We're gonna, yeah, or no, we're not. We talked to him about a few things. It got blown out of proportion really. You have to ask him. I don't know really. We had to give him a raincheck. We had to finish the record and estabish the band before we thought about things like that."
Heather MacDonald, Music Monitor