The Press Article
Gaz Coombes Talks About Touring
Vocalist and guitarist in the Oxford trio Supergrass, which is now having great success with their epynomous third album. Carries on with the Buzzcocks-legacy, and has developed a more "mature" expression over the years. With his mere existence, Coombes has confirmed Darwin's theories for a long time to come.
What does touring mean to you?
- Late nights, too much to drink, dirty socks.
What's your worst touring-memory?
- After a gig in Newcastle, when me and Danny did our first tour with our last band, The Jennifers, we were about to get our equpment into the bus. The problem was that it was stolen. Several fine guitars, and all our clothes, were caught in the backsweep. It wasn't so fun to wear the same clothes, the rest of the tour.
Mention three things you've got to have with you all the time?
- A book, a CD-player and my wallet.
Where do you prefer to tour?
- I dig being in the USA. We've done some excellent shows in New York and San Francisco. Just being in those cities is great. I usually buy lots of weird shirts when I'm over there. I have a whole wardrobe filled with stupid clothes that I never wear, which seemed funny when I bought them.
What do you read when you're on tour?
- Anything. The best book I've read on tour was Mr. Nice by Howard Marks, which was impossible to put down. Right now I'm reading Serpico.
Best live album?
- Live At Leeds by The Who. Classic.
What's your best backstage story?
- On our first tour I remember once when two girls came backstage. Both had T-shirts with "Gaz" written on, and they called themselves "gazettes". That was a bit scary. They were 16, just old enough.
- Nothing special. They just hung around me, and kept asking if they could touch my sideburns.
- No. Our touring manager was there. "Don't touch the band".
What are your hotel habits?
- I try to be there as little as possible.
Pay-TV: Essential or unnecessary?
- Usually unnecessary. It's nice to have when you're in Japan, for example. When you have jet-lag and wake up at four in the morning.
Have you ever thrown a TV out the window?
- No, but we threw a chair out the window once. It landed in a tree outside. Next day we saw a guy from the hotel climbing up and getting it. That was pretty fun. Some other time we threw an ironing board. But the best one was the time we stole a tree from a hotel lobby. We just took it and ran out to the van with it. Not because it was so rock'n'roll - we just wanted a tree.
Spirit - November 1999
Translated & transcribed by Magnus Ritland.