ART . STYLE . CULTURE . PHOTOGRAPHY . MUSIC
FRAYED is a free, independent creative arts & culture magazine concerned with the exploration and documentation of expression. Investigating the inspiration behind the art, it provides a canvas for creative people to document their life and work. FRAYED is for those who love creativity in all its forms but long to know how and most importantly - why it exists.
06 FUELING A PASSION 16 GWENNAELLE 26 MIRZA 38 COFFEE 46 andy newlove Frayed Issue #005 May 2015 For submissions & advertising enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org Created by Josh Moore & Luke Chambers All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publisher. The views expressed in Frayed Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by Frayed and its staff. As we are concerned with the freedom of expression, the interviews presented in Frayed Magazine are documented as spoken. The opinions and perspectives do not necessarily reflect those of Frayed and aspects of the language used may be deemed inappropriate for younger readers.
Fueling a passion For many boys, cars are a childhood obsession. For Danny and George they offer the promise of a fulfilling future. FRAYED explores the influences that fuel a passion. That turns an obsession into an opportunity. An opportunity into a business. This is SS Autowerks.
So firstly boys, who are you and what do you do? Joerg: I’m Joerg; I’m the co-owner of SS Autowerks with Danny. Just a small fab shop… garage… whatever you want to call it. Danny: Well, I’m Danny. I part run SS Autowerks with Joerg. We’ve been going officially about a year - just over a year now. We started out just on the street basically; just building cars on the side of the road. We’ve always done it since we was like… sixteen, seventeen. When I got my first car, I just started pulling bits off, changing bits, making bits… you know? It just went from there. So Danny, how do you learn to do something like that? Danny: It’s basically just pick it up as you go. You break something - you fix it. You see a lot of cars on TV, on videos, things like that and you think, “Oh sh*t… that’s cool. I like that. I want that.”. So you just research, you figure out how to do it and you just do it yourself. A lot of people take it to the shop, take it garages, “I want this. I want that.”. We’ve always just wanted to do it ourselves really.
Why do you think that is? Danny: I don’t know. It’s just the satisfaction I guess… doing everything yourself. Have you always loved making and building things? Joerg: I’ve just always been hands on from being a little kid. I used to build go-karts and stuff to race down the hill. I used to ride bikes; I still ride a BMX now. Just really quite hands on. I like making things fit. You know, when people say it can’t be done, I like to make it work somehow and usually it ends up alright. Do those kinds of attitudes push you on while you’re working on a car? Joerg: Yeah, pretty much. You always get the sceptics saying, “That’s not gonna work”. I almost enjoy proving them wrong as much as I enjoy working on cars. Just to show that it can be done. For plenty of young guys, getting a nice car is all about getting a nice girl! Was that ever the case with you boys? Danny: It’s kind of like the opposite for us; it sort of scares the girls off… in a way! Most people usually grow out of it, I guess. They’re playing with cars when they’re sixteen, seventeen; when they first get their license. For us, it’s just continued from there really. It’s gone from a hobby, into a passion and then just snowballed from there. What did you see when you were younger that really inspired you? Danny: You just used to see cars on the street and stuff. You’d watch the British Touring Car Championships and things like that and again, you’d think… “That’s cool. I like that. I want that”. And magazines, stuff like that. Joerg: Well… I was born in Germany and my sister’s boyfriend had an old MK2 Golf and he did the same thing as we do now; he put a different engine in it and did all the work himself as well. I’ll just always remember being in it – just like an eight year old kid thinking, “Whoa, this is amazing” and since then I’ve just always loved – especially VW’s and Audi’s – German cars in general. I think that’s when I first started liking cars. I also grew up on a farm so I was always around things that had to be made to work. The farmers would always be bodging things together to get the most out of something and I suppose that’s what we do. We just try to make a bit of a better job out of it. So Danny, was there a specific car that you can remember catching your attention and really starting your love for cars? Danny: To be honest… no. It’s developed over a period of time really. Like Joerg, I’ve always been into the German side of things like Audi, Volkswagen… things like that. A few years ago, I went over to working on BMW’s and we got a lot of business through one of the cars we built. It was a bit loud, it was a bit out there… and people liked it. That’s when it sort of snapped and we were like, “Yeah, we can sort of, push this as a business.”. People are wanting it, people were liking things like that. We wanted to build cars like that. So is that when you realised that you could potentially turn a love of cars into a career and a lifestyle? Danny: It started off as a hobby and it’s gone more into… we’ve been helping out friends, we’ve been building
parts for them and people have just been asking for it. So, we just thought, “Why not? Why not make it a business?”. We all have our nine to five jobs currently, but it’s something we want to push so far that we can work for ourselves. That would be awesome. Do you think you need a real love and passion for cars if you’re going to do this? Joerg: I think you have to have a bit of passion and you need to have a love for it because otherwise… you just give up. Things get on top of you and you start thinking that it’s going to be too much time, too much effort, too much thinking and too much hassle. Whereas, if you do it out of a love for it - you want to do it. At the end of the day, when it’s finished, you’ve got something that you know you’ve built with your own hands. Most of the parts won’t have been bought from a shop – they’ll have been developed or made to fit and it’s a really satisfying feeling. Danny: When I’m building a car, it can get tedious. It pushes you to your limits, in a way because you’ve only got so much money, time and effort. You see it in a state where it’s completely stripped down and there’s not a bolt on it. Then you start: bolting bits to it, you start welding your caging, you start painting it and it all adds up. It gives you a lot of motivation to do it once it starts coming together. What do you think it is about being a car lover that pushes you to do these things? Joerg: That’s a tough question. It’s just, if you enjoy the work. Like, I’ve been laid under a car in the pouring rain even before we had a unit, just having to finish a job and thinking, “There’s no point stopping now, we might as well finish it” Most people wouldn’t even have done that in the first place. They would have gone to a garage and done it but… it’s just knowing that you’ve done it yourself. So would it be fair to say that you love pushing the boundaries of what’s expected from a car? Danny: Absolutely. Definitely. Yeah. You’ll see with all the cars here - people just look at it and think, “What the f*ck?”. In a way, for me, I kind of like that. People just think it shouldn’t be right - but it is. As well, it’s like, all done for a reason; it’s not just styled that way. It’s performance oriented. I mean, people might look at it - like your average person will look at it and think, “Fast and Furious” but… it’s not. Do you think that people realise the time and dedication that goes into what you do? Joerg: It’s like the same with skateboarding and riding. We would understand and some people on the outside do understand but…. just because it doesn’t look like an X Games trick, doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s all about the amount of pleasure you get from it. If you just do an Ollie and it’s the first time you’ve ever done one – that’s the best feeling ever and it’s the same with us. Like, the first time we’ve made something fit for a car that hasn’t been done before – it feels good. You know, we’re the first ones to do it and it feels right. It’s just always a good, satisfying feeling. Finally, what does the future hold for you boys? Joerg: We’ve only started pushing it over the past year and we’ve started making a bit of money on the side from it. At the minute we’ve just got me, Danny and our friend Malc. We’ve got three big projects going and I think they’re going to be either our make or break. Danny: People are either going to see our work and think, “These guys know what they’re doing” or they might not like our stuff and get someone else to do it. Hopefully, within the next year or so, we’ll see how it goes. Obviously, I’d love to be able to do this as a full time job.
See the film at vimeo.com/frayedmagazine Go follow @ssautowerks on Instagram
gwennaelle Art. Real life versus real love. FRAYED explores the expectations, thoughts and future of a young artist at the start of her journey. From composition to compromise... this is Gwennaelle.
Please introduce yourself. Who are you and what do you do? I’m Gwennaelle and I’m an artist. Why did you become an artist? I think I’ve always been a visual person. A creative person. I kind of grew up in that environment at home so it’s always been something that’s been there. It’s something that I enjoy more than anything. So were you the type of kid who was always drawing and sketching? Always. I was always drawing. I always had my sketchbook and my pencil crayons. I think at the beginning it was something that just kept me quite at the dinner table. Yeah, I think it’s something that’s just stuck. But you’ve taken that early love and turned it into a profession. How has that been possible? I think it sort of started after I finished doing my A Levels. Well, my mum said I needed to do something academic so I did but I also did Art and Photography as well. So after I finished there, it kind of opened my eyes to the fact that Art is something you can do at uni. It doesn’t have to be something academic. I think at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do at uni; it’s that experience that matters more than anything. So, I was going to do something I loved doing, whether I got a job out of it or not. Was that scary though? Did you worry about getting a job after university? I think I’m just really lucky that my mum has just supported me and not pushed me to do anything that I didn’t want to do. She supported me doing Art which made me feel like it was the right decision to make. I think you just have to roll with things sometimes and just do what you like doing. As a person, did you find that university helped you grow and develop? Massively. I think uni was just a really great experience. It sounds cheesy but I’ve grown as a person, definitely. Through meeting different people from different backgrounds and cultures. Having tutors that were artists themselves and learning from them. Yeah, it definitely changed me. Did you ever have any doubts about going? I did a foundation course which is just for a year and I think that gave me that time to really think whether it was the right thing to do - to go to uni. And actually, after my foundation course, I took a year out because I just didn’t know if it was the right choice and whether I could actually make it being an artist without going to uni. But I think ultimately, I think learning is something that I really love and I don’t want to stop learning things. Do you think you need to go to university in order to become a successful artists? I think it depends on the individual and I think that’s always the case. I went to uni and there were students who didn’t get what they wanted out of the course. And there are people who don’t go who are really successful. I think it just depends. I love being a social person so going to uni was great for that. I got to meet loads of people and interact. I think doing Art, you want feedback from people and you want criticism and it’s good because people will pick up on things that you won’t see yourself. I like that environment. Do you find that inspiration often comes from working with other people? Definitely.
So, being an artist stepping out of university and into the working world, what are some of the hurdles you’ve faced? It was a bit of a reality check. You don’t have that student loan. You don’t have all those things that made it easy to be a student. I went to university in London but I had to come home, which I think was the right decision to make. It is difficult because, you have to go to work to have enough money to do your art but then it’s balancing… it’s balancing time. How do you balance that? I don’t know. I’m still figuring that out. I’ve got an artist studio which i think has helped massively. Having somewhere to go and spend time making art. It’s a real struggle. It is. I’ve just realised that I have to put the time in because it might never happen otherwise. Does that thought drive you and push you on? I think I just get such joy out of making art and because it’s so visual, you just want people to see it. You want to put it out there because that’s the reason why I’m making stuff. That’s what drives me because I want to exhibit. I want to show people my work, whether it’s good opinions or bad opinions; I don’t care. I’ve entered open exhibits, which are really good because anyone can enter. I curated my own solo show, so that was a really great experience. Having a space and just thinking about my work. But yeah, it is difficult. The whole promoting side of things because I’m not organised. It’s quite hard to juggle everything. Do you think a lot of artists struggle with that? You have to have a business head and it’s difficult because I don’t think that way. I have got a website and I think that’s helped a lot. Oh, and Instagram! Right now, you’re at the start of your journey but where would you like your art to take you? Best case scenario would be… to be able to live off making my own art. That would be the ultimate dream. But I think, I really want to teach actually. I’ve been to my local college and worked with some of the students there and I think it’s something I would definitely love to do. I don’t want to plan too much. Just work hard and see where it leads me. We’ll see.. won’t we. I think, I’m just working at my own pace and it’s important to be patient. I think I’m just starting to realise that. You have to be patient. So what is the next step for you? I’m still working on that. That plan. I’m not the best at making plans. I’m working at the minute and I think I just want to spend some time working and figure things out. I really want to do an M.A; that’s definitely something that’s on my list. But what order should I do things in? I think that’s difficult to decide. I just want to spend time working for now but carry on making art. Do you have any advice that you would offer any younger artists who are currently considering what to do next? I think… if you’re a creative person, you should always be creative. You should always make even the smallest amount of time to do something that you’re good at. I think it just depends on how serious someone is. If you really want something, you have to put the time and effort in. Priorities. It’s difficult but if you really want something, I think it’s what you have to do.
Go follow @g.cook on Instagram
Defined by some as a sport and others as merely a hobby, FRAYED explores the love behind the board. Behind the dedication, the tricks and the lifestyle... this is Mirza Ibrisimovic.
So, who are you? My name’s Mizzeh Ibrisimovic but everyone calls me Miz. I’m a skateboarder. I’ve been skateboarding for so many years now. I started off when I saw my brother down the street on a skateboard and he was loving it so I was like, “I’ll have a go on that.” I picked it up quite quick. So ever since then I’ve been skating. Loving it really. Just my little world. My little way of getting out of the crazy little world that we live in. Just my little piece of mind. What is it about skateboarding that you love so much? Just relaxed really. Just my own time. Just do what I want. It just calms me down. Do you think people realise the time and dedication it takes to be good? Well, I think a lot of people now are realising it’s not just cruising from one spot to another. Like some people get to work on skateboards. I think people are realising now how big it actually is and the concept behind it. Like a lot of things are being funded through skateboarding now. Like a lot of charities are being helped through skateboarding. There is such a big background to it. It’s not just a plank of wood with wheels on it. Do you know what I mean? Completely. Something so simple can like… yeah! Like something so simple makes you so happy. It’s brilliant. Like overcoming and learning new skills on it is mad. Then when you watch yourself back on footage. Just watching the board move and you’re just like, “How have I managed to do that?”, it’s crazy. It’s a really good feeling. Definitely. What’s the dream? Well, I’ve always skated for fun. Like, if a sponsorship comes, it comes. But I see a lot of teams now and a lot of pro skaters I look up to and I just think, “I wanna be like that.”. I’d personally say that if you find a job that you love doing, you’ll never work a day in your life basically. Obviously, if I can get a sponsorship for skateboarding it would be an absolute dream come true.
So how do you make that dream come true? Well, I think nowadays social media is definitely a main part of everything. So if you are just out on the street you can film some clips, make a little edit, put some music to it, post it online and get a few hits on YouTube if it’s good. I think the skate shops definitely need to be recognised for for what they do. Like, I’m with Rockcity at the moment and the manager there has just finished an edit by Josh Moore which is dropping with this issue of Frayed Magazine. So once the edit is out, I’ll speak to the manager and he’ll send it to Sidewalk, which is the main magazine in the UK for skateboarding and if they like it, they’ll repost it and you just get viewed like that. Or you can just film a video and directly send it to a sponsor. Just go on their website, find an email for a manager, send it to them and say, “If you like this… I can skate for you.”. I think it just goes like that really. What are your influences? Obviously, like when I saw my brother on it… like I said earlier. But mainly, when I was just skating myself and I realised how happy I was from it. That definitely was an influence. Then when you go to a skatepark for the very first time and you’ll see someone who’ll be better than you - obviously if you’re first starting out. Just seeing them doing crazy tricks and you’re just like, “Wow, I wanna be able to do that!” And that just influences you. Drives you more. You’ve spoken about the importance of social media but growing up, did skateboard magazines have a real influence on you? Well, they always used to be Sidewalk mags kicking around in the house and that was mint. Obviously, my brother, who was older than me would read them all the time and I’d pick them up off him. Have a look through the mag. See, it’s not just the skateboarding. Like the photographers would be so creative with the photos and it would just be crazy. Like, you’d see someone jumping down a twenty stair set rail or something like that. Captured at the perfect moment. Crazy. It definitely influences you. Is there something powerful about a moment like that just captured in time? Definitely. Photos and videos are both powerful but if you can just see a photo captured at the perfect time it’s good because there’s no words. It just runs thoughts through your own head as to what’s going on. Like the creative side. The background of the photo. What trick is he doing? How did he even get to that moment?
So where has skateboarding taken you? I’ve been all over England skateboarding. I’ve taken it to Bosnia as well. That’s where my family’s from. I’ve skated there. I skate to work all the time. The thing is about skateboarding as well is even if you go to another country where no one speaks English, if you see someone on a skateboard and you’re on a skateboard, you don’t even need to know their language. You know they’re just going to be nice to you.
Why do you think that is? I think because everyone spends so long learning, so long on one trick, when you see someone’s face when they’ve landed something, you can tell they’ve been trying it for ages and you know you’ve been through the same feeling. Like, skateboarders are just generally nice people anyway. If you’re on a skatepark and you’re skating about and do a trick, you’ll see someone tapping their board for you. Just showing you appreciation. Just basically saying, “That was absolutely class, well done.” And then you see them do something and you just tap your board back. Straight away, you can just go over and it’s as if you know them. You’re just chatting to them because - because of the little family that skateboarding has all around the world. It’s crazy.
Instagram @mizzzeh / @rockcityskatepark Watch his Frayed and Welcome to the Rockcity Team skate edit at vimeo.com/frayedmagazine
COFFEE FRAYED takes you on a journey. A journey of nature, science and senses. From Roaster to Barista -this is the how, where and why. This is coffee.
‘THE ROASTER’ In simple terms, a Coffee Roaster turns coffee beans from green to brown. The process of changing the beans colour is what provides the foundation for the flavours that we taste in the cup. Using a roaster, they apply heat to green coffee beans over a controlled period of time, gradually turning the beans a different colour and giving them a roast and flavour profile. It’s the Roaster’s job to recognise these changes and develop the characteristics of the beans to produce full flavours in the cup. How would you define yourself? James: I’m a Coffee Roaster. That’s what my business is. It is what I’ve done for the past six years but I’ve worked with coffee for probably nearly fifteen years now. But yeah, Coffee Roaster - that’s my job. Did you have any experiences growing up that you think inspired you to work with and eventually roast coffee? James: I was really fortunate when I was very young – say 12 months old – as my parents decided they wanted to emigrate. I was born in Wales - they’re from the Welsh Valleys, which was a very closed community and for some reason thirty years ago, my parents said, “Hey, let’s move to the other side of the world!” They then immigrated to Papua New Guinea, which is a small island above Australia and it has indigenous coffee there. Now, I am not saying that we moved there, saw coffee and because of that I’m a Coffee Roaster, but i certainly think that subliminally there is something about growing up in a coffee producing nation that is part of the reason why my father got into roasting and then I did too. That must have been an incredible experience. What are some of your memories of growing up in Papua New Guinea? James: Mangos! Climbing mango trees. There’s something about spending your days outside. Sunshine. 6.00am sunrise and 6.00pm sunset; proper twelve hour days. Rainstorms that are just phenomenal. Flash in the pan things like a flood for thirty minutes and that’s it - done! The heat. There are loads of memories of it. Would I go back? Yeah - absolutely.
So when did you begin working with coffee and where did the journey begin? James: I think it probably started in earnest when I moved away to university in 1999 to study Geography. I needed a job and really just looked for any old job. There happened to be a position going in a coffee shop so that’s where it started. I then meandered my way through that business and others to the point where - in 2009 - I started my own business. For many people, a job in a coffee shop would be just that – a job. How did you turn it into a career? James: The history inside that period is that I got my father involved in coffee as well so he – in 2002 – set up his own coffee company. He brought in an American roaster and we started a bedroom business. It’s been a progression from: me starting, then getting my father introduced to it and then coming all the way back around to me again using his equipment. Why do you think that you have been able to take your love for coffee and turn it into a sustainable lifestyle? James: I think it was probably just the way my brain is. That’s what has helped me the most. I’m not saying it’s because I’m a bright person – it’s just that I’ve come from a background where I like to analyse things. People around me might say that about me – that I spend a lot of time analysing things. Certainly in the roasting world, there’s an awful lot of chemistry involved and the understanding of that very complex chemistry can make or break a good cup of coffee. Did you understand the complexity of coffee when you first began working with it? James: No, I think that when I started I had absolutely no concept of the understanding of those things required to be a barista or as a roaster. It’s only through time and investigation and asking yourself why something tastes the way it does that you realise that being inquisitive leads you down a rabbit hole of discovery and… that’s coffee. Was there every a moment... a cup or a taste that really showed you what coffee could be? James: Everybody I speak to who gets bitten by what we call in our industry a ‘God Shot’ - which is a taste that just transcends all known flavour - find it’s a moment that’s indescribable. You just want to ask - why? How does a little bean make that flavour in the cup? So, I think I’ve just had a succession of those instances which have taken me to where I stand today. That first cup of coffee that was probably pretty nasty, through a progression of various different coffees and different roasters to asking the question why? Why does it taste like this? So would you say that there’s a science to what you do as a Coffee Roaster? James: Yeah. I think that when anybody works in a food industry, no matter whether you’re in a clinical and scientific factory or you’re a farmer at a ground level, we’re all working with organic products. And that organic nature needs some sort of way of looking at it. Certainly in coffee, it’s a sensorial experience, so my job is to develop the chemistry of the coffee in order to give the customer an experience they enjoy and I’m only a small part of that chain. There’s this chain from grower, to pickers, to exporters, importers, roasters and baristas. There’s a whole bunch of people who have to be intrinsically involved, whether that’s on an analytical and scientific level or just through their love for coffee. So, yeah - you’ve got to have two mind-sets. You’ve got to be this person who’s in touch with their senses but that’s born out of the science of coffee. The science I can control and that controls the sensorial experience.
So with that control, what would the perfect cup of coffee taste like? James: I think there are so many different variables involved in coffee that giving a true answer to that would be extremely difficult. There are always going to be certain qualities of coffee that we as humans enjoy more than others. So, as a roaster I try to develop sweetness because we all enjoy something sweet. Speciality coffee - which is what I deal with - has a unique identifier which is a complex clarity of acidity so I think that is very important. We, as Coffee Roasters, also like to develop a balanced body. We don’t want the coffee to be too thin and disappear off your pallet; you want it to sit and linger. So again, that’s another set of things that I can do and control. Couple that with aromatics - we need the aromas, and that’s not just roasty aromas, it’s about trying to choose something that’s fruity and evokes an experience before it gets to your mouth. Does it exist? James: Is there a perfect cup of coffee? I suppose if it does exist it would be a harmony of a bunch of things. But is there truly such a perfect cup out there? Probably - somewhere. Have I found it yet? No. Have I had my transcending experience? Yes… but I wouldn’t say that was the perfect cup.
‘THE BARISTA’ A Barista turns dry coffee beans into wet coffee; the final product. A better description might be a coffee brewer. They take dry coffee and, using water, dissolve it into a wet solution. It’s a Barista’s job to understand the importance of the coffee’s origin, interpret the roast profile and produce a high quality cup that’s a harmony of flavour and aromatics. The Barista must consistently create a cup that strikes a delicious balance between sweetness, acidity and body. Why did you become a Barista? Jack: Really, I just fancied a good cup of coffee. Where I lived, there wasn’t a great coffee scene. You’d see people doing coffee but not doing it particularly well and not wanting to do it particularly well either. So I’d find myself travelling to drink coffee as there was never anything on my doorstep. I just wanted to be that person who brought nice coffee to people. Why was that important to you? Jack: Because so many people were missing out on that experience. Coffee. Something that most people think as what they have in their kitchen – this brown liquid that wakes you up in the morning. It’s deeper than that; it’s got more levels to it. It’s got tons and tons of flavours behind it and as soon as you hit that revelation that coffee doesn’t have to be bitter, it doesn’t have to be strong – that’s when people start to understand it. I suppose most people’s experience of coffee is that it smells amazing but it tastes disgusting. But at the end of the day it’s a fruit and that acidity, that bitterness - the flavour behind that is quite amazing. It’s a revelation that coffee can taste like strawberries, or it can taste like oranges or that you can get those hidden flavours and it’s just about changing people’s perception of what coffee is and what it can be.
Did you have a cup or a moment that showed you what coffee could be? Jack: My coffee epiphany? Exactly! Jack: I would say it was working with James (The Roaster) as he gave me a little training on how to use an espresso machine and it just blew my mind. I never knew there was such a science behind it. It was like a recipe – like baking a cake. I just couldn’t believe that coffee had that much behind it and it just made me eager to learn about it. I wanted to know about it and I wanted to brew it – just get those flavours from it. Just unlock those hidden flavours and that’s what you do. I can make a coffee now and it would taste nice but at the back of your mind you always think that it could taste better. You’re always striving for that perfect cup. And what was the cup that began this journey? Jack: The actual coffee was an Ethiopian – Rocko Mountain. You could taste the strawberries and when I put it with milk, I could taste cream. The strawberries and cream – I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that I was getting those flavours from a coffee. What makes an amazing cup of coffee? Jack: I’d say it is quite personal really. Coffee is quite a broad term to use – there are things to take into consideration. For example, the characteristics of each coffee; different coffees have different origins. So, for a Brazilian coffee you’ll look at the farm where it was grown. You’ll look at the altitude it was grown at, the way it was harvested. All of these things will affect the flavour that comes from the coffee. To be able to take that information, look at it and feed it back to the Roaster, who will then feed it back to me is important because I can then produce a drink that gives a depth of flavour that’s true to its origin. Do you enjoy being a Barista and showing people what coffee can be? Jack: It’s been great – it’s been amazing. I’ve had my own coffee shop now for just over a year and we’ve seen a lot of people through the door. We have regulars coming back; we’ve got new people coming in. People like it. They like to watch me prepare the coffee. They like the flavours. They like that it’s different. People tell me about the different flavours and quite often say that it’s the nicest coffee they’ve had. The positive feedback must feel great – especially when you’re so passionate about the product. Jack: Yeah, I would say it can be frustrating but the good feedback outweighs the negative. It’s hard to change people’s routine and perception of coffee. For most people it’s something you go to Costa or Starbucks for and have an extra-large Frappuccino with sprinkles on top. I can imagine… Jack: I just want to give them something that they’re not used to and explain to them that it is coffee – just not as they’ve had it before. It is coffee and it’s different… just let me tell you why.
Music. Pure expression. The thoughts, fears and feelings of a generation summed up in song. FRAYED takes you behind the scenes with a man currently working with one of Britainâ€™s most renowned & celebrated - yet controversial - musicians of the past decade. This is life on the road.
This is Andy Newlove.
Firstly, what do you love about going on tour? I go on tour because I love it. I love… guitars. I love… music. And I love working a stage. Is it something that you’ve always done? Well, I’ve also got a recording studio and that’s great. I’ve got a fantastic engineer who works in there… John Spence. He works in there; he’s in control of it. I can still take bookings while I’m away. My wife takes quite a few of the bookings and I’ve got a business partner who can help out as well when he needs to. You see, I stopped going on the road for a bit and focused on the studio. Because of my kids and stuff like that you know, but I always loved being on tour; just being on the road with different bands. So how did that change and what got you back on the road? Well, I got a great little opportunity – I think I was about thirty nine at the time – to work with a guy called Bill Nelson who was in a band called Be-Bop Deluxe. They had a string of hits and a lot of success both in this country, Europe and in America. The likes of Tom Petty used to support BeBop Deluxe so you can see what kind of band they were. Well, Bill Nelson was the guitar player and lead vocalist in Be-Bop Deluxe; he’s a virtuoso guitar player. He’s unbelievable and he’s got a massive guitar collection. Bill asked me “Would you come on tour with me?” and like I said, I’d stopped roadying at this point; I’d stopped doing all that kind of thing and hadn’t even thought about it since I bought my studio. Was it a difficult decision to make and how did it feel to be working with Bill Nelson? Well, Bill Nelson asked and I said, “Yeah, alright then!” Bill Nelson, put it this way… if he plays a guitar in one song, he doesn’t want it for the next! He just moves through guitars like billy-o! He’s just off like mad with his guitars. He’s got a big collection and he wants a fraction of that collection on tour with him. So, you’d be looking at, per evening, maybe twenty two guitars. You know what I mean? So that’s a lot of guitars to get ready, restring… all the kind of the things you have to do to a guitar to make it work. And obviously, he’s playing it, so you’re tuning it up as he’s coming to the last few bars of the song: just check, make sure it’s still in tune – and then you’ve got to go out, give him that guitar. Doing it for somebody like Bill Nelson kind of just… blew my head off really. It was just, “Wow… it doesn’t get much bigger than this!” I mean, Brian May cited him as an influence. Did you ever expect to be given another opportunity like that? I never expected that I would go back on tour. I mean, I set up a lot of guitars in the recording studio and I just did it there. You know, bands would say, “My guitar keeps going out of tune”, so I’d do a setup and everything. I’d earn a few quid out of that and then people started to bring me guitars round to fix and what have you: broken necks and all sorts of stuff. And I used to do all that. I just plodded along with my recording studio, doing bits of recording and mastering. And I was quite happy doing that and
then like I say, Bill comes along and sort of, it kind of… it was like wow! Yeah, I think I would like to do that again. Did other opportunities come from touring with Bill Nelson? Yes. One particular day I get a phone call and it’s a chap who manages Babyshambles and he asked me whether I’d be up for working with Pete Doherty and of course, straight away, I said yes. I think this was possibly the Thursday and they wanted me for a show the next Friday in France so it was kind of a short notice thing. What was it like first meeting Pete Doherty? I remember the first night – well, morning actually. It was 5.00am and I was asleep in my bunk on the tour bus and suddenly… the bus stopped. I peeped out of the little window in my bunk to investigate and it looked like we were in an underground carpark. Then I heard voices and everything like that. So I just opened the curtain of my bunk to see what all the fuss was about. You know, what was going on? And there he was, just looking in my bed. Peter Doherty! He just went, “Hiya!” So, half asleep, I sort of went, “Alright” and then he went, “Are you the new lad?”, so I said, “Yeah, Yeah, I’m Andy.” With that, he just shook my hand. Bear in mind, this is the first time I’ve ever met the man. It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’m laid in bed! Anyway, we went and did a show that night. It was great. Rather than just standing at the side of the stage, kind of waiting for a guitar string to snap or having another guitar ready, it was a very hands-on thing. Peter would be in the crowd and I’d be getting him back out the crowd and stuff like that. It was an amazing experience. Many people have an idea of what Pete’s like from what they’ve read. As a man who works and travels with him, what’s he really like? Pete is possibly the most decent man I have ever met; in the sense that he’s such a good natured fella. He’s a dream to work for. He’s
got a great smile and he seems happy. He’s just a great bloke to know. He’s very well mannered, very polite. He always asks me about my family and you know, when somebody asks you, “Hiya Andy, are you alright?” and then asks you about your family, you know very well that he’s a genuine person. Put it this way… I can’t do enough for him. Top, top bloke. What have been some of the high points of being on tour with Pete Doherty? Well, with Peter we’ve got this thing we do on stage and it was a shock to start off with. Well, it wasn’t a shock, it was just a little… I was probably about six foot away from him when he first did it. So basically, when he’s finished playing a guitar, I come out, get it off him, take it away, tune it and bring it back for another song he’s going to do. Sometimes he might decide he’s gonna go for a bit of a wander round with his microphone like he often does. Anyway, this particular incident, one evening, he tossed it to me, grinned and I didn’t think anymore of it. Anyway, the next time this happened it was a bit more of a throw. Round of applause from the crowd. I thought, “That was alright!”. So where did it go from there? Then the next night, it starts for real. the guitar and he looks towards me. Now, guitar and he’s walking further away and right onto the other side of the stage.. are big!
Basically, what happens is, he gets I’m walking towards him to get the he’s shaking his head. Then he goes and you know, some of these stages
I can imagine! So Pete, he goes right over to the other side of the stage and he’s telling me to stay where I am, just stay where I am! Anyway, with that, his Epiphone Coronet that he calls “The Heavy Horse” comes hurtling through the air and I thought, “Jesus! If I don’t catch that I’m gonna have to spend tomorrow, which was my day off, mending a guitar... and I aren’t doing that!”. So I caught it… in my left hand! And Pete was like, “Wow!”. So he was impressed by it and it just started and snowballed from there. So now, at the end of a song, I actually get ready like a goalkeeper would! I actually have a towel at the side of the stage because you get pretty hot and sweaty so that I can wipe my hands as the last few bars of whatever song it is are played. Honestly, there are some serious, serious shots of guitars coming at me on YouTube! So, the big question is… has it ever gone wrong? See, the launch of it varies each time depending on whether he wants me to catch it or not! So one evening, he goes as far away as he can from me and then he turns his back on me and throws the guitar actually over his head. Problem is, it goes straight up in the air! So I run across the stage like a maniac and rugby tackle this guitar so I don’t have to mend it. Unfortunately, the inevitable did happen one evening. It was the second to last gig of the tour and it was all going well. Well, until Pete chucked his guitar and got the lead caught around his leg. The poor guitar got about a
couple of foot away from him, bounced back, hit the deck and snapped in two places! He said, “Was that my fault?”. How did you feel when it hit the floor? We were both bothered. I was gutted because I loved that guitar. It’s an Epiphone Coronet from 1963. It’s cherry red: a great guitar. It’s bruised, it’s battered, it’s been in bits but we keep mending it and it keeps going back together. I love that guitar. I must admit though, I did get quite upset when it happened. I’m sure you weren’t upset about catching guitars for Pete at The Libertine’s Reunion Show at Hyde Park though! That was huge. How many people came out for that? 65,000. Wow. It was one of those moments where… I had some pictures taken during the day of me playing Pete’s guitar. I was just walking up and down the stage but I was thinking, “F*cking hell, this is the biggest thing I’ve ever done.” You know, I’ve done 30,000 before at festivals and stuff like that but nothing quite like this. Not 65,000 people coming to see one band. What other British bands can do that? The Rolling Stones maybe. What else do you remember about that day? It was an amazing day but one thing I do remember is… about five minutes before the band was meant to come on, someone decided that an acoustic guitar was needed and I got the job. It had to be restrung before the show and like I said, the show was to start in five minutes! So anyway, the band goes on and I’m still working away, getting it ready. They don’t need it until about halfway through the show so I should be alright. So I’m drenched in sweat after hunting down some strings for it. Anyway, I finally managed to get it restrung, all tuned up and all nice. So you pretty much saved the show then? Well… no. They didn’t even f*cking use it in the end! Brilliant! So for people who’ve always dreamed of going on tour, what’s it really like? Is it just all parties and good times? Basically, it is hard work. Like real hard work sometimes. Some people think it’s all partying. And yeah, you do have a bit of a party sometimes but I’m not particularly party orientated. The thing is, a lot of it is, you’re going to bed really really late and you’re getting up really, really early. Like the tour we just did in Germany.
So, the tour manager looked at his emails and realised we had a promo, which is basically a radio show or a tv show appearance. Well, we had a live acoustic session to do on the radio at about half past eleven that morning. Not only that but we also had to do a little show in a record shop that afternoon. And then, after that, we had to get back in the van and go and do the main show on the night. Put it his way, you want to go to bed after that. Well I do anyway! So, even though it seems like a dream come true to travel the world for most unsigned bands, can you understand how it often proves to be too much for some artists? Yeah, I can imagine how it does. It’s a certain lifestyle. It’s the life of a gypsy if you like. You’re travelling around all over. You’re in different cities every night, eating different food. You’ve got a great big bag of stinking clothes that need washing. Little things I guess. If you have got loved ones at home, you miss them. But you have Skype and stuff now and people don’t go on tour for years at a time anymore. You can always get home at some point. But I can understand how it gets to people. Just lack of sleep I guess. If you’re sharing a room with someone who snores their head off or you’re sleeping on a tour bus. People say, “It must be great living on there!”v And yeah, it is… for the first two hours. Trust me… two or three weeks on a tour bus and that bog starts getting a bit stinky! When we first started talking you said that you love to come home after being on tour but what is it really like coming home after being on stage in front of 65,000 people? Well, once I’m home and the kids have gone to bed and the wife’s watching telly, do you know what I do? I go straight to my guitars. I’ve always got two guitars I’m building and working on. And do you know what my ambition is? My little ambition is to build Pete a unique Newlove guitar. And he will get one, one day, when I get the time. Thinking about it, I’ll probably give it some wings and a jet engine so that it can fly across the stage a bit better!