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FLYING SOLO!

He’s probably better off without me because he’s in charge and it remains to be seen whether I’m better off without him, doesn’t it? IF WE LOOK AT THE LIST OF PLAYERS ON YOUR ALBUM, THERE’S A GUY CALLED MARK MEARY WHO PLAYS WINE GLASSES, WASHBOARD AND ELECTRIC KETTLE. WILL THAT BE GOING ON THE ROAD WITH YOU?

The electric kettle? No, the guy Mark he wasn’t even supposed to play on the record but he was just one of the guys who was operating the Pro Tools thingamajig and one day we were in the studio and we were having a discussion about h ow we needed a double bass on a track and he just casually piped up – he’s a Geordie – and he says, ‘I can play the double bass’ and I was like, ’What? Go and get it’. So off he went and the next thing was like we were going on about a saw, when you play a saw with a thing, and he just piped up that he could play one of those – well, go and get that then and what else can you play? And he came out with the wine glasses and all that. The thing about the electric kettle is obviously a joke, so, you know, we haven’t got the flight case for the kettle.

YOU PLAYED LAST YEAR AT THE ALBERT HALL AND YOU SAID AT THE TIME THAT THE ALBUM WAS PRETTY MUCH DONE. HAVE YOU BEEN SITTING ON IT FOR A WHILE?

I started it, you got to bear with me here because it’s a really long tale. I started it on the night of The Brits where we won the Best Album in hundred years or whatever it was. Then, also on that night – it was a momentous night because my wife phoned me to tell me she was pregnant on the first night of me trying to record an album. So I kind of worked on it for a few weeks and them, I dunno, I seem to have taken a lot of time off. We got married and moved house and had another kid so that kind of took priority over everything. But it was nice not to work to a deadline – it’s the first time I’ve ever done that for as long as I can remember. But it’s been going on for the best part of eighteen months – well, both of them have, you know. It was long but then we were kind of moving countries, when I went to L.A and stuff like that and it was amazing that in a world of Twitter and all that caper we managed to keep it quiet until, you know, today – which is quite incredible. I mean it’s typical, we hadn’t mentioned anything for eighteen months and we walk into a studio in L.A and there’s an English band in the next studio and within fifteen minutes one of them decides that he’s gonna Tweep about it or whatever it is they do – and then the next thing my phone explodes and the cat was out of the bag. But they’ve been going on for a while. HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT RECRUITING THE OTHER MUSICIANS FOR THE RECORD? ARE THEY THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS?

Well high flying birds are six air hostesses – hence the name. One’s from Cathay Pacific, one’s from British Airways, obviously, you’ve got to keep your finger in so to speak – and they were just guys that just

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called up and asked to be honest. Two guys, the keyboard player and the drummer – the keyboard player Mike Rowe has played with Oasis on the Be Here Now tour. Jeremy who plays the drums, he played the drums on the album and he wasn’t doing anything so he offered his services. The bass player is Russell Pritchard, he used to be in The Zutons, who was last to come on board and he just called me up one afternoon and he said, ‘Have you got a bass player?’ and I said I haven’t and he said I’ll do it and that was that. And the guitarist, he’s a guy – is anyone aware of a band The Sand Band? You will be. No? Come on, you gotta get plugged in! well, a band from Liverpool called The Sand Band who had an album out I think maybe this year or last year and he’s playing the guitar and his name is Macca and he’s from Liverpool. Yeah, so, and then the guys who played on the other record is a completely different set of people and to be perfectly honest I’ve not got the faintest idea who half of them were because Amorphous Androgynous were getting the people in and I’d walk into the studio some days and there’s like people there that I’ve never met before and they were playing on my songs. It’s pretty mad but it all turned out good in the end. EMOTIONALLY WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAKING THIS ALBUM AND MAKING AN OASIS ALBUM? WERE YOU MORE CONFIDENT BECAUSE YOU’VE DONE IT SO MANY TIMES BEFORE OR WERE YOU MORE NERVOUS BECAUSE IT’S YOUR FIRST SOLO ALBUM?

I don’t get nervous me making records. You get nervous before gigs but it’s different because there was different musicians on it and it was all my songs and I was singing them so I didn’t have to explain to anybody how it went or what it was about or what the delivery should be or any of that. You know, the box of tea bags lasted longer. WINTER 2011/12 | MAYHEM!

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Mayhem! Magazine - Issue 3 (Winter Special 2011/12)  

There's plenty of content in this issue to get your bells jingling right into 2012 with Christmas tips and New Year's resolutions, gift idea...

Mayhem! Magazine - Issue 3 (Winter Special 2011/12)  

There's plenty of content in this issue to get your bells jingling right into 2012 with Christmas tips and New Year's resolutions, gift idea...

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