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MON THE BIFFY! We catch up with Simon, Ben and James and discover why they’re still the underdogs

KELE OKEREKE AND BLOC PARTY And their transition from indie to electronic rock pioneers


EDITORIAL www.myspace.com/elevenmagazine | www.twitter.com/elevenmagazine | www.facebook.com/elevenmagazine 2

A NEW BEGINNING We have a new look, after all – nothing quite as gaudy, let’s say, as Bowie in his high-glam period, decked out in a sparkling Yamamoto leotard with only one trouser leg and a single sleeve. How many Eleven readers, I wonder, were so smitten by the musical brilliance of Ziggy Stardust and the startling make-over Bowie affected for its launch 40 years ago that they were soon cutting an outlandish dash in surely quite comical attempts at sartorial emulation. For my own part, by the time I saw Bowie a week into the Ziggy tour, at Bristol’s Colston Hall, on June 13, 1972, I had thoroughly discarded what the typical teenage art student of the era was more than likely to wear. Out went the loon pants and granddad vests. In came the Mary Quant boots, blouses from Dorothy Perkins, an occasional hint of my girlfriend’s mascara, sundry pairs of what I thought were uniquely fetching polka-dot hipsters, tight enough to cut off the circulation below the waist, and velvet jackets with shoulder pads that wouldn’t be as fashionable again until Dynasty.

Anyway, back to our new look. The changes we’ve made to Eleven may feel initially a bit strange, like walking into a familiar room and finding the furniture’s been moved around, not everything where it was the last time you looked and one or two pieces missing, replaced by things you’ve never seen before. I don’t think you’re going to need a satnav system, however, to find your way around or discover, for instance, that My Life In Music has moved to the back, that other favourite regulars are in some cases further into the features section than they were previously and there’s a new front section, Instant Karma!. As promised last month, the biggest change to our content is a major overhaul and expansion of our reviews section, for many readers the reason you buy Uncut. Music reviews are now split into two sections, with more detail than ever, to guide you through the month’s new releases and to help you negotiate the sometimes mind-boggling multi-format reissues of classic albums – as is the case with Pink Floyd’s The Wall, reviewed in this month’s issue. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think of the new Uncut – and also the revamped uncut.co.uk. You can email me at the usual address: andrew.brien@elevenmusic.com

ANDREW BRIEN, Editor-in-Chief

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EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Andrew Brien 020 7859 8469 Senior Editor Matt Mason 020 7859 8623 Associate Editor (Production) Simon McEwen 020 7859 8672 Associate Editor (Feature) Ted Kesller 020 7520 6423 Associate Editor (Reviews) Niall Doherty 020 7520 6427 Associate Editor (Digital) Paul Stokes 020 7208 3794 Now Editor Chris Catchpole 020 7520 6427 Associate Copy Editor Matt Yates 020 7208 3760 Art Editor Salman Naqvi 020 7295 8599 Picture Editor Russ O’Connell 020 7520 6507 Picture Researcher Ian Whent 020 7859 8484 Deputy Production Editor Eve Barlow 020 7295 5501 Designer, Men’s & Ent Hub Elliott Webb 020 7295 8570 Editor At Large Mark Blake 020 7520 6472 Interns Joe Bishop 020 7859 8469 Al Horner 020 7859 8465

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CONTENTS

In this month’s issue we have all the latest from Biffy Clyro, Bloc Party & all our regular features plus much more.

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ALBUM REVIEWS Th e

Bla ck Ke y

This month we review the latest releases from Kasabian, General Fiasco, Band of Skulls and The Black Keys.

Pages 6-10 : Biff

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LETTERS, EMAILS AND TWEETS We find out your views on the R.E.M. split, the Chair Lift and what Anthony Kiedis and Danny Trejo have in common.

P ag e s 1 01 2 :B lo

We catch up with the boys from Biffy Clyro and discuss 17th century Finnish footballers, Courtney Love’s daughter and why they still feel like the underdogs of Scottish rock.

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MON THE BIFFY!

KELE FROM BLOC PARTY INTERVIEW

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Kele Okereke on Bloc Party’s transition from indie band to electronic rock pioneers, and how this may have cost them

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April 2012 // www.eleven-magazine.com

www.eleven-magazine.com // April 2012

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BIFFY CLYRO FEATURE

words by: Caspar Llewellyn Smith

Whether their name is derived from a 17th century Finnish footballer, a Cliff Raichard pen or an acronym for “Big Imagination For Feeling Young ‘Cos Life Yearns Real Optimism”, Biffy Clyro are certainly here to stay...

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April 2012 // www.eleven-magazine.com

It is often expected of rock stars that they’ll sport a ghostly pallor and in this respect Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro doesn’t disappoint: as well as a black leather jacket and the de rigueur beard and the tattoos that cover his muscled arms, he blinks into the sunshine as someone barely used to it. But then the same is even truer of his bandmates, twin brothers James and Ben Johnston, and the real reason for their shared antipathy to this glorious spring day is revealed by their fine red hair. Rather than playing the roles of macabre rock monsters, the three are unassumingly what they are – three

Scotsmen, raised not in the Hollywood hills, but the more prosaic towns of Kilmarnock and Ayr. None the less, in charting the rise of Biffy Clyro, regarded by most observers as among Britain’s most excellent rock groups, any attempt to identify what makes them tick can’t avoid this question of their heritage. “We wouldn’t be the band we are if we hadn’t grown up where we did,” says Neil, Biffy’s singer and guitarist. “There weren’t really any other bands around, so there was no one to influence us

www.eleven-magazine.com // April 2012

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BIFFY CLYRO FEATURE

“I don’t think we are too easy to pigeonhole,” says Neil. “We’re not just a straight-ahead rock band...”

“You’re dying to get away from home when you’re a teenager,” he adds, “but as soon as you’re a wee bit older you realise nowhere’s going to compete.”

“We can be as ridiculous or as quirky as we want to be,” adds James Johnston. (Although if you want really quirky, be advised to check out Neil’s disco-indebted side-project, Marmaduke Duke.) Indeed, among the rave notices, one reviewer identified that Biffy are “a product of that peculiar Scottish condition: Celtic exuberance rattling against Calvinist understatement and industriousness”.

Such influences as there were came from the other side of the Atlantic – “Being stuck in your bedroom in the west of Scotland made music from there feel so exotic,” as bassist James Johnston puts it – through bands such as Nirvana (another power trio). So in thinking of highlights of the last six months, when Biffy Clyro’s star has finally moved very much into the ascendant, it’s no surprise that they mention a moment at the NME awards when Courtney Love told them that they’re the favourite band of her daughter, Frances Bean. “Her dad was one of the reasons we started making music,” says Ben Johnston, the drummer, “so that was mind-blowing.” For the most part, however, Biffy are unlikely at this stage of their career to have their heads turned by anything. The three met as teenagers, morphing from their incarnation as Screwfish into Biffy Clyro by the time they were all at college in Glasgow. Their first single, “Iname”, was released in 1999, before they signed to the independent label Beggars Banquet. Even then, they seemed to have a firm sense of themselves. “We made anyone from a record company come up to meet us in Glasgow,” Neil recalls. “They’d say, ‘The first thing we have to talk about if we’re going to sign you is the name,’ and we just said, ‘Nope.’ We said, ‘We’ve been called this for three years and we’ve got 10 fans and we are not changing it!”’

We’ve always wanted to prove people wrong and even if we’re not any more, we still feel like underdogs

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and if it was any different we wouldn’t have spent so much time playing music together.

April 2012 // www.eleven-magazine.com

The name? Its etymology would seem to be shrouded in mystery. The band have previously claimed it’s derived from an Ayr United player of that name or, alternatively, from a 17th-century Finnish footballer. Yet another tale relates that one of them once owned a piece of Cliff Richard memorabilia – a pen or “Cliffy Biro”, a phrase then spoonerised.

“It’s a very western Scottish attitude,” says Neil. “We’ve always wanted to prove people wrong and even if we’re not any more, we still feel like underdogs.” Theirs has been a slow-burn success. “Without sounding really wanky,” says Ben Johnston, “we have to keep working really hard to create a legacy. Without that, the whole thing falls down.” Helping the trio remain grounded have been their Scottish road crew and their partners. “My wife’s an English teacher,” Neil explains, “and she keeps me in check.” “All our girls are very supportive,” says Simon Johnston. “They believe in what we do, but they’re certainly not blinded by the lights.” “They’ve spent a night on the tour bus,” his brother grins, “and they know it’s not glamorous.” When they leave, shouting “Cheerio!”, it’s to catch a train home to Glasgow, where the brothers will celebrate their 30th birthdays at the weekend with a barbecue (weather permitting). “It’s important you remember how important music is to Simon Neil at Reading 2010 you, especially with rock music, I think,” Neil says at the last, thinking back to the passion the three of them first shared as teenagers. “A lot people grow out of rock, but we never have and I don’t think we ever will.”

Biffy Clyro’s fifth single from Only Revolutions, “Bubbles” (14th Floor), is out on 3 May

Following three albums, the band signed to a major label and while they are grungily proud that “at no point have we reneged on our past”, they are most definitely a mainstream proposition now. The occasionally sombre Puzzle (in part inspired by the death of Neil’s mother) was followed by last year’s Only Revolutions, which encompasses the pop of “Bubbles”, the heart-stoppingly anthemic “Mountains” and the reflective “Many of Horror”.

www.eleven-magazine.com // April 2012

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BLOC PARTY REUNION

I FEEL WE COULD DO ANYTHING Kele Okereke on synths, heartbreak and crap rock bands. Chris Cottingham

When Bloc Party released their third album, Intimacy, last year, it polarised opinion. The London four-piece had been steadily shifting towards a more electronic sound for some time, but Intimacy was the tipping point. The spiky post punk guitars that dominated their 2005 debut, Silent Alarm, had been replaced with drum machines and studio trickery. It cost them a section of their fan base. However, it’s also their most adventurous record. Speaking before a one-off gig at Berlin’s defunct Tempelhof airport, frontman Kele Okereke says, “Everything I’ve ever wanted, everything that I’ve ever said about what I want Bloc Party to be, it feels like we are right now.” In April, the band start a 20-date UK tour with their biggest headline show to date, a twonight stand at Olympia in London. “ We’re on a roll,” says Okereke. He’s not wrong…

Intimacy is very electronic. Why? I’m a big fan of electronic music and pop; I’m a big fan of R’n’B. That’s how I hear music now. Rockier songs on the album like Halo and Trojan Horse don’t move me in the same way that some of the more electronic ones do. I think I’ve realised something about myself right now with this record. I just feel really energised.

Even the guitars on the new album sound artificial…

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Some journalists don’t believe that the praise that Silent Alarm got was justified

Squarepusher or Boards Of Canada. Electronic music is much more exciting to me. It puts us in a weird position because we are a rock band with an electronic edge, but some people who buy our records only want to hear the rockier stuff, which doesn’t necessarily excite me the most. We played Jools Holland last year. I watched it on YouTube. All the comments were about the fact that I was wearing a baseball cap, slagging me off saying I was trying to look like a rapper, or something. I don’t want to make music for people who think I have to look a certain way. When I encounter stuff like that I just want to run the other way.

A lot of the lyrics on Intimacy are about failed relationships. Is it a break-up record? All the action in the songs occurs between two people. It’s about how lovers and friends and even enemies relate to each other. It’s about moments of shared vulnerability. There was a lot going on in my life towards the end of 2007. I guess when you go through heartbreak it turns the world upside down. I always maligned that type of songwriting, songs about splitting up, but when you go through it you realise that it’s such a traumatic psychic experience that it’s the only thing you want to talk about. But it isn’t a break-up record as such. It isn’t just about the end of a relationship. There are songs about being in love and falling in love. It’s not all about things falling apart.

You don’t like talking about your personal life, do you?

That was definitely the point, to make a record that sounded like it had been manipulated and distorted. It’s almost like all the humanity has been bleached out. I wanted my voice to sound like it had been fucked with. I wanted the drums to sound like they’d been put through a blender. On songs like Banquet, She’s Hearing Voices and Price Of Gas [from Silent Alarm], we were trying to rip off an electronic aesthetic. All those songs came about from me going to clubs. That’s still what we’re doing now, but whereas before I’d get Matt [Tong, Bloc Party’s drummer] to play in the style of a drum machine, now we would just use a drum machine. I didn’t want it to sound like the four of us in a room making authentic rock’n’roll music. That’s the last thing I wanted.

I’m big enough and ugly enough now to realise that if there’s something I don’t want to talk about, I don’t have to talk about it. I made a promise to myself, which is why I haven’t done much press in the UK for this record. I didn’t want to talk about something that was a personal situation between two people. I didn’t want to go into detail about it because it’s a two-sided situation. It’s not fair if you’re the other party. It wasn’t necessarily fair for me to make a record about it. That’s an opportunity that the other person doesn’t really have. That’s why I don’t want to talk in detail about what the songs are about. It isn’t fair and I haven’t.

Why did you want to bleach all the humanity out of the record?

If you write songs about your private life, people are going to ask you about it…

The idea that rock music is a more authentic mode of communication compared to electronic music is something I hate. It makes me sick that a band like The Kooks or the Arctic Monkeys are seen in higher terms than someone like

I’ve chosen not to do a lot of press. That’s how I’ve dealt with it. It’s been an effective strategy. And although it has the appearance of being personal, it’s still embellished.

April 2012 // www.eleven-magazine.com www.eleven-magazine.com

Bloc Party seem to polarise opinion. Some people love you, some hate you. Why do you think that is? I do think that as a band we do that. Some journalists don’t believe that the praise that Silent Alarm got was justified.

know. But someone’s got to do it. Someone’s got to go and make records like this.

What do you care about outside of the band?

We get criticised for things that no one else does. No other band seems to be scrutinised the way we are. I’m not sure how much I should talk about this. How do you feel that we’re perceived?

Friends, my future, the people around me, reading. My house was the first thing that I spent my pop millions on. I’d like to study again. I didn’t finish my degree. I’d like to finish that. I was doing English Literature. After that, I’ve got no idea. I’ve always liked the idea of being a teacher. I like kids — kids are awesome. But there are plenty of more records to make before all that. I feel really energised at the moment. I definitely see us making more music, whereas there have been times in the past when I haven’t been so sure. I think this is our best album. It feels like we could do anything.

That you’re too clever for your own good, perhaps?

Bloc Party’s 20-date UK tour starts in London on April 11.

What do you mean?

Maybe it’s because we do see ourselves as different. I don’t really understand it. Maybe it’s like Radiohead. They’ve never won the Mercury Prize even though they are by far the most interesting British guitar band around. It’s because they don’t come across as particularly personable. Or like Yannis Philippakis from Foals. People say he’s a bigmouth just because he’s a smart guy who can talk eloquently about what he believes in. People don’t like that. They’d rather have some crap rock band who don’t have any opinions.

Do you like confounding people’s expectations? I guess I want to prove a point that things aren’t black and white, that the boundaries aren’t set in stone, that you can like R’n’B and indie rock, electronic music and metal, that it’s completely possible to be as influenced by Nine Inch Nails and Blur or Destiny’s Child. That’s always what we’ve been about as a band. I guess growing up as a black person into alternative music already you’re on the periphery looking in. You can see how absurd this idea of genre boundaries are when you’re on the outside. Everything we’ve done has been to try and shock that musically. It’s not about being willfully perverse. Or perhaps it is. I don’t

www.eleven-magazine.com // April 2012

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ALBUM REVIEWS

KASABIAN An album uncertain of its direction, from a band making the journey very interesting. Barry Nicolson

You can laugh, but statements like that are a sizeable part of why Kasabian’s existence is wholly necessary. In an age of safe, say-nothing musos concerned with how their every word will play to the blogorati, Tom and Serge stand tall as bullish, blowhard Rock Stars, unafraid to make silly proclamations with poker-straight faces. They may occasionally be more Tufnel and St Hubbins than Jagger and Richards, but they make for an unfailingly entertaining proposition nonetheless. Calling their fourth album something so utterly ridiculous is simply an extension of that, right? Maybe. But there’s a viable metaphor there, too: in real life, velociraptors were nothing like the sleek, six-foot killing machines depicted in the Jurassic Park films. Instead, they were about the size of a small dog and covered in fabulous, brightly coloured feathers – the RuPaul of late-Cretaceous carnivores. Similarly, Kasabian have never really been the knuckledragging lad-rock Neanderthals their detractors continually dismiss them as; they’ve always been a bit more adventurous and – dare we say it – smarter than anyone cares to give them credit for. Smarter, but not exactly cerebral. Like all Kasabian albums, ‘Velociraptor!’ is at its most satisfying when the gloves come off and the outright silliness ensues. ‘Switchblade Smiles’, which squares up to the listener like a kebabqueue psychopath over glowering synths and ill-tempered ‘Immigrant Song’ drums, is a classic example of Kasabian operating at All Systems Gonzo. The title track is another: a lean cut of brutish alt-riffage of the sort infrequently dabbled in by Blur, topped with a gleeful kandy-rave chorus and Tom’s brilliantly syncopated snarl of “Veloci-veloci-rap-TUH!” The exclamation mark is earned several times over on that line alone. Generally speaking, however, the songs on ‘Velociraptor!’ are more structurally straightforward than those of its predecessor. ‘West Ryder...’ was a commercial success almost in spite of itself, but in times like these, Kasabian can ill

April 2012 // www.eleven-magazine.com

A well crafted but safe long-player

WAVES EP

VELOCIRAPTOR

When asked recently why Kasabian had chosen to name their new album ‘Velociraptor!’ (that exclamation mark really makes it, don’t you think?) guitarist and amateur palaeontologist Sergio Pizzorno gave us a wonderfully ‘Serge’ answer: “Velociraptors used to hunt in packs of four,” he reasoned. “They were the rock’n’roll band of the dinosaurs.”

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GENERAL FIASCO

Kasabian Velociraptor producer: Dan the Automator release date: 20/08/2011 band:

album name:

afford to take the piss. Ergo, ‘Let’s Roll Like We Used To’ is vintage ’60s sophisto-pop so classicist it could almost be a Last Shadow Puppets song; the neo-Kinksian ‘Man Of Simple Pleasures’ is a variation on a theme established with ‘West Ryder...’’s ‘Thick As Thieves’; even the Serge-sung ‘La Fée Verte’ (it’s pretentious for ‘The Green Fairy’), for all its talk of taking us “Down below, where insects run the show”, is basically an accomplished piece of White Album mimicry. They’re fine songs, and not unambitious in their own way, but they’re a little more orthodox than you might expect. It’s the skewed-weird production of Dan The Automator, not to mention the little filmic flourishes – gong-bashing, Arabian strings, the subtle, Morricone-esque motifs – which (presumably) come courtesy of Serge, that keeps everything just unpredictable enough. The insistent, Krautrock-y synthesiser riff (and the insistent, unintentionally hilarious ad-lib of “You got the groove!”) that underpins ‘I Hear Voices’ is terrific, while the garbled psychotic dribblings placed over the run-out of ‘Days Are Forgotten’ totally make the song. Chewing on monkey brains indeed, boys. Back in June, Tom Meighan pricelessly declared that ‘Velociraptor!’ “will change people’s lives”. It’s an admirable, characteristically old-school sentiment, but is it also too tall an order? Possibly. This is an album with much to love about it, but it falls just short of their real gamechanger, ‘West Ryder...’. There’s no shame in that, though, and as long as they’re around, Serge Pizzorno’s metaphor for velociraptors being “the rock’n’roll band of the dinosaurs” is in no danger of extending to their extinction.

unit shifter’ all over it. Rounding off the EP, ‘I Wanna Eat Her’ exhibits the worst example of the band’s occasionally questionable lyrics, but there’s the germ of an idea here that still sets them above the rest.

Following last January’s debut Buildings, Bellaghy’s own General Fiasco have been on the same page as legions of bands in the encyclopedia of rock, touring a first record to acclaim and success. But in forging ahead on a new label, it’s up to them to prove themselves all over again. Waves band: Gneral Fiasco is here to smack the doubtalbum name: Waves EP ers in the face because it producer: Neal Calderwood turns out that there’s more release date: TBA where Buildings came from.

The title track sees Owen Strathern in fine voice, and the pop sensibilities of the melody don’t detract from the clean riff that drives the whole thing. Next up, NIMA award-winning ‘The Age That You Start Losing Friends’ is no surprise to fans, but they really earn their ‘new rock school of Northern Ireland’ stripes with ‘German Roads’, a song boasting a singalong refrain with ‘radio-friendly

BAND OF SKULLS

No, this band doesn’t include Jack White. Yes, it might end up eclipsing him

BABY DARLING DOLL FACE HONEY

Band of Skulls Baby Darling Doll Face Honey producer: Ian Davenport release date: 07/04/2011 band:

album name:

Its a fairly common sentiment across the majority of opinions surrounding “Baby Darling Doll Face Honey” that had you not known prior to hearing any of the tracks on it, you’d swear it was a new White Stripes album. While I am not going to write an entire review about style plagiarism, I will quickly draw a few similarities – primarily being the bluesy male and female singing, crunchy

THE BLACK KEYS

guitar tones with almost deliberate sloppiness as well as song structure. However, I cannot get past one thing about this music, plagiarised or not: it’s really good. The opening “Light of the Morning” is immediately enjoyable, and teases the listener with what’s to come in the single track, “Death by Diamonds and Pearls”. What’s more, though they have seemingly deliberately paid homage to the great

Jack White, in a sense it is still their record. They possess their own confidence and flair which comes through in the singing, the drumming and particularly the lead lines. Band of Skulls aren’t here for one record – they’re carving out a place next to a man who for so long people have tried to imitate. None have succeeded as well as this just yet.

Flling a White Stripes-shaped hole

EL CAMINO

Kasabian’s Velociraptor comes out on the 20th of September.

The Black Keys El Camino producer: Danger Mouse release date: 06/12/2011 band:

album name:

It feels pretty strange to be typing these words, but of late The Black Keys have undoubtedly become something of a big deal. Their last album ‘Brothers’ scooped three Grammy awards (Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Performance and Best Recording Package, whatever that is) and sold over a million copies worldwide. They recently announced a second show at London’s

10,000-capacity Alexandra Palace after the first sold out in under a week. How did these jobbing blues-rockers from Akron, Ohio, suddenly get so huge? One persuasive theory is that they’ve merely inherited ‘The White Stripes’ fanbase, with Jack and Meg’s demise creating a vacuum in the world of rootsy guitar-and-drums duos that the nominally

similar Black Keys have rushed in to fill. In fact, they’ve outlasted almost all of the other bands who rose to prominence during the garage rock revival a decade ago (whither now the likes of The Datsuns and The Von Bondies?) and simply by being the last men standing in the vicinity of a vintage Fender Twin, The Black Keys have cleaned up.

www.eleven-magazine.com // April 2012

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LETTERS & EMAILS

THIS MONTH: Magazine swapsies for a Parisian reader, Kasabian likened to Simple Minds, the legacy of R.E.M. debated and TV’s Melanie Sykes KASABIAN In your online Kasabian videoTom Meighan comments that he doesn’t understand why Simple Minds were so huge in the ‘80s... ditto, I can’t see why Eleven and many others fawn over Kasabian... the’re not going to be here in five years never mind thirty years... mediocre is being kind.

Mic Doherty, via Facebook Fair dos, Mic, but is anyone still interested in what Jim Kerr’s favourite monster is?

Tom Meighan: overrated?

R.E.M. SPLIT No farewell tour, no final album, no big song and dance. Simply thank you and good night. Respect due to one of THE greatest bands ever. A parting of ways steeped i dignity which typifies a truly original and maverickband who did everything on their own terms and helped define alternative music. They may have been their best after New Adverntures in Hi Fi, but they carried their elder statesman position admirably. Michael, Peter,

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April 2012 // www.eleven-magazine.com

Mike and Bill - thank you.

JDM202, via elevenmagazine.com The news of R.E.M.’s split elicted a wealth of heartleft and passionate responses from Eleven readers, proving that for many they truly were one of the greatest acts of the last twntyfive years...

REM SPLIT I just don’t get people who slagged off R.E.M. after the news broke of their split. Look, you morons, the debt indie/alternative/ call-it-what-you-bloodywell-like owes to R.E.M. is unmeasurable. The rank alongside Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Husker Du and The Replacements as being truke mavericks of American underground music. Don’t lump them in with careerist bedwetters such as U2 or Coldplay. Their lineage and influence can be heard through Nirvana to Radiohead. Even their weakest records have more advernture than The Vaccines will ever get near. A truly one-of-a-kind and unique band.

Humperdinck, via eleven-magazine.com See?

REM SPLIT I didn’t even realise they were still making music.

Marco Guido Nelson Zanella III, via Facebook OK, not all of them were heartfelt or passionate

Letter of the Month THE BLACK KEYS? How the hell can we have the greatest act of the the last 25 years and not include The Smiths? After looking down your list, and yes there are some very good and enduring acts, it would be interesting to hear how many of the chosen 25 have been influenced by The Smiths at soe point in their career and further to this how many more of today’s acts are also influenced by the lyrics and music of Moz, Marr and co. PS: Am I the only person who thinks the Liam v Noel crap is there just to stoke interest in both bands’ sales?

P Stanforth, Barnsley

How the hell can we have the greatest act of the the last 25 years and not include The Smiths? After looking down your list, and yes there are some very good and enduring acts, it would be interesting to hear how many of the chosen 25 have been influenced by The Smiths at soe point in their career and further to this how many more of today’s acts are also influenced by the lyrics and music of Moz, Marr and co. PS: Am I the only person who thinks the Liam v Noel crap is there just to stoke interest in both bands’ sales?

P Stanforth, Barnsley While The Smiths were undoubtedly towering musical figures in the ‘80s, the fact that they only released one, final

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Josie Dixon

While The Smiths were undoubtedly towering musical figures in the ‘80s, the fact that they only released one, final

THE GREATEST ACT OF THE PAST 25 YEARS

JAMES MORRISON

album [1987’s Strangeways, Here We Come] in the 25 years of Q’s lifetime saw them miss out on a nomination. And, with regard to your last point, we couldn’t possibly comment...

25 COVERS I can’t help but feel slightly cheated that the subscribers only cover features Jay Zed [sic]. Couldn’t those of us who pay in advance have had that choice, insteawd of having to have a hip hop artist foisted on us? Any of the Foos, Florence, Chilis, Biffy, Elbow, Muse, Weller, Plan B or the Manics would be better. Even Jessie J as she is nice to look at.

Steve Nicholson, Bath As always, the subscribers-only cover is the most collectible but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. If you pop to greatmagazines.co.uk/Q25 there may be some of your favourite issues left.

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PEARL JAM OVERSEAS COVER I was in England in September (I live in Paris) and picked up a copy of the issue with Kasabian on the front, thereby avoiding the huge mark-up if you buy Eleven in France. I was passing through Gare de l’Est station yesterday when I saw a new Eleven issue, with Pearl Jam on the cover. “Great”, I thought, “perfect for the journey.” Imagine my disappointment when I discovered it was the same issue - and I’d coughed up EUR 8.30! The Kasabian cover was great - why have another? I’d appreciate it if you sent me the latest, postPearl Jam issue.

Alexander Summerfield, Paris Q’s reviews editor (and #1 Pearl Jam fan) is tryng to get his

hands on our overseas Pearl Jam cover to frame and hang in hs toilet. If you send yours in he’ll swap it for an issue that you don’t already have - sound fair?

ANTHONY KIEDIS I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the weird Terminator effect you put on Anthony Kiedis’s face or his new “cockduster” tache. He looks like B-move staple Danny Trejo. Cracking Q&A, though, Flea’s quote about the tweeting was worth the entry fee alone.

Kenny, Monmouth We had to Google Danny Trejo but, yeah, good call.

TWITTER Twitter highlights from the past month Kele Okereke @KeleOkereke

Simon Neil @SimonNeil

25th May

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Andrew Brien @AndrewBrien

I normally trust and enjoy your reviews section, but come on - giving Chairlift a measly 7/10 for ‘Something’? Wha!?!? It’s one of the greatest albums of the year. Despite it only being February. Every single track on it is a winner and they’re one of the only bands to come from New York who don’t act like complete media fuckwits all the time. Surely that alone should elevate them to a higher pop ground, no? Me personally, I’d have given it at least an eight, possibly a nine.

Hannah Edwards, Bristol I’m still shocked that you gave that abomination that is the Tribes album 9/10. Having listened to it for a week and tried to see what Mark Beaumont was on about, I have found nothing but Razor-lite dogshite.

Mark Priestly, London As a former Eleven Reviews Editor myself, these two letters

21st May

This interview with Mike Skinner makes me want to read his Streets book. Which is annoying, cos I’m a well slow reader. www.guardian.co.uk/music..

Niall Doherty @NiallDoherty

16th May

We have Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee LP on. It’s an opera, but he’s not singing in castrato. Something Damon *can’t* do? Well I never.

Matt Mason @MattMason

CHAIR LIFT

28th May

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15th May

I like Jake Gyllenhaal’s serial killer performance in The Shoes’ video. But I’d have liked it even more if it had been for 2 Shoes.

Mark Sutherland @MarkSutherland

7th May

That moment when your iPod shuffle throws up Guilty Simpson’s Footwork and you think, ‘THIS should be my entrance music on Take Me Out.’

brought back some bad memories of how you just cannot win, no matter what you do, and so have to doggedly stand your ground.

KELE OKEREKE What happened? Why have you gone solo? I’m sure you have your reasons. Your band went from indie darlings to disco darlings in the space of three albums. And it was the middle of those three that was truly the best of the lot. You’d found your sound! You know you want to get back together with the other members of Bloc Party really. Or at least I hope you do. If you had simply split up then this would not have been so bad. What’s hard to stomach is the fact that you’ve gone

solo. But instead of being more experimental and trying new things like your apparent hero Bjork did when she left The Sugarcubes, you’ve decided to go to the dark side.

Scarlett, Brighton It is true not everyone will like his new venture but give it time.. besides Bloc Party are still producing a new album for 2012 but whether it will appeal to you Scarlett could be anyone’s guess.

Kele shows his “darkside”

www.eleven-magazine.com // April 2012

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ISSUE 1

MAY 2012 ÂŁ3.50 www.eleven-magazine.com

Eleven Music Magazine  

A project I did in University