I’m Scared of Vinyl


Posted in Interviews by Catriona on December 3, 2009

Here’s an interview that I did with the Stereophonics AGES ago (i.e. October 2007). I’m trying to delete everything from my old laptop, and thought I’d rescue this one from the dreaded Recycling Bin…

Death, Will and Wardrobes

The Stereophonics get serious…

It is a grey October afternoon and the Stereophonics are sitting in a hotel room. The Welsh trio have just released their new album Pull the Pin, after taking a bit of a break for the last two years. The Stereophonics are no strangers to Ireland as they have frequently played here over the eight intensive years between 1997 and 2005, which saw them release five albums, score twenty Top 20 hits, rack up multimillion sales and tour the world. Kelly Jones said that “headlining Slane Castle was probably the biggest and the best, most ridiculous gig of all time, although I quite like playing in bars like Whelans, and shit like that, small places”

Their new album was recorded in only ten days, quite an achievement when you consider that the band have no regular rehearsal times. Kelly Jones, the singer, says “It’s quite hard to rehearse when you’re in a band. You’re always doing gigs and always travelling round and you really only have time to rehearse just before a show. The songs are written on the road or written at home and they’re inspired by where I’m at or what I’m going through in my life. Nine times out of ten it’s about something I’ve experienced first hand.” The bassist, Richard Jones adds, “It’s an immense amount of time hanging about doing nothing, really, being in a band.” Kelly agrees: “You have a lot of time to think… sitting on a plane…sitting in a hotel room”

It is at this point that the interview begins to disintegrate. All three band members have now veered into a level of surreal conversation, presumably occasioned by too much time sitting in yet another hotel room. The surroundings are a bit depressing actually. Richard looks around appraisingly. “I think it’s the dark wood” he comments. Javier Weyler, the drummer, begins on the difficulties of spending so much time away from home “it’s the stuff you miss, your wardrobe, your own bed”. Richard sits up. “Do you have a wardrobe?” he asks Javier. “Yeah” he replies, nonchalantly. “I built mine” he adds, with the air of one presenting a winning hand at cards. “Do you want to build one for me?” asks Kelly. “I’ve just got a slidey door with a rail behind it” he adds glumly.

When I mention that I prefer to just throw my clothes on the floor, Richard looks slightly shocked and promptly starts talking about ironing. “I never seem to iron anything. I’ve got a big pile of clothes in the washroom and I never iron them.” Kelly Jones asks me whether I iron bedsheets.

“No” I reply, slightly bemused.

“That’s what I said” he replies. “My mother came round my house the other day and she brought me an ironing board and an iron, just for the craic (“My mum did that” interjects Javier) and I came back in and my mother was ironing my bedsheets and I was like ‘What the fuck are you doing?’. Then, when I saw them on the bed after she did them they actually looked pretty good.”

“I can’t iron” announces Richard. “When you get a crease and you can’t get round it, it’s like..(energetically mimes ironing creased clothing) ‘you bastard THING!’, so I just leave it to my maid.” They all smirk, knowingly. “It’s called his wife.” Kelly Jones tells me.

The interview has, by now, descended into the realms of the ridiculous. It progresses into a heated debate as to what celebrities the Stereophonics want to see. “I’m working my way around” says Kelly. “Ideally we’ll see them before they’re dead” says Richard. “Yeah” agrees Javier. “Well we have seen a few after the date. We went to Elvis’s house” says Kelly. “He was dead” interjects Richard, helpfully. “Jim Morrisson. He was dead too. Oscar Wilde. Dead…. Marx’s grave… Lenin…Lennon….”

When asked whether they get any particular kick at of looking at gravestones, Kelly replies “Yeah. Some are lovely.” He then asks Richard what will be engraved on his gravestone. “I’m not having one” he replies. “No fucking room. My ashes are going to be put into petrol and then distributed over a couple of vehicles and just blown up into wherever” I tell him that he’s not being very environmentally friendly. “He likes his cars” says Javier. “Anyway, I’m dead now, why would I fucking care?” asks Richard. “I don’t want to get buried” volunteers Javier. “Good job, or the worms will have you” Kelly Jones dourly replies.

“I want to have a Tibetan burial” announces Richard, changing his former plan. “which is basically when you get taken up to the top of a mountain, get chopped up into pieces, then fed to the birds” “Fuck that” says Javier, indignantly. “Yeah. What the fuck is that all about?” rejoins Kelly, before announcing that he has recently made a will. I tell him that that’s not very rock and roll. “No, trust me, it is, otherwise it all goes to the government…. There’s not a lot of rock and roll that goes on in rock and roll” Kelly tells me, in a jaded manner. This is contradicted, immediately, by Richard “there’s a lot of rock ‘n’roll going on in rock ‘n’ roll- that’s why you die, and the reality is that you have to leave a will behind so that some fucking bastard in a suit doesn’t take your house.” Wise words indeed.

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