Interviews | Oct 7th, 2008

Stereophonics @ Irving Plaza, NYC (10)

Stereophonics just played the U.S for a short tour. They are about to release a Best-Of album “Decade in the Sun: Best of Stereophonics” in November. recently sent the band a few questions and Javier was nice enough to respond.

Decade in the Sun: Best of Stereophonics is coming out in November. How did the selection process go? Was it more difficult to pick out songs than you thought?

It was difficult because there is a limit to how much music you can put on one album. Having six albums, there was a lot to choose from! So, we ended up doing a 20 song version single disc and a 40 song deluxe, double album that contains extra songs and B-sides that haven’t been available before. We also included 2 brand new songs, as this Best Of is more of a celebration for us than anything else. We want to show our fans that we’re moving forward. I think the running order was more challenging because our records are very different from each other, but somehow the albums have the feel of being at one of our gigs.

The band recently toured the States for a brief tour. How do you think it went? When can we expect you back?
The tour went really well. All the shows were sold out and the crowds were really up for it. The band is at a great place at the moment, enjoying everything we do. It’s been a long time since we were in America and going back to finish our world tour there was really good. Hopefully this Best Of UK tour we are doing in December is going to extend to other territories, including America. We’re not gonna be away for too long this time!

Do you think there is a reason why the band hasnt “broken into America” so to speak like you have in the rest of the world? Is that part of the reason why ‘Pull the Pin’ was released a year later than the rest of Europe?
I think every band outside America wants the answer to that! But I stopped thinking about it. As long as you put in the work and effort, your conscience is clear. I think is a question of timing and money. We didn’t have a record label in the US at the time that Pull The Pin was released, as our former company, V2 records, was bought by Universal. Unfortunately for us, all of this happened when we released that record, and the attention got a bit diluted. Now, however, things are very different. We have a new record company (Mercury Records) behind us, and the support UK and internationally has been great. Only time will tell.

As a big fan of the last two records, do you feel that is the main direction Stereophonics is headed or do you like to experiment with a different sound each record and try to add new elements?
We always try to move forward. Every record differs from one another. We like to keep ourselves excited about what we do. Keep challenging ourselves all the time to keep growing as musicians. We are very versatile and we can play different styles. A traveling jukebox!

Is the United Kingdom interested in what is happening here in the United States as far as politics go? What is the general impression of who should win our election over there? Since you guys were just here, what bothers you the most about the country? What needs to change?
Yeah, the UK and the rest of the world is very interested and should be…being one of the most important economies in the world…whatever happens has an impact everywhere else. I don’t really do politics, so I leave that up to who really knows about it, but I really wish for the US a big change of direction in their politics and they way they see and understand the rest of the world. There is a big world out there…and the US is only a small part of it. There are really good things everywhere, regardless of their religion, believes or economical power.

What are some of your favorite places to play? What is the main difference between the U.K. and U.S. at your shows?
One of my favorite places to play is Glasgow in Scotland, because it has one of the best crowds in the world. They are just so loud, genuine and drunk! haha. The shows in the US are great too. To be quite honest, it depends more in what night of the week you’re playing. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are always good! We’ve played in NY one of the best shows we have ever played. There was something in the airhaha!

Is it a prerequisite to wear a leather coat in the band? How do you NOT sweat your asses off on stage in those things?!
You know what? I ask that question all the time to the rest of the boys in the bandthose jackets must be stinking! Hahagood thing I’m the drummer and I can get away with just playing bollocks naked! haha. Well…if you look good in leatheryou better wear it! And we wear it well!

How did the band come about recording the theme tune for “Long Way Round,” and “Long Way Down.” Was it something that was collaborated with Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, or was it just created on your own and then brought to them for the series?
That’s the first time we got asked to write a song for a program or concept that already existed. Ewan kept in touch with Kelly quite a lot while they were traveling and filming the “Long Way Round”. Somehow, we ended up being part of their soundtrack during their journey and then the idea of us getting involved was born. We were at the studio at the time, so we cut that track at the beginning of the sessions of LSVO.

Are there any plans to take some of Kelly’s songs from “Only the Names Have Been Changed” and adapt them as a band and use for a future record, particularly ‘Jayne?’
We did that, but the other way around. We played Jayne during the LSVO tour in 2005 and included it in the ‘Live From Dakota” album. Somehow, that song never made it to LSVO and then Kelly did a different version that fitted perfectly with the rest of the concept he was doing for his solo album. I think those songs belong to each other in a different place and is great that Kel put them out there in a different way rather than through the band, as maybe they will never see the light otherwise.

Besides the Best-Of album coming out shortly, are there any future plans to record new music? If so, when can we expect that?
Yeah, we already have a bunch of new songs we’ve been working on. The ‘Best Of’ is coming out in November but we are already thinking to start recording a new studio album next year and bring it out around our Fall next year.

What are you going to be for Halloween?
Dracula! A blood sucking classic! You get to put lots of hair gel and smell all the chicks necks!

Thanks for the interview, any final comments?
Thank you. Looking forward to go back to America soon and doing more shows. Ta!


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