Apart from the Clinton side project its been pretty quiet on the Cornershop front for some time. Next week they return with the single "Lessons Learner From Rocky 1 to Rocky 3" which features none other than ex-Oasis bass player Guigsy. The Oasis connection does not end there as the mammoth 14 minute "Spectral Mornings" features none other than Noel Gallagher. We caught up with Ben to find out how the 24 hour remix went, get all the latest news on the "Handcream For A Generation" album and find out the truth surrounding some ridiculous but true rumours surrounding the band.
Q: Last week you did the 24 hour remix of "Spectral Mornings". Its stretching the idea of a remix to its limit. How did it all go?
A: It started on 7 o'clock on the Tuesday evening to 7 o'clock before we went on-stage at the Scala. We weren't there all the time, but we were there for a while and also were tuning in at home as well. A lot of the mechanics of it were sorted out up front. There was a lot of variation and we tried to incorporate as much of the recording we'd done for the album version...plus some. We added a lot of samples and things in there as well. It was more a mix than a remix really.
Q: I believe you're running a competition to win a 2 CD MP3 version of the whole 24 hours on your website. Are there any plans to release it commercially?
A: I heard about that a couple of days ago so I'm not exactly sure about what's happening there. We had a rough plan to make some MP3 CD's because it would fit across two CD's and it would be great to have a 2CD pack with 24 hrs of music on. As to whether we'll do it as a promo or a proper release I don't know.
As to whether anyone could actually site down and listen to it for 24 hrs I don't know. I think you'd end up hospitalized listening to one song for that long...even though it does change!!!
Q: The single "Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III" is almost classic rock. I don't know what I expected from the next Cornershop single, but it didn't sound as I expected it would. Did you intend to surprise people?
A: We tried to incorporate a lot of what we love. Old rock and bands like Steppenwolf and the Faces, because those are amongst our favourite rock bands and we wouldn't really want to put any Marilyn Manson in the mix!!! At the same time it has got a more up to date feel than just being a direct copy of those bands. I think Guigsy's bass playing on that is great. It just occurred to us that he was the ideal person to play bass on it really. He also helped us to get in contact with Jak and Kojak who did the vocals on "Motion The 11".
We didn't want to do what was expected. It the entire reason we released a small number of 7's of "Motion The 11"...the reggae track. We were keen to do a low-key promo because that's what we did before "Born For The 7th Time". Its an interesting time to put out something that throws them off the wrong course.
Q: Its always quite hard to pin down a Cornershop album. But was there an idea you wanted to get across which you hadn't on previous albums?
A: I think we just wanted to make it bigger and better in terms of sound. Our intention with "7th Time" was for every song to be a potential single and we wanted it as strong as possible therefore...I guess with this one I suppose it was similar. Its strange that lots of the songs have gone of in different directions because that wasn't planned.
We've been listening to a hell of a lot of reggae over the past couple of years and I think that has definitely had an influence because on this album we've got proper bass playing on. Probably for the first time on a Cornershop album because one of the things we were deliberately using so we didn't sound like other band was to not have bass on. But now we have and I think the timing it right, the way we led up to it. We've got the Cornershop sound with the bass to fatten it up now.
Q: The "Spectral Mornings" track which was the track used in the 24 hr remix and also features Noel Gallagher. When you think of a 14 minute track you wouldn't necessarily think of Noel - maybe Johnny Marr or Bernard Butler - but not Noel Gallagher. Would you agree?
A: Its funny because when we toured with them in America in the Spring of 98, Noel said that he would love to do something in the future with us because he'd been coming on stage playing bass. So when we doing Spectral Mornings and it turned into quite a long track it needed filling out a bit with psychedelic guitar and he seemed like the obvious choice.
We'd met Johnny Marr before but we don't really know him. We thought that this would be an ideal time that if Noel wanted to do something he could. It was great because he came down for about 3 hours doing track after track of guitar and he must have done about 10 tracks of guitars. Then we just all went to pub and it was done.
Q: So how are things panning out over the next few months. Are you heading out for a UK Tour?
A: Were only playing a few dates in England as part of a European tour in late April. Then we head over to America in May. Our first show for 3 and a half years was at a really weird European Indoor Festival in Antwerp and at the same time we were on they had a german metal band.
Q: We have heard a strange rumour about your American label and the Norman Cook remix of "Brimful of Asher". Would you like to elaborate?
A: In Europe and America they do know us a bit more for the albums over the years. The mix was sent over to them just to listen to....I won't mention any names because it will be a bit embarrassing for them. But basically there was a suggestion that it should be slowed down, which I thought was hysterical!!!
It was some associated people from the record company but it just goes to show the mis-understanding that people can have over there especially with new stuff from England. I wonder how the garage stuff is going down over there.
Q: Finally, its mentioned on about five separate tracks. What is this whole "Motion The 11" phrase about?
A: Its just a dance. Its suggesting that you could make a dance at airports when people put their lollipops up to motion the plane backwards and forwards. It Tjinder's lyric but he did it to tie in with a lyric from the Clinton album about doing the aeroplane wheel....which is where you put your feet together and you move one to the side at a right angle and then move it back to the centre.
I think its a nod back to the 60s where they had a whole series of dances like The Chicken and it stems from that. We'll have to have dance routine if we release it as a single.
"Lessons ......." is out 4th March
"Handcream For A Generation" follows on April 1st
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