Q: The new album was recorded
in Hollywood, its not very Gene-like is it?
A: I always thought we had an ounce of glamour, not much though, and Kev's pumped full of silicone so it seemed remarkably appropriate. Its funny because your not the first person whose said that but I see know reason why it shouldn't be. Its funny being perceived as being very English which is funny being Welsh, its weird for the family back in Cardiff.
We've always done Ok in America, the stories of the Manics & Travis taking over America are always widely exaggerated. But in Los Angeles we've always had a fairly large following - we haven't been there since 1997 so to see some new faces and a lot of the old faces it was very heartening. It means the records have lasted, those songs are still on people's stereo's and hopefully in their hearts somewhere.
I think Americans get a terribly bad rep and I think its the horrible acceptable face of British Xenophobia, anti Americanism. I think America as a country generally has a lot to offer and I wouldn't say they're that not known for their culture.
There are plans to release a DVD / Video but obviously
that takes a lot longer to put together than a CD.
Q: One of the new songs "Rising
For Sunset" is about Ibiza, tell more?
A: It about wanting to go to Ibiza, its me saying I wish I'd had the courage to do something like that when I was 20 and gone about been silly, taken lots of drugs and shagged anyone I saw. I was unfortunately not that person, one would hope its the other side of the Vengaboys track.
Q: The other new track "Somewhere
In The World" tell us about it?
A: Its a song for lonely people, in this very cynical age that almost seems to be returning to the 80's philosophically where people are praised for being canny and business aware and starting to talk about there records as projects and how they see themselves as a brand name in the market. I think its important that somebody stands up and writes songs for the people that have been left behind
Its one of those rare songs that took about 15 minutes
to write. It was just Kev & I, we were on time for rehearsal and Steve
and Matt are notorious for being half an hour late. I had some chords and
Kev had some, we just put them together and it came together naturally.
Q: What are the other new songs
A: Well "Rising For Sunset" has a dancey feel to it at the beginning, shocking isn't it - here we are 12 years too late. We've written 19 / 20 songs for the new record and what we've tried to do consciously is narrowing the parameters really. On every album there's always been quite a range of styles, almost a song for every member of the family and we've tried to be a little more strict in our song writing. In essence to make the first Gene album which is more than a collection of songs.
I'm very proud of what we've done but it just seems like a challenge to co-ordinate the style, the albums a lot darker record and hopefully a bit more evocative. I don't want to desert the old Gene sound because personally that's what I quite like about us as a fan of the band as much as anything else. I don't want to desert what makes us good because I think that would be foolish and in the end that would rather self defeating.
Q: How have you changed over
the years as people?
A: Well apparently I've butched it up from the beginning, its amazing what a haircut can do. There rumours of me and Steve fighting in the early days but I've never had a fight with him in my life. There have been fights that is something I will admit, but none of them have been involving me & Steve.
We're a little gang again, we've been together nine years
and there are very few bands that can survive that time at least with the
same line up or write songs that make my jaded ears quite excited. There
is a dynamic in the band and a combined age were 36 years older than when
we first started and if in those four 9yr sentences then we haven't grown
up a bit then there's something seriously wrong with us.
Q: How do you feel about the
press' reactions to you?
A: In away its very easy to be bitter but we've had a lot of hit records and are able to earn a wage from it and I'm still excited to be in a groups. At times the press have helped and at other times they haven't - we do have a lot of fans in the press as well as enemies and I think people are viewing us as survivors really more than anything else. If were still annoying them then god bless them, long may that continue.
I think we should have had more commercial success but I think that of every record I love, I'm wise enough and philosophical enough to realize sometimes that doesn't happen, whether that be us or the Redskins
I find Posh and Becks strangely attractive but my head
tell me that the sort of society that they embody very frightening really,
its very indicative of a general shallow malaise that's spread over this
country. What a surprise she's all over the papers this week with a single
out soon, nothing to do with the publicity machine at all.
Q: Who else are you a fan of
at the moment?
A: I love Daphne & Celeste, I think those two single are fantastic. The nerve of it is absolutely enthralling. Eminem is a cheeky young scrap who's making a career of rubbing people up the wrong way and I'm sure he isn't the devil he makes himself out to be.
I quite like Muse - there very good. I think Kylie's single
is very disappointing, its a very disappointing tune - nothing on the early
SAW tunes and I shall tell her. Steps have also gone downhill from the
first album which is a great shame but I have a soft spot for both artistes.
Q: When are we going to see a
return of Gene to the UK?
A: We'll record a new album and well tour it and do the things we do. We've been without a record contract for over a year and you find it quite difficult to function without that sort of backing. The wind actually seems to have changed direction and we actually are finding its blowing the same way were walking in which hasn't really happened since about 1994. We will return though with Quo and Sound of the 70's. My educated guess for the album would be Spring next year.
Were really not ignoring Britain. We did the 3 shows in
LA simply to record the album there and the shows in New York are being
done to maintain a certain momentum because were receiving a lot of interest
from labels out there. It would be foolish not to go back but were not
ignoring the Uk anymore than were ignoring Uganda or Switzerland.
Rising For Sunset - Out Now in all good record shops
Video / DVD due later in the year