We caught up with ex-Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley as he prepares to release his second solo album "Soulfire". Following on from the acoustic based album "Keep Britain Untidy", it features guest spots from the likes of Jimmy Goodwin from Doves, one-time Primal Scream member Denise Johnson as well as members of legendary Manchester band ACR. Never one to shy away from the live arena you'll be able to catch Tom at a venue near you over the next few months so keep checking back at his website for more details as they are announced. Read our full interview below:
Q: "Soulfire" has been in the making for the past few years hasn't it. Why so long?
A: Not all of it...only about 80% of it!!! Its stuff I've recorded over the past six years. I didn't have a record label before and now I run my own New Memorabilia and until I put my last record out last year I didn't have any way forward.
I don't know about Major deals and I'll probably get into trouble for everything I say today. I've heard so many stories about The Burn who just signed with Hut...they're spending £60,000 on demoing with John Leckie. If having a record deals means giving you a license to spend money then I don't want stuff like that...its your own money at the end of the day.
With the Inspiral Carpets, everything we did got released bar about 3 recording sessions. We did a session with Ed Bueller and it was fucking hopeless. He'd turn up at the studio at 6 o'clock at night, stay an hour and then go home because his wife was pregnant. He got paid about £12,000 for that. Ed Buellers a great producer but he was fucking hopeless with us.
Q: So what's the best part about having you're own label then?
A: The beauty about my label is its only available in the UK apart from over the internet and I've got some people going over to MIDEM next week to get the album licensed over Europe. In that sense I may not have a lot of money but it gives you a lot more freedom.
If you're not in the age group its not that easy to get a deal. Last night on the Jo Whiley program they had Hoggboy on and I was trying to work out what they would have sounded like a year ago. I'm really into the Strokes, but I'm not really into the Strokes lite. So if you want to get a deal that's probably the way to go, but I'm not into getting music like that.
People said about the Inspiral Carpets that we were part of the scene. The haircuts the band used to have were flying in the face...it wasn't fashion...it was anti-fashion.
Q: Who makes up the new line-up of The Lovers then?
A: I play guitar a bit, but mostly sing. Kelly plays Keyboards. Steve Hanley who was in the Fall plays bass. And Paul Hanley who was also in the Fall plays drums. Jason Brown finishes it off on guitar.
Q: Its a bit of a Manchester supergroup line up on the album though isn't it?
A: Its just all the stuff I did over six years. A lot of the songs I wrote were wrote when I was with the Inspiral Carpets but never got recorded, as was the case with "Keep Britain Untidy". "Transparent" has got one of the drummers from Primal Scream on it, Brian O Shaunessy, who produced the first two EP's by My Bloody Valentine.
Jimmy Goodwin from Doves plays bass on one track. Denise Johnson does vocals on "Inertia". Martin from the Inspiral's is on the "Got Your Love" as is Don Johnson of ACR. Jerry from Lotus Eaters is on a lot of the tracks as I co-wrote most of the album with him.
Q: So what contemporary bands are setting your Soul on Fire?
A: My brother Martin, who is even older than I am, was playing System Of A Down and I thought they were quite funny. They're telling 16 year old kids that the American Government orchestrates the drugs trade around the world, which it does, and it orchestrates the Arms trade around the world, which it does. I think its quite a good that a band are telling twelve year old kids that...I think its quite healthy.
But overall I prefer the more New Wavey bands because that's where I came in. That's when I started playing music.
The single "Happiness" is out 25th Feb on FF Vinyl
"Soulfire" is out now on New Memorabilia
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