I was on the phone to lawyers and labels in New York while still living in a council flat and unable to afford the bus fare to rehearsals
Norman Blake, vocals, guitar
What was our life like back in 1991? Impoverished! But when youre young thats fine. Wed take the mattress out of my bedroom, stick it in the back of a rental van and off wed go on tour.
Bandwagonesque captures that spirit. There werent many people at the time making melodic pop records that were kind of sloppy too. The vocals arent brilliant, the playings all right its not been tidied up like a lot of records are these days. It captures young people trying to find their feet. Thats what I think people pick up on.
Our producer Don Fleming advised us to drink Jack Daniels in the studio. He said: Its good for singing, guitaring and playing the drums. Words of wisdom! He was a cheerleader for making the recording process an event rather than a dry session. Don was very encouraging musically too. He was the first person to get us working on harmonies because he said not many people were doing that at the time. We were slacker and noisier back then but Don got us hitting some really high notes as weve gotten older theyve gone out of our range.
The album opens with The Concept, which has the lyrics: She wears denim wherever she goes / Says shes gonna buy some records by the Status Quo. I liked the idea of referencing them because if you wanted to be cool you never would. I could have referenced the Moving Sidewalks instead and people would have thought: What a wanker. Ive not seen the film Young Adult, but I know that Charlize Theron sings The Concept in it. Thats pretty crazy to think she knows the song.
Wed just signed to Creation, which could be quite wild. I remember us going to the offices just to say hello to everyone and Alan [McGee, founder] was like Lets get a couple of cans of beer. The next thing you know hes on the intercom system saying OK everyone, phones off and a full scale party ensues. Bobby Gillespie came down and before you knew it the pills were flying around.
We had to play the entire album live recently. Has it stood the test of time? I suppose the best you can say as a musician is, if you dont cringe too much when you listen back to it, then youve kind of done OK.
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