RG : 'Pygmalion' came out in '95. We did actually did loads of rehearsing because there was a tour set up, or in the process of being set up. Creation, however, pulled the plug and dropped us, so we didn't tour. They wouldn't fund the tour. I think that was about February of that year.

There was a year's gap by that stage since we had finished recording 'Pygmalion'. Neil (Halstead-Ed) had been writing stuff in the mean time and that made up the majority of the first Mojave 3 album, 'Ask Me Tomorrow', so I always say to all those hardcore Slowdive fanatics that you could say in a way that the first Mojave album is really the fourth slowdive album.

We just changed name. Neither Nick (Chaplin-Slowdive bassist-Ed) and Christian (Savill-Slowdive guitarist) had been interested for a long, long time. After we got dropped, we hadn't heard off them for months, and then Christian phoned up and said 'What we doing now then ?'and we were like 'Me and Neil are going to carry on, but where have you been for the last 2 years ?'

Why the fuck should we have been that nice about it ? We had a deal with EMI publishing by that stage. I came up to London, and did the vocals for 'Love Song' in Neil's kitchen. We did some of it at his house and we used a studio that EMI had for free. We then sent it to Ivo (4AD boss), and it was only six weeks from when we were dropped by Creation until we were picked up by 4AD, which was great. We just sent out the demo to Ivo and he loved it and that was it.

It was kind of weird going into 4AD for the first time, because we had this whole history with Slowdive. Our first meeting at 4AD was weird, because Ivo wasn't there as he lives in L.A. and we were still at that stage Slowdive,

PB : At that time though they still had the Cocteau Twins, who came from a similar place to Slowdive, didn't they ?

RG. Yeah, just about, I think. That was towards the end of their time there ,and they had the Red House Painters. They left too though. All the great bands had left or left soon after we joined. It was great though. It was really nice to have someone who respected and who really loved what we were doing.

They didn't care about the name. We were like 'Shall we keep the name, or shall we change it?'. We eventually decided to change it because there were different people involved.

PB : And it was different in sound.

RG : Yeah, we wanted the album to be given a chance, because Slowdive were on it and we didn't want it to be judged by just how it sounded in comparision to our previous albums.

PB . That's true. You kept the nucleus of Slowdive with both you and Neil still involved, but did you lose a lot of fans as a result of changing the name or were fans instead, because they knew your names, keen to check you out.

RG : I don't know. I have no idea.

PB : The way I discovered Mojave 3 was through a Mark Radcliffe Radio 1 session and then a few weeks later I saw you play with Tarnation. Did it feel weird and like you were being demoted when Mojave 3 started up ?

RG : (Laughs) I knew you were going to ask me that.

PB : You played the guitar in Slowdive and then in Mojave 3 you were suddenly on this four-stringed thing.

RG : Yeah, it did(laughs), but we needed somebody to play the bass. The music had changed so much and had become very acoustic. Simon (Rowe-Ed)came in, and did some bits and pieces and, hands up, he is a far better guitar player then I will ever be, so I was left to bass which I picked up grudgingly.

PB : I saw Neil play bass the other month, supporting the American Music Club in Brighton (Most of Mojave 3 backed Jason Routledge, the new signing to Neil Halstead's new label Shady Lane Records-Ed). You weren't involved with that?

RG : No. It was my bass though.

PB : Was it? I could see that Neil wasn't into playing bass and I was like that will teach you.

RG : (Laughs). It is a funny thing. Mark Kozelek from the Red House Painters, when he did that 'Almost Famous' film, said that he now knew what it felt like to be a bass player, and thought that it was an easy job. And I was thinking 'Your ego's too big to be a bass player'. He would never be happy doing just that.

I don't really see myself as a bass player. I just do this really simple stuff, you know.

PB : Before the solo album you didn't write much, did you ?

RG : Not really. No

PB : You sung 'Winter Hill' on the Cuba album (Rachel's ex-husband's band-Ed). Did you write that or was that a case of 'Here's a song. Can you sing on it please?'

RG : Basically, yeah.

PB : Then you wrote a song for 'Excuses for Travellers', Mojave 3's third album.

RG . Yeah, I was suprised it got on there.

PB : I did wonder at the time if you were all fighting to get a song in on it, because Ian McCutcheon, the drummer, started writing songs as well. (Ian now has a country outfit called Loose Salute, as well as Mojave 3-Ed). Was it like 'Let's all get some royalties . Neil's getting too much. Let's get some of his.'

RG : No, that wasn't it (Laughs). For me, its just about singing. Neil, as he gets older, he gets more set in his ways. He wants to sing his own lyrics, and that's the reason why I dont do it . It's got to the point now where I say to him 'What do you want me to do?' and I do it, and quite often, I will say 'This harmony would be nice' and it kind of goes......

PB : Over his head, out of one ear.....

RG : It is really about what he wants. They are his songs, so I can understand.

PB : Fair enough. we always have Mojave 3 live to hear you.

RG : Thats the bloody irony of of it all, I have to do them live anyhow.

PB : I don't think Neil appreciates that half or more of the audience comes to see you and not him anyhow.

RG : I think, he probably knows that. and I think it probably frustrates him. We dont really talk about it, but, yeah, I think so.

PB : I played the Slowdive tribute album, the other day. I would imagine that you have heard it.

RG : Yeah, once, yes.

PB : I thought it was better than I expected it to be.

RG : Some of it is really good.

PB : How did you feel hearing your parts?

RG : It was weird. It made me feel really old. I kept thinking I'm not dead yet. Why is someone doing a tribute album? It's kind of weird. It's flattering. Some of it I really liked. Some of it I am not so sure about. Some of the lyrics are quite funny as well. Some of them are way off.

PB : Were the lyrics ever published ?

RG : No, we never had them published anywhere.

PB : I heard a rumour that Sanctuary were going to put out a double album of Slowdive material. Is that still happening?

RG : Yeah, we are actually working on that with them now.

PB : Is that going to be stuff that's been out before?

RG : Yeah, basically (laughs), but it's stuff that is now only available on the internet and it's only being released in Europe because they don't have the rights for it in America.

We did talk about releasing 'Pygamalion' because it never got released domestically in America, and I think contractively we could do it because Creation didn't stick to the contract. They were meant to release it within six months of it coming out in the UK, and they never did, so I think we can do it ourselves. It is nice to have that.

With regard to the Sanctuary thing, they have been really nice to us. Joe Foster who used to work at Creation got in touch, and since then we have been exchanging a lot of e-mails, trying to work out the track listing. Sanctuary have asked him because they now have all the rights to the Creation stuff. They have just mastered Hurricane Number 1, (Andy Bell from Ride's second band-Ed), and the Boo Radleys, so they are chunking them all out. They seem really nice,
and they are keen to make the point that they are not Sony and they want our input.

PB : Is there any chance of lost Slowdive stuff coming out ? Theres is a film soundtrack, isn't there?

RG. There is. 'I am the Elephant and You are the Mouse'.

PB : Which is out there on bootleg cdr.

RG : There's some great bits of music on there. I dont know. The ball's in Neils court. We have touched on the subject many times, but ultimately they are his songs and it's his decision. I really think a big part of it is he doesn't want to go back into that because it was a long time ago.

PB : It's the past.

RG : Exactly, why do we have to go over old ground ?

PB : There is a long lost second album as well, isn't there ?

RG :Is there?

PB : Yes, what I have heard is the original second album was scrapped.

R : Was it ? (Laughs) There were a few songs that didn't make it in there. McGee called us in and said 'I see you got no songs. They're all shit ?' And so we had to scrap a load, which was great really actually because what came out was better. It was a shock at the time. It was like being summoned by our lord and master.

PB : The other thing that slipped past me was the Zephyrs.

RG : Yeah.

PB : How did you become involved with that. They sound like the Red House Painters, don't they ?

RG : That came about through Michael Brennan, who produced the Zephyrs album. Michael is the son of Mick Brennan. The legendary Brennans, Mick and Michael, were our first front of house manager and monitor engineer. They were our crew with Slowdive. They are lovely. They are Scottish. Michael Jr's done a lot for the Super Furry Animals. He got in touch with me and phoned and said 'Would you like to do some vocals ? I've got this band I'm working with and I think your voice would be great', and so I said alright. They came down and we did it in my house.

PB : And that was one track on their first album ?

RG : Yeah.


The third and final part of this interview will be published next month















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