down House tracks on his home studio, but in the absence of a ‘really fantastic female voice‘ never let them see the light ofday.
‘I’m just like everyone else.’ he says, of the bout of the House tracks and the pre-production programming he carried out for Love. ‘I’m inﬂuenced. I get into different fashions like anyone else. I just seem to be a bit out oftime, a bit out of step with it. Like, a long time ago, I had long hair and I was singing about peace and love and then I got short hair and everyone got long hair and started singing about peace and love.’
And he’s still singing about peace and love.
‘It’s one of the best things you can sing about, I think. Although anger’s a positive emotion.’
The anger, ifit’s not just an abused throat, comes through this time around, particularly on a guitar-heavy track like ‘Get Outta London’.
‘That’s because I‘m a bit more careless now. On the Love album, if I went in and I wasn’t singing like Anita Baker, then I’d call it a day and come in the next day. But now I just believe in banging it down.’
Was the speed at which it was recorded, the return ofguitars to centre stage, the rockiness. all a reaction to Love’s smoothness?
‘I don’t know if it was so much a reaction.’ replies Frame, ‘ but a knock-on effect with the last album. I spent a lot oftime programming, and getting into new equipment, drum machines. keyboards. And I found that when I went on tour. what I enjoyed best was that ol’ cliche of Telecaster in hand. Playing the guitar. I think it‘s a great instrument. It’s really expressive, and it’s the one that I know best.’
It's a confusing listen.
‘I’m quite confused. But I suppose the atmosphere in Britain at the moment is that you‘re supposed to be assured, single-minded and know what you want. But I still don’t know what I want.’
The diversity of Stray is at least a true reﬂection of Frame‘s tastes. It’s disturbing to hear the same names being trotted out again and again as inﬂuences, and usually they can be guessed beforehand from a promotional photograph. Unlike many of his peers. Frame’s tastes are not
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to a record that embraces Rolling Stones-style compartmentalised. Few rave about Durutti rockers. mellow Wes Montgomery tributes and ' C01umanhe Blue OIChidSs JOhnny Thunder5~ one awful duet with Mick Jones which aspires to The Byrds and Wes Montgomery and Charlie the lofty heights of. . . well. Big Audio Dynamite. Byrd. Frame’s greater breadth oftaste definitely Only time will tell ifit marks one ofAztec shows through. Camera‘s most fertile creative periods or Frame‘s ‘I just don‘t like when things are constructed folly. around a fashion. I don’t like these bands that Frame himself likes to leave dissection to the come out and wear leather jackets and plav Les critics. 'lt‘s just another piece of art.‘ he shrugs. Pauls and have Marshall stacks and all they say is. “like Van Gogh or. . . y‘know . . .John like. “We like Led Zeppelin". And then they Betjeman.‘ So I should know better than to have to find other names to fit around that. [think assume he has answers up his sleeve to some of they should just be honest. And that seems to be a the things critics want to know. Like. in all the bit ofa trend up there [Scotland]. doesn‘t it‘.’ The diversity of Stray. might something of Aztec Les Paul thing. Man, McCormick‘s must be doing Camera‘s essence have been lost? a bomb! D‘you know how much a Les Paul costs‘." ‘I don‘t know. I think it sounds good.‘ Around £600. if I‘m correct. And they‘re serious Perhaps we can work out an answer to this by guitars. Serious in the way that neitherdFrame. his going round the long way. Where was Roddy‘s friend and neighbour Edwyn Collins. nor anvone head at when he was writing the songs for this connected with Postcard could ever play in from one? . h of people withoutsendingthemselves up withan ‘I think I had a slightly more careless attitude. I exaggerated axe-hero grimace. wrote things a bit more spontaneously. Some of it I ‘I don’t think we exactlv endeared ourselves to sounds like stream-of—consciousness to me. It‘s i people in Glasgow. I think it was all too camp and not completely worked and reworked. But you i naughty. We never exactly came on stage and can never tell. I still don‘t know how to write said, “Hey, Glasgow. are you readv to rock‘.’!". I : songs. Sometimes I sit down and think. “I‘ll write 4 don‘t know if Postcard was that user-friendly. It a song. since Bullseye’s not on tonight." and you ' was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Although who had 3 just can‘t. Idon‘tthinkthere’samethod.‘ : whose tonguein whose cheek, I'm not saving.‘ 1 Either searching for a method. or just fooling The new Aztec Camera album. Stray. is out now 1 around. he spent a lot oftime post-Love laying . on WEA records. ' J
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