Fop don’t stop
Will GENE ever crawl out from under the shadow of The Smiths? They're confident that their forthcoming Albert Hall date will mark a sea- change for them. Story: Alastair Mabbott
It’s quite bemusing for Gene to find themselves in the current pop landscape. with ‘Noelrock’ and general laddishness still dominant in the areas not yet annexed by dance music. Such a brutish contrast to Gene's romantic lyricism and shameless soul—baring! Perhaps because they were saddled with a ‘Smiths soundalike’ tag from the start. Gene are working extra hard to talk their way out of being compared with other British indie guitar bands.
Their minds may always have been on higher things. But they seem to have been so reﬂect that-I
adly stung by their detractors
(‘We have had it worse.’ drummer Matt James tells me. ‘We had the backlash from day one’) that their famously foppish singer Martin Rossiter has refused to suffer comparisons with any other guitar-slingers. with the possible exception of Radiohead — and only then because Gene think that they may be able to repeat the crossover success of The Bends with their own new album. Drawn To The Deep.
As proud as he is of its predecessor. Olympian. Matt James is convinced that Drawn T0 The Deep leaves it far behind. ‘We had a bit more money this time. and we thought. “Let’s just make the album we want to make.”
‘lt’ll stand the test of time for that reason, I think.
'We sound a lot bigger live than we have done on record. After eight months of touring Olympian, we'd become a much better band and we wanted to
Gene: in at the deep end
It isn‘t a vastly commercial album full of blistering
Radio One hits. but it's a really good album full of
brilliant songs. We sound a lot bigger live than we have done on record. Alter eight months of touring Olympian. we‘d become a much better band and we wanted to reflect that.‘
'l‘hat‘s as may be. but his protestations that the band have left their Smithsy roots well behind them seem a little premature. l-le’s stunned. for instance. to hear it suggested that the track ‘Save Me l‘m Yours’ is possibly as close as Gene have ever come to capturing the spirit of Manchester‘s finest. ‘Really‘.’
'l‘hat‘s weird. because that‘s the only time we've ever
used computers to record something. I don‘t actually see that.
It‘s a very frail. honest lyric. isn‘t it‘.’ Maybe that’s what it is — the sort of thing where. if Rossiter wasn’t being horribly honest. you‘d want to slap him round the lace with a wet fish. But he is being so honest that he gets away with that lyric on there.‘
On the first day of March. they‘ll add to their CV the achievement of playing the Albert Hall. And to them it’s more than just a larger. plusher gig. They‘re pushing the boat out for this one.
‘We are actually going to be a bit pompous and get the bloody strings in. maybe even a bit of brass. though not too much. We have used strings on our records before. and I think it would be an opportunity to do that. and also an opportunity for people who diss us and write us off to realise that we are a class band. There‘s a hell of a lot more to us than the first thing that comes into people‘s heads. which is usually The Smiths. It‘ll be a chance to finally put that to rest. You know when U2 played Red Rocks? It’ll be our Red Rocks. I think.‘
Gene play Barrowland, Fri 21 Feb.
Selected pearls of wisdom from the stars.
'When people heard Hendrix, that was fresh. We're doing the same through sampling, just different little printed circuits. Using the technology, abusing the technology. It's the William Burroughs thing, that you cut up the past to form the future.’
Bono tells 0 magazine how U2’s new album Pop came together.
‘When you've got the spirit of Judas Priest running through your veins, sometimes you’ve just got to kick back and rock.’
Leigh Marklew of Terrorvision inadvertently explains why they won no awards at the NME Brat Awards.
'I’ve written songs that are simply about the celebration of another person. I can remember that's how I actually felt about that person rather than seeing it through a gauze of resentment and bitterness.’ Nick ’Laughing Boy’ Cave recalls another halcyon relationship and how it inspired his new album, The Boatman’s Call.
'I was so fucking paranoid. I carried a .38 at all times. I thought ’they' were coming to get me. Whoever "They" were.’
David Gahan of Depeche Mode details one of the many down points of heroin addiction.
’Sometimes I write something on the piano and I go "Aw shit, that sounds like a Billy Joel song" and I will change every note to keep it from sounding like a fucking Billy Joel song!
Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five let’s us know exactly who wasn't a defining influence.
’lt's just good music, well structured songs that people can relate to. We just get out there, write songs, put them out and that seems to be the key to our success. Also we won't go away, we're like Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can‘t get rid of us.’
Wet Wet Wet’s Graeme Clark divulges the secret behind sales of over seventeen million records on the day that the Wets announce a date at Celtic Park, Glasgow on Sat 6 Sep.
21 Feb—6 Mar 1997 TIEUSI’ 39