More Reservoir Dogs than Snoop Doggy Dogg, FUN LOVIN' CRIMINALS like to live out their own pulp fictions. Just don't ask them to rat on their friends. Words: Alastair Mabbott
S()Ml£Wl*ll£RE. DEEP IN- the London. l-luey — the sharp. streetwise singer and guitarist ol' Fun Lovin’ Criminals — is mixing up a cocktail. He has slammed generous amounts ol’ Bacardi Spice. Bols Gold Strike and Jagermeister llerb Liqueur into a pint glass with ice and distributed it into shot-sized glasses for the l‘ew brave journalists who want to try his new creation. A rough and ready little brew. in small doses it‘s qual'l'able stul’l'. althouin the unconscious irony of a cocktail called "l‘he Huey‘ largely goes unnoticed outside the Scottish contingent.
Hip and well—dressed they may be. but don't get suckered 'into thinking that FLC — lluey. Steve and last — are gangstas. They insist ‘that they're artists. lilm bulls who could be better compared with Scorsese than Tupae or Snoop. Like the celebrated director. they grew tip in areas where organised crime was part of the fabric of life. though it‘s hard to get them to provide much detail thanks to their early conditioning never to rat on their friends. What is known is that lluey‘s briel' walk on the wild side ended with a judge giving him the choice ol‘ prison or the Marines. He picked the latter. but he doesn't like talking about that part of his life too much either.
With that kind ol‘ background. Fun Lovin‘ Criminals shouldn't be able to find much common ground on which to meet the British.
But they seem genuinely touched that they‘ve sold so many records here.
"l‘he only reason I can attribute it to,‘ says lluey. ‘is that there’s an underlying attitude in
Britain where people laugh in the lace ol‘
adversity. You don‘t let shit get to you. When those l’reakin‘ Nazis were droppin‘ bombs on you. you were just doing your thing. There‘s a lot of weird shit that we went through and what got us through that was the l‘act that we could laugh at it and put it in perspective. You
’We thought we were alone in the world. Literally. We would do shows in New York City and people would throw beer over us 'cause we didn't fit into what they were expecting.’
guys know bullshit when you smell it. right‘.’
The United States doesn‘t; they‘re out to sell
Coke and Pepsi. We thought we were alone in the world. Literally. We would do shows in New York City and people would throw beer over us 'cause we didn‘t fit into what they were expecting. It‘s really kind ol’ scarey. I fought l‘or that country. y"know'.’ It's a downer. bro. I’m not gonna lie to you.‘
In what transpires to be less a grilling than a delicate poaching by the assembled hacks. it is established that they think Dick (‘avett should be Van llalcn‘s next singer and that the l-lanna—Barbera character Huey identil'ies with most strongly is Yogi Bear. liventually. the
FUN lOVIN’ CRIMINALS
roving microphone reaches The List. Steve. we ask. you said once that Fun Lovin‘ Criminals use crime as a metaphor. Could you say for what. exactly‘.’
‘I think we use crime as a metaphor for pretty much everything we do.‘ drawls the drummer. "l‘he lyrics that we have. they're not meant to be taken too seriously. It's like il‘ you watch a movie. Pulp [ﬁction or any of those movies. you‘re not going to go alter the director and think he must be a gangster. He‘s
just relaying to you that lil'e. and that life is
interesting because it‘s an underground thing. you don‘t hear a lot about it. and anything like that you‘re going to ﬁnd interesting. 'l‘hat's kind of the way that we use it in the lyrics. We’re not gangsters but we ﬁnd that society very interesting. We ﬁnd it interesting in the way it works. the way it’s built around the family and the way it‘s built around respect.‘
‘lt‘s kinda like this.’ butts in lluey. ‘We come from this area. we come l‘rom this neighborhtmd. this lil‘e. this upbringing. and you see a lot ol‘ things. And you notice certain things about the way things work. and certain things are very interesting. and you try to tell stories about ‘cm. incorporating ‘em into stul'l’. 'l‘here are totiin guys all over the l'uckin' world. You can go to Belgium and find some big-necked guy who thinks he‘s the tough guy on the block. Big l'uckin' deal. But the thing is. when it becomes parochialised. You learn to appreciate dil‘l‘erent styles.‘ lle slips into the Kung l-‘u ‘glasshoppali‘ voice. ‘Bccause to know all styles makes you a mastah!‘
liyebrows raised. lluey gazes across the room to gauge the cl’l‘ect ol his ancient wisdom on the ladies and gentlemen ol' the press. It‘s done the trick. We are not shaken. But we are stirred.
Fun Lovin' Criminals play The Barrowland, Glasgow on Fri 28 Mar.
Kings of New York: make way for Fun Lovin' Criminal
21 Mar - 3Apr 1997THE LIST13