Talking shite with the stars of the rock world.
’We played a county fair. You could smell shit from the stage. Our dressing-room was next to a pig- pen. You could see calves being born and there was a human cannon ball. The stench was just overvvhelming.’
Shirley Manson reminisces about the glamour of Garbage ’5 recent American tour.
'Our games teacher used to have a pickaxe handle! I swear to God. It was covered in blue electrical tape and he’d walk round the changing room with it. If you weren’t putting your shorts on quick enough he’d whack it on the wall by your head.’
Stuart Stereophonic recalls the gen t/e pleasures of a Welsh schooling.
’I once had a narrow shave at King's College. This really annoying bloke kept on going, "Alex from Blur, Alex from Blur”. Sol went "Didn't I shag your sister?”, and he went absolutely fucking mental ‘cause his sister had died. The year before. I felt really bad . . .'
Alex from Blur puts his foot in his cakeho/e.
'They seem to think that if you sing about something, then some kid is automatically going to go out and copy it. If that was the case, every teenager in America would have a gun and go around shooting people after watching Miami Vice. Besides, how many people do you know can afford a guillotine?’
You wouldn’t need three guesses to pin this one on Alice Cooper 'lnterviews are stupid. It's so not reality. It's not conversation. Most of the time they want to talk about
Bis: giving lessons in Social Dancing
Social Dancing. produced by ex-Gang Of Four member Andy Gill. is their weapon of choice.
‘lt‘s what we’ve always tried to do but. through our own narrow-mindedness. we’ve never been able to put it on to record before.‘ says Steven. ‘People have always said we’ve been dynamic live but. on record. we’ve always fallen a bit ﬁat. Before. we did it really quickly and I suppose songs were of secondary importance. We could be fairly accused sometimes of having a bit of style over content. but this time it‘s thirteen songs picked from 25 rather than filling up an album with whatever we can manage.‘
‘With the first album. we thought people were going to buy it just because it had our name on it and we didn’t consider too much the sound of it.‘ adds John.
Back in Bis- ness
Poised to release their second album, BIS hang the drum for the future.
Words: Fiona Shepherd
Back in the days when the Manic Street Preachers were still given to making incendiary statements. one of their choicest shock-horror nuggets was that they
would always hate Slowdive (ethereal early 90s band given to static performances — not terribly offensive really) more than Hitler (ultra-imperialistic mass- murderer — an undisputable total bastard). A few years later. perky synth ’n‘ guitar trio Bis were the New Danger. although at least their detractors stopped short of saying they were more hated than General Pinochet.
At the time. the Glaswegian group came with a radical agenda of their own. Current single ‘Action And Drama' expresses it thus: ‘l‘m no pro-retro know-all/l want faces for the future‘. ()r. as singer Sci-Fi Steven explains. ‘we said we wanted to stop all retro bands and they’re still here. so we haven‘t really succeeded.‘
With that in mind — although probably more motivated by the fact that they‘ve also got a brand spanking new album ready for release — Bis have returned to vanquish all doubters. and Kula Shaker.
Perhaps they can call on the assistance of The PUll'l’I' l’irl‘ltjirls. the cable cartoon they provided the theme tune for but. judging from the confidence
radiating from Steven. Manda Rin and John Disco.
Bis would prefer to use the power of their own music.
'We could be fairly accused sometimes of having a bit of style over content.’ Sci-Pi Steven
Having once generated a degree of revulsion way out of proportion to reality. Bis are aware that old habits may die hard with the listening public and they have mixed feelings about this.
‘In Britain. it‘s such a rollercoaster. we don‘t know where we are.‘ says Steven. ‘The frustrating thing is that once people read about "you somewhere. they‘ve got this image in their head of what you‘re going to sound like.” rails Manda. ‘A lot of people will listen to the new album and think “this isn’t Bis“ but it’s because of us that it sounds like that. ljust want people to see us play live and that‘s why I want to put our records out as cheap as possible. so people will buy them and have their own opinion. because I'm really sick of the way folk perceive us when we don’t really deserve it. It’s still happening. A lot of it is envy of what we're doing or the way we look. It‘s quite funny that just your presence can annoy someone so much.’
Steven agrees. adding drily. ‘Now if all those people could just buy our records. we‘d be sorted.‘
Social Dancing is released on Wiiija on Mon 22 Mar. Action And Drama is released on Mon 15 Feb.
the album. I have absolutely nothing to say about it. It's an album. Listen to it.’
lourna/ist’s worst nightmare and least
likely person to ever earn a living as a ,,>.,'b/ic speaker, I Mascis of the now
celunct Dinosaur Jr, delivers his theory
4—18 Feb 1999 THE [181' 59