New album Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab available now!
Interviews Franny - June 2003 - SpaceTheBand.comThe following is a transcript of a video interview. You can download the video & audio versions on the downloads page.
Lets see what we've got in here, a list of questions from you lovely people.
What is the idea behind the new album (if any)? Is there an underlying theme / concept to it?
Suburban Rock and Roll is the title of the new album, what is the idea behind the new album if any? Erm... good question! I guess the idea behind the new album is, I think its along the lines of the way Space have always been, bits of this, bits of that but i think this time round its more songs, its more of a... I know it sounds weird but its more of an album what I'd think more of a stronger album in the sense that theres one running theme through it and thats Tommy and I've always thought maybe it was a good idea if Tommy just wrote an album where it was just all his thoughts, all his ideas and we came and did what we could do on it.
For me its better, people might say why's there no dance tracks or maybe theres no Yorkie tracks but I think when you listen back to it you'll see why them things aren't on it because its more consistant, even though its all our different ideas, its at a better blend, it runs better and you can listen to each track after each other no problem you're not jumping from one track to another you want to actually listen to it from start to finish. It seems we had a format that suited us and suited the way we are... I think the proof will be in the pudding but you just have to bear with us like you know? I think its a classic but thats for you to judge I suppose.
Is the new album a radical departure from LYMTF, or is it a more natural follow-up?
As far as Love You More Than Football goes, I thought it was a good album but me personally I thought it became a bit like Space by numbers... you knew what to expect, you knew what the next song was gonna sound like, you knew what the verse was gonna sound like, the chorus and so on. Whereas I think SR&R is not like that its more rootsier, I dunno that organics the word but its not as polished in a sense of studiowise, it still sounds good, its still a rounded product but I think LYMTF was far too polished and as I say it was Space by numbers but we had to, not make a conscious effort to get away from it but we knew something had to be different and I dunno whether any persons in the bands departure had anything to do with that but I can say one thing... I'm very happy with the finished product, I just can't wait to get it out there!
Was it hard to record, after all that happened with Gut, etc? Has Jamie's departure changed the sound much and if so, in what way?
The problem recording after Gut, I mean it took so long to actually get us back in the studio and you know wipe away all the dirtiness that we've had in the past few years. As far as going in the studio and recording the new album, it wasn't a problem at all. In fact it was a breath of fresh air, so refreshing just to get in there and once we were in there the tracks just flowed and they had to stop us, they just kept coming and coming and I mean I don't know how many tracks we could have had on it but we could have had a lot more and tracks that we loved live which we thought were gonna go on the album you know may be b-sides or what have ya but I think its refreshing you know I don't know whether theres anything angry in there you know to do with what we've just been through with the record company, I don't think theres anything thats labelled at them personally but I know what I feel about it so thats the important thing like you know like as far as I mentioned just previously as far as members leaving the band and Jamie's departure has to be honest, it never really affected us and we just carried on. I hate to say that because I loved him so much and he was a big part of the band you know â€“ him and Tommy got the band up and running so to speak but I miss him like but as far as the music's concerned I don't think you'll notice any difference, maybe a few different backing vocals like but thats about it like. So you know overall it hasn't I don't think its affected us in any way.
The photos from the album look very exotic, where were they taken?
Theres a question here - the photos on the album look very exotic where were they taken? Hehehe I'm not answering that one... they look authentic too I think but they were taken in me back garden actually!
Why the sniper sight on the cover?
The sniper sight on the cover of the album is all to do with Suburbanness, what goes on in the sticks and thats a running theme and I'm sure the other lads will elaborate on that more but I think it speaks for itself really, especially when you're listening to SR&R the album track itself you know it'll give you more of an idea why its like that and why it looks like that.
What are the planned singles for the album?
Planned singles for the album? I personally don't wanna say what I think, I've got an idea of course, I think we've always been lousy at picking singles you know... theres one with a number in that could be a single! But we'll just have to wait and see, maybe you can give us an idea on the site... theres a good idea!
What's your favourite track on the album?
Whats me favourite track on the album? God... its that long since I've listened to it I can't remember whats on it! I guess its Suburban Rock and Roll I just think its cool, its more the type of song or songs that I'd like to do. Its got good ingredients which I really like and everyone blended on the song really well like, I don't wanna sound too arty like, but I just like that song it just came together in the studio really cool. I also like Paranoid16 thats a great favourite of mine especially live.
When's the tour and have you got any surprises in store for it?
The tour is due for album release which should be I think late August maybe. As far as a few surprises on tour... yeah the dÃ©cor for the stage and all that we don't wanna give too much away, but its gonna have the same theme as the cover of the record SR&R and I'm really looking forward to it, I think thats where we get our kicks and its great going in the studio and writing songs and seeing it develop and come together but its actually taking them out there and watching peoples reactions, I think thats the biggest buzz of all for me being in a band like. So I'm sure there'll be a few surprises on the tour... the biggest surprise is that we'll be doing a bleeding tour! So that'll be something to look forward to like!
Would Franny like to remix other bands/solo artists in the future? Has Franny thought of doing a solo project?
Would Franny like to remix other bands, solo artists in the future? Well... while I've been out of contract I've been mixing other bands and I've been doing a bit of R&B, a bit of garage, a bit of folk music! The reason that I've chosen these â€“ people have come up to me and asked can you do this, can you do that is because I see them things as a challenge. I've never done that type of music before I mean I've done dance mixes with people in the past and also my own stuff you know but this stuff was challenging mainly because I haddn't really done that type of stuff before but I've enjoyed it. I mean I dunno what the situation is when we sign the contract and that with Sanctuary as far as remixing and so on but I'd still like to do it and you know carry on with me own work, I've potentially got an albums worth of stuff to go meself, about 6 albums worth but it condenses you know into one decent album like! I possibly want to get out myself, which I was hoping to do on Mutant like but its possibly maybe move onto something else at the moment, I'm just speaking to people about it you know.
Will Franny make any more instrumentals?
Will Franny make any more instrumentals? Well, I will make a few more instrumentals its just whether we'll ever see any of the tracks on the albums because as I said before I prefer the way we're working now and the way the album runs with Tommy like through it so I mean yeah maybe I don't know, maybe b-sides, extra tracks, maybe throw something in live. You know I've got an idea for a live track which sounds quite interesting.
This is one about Franny's guitar playing: how good are you and have you ever played/ would you ever play on a Space record?
I bet you I know who asked this question... this ones about Franny's guitar playing, how good are you and have you ever played/would you ever play on a Space record? Well... I'm an awful guitar player and I have played on a Space record so that explains that! No I like playing guitar, I haven't actually put a set of strings on my guitar in like 5 years so I haven't really played that often but I do like to play I was a good strummer once apon a time.
What comedies are Space into? I know Tommy likes the League of Gentlemen and Yorkie likes Chris Morris (good taste, dudes) but what about Fran & Leon?
What comedians are Space in to... I know Tommy likes the League of Gentlemen and Yorkie likes Chris Morris (good taste dudes) what about Fran and Leon? To be honest I'm not really into comedians I don't watch any, I'm not a particular fan. I mean I like Jim Carrey and like his films and all that but I get embarrassed when people tell jokes or movies that are comedies I get embarrassed incase they get it all wrong, they tell a joke wrong and I cringe. I think it stems from me mates, I've been hanging round me mate for 25 years and hes been telling jokes... crap ones at that for 25 years and it just makes me cringe. He won't be happy if, actually hes quite good but I hear them so many times that I just switch off and I think thats stems to films and other comedians so I don't really bother!
What about the LYMTF remixes that were once mentioned?
What about the LYMTF remixes that were once mentioned? Were they? I don't know, maybe you'll have to ask someone else about them. There is erm, actually LYMTF theres so many different versions of it, not just by me or other members of the band, Andy Hughes, Edwin Collins, back to the old engineering producer !??Jeggsy??! and ourselves. So there probably is some rarities out there and if there is someone send us some copies cos I've got nothing, so I'd like to have some... thanks!
Do any of you do karaoke? If so, what songs do you do?
I don't particularly do karaoke only because I can't sing to save me life but I do like watching it and I have to watch it because my girlfriend's a great big fan and she always gets up and she always wins so its always nice to have a few bevvys, free bevvys for the lads at the end of the night because she always wins the competitions, so it does come in handy like!
What is the best place outside of your native country to play a concert?
Played a gig in Spain a few years ago, I'm a big fan of Spain and we were rotten going on stage and about 20 mins late and everyone was causing murder. But it was fantastic just to play and I ?found coming to Spain? the sun was beating down, so I'd like to go back over there and play a few more times it was great â€“ I really enjoyed it. Wales is a good country to play in too and Scotland come to think of it so I dunno what the best place is you know but we've played a few places, I mean Germany's brilliant, America's brilliant, they're all brilliant. They've all got pros and plusses and some of them are not too good like. I mean when you go to some of the foreign countries like you're starting all over again but I like that. Like when you're onstage, when you're first kicking off in England and Britain its like its a good vibe and people come to watch you and more people come to watch you and people are getting into you... its like that when you go to Germany and the States and stuff. Its that little tight bond between you and the small audience its brilliant, its irreplaceable, its great.
Who are your main influences?
Main influences... god I'm sure some of you know what we're into, I mean its been said in the past its always been movies, cartoons, hip-hop everything. I mean, you name it its been an influence, its been there but recently you know I don't know what anyones listening to anymore, its weird because everyone used to listen to their stuff on the bus and you'd get a good idea what everyone's listening to but I don't know what the rest of the lads are listening to anymore. I know what I'm listening to, I mean, I'm listening to Royksopp, Lemon Jelly and stuff like that, Goldfrapp's new album's great but I don't know whether I take influences from them, I just like listening to them, I don't think I've ever took influences from anyone, I think you just play and then it comes out and people say â€œAh you sound like...â€ or â€œThat sounds like...â€ but I don't think you make a conscious effort to make it sound like anyone, its just there you know?
What do you do in your spare time?
In me spare time, hahaha spare time! Thats hard when you've got two kids, a new house and your life with Space and work with Space and you don't really get much spare time. I'd say I like to do all the other types of music in me spare time and the Playstation 2 thats quite handy but I don't often get on that cos me boys usually are always on that so... and they chase me out of the room cos I'm not very good at it so. But I've just got a set of green fingers just recently... took to flower arranging quite handy which is quite nice, so...
There is no album is there?
Hahaha, are there any plans to publicise the new album, single and tour just thinking about answering that but the next question is â€œThere is no album is there?!â€ Hahaha, no thats why I'm sitting here, just talking to meself, yes of course there is! I can understand why some of you can feel like that, I mean god, imagine how we've been feeling then. But we've sort of known in the background that things are happening, whereas you haven't so I suppose its a bit weird for you but I assure you its been a bit weird for us as well so I can't to be honest, I can look at these and answer questions but I can't wait to get out there and see you all. I just wanna play the tracks and have a buzz and see you all having a good time and us having a good time, I just can't wait! Its just something I've really really missed. I think God puts you on this earth to do certain things, I think he put me on this earth to do that, I hope so anyway cos its the only thing I can do!
Have there been any alterations to the new album or is it still the same?
There's been no alterations to the new album as far as I know, maybe a few more pictures of me and Leon might be nice, maybe taking one or two tracks off and maybe putting six or seven on might be an idea! But at the moment I think we're all really happy with the way it stands so I think we'll have to talk about that a little bit more but I think we're all happy at the moment.
How happy are you with the new album?
I'm really happy with the new album â€“ thats a quick answer to one of your questions!
What do you think about Liverpool's bid to become the City of Culture?
What do you think about Liverpool's bid to become City of Culture? Well yeah I suppose so, its sound, Paul McCartney did his bit last night, or was it last night?! Hes doing his bit anyway. So if he can do his bit I suppose we can all do our bit and have a go like, if it comes around it'd be great, why not... cos it is a great city at the moment and it can be a really nice place to be so I don't see why not. I dunno who the competition is but you know I don't see why not like.
Where do you see yourselves in 3 years time?
Where do you see yourself in three years time? I've no idea, I mean I've always been a positive person in fact and you know confident so you know. I'd like to, I mean I'm not looking for top 5, top 10 singles. I mean maybe we've seen all that before, if it comes along thats great but I'd love to keep it going like that indicates steady line, travelling, being happy in what you're doing and making other people happy. Like a cult type band maybe, that type of thing where you just go and you can release good records all the time but theres no pressure on you to be in the top of the charts as long as you feel good about doing good material then you know thats what I'd love to be doing in three years.
Will there be any more Music For Aliens?
Will there be any more Music for Aliens? Yeah sure, yeah yeah, but its just we're maybe looking for the right track to give that continuity. I know there's a few tracks there could be used, but at the moment just concentrating on getting the album out and making sure that works but I'm sure there will be yeah.
What songs from LYMTF were going to be singles?
Songs from LYMTF, which ones were going to be singles? Love You More Than Football maybe, Radio Hell maybe, Supersonic Jetplane was a classic but you know as I said before, those tracks that I mentioned they were stand up tracks. They were bordering more on SR&R than they were on LYMTF if that makes any sense, I know it makes sense anyway. We don't know exactly but there was a few I mean probably you've all got bootlegs of it anyway so... yeah I've got a bootleg of it but mine doesn't work! So if anyone can get us one...
What was your favourite Jamie song?
Favourite Jamie song? Well everyone always goes on about how he matured as he got older and you talk about Gravity on LYMTF which is a classic like, but I preferred his earlier stuff, cos it was more angry, more edgy, you know? Lovechild of the Queen you know any, one or two songs off of the first album I preferred them than his later stuff. Because its the beginning and its always more exciting I think, he was excited by it and it shows in the songs like.
Do you think you'll achieve commercial success again, and is that important to the band?
Commercial success, will we achieve it again and is it important to the band? As I said before I mean if it comes along it comes along and Yeah! But if it doesn't its not that important â€“ we're a lot older, a lot wiser now, we know how this business runs. So it will be nice if it happens but it will also be nice if we can get that type of cult thing going â€“ that'd be cool.
Are we likely to see Space on MTV and those other music channels?
Are we likely to see Space on MTV or other music channels? I don't know, I really don't know. Was we ever on them anyway? I always thought we were never on them anyway. I was always surprised, it always surprised me where we got and how we got there. Cos I never ever thought we were on television half as much as... we were on certain tv channels quite a bit but MTV I just I hardly remember ever being on MTV. Maybe one or two times I've seen us but that'd be nice â€“ it would be refreshing but theres that many tv channels on MTV now that surely we'll get on one of them anyway!
Do you guys think your new album is better than LYMTF?
Do you think the album's better than LYMTF the new one? Yeah, only because of what I said right at the beginning, at the top. I've always liked the idea of Tommy just sitting down and writing all his best songs and everyone listens to them and nothing dividing it and I mean even when Jamie was in the band I always wanted, that idea just to be all Tommys, I thought it would be more of a classic album, more of him, more of what hes about you know what I mean? And I always thought if it was just soley him, I mean I've never spoken this to him or anybody, but if it was more soley him then maybe it'd put that little bit extra, that something that wasn't quite there before to it you know. He's completely engrossed in it, type of thing and I think it shows. I think that's why it's a better album.
Any chance of touring Australia in the next... oh I dunno, 10 years or so?
Any chance of touring Australia? Well we were due to go over there soon but then this Sanctuary thing came up. So we've gotta take care of all this business over this side but I'd love to get over there, I believe that they like us over there which is quite interesting. So yeah I think its a possibilty and it'll probably be sometime soon yeah. Hopefully anyway.
What were your inspirations for the name of your albums and the name â€œSpaceâ€ itself?
What were the inspirations for the names of your albums and the name Space itself? Well I mean the name Space thing I suppose Tommy could answer that one really. Its funny, when i was a kid I always thought â€œSpace would be a great name for a bandâ€, and then I thought â€œNah its rubbish!â€ and then hahaha I get asked to join a band and they're called Space which I thought was rather weird! But anyway... inspirations for the name of the albums. Spiders just God knows, I think we just everyone was sat on the tour bus one day and someone said what're you gonna call this album like? Everyone just shouted â€œSpiders!â€ It was dead weird it was like everyone seriously said the same thing at the same time and we just looked at each other and went looks shocked. And that was it, it wasn't mentioned again and then the record company came to us and went, started talking about the album Spiders and we never questioned it, it stuck and that was it! Tin Planet was to do with you know a display that Mike Badger done of all his work with his metal and his tin and you know he done stuff for us which turned out brilliant and it just seemed apt that the album should be Tin Planet, it was part of his display in a gallery called â€œTin Planetâ€. It just seemed to fit at the time... I know that sounds a bit 'arty', (and I don't like doing that either mimes fingers indicating the accents), but it was cool yeah, it was alright.
You're not going to throw the towel in on us are you?
You're not going to throw the towel in on us are you? Hahaha! Well I know bands who've been going just as long as us who've give up now, but we're not giving up cos we feel there's unfinished business to do, you know we're really happy with what we've done and so no theres no plans to be giving up on anyone... I know I definitely won't be anyway
When did you play your first gig, who was it with and where?
When did you play your first gig, who was it with and where? My first gig was in the Lomax, god knows who with, and it was with Tommys, a band that I was in with Tommy years ago when I was younger. Actually it wasn't even at the Lomax, it was something else called I dunno The Mayflower or something like that, some pub in town you used to go downstairs into. I think it was a gay haunt certain nights during the week. I think that was me first gig then again it might have been me brother's birthday party in the social club or something like that! But it was with Tommy and they were called Hello Sunset and that was quite cool. With Space it was the Lomax, I'd only been with them three days, I was doing a demo tape and all of a sudden I'm actually doing a gig with them and once I'd done a gig I was like â€œYeah I'll stayâ€ so that was good.
What's the most embarrassing record in your collection (the one you hide at the back!)?
What's the most embarrassing item in your record collection, the one that you hide at the back? Well... I actually got all me records out of me Mums loft after all these years the other day â€“ well a few weeks ago and there was a CD, sorry a single box, 7â€ single box and Knocked it Off by B.A. Robertson was at the back and I was like â€œGod I never bought that did I?!â€ and then luckily my brother was down a few days later and he went â€œNo that belonged to meâ€, I was thrilled! But its there so it still has to get hidden at the back anyway.
What was your favourite childhood toy?
My favourite childhood toy? God... it was probably action man. I think I had them till I was about 12 and all me mates had sold theirs or got rid of them and I still had mine and me ma and da kept on saying â€œYou've gotta get rid of them sonâ€ but I couldn't let go of them. In the end I had to, I was forced!
Are â€œSpaceâ€ the Band still a viable option?
Are Space the band still a viable option? I think so, yes.
Right I've got a sore throat now with all these questions, I'm gonna love you and leave you, I'll speak to you later, I'm gonna find the lad, tell him to turn this thing off because I don't know how to turn it off. Bye bye for now... see ya, ta ra!