Finally I got my interview....
Finally I got the interview with my favouriteband. I have tried many times but never got the answer. This was done in the middle of FebruaryÖ Justin have took his time to this.
You have been on the road for a long while now, much have happened and many members have been in the group, how many different members have it been in the group?
-I think that including everyone, itís thirteen.
You started in Bradford, are you still live there, how is to live there if you compare it to London?
-Yes, the group is still based here, although Nelson and Dave live several hundred miles away. Bradford is a tough city, poor, cheap but not unbeautiful. Whatever its faults, its a better place to live than London. Of course being here keeps us out of the media loop but sometimes itís necessary to sacrifice exposure for sanity.
I think your best CD/LP is Thunder and consolation, which record do you think is the best you have done?
-I personally have three favourites: Thunder, The Love Of Hopeless Causes and Eight but I think that each album has different qualities and I know that other peopleĎs favourites vary a great deal. It has been important for us not to make the same album twice.
I remember once I saw you here in Sweden in a small place called Gamle Port, do you remember that, it was four stairs up and in a little restaurant, I think it was in march 1990?
-No I donít remember it specifically but I remember we did a tour of Sweden at the beginning of 1990 to introduce Nelson and Adrian Portas (guitarist 90-93) into the band. It was a very happy tour as I remember.
Which is the biggest audience you have played for and the smallest, where and when?
-The biggest would probably be at a Festival in Karlsruhe in 1999 - some 80,000 people, though weíve played to 60,000 on quite a few occasions. The smallest I can remember was 8 people in Graz (Austria) in 1985. To be honest, it doesnít mean that much to me either way.
Which is the biggest feelings when you play live?
-When itís one of those special nights, itís like touching God. Something happens in the room between band and audience that transcends physical reality. Itís those moments that mean the everything to me.
What is the most peculiar which have happened during a concert with you, on stage or in the audience?
-The most dramatic was when I was electrocuted on stage in Switzerland in 1992 and was clinically Ďdeadí for 2-3 minutes.
You(Justin have done some solo LP/CD:s why and is it going to be some more?
Yes, probably but not in the immediate future. It is certainly time for a new NMA album first.
Do you have any new songs on their way?
Where do you stand when weīre talking about mpī3 s? Are you downloading something yourself?
-I have done very occasionally but basically I donít agree with the principle so I donít do it. Having said that, I do accept that itís now a fact of life.
You have done some covers live; I think I remember one it was some Monkees song, is there any chance to get it on record?
-Weíve done many, although I canít remember specifically doing the Monkees. Weíve never recorded any covers though, we just sometimes do them live for fun. If you want to find it, youíll have to pick up a bootleg (I donít have any problems with live bootlegs)
Why is it fun to do covers, are you doing any covers now when you play?
-A couple of years ago we were playing a version of The Loviní Spoonfulís ďSummer In The CityĒ. As musicians, itís fun to play any song that we like.
Your record covers have always been so nice, is it important to have a cover which looks good, is a group selling more on that do you think?
-I think our record covers are wonderful. They have all been done by Joolz, who is a very original artist and has so many different ideas. Do they help us sell albums? I donít know. Yes, perhaps.
Is theyíre any group which is doing nice and good covers in the world?
-I canít think of anyone who has the same consistency as us. Like the band, Joolz is concerned with originality, not repeating herself, while at the same time being consistent to her own beliefs in inspiration and asymmetry.
Is politic and music goes hand in hand?
-Politics - meaning the issue of power - who has it, who has not, how people live with and without it - is part of life and so will always be a part of the reasons that people make music.
The best political band in the world?
-Iím not sure if I can pick a particular band. Rather there have been many great Ďpoliticalí songs recorded by all kinds of different artists.
You have a very big following of people, are they going with you wherever you play, is it always the same people? How can they afford it?
-We do but itís not all the same people from year to year. People follow a band for a few months or perhaps years. Itís a way of travelling, of meeting people who love the same band - so they immediately have something in common, of seeing something of the world. Then people gets jobs or families and kids and move on to a different part of their lives.
How much does NMA sell today?
-I have no idea.
What do you know about Sweden, what is typically Swedish?
-Sven Goran Erikson? Ikea? No seriously, trees, lakes, alcohol and sobriety.
Have you heard any good Swedish band?
-There are many good bands out of Sweden.
How is it to live in England today? How is it with Blair and so on?
-Itís an overcrowded and fierce little island, which unfortunately these days seems to import all the worst aspects of American culture and none of the better ones. Blair has wasted so much of his opportunity. He is driven by the desire to be Ďrightí and is no democrat. He is really Mrs Thatcherís natural successor.
What is the best and whatīs the worst of living there?
-The island mentality and arrogance is the worst. Thank God for a British sense of humour - we can (and must) laugh at ourselves. Also much of the landscape is very beautiful and especially we have miles and miles of coastline. The Atlantic coast of Cornwall is perhaps my favourite place on earth.
In the beginning you were more punky, what does the word punk mean to you nowadays, is it only a word or what?
-Twenty-five years ago, it meant a spirit of resistance, of originality and fearlessness. I think itís a shame if it has now come to mean a style of music that is deliberately ugly or retro or badly made.
What about todayīs punk?
-Iím not so interested in second hand ideas.
How would you describe your own music in three words?
-Thank God I cannot and do not need to.
Please rank your five favourite records, five best concerts and five most important things in life?
-Of course these things change all the time... but right now:
Favourite albums: Quadrophenia (The Who), Marquee Moon (Television), Tabula Rasa (Arvo Part), Hounds Of Love (Kate Bush), Motown Chartbusters (volumes 1-10) (although of course thatís really ten albums).
Favourite Gigs: The Ruts (1979), Queens Of The Stoneage (2002), Melrose (199?), Bruce Springsteen (solo acoustic - 2000?), Nirvana (1991)
Most Important Things In Life: Love, Beauty, Humour, Trust and Light
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-First: Kinks - Till The End Of The Day, Last: Killing Joke, Most Expensive - a rare Temptations album from 1968.
Do you have good contact with your fans? In which way?
-The normal human way.
Is it many interviews, is it boring to be interviewed?
Which is the question you never get but you want to have, please ask it and answer it?
-There is no question that I really want to be asked. All the answers are in the music.
If you could choose five bands to play with on a big concert, dead and alive bands, which five would you choose to have on the big concert together with NMA?
-Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Miles Davis, Elvis Presley
Do you care about reviews?
-No and Yes. Like all artists, I only remember the bad ones.
Which do you trust most, the good or the bad ones?
-I donít trust either.
Which is the most peculiar you ever got?
-The ones where it was obvious that the journalist wasnít even there. One described my long hair in a review one month after Iíd shaved it all off.
Which bands are you being compared to (but it must be difficult to compare you to any other band)?
-They said we were Punk, then Post-Punk, then a Goth band, then a Folk-Rock band, then a political band, then a neo-hippie band, then a rock band, the new Clash, the new U2, everything. Nothing has ever been close.
Futureplans for the band?
-A new NMA album - at last. But also this spring, our first ever shows in South Africa and more touring in America.
-A new NMA album, really and more travelling and more touring, more music and more searching.
-I have none.
Something more to add?
-Hope to be back in Sweden before too long!