1.Firstly, what are your memories of Idlewilds 5 night album
residency @ Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in December 2008
the build-up / preparation and the actual gigs themselves and
does performing live now, feel different to when you first started?
King Tuts was a lot of fun on the whole, although also a
lot of pressure trying to remember all those songs and record them live.
I really enjoyed seeing the difference in ourselves as we moved from
the early thrashier albums, to the more considered songs on our later
records. Playing live nowadays, is different in a few ways, but predominantly
in the fact that a lot more goes into trying to do the songs justice,
whereas when we started, it was more based on just making as much noise
2.What have been some of your personal highlights / defining moments
throughout your career so far?
There have been a lot, as we have had the good fortune to play
all over the world for 12 years now and record in some great studios.
I suppose the first time we played the main stage at T In The Park,
our first sell-out New York show and recording in Los Angeles in the
historic Sunset Sound Studios, have been some of the notable highlights.
3.And during this time, what has the devotion of your fans meant
A tremendous amount. Without our devoted fans, we could not make
a living playing music for all this time. The great thing about having
a fanbase like ours, is that we can keep developing and get better at
playing over time. They allow us the luxury to keep moving forward.
Also, there is a lot to be said for the feeling you get from watching
people respond to the songs you have written over the years in such
a positive way. It means a lot to us.
4.Have you been pleased with the response to pre-order your new,
as-of-yet unrecorded album, and can you give us an update on the direction
of the songs musical direction, titles etc.?
The reaction has been great, especially considering nobody has
heard a note of the music. The album is written and ready to record,
and we go into the studio on Valentines Day and should be finished
by the end of March. It has definitely got a good-time feel to it and
speaking for myself, the songs are really enjoyable to play. Definitely
quite an upbeat record musically.
5.As an established band, youve now obviously made the decision
to operate independently, but do you think its a worrying trend,
that record labels dont tend to nurture young bands nearly as
much as they used to?
Certainly. It is a lot harder for a new band to build a fanbase
and tour extensively without a label backing them, and it puts a lot
more pressure on the few bands with support to have success quickly,
without being given time to develop. We really need to try and find
a way for bands to fund themselves, so they can become working musicians
and hone their craft.
6.If you had to go shopping for someone and buy 4 LPs, 1 from the past,
1 from the present, 1 personal favourite and 1 Idlewild album
what would they be and why?
Past Déjà Vu: Crosby, Stills & Nash
Present Consolers Of The Lonely: The Raconteurs
Personal Favourite The River: Bruce Springsteen
Idlewild The new one as-yet-untitled
7.Are there any artists / bands who youd love to see release a
comprehensive Box Set filled with albums, rarities, live gig recordings,
bootlegs, archive footage etc.?
Id love a comprehensive history of Bruce Springsteen. I
think he has consistently made great music over his long and continuing
8.If you could ask a musical hero anything, who would it be and what
would you ask them?
I would probably ask if I could jam with The E Street Band.
9.Jarvis Cocker recently gave a lecture on The Art Of Lyric Writing
at Manchesters In The City Conference, where he stated: Most
of the great riffs, chord sequences and bass-lines have already been
written, but lyrics can breathe fresh life into rock music. What
are your feelings on this, and over the years, which songs have most
I think that just by the nature of words and the way they sound,
lyrics can give so many different flavours to a piece of music even
before you consider their meaning. The phonetics and rhythm of words
sometimes have as big an effect as their actual meaning.
10.If you had to award one artist or band with an Ivor Novello, who
would it be?
Id probably say a posthumous Ivor Novello to John Martyn.
A truly gifted player, singer and songwriter.
11.Do you have a favourite place where you write and are your songs
evocative of the time in which they were created?
I / we write in so many different places that there isnt
really a favourite, but obviously your surroundings and what goes on
around you has a huge influence on what you write, as it shapes you
as a person.
12.Which producers do you feel have best captured Idlewild
Definitely Dave Eringa. We have had such a long and happy relationship
with him and he has always brought the best out of us. There have been
some great and inspirational moments working with people like Lenny
Kaye, but I feel that Dave really understands us as a band now.
13.Each week, The Culture Show has a busking challenge, whereby musicians
and bands have to play a selection of their songs to passers by, to
see how much money they can make. But if you had to play some Idlewild
tracks and a cover version, what would they be?
I guess if the idea is to make money, then the popular ones
American English and World In Your Arms, followed by something traditional
in the busking world, like Blowin In The Wind or Leaving On A
14.Having been in The Music Industry for several years, career-wise,
what would now give you the most satisfaction?
I think the thing I find the most frustrating, is the rapid demise
of the album with this song by song download culture we have, which
I think is making people care less about music. The most satisfying
thing, would be to see people en-mass start to appreciate music more
again and take time with albums and bands.
15.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
A very special thanks to Rod for all of his time
Hope Is Important