Cambridge Corn Exchange, 9.2.04

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

A sweet sensation, a simple chord, a new religion? Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have been hailed as all three, so when the band and fellow miracle workers The Cooper Temple Clause rolled into town on what is perhaps already the tour of the year, Jordan and Rosey hot footed it straight over to The Corn Exchange to talk to Rob.
Rob reads R*E*P*E*A*T

Since this interview was written, BRMC have left Virgin Records. To support the band, re-subscribe to their mailing list here:


(J) So how’s life with The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club?
- The better it gets, the more shit comes with it! Every bit of sunshine always casts another shadow. But that’s just the way it goes. We’re very lucky; a year ago we were just playing supports in venues this size and now we’re headlining in them. I don’t think we’d still be doing this if we were still back there. I’d like to say we had this all or nothing spirit where you’d keep going regardless, but for us that would be like nothing. Like a lot of bands, for us there has to be a reason, there has to be an inspiration; if no one was listening and no was giving a shit then I don’t know that the point would still be the same. It’s not all about big success, that’s a misconception, it’s about having it clear and tangible and in your hands what you’re about and why you’re there, in people’s ears and in people’s hearts. It doesn’t mean it has to be the whole world but it does have to be something.

* (J) What songs do you play while you’re hoovering?
- Eh?
* (J) Hoovering!?
- What’s that?
* (J) You know, ummm ... Vacuuming!
- Uhh... [Very long pause] Do you know, I don’t think I’ve ever vacuumed!! ell I haven’t vacuumed for a while, I haven’t had a place for a while. It’s a good question though!
* (R, looking at Rob's T-shirt) My Bloody Valentine would be good, you could probably hear their rhythm section through the din.
- Ha ha! Right now I’ve been listening to some soul stuff, I tend to get obsessed with things and listen to lots of them and then ...
* (R) At the moment I’m a bit obsessed with The Ramones as I got a book about them for Christmas. Have you got a favourite Ramones song?
- Yeah, ‘Beat on the Brat’.

* (J) Do you look up to The Jesus and Mary Chain? Do you think you sound like them?
- Well do you think we sound like them?
* (J) Umm, well ...
* (R) It’s not so much the sound as the whole look and image, you must admit that you could have walked out of one of their videos!
- Yeah of course. We like their image, or lack of it, the whole No Logo thing, just the T shirts and jeans, they were just so cool so of course that influenced us, they’re one of the coolest bands to have influence you. But do we sound like them? I don’t think we sound similar at all!

* (J) What do you like best, squirrels or badgers?
* (R) There’s a secret significance to this question ...

- Which is to ask us if we have a sense of humour. And sadly the answer is ‘No’. But I did once kill a squirrel, with a rock, I was just throwing the rock towards it and it hit it and killed it; I didn’t mean to... I suppose it taught me that actions have consequences, which was a useful lesson to learn.
* (R) So that’s one nil to the badgers then!!
* (J) No, squirrels are more useful see, even in death!

* (R) Kurt Cobain’s tenth anniversary is coming up, and we’re organising a tribute night where people play versions of his songs. What’s your favourite Kurt song, or which ones would you cover?
- ‘Breed’.
* (J) I’m gonna do ‘Drain You’

* (R) I think you once said that “the point of art is to question what’s going on”; do you think that politics and music go well together?
- No, not for long or they both eat each other, they can’t co-exist for long. At the moment only anger comes from politics, but our new album, which has been seen as making a statement, has a lot more to it than that, it deals with a load more things and only engages with politics in the twinkle of an eye.

* (J) Last question, what’s best, chip (fries) or cream buns?
- What are cream buns?!
* (J) They’re like pastries with lots of cream in.
- Then it’s got to be chips. What’s your favourite sauce?
* (J) Mayonnaise, what’s yours?
- It’s gotta be ketchup!
* (J) I see, thank you very much.

Thanks also to Claire at APB for sorting things out.

The Cooper Temple Clause also played!