Wonderstuff Interview

September 2004, e-mail interview with Miles Hunt

The Wonderstuff play Cambridge Junction on Monday 13th September on their only smaller venue date. Details here.

The Stuffies' are back, for fans old and new! September 2004 sees the release of the first studio album in eleven years. After some three & half years since reforming to play live shows only, they've managed to get their collective arse into gear & record some new tunes. The result is "Escape From Rubbish Island".

Miles Hunt (vocals/guitar) & Malc Treece (guitar/vocals) are still front and centre and are still performing their job as one of the UK's best guitar/vocal duos…It was only last December they played to some 17,000 people in only three nights! But then it's not only the appeal of The Wonder Stuff's live performances that keep the fans ever loyal.

22 singles, 17 of them Top 20, including a Number One. Four UK Top 20 albums, a 5 night run at Brixton Academy (they didn't want to steal The Clash's record, out of respect!), a further 5 night run at Kentish Town's Forum and headline slots at both Reading & Phoenix festivals, these are just some of the things The Wonder Stuff & their fans alike can brag about.

Miles Hunt says… "The support we've been shown by our audience over the years is phenomenal. Particularly these last three years. I think if we'd have carried on wheeling ourselves out every Christmas, like The Gary Glitter Gang Show, with no new releases, then we'd be taking the piss. This new record is as much a thank you to those people as it is a necessity for us to write, record & play."

Hunt hasn't lost his antagonistic edge, nor has he lost his willingness to tell it like he sees it.

So can you explain to our younger readers - The Wonder Stuff - who, what and why?

Why... 'cos back in the bad old 'medium wave only' days of the mid 1980's something was needed to bridge the gap between the Top 40 & the NME. When 'Indie' refered to a band that released their records on an independent label with no backing from the major labels (EMI, CBS, RCA etc....) the NME were painful snobs & mainstream nation pop radio had nothing to offer 'music fans' before 10pm. Unless you were a Rock or Metal band guitars were a no no for Radio One. Bands like ourselves, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Primatives etc.... weren't interested in the snobbery of the NME & could remember the days of great power pop such as Blondie & The Buzzcocks, we wanted to bring that stuff up date.

What can people expect from The Wonder Stuff shows?

A fuckin' great live band. I don't mind saying it myself, we're a great live band, always have been, always will be. We're powerful & amusing. As for the upcoming tour we'll be plaing songs from the first 4 albums as well as material from the new record "Escape >From Rubbish Island". We've even dug out a couple of interesting b-sides from our very early records.

What sort of people are you expecting to come to them? Why should they bother?

People that are unencumbered by fashion & trend. People that enjoy being entertained & overawed. Why? Because contemporary guitar bands are all old men in young boys bodies. Coldplay & everything sub them are dreary & self serving.

Is the reunion a financial necessity or an artistic calling?

It's not a 'reunion'. Malc Treece & I have continued to work together on various projects since we bowed out in 1994. Since 2000 we have been doing occasional gigs as TWS, but we needed a line up change to call new material that we've worked on 'The Wonder Stuff'.

What are the best reunion gigs you've ever been to - and which other ones (possible and impossible) would you pay to see?

Sex Pistols at Finsbury Park in 96 was phenomenal. Other than that.... oh, Jane's Addiction at Jones Beach in New York 2001 was pretty damn good too.

What's more important, attitude or ability?

A little of both won't do you any harm.

I used to teach the children to sing Unbearable in assembly at the Junior School I worked in. What other songs should be compulsory in school assemblies?

"It's All Good" by Damien Dempsey from his album 'Seize The Day'.

What do you listen to when hoovering?

I don't 'hoover'. But washing up recently I've been playing Dhama Drive's "Audio Porn" 5 track EP over & over again. They are opening for us on the tour in September & October. Get there early.

What can you see yourself doing in 20 years time?

Hanging out with my 23 year old daughter, boring her with stories from my youth.

With the rise of The Darkness and Goldie Looking Chain do you think we are seeing the deification of pastiche into totem, or just a load of blokes taking the piss? What does this say about originality?

I really have no thoughts on either. And that's not me copping out. They just don't inspire any reaction from me at all.

Does age matter in rock'n'roll?

Ask Iggy Pop.

What's best, chips or cream buns?

Chips, every time. What an idiotic question! D'you get paid to do this? [not as much as you, Miles! - Ed].

Thanks to Anthony Gibbons for fixing this up and for writing the introduction.