Blur | Nardwuar VS. Blur – 1996

Interview Transcript

nardwuar: may I ask you a question, damon of blur? you are damon of blur, right?

damon: go ahead

damon, do you like eggs?

d: um, well my mother in law says that men should only have 2 eggs a week. so I try to keep to that.

alex: I just had a cheese omelette as a matter of fact and apparently you should never eat cheese & eggs together.

you are alex of blur

a: alex from blur, yeah. it turned out the chicken was just the egg’s idea for getting more eggs.

(various teacup noises in background)

actually there’s a band in vancouver called the mcrackins all about eggs. but damon, your dad, did he not design the egg chair, like that famous egg chair?

d: he did.

what’s the deal on that? what type of egg chair is that?

d: it was just a 60’s…it’s an icon isn’t it, from the 60’s. unfortunately he wasn’t a very good businessman so he didn’t patent it.

he did get enough money to live in a 14th century bakery. is that where you grew up in a 14th century bakery? that’s very, a lot of egg themes here.

d:well my parents sold their house in london for 4,000 pounds in 1979 and bought a 14th century bakery in colchester for 7,000 pounds.

and your dad made an egg chair!

d: no that was a long time before that. that was the 60’s. this is the beginning of the 80’s, the evil thatcher years.

and he managed the soft machine…soft eggs!

d: yeah. he didn’t manage them, he was a friend of theirs. he left art school and they were sort of doing the same sort of thing for a while, but as I say, management wasn’t really his forte.

those are two great accomplishments. being involved with the soft machine and the egg chair. like before you were even born.

d: and being the father of me as well.

oh yes. actually into the next question here damon of blur. do you remember this quote at all? “the highest form of vanity is the love of fame”?

d: what…what’s that?

damon of blur, “the highest form of vanity is the love of fame”? was it not uttered by this woman? (nardwuar holds up british newspaper clipping for damon’s inspection) did you lose your virginity to this woman right there?

d: I did, yes. (assorted rumblings in the room) I was 15 at the time.

justine has said you don’t have a sex drive, but this woman here, jane, says you have quite a sex drive damon

d: maybe I had more when I was younger

she also says you’ve developed a cockney accent which you didn’t have then and……

d: do I have a cockney accent?

I don’t know, i’d like to learn more about cockiness. and also the…

d: it’s not actually related

and also you like to collect fossils

d: I did

a: i’m still partial to the odd fossil

do you remember this woman at all alex?

a: who, jane?

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yeah, jane, the woman damon lost his virginity to

a:???

did you at one time want to shag barbara allen?

a: I saw her last night actually, funnily enough. she told me to stop being in blur and be a poet.

which leads to the question…

a: um, no I didn’t try to shag her

you have a nice name damon. it’s a nice name.

d: thank you

now backwards that spells…

d: I’m afraid can’t take any credit for that

‘nomad’, nomad…you’re like a wanderer. damon/nomad. can you please help me out with something. what happened to rick astley. where is he?

d: well he did well in america didn’t he, with one single, it was a #1 here. well what he’s done is, he’s probably producing another album somewhere. a: probably lives in los angeles and goes to barbecues.

a: he was quite affable.

is he like bros?

d: no he was a lot better than bros.

have you ever partied with the guys from bros on a pop star night out at all?

a: they were just the epitome of the 80’s, weren’t they.

d: well the funny thing is there was the third member who was in the band for the first album who was paid off because the two twins didn’t want him. and he’s now head of A&R for EMI records.

who signed you?

d: no no no no no. was it craig?

a: craig logan. the rest of them, the other two just bought lots of watches and ferraris.

what happens to pop stars in britain when they get retired? I guess bros and rick astley they got retired. what happens to them? like what do you see in the future for you guys if you get retired?

a: it wasn’t bros’ idea that was the thing

is it ‘bros’ or ‘bro’?

a: bros. they were always going to end up being victims because they didn’t take themselves there. they were put into that position by shrewd management, you know, and they obviously are always going to be fucked up at the end of the day because they just spent all of their money on stupid toys. they were just puppets. they weren’t going to change anything. they were just going to be the tomato sauce of life.

but is there a big hollowed out hill in britain somewhere where all the dead pop stars go? like where do they get retired to, i’m still curious. are you worried? what about you guys? where are they going to retire you to?

d: I don’t know. what are you going to do?

well actually i’m still looking at your hair damon. how do you get your hair to do that kind of…like do you get a bit of gel and put it in and do that? ‘Cause i’ve been having trouble with my hair and i’m kind of going bald a bit…(removes toque to show unruly head of hair)

d: first you get it cut

like looking at haircuts around the room here like that’s pretty hot (pointing to one person) and I like that (pointing to another person) except I can’t do that as a guy. it’s too thin. how do you personally…

d: you’ve got fine hair

yeah, i’ve got a real problem. like i’m not cut out for the britpop thing, am I? could this hair be moulded into britpop at all damon?

d: umm…(confers with alex)…i don’t know really. I think you’ve got your own thing going on there, haven’t you.

a: it’s a werzal…it’s what we call a werzal

d: what are you wearing underneath there?

i’ve got kind of bad stuff. look check out these shoes.

d: I thought you had the whole suit (referring to nardwuar’s royal vancouver yacht club crested jacket)

no, no I did not… I have the jeans, and look at these, no converse…what are you guys wearing for your footwear?

(damon clunks foot onto press conference table)

oh puma? what is that? adidas? all day I dream about…do you know that rumour?all day I dream about sex, sex all day in dad’s apartment…you know the old adidas thing? what about your footwear alex?

a: all I did is shit.

(now alex clunks foot onto table)

wow! transatlantic communication. bledstow?

a: yeah. fuck off boots.

didn’t you play at 86 street and like one of you guys was totally wasted, playing away there…

d: it was dave’s birthday

and then, and then, do you remember like a guy getting hauled out…he was getting hauled out of the club and you guys proudly proclaimed in your british cockney accents, ‘we’re not gonna play another note until you bring that guy back in’ and then the bouncer came up to you and whispered in your ear, I think, alex and you said ‘oh, I think we’re going to continue playing’. do you remember that incident?

d: all I remember is a speedboat journey. that’s the only thing I remember about the whole day.

a: I bought a flute.

no puke in the speedboat adventure?

d: no, that was before we got drunk. then we got drunk. that tour we were drinking…i mean I was drunker than I get ever when i’m going out now and before we were on stage every night for 2 1/2 months.

you were really brave to stand up to this club and say ‘hey, bring that guy back!’, but then somebody whispered in your ear and you knew better. so does that say what happens when you’re drunk?

d: I can’t really, can’t remember it but we were probably…we’d have been too drunk to care what anyone said to us. so I doubt it was anything he said that changed our mind.

shaun ryder.

d: I like shaun ryder.

jesus was a black man, jesus was batman, no batman was…

d: bruce wayne.

what about that lyric by that ryder guy? ugly! ugly!

local emi records representative: nardwuar can I get other people to ask questions here? I told you that before. sorry guys, you know what, this is for everyone, not just for nardwuar’s questions.

d: he was looking for help for his hair.

can I ask one more question? um, who…alex & damon, this is a two part question kind of. who would you guys rather date…lady di, fergie, wallace simpson, or lady penelope?

a: i’m a starfucker, so lady di.

n: who are you?

d: i’m dave and graham

n: from who?

d: from whom?

n: from the rock & roll band blur

g: no, from the pop group blur

n: (in english accent) from bri-tain

g: from england

d: ensemble

n: from england

g: from, um, britain

n: now we have graham & dave here, right?

d: right

g: yeah

n: now who are we missing…uhh….

d: damon & alex

n: damon & alex, yes. now what about the groupings, like how are you guys known. are you guys the quiet ones, have we got the quiet ones?

d/g: (no response)

n: ’cause I would think a logical grouping might be dave and damian and alex and graham

g: there’s no damian in this group

n: oh i’m sorry. I just like saying ‘damian’, you know. dave and damon.

d: so is that a question?

n: umm, i’m just saying about like grouping, like you two are stuck here together doing the interview. isn’t like alex the one who always gets drunk and always smokes?

g: he’s the one, yeah.

d: he does do a bit of drinking and smoking, yeah. does that help with interviews then?

n: well i’m just curious, how does damon…just beginning a bit with damon here for one second…how does damon get his hair like that? does he use gel? is there a special thing? it’s beautiful, his hair. I was talking to him earlier actually and he told me I don’t stand a chance for doing that.

d: doing what?

n: getting hair like damon. I have no chance to be like him.

g : you need to have it cut, don’t you?

n: now damon also really came down hard on my shoes. my shoes. now what are you guys wearing here? are you endorsed by somebody? can you lift it up so we can see?

g: vans (mumble mumble)

n: you got given vans?

g: all in the wrong sizes and the wrong types

n: ’cause that band nofx they’re sponsored by doc martens

g: wow

d: that’s pretty impressive

n: that’d be pretty good. now what do you think of my shoes right here? these ones.

g: they’re a bit dirty.

d: but you’re going for that kind of wacky interviewer look, aren’t you, with the funny hat and the wierd shoes that don’t really go with what you’re wearing, so…

n: no, I mean basically what i’m trying to get to is damon really came down hard on my shoes right here because you know everybody thinks oh blur are mods. you guys are not mods, are you?

g: no

n: ’cause like I always think of mods like ’65 Who, R&B, all that stuff. mods wouldn’t wear converse. you’re not mods, are you?

g: no we’re not mods.

d: what’s this? (pointing to crest on nardwuar’s jacket)

n: that’s the insignia from the royal vancouver yacht club incorporated in 1905 in vancouver.

d: are you actually a member of this?

n: yes I am, I became a member when I was very young for fifty dollars, but I was very young. you’re not mods are you? I just want to get this out of the way. you’re not mods. because I read this thing, they had this huge thing in melody maker — blur, hello, how ya doin’? — blur are mods. and I was like alright mods! gonna be like the squires. remember those bands? even like headcoats, you know that type of cool deerstalker hat…

g: (sounding slightly perturbed) headcoats are not mod!

n: well you know what I mean, that mod style. like you’re not mod. you’re not mod. like blur are not mod. you guys have effects pedals. what are all those effects pedals you have graham?

g: they’re mod pedals

n: yeah, modulation pedals, but I mean…

g: you press one of them and a parka suddenly appears

n: wait a second there graham, when townshend hit “I can’t explain” notes, like in ’66, he wasn’t usin’ too many pedals. you ain’t mod. you go to big recording studios. you have keyboards and stuff. you’re not mod. even your look isn’t mod. those clothes aren’t mod! you’re not mod!

g: who gives a fuck?

n: no, i’m just curious, will you agree with me…it’ll really help me get through this.

d: yeah.

n: but damon’s dad did manufacture some kind of soft machine stuff…that’s kind of mod though, getting down with the soft machine.

d:: they were totally progressive hippies

n: his dad was like artistic designer for the soft machine.

g: he was involved, s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s, yeah

n: that’s very kind of who-ish…b-b-b-b-b-b-b, ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, very stuttering, that’s very good

g: ain’t seen nuthin’ yet?

n: yeah, it’s bto, you know, b-b-b-b-b-b-baby, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, it’s kind of like a cop because randy bachman, the guy who wrote that song, I think his half brother had stuttering problems. hello! how ya doin?

d: what happened to your leg? (referring to nardwuar’s cane)

n: w-w-w-well I kinda pulled a legament

d: legament?

n: yes I pulled a legament. I pulled a ligament in my leg. this is dave. dave, how ya doin? now dave you’re really into style and substance. now what about the kinks? you guys like the kinks, right? come on, the kinks, please

d: I did for a while. they don’t really have many records out these days.

n: ’cause you are in blur. now I realize that blur might know some stuff about the british music scene that other people do not. now is it true that mick avory, you know mick avory, mick avory, one of the guys in the kinks, tried to kill dave davies? they hated each other.

d: yeah. they were always pouring beer over each other and stuff.

n: do you know if that’s true or not. did mick avory try to kill dave davies?

g: dave davies, you know everyone gets in a bad mood sometimes, especially brothers.

n: jesus was a black man, jesus was batman, no batman was…

d: your arse

n: yeah exactly! like I asked that same thing to damon and he said batman was bruce wayne. I do not understand, blur, please graham & dave of blur, please, I do not understand the ryder guy. that guy is ugly. shaun ryder. I mean i’m gross too, but he’s ugly.

d/g: (silence)

n: he’s ugly isn’t he, shaun ryder?

d: I don’t know. (pause) what do you mean?

n: he’s just an ugly guy and I was reading in this paper that kermit, you know good old kermit — dave, are you still there? — kermit broke his ankle, who cares…

d: kermit the frog?

n: yeah, I know kermit from the ryders broke his little ankle…now you my friend, you, graham, you mod effects pedal guy, you got hit by a car. now there was photographers nicely on hand. how come? was it staged? can you show me any scars now, ’cause some people believe it might’ve been staged. you know kermit breaks his ankle, I can’t get over that, but you’re kind of on that thing where you apparently got hit by a car, I mean, it’s tragic getting hit by a car, but i’m saying in the sense that it was all documented. what’s the deal on that?

g: I was leaving some dolce cabana party so there was a lot of photographers there trying to see if there was famous people coming in or out and there were so many that I couldn’t see the road properly and I got hit by a car and they all took pictures and went back to…

n: have you ever been stimulated by shampoo, at all, dave?

d: stimulated, by voisine.

n: yeah, shampoo, voiz?

d: that’s really damon’s bag

n: I thought he was celibate since he met justine

d: doubt that very much

n: because according to this woman (holds up picture from british tabloid of english lass damon lost his virginity to) right here…who is this woman?

g: I think they sleep together

n: well this was his old lover jane, jane, and she said she kept a relationship with him two years into justine’s relationship. what do you remember about jane here? you grew up with damon, right?

g: mmm

n: what do you remember about jane?

g: nothing really. she was just a girl. she lives about 4 doors away from my parents.

n: she said that damon did not have a cockney accent and he also collected fossils. (dave & graham grab nardwuar’s question card)

n: those are the questions! you can’t rip that card! this is damon’s lost long love

d: ask us the question.

n: whatever happened to the dolly mixture? the band the dolly mixture, graham of blur?

g: don’t know

n: dave of blur…

d: it was the dolly mixtures, wasn’t it?

n: yeah, like whatever happened to them, like captain sensible had something to do with them.

d: I don’t know. captain sensible lives in hullsford (???) now, in essex

n: do you think he still has a career?

d: i’m sure he still does something

n: where are bro? bros. where are those guys?

g: ha ha ha bro. bros.

n: yeah, where are them?

d: where are them?

n: yeah, legament. where are them. you’re very good. you’re the only one to graduate from school, right dave?

d: you don’t graduate from school in england, you just leave.

n: where are bros?

d: I think one of them’s having an unfruitful solo career, and the guy they sacked, with the dark hair, was writing for this woman.

n: one of the bands I don’t understand that’s frequently featured a few years ago was the frank and the walters. now you look kind of like one of those guys, dave. whatever happened to them?

d: frank and walters, they’re still going, I think. didn’t they have a novelty hit, or something…a northern novelty hit

n: the frank and the walters…now you guys go wow, like the frank and the walters, who cares, but blur and the frank and the walters could become one. like you could end up in that big retirement villa too, as I alluded to damon earlier. does that scare you, being put away in the retirement villa with the frank and the walters, dave?

d: you’re too wacky for words. I can’t bring myself to tell you how wacky you are.

g: anything for a quiet life.

n: do you like hats?

d: yeah

. n: what do you think about the stone roses since they kicked that guy out who doesn’t have the hat? are they finished? sorry, they kicked the guy out with the hat. was he the drummer, dave?

d: he was actually, yeah.

n: what happened to him? like he had a hat and they kicked him out.

d: I think he lost his “i”. they all have names that end in “i”. so they had to get somebody else in with an “I”.

n: that’s kind of sad that he lost an “I”. are the stone roses finished, are they finished?

d: reni, that’s it.

g: no, they’re not finished at all.

n: oh come on, they’re long gone. they waited too long. it’s over.

g: I read a review of their gig, not long ago they did a concert, and it was supposed to be like seeing god.

n: but come on, do you like mr. bean at all? what is good about mr. bean is that it’s way better than stone roses. mr. bean, the tv thing, is way better than the stone roses.

g: the thing about mr. bean is it’s not very loud.

n: what do you mean. mr. bean, it’s all improvised.

g: it’s silent, isn’t it

n: are you implying something?

g: you get noise but no laughter

n: but the stone roses are finished. I like mr. bean. are you mad at me. are you mad at me? hey! are you mad at me because I like mr. bean…

g: i’m just an angry young man

n: are you mad at me because I like mr. bean better than the roses?

d: no, i’d probably agree with you. i’m not very fond of either, really.

n: have you ever eaten out of linda mccartney’s cookbook at all?

d: I read that, I read that question.

n: then you’re well prepared to answer it. have you, dave of the band blur, not mods or anything, eaten out of the mccartney thing. you’ve thought about this a bit.

d: she makes fine pies

g: I like her products.

n: did you get to meet her when they did that big album all together, did she bring any food or catering there?

d: no. we weren’t really involved in that. we just gave ’em an instrumental and said stick it on.

n: was george harrison around at all at that time?

g: not that I remember.

n: are you allowed to meet george harrison?

d : do I want to meet george harrison? he’s not a big hero of mine.

g: I like georgie. met george martin.

n: now are you a mod graham that’s into the guitar mod or ska mod?

g: skod

n: you’re a ska mod?

g: a skod

n: you like the ska/mod.

g: no i’m not.

n: I don’t want scones or high tea at the empress hotel. you like the tamla, you like the motown, you’re down with john entwistle.

g: kent records

n: you like joe meek, who committed suicide and killed his landlady as well. I was still curious, thought, about george harrison, and w-w-w-w-what i’m curious about george harrison is, do you think that the beatles anthology — again we’re speaking here to graham and dave from blur — do you think the beatles anthology was an excuse for george harrison to earn some extra money? like to put him through retirement. ’cause remember they did the rolling stones tour, the steel wheels tour, that was apparently to get ronnie wood’s son off heroin. that’s the only reason they did the steel wheels tour. now what about your visions of the harrison/beatles anthology thing. do you think that harrison did it at all?

d: did what?

n: do you think he needed the bucks. did harrison need the bucks.

d: maybe. what’s wrong with that you know.

n: have you ever partied with the gang from coronation street at all?

d: do you get many viewers?

n: well actually the last show and the last radio station we did things for was cancelled so probably nobody will see this. it’s for our own home use, so feel free to expose yourself. what do you think about coronation street, because coronation street is highly rated over here along with mr. bean and I was curious, have you ever…

g: what about east enders? I like east enders. we’ve had a few drinks with the east enders, haven’t we?

d: don’t like these gritty northern types though

n: what do you mean? I don’t understand ‘northern’? I don’t understand. northern is…

d: everything happens in these places…

n: northern’s working class, isn’t it? you don’t like the working class?!?

d: northern is the north and southern is the south.

n: oh, thanks.

d: you were confused there.

g: you’re very very very very very very very very umm sort of wacky

d: naive. it doesn’t mean if you’re from the north you’re working class. a lot of the east end of london, lots of london is considered working class. it’s not just a north/south divide, you know.

n: did alex want to shag barbara ellen?

g: I don’t think so.

n: you just met her recently, didn’t you?

g: met her once years ago

n: one other thing too i’d like to confirm here, winding up with graham and dave from the band blur — anything you’d like to say out there, you know shouts out to people in radioland

d: turn off

n: what’s on your mind now, what are you thinking?

g: drop in, turn off

n: that’s pretty american. that’s uh, very leary. can you give another soundbite, perhaps a marshall mcluhan one?

g: you’re leering at me

n: i’m not leering at you, i’m looking at the wall. i’ve never seen that painting before.

g: superb painting. I don’t even have to look.

n: you don’t have to look at it…what’s good about that painting?

g: it matches the decor.

n: now who would you guys like to date — winding up here, the last question, finally, speaking to graham and dave of blur — who would you like to date…fergie, di, wallace simpson, or lady penelope?

g: wallace simpson?

d: as in edward & mrs. simpson.

g: none of those people.

n: well, come on, of those people. again, who would you like to get with?

d: get with?

n: what’s wrong with them?

g: nothing’s wrong with them, they’re just not my cup of tea.

n: well thank you very much for your time, graham and dave, how are ya doin?

d: ok

g: is that the end of the interview?

n: it’s all over. i’ve run out of questions. i’m finished with the questions, i’m sorry. why should people care about blur? why should people care about blur?

g: because we’re honest, down to goodness people. we really are human beings.

n: alright, well keep on rockin’ in the free world and doot doola doot doot-

g: you’ve got the right haircut for that old hippie nonsense, don’t you…

n: doot doola doot doot

g: doot doo.

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