The following interview with Nick, by the "Rock 'n' Roll Reporter" took place in '95 after the release of "A Northern Soul".
VERVE-Mental Visionaries ~ by gigz giger
Guitarist Nick McCabe was kind enough to let us call his flat in England to fill the Reporter in on this young and upcoming band.
kind of music did the radio play in England, and is that what
first interested you in music?
Well, the radio is shit over here...local radio stations are poor imitations of the big ones. They just play whatever's in the charts. The charts were pretty dull when I was growing up.
inspired you to pick up the guitar?
That was me, I just got a guitar, and I could play a few things on it , and I liked messing with it, and I liked making my own things up.
Q.You guys have
what been described by critics as a psychedelic sound. How did
this sound come about?
(chuckling) Don't ever describe it as psychedelic, it spoils the facts and stuff like that. I think it's just through taste; trying to evade anything sentimental. It's a certain kind of power we try and go after...it's a surging thing, and I like that.
Q.There are layers of nuance and subtlety on your latest U.S. release. How Would you classify it?
I think it is powerful, but in a different way. A lot of other powerful rock groups, aren't really that powerful. We're going for something a bit more.
Q.How does the band's music come across to live audiences?
I think so...yeah. What's good around the live playing is that it can take different sounds. And that's what it's about.
Q.How did you guys like playing Lollapalooza last year? ('94)
It was good. We enjoyed it. Detroit was a amazing.
Q.What makes Detroit stand out in you memory?
We did four days in Detroit, and the crowd got slightly bigger each day. People were getting into it. That is what was good about it really. Because it wasn't publicized that well.
Q.Do you like playing larger venues or clubs?
Well, the thing about Lollapalooza we got to see enough of the stadiums. There were a couple of places that had-what I thought- a real good atmosphere about them. So it doesn't matter to me as much, as long there is the sound and the atmosphere.
Q.How is your current English tour going?
The last two shows we did , Friday night in London and Saturday in Manchester went really well.
Q.So you're getting a good response over there?
The Manchester show was the biggest venue we've played there so far. It was really good playing, it was really happenin'.
Q.Do you feel there is a good amount of interest form the States?
I don't think it's really happenin', I think our record company could do a some more for us. 'Cause I think when people hear it, they do actually get it. Something verse(?) weird as we're being portrayed. But like in England it's starting to pick up a lot. It's been on one level for quite a few years, but it's really improved in these last couple time of being out.
Q.Any bands in the States you get into?
Acetone, there an L.A. band. They're pretty good, I can not say how they're going to go over, but (I think) they're a really cool band. I'm not really interested in any of the punk bands. (Acetone supported Verve on their Oct/Nov tour of the U.S. in '93)
Q.Is that the general consensus of English bands towards the American bands playing punk?
I think they missed the point of the punk thing really. All these bands can play, and we think the whole point was about getting your own band together, and making some exciting music. America has some brilliant punk bands, but I would understand if someone did it. But it's different than(?) English bands write(?), they are rehashing the crap bands.
Q.Is there an underlying concept spun into A Northern Soul?
Not really. I think there is a mood of escapism if there is any sort of ideals. Richard (Ashcroft-vocals) might tell you differently, but I think what Richard says, and what he really thinks are two different things some of the time.
Q.Does the band partake in a drug-induced atmosphere as much as your music seems to indicate?
We dabble a bit, and that's about it. It's a bit of culture that keeps us from a destruction trip.
Q.So dabbling is safe you feel?
Yeah, we've got our own preferences really. We don't make drugs and music like you thought. It's not crucial.
Q.Your band has played a multitude of dates with OASIS, are you guys pretty tight with them?
Actually before they got signed we were playing with them quite a bit. Richard's quite friendly with Noel. (Gallagher-lead guitars and backup vocals) We're not like bosom buddies or anything. They're also real far away, that has a lot to do with it.
Q.You guy's have had your share of injuries, have you and your mates been avoiding personal harm?
(laughs) We're all right, our gear keeps going now! I've got this curse on me, all of my amps keep blowing up.