In a world of meddling politicians and lacklustre musicianship, Shane O' Reilly takes a little time out to cheer himself up by asking one of his hero's all those important questions. This time round it's Crispin Hunt from 90's uber-group The Longpigs.
SO'R: Crispin, how are you?
CH: I am excellent ,thank you.
SO'R: So, the one that started it all: The Sun Is Often Out. It's stood the test of time very well, hasn't dated at all in my opinion. You think so?
CH: I have to admit I am pleased it still gets played 10 years after.
SO'R: Was the album a 4-way split on the writing or mostly just yourself leading proceedings?
CH: I wrote all the songs bar a couple of b-sides
SO'R: I was listening to On & On the other day. Is it even even possible to write a better love song now?
CH: I haven't managed it yet.
SO'R: Post-Britpop era; why do you think so many bands fall by the wayside? Mansun and Menswear were fairly rubbish but Suede and Elastica were excellent. Even Oasis got very bloody boring.
CH: Britpop was a dreary label that, coined by my best friend Phil Savage of Savage and Best Press, became a blanket fashion for all that played guitar and as with all fashions, they come and go. The British public have very little loyalty to music, mainly because its 12 year olds that buy singles and those 12 year olds get slightly older and discover the Clash and Led Zeppellin. It's natures way, I'm afraid.
SO'R: Things started to change for The Longpigs too. There was a huge difference between the first release and Mobile Home. Some cited it as the beginning of the end. Why was this? Changing dynamics behind the scenes?
CH: It was the end of the end. Mobile Home was more about words than music.
SO'R: And then, relatively soon afterward, things did indeed crumble. Set us straight; was it drugs, in-fighting, creative differences, strains of touring? There were rumours of all of the above. Richie Hawley has blamed cocaine and touring.
CH: Yes, both of the above got in the way. We should have stopped touring a year after the first album but then it took off in America and we ended up playing the same set for 4 years......which has some bothersome side effects, like heart death. Drugs got in everybody's way but it was more of a hobby than a habit, alcohol also became a problem, for certain people.
SO'R: Was it hard to get your head around it all? One day it's supporting U2, the next it's starting from scratch i guess.
SO'R: In the immediate aftermath, what were your first thoughts: get a 9-5 or look for new bands mates etc?
CH: I quit music to try to reform the House of Commons, Politics being the second love of my life.
SO'R: For most people, including myself, it would have seemed the logical thing for you to go on and put your song-writing talent to use, if not for yourself, for others which you did...
CH: Yes, despite the political work I couldn't stop the tunes going round my head so I wrote them down and they do quite well and have now taken over from everything.....Newton Faulkner, Gabrielle Cilme, Florence and the Machine, Natalie Imbruglia, C-lo green, Lisa Mitchell ,to name a few....Its fun and I find that the pure creation is wholly satisfying. I got very caught up in the performance of being in a band and forgot about the reason to be there....music.
SO'R: How, when and where did Gremacy (a musical solo outfit Crispin put together) fit into all this? Very different to Longpigs. I found one video on Youtube.
CH: Gramercy was something I was coerced into doing as a favour to a friend, it thankfully, imploded. Bloody Youtube.
SO'R: So, do you still talk to Richard Hawley? He's a bit of a crooner rock star now.
CH: Rarely. But I am so chuffed for him. He is brilliant .
SO'R: It must be asked; the reunion. Any possibility? Or failing that, how about a Crispin Hunt solo tour? There's a considerable cult following of us out here ya know.
CH: Thank you for your kindness but I can think of nothing I would like to do less.