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An interview with the Inspiral Carpets


Interview: Jack Foley

WITH a successful 'reminder' tour behind them, and a greatest hits album, Cool As, out on May 19, the Inspiral Carpets have become 'cool as fuck' once more.

Band members, Clint Boon and Martyn Walsh, took time out from their busy schedules to hang out with IndieLondon's Jack Foley to talk about the recent live performances, and their plans for the future... as well as the odd recollection of the past.

Q. Has the success of this year’s ‘reminder’ made you wish you had never been away?
Martyn:
No - it's probably a case of 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'.
Clint: No, I'm still glad we went away... we've all prospered as individuals as a result of our solo activities. I'm not talking in a financial sense, but purely in a creative way. If we'd stuck together in '95 I think it would have got a bit messy...

Q. Are there any plans for any more new material or live shows of your own, aside from festivals?
Martyn: As of yet, there's no plans yet for new material, but we are in the early stages of looking at some gigs at the end of the year.

Q. Were you surprised by the level of support and the enthusiasm with which your fans returned to greet you?
Martyn:
No. We've always had a very loyal fanbase and I think the only people that were surprised at how good we were, were probably ourselves... And I feel that the recent gigs proved that we've improved since our lay-off.
Clint: I wasn't surprised either. I've seen kids jumping around in nightclubs to our records during the eight years we've been apart.

Q. The cow logo, for instance, seems to have made something of a revival… any chance of an Inspiral Carpets fashion range?
Martyn:
We already have our own MOO-wear and we are always looking for new niche markets! i.e. underwear, a la Kylie.

Did you have a marching girl band at all of the live dates? And where did you find them?
Martyn:
No. It was just for Brixton and it was the same marching band
that we used for the "She Comes in the Fall" video
Clint: Unfortunately, most venues can't accommodate a 40 piece band of drummer girls...

Q. What do you think of the state of music today, and are you surprised/flattered that the trademark organ sound has recently been picked up by some of the emerging bands of the moments, such as The Caesars and Hot Hot Heat?
Martyn:
Music seems to be in a state of flux but I've got high hopes for some of the music emerging from Manchester that is being based around an existing network of clubs, bands and labels. I'm probably flattered that people are using the organ sound, probably in the same way that The Stranglers were flattered when we openly ripped them off - ha ha!
Clint: I'm not surprised about the resurgence of the organ sound in mainstream music (Coral, Caesars etc) and I continue to be very flattered when these bands reference us as an influence...

Q. Do you think there could be a Baggy revival over the next couple of years?
Martyn:
I seriously hope not! The Madchester scene was based on a
"fook you" attitude towards the established music industry and embraced all aspects of culture - like design, fashion, music, drugs... and basically was of its time... I think any revival would be second-rate really.
Clint: I think we're already in the middle of a revival of sorts . I prefer
things to happen organically (no pun intended) rather than being media-led.
There's still a lot of cool stuff happening in Manchester and right now, it doesn't feel like we're under any sort of microscope like it was in
'89/'90.

Q. From a nostalgia point of view, which live performances rate among your favourites at the height of your success? And Why?
Martyn:
I got to say that the last eight gigs we did were probably the
favourite Inspiral gigs
Clint: Of the old gigs, I would say GMex and Reading in 1990

Q. Who came up with the cow idea?
Martyn:
It's from Clint - who used to live near a load of cows.
Clint:
I'm a bit of a cow lover, although I've never made love to one.

Q. Aside from the Inspiral Carpets, what are you all doing at the moment?
Martyn:
I've got a project called DC10, in which I explore my dark side - all of us are in some way, shape or form involved in music and this keeps the idea of Inspirals fresh.
Clint: Shit loads of djing in clubs, radio presenting, I've got a label called 'booney tunes', and I did the theme tune for Engie Benji, which is
currently the most successful new kids show. It will be a single at the end of this year.

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