Lush have recently released their first single, the 'Mad Love' ep. I caught up with them at Sheffield University on the 8th March, promoting it, and chatted to Miki (vocals, guitar), Steve (bass) and Chris (drums). Emma (guitar) was absent as she was tired and so went back with the others to the hotel.
-How are the sales of Mad Love coming on?
M - dunno...
-I mean you've been on the Chart Show and Snub....
M - err it was at 55 or something - it'll probably go down
-How do you like being rechristened Mick?
M - Mike!! Happens all the time!
-What about Snub - the sound on it
M - gawd, fucking dreadful. Yeah the gig was like really good.....
-It was all mixing desk sound
S - It was really bad. It went out live on the radio in France and it was a really good sound, Its just cause Snub only had two microphones or something......
M - I watched the Pale Saints who were on the week before and I watched them that night and it was perfect. That night watching it, it was brilliant. On Snub it was like - fucking hell - what happened? It was like someone was stood with one of those tape recorders!
-so you're on tv quite a lot now....
M - hah!
S - We were on Channel 4 daily yesterday
- I saw that
M - Really?
-A little bit of the video showing the tour dates! How are these ones going?
M - this
was like the seventh one... I think
-Thursday - so have they gone alright then?
M - yeah
- What about the Darling Buds tour? You didn't play York!
M - there were one or two we didn't do. That and London.....
- What's the reaction been like to the NME photos?
M - some of them are alright. I think the thing was, when they did the interview they put all four in, and the week after they had us on the live circuit page and they just put me, sort of like........ typical....... and I can just imagine all these people thinking "urr yeah, they're playing tonight...fuckin' tits out..."
- do you get that a lot?
S - tonight
they shouted "get your armadillos out"
-You'd expect it at a Transvision Vamp gig.
M - I've seen people say it to Throwing Muses, you know.... anyone with a girl in the band..... its like "what can I shout out" and it's "oooh get your tits out"....
- have you lots of money like the Pale Saints?
M - no,
we're careful with money actually, sort of save it up.....
- is it a good deal with 4AD?
S - well we haven't got a deal with them.... we've just done both singles.... its like working with your friends really.... its a sort of family atmosphere....cliché cliché...
M - at the moment its just for Scar and Mad Love but I think there might be something going on but I'm not sure
-are there other labels interested in you?
S - Rough
Trade, One Little Indian
-my sisters friend who is only 16 likes you....
M - is that what we are - a 16 year olds band?
-She used to be a Brosette
M - Madly in Love - mad love
M - its destined
-Have you done many support gigs?
C - We did the Darling Buds and then the Loop tour. The Loop tour was better. it got better every time. But the audience....... it was really different....
-Have you had much daytime play of Mad Love?
C - I think Simon Bates played it, which is a big insult!
- have you any plans to play abroad?
C - We've got the European thing and then we have to stop so Emma can finish her degree
-Have you any more songs yet?
C - everything we played tonight is the only songs we've got. When we first started we had a load and nobody could play them, we used to.... we've thrown them all out and do the songs we feel comfortable doing, cos like Emma's at college so there's not a lot of time to get together any songs.... it is quite a slow process too. I think we're going to have to take a bit of time off.... get new material together...
-Does Emma's college get in the way?
C- well it does.... I think she should finish it. She's been 3 years and everybody would be a lot happier if she got her degree cos we're all quite lucky - it all happened last year, not this year. But once that happens you can concentrate on one thing... I know she feels pressured.
- What obsessions do you have? We all have obsessions but some of us hide them.....
-sounds like an advert!
C - football was an obsession till they started losing.....
-I've got a Tottenham mug
C - have you? I've got two
- I also had a Glenn Hoddle phase
C - did you? I'm reading his autobiography - 'Spurred to Success'
- did you buy the Glenn and Chris record?
C - nah.....
- what about Tottenham records?
C - no...
-I've got a Tottenham badge and sweatbands
C - I've got two mugs, a poster in my front room, a large collection of programmes and that's it. Tottenham have gone too downhill and I don't want to talk about it cause it upsets me too much.
-How do you spend your time now?
C - the band is everything. Its totally sort of time consuming. The record came out then the tour... then there's boring things you have to do like talking to accountants and solicitors, and things you'd put off if you were thinking about it and you know that's what you'd have to do
- are you enjoying it as much as you thought you would?
C - I'm really.... what I enjoy is touring. I just love it because I don't like London. I like getting out of London.
- why go to London?
C - for Poly. To get out of the Lake District. If you live in the Lake District you probably end up festering for the rest of your life. Its great when you get a couple of weeks off - Christmas or Summer or summat, and you know you can get out and go there and its brilliant. If you were living there all year round and didn't have anything else I'm sure it'd be totally depressing.
-I've never been to the Lakes
C - it is really nice. If you're in London you need all your money to use facilities, its one of them places where if you want to do anything you have to spend money. We used to go to London with a wad - spend it - it was brilliant, but if you're living there every day you can't go down Carnaby Street and say "ooh I want some of those bondage keks" you know, splash out, it feels good. I dunno.....
- where do you live?
C - Camberwell
- All the 'pop stars' live there - you don't dress like a Camberwell person!!!
C - Guy Chadwick comes from there, I think nearly all the Comic Strip do,
- The Beloved
C - yeah they do - they paint their bodies too. I've seen photos. Maybe that's the Camberwell look - they've changed!
- would you change like they have to become successful?
C - no way! The only thing I'd change is production on records, y'know. like the difference between 'Scar' and the new one... err...
- 'Mad Love'
C - Mad Cow someone said the other day. Mad Cow ep!! The production is a different sound.
-were you happy with it?
C - yeah, I think 'Mad Love' is a progression, it's a bit sharper. If you listen to 'Thoughtforms' on it and then on 'Scar' it sounds like a real dirge
and you just don't wanna listen to it.
-do you listen to your records?
C - I listen to it, but its more in a sort of ..... I think it I wasn't in the band I would, that's quite a good way of measuring it, if you're into the band you're actually in. When I first joined it wasn't the sort of music I was into, but if I heard it and I wasn't into the band I'd probably like it. It's like when you listen to it you think "oh I shouldn't have done this" and "it would have sounded better doing this or that". I can listen to it. I listen to it obsessively before the records come out.
- and notice mistakes
C - yeah, that's what its like. Its like that all the time
- do you get a lot of people coming up to you after gigs?
C - yeah a lot of the time. Signing posters which is a bit odd. Well its quite nice in a way.
- it shows someone out there enjoyed it
C - especially tonight. If you think "ooh yeah, everyone hated us!"
-did you ever have your big game of football with the Pale Saints before your gig in November in Leeds?
C - nah, we did in Norwich. When we do the European gigs it's on the contract that they've got to have a football team to play when we get there. It's gonna be a combined team, and they have to provide a team for us to play.
- what do you reckon your chances are for winning?
C - pretty strong.... the Pale Saints are good at football.... they're a lot better than us.....
and with that, Lush needed to get back to the hotel, so I got Miki, Chris and Steve into my car and took them back......
interviewed by jo and Tim, photographs by Tim Johnson